Weekly Update: A few sandwiches short of a picnic…

Good evening!


Hello, hello, and welcome back to another fun packed episode of ‘Let’s Make Absolutely No Sense Whatsoever’ with me, your host, Chairman Sam. We’ve a fun packed show for you tonight but, before we start, let’s meet the teams.



We start with a belated result from Phil and Fiona Robinson, who competed in the Horsforth Hurtle at the end of July (the results have only just made it), so we’ll give three cheers to both Phil (48:12) and Fiona (1:07:12) for their cracking efforts on the 5 mile course. Well done to you both.


We’ve also got the results through the James Herriot Trail Race last week. Andy Todd (1:04:30) was first home on the tricky 10 mile course, with Adam Kirk (1:06:14) bagging himself yet another PB and a sterling performance from Carol Morgan (1:07:33). Well give Simon Franklin (1:08:41) a shout even though he ran in colours for his other club (yeah, quite), and we’ll also make a big fuss of Steve Newton (1:16:22), Phil Robinson (1:22:03), Christine Holleran (1:27:36), Alison (1:27:39) and Nick (1:27:40) Iles, and Sarah Hughan (1:28:59). The two Debbies, Gibson and Dilasser, both achieved exactly the same time (1:40:05) – what are the chances of that happening, hey? Well done to you all. I’m fully aware that I have probably missed a few of you out, for which I can only apologise, but the results are all over the place and some of you aren’t registered with Nidd Valley on the final list. All a bit of an omnishambles, to be honest with you, but here is the link if you want to check things out for yourself: https://www.rotary-ribi.org/upimages/clubfiles/254/Heriot%20Run%202016/James_Herriott_Country_Trail_Run_2016_Full_results_mod.pdf.


I suppose we should probably mention the inaugural Nidd Valley Beer Mile, which we held on Friday night on the Stray. No one told me that there was a minimum alcohol limit for the run, so I opted to play it safe with some 2% Fosters Raddler. The stuff is vile, and I came in for no end of abuse from people for my weakness, but it was acidic, fizzy and made me feel decidedly unwell, so they can’t complain. Catherine Barber hit the 5% heavy stuff, and by lap three had broken into a chorus of “Why was she born so beautiful, why was she born at all?”. You had to be there. Anyway, Andy Robinson from Striders was first to finish the unique challenge, followed by yours truly, Fingers Harris and father and son team Phil and Eddie Ventress. Catherine staggered over the line at some point, having decided it was safer to power walk the last lap, with Caroline Rainbow from Harriers finishing things off. Catherine decided she enjoyed it so much that she would like to rerun it for her birthday in September. More details to follow.

Harder than it looks...

Harder than it looks…

Yesterday I competed in the Round Hill Fell Race. That was a toughie, I’ll tell you that much, made all the more interesting when Mark David poked me in the back to keep me focused when we were climbing out one of the many bogs that littered the course. The route didn’t disappoint, with a muddy-as-you-like climb to the top of the hill, a brilliant descent and a couple of little river crossings. This being fell running, we ordinarily wouldn’t expect the results this side of Christmas, but I was pleasantly surprised to get them last night. Tim Harvey (1:01:46) flew round the 8.5 mile course in sparkling time, with Fingers Harris (1:06:15) and Matt Rickard (1:14:18) never far behind. For some reason, Andrew Peagram (1:16:52) registered as unaffiliated, but we managed to find his result in any event. The lesser-spotted Simon Harris (1:18:51) pipped the more-often-spotted Mark David (1:19:11) to the finish line – well I say finish line, it was more a bloke sat on a dry stone wall with a clipboard – before Mark Armstrong (1:20:26) popped his fell running cherry and made his debut on the hills.

Looking strong...

Looking strong…


I (1:23:36) just held Rob Snow (1:23:57) at bay before Jim Cook (1:26:22) and his injuries breathed a sigh of relief at the finish. Well done to Fell Running Phil (1:26:38) and Dave Seaman (1:30:15) on two cracking results, soon to be joined by the fairer halves of the fell running contingent: Debbie Gibson (1:39:30) and Sarah Chalmers (1:48:25).


Emma Dooley (46:52) was on top form when she led the troops home at the York 10k yesterday, with Nick Smith (54:51) making a welcome return from injury and enjoying the world of pain free running. Jeff Walker (55:36) was the next to finish, proving he is a fine new addition to the Nidd Valley fold. I must be doubly careful to get Jane Hill’s  results right, which is going to be awkward given that the results says she did it in 1:01:17 but Jane sent me her result for Leeds a few weeks ago (59:47). What’s a man to do! Anyway, back to York, where Michelle Dinsdale (1:02:50) brought proceedings to a beautiful close. Congratulations to you all.


At the risk of sounding predictable, Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin have been back in the hills again, this time competing in the Marmot 24 Hour Navigation Event up in bonny Scotland. Simon took part in the solo event, claiming an incredibly fourth place overall, while Carol and her fell running chums formed a crack team, taking the first team prize and fifth place overall. Incredible stuff, and I can only hope that they wore their Nidd Valley vests (that includes you, Mr Franklin).


In other news, we should at least take the time to mention Adam Kirk who took things up a notch or two when he competed in the Tough Mudder at Broughton Hall near Skipton this weekend. They don’t seem to publish times for such things, so he’ll have to settle with our praise, admiration and slight concern that he is maybe a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic for putting himself through the ordeal.


And while we are singing the praises of our fellow athletes, we should save a few verses for Alan Davidson, too. This Nidd Valley stalwart took part in the Allerthorpe Classic Triathlon this weekend, a feat requiring him to swim 1500m (that’d take me all day), cycle 40km (again, it’d take me all day) and then run 10k (I could probably do that bit). Still, he did the swim in 32:19, the ride in 1:11:04 and the run in 45:55, finishing in 2:33:32, taking 99th place out of 282 finishers. Alan describes the event as going better than he expected and that he is “pleased with that”. So you should be, Alan. Well done.


