And welcome to the Bistro Nidd Valley! May I recommend the Chef’s Special of Results a la Week Ahead with a side of Guy Fawkes Salad to be finished with a Crème de la Wise Word? And to drink? Might I suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon-Gorge? Yes? Very good, my friends….
Fell Running Phil has been straight on to me with today’s results from the Lowther Trail Race up somewhere near the Lake District (Lowther, I’d expect). He says that if you can run 13 miles, you can run this race. Only you’ve missed your chance until next year. No matter, the five intrepid Nidds who made the journey are, in finishing order, Carol Morgan (1:47ish – 4th lady), Mark David (1:58ish), Jim Cook (2:11ish), FRP (2:19ish) and Sarah Chalmers (2:37ish). Sorry for the -ishes, but we’re going on Phil’s approximation of finish times rather than anything fancy like accurate finishing times. What’s that you say? You want chip timing? Bugger off and do a road race, then….
We’ll also say hello to Emma David who rounded up her preparations for Chamonix with a Hardmoors Marathon up on the North Yorkshire Moors. Being ever laidback with the measuring tape, this race was something more like 27 miles and as hilly as you like, so Emma was pleased to get to the finish line in 5:43ish (that’s the fell runner’s –ish, again…) so it’s a big well done from all at Nidd Valley House! Nice work, Emma.
Again, we’ve had a fair old amount of parkrun tourism this week, starting off with the Wetherby Family Robinson who headed down to compete in South Yorkshire. Alex (23:24) just pipped his dad Phil (23:41) to the line on the ‘uddersfield course, with mum Fiona (31:15) never too far behind. Amanda Metcalfe was over in Lancashire – I hope she had her jabs – where she (28:43) was able to nail an impressive time at the Lancaster parkrun. Up at Fountains, Andy Todd (19:38) and Marcos Montana (23:25) got things off to a flying start and were soon joined by junior Ben Rosie (24:43) in making easy work of the hallowed course. After that, we had brilliant sub-30 results from the seemingly inseparable Jane Hill (28:20), Michelle Smith (28:37) and Michelle – snaps like the paparazzi – Dinsdale (29:51).
I tried my best to get out of bed on time yesterday, I really did, but just couldn’t do it and so failed to see Martin Lofthouse (18:55) storm through the finish line with Matt Wilkinson (19:51), Dan Eagling (20:44) and Ben Baird (20:51). Mike Deacon (21:38) was never too far behind, with Steve Newton (21:59) and Chris Beattie (22:15) hunting him down at each turn. There was a lot of excitement – but then again, this is Nidd Valley House – to see Fiona Deacon (22:47) and Mark Armstrong (22:47) in a neck and neck sprint for the line, but just as much excitement as we celebrated with Sarah Hughan (23:48), Jim Cook (24:40) and Moira McTague (24:49). And wasn’t it nice to see such strong performances from Carolyn Easton (26:05), Jeff Walker (26:57) and Debbie Dilasser (27:54) as they closed the last chapter in the weekly parkrun book? Well done to you all.
It isn’t easy making love when you’re dyslexic. You spend half the night looking for her vinegar: email@example.com.
The Week Ahead
Things are a little bit different this Tuesday as we have the lovely chaps from Up & Running in Harrogate (http://www.upandrunning.co.uk/harrogate) coming up to the club. And my, they are good to you, as they will let you try a pair of Hoka running shoes on for the club run without any obligation whatsoever (though they would happily relieve you of your cash if you want to buy them afterwards). And where better to take them for a spin than round the Hookie Woods? So it is out from the club and down round the Stray. From there, pick your way through the Saints, over Hookstone Road and into the woods. Follow round past the hospice and onto the Fulwith Mill Lane. From there, you can head back up Leeds Road, or push out onto Leadhall Lane or Church Lane before turning back to the club. Whichever way you go, you’ll need to be at the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm. It goes without saying that, if you want to try on some new shoes, then get there a bit earlier to get your feet measured, gait analysed, all of that kind of thing.
