Weekly Update: A loveable sexagenarian and a goat with a dressing gown decide to fly with Nidd Valley Airways…

Evening all,

It’s a quick thanks to Sarah for keeping the show on the road while I took a break for a while and disappeared off to visit family. You’ve got to admit, she was rather good at it wasn’t she? Well, it’s nice to be back in the Editorial Boardroom of the Nidd Valley Times where circulation is soaring and this, your latest edition, is hot off the press. And on the front page, we’re leading with a hot new exclusive: the results…


Adam Kirk is first off the blocks this week, with a trip down to South Yorkshire (taking his life in his hands, clearly. I hope he had his jabs). Adam (44:55) got himself a tidy new PB at the Wakefield 10k, and everyone here at Nidd Valley House is terribly impressed with that performance from a new recruit to Team Nidd.

Up on the fells, Damien Handslip popped on his playboy ears and little cotton tail to compete in the first of the Bunny Runs up near Haworth on Tuesday night. Don’t let the shorter distance of three miles fool you; these are cheeky little runs in which speed and fearlessness are key. Damien (24:57) put in a cracking performance, winning himself a Cadburys Creme Egg to boot. #winning.

Simon Franklin was up at sparrows fart this morning when he headed up to join all the other barmpots in running the Blubberhouses 25, a circular route from Timble, round the reservoirs, up to Rockinghall, down to Bolton Abbey, up Beamsley Beacon and over the moor back to the finish. As the name suggests, it’s a 25 mile route and, if memory serves, there’s a tea tent near Beamsley that does excellent lemon drizzle cake (only Paul Geary wouldn’t let me stop there for long last year. Just saying.) Anyway, Simon (3:59:00) finally reversed the curse and got back in under four hours, with an impressive sprint up the last hill clinching the victory. Well done, Simon!

Let’s do the Harrogate parkrun results a little bit differently this week, and start from the back. Admirably brining up the rear, parkrun stalwart Mandy Smith (37:04) starts off proceedings for us, not far behind Michelle Dinsdale (30:49), Sue Reast (30:44), Debbie Dilasser (29:04), and Catherine Barber (27:37). No doubt Rebecca Ventress (27:34) turned the air blue, but the finish line was already awash with black and gold as Nick Smith (26:04) chased Sarah Hughan (25:26), Moira McTague (24:35) and Jim Cook (24:02) to the line. Matt Wilkinson (22:58) seemed to be taking things at an inexplicably leisurely pace, but I’ve just learnt that he was pacing so we’ll forgive him for the lacklustre performance. Matt wasn’t far behind Steve Newton (21:58), who was frustrated by the heavy ground in his attempt to get to the 21 minute barrier (chin up, ginger, next time). Up front, Ben Baird (21:51) ploughed on through the mud, giving chase to Carol Morgan (21:09), whose virgin performance on the Stray bagged her the much coveted position of first lady. Matt Rickard (21:08) sneaked in just behind Carol, while Fingers Harris (21:00) was held by Martin Lofthouse (20:44) in a strong finish.

And now let’s put things back the right way round. Andy Todd (19:01) was back on fine form at Fountains Abbey, coming in seventh position overall. It was a family affair for the Robinsons, with Junior Alex (23:03) leaving dad Phil (25:26) and mum Fiona (31:57) in his speedy wake. We’ll also give three cheers to Nicki Walton (28:21) who soon tamed the monastic course. Well done, people.

Now this is very interesting indeed. Tony Ledwaba-Chapman has been down in South Africa and competed in the delightfully named Umhlanga parkrun (Umhlanga is a coastal resort north of Durban with a population of 24,238 people, in case you’re taking notes). Tony (32:05) stormed home through the light drizzle to secure a strong time. If you’re still taking notes (and if not, why not?) you might be interested to hear that Tony was joined by three other Ledwaba-Chapmans (or should that be Ledwaba-Chapmen?), including wife Maggie, and children Lesedi and Nosipho, leaving daughter Dineo and grandson Mlibo back home in Harrogate. You’re nothing if not updated, people.

And, as sure as night doth follow day, to the juniors. Out playing with the big boys at Harrogate parkrun yesterday, we got some amazing results from Sam Riley (21:55), Sarah “don’t call her small she gets very tetchy” Lofthouse (25:12) and Thomas Gillett (37:14). Thomas had greater things in store when he arrived at the Valley Gardens this morning, where he (10:55) stormed round the 2k junior parkrun course in a brilliant time, hunted down at every turn by Alasdair Davidson (12:06). Well done to you all.

Over in cycling corner, we’ve got another result from Philippa Moorse who competed in the York Cycleworks Spring Race yesterday , taking 41 minutes to complete the 14 mile course in torrential rain. So it’s a soaking wet congratulations there, Philippa. Well done.

Thank you for travelling with Nidd Valley Airways. Please do not remove your seat belt until the advised by cabin crew, and please remember to take all of your luggage and personal belongings with you. We look forward to welcoming back on board soon, and we’d love to hear about your safe onward journey: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead
If it’s a Tuesday, it’s intervals. You must know that by now. And we’re 13 sessions down, with only 5 remaining so this is the time to dig deep and hone your performance in readiness for the Evening League. Meet at the Oval near Trinity Church for 7.10pm, or why not join us at the Hockey Club for 7pm and enjoy a leisurely warn up jog to the session?

