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


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