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

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