YES!!! Daylight means that we can start having a little bit of fun off-road, so on Thursday we’ll take a little bimble down to Knaresborough, but this time head out down the Beryl Burton Cycle Track to Bond End Bridge, then along Waterside and back up Forest Moor. For those not wanting to go the full distance to Knaresborough, you can cut off Beryl Burton at the halfway point, run into Starbeck and make your way back to the club from there. The first off-road club run of the year. Everyone at Nidd Valley House is very excited (and when aren’t we?), and hope to see you there.

It looks to me to be a very quiet weekend race-wise, with nothing in either of the fell or road championships. If you fancy a bit of muddy fun, then you could always have a look at the Wardle Skyline race down in the Pennines on Saturday. With 381m of climb stretched over 7 miles, it’s quite doable (and affordable at £5 EOTD, too). More details here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4564.

It’s now less than one week until the Ian McLeod Pintathlon on Saturday. At 13.1 hours, it’s a challenging event for the most serious of athletes. However, Ian is sure most of you will have put in some serious training. Some of you may be thinking of buying birthday cards or even having a whip round to present the loveable sexagenarian (I’ve just realised how wrong that sounds) with a fabulous new car. No need. Just bring yourselves and, should you still feel the urge to part with some extra dosh, Ian says there is always the homeless person in town or our club’s chosen charity to support. Ian looks forward to seeing a bunch of you Nidders at the Worlds End, but I can’t say exactly what state he’ll be in!

A Loveable Sexagenarian

A Loveable Sexagenarian


A Goat with a Dressing Gown
Most of you will know that Carol is running the Wainwright Coast to Coast this week. Yeah, I know, it’s the 190 mile route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay – crazy. I received a text from Carol yesterday saying that “in my final prep I did a parkrun this AM. F*** knows why. But it was fun. I’m about as logical as a goat with a dressing gown”. Riiiiight.

If you want to track Carol’s progress, then this is the link you need: http://www.shareyouradventure.com/map/63814/carolmorgan73/Andy-and-Carols-Coast-to-Coast.
She starts on Monday, so it’s good luck to Carol from all of us here at Nidd Valley House.


Emma’s Stretch of the Week
A really easy one for me to describe today and one that we do all the time after intervals! Just stand with your legs wide apart and your TOES FACING FORWARD. Lean forward with a straight back and reach towards the ground. Don’t force it, you should feel a stretch but it shouldn’t be painful. Hold for 10 – 15 seconds and repeat 3 times seeing if you can get further towards the ground each time.

And streeeetch...

And streeeetch…

Sad News
Some of you might know Russell Geraghty, who has started running with us recently. Unfortunately, Russell was admitted to hospital last week with a twisted bowel (I’ve no idea how you do it either) and had some pretty major surgery. Happily, Russell is now back in the land of the living and out of intensive care. It was good to see him for half an hour this evening, though it’s true that no one looks terribly flattering in a hospital gown. Russell, we’re glad you’re still with us and, although it’s a while until we’ll see you back at the Club, it’s the very best of wishes from all of us for a speedy recovery. Get well soon, mate.


Evening League
Are you seriously telling me you haven’t bought your number for Evening League? Good grief, what is it with you people? Report to your Club Captains Martin and Michelle immediately, hand over your £10 and pin you number onto your freshly pressed Nidd Valley vest. First race is on Thursday 5 May 2016, and all the relevant details are here: http://www.harrogate-league.org.uk/wp/. Please also remember that Team Nidd is hosting our very own race on Tuesday 24 May 2016, and we’ll be needing all hands on deck to help with the marshalling. Please keep that date free, and I’ll be resending the finalised marshal plan out in a week or so once Michelle and I have got our act together and our story straight.


Subs are (Over) Due…
In the words of the Dowager Countess, “Oh good, let’s talk about money”. Yes, it is very unseemly, but subs are due and you have to admit that £35 is incredibly good value for a year in the company of the finest and most admirable running club around. All the relevant info can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/membership/. You’ll need to send a copy of the form to Judy, and arrange a bank transfer or cheque for Treasurer Dave (he’d prefer a bank transfer, but I’m threatening to pay my subs in instalments of loose, mixed change. Ah, simple pleasures). Any queries membership-wise, you can badger Judy: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Grand National Sweepstake: 9 April 2016
If you want a gee gee for the Nash, then please badger me at club. For only £2, you too could be yelling at the telly as a little fella holds on for dear life as your horse bounds over the 30 Liverpudlian fences. The prize money is good, and you can stand to win £40 (1st place), £25 (2nd place), £10 (3rd place) and £5 (4th place). Buy more than one horse, and you might win the lot. Very, very exciting.


Club Champs
Those of you that had asked a few questions about the rules and the inner workings of the club championships can find all the knowledge and up-to-date info here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/championship/. Any further questions then get in touch with Mark D. He likes nothing better than to spend hours poring over the Nidd Valley rule books and spreadsheets: sqwubbsy@gmail.com.


Word to the Wise
And this week’s final prayer and blessing comes from the Rev. Phil Ventress. Hands together and eyes closed, boys and girls:
“I don’t think I’m a good runner, not s*** but not good. Hats off to Rebecca and all her elderly running mates ‘cos I feel absolutely shagged every time I do a half marathon. It’s like my body goes into shock. I feel like I have flu, everything stiffens (well not everything), I feel hot and cold. I do try hard when I run, but not to the point of puking. So if you think it’s easy and just look in disgust at those pavement pounders, you’re wrong, there’s a lot of physical and mental effort behind it. It’s one of those sports where you are constantly competing against yourself and it can go on for hours at a time. Runners – they’re all knob heads but respect is due whatever their level.”