Matt Wilkinson (20:05) was looking very relaxed out on the parkrun course at Harrogate, with Andrew Peagram (21:02), yours truly (21:42) and Dan Eagling (21:49) not too far behind. Ginger Newton (21:57) managed to hold Sue Simpson (22:56), Alison Iles (23:27), Marcos Montana (23:34) and Sarah Hughan (23:43 – PB by two seconds, if you’re taking notes) at bay. Christine Holleran (23:55) was the next to finish, with Moira McTague (24:48), Rosemary Thompson (26:17 – PB!), Debbie Dilasser (27:05) and Carolyn Easton (27:08) joining her on the line. After that, it wasn’t a long wait for Dave Rushton (27:13), Jim Cook (27:29), Tony LC (27:41) and a somewhat hungover Fingers Harris (27:47). We’ll also make a bit of space to squeeze in a result for Moira’s sister, Fiona McTague (32:39), who came up from Huddersfield and joined us for the day. Nice to see you, Fiona. Completing our parkrun results for the week, we’ve got Andy Todd (19:16) and Sue Reast (29:38) at Fountains and a great little result from Fiona Robinson (31:27) at Wetherby. Well done to you all.


Everybody is making love or else expecting rain / And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing, he’s getting ready for the show / He’s going to the carnival tonight on Desolation Row: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Tuesday’s club run comes courtesy of Jenny Manning, who has asked that we do the off road version of the Knox run. Be at the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm, where we head up the Greenway, hanging left over the fields behind Bilton. From there it is down through the woods, past the allotments and down into Knox. Get yourself over the field with bulls in it (you’ll be fine, I promise, so long as you don’t dawdle), round through the woods to Oak Beck, past the Hydro, then back up the hill behind Coppice. From there, it’s a quick jaunt over the railway bridge and back to base. As ever, plenty of options to cut short or extend.


Ah great! On Thursday we have got our fourth pub run of the season, this week led by Moira M. It’s about six and a bit miles, but with options to hang back early if you don’t want anything too strenuous. We’re meeting at the New Inn at Burnt Yates, where we will get food and a drink after. As ever, if you want to eat, can you let Moira know for numbers and turn up and get your order in before we start running. See you there, ready to run for 7pm.

Directions, instructions, and a marked pub...

Directions, instructions, and a marked pub…

Now this is very exciting indeed, as we head over to the Lakes on Sunday for the next counter in the fell championship: the Lowther Trail Race. It’s a squeak under the half marathon distance at 13 miles, but it is more undulating than hilly, and you can probably get away with roadies if the weather is dry (though I’d stick your off-roaders on if you have them). The race starts at 12:00, but it’ll probably still be an early start to get up there in time. Let FRP know if you are going, as I think he is going to try to sort shared transport. All the relevant info here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4560 and here: http://www.lowthershow.co.uk/whats-on/lowther-trail-run.


Intervals: Opinions Wanted

The new trainee coaches (Sarah H, Dan E and Jon E) are reviewing the current plan and looking to spice things up a bit. They’re looking at some different routes to try and keep things from becoming stale. Dan brilliantly compared this to marriage counselling: the basics are there but we need to spice up the sex life and maybe introduce something a bit new. So, with a slap and a tickle, if you have any suggestions for good spots to train, favourite hills, that kind of thing, then please do let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Committee Meeting: 10 August 2016

I’d sooner stick pins in my eyes. Suggestions or questions to Sarah H, please: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

There’s been quite a few wise words this week (they’re like buses, they really are), and so you get yourself a couple of the very best from your Valley Brethren on the exciting topic of parkrun.


“Come on, Sarah! Shift your arse. All of it.” – Phil Ventress offering some helpful advice to Sarah Hughan as she passed him on her final lap at Harrogate at the weekend. Whether he dares speak to Reb like that, I can’t say.


And on the subject of being overtaken on Slingsby Walk,

“That’s the thing, I always end up getting taken by someone up the back straight” – Catherine Barber, sharing more than she probably needs to. You people, if it isn’t down the gorge then it is up the back straight.


That’s probably enough puerile school-boy humour for one week, I think. It’s bad enough that we men think about sex every seven seconds. I’m sure that’s a complete phallus, sorry, I mean fallacy.


I’m not at club on tomorrow, but hope to see you all at Moira’s pub run on Thursday. Have a good week, team.


Sam x


Weekly Update: Catherine’s chunder inducement factor…



And as you all queue up for your latest dose of adoxography (yeah, I know, a great word – Google it), I can’t begin to tell you about all the excitement here at Nidd Valley HQ. Preparations are underway for the next committee meeting, heaven help us all, and the entire place is littered with results from all over the shop. It will be no surprise for me to tell you that everyone is, as usual, very excited. So please empty your pockets, remove any items of loose clothing and keep your hands inside the carriage until the ride has come to a complete halt. Scream if you want to go faster.




There’s been a right old bit of parkrun tourism this week, and it starts with Hannah and Andrew Peagram who were down in Bury St Edmunds to compete on the Suffolk course. Andrew (21:02) was on fine form with an amazing time, with Hannah (34:19) also making easy work of her Saturday morning run. I’ve no idea what Mike Deacon (23:23) was doing at Roundhay parkrun so you’ll have to ask him yourself if you want any further details. Dave Rushton (27:59) bossed it at Sowerby, and isn’t it just great to see Ann Rushton (34:44) get reacquainted with her running shoes?  Finishing off the tourism, we’ve got the results from Fountains (Ripon isn’t exactly the other side of the world, I admit, but then again neither is Scarborough): Sue Reast (27:46 PB! – well done, Sue!), Barry MacDonald (28:14) and Michelle Smith (29:38). Michelle Dinsdale (29:51) snaffled it back under the 30 minute barrier, too! Anyone would think she’s training for a marathon or something. Catherine Barber (30:20) rounds up our tour with her showing at Lyme parkrun in Derbyshire.


