Weekly Update: Strictly Come Nidd Valley, a roller-coaster, and all manner of indiscretions in a rural carpark

Now then, chaps.


Are we all well? I Hope you’ve all had a good week and that you’re still adjusting to the normality of life after the Christmas break.


Before we get cracking, I just want to mention the coached intervals session last week. I know that sharing the night with the Harriers wasn’t ideal, was crowded, and that you maybe didn’t get the level of input you ordinarily might receive from the coaches. This couldn’t have been helped, folks, and by 7.15pm there was little either we or the Harriers could have done to make alternative plans. The best thing we could have done was to share Montpellier Hill with the good grace and inter-club generosity that we did. Thanks for your patience and understanding. Normal service will be resumed this week, as ever led by our coaches. See more below. And keep an eye out for Sarah H, Dan E and Jon E who we are training up to join our coaching team. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them (and hearing a lot more from them!) in the coming months. To the results…


And what better place to start than the results from yesterdays Yorkshire Cross Country Championships, held up at Lightwater Valley? Given that this is the event where the big boys of off-road running come out to play within the confines of a roller-coaster, it was all the more devastating that Fell Running Phil was prevented by injury for taking his place at the start line. That said, we had some amazing results, and they are worth publishing in full. From the ladies, Moira McTague (48:28) led Sarah Hughan (50:29) and Hannah Peagram (54:38) home, followed by Sarah Chalmers (55:10). Martin Lofthouse (46:28) was first over the line for the boys, chased down by Andy Todd (47:24), Edoardo Piano (51:27) and Fingers Harris (52:50). Alan Davidson (55:15) made a welcome return to running (haven’t seen you for ages, Alan, how are you?), followed by Maurice Kelly (56:11), Steve Newton (56:51) and Jim Cook (1:01:38). Congratulations to all of you who turned out to race. The course was tough and the competition fierce, but you did Team Nidd proud. Well done.


Last night, I headed up to the North York Moors to complete the Three Sisters night-time fell race with Matt Wilkinson and Brian Sherwood. It didn’t look to bad on paper, but, well, bugger me: that was possibly the windiest, coldest and wettest race I have ever ran, the pain only punctuated by the by the occasional, and more competent, fell runners who overtook me with a cheery “a bit blowy isn’t it?” before they disappeared into the darkness. I have seldom been so sure that I was going to die, nor have I been so pleased to see Matt and Brian waiting in a warm car (and although I still had to briefly get naked in the car park to get into some warm clothes, I’m happy to admit that it was so cold that no one was going to be unduly alarmed). After that, once the traumatic memories had faded, with a conversation reassuring each other that it wasn’t really that bad and that we must do it again some time.  I’m not even sure if they publish results for this kind of thing, but Matt was first (obviously), followed by Brian, then me some ten minutes after.


Staying up on t’moors and suitably off-road, it’s a quick congratulations to Simon Franklin and Carol Morgan who yesterday completed the Filey Flyer, a 23m (that’s miles, not minutes) off-road course organised by the LDWA bunch. As ever, you never fail to impress. Congratulations.


Let’s have a quick spin round the Parkrun results. At Harrogate, Matt Wilkinson (19:24) blamed the weather and muddy course for a slower time than usual, although Ben Baird (22:31) and Dave Rushton (28:38) resorted to no such excuses. Tony LC (30:03), Natalia Lancosova (31:24) and Mandy Smith (39:33) rounded up the show on the Stray. A few miles North, Sue Reast (29:54), Fiona Robinson (31:08) and Michelle Dinsdale (31:37) flew the club colours up at Fountains, whereas over the Irish Sea, Paul Eagling (22:56) made quick work of the Tramore Parkrun in Waterford. Well done to all of you Parkrunners. Excellent work.


Apologies of the week goes to Sarah Chalmers who’s fell running exploits last week were lost amidst the deluge of the festive Parkrun results. Sarah completed the Auld Lang Syne (1:28:55) on New Year’s Eve in good time, putting all the rest of us champagne-guzzlers to shame. Congratulations, Sarah.


