Weekly Update: Princess Leia and Frank Zappa take a dip in the Nidd

Hi all –



I’m choked with pride as I write this, folks. Both of the Nidd Valley Teams did spectacularly well at the Knaresborough Bed Race, and the results speak for themselves. Matt Rickard captained the men’s team to an incredible third place, finishing the gruelling 2.4m course in 14:22.8, and the ladies’ tem finished in a strong 23:35.4 (71st place). Dan Eagling partnered with Guardian Alarms to finish in a strong 15:01.8 (5th place), yours truly joined the Wacky Racers to finish exhaustedly in 15:12.8 (9th place), whereas Simon Harris helped the St John’s Juggernauts to finish in 18:18.7 (34th place). Simon’s rather fetching gorilla costume helped his team secure the Best Dressed Bed prize, also. Well done, Simon!

As ever, a spot of cross dressing was the order of the day. Matt Wilkinson made a beautiful Princess Leia, I must say, and my Bond Girl ended up as some terrifying hybrid of Amy Winehouse and Frank Zappa. Despite the abysmal forecasts, the weather was kind to us (as is Bed Race tradition), and the sun shone as the teams made their way from Conygham Hall, along waterside, up the unforgiving climb of Castle Ings Hill only to be greeted by a somewhat vocal and excited Steve Newton and Mike and Fiona Deacon. Then it was a quick turn round the Market Square, back to the High Street, before the terrifying descent down Bond End through a wall of deafening cheers from the inebriated hoards lining the streets of Knaresborough (and you’d be inebriated if you’d be drinking lager since 10am, I tell you). From there it was over the bridge, an icy dip in the River Nidd, and a last push to the finish line. The scene at the end of the race resembled a field hospital as the shell shocked wept, vomited, embraced one another, and pledged to never, ever, do such a silly thing again. Well done to each and every one of you. Whether you were wearing club colours or not, you did Nidd Valley proud. Well done.

At the risk of this sounding like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, I want to give a quick thanks to all those who marshalled for us, including Dave, Julie, Vic and Michelle. The ladies’ team also wanted me to mention Bed Race veteran Amanda, who has coached the team and got them up to racing speed. Consider it done, ladies. Thanks to you all, and to the Nidds who lined the course to cheers us home.

With half the club eating hearty breakfasts in readiness for the Bed Race, things were a little quiet at Harrogate Park Run. Nonetheless, we saw some sterling performances from Maurice Kelley (21:06), Steve Newton (21:33), Mark David (21:43 – PB!), Paul Eagling (22:37), Dave Rushton (26:17), Tony Chapman (26:43), Nicki Walton (29:10), and Michelle Dinsdale (29:51).

On Wednesday, 19 Nidd’s tackled the brutal Otley 10 mile road race. It’s one of those that fell runners would euphemistically describe as undulating (Sarah Hughan – look away now). It’ll be no surprise to you that Matt Wilkinson (1:03:11) was first home for the club (“and when is he not?”, I hear you cry), followed by Andy Todd (1:05:55), Martin Lofthouse (1:06: 34) and Carol Morgan (1:11:37). Fiona Deacon (1:16:42) was sure to make sure that husband Mike (1:17:05) didn’t beat her, although Emma Dooley (1:18:40) was hot on her heels. Rob Snow (1:19:37) was next over the line, followed by Steve Newton (1:19:48), Alison Isles (1:22:40), Emma David (1:23:00), Paul Manning (1:23:08), Rick Dallaston (1:23:15), Christine Holleran (1:25:33), Jim Cook (1:27:18), Jenny Manning (1:29:22), Debbie Gibson (1:33:32), Michelle Smith (1:40:35) and Aimi Blueman (1:45:44).

I’ve not had anyone tap me on the shoulder and admonish me for leaving their results out the write-up. Either you’ve all given up, or I’m finally getting the hang of this chairman malarkey. I’m on a roll, keep it going by sending me your results. My email: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

• Tuesday: a lovely run in the summer evening sun, providing it isn’t lashing down with rain. See you at the Hockey Club at 7pm.
• Wednesday: it’s number four in the Evening League counter, and the lovely chaps at Wetherby have a cracking little race lined up for us. The race starts at Sicklinghall at 7.45pm – don’t be late! Although I had a lovely chat with the guys from Knaresborough Striders yesterday, the gloves are off when it comes to the Evening League. I cannot, and I will not, let them bet us in this year’s league. Come on guys, get your shoes on, grab your vest, and let’s show ‘em what we’re made of (and that includes you!). More details here: http://www.harrogate-league.org.uk/.
• Thursday: what do you mean you’ve never experienced the joys of The Gorge? If you’re very, very good, Dave might just suggest we go for a run down there. You’ll have to be at the Hockey Club for 7pm to be in with a chance, though. Drinks in the bar afterwards.
• Saturday: we’re past the halfway point in the Fell Champs already, and we’re heading over to compete in the Buckden Pike Fell Race. The race starts at 2.30pm, so you’re even treated to a lie in. Entry is an absolute steal at only £5 (it’s just dawned on me why fell running is so big in Yorkshire), although be aware: for your money, you’re expected to climb nearly 1,600ft in the short and brutal 6k course. The race starts Part of Buckden Village Gala, so there’s a chance you’ll be treated to other wonderful rural delights such as the freestyle welly tossing handicap and competitive dry stone walling, that kind of thing… You can speak to Fell Running Phil at the club for more details or, if you haven’t got 3 hours to spare, all the relevant info is here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3493.


Almscliffe Crag Run: Thursday 25 June 2015

Get this date in your diary: it’s our ever popular annual run from Weeton Station, up the crag, and then back to Harrogate. We’ll have different groups running, so all ages and abilities will be catered for (so no excuses not to come!). More details next week, once I’ve recruited some people to lead the different groups.


Fell Running

Have you ever wanted to drag yourself up the side of a mountain, sweating blood and sobbing quietly, before throwing yourself back down the other side without any control of your limbs whatsoever, through the finishing line and straight into the pub? Good. There’s a possibility that the Club will be offering some fell running training this summer, once the Evening League is done and dusted. More details to follow soon.


Ripon Races

We’re off to Ripon Races on 15 August. If you still want to come, but haven’t told me, then now is the time to do so. If you want to spend the day drinking bubbly and squandering your worldly possessions, you’d be more than welcome to join us.


A Word to the Wise

“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again” – Erma Bombeck, in a slightly rude frame of mind.

Really hope to see you down at the club this week, and certainly at Wetherby. Have a good week, whatever you get up to.

Sam x


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