With all the best athletic will in the world, I was going to do Harrogate parkrun, but I went for a quick drink after work with my colleague Steph and go home at 2am on Saturday morning. Yeah, sorry about that. Luckily, there were others to fly the Nidd Valley flag while I was boozing and snoozing, and they are as follows: Martin Lofthouse (18:46), Ben Baird (20:53), junior Jacob Kavanagh (21:52), Mark Armstrong (22:47) and Sue Simpson (22:56). After that we had Moira McTague (24:55), Ewa Scott (26:18), Steve Newton (26:29) and Rosemary Thompson (26:31 – yet another PB!). Finishing things off, we were really thrilled with the results from Rebecca Ventress (27:03), Tony LC (29:53) and Natalia Lancosova (30:58). And sneaking in there, barely noticed, we’ve got a new PB from Connie Mitton (10:28) at the junior parkrun! Nothing escapes notice here in Results and Statistics Department at Nidd Valley House, Connie, so well done to you and well done to the rest of you.


As I promised – and I’m a man of my word, even if it is baloney every week – I’ve got the results from the Northumbrian Costal Run last week. We’ll start with making a fuss over Fi Deacon (1:48:49) because she got the first FV50 prize. It looks great alongside the Mob Match trophy in the cabinet here at Nidd Valley House, so thanks for that Fiona. But we won’t give her all the glory, though, as we have to share a bit for Tim Harvey (1:32:38), Mike Deacon (1:48:49), Steve Newton (1:54:12), Paul Manning (1:56:30), Dave Seaman (2:02:35) and Jenny Manning (2:05:45). Injury prevented Moira McTague (2:16:01) from slipping under the two hour barrier, but we’ll give her a double cheer for keeping going in the face of muscular adversity.


I’ve sat up for ages waiting for the results for the James Herriot, and there’s not a sniff of them anywhere. I could be here for weeks. As I was holed up in the bar with my mate having a post-wedding Bloody Mary this morning (and, it does the trick, I’ll tell you that much), I’m not even able to tell you the order that people finished in. I can’t even get a list of Nidders who ran. If you did, a big well done and chairmanly hug to you, and I’ll print your result next week. Sorry for the hold up.

No idea who else ran it, though...

No idea who else ran it, though…

Do I look like a mug? Have I got a handle? Am I made of china? Am I kept in a cupboard or on a small wooden tree? Would you like to put your lips on my rim? You may answer that question, the rest were rhetorical: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

I got an email from Sarah Chalmers today proposing a run for the week, and who am I to argue? So on Tuesday, it is down the cycle track towards Starbeck and round the golf course and over the tracks to Knaresborough. From there, you can hang back down Waterside and up Beryl Burton, or you can push on through woods, turning back at the Lido and heading back down Abbey Road. There are a couple of options there, so have a think and make you sure you have a plan by the time I see you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


On Thursday, we’ll tackle Birk Crag. Well, why not? It’s a nice run and makes a change from the ubiquitous Gorge. We leave the Hockey Club at 7pm, and head into town and up Valley Gardens. From there, head through the Pine Woods to Harlow Carr, before heading to the right to the Crag and back through the Duchy to the club. Afterwards, there’ll be pints and glittering conversation and/or awkward silence in the bar afterwards. You wouldn’t want to miss it.


On Friday, Catherine Barber has a special weekend treat for you: a beer mile! You need to turn up at the bit of the Stray between the hospital and Empress Roundabout with a 4 pack of a beverage* of your choice. The rules are simple, run 400m and drink a beer, and repeat three times to complete the mile. It’s all quite straightforward, rather alcoholic, but a bit of silly fun. We’ve also asked the Striders along, so we can see how chunders first. If you want to take part, get to the Stray for 7pm. Just don’t drive. Catherine has suggested going to the pub afterwards. She’s insatiable.


*Catherine has just sent me a note to say that you can bring a soft drink equivalent. She does stipulate that it has to be fizzy, though, for the – and I quote – “same chunder inducement factor”. I’m not one to argue.


I bloody love the Round Hill Fell Race, I really do, so I am uber excited to see that it is both on Sunday and feature in this year’s fell champs. Graded as a CM (that means not to steep but with a decent run out, for those of you not in the fell running know), it is a really accessible race and within the grasp of hopeless amateurs like me. Please come down to Timble (local, too) and give it a shot. Fell Running Phil is terribly excited, and we’re having real trouble trying to get him to settle at night here at Nidd Valley House. He keeps getting back out of bed and asking if it is time to put his off-road shoes on, I barely slept last night. He might think it is Christmas, but you should at least have a look: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4307.


Shaken not Stirred: 3 September 2016

Running marvel Ewa Scott has a fundraiser casino night organised for 3 September to generate sponsorship for her half marathon in aid of the Bone Cancer Trust. For only a £10 sponsorship – I know, only £10. She’s practically giving it away – you can get yourself a place at this exclusive gambling opportunity at Nidd Valley House. Even if you don’t win big (although I am sure you will!), it’s a great chance to support this all round good egg and a fantastic charity. Further details from Ewa or online: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ewa-Scott.


NV Juniors

It has been all change at Nidd Valley Juniors as Amanda stands down as chair, Paul vacates the membership secretary’s position, and Andy Robinson takes a break from coaching. To all three of you, thank you so much for all you have done for the little folk. They appreciate it, as and I appreciate it. Good luck to Michelle Smith who is stepping up to chair the whole shebang, including keeping an eye of Rebecca Ventress, who takes on the mantle as membership secretary.