And, like Gulliver, to the world of the small folk… Joe Sutcliffe (8:37) and Jake Stalker (8:39) battled for position round the 2k Junior Parkrun course this morning. They may be fun-sized, but they remain as inspirational as ever, especially as they’d nailed the course before I’d swung my feet out of bed. Good work, kids.


What is it? You’ve got some results? Go on, I know you’re dying to tell me your good news. Whisper it in my ear, I promise not to print it next week: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

  • Tuesday: this week’s interval session is going to be down at Knox. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down at Knox Sawmill for 7.10pm. Love the hill, feel the burn, you get the idea. Looking forward to seeing you there.
  • Thursday: now this is interesting. A run to Pannal, and one of my favourites (I wonder who chose this?). Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and then off we go round the Stray, past St Aidan’s, to the Leeds Road crossroads, down to Pannal, back up Main Street and Church Lane (feel the hill, baby, fell the hill), onto Leadhall Lane, and home. Again, plenty of options to extend, and you can cut short and avoid Pannal if you want something more sedate. Go on, have a sneak peak, just because it’s you: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/928016399.
  • Sunday: although not in the race calendar for 2016, the Stanbury Splash is a classic fell race which always attracts an annual contingent from Team Nidd. Plenty of hills (well, this is a fell race after all), not to mention lot’s of mud, more mud, a few river crossings, and even more mud. It’s only £4, too, and conveniently local in Keighley. No excuses, really. More details from Fell Running Phil or, if you want the abbreviated version and don’t have three hours to spare, here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4464.
  • Sunday: if you fancy something a little different and cheaper (this one is £3 – fell runners really are the last of the big spenders, I tell you), there’s a cheeky CS race – C means not too high, S means not too far – at Giggleswick School in the Dales. I’ve never done it. Don’t know anyone who has. You could be the first. Have a look: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4663.


Emma’s Stretch of the Week
Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides at right angles. Bend your knees and drop them over to one side of your body. Great stretch for your mid / upper back and especially good after a day sat at a computer or driving……..Hope you like the 80’s style picture!



Awards Night: Saturday 30 January 2016
I’ve had the committee in dance classes for the past two months now and the results are beginning to show at last. Martin and Jon have perfected the Argentine tango, Dave and Judy have a lovely waltz for you, and Sarah is coming on leaps and bounds with her pasodoble. #strictlycomeniddvalley. You won’t want to miss it, especially when it’s only £20 a pop. To book yourself a ticket or to find out more, please speak to Judy Greenwood at club or email her here: jugreenwood@hotmail.com.


Help your Chairman
Look, people, I’ve got a speech to write for this frickin’ awards night, and am low on inspiration. If you have a good story from the past year, an achievement, a PB, something you’re proud of, something you’re not, or just some deliciously filthy goss on a fellow runner, then I’d love to hear from you. No, really, I would: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


AGM: Thursday 18 February 2016
I’ll be sending out all the bumph AGM-wise in the next couple of days (agenda, constitution, previous minutes and other such riveting page turners), but this is just a heartfelt plea for all of you to make the effort to be there. We’ll meet after the club run in the upstairs bar in the Hockey Club. This club isn’t just the committee – actually, thank God it’s not just the committee – and it’s as much about you as it is about me. If you’re a member, you can stand for ANY post and we’d welcome any interest or nominations. If you don’t want to stand, that’s cool, but please do turn up, ask awkward questions, vote, and enjoy some free pizza. I have to be there. I’d appreciate the company.


A Word to the Wise
Brian Sherwood makes his WTTW debut this week with a comment about overlap between fell running and sexual indiscretions in public places:

“That’s the thing with these night races starting in a remote carpark on the moors. I always feel sorry for the people who go out dogging, because they find that their perfectly good night out has been ruined” – Brian Sherwood, in compassionate mood.


Whatever you do, have a beautiful week.

Sam x

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