I’m getting the email out to you a little earlier than usual this week as it’s the only point I can get a moment’s peace. We’ve got the builders in here at Nidd Valley House extending the west wing. It’s utter chaos, to be honest with you. You can’t find anything for dust sheets and cement mixers, all the priceless antiques and oil paintings are in storage, the hired help have started putting six sugars in my finest Indian tea, and you can’t hear yourself think for all the banging and drilling going on. Still, I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the long run. Let’s go straight to the results while we have a chance.
I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t share the results for Jane Hill and Michelle Dinsdale from the Vale of York 10 back in April. I didn’t get the results in time for the first write up, and then forgot to include them the week after. I tell you something, if you want to know your shortcomings you won’t find a more helpful people anywhere. No matter, we’re pleased to congratulate Jane (1:40:48) for a brilliant run and Michelle (1:42:33) who got herself a PB on the flat and speedy course. Well done, ladies, the marathon training is coming on splendidly.
I was joined by six other filthy Nidds (oo-er!) at the Cake Race up on Saddleworth Moor yesterday. It’s a cracking premise: everyone bakes a cake instead of paying an entry fee, runs round 10 miles of icy moorland (and when it comes to sheet ice on stone flags, even the best fell shoes have the traction of carpet slippers), and comes flying back into the village for an all you can eat cake fest. Lovely stuff. And from the 232 runners, here are the scores on the doors: Matt Wilkinson (1:17:55; 21st), Carol Morgan (1:26:09; 54th and 2nd Lady), Sam Fugill (1:35:49; 103rd), Fell Running Phil (1:49:05, 167th), Catherine Barber (1:55:14, 173rd), Rachel Prince (2:04:26, 198th) and Sarah Chalmers (2:12:24, 215th).
Even Sarah finished with a smile on her face, people, so that’s saying something. But then again, she’s got a point. It’s brilliant. People, I can’t tell you how much I love fell running. Getting out into the hills, with stunning views around you and the chance to look down on the world below, is just brilliant. You have none of the egos you might get in road running, just lots of smiling people at the finish, covered in sheep poo and clutching styrofoam cups of hot tea, congratulating each other on finishing a tough race. Fell running is a wonderful world – crazy as buggery, obviously – but a wonderful world nonetheless. Why don’t you come and join us and unleash the filthy runner in you?
In the happy land of parkrun, the seemingly inseparable Jane Hill (29:06) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:07) were joined by Andy Todd (19:09) in giving us a trio of brilliant finishes up at Fountains Abbey. Down in Newark – nope, I’ve no idea what he was doing there either – Ben Baird (21:24) laid down a really impressive time on the Nottinghamshire course.
As ever, though, the major Nidd Valley Action was up on the Stray where 17 Nidds laced up their shoes to tackle the 5k course. Fingers Harris (18:39) was first off the blocks with an impressive third place overall. He just pipped Martin Lofthouse (18:49) to the finish line, while Adam Kirk (20:51) was thrilled to secure an impressive PB. Steve Newton (22:01) led Fiona Deacon (22:20), Jim Cook (22:40) and Rob Snow (23:12) to strong finishes, while Sue Simpson (23:22) and Moira McTague (24:29) slipped in comfortably under the 25 minute barrier. We’ll give Hannah Peagram (25:05) a big whoop whoop for her PB, and three cheers to Sarah Hughan (26:58), Debbie Dilasser (27:06) and Rosemary Thompson (27:24) for some brilliant performances. Tony LC (30:03), Natalia Lancosova (31:45) and Mandy Smith (35:59) ensured we finished on a high. Fiona D has asked me to “give a shout out to the oldies” as Team Nidd occupied four out of the top six in the age graded results at Harrogate. I wouldn’t dare describe Martin, Moira, Fiona or Sue as “oldies” myself, but the achievement remains profound. Well done to you all.
If you too would like to give me an ear bashing for forgetting your results, then you know where to find me: email@example.com.
The Week Ahead
Now it really is a sad day at Nidd Valley House as we will be marking the final intervals session on Tuesday. Even Fell Running Phil is devastated that these intense tarmac-based training nights are coming to an end, and he’s normally happier on the mud. I’ve given up trying to console him, the poor thing. If he can get a grip and pull himself together, then he’ll see you at the Hockey Club for 7pm or by the roundabout on Victoria Avenue for 7.10pm.
And the first test of your winter training comes on Thursday night with the first of the Evening League races. This one is held at Ilkley and starts at 7.30pm. All the relevant details here: http://www.harrogate-league.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Ilkley-race-details-2016.pdf. I really love these races, I really do, as they are such a brilliant opportunity for us to get out as a team and show ‘em what makes Nidd Valley so very special. Put it this way: I couldn’t give a toss whether you are fast, not so fast, competitive or social. I want to see as many of you down at the start line and can promise you a roaring cheer from your team mates as you line up for the finish. There’s nothing quite like it, believe me.
If you aren’t Evening League-ing (and if not, why not?) then Alan H will be leading a gentle and steady run from the Hockey Club at 7pm on Thursday.
On Saturday, it is our turn to host the Harrogate parkrun. Thanks to all who volunteered to marshal, pace, scan and that kind of thing. I couldn’t do it without you and appreciate you giving your time to showcase the club in town. You can find the marshal plan here, so please have a quick look and check what you’ve let yourself in for. I’d appreciate if you could rock up for about 8.40am as this gives people time to get to positions and kitted up. We’ll also be decamping to Caffe Marconi in town for a brew and a bit of breakfast afterwards, and it’d be nice to see you there.
There are still places available for the Leeds Half Marathon on Sunday. If you would like to pound the pavements round Chapel Allerton, Meanwood and Kirkstall – all for the not-so-bargain price of £32 – then you can get all the relevant info and a place here: http://www.theyorkshiremarathon.com/events/plusnet-leeds-half-marathon/. I know that Steve, Martin and Matt are having a crack at it, so you’ll be in good company. Good luck to all competing.
London Marathon 2017
If you would like to have a shot at getting into the most popular race in the world – and you’ll have more luck winning the bloody lottery, but there we are – then the general ballot opens tomorrow. You can join me a hundreds of thousands in trying to crash the website just after midnight tonight: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/ballot-entry/.
Evening League: 24 May 2016
The marshal plan for the Evening League can be found here. Can you have a look and confirm that you can help out? If you can’t, then Michelle and I need to know in advance and not on the day. Just send me a text, message me, nab me at club or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Word to the Wise
Sarah and Rachael were remarkably tight lipped in the car on the way back from yesterday’s fell race. I’ve no idea why, it’s not like I was going to embellish and replicate a whole conversation in print was it? Anyway, they were both remarking on how their fellow runners had been friendly and thoroughly decent sorts, when Rachael made the following disclosure of a brief encounter at the finish line:
“After the race I got a hug and kiss from a strange bloke, which I’ve never had before – well not for a while anyway.”
Pull your finger out, Dave.
And on that intimate note, it’s probably best that I sign off. See you on Tuesday.