Committee Meeting: 10 August 2016

I feel like a condemned man. If you’ve got a problem, raise it with Sarah H and not with me: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

This is all unfair, now. People are getting very sensitive. I had a cracker from Martin Lofthouse that I wasn’t allowed to print, and the absolute belter from Phil Ventress was also on the wrong side of decency (no, seriously, it was just wrong). At least Dave wasn’t that sensitive about his magnificent erection. Anyway, this week’s wise words come from one of the Nidd Valley alumni, Aimi Blueman, as she shares her thoughts on the perils of navigation when running off-road:

“It’s inevitable when you are following a path on a map that you are not actually on that you will eventually realise you are lost….after 15 miles this is going some. Thank you to Kyle from the National Trust who was kind enough to give me a lift the last 7 miles back and for not saying I was the most stupid person he had ever met.”


So long as you were not wearing your Nidd Valley vest, Aimi!


Right, I’m outta here. Can’t hang around talking rubbish to you all day.


Sam x


Weekly Update: And you know what they say about men with big feet…

Afternoon team,


Okay. Thanks so very much to all 23 of you who pointed out the spelling mistakes in last week’s email. Easy mistakes to make when you walk in at 10pm to start writing, to be honest with you. But you’re right. Ron Snow doesn’t exist (sorry Rob!), and willies is very easily misspelled as wellies, although it probably explains what it is they say about men with big feet. And I’m size 11, too. And with such an early foray into daring sexism and wishful thinking, let’s move to some results.



Bill Hitchcock’s results from the Iron Man in Bolton last weekend didn’t make it to Nidd Valley House in time for inclusion in the write up last week, so am happy to kick start proceedings with them today. Bill completed the 4km swim, 180km bike ride and then ran a marathon in a staggering 14:15:56, coming in 1138th out of nearly 2500 runners! What an achievement! Well done, Bill.


Those of you who have been following all the developments on Facebook – and it is the social media bird that catches the newsy worm – will have seen that Matt Wilkinson finished the Thunder Run earlier today. For the uninitiated, this is a challenge down in Derbyshire to complete as many laps of a 10k course as possible within a 24 time limit. Working through the night, Matt completed 18 laps (that’s just shy of 112 miles – incredible!) of the cross country course, taking the overall second position. A profound, if not exhausting, achievement. Well done, Matt.

112 miles later...

112 miles later…

Having had my knuckles duly rapped for slagging off the Harrogate 10k in last week’s email, I thought the least I could do this morning was to turn out and watch you all compete. To be fair, the course and atmosphere did seem a whole lot more interesting than previous years, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Martin Lofthouse (39:51) was on top form as he led the team home on the hilly course, with Alex Patrickson (41:14) just managing to stay in second as Adam Kirk (41:26) motored in to claim yet another PB. Ben Baird (43:11), Dan Eagling (44:35) and Jon Easton (45:15) were all flying round the route, although we were all shocked to see Alex Crowton (49:02) opting not to run in his NVRR Vest. Yeah, I know.

I hope you didn't let that Strider beat you, Ben...

I hope you didn’t let that Strider beat you, Ben…

Just behind Mark Armstrong (50:36) we had Sarah Hughan (52:10) claim the first Nidd Lady, although Hannah Peagram (52:54) was threateningly close behind her as they turned for home. Debbie Gibson (53:14) must have found the course challenging because she was full of bantz as she passed on the first lap, but we barely got a squeak out of her when she passed on the second. After that, it was great to see the lesser-spotted Jon Reast (54:50) back in action and to get a cheery wave from Debbie Dilasser (59:08) as she passed. Rebecca Ventress (59:15) and Nick Smith (1:00:19) made great work, despite a hangover and a niggling injury, respectively. After that, it was a quick wait to see Michelle Smith (1:00:56) finish before Jane Hill (1:02:39) brought things to a brilliant conclusion. Well done to you all.

It's a wonder this woman can find the start line, sometimes...

It’s a wonder this woman can find the start line, sometimes…

If Jenny Manning describes it as her favourite run, then it has to be worth a second look (she has very exacting athletic standards, clearly). And Jenny was up again leading the Nidders at the Northumbrian Costal Run up near the Fugill Ancestral Seat earlier today. You aren’t going to get anything as fancy as chip timing or results this side of Christmas in a race where they draw the start line in the sand, so I’m afraid that Tim Harvey, Mike and Fiona Deacon, Paul and Jenny Manning, Dave Seaman, Steve Newton and Moira McTague will have to settle for their timeless results in this week. I’ll set the statistic record straight as soon as the results are out (but Fiona has just text me to say that she beat Mike. Magnanimous in victory, clearly). Congratulations to you all, though.


It’s a big congratulations to Jim Cook and Sarah Chalmers who took part in the Bingley Trail Race yesterday. From all accounts it looked much more like a fell race, and Sarah was somewhat alarmed to hear the course described as arduous and terrified to hear the organisers give a big shout out to the international competitors. Still, to be fair, the international competitors were quite unnerved and looked at one another with looks that said “Bollocks. Jim and Sarah from Nidd Valley are here, we may as well go home”. In the face of such competition, the Nidd Valley delegation did tremendously well, with both Jim (1:02:27) and Sarah (1:19:44) clocking fantastic times on the difficult course.


Over in the Lakes, Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin were back in the fell running saddle with the Lakes Sky Ultra Race this weekend. Described as a “fell running on steroids”, this challenging run really is something else, with 4,500m of ascent packed into a rocky 56km. It won’t, however, surprise you to hear that Carol (10:41:01) and Simon (12:44:14) did themselves (and us!) proud, both bagging quality times. Very well done to you both.