On Thursday, Martin Lofthouse will be organising a time trial mile run. This is going to be up on the greenway, where you have a chance to try and get your fastest recorded mile, something to which you can return as we repeat the exercise over coming months. It’s a great way to benchmark your progress as well as chance to intersperse some sedate club runs with some eye-popping, lung-bursting sprints. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Bring your Garmin / stopwatch if you have one, and meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or at Bilton Lane Crossing for about 7.10pm.
As ever, if that kind of sprinting silliness is not your thing, then we’ll be heading back down the Gorge for our club run on Thursday. We meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm and from there head up with the sprinters to the greenway. While they race up and down the path, we can head down over the field and into the gorge, emerging a couple of miles down the track before turning back towards the club house, where there will be hot showers and cold beers for those that wish to stay for more riveting conversation.
On Saturday, we’ve got a couple of cracking little local fell races. First off the blocks, we’ve got the race at Gargrave Show. At only 3.5 miles and with only 899ft of ascent, this little number is as accessible as it is local. Entry to the race is free, provided you’ve paid your money to get into the show itself (no idea what that is), but the entertainment as such agricultural gatherings provides a welcome distraction to aching feet. More details here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4204.
Also on Saturday, there’s the Burnsall Classic race. This is a classic for a reason. At only 1.5 miles, you’ve got to be going some to cram in the 900ft of climb and to negotiate one of the more challenging descents in the repertoire. The course record is a little over 12 minutes, so all the big boys and girls of fell running will be coming out to play. If you can spare the £6 entry and want to gain Fell Running Phil’s undying admiration (though go easy, once he’s got his feet under the table it can be very tricky to get him to leave), then this is where you need to be: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4498.
If you’re looking for more points in the club championship, or if like Adam K you are trying to bag as many PBs as you can in one season, then you might want to have a look at the Escrick 10k. Sunday’s offering is the next in the championship counter and has great PB potential, although is unfortunately held in the area which my social work colleagues rather unkindly refer to as Selberia. Don’t let them, or the fact you’ll be running round a field, put you off. Club Captains Martin and Michelle expect to see you there: https://www.escrick10k.co.uk/.
We’ve overcome the technical difficulties we had earlier in the week (and thanks to Dave P for talking me through my meltdown on the phone), so we’re now pleased to unveil the latest and most exciting of ventures to be launched from the vaults of Nidd Valley Studios…
Emma’s Six Speedwork Sessions of Summer: Week 1
Each week, Emma D will be giving you a warm up stretch and drill that you can do as part of your runs to help develop your speed. This week’s stretch is all about developing that core strength and activating those glutes (if they weren’t active enough). Emma and co-star Fiona D are now out of make-up and the cameras are rolling. Without further ado…
Bridlington Half Marathon: 16 October 2016
This is the penultimate feature in the Club Championships is only a couple of months away, and the committee has been looking at hiring a coach so we could travel up to the race together and save everyone the hassle of car sharing and driving. Someone has suggested stopping for fish and chips afterwards, which seems a capital idea. I’ve done an initial scout on prices, and we’d be looking at about £10 – £14 per head for the return trip. If you’d be interested in this, then please let me know. If not, no worries, and we’ll just let the idea die a quiet and untroubled death. My email, as ever, remains: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016
If there is anything other than this in your diary, cancel it. It’ll be, as ever, all hands on deck.
Matt Rickard – who did a sterling job as Race Director last time and is hard at it again this year – is looking to step down and take a break after this time. Obviously, we all love Matt to bits and are incredibly grateful for what he has done, as we are to all his race directing predecessors of years gone by, but we are now on the lookout for his replacement. I won’t lie to you, it isn’t a small undertaking and requires a fair amount of organisation, but the whole club does rally round and you do get to hold the megaphone at the start so that is a Brucie bonus. If this is something you might be interested in exploring further, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you: email@example.com.
As an aside, if you’d be interested in sponsoring this year’s event – getting your brand on the back of the t-shirt, that kind of thing – then why not get in touch with Matt? His rates are very reasonable: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Word to the Wise
Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words, it really does. If nothing else, this picture will remind you why you love running and the childish joy of a good run….
Tomorrow, I disappear. The nuclear codes, passwords and key to the drinks cabinet have all been entrusted to a guest editor. I leave you in their capable hands.
Until we meet again.