Sorry for the lack of an email last week, and thanks to Sarah for steeping into the chairmanly flip flops while I was away in France. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and as I sat in the sun, with my book, glass of wine and bowl of olives, I did wonder what was occurring in Nidd Valley House. It’s nice to be back and to have had a couple of evening runs and a weekend’s worth of racing with you. My love for you, peeps, it’s pretty spectacular. And with that warm, fuzzy feeling growing inside you, let’s head down to the Results Department and see what they have for us.
You’re as bad as teenagers, all of you, forever welded to your mobile phones and tablets and so I am quite sure that you won’t have missed the news from Emma and Carol that flooded social media last week. Both of them were competing in the Ultra Tour Mont Blanc down in the Alps. And what a challenge! 105 miles with thousands of ascending feet beyond counting. Carol