And on that profound note, it’s a good luck to all of you competing in the Manchester Marathon on Sunday. You’ll all do splendidly, whether you are running your first marathon, or if you’re in the group helping Emma mark her 21st birthday. Again.

Sam x

Weekly Update: It’s a Nidd Valley Easter Egg-stravaganza!

Happy Easter one and all! 

Despite the Bank Holiday weekend, there has been no time to sit at home relaxing, with so much running in the offing, including news from the first of the road championships, there are results a plenty, so let’s hop to it! (Please excuse copious Easter Egg puns throughout this write up!)

Saturday morning kicked off as usual with another great set of parkrun results.

At Wimbledon, while on his jollies, Chairman Sam put in a sterling effort bounding home in 21.54, also Sam’s sister Claire gets a well-deserved mention for completing her first parkrun in 37.07.

Nicki Walton was at Gloucester parkrun coming home in 27.33. Lovely running Nicki.

On the hallowed ground of Fountains Abbey, Andy Todd lead the Nidd’s home in 19:10, Matt Rickard 20:23, Neil Wright 26:04, Michelle Dinsdale30:19, and Emma Edgar 34:09.

Over in Wetherby Fiona Robinson finished in 31.01, a fantastic new PB!

At the parkrun homeland for many of us that is Harrogate, a drier but still rather breezy Stray saw team Nidd out in force;  Martin Lofthouse was first home in 19:01, Andrew Harris 20:55, Jonathan Easton 21:00, John Mitton 21:33, Dan Eagling 22:57, Ben Baird 24:35, Jim Cook 24:59, Sarah Hughan 25:06, Moira McTague 25:10, (Moira let me beat her this week even though parkrun isn’t a race of course!)  Hannah Peagram 26:27 was next, Ewa Scott ran brilliantly and got herself a new PB, 26.31, Debbie Dilasser 27:50, Tony Ledwaba-Chapman 29:23, Stuart Michael Hatfield 30:22 and Mandy Smith 37:42.

Well done all!

Junior Parkrun – For the life of me, I cannot find any of our NVRR juniors on the Harrogate Junior parkrun finishing list, too many eggs to eat perhaps?


Fun at Ripley with the Viking Gauntlet…

Billed as an extreme endurance event, the Viking Gauntlet sounds exciting and a great family day out, for the spectators at least, but beware, taking part alongside Matt Wilkinson, Philippa “Plippy” Moorse and Paddy Taylor in the interestingly named team “Chafing the Dream”, was Rebecca Ventress, sometimes known as “potty mouth”, I suspect RV’s views on some of the obstacles were probably not for younger ears, and to be fair looking at the pictures I wouldn’t have blamed her.


In all seriousness, despite the water, mud, foam and goodness knows what else they had to tackle, it goes to show a good bit of teamwork was the order of the day and they all completed it together in 1.37, including Philippa, who has been known to tear off her number in frustration in a race or two before now, so very well done Philippa and to you all, you did yourselves and us proud.


Road Championships – Race 1 – Guiseley Gallop

Egg-citingly (sorry!) it was the start of the Road Championships for this season, and what better way to burn off a few (thousand) calories and earn your Easter Eggs than with the Guiseley Gallop?

It was a tough course to put it mildly, this year’s re-route offered a very hilly 2 laps through some scenic woods but up some rather big hills. There was a bit on tarmac, but it was soon followed by a huge hill so the benefits were cancelled out. Heading to the finish, we were faced with yet another massive hill, but most of us were spurred on to the top of that one by Nidd Valley’s very own cheerleaders, Martin Lofthouse and Steve Newton! Thanks guys, I for one definitely needed the encouragement.

Special mention to our new Nidds running today, Moira McTague (who definitely didn’t let me beat her here), Adam Kirk and Neil Wright, and also to Michelle Dinsdale who knocked over 6 minutes off her time last year.


Anyway, results are here … great running all.

Martin Lofthouse 42.04, Carol Morgan 48.29, Steve Newton 51.24, Adam Kirk 53.30, Jim Cook, 56.57, Phil Ventress 57.47, (ok he isn’t officially a Nidd but we have mentioned Rebecca Ventress for her great efforts yesterday so it’s Phil’s turn now), next, Moira McTague 58.55, Sarah Hughan 59.45, Debbie Gibson 1.00.18, Dave Seaman 1.01.53, Neil Wright 1.02.43, Jane Hill 1.07.32, Michelle Smith 1.08.27, Michelle Dinsdale 1.10.23.

No fell races this week that I know of and no other results.  Email Sam if I have missed you though and he can include it next time.


Other news and diary dates:

Volunteer at Harrogate Race for Life: Race for Life comes to Ripley Castle on Saturday the 9th and Sunday 10th July, you can find out more about the events at www.raceforlife.org .  Cancer Research UK and in particular, Georgina Thornton, their events manager is looking for volunteers, if you would like to help this superb charity and volunteer at these races, have a look at this link. www.raceforlife/volunteer

Your Subs are due! A polite reminder, any final subs are now due. It’s just £35 for the year so please send your money to treasurer Dave if you haven’t already, the bank details are on the Nidd Valley website in the memberships section. Remember although cash and cheque are accepted, it’s always better by BACS!

Evening League and Grand National Sweepstake – Martin Lofthouse and Michelle Smith will be collecting money at club nights for the evening league places – it’s just £10 please, and for that you get to run in 4 great races, 2 of which count towards the road championships and you get a buffet after each one and time for a chat, what more could you want?