I took a rare foray down to parkrun yesterday morning – and it really was rare, as it was only my 13th parkrun outing in history – to be greeted by Men’s Captain Martin with “bloody hell, did you shit the bed or something?”. All terribly encouraging. But what exciting results from the Stray! Warren “Slavic” Lowcock (17:56) made it all look very easy with a relaxed fourth place, leaving Martin Lofthouse (18:35) to settle for second Nidd. That’ll teach him to be rude to the Chairman. Ben Baird (20:22) snaffled himself another PB as he moves every closer to the elusive 20 minute barrier, and I (21:07) enjoyed rare trip back round the Stray. Give three cheers, one each for Adam Kirk (22::56), Sue Simpson (23:16) and Marcos Montana (24:02), and make just as much noise for Dave Prince (25:32),Steve Newton (26:29) and Carolyn Easton (26:59). Sarah Hughan (25:53) was pacing the 28 minute group and her charges were a little startled as she turned round near the line and started shouting at them to keep going, but things with much more sedate with Nick Smith (28:05), Dave Rushton (28:15), Tony LC (28:49) and Moira McTague (28:50). Natalia Lancosova (32:57) and Mandy Smith (37:33) tidied things up nicely for us.


We’ve also got some great parkrunning results from Fiona Robinson (33:08) at Wetherby and Michelle Dinsdale (30:00) at Fountains Abbey, so well done there too!


Baby, I’ve been waiting, / I’ve been waiting night and day / I didn’t see the time / I waited half my life away / There were lots of invitations / and I know you sent me some / but I was waiting / For the miracle, for the miracle to come: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Rachel Hebblewhite is terribly upset that there isn’t a pub run this week. She looked crestfallen, the poor thing, sat in the Shoulder of Mutton last week with her drink in her hand, only to be told that we’re based at the club house this week. Still, Dave Seaman promised her a pint and a bag of crisps as a consolation prize if she turns up on Thursday. He knows how to show a girl a good time, I’ll tell you that much. Anyway, to the week ahead…


We start with a lovely little run on Tuesday with a trip round Hookstone Woods. Starting at the Hockey Club, it’s down along Kingsley Drive and through Starbeck past Morrisons. From there, head to Wetherby Road and down past the Travellers Rest. After that, work your way through the woods and under the old viaduct, coming back out near Hornbeam Park then lining up for home. Simples. See you at the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm.


On Thursday, let’s get the most out of the balmy weather we’ve been having with a nice evening run down the Gorge. You know the route by now, surely: out from the Hockey Club and up the cycle track. Run as far along the gorge as you want, coming out when you’ve had enough, before turning back to the club. Lovely stuff. Afterwards, you can join Dave and Rachel as they share a pint and a bag of beefy upstairs in the bar. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


On Sunday we’re back into the exciting land of the Club Championships with the James Herriot Trail Race up in Wensleydale. It’s got an absolute bitch of a first hill, I won’t lie to you, but it is a lovely run out with some cracking views. I did it with a raging hangover one year and was heard whimpering “don’t leave me here all alone” to Paul Manning as he passed me with a couple of miles to go. You’ll definitely want your trail shoes for this bad boy, which is 14k long and a tenner to enter. Go have a look and see what you think: http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.php?PgID=248055&ClubID=254.


Committee Meeting: 10 August 2016

After two hours with this lot, you begin to understand why people agree to sign extravagant confessions in police stations. It can get very heated, and I hope I don’t have to threaten people with the naughty step again, but I’ll do whatever it takes to preserve order. If you would like anything discussed, debated or changed, then please let Sarah H know so she can compile an agenda with the hope of getting us all home before midnight: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

This is all terribly daring, so I am going to tread very carefully. Actually, bollocks, who cares? Here you are…


Rebecca Ventress and Debbie Dilasser were having a discussion about which starting group they should have put themselves in at the Harrogate 10k. Rebecca had put herself in green and Debbie in white, so Debbie set off 5 minutes before Rebecca. And after the race, the following friendly discussion between two Nidd Valley chums:

Rebecca: “Debbie, what did you call me at the start?”

Debbie: “A sandbagger! Bloody green wave my arse – you ran under the hour!”




See you in the week.

Sam x


Weekly Update: It’s coming home, it’s coming home! The Mob Match Trophy is coming home!!

Evening team,


WE DID IT! The Mob Match Trophy has been returned to Nidd Valley House! Thanks to all of you who got involved and helped Team Nidd deliver a solid thrashing to the Knaresborough Striders with a clear victory of 210 points! Well done to each and every one of you. Thanks to all who also came out to the pub yesterday to see us reclaim our trophy. It was a cracking afternoon, as far as I can remember. I couldn’t stop grinning, was drinking beer like it was going out of fashion, and circulated like I was at a cocktail party, talking to anyone and everyone! Sorry if it was you. But I had a jolly nice time and that, of course, is the main thing.

Well on my way to getting totally arseholed...

Well on my way to getting totally arseholed, surrounded by a load of Striders as they tuck into a double portion of humble pie with chips and beans…


Let’s get started with the results from the Mob Match at the Burton Leonard 10k. Warren Lowcock (38:38) and Matt Wilkinson (39:11) were the first to cross the line for Team Nidd, soon to be joined by Martin Lofthouse (40:40), Andy Todd (41:37), Alan Davidson (41:51) and Fingers Harris (42:03). Dan Eagling (45:04) was chased down by Chris – only just got a late place because the Chairman sent a begging letter – Crabtree (45:03), Adam Kirk (45:27), Ben Baird (45:44) and Sam Fugill (45:57). Mike Deacon (47:13) just held wife Fiona (47:27) at bay, with Mark David (47:27), Steve Newton (49:11) and Ron Snow (49:14) hot on their heels. Ian McLeod (49:45) was the next to finish, and it was great to see some strong runs from Paul Geary (50:26), Jim Cook (50:33) and Sue Simpson (51:13 – 1st FV55!). You’ve got to love Paul Manning (51:32) for his sterling performance, and we can’t not celebrate the fantastic times from Mark Armstrong (51:39), Emma David (52:06), Dave Seaman (52:23), Sarah Hughan (53:43) and Jenny Manning (54:27). Christine Holleran (54:47) was kept thoroughly entertained by Little Miss Chatterbox Debbie Gibson (54:54). Moira McTague (55:44), Hannah Peagram (55:48), Dave Prince (55:55) and Rachel Hebblewhite (58:09) were the next to appear, with Catherine Barber (58:52), Neil Wright (59:28), Rachael Prince (59:34) and Carolyn Easton (1:00:29) soon following. Nick Smith (1:00:54), Debbie Dilasser (1:02:04), Rosemary Thompson (1:02:26), Tony LC (1:02:57 – 1st MV70!), Helen Gregory (1:02:55), Jane Hill (1:03:25) a somewhat jaded Rebecca Ventress (1:04:02), Michelle Smith (1:04:19) and Sarah Chalmers (1:05:01) brought things to a thrilling conclusion. Well done to you all. You’ve won your Chairman his trophy back. Edoardo Piano has asked if this makes me “officially happy now”. I’m always happy, Edoardo. Kind word and a warm smile for all who cross my path, you know me.

A quick team photo in front of my magnificent erection...

A quick team photo in front of my magnificent erection…

It has been a quiet week up on the fells. Unless anyone has heard from Carol and Simon, I’ve got nothing to report, other than a tasty little result from Mark David. Mark (45:01) completed the Eshton Moor fell race on Thursday night, coming 25th out of the 60 runners to tackle the 5 mile course near Gargrave. Great work, Mark.


I’ve also got a great, but belated, result from Debbie Gibson who took part in one of those ridiculous muddy obstacle courses at Ripley Castle with some friends from her yoga class. She describes herself as “crazy” (remarkable self awareness, if you ask me) for taking part, but she got herself round in one piece. I haven’t got finish time, but if she’s prepared to put herself through such a ridiculous ordeal, the very least I could do is share a photo.

Still smiling, still chatting...

Still smiling, still chatting…

The crowds were out in force as Martin Lofthouse celebrated his 49th birthday – I know, he’s looking good on it isn’t he? – at Harrogate parkrun. Fingers Harris (18:38) led the team home with dog Jack, followed by Matt Rickard (20:11), Ben Baird (20:58) and Sue Simpson (22:57). Steve Newton (23:52) was the next to check in at the finish, with junior Ben Rosie (24:53) and Martin (26:25) and Sarah Lofthouse (26:25) never far behind. Catherine Barber (26:53) found herself with an unexpected PB, so it’s an extra well done there, with Rosemary Thompson (26:55), Tony LC (27:11) and Rebecca Ventress (27:13) joining in the celebrations. Rebecca just held Dave Rushton (27:14) at bay before Sarah Hughan (27:55), Sue Reast (28:08), Jane Hill (28:41) and Nick Smith (29:12) thundered over the line.  Natalia Lancosova (31:48), Mandy Smith (37:15) were swept up by Moira McTague (42:48) in a tidy end to the team performance. Well done to you all. I’m told that the celebratory birthday breakfast for Martin was – as is becoming an alarming tradition – supplemented by yet another balloon dance and poetry recital from un-embarrass-able Mrs Harris. I can’t wait to see the video.


In other parkrun news, we’ve got a great result from Andy Todd (22:58) who was a lone operative up at Fountains Abbey, whereas it was a suitably continental affair as Phil (28:22) and Fiona Robinson (35:06) hit the parkrun at Krakow. Whether or not Phil graced his Polish compatriots with some Tyson Fury-like comments, I can’t say, but we’ve had the Polish Ambassador’s Office on the phone for most of the afternoon here at Nidd Valley House. I’ll get back to you when I have more details.


As a quick note from the Juniors, we’re all very excited to celebrate Jacob Kavanagh’s victory at both the 800m and 1500m at the King James School Sports Day. Well done, Jacob, winning two different events in one day is a cracking achievement.


Shadows are falling and I been here all day / It’s too hot to sleep and time is running away / Feel like my soul has turned into steel / I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t let me heal: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

We’ve got quite an exciting week planned here at Nidd Valley House, so why not have a peak at the menu and see what selections you’d like to make from this exciting athletic smörgåsbord.


On Tuesday, we’ve got a couple of different options. Dave S quite fancies a trip up the gorge, so will be leading a little run down there for those that fancy something a bit off road and scenic. Sarah H is keen to get her preparation in for the Harrogate 10k at the weekend, and so will be leading a recce of the course round the Duchy Estate. Whichever option tickles your fancy, meet at the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm. It’d be great to see you.


On Thursday, we’ve got another pub run lined up for you, this time led by yours truly. This week, we’re running from Kirkby Overblow, and will be getting food and/or drinks in the Shoulder of Mutton afterwards (http://www.shoulderofmuttonharrogate.co.uk). You know the usual plan, get there early so you can place your order and be ready to run for 7pm. There’s a couple of routes in mind, so there are plenty of options and something for everyone. You might want to pop your trail shoes on, though. Look forward to seeing you there.


Saturday has just got a lot more exciting with a fell race at Bingley Show. It’s only £3 in, and quite accessible at a little under 1,000ft packed nicely into just over 10k. These shows are always quite a good laugh, anyway, and often involve good wholesome Yorkshire pursuits like drinking beer from willies, wife-tossing and competitive dry stone walling, that kind of thing. Go on, treat yourself: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4336.


I won’t lie to you, the Harrogate 10k isn’t the most exciting course in the world, but it is good to support the Harriers as their signature race is elevated to the heady heights of the Great Run series. If you don’t mind paying £19 to run round two laps of the Duchy Estate on Sunday – the things people will do for the club championship points, I suppose – then this is where you need to be: http://www.greatrun.org/great-yorkshire-run. Good luck to all competing.