The Grand National Sweepstake is just £2 per horse so please bring that to club as well if you want to take part. You could win £40!

Tuesday 29th March – Don’t forget it will be a bit lighter for our intervals on Tuesday, but still wear your hi-vis please. Meet at the hockey club for 7pm and we will get on our way for the first of the speed sessions!  Alternatively meet at Derwent Road for 7.10 where Mike will be leading the session.

Thursday 31st March7pm club run, with post run drinks at the bar for the more social amongst us! I have added Knox as this week’s suggested route as it doesn’t look like we have done that one for a while… In fact I am not sure if I have ever turned up to that one, so let’s hope that there is someone there on Thursday who has or we could all be getting lost, all an experience I suppose!


Emma’s Stretch of the week

For an Easter treat I’m going to let you all in on a secret to help release tension in your back. It’s not a stretch but it’s a great way to loosen up the muscles and fascia along the side of your spine. The trick is to tape two tennis balls together and lie on them with one tennis ball on either side of your spine. Then roll up and down allowing the pressure to release knots and tension! Simples! https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/433119689135941317/


Word to the Wise…

As far as those tempting Easter Eggs are concerned… one is un oeuf!


Have a great week whatever you get up to, and enjoy the rest of the Easter weekend,

Sarah H

Weekly Update: Something for the weekend?!

Well now that I’ve got your attention with the title, there really was something for everyone this weekend, whatever running you are into, whatever your pace or favourite distance, there was no excuse for not getting out there and doing something, well unless you had a hangover like mine on Saturday morning that is, it has really put me off the prosecco for life, I even missed parkun, very unlike me.  But saying that, it does lead me nicely on to the parkrun results, so every cloud and all that!

And a great parkrun day it was too with plenty of PB’s – read on!

Over to York first where Martin Lofthouse (18.09) paced Andy Harris home to a brilliant new PB  breaking 19 minutes in the process – Andy’s sparkly new time to beat is 18.46 – great running and well deserved, all that training with Jack the dog is really paying off!

In Harrogate, yet more amazing PB’s!  Edoardo Piano bagged himself a new PB 19.36 and led team Nidd home in the process; Jon Easton followed in 21.22, Alex Crowton, another great PB 22.16, Moira McTague a fabulous 24.03, new PB – go Moira!  Nick Smith 26.03, Junior Evie Isles stormed to her new PB in 26.52, pipping Mum Alison Isles in 26.53. Hot on their heels, marathoner-in-training Hannah Peagram, 27.18, Tony L-C, 27.49, Natalia Lancosova  30.31, Thomas Gillett (Junior) did an awesome 34.16 to bag himself a new PB, and Amanda Smith rounded team Nidd up brilliantly, 36.23.

At Fountains Abbey, Andy Todd was first home, 19.13, Neil Wright followed in 26.54, Nicki Walton 28.41 and Michelle Dinsdale 30.02. Brilliant times!

In Wetherby – a massive well done to Fiona Robinson who sped home to her new PB in 32.30.


Junior Parkrun – oh yes there’s yet more PB’s around Valley Gardens – hang on to your hats, here are the results!

Harrison Isles, not to be outdone by his sister’s PB at the senior run, grabbed a great PB of his own 07.53.

Jake Stalker was next in 08.28, Alasdair Davidson 10.05 another super PB, and Evie Isles followed her great PB yesterday with a brilliant 10.23 round the junior course – great work everyone.

To all of you who made your weekend with a parkrun PB, really well done, some super times there.


We now go from the parkrun 5k to 55 miles, Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin took on the aptly named Hardmoors 55 yesterday, setting off from Helmsley and heading over the scenic moors to Guisborough.

Now I cannot even begin to think of how I would manage to walk, let alone run 55 miles, but Simon and Carol both did, Carol was 3rd lady home in a brilliant 10.05, and Simon in 12.15, that’s hours and minutes everyone,  so really well done to you both, you are amazing.


Into Sunday, and keep up please, there’s loads more results to come.

The Fell running champs kicked off this morning with Rivock Edge race.

Fell running Phil has provided some great insight into the race and the finishing order, although there are no times yet,  and as I understand it, they can take ages to appear, so enjoy Phil’s write up which I have unashamedly used word for word as it’s great. Thanks Phil.

To set the tone for this one, the race was 6.8 miles, with 269m of climb, setting off from Silsden Sports club. Well done all of you taking part.

Here is Phil’s write up…

Announcements at the start:

“ I hope everyone is OK that we’ll donate all the proceeds to Sports Relief instead of giving prizes”.

“You’ll need to be off the moor top by 12.15 because that’s when they start shooting again!” – which other sport would you hear that? (sounds to me like a great incentive to run faster Phil!!  -SH ;-))

Anyway, the weather was super for the first race in the 2016 champs with a really good turnout of 10 Nidds out of 56 finishers – good job we were there. Catherine Barber ran her first ever fell race (brilliant, and was still smiling despite landing back with a mucky backside) and it was the first time Matt W and Eduardo P had appeared at a Nidd fell championship race.

Finishing order: Matt Wilkinson, Alan Davidson (returning from winter hibernation), Eduardo Piano (I keep repeating ‘cos it’s such a brilliant surname), Mark David, Carol M (fresh from Hardmoors 55 on Saturday), Brian Sherwood, Simon Franklin (ditto Hardmoors 55), Phil R, Catherine Barber and Rachael Prince.