The latest addition to the Nidd Valley fold…

I’m pleased to announce that Paul and Rachel are now proud parents to a rather lush-looking Joseph Michael Geary, born at 6Ib 9oz and with ten fingers and ten toes, all of that kind of thing. So it’s a very relieved mummy and daddy, and great excitement here at Nidd Valley House. Congratulations!

Mini G....

Mini G….


Word to the Wise

I got a cracking word to the wise in the pub yesterday, but unfortunately I am not allowed to print it. Shame, because it was an absolute corker. No matter, because this week we get our very first Twitter-based wisdom with the following banter between the Striders and the Valley…


Nidd: so this mob match thing, you fancy pints in town and trophy presentation afterwards / evening? U can drown ur sorrows!!

Striders: Sounds like a plan although we will be buying the champagne as we celebrate our win for the 2nd year in a row…!!

Nidd: And why would you be buying it? TO DROWN YOUR SORROWS!

Striders: Today is your last chance to enter the Burton Leonard 10k. Help us beat Nidd Valley and retain the Mob Match Trophy…

Nidd: Look, just polish the bloody thing, but it back in its box and prepare to give it back! Weep and despair!! X

Striders: No chance! #retainthetrophy


And on the subject of the Mob Match, we have one little question from Eric Morley at the Striders:


Bring it on, Eric. Bring. It. On.


Sorry for the late email this week but, by the time Fingers Harris poured me back in the front door last night, I’d have struggled to find the computer and switch it on, much less dispatch a weekly missive. Anyway, hopefully see you sometime this week. Have a good one.


Sam x

Weekly Update: A Christmas Carol? No, it’s a Nidd Valley Carol…

We take a leaf out of the many literary works of Charles Dickens  for the write up this week, as I sit in Nidd Valley House’s extensive library for my inspiration. Read on as we take a look at The Week Just Past, The Weekend Present, and The Week That’s Yet to Come. As always there’s excitement a plenty in all 3 chapters!

The Week Just Past
Far from ghostly, this week couldn’t possibly have gone unnoticed,  and saw Nidds out in force in relays, on the fells and on the roads.
Danefield Relays – Tuesday
The Danefield Relays saw our lovely “Nidd Valley Carol” (Morgan) and hubby Simon Franklin, along with his club Horsforth Fellandale host the Danefield Relays in Otley and encourage 11 Nidd comrades over to take part. We entered 4 teams and I must make mention of Catherine Barber, who put together an excellent spreadsheet and organised the teams.
Now off-roading really isn’t my thing, and not off road hills, but over I trotted regardless, how hard can 2 miles be… very hard indeed as it turned out! Now to be fair Carol told me before we started that I should save something for the end as the last 3/4 of a mile was steep, flat and then steep again, she was right, at one point I told a marshall I was going to cry, he told me to save it until the top corner and it would look like I worked harder… good advice! Nidd Valley Mike’s Marauders ( me, Steve Newton and Mike Deacon) had plenty of making up time to do after my rather steady first leg! I enjoyed it though and that, as ever, is the main thing.
Plenty of great running though on the night, teams results are here.
Nidd Valley Dream Team – 34th
Sam Fugill – 24.30  Matt Wilkinson – 21.35 (not even Otley Chevin can stop this man!) Carol Morgan – 24.51 Total time 1.10.56
Nidd Valley Runners – 45th
Andy Harris – 22.33 (despite losing a shoe) Fiona Deacon 27.17  Ben Baird – 24.17  Total time – 1.14.07
Nidd Valley Mike’s Marauders – 83rd
Sarah Hughan – 30.54 (all too much for me!) Steve Newton 26.29  Mike Deacon 25.42  Total time – 1.23.05
Nidd Valley Elite Women – 109th
Rachel Prince – 32.14  Catherine Barber 29.35 Sarah Chalmers 34.25  Total time – 1.36.14
Stirton Fell Race – Wednesday
Catherine Barber,  Sarah Chalmers, Sam Fugill and Carol M had barely time to get showered and changed before donning the gold and black NVRR colours again for the Stirton Fell race, joined by a hardy bunch of fell running chums from Nidd Valley, they navigated the 9 km (5.6mile) course with its 360m (1181ft in Dickensian terms) of climb with ease.
(Tiny) Tim Harvey (he isn’t tiny really,  I’m just using that to fit with my Charles Dickens theme, sorry Tim) was the first Nidd home,  41.34, Alan Davidson 48.17, Simon Franklin (running in his Fellandale vest but we will mention him anyway) 48.23, was followed home by  Sam “Scrooge” Fugill in 50.11, Andrew Peagram 51.47, Mark David 52.29, Dave Prince 59.33, Dave Seaman, 1.01.40, just pipped Catherine Barber 1.01.49 to the line, Debbie Gibson 1.03.40. A big cheer to Hannah Peagram 1.16.18 for her first fell run and Sarah Chalmers, 1.16.53 also gets a cheer for helping Hannah round and finishing everything off rather splendidly at Stirton!