Another for the fell fanatics amongst you, the Heptonstall Fell race – a 15.4 mile affair with our esteemed Chairman Sam Fugill taking part, joined by a new starter for Nidd Valley, Russell Geraty, who I am told, managed to beat Sam by a good 15 minutes so what Chair Fugill was playing at I don’t know… just joking Sam, as we all know (or we do now), you were suffering from nasty blisters, some nipple bleeding issue and at the end you were chased by a chicken, a harrowing day for everyone concerned, including both the chicken and the local vicar as I understand it!  Anyway very well done to you both, and Russell I do hope you weren’t put off by any of the goings on there today, we do look forward to seeing you again very soon!


Back to the road racing, and one not in the champs this time, but a great race none the less, the Thirsk 10.  10 miles that is, so it’s a long run in my book!

Fiona Deacon was home in a super speedy  1.14, and Jane Hill did a great 1.43, 11 minutes off her last 10 mile race time last October – well done.

I think Andy Todd took part in this as well, and I suspect he was fast, but I don’t have any more results for this one and there is nothing on the website so let us know Andy and we can give you a belated shout next week.

Talking of belated… Christine Holleran needs a mention for the Spen 20 last week, she did a cracking time of 3.11 over the 2 lap, 20 mile course – good work Christine, I think it’s your new headband paying dividends!


Back to today’s racing – hard to believe but there’s more results…

Over to cross country land…. PECO races have tempted a few of us road runners, me included, to take a spin on a muddy course, the PECO’s have shown me that I actually quite like the mud. They are tough but scenic races with great team support.

Today was no exception.  2 Nidd Valley teams, a ladies and a men’s both expecting a nice run in beautiful sunny weather over a few fields… well how hard could 3 miles be?! ERM VERY! I should have realised when Martin Lofthouse came back with a bleeding shoulder that it was going to be a bit tricky – it was seriously tough. It took me ages, I fell over, I cut my hand, I got stuck in mud , it really wasn’t my most glamorous half hour, but it was actually really good. We all enjoyed it, especially the men’s team (over 40’s and who can believe that!)  who were first in their age category and won wine for their efforts – (rather them than me after Friday’s performance), but seriously,  a great achievement.

No times out as yet, the teams were, Martin Lofthouse, Andy Harris (adding the win to his excellent parkrun PB performance) and Steve “Parker” Newton for the men. The ladies team, Michelle Smith putting in a fine Ladies Captain’s performance, Sarah Hughan (me) and the delightful Debbie Gibson who saved our bacon with a great last leg. Well done and here’s to more cross country in the winter!  Give it a go, I can assure you it’s far more fun than you remember from school!


Other news!

Other things from last week, 2 of our 3 proposed teams made it through the bed race draw and can now look forward to racing up a massive hill, running downhill at speeds faster than their little legs can carry them and swimming across a very cold river (and that’s a very polite way of describing it), as ever the chosen theme gives scope for all sorts of crazy costume and bed decoration ideas… our “Cities of the World” frankly couldn’t be more different, but if anyone has any ideas for Cardiff or Bangkok themed beds, please let us know we would be delighted to hear them… oh and I think we need marshalls, so if you want to do that, let Sam know.


Also, your subs are now due – it’s just £35 for the year, a bargain, please send yours to treasurer Dave if you haven’t already, better if you can pay by BACS and the bank details are on the Nidd Valley website in the memberships section. If you like you can also pay by cheque or cash, but let’s face it, BACS is sooo much easier isn’t it!


This week it’s intervals on Tuesday – meet at the hockey club for 7pm or at Maplins car park at 7.10, where Emma will be leading the session, but you can expect an aerobically themed warm up from me so bring your legwarmers everyone!  We will then run laps of West Park for 25 mins – you know the score by now but with all the PB’s these intervals are definitely working!


Thursday7pm club run. I am supposed to be choosing this – but the only one other than supermarkets that I can think of and we have done that recently, is up Kings Road, along through town to Cold Bath Road and you can then either go up Otley Road and along past Ashville and down Leadhall Lane past M&S and home, or for a shorter run, just go left at SO Bar at the top of Cold Bath Road and back to club over Prince of Wales that way. That’s a suggestion, but I can’t go this week, so I won’t be at all offended if you do something completely different! Oh yes, there’s drinks in the bar afterwards.

Sunday 27th March. It’s Easter Sunday so why not burn off a few calories before eating loads of Easter Eggs with the Guiseley Gallop – you can still enter, it’s the first in the Road Championships too!


Emma’s Stretch of the week! For the Quads

Here’s another stretch for your quads everyone. No excuse now there are so many to choose from! Place a cushion or folded up towel near to a wall. Put one knee on the cushion with your foot behind you onto the wall. The other foot should be flat on the floor in front of you in a lunging position. You should feel a lovely stretch down your thigh and if you don’t, get your knee closer to the wall! Hope this makes sense but if it doesn’t have a look at my demonstration 🙂 With thanks to photographer Carol Morgan!




And finally, we have made it, what seems like the longest report ever but that may be because I have had to write it! (No wonder the Chairman wanted the night off, I take my secretarial hat off to you Sam ;-)). Any results i may have missed, please send on to Sam and we can include them next time.


Word to the Wise…

Sam Fugill: (Hamming up his injuries from Heptonstall Fell race)

15.4 miles of pain, I fell over and face planted on the flat bit, then I fell into a bog, got blisters on both my feet, and had a particularly bad bout of bleeding nipples. All very attractive, to round things off I was then assaulted by a chicken… excellent day.

Edoardo Piano:  (Seemingly unconcerned for our Chairman’s welfare, but most concerned for our feathered friend)

Sam, do you have any pictures of the chicken?