Nidd Valley Carol in action at Stirton

Mob Match Burton Leonard 10k Recce Run – Thursday
This turned into a good old pub run, and the food at the end was lovely! We had earned it though as the Burton Leonard isn’t the easiest of routes with all sorts of terrain to deal with on the way round. I would say that the pub was the best bit for me but then nothing changes there. Oh i did like the bit as well where we got slightly lost with about 2 miles to go and couldn’t find the turn for home… wont happen on the day though will it, not now we have had a practice. Don’t forget Monday 11th is the last day to enter so do it if you haven’t already. www.burtonleonard10k.co.uk 
Your £10 entry fee will be refunded on the day by Treasurer Dave when you turn up and run so no excuses!
We can’t finish our chapter on The Week Just Past without a mention for Sue Simpson or Mark David with some great results from last weekend. Mark entered the Oakworth Haul and was the 6th person home in 48.30 and Sue sped round the Kirkstall Canter Half Marathon and was 2nd lady home in 1.50.35, Sue also points out the course was 13.37 miles, but never mind that Sue, still a great result for you and as i always say, its all good training!
And so  we move on to our next chapter with Great Expectations, not to mention great excitement, as is the norm here at Nidd Valley House  – other running clubs should take note!
The Weekend Present…
Fell Running Phil took part in the Addingham Gala Fell Race  – the official results aren’t yet out, but Phil’s own watch gave him a time of 62.49 which seems accurate enough to me – he described it as 6 miles with 1000ft of climb which is tough, so very well done Phil.
Leeds 10k saw Nick (Nicholas Nickleby) Smith, Jane Hill, Michelle Smith and Michelle Dinsdale raring to go… Nick 53.59, Michelle Smith 58.22, Jane Hill 59.47 and Michelle Dinsdale 1.04.12. Great running all of you. Neil Wright also took part for charity and finished in 57.06 well done to you too.
parkrun results maketh the weekend for so many, so here they are…
Harrogate: Although declaring to me before we set off that he didn’t feel mentally prepared for parkrun, Martin Lofthouse was first Nidd home in 19.00, (goodness knows what he would have managed if he had prepared properly), just beating Andrew Harris and Jack the dog home 19.22, followed by Jonathan Easton 21.31.
Harrison Isles (22.14 PB) sped past Steve Newton 22.18 on the way to the line to get his fantastic PB. Well done Harrison. Mum Alison Isles soon followed in 22.44. Mark Armstrong 23.16, Sue Simpson 23.19, Christine Holleran (my personal mentor) 23.56 with me chasing her home 24.11, Moira McTague 24.41,  Hannah Peagram completed a great week of running with a new PB 24.53 – it’s a 24 Hannah a 24!! Well done! Ben Baird 25.44 was pacing the 26 minutes gang home, Fiona and Ellie Deacon both finished in 26.19, Jim Cook 26.36, Tony LC 27.02, Stuart Hatfield 27.49, David Rushton made a welcome return finishing in 28.04, Emma Edgar 28.26 and Jeff Walker 29.40.
Over at Fountains, Andy Todd was the first Nidd back, 19.42,  Matt Rickard 20.44, Mark David 22.04, Sue Reast 28.42 and Michelle Dinsdale 31.26.
Junior parkrun saw Thea Stewart grab a great new PB 9.05, and a special mention to Eleanor Easton who gets a gold star and a fab new PB – 11.30 well done!
and now for Chapter 3, the final installment –
The Week Yet to Come!
Remember wherever you are heading this week it is Yorkshire Show week so allow extra travel time!
Tuesday 12th 7pm – Club run
I suggest running from the hockey club to Knaresborough – head to the cycle track via the iron bridge,  turn right at Bilton Lane down past the Gardeners Arms and down the Beryl Burton cycle path, then you could come straight back to club, or could add on a bit extra by running along waterside and back round Knaresborough. You can then head back by any number of routes, I seem to remember running over some fields the last time from Bilton Hall Lane at the top of the Beryl Burton track but I can’t rememebr the details! It may just be easier to retrace your steps back to be honest.
Wednesday 13th 7pm  – Golden Acre Relays, Golden Acre Park, Leeds www.abbeyrunners.co.uk/golden-acre-relay/
“(A) Nidd Valley Carol” reminded us last Tuesday, it is the Golden Acre Park relays this Wednesday.
I ran these last year and really enjoyed them, it is off road but not so hilly as the Danefield relays, and a touch shorter at 2.75 miles. Teams of 3 again and it is a steal at only £10 per team.  I will be there! I would suggest your trail shoes, bring your safety pins and some water.
Get in touch with Catherine Barber on NVRR facebook to get a place on a team as she is again doing a great job in compiling a spreadsheet. If i can do it, you can!
Thursday 14th July 7pm – Pub Run, The Sun Inn, Norwood
Please Sir, can I have some more?! 
Not done enough with your beloved club comrades this week? No of course you haven’t and we have much more to offer! There is more than “gruel” on offer here with a pub run round the reservoirs at Swinsty and Fewston led by Treasurer Dave. Food will be at the Sun Inn afterwards, so order before you run to save time later. Let Dave know by email or NVRR facebook if you want to go so he can book the table at the pub.
Saturday 16th July – Martin’s Birthday – Harrogate parkrun
It is Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse’s birthday and to celebrate we are running Harrogate parkrun and then going to Miller’s cafe in Starbeck for breakfast, everyone welcome! You never know there may even be a balloon dance in the offing, if you have never witnessed this, then you have to see it for yourself. This Saturday 9am, the Stray!
Sunday 17th July – A tale of Two cities (well towns really) NVRR Harrogate take on Knaresborough Striders, at the Burton Leonard 10k. 
This time next week we should be rightly holding the mob match trophy aloft before displaying it in all it’s glory in the trophy room at Nidd Valley House! We need to win this trophy back for the sanity of our esteemed Chairman if nothing else. Come on Nidd Valley we can do this, but you need to turn up and run.
Again the website to enter and all the key details is here www.burtonleonard10k.co.uk and you will get your £10 back from Treasurer Dave when you turn up on the day and run.
The excitement doesn’t stop after you have raced. You will then have the opportunity to spend your refunded £10 at Wetherspoons in Kanaresborough (it used to be The Crown) and you will get plenty of drinks for £10 in a Wetherspoons I can assure you.
We are meeting there for post mob match celebratory drinks with Striders at 3pm. The celebrations will be all NVRR of course!
The countdown to the big day is on.
Word to the wise.
Over dinner on Thursday, Edoardo Piano was talking about the Bed Race beds….
Edoardo: “That’s a thought, do they do anti-doping tests at the Knaresborough Bed Race? Maybe we should just get a few Russians in the team?!”
In the words of Dickens, Tiny Tim (Harvey) to be exact –  God Bless us, every one!
Have a great week,
Sarah H x