Have a great week everyone whatever you get up to.

Sarah H

Weekly Update: The University of Nidd Valley….

Evening all,


Hope you’ve all had a good week. Nidd Valley House has been rocked by a scandal this week with the shocking news that some of our brethren have been sacking off training in order to go to the pub. Like Christine Jones, for example, who dared to post from Hales Bar that “I was planning on running at the club, but I fell off the wagon and into a bar. Thursday, I’ll be there NVRR… Honest!”. She’s a disgrace. We can’t go on like this. Something must be done. I’ll let you know the details of her pending appearance before the Nidd Valley Disciplinary Panel when we have them.


And then we’ve had a complaint from Junior Sarah Lofthouse, who disapproves of the Juniors being referred to as the “little people”. Sorry, Sarah. It turns out that she reads these emails before her dad gets to them, so there was a slightly awkward atmosphere in Chez Lofthouse when she looked up from the laptop earlier this year and asked her dad what dogging was. Go ask your mother… Anyway, let’s move with as much dignity as we can muster to the results…



Calm down, calm down! Nidd Valley’s very own Fab Four headed over to Merseyside to compete in the Liverpool Half Marathon earlier today, with yours truly making an anxious return to racing. The race started with sound of shattering glass, a car alarm and someone shouting “foocking run it’s the bizzies!”. 6,500 runners surged forwards over the line, up past the Cathedral, round the city’s parks and down for a four mile chase alongside the Mersey (it’s the longest four miles I’ve ever run, I tell you). Martin Lofthouse (1:23:35) bagged himself an incredible time and a new PB to boot, with Fingers Harris (1:33:34) next over the line. The lack of training caught up with your Chairman by about mile nine when it really began to drag, with Steve Newton soon catching up by mile 11. Well I’m prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of most outrageous fortune, but draw the line at being overtaken by a ginger Scouser in my darkest hour. So we rallied on but, unlike most nature programmes, neither of us were the predator and it was more a case of wounded animal chasing wounded animal. It was too close for comfort, but the race ended in my favour, with the Chairman (1:43:09) holding Steve (1:43:28) by just 19 seconds. (ED.: Steve just sent a whingy message threatening to submit a discrimination claim because I didn’t mention the fact he got a PB by some two minutes. I’m afraid gingers aren’t covered by equality legislation, but we’re happy to set the record straight. Well done, Steve!).


Also today, Rebecca and Phil Ventress raced the Wimbledon Common Half Marathon. Rebecca (2:07:42) got herself a great time, as did Phil (1:54:10), but Rebecca takes a slightly more partisan line and suggest that “he’s not a Nidder though so I don’t want him basking in too much glory”. I quite agree, Rebecca. You should join, Phil, you’d like it.

I must say, Phil really has let himself go a bit...

I must say, Phil really has let himself go a bit…

Up in Dentdale (I know now why it’s called ‘Yorkshire’s Hidden Dale’, it took me bloody hours to find Paul Geary’s Stag Do last summer), Fiona and Mike Deacon raced the Dentdale Run yesterday. Covering a somewhat arbitrary distance of 14.2 miles, the scenic figure of eight course saw Mike (14:47:23) and Fiona (1:51:46) to the finish line in splendid time. Congratulations to you both.


I’m told that Simon Franklin (46:07) completed the Harewood 10k today, but given that he was wearing a Horsforth Fellnadale vest rather than the sacred and glorious colours of Nidd Valley, I’m not sure we should mention him…


Now this is very interesting indeed. Graduating at the University of Parkrun (Harrogate Campus), students Matt Wilkinson (20:14), Alison Iles (24:19), Jim Cook (24:54) and Nick dares-to-yawn-in-interval-sessions Smith (25:13) kicked started the ceremony for us. Sarah Hughan (25:16) soon appeared on the finishing line, with classmates Fingers Harris (26:44), Hannah Peagram (28:56), Tony Ledwaba-Champan (29:51), Natalie Lancosova (31:37) and Mandy Smith (36:23).


Taking happy advantage of the newly opened road over Blubberhouses, John Mitton (21:43) put down a beautiful time at the Skipton Parkrun. At Wetherby, it was time for Tyson Fury to join his better half at the parkrun there. Phil (25:14) soon made quick work of the course, with Fiona (32:59) also putting things to bed in a brilliant time.


At Fountains, Tim Harvey (17:45) secured a staggeringly fast PB and so finds himself promoted the post of Mother Superior on the hallowed course. He was joined by Andy Todd (19:01), Nicki Walkton (29:14), Michelle Dinsdale (30:06), and Matt Rickard (32:19) supported his partner Viktorija round her first parkrun , all of them earning some new angel wings and the chance to buff up their halos. Well done to you all, especially Viktorija.


In Junior-land, the little cherubs Harrison (08:02, PB again – he’s a marvel) and Evie Iles (09:43), and Alasdair Davidson (10:27 – another PB!!) did remarkable things on the Valley Gardens tarmac at the Junior parkrun. Well done to all of you little people (I can call you that because Sarah wasn’t there!).


If you too would like upgrade your angelic look with a brand new pair of glittery wings, you only have to send your results in to the Church of Nidd Valley: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

I tell you something, these intervals don’t get any easier do they? But as they say, no pain then no gain. So let’s reap the rewards by heading down for the fifth of the stamina-building interval sessions. Tuesday’s session will be held on St Catherine’s Road, so please meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm, or on Slingsby Corner for 7.10pm. Go on, treat yourself.


On Wednesday, we’ve got the Bed Race draw at Knaresborough WMC at 7pm. The beer will be cheap and the excitement tangible. There’s 109 teams scrapping it out for 90 places, so if you want to discover your fate, then we’ll see you there. The very stuff of nightmares: http://www.bedrace.co.uk/.


Then on Thursday, it’s back up to the Hockey Club at 7pm to run the Knaresborough route. You must know it by now, people: down Kingsley and onto Knaresborough Road, down that yarking big hill, along waterside, back over the bridge, onto Forest Moor and home. There are options to extend out onto Halfpenny Lane and York Place if you fancy stretching your legs, with shorter options for those who want something a little more gentle. Here’s the basic model, feel free to pimp and modify as you please: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/926360373. #pimpmyrun. There’ll be pints in the bar afterwards, with riveting conversation about the good old days.


Fell-wise, on Sunday, we’ve got the first of the fell championships with the Rivock Edge Fell Race. At just over 10k and with little more tha 800ft of ascent, it is well within the capabilities of many of us in the club, so please do have a think about getting involved. It’s also only a fiver. Who can argue with that? More details from Fell Running Phil, or the abbreviated notes here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4429.


In other fell news, we’ve also got the Heptonstall Fell Race on Sunday. I did this a couple of years ago and it’s a good long run over nearly 16 miles, and at an absolute steal of a price at £6, too. The last hill is a killer, though, so make you’ve got something left in the tank for that. He who dares wins: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4615. There’s also Sunday’s Blakey Blitz, which was in last year’s fell championships. So if you fancy returning up to the North York Moors for old time’s sake, then here is all the need-to-know info: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4599.


Emma’s Stretch of the Week

This week’s stretch is great for stretching all of the muscles around your hips and bum including the piriformis and other deep muscles in you bum and the adductors on the insides of your thighs. I think it’s called the pigeon stretch in Pilates? Or is it the swan? Anyway it’s a good one…..


All you have to do is lie on your stomach, bend one leg underneath your stomach and lean towards the ground. Easier said than done if you are as stiff as me after a run!


Evening League

The dates for the Evening League have been finalised and, although they’re still to unveil their much anticipated website, you can find the dates of all the races, including the NVRR and reccie runs on our lovely website. Go on, take a peek: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/evening-league/. As ever, it’s all hands on deck on the race night on 24 May 2016, so if you have a good excuse or a sick note from your mum, then you better get them to me or Michelle Smith soon.


Club Championships

I know Martin and Michelle have been pushing the first races of the championships like they’re going out of fashion, but if you want those points you need to think about getting your entries in early to avoid the all too inevitable disappointment. From the road champs, we’ve got our starting race at the Guisley Gallop on 27 March 2016: https://bookitzone.com/tim_agar/Fl2FFX . On the fells, we’re starting off this Sunday with Rivock Edge, although they are taking entries on the day: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4429. Come on, peeps, get involved and get some points. It isn’t just about the speedy, it’s about us all. We’re a team, and we perform best when we run as one.


Grand National Sweepstake: 9 April 2016

Alright, you know the deal. It’s the most famous horse race in history (although I am a little excited about the Cheltenham Gold Cup this week). The actual horse listings haven’t been confirmed yet, but there will as always be 40 horses running. If you’d like to pull a number from the Nidd Valley Hat and pay your £2, who knows, you could be backing the winner. First place bags you a prize of £40, second £15, third £10, and last place £5. I’ll be at club flogging numbers from Tuesday.


Talking of the University of Nidd Valley…

We’ve been approached by a research team from St Mary’s University, conducting research into sports nutrition and marathons. So, if you’re running London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Blackpool or Brighton Marathons, have run a marathon before, and are aged between 20 and 55, they’d like to hear from you. Please email Andrew Nippard if you’d like to know more: 135047@live.smuc.ac.uk.


Word to the Wise

It’s another from Martin Lofthouse this week, but this time delivered in a state of half undress in a Liverpudlian carpark this morning.

Martin: Its okay, you can leave your stuff with Bagpuss.

Me: Bagpuss?

Martin: No sorry, I meant the bag bus.



Look, whatever you do, have a great week, don’t work too hard, and enjoy your running.


See you soon,


Sam x


Weekly Update: Tyson Fury and the Tranny Granny

Hi peeps,

So who enjoyed Sarah Hughan’s unique approach to a coaching session warm-up on Tuesday? It was a couple of leg warmers short of a Mr Motivator video as Team Nidd grapevined their way back and forth across Maplins carpark. Tyson Fury had some interesting comments, one of which is daringly reprinted in Word to the Wise. But before that, there’s an air of excitement at the Nidd Valley Theatre as the curtain goes up for the first act of the evening. So without further delay, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the results.



And we couldn’t start anywhere else than in the Atlantic Ocean, where Carol Morgan completed the Trans Gran Canaria mountain race. Known to fell running aficionados as the Tranny Granny (I know, I’ve just vommed in my mouth too. Vile image…), this 125km race takes in 26,246ft of ascent and must be completed within 30 hours. Carol put the race to bed in 20:33:56, finishing 117th overall and taking the 11th female position. The technically inclined among you might want to have a look at her results profile: http://transgrancanaria.livetrail.net/coureur.php?rech=150. Seriously, kids, I couldn’t even imagine running that kind of distance and for that long. Well done, Carol, it’s a great achievement.

There’s clearly something about theme parks in this week’s write up. First off the blocks in the UK, we have got Moira McTague (51:51) and Jane Hill (62.62) who tackled the muddy and undulating Lightwater Valley 10k near Ripon. Then we’ve got Edoardo Piano (41:20) who threw himself round the Flamingo Land 10k in a cracking time yesterday. Edoardo is also proud to point out that he beat 4 Harriers in the process, so we’ll give him free membership next year for that. Edoardo was clearly impressed at running a race surrounded by so many animals, and suggested unleashing a couple of flesh-eating big cats to make sure that everyone runs to the best of their ability. As if the coaches needed any new ideas…

Like butter wouldn't melt...

Like butter wouldn’t melt…

It was all very emotional at Harrogate parkrun where Matt Rickard (21:39) got a big cheer for his 50th parkrun. He’s a marvel, that man, he really is. He was joined in his celebrations by Jon Easton (21:35), John Mitton (22:33), Mike Deacon (22:39), Steve Newton (22:51) and Matt Wilkinson (23:27). Fiona Deacon (24:09) was first of the Nidd Valley ladies home, and was soon joined by Jim Cook (25:23), Nick Smith (25:37) and Sarah Hughan (26:14). Fingers Harris (27:11) was next over the line, and it was nice to see Christine Jones (27:23) grace us with her presence after the longest holiday in living memory. It was also lovely to see Parkrun Dave (28:17), Potty-mouth Ventress (28:22) and Hannah Peagram (28:35) make up our finishing trio.

Keeping it suitably Shakespearean, Martin Lofthouse (18:22) took fifth place at the Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun – O Martin, Martin! Wherefore art thou Lofthouse? – while Fiona Robinson (32:54) made her usual trip to Wetherby, bagging herself a terrific time to boot. Up at Fountains, we got some good results from Andy Todd (19:14) and Michelle Dinsdale (31:02), with Junior Jake Stalker (21:55) giving them a run for their money. Well done to you all.

It’s hard to believe that three Nidds have been on bikes rather than in their running shoes, but we best mention those of you that competed in the Leeds Sportive today. Philippa Moorse raced the 55 mile course (and to think she’s on the committee, too!), while Tim Harvey took things up a notch to pedal 75 miles. Bill Hitchcock mixed it up by taking a little from both routes to create his own personal challenge. Either way, all jolly impressive. Congratulations chaps.

I’m afraid I’ve got no news from the little people this week, as the junior parkrun was cancelled due to ice on the course. It’s almost as feeble an excuse as leaves on the line, isn’t it? Sorry kids.

This week, I’ve got more on my plate than a spinster at a wedding, so I’d appreciate it if you could make my life a lot easier and send me your results without me having to trawl t’internet in search of them. You know what to do: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

We’ve now passed the half way point in our season of intervals training, and we’ll be celebrating on Tuesday with another pyramid session. Yes, I know that they knack like nothing else, but Emma and Mike assure me that they’re good for you and I’m certainly in no position to argue. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm or on Slingsby Walk opposite the hospital for 7.10pm.

On Wednesday we’ve got a committee meeting, and we are breaking with tradition by meeting in the pub. It’ll take the edge of things, if nothing else. If there’s anything you want discussing, anyone you want sacking, that kind of thing, can you please let Sarah H know? We’ve even let her have her own email address: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.

If the intervals don’t finish you off, on Thursday we are running the Valley Gardens route. Get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm, and we’ll be off through town in readiness for the long pull up Cornwall Road, along Harlow Moor, with options to then either head back to the club down Otley Road, or take a further spin out round Beckwith Road. Inspirational map reading here: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/926365165. This week’s club run was chosen by Rachael Prince, so you can blame her if you don’t like it. If you too would like to feel special and suggest a route, you only have to ask nicely: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.

On Sunday, I’m going with Steve, Martin and Fingers to test my racing legs at the Liverpool Half Marathon. They are still taking entries, so if you fancy joining in all the Scouser fun and saying goodbye to your hubcaps, then you can find out all the relevant race details here: http://www.btrliverpool.com/#!liverpool-half-marathon/cjg9.

If you’re feeling sparky, you might want to have a look at the Haworth Hobble on Sunday. It’s a 32 miler, so you’ll want your wits about you and some experience and training in your legs. If you’re daft enough, then this is where you need to find out more: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4450.


Emma’s Stretch of the Week

Here’s an upper body stretch for this week. When I’ve been off-road running I often get stiff upper arms from using them to help me balance (not always successfully) so try this one for your shoulders and upper back if you’ve been off the beaten track this weekend:

Complete with the Latin names, too. We'll be testing you on this next week.

Complete with the Latin names, too. We’ll be testing you on this next week.

Stand upright and place one arm across the top of your chest. Bend the arm to 90 degrees and pull your elbow towards your opposite shoulder. Hold for 10 – 15 seconds each side and repeat.


Evening League: Tuesday 24 May 2016

You know how it is. You join a running club then some absolute clown puts you on a rota to help out. But what can you do, other than keep this evening free? Please have a look at the marshal list and marshal map, although this is subject to change once I know what the deal is regarding first aid (this is likely to be provided by a third party), parking (we can’t use the school) and the finishing funnel (we’re going to chip timing). Any problems, complaints or feeble excuses, then please let me or Michelle S know as soon as possible.


Word to the Wise

“Well this is what happens when you let women lead the warm up” – Phil ‘Tyson Fury’ Robinson, this time bringing his illuminating insight to shine upon the coaching sessions.

He strikes again.


And on that egalitarian note, I’ll leave it there. Enjoy your week.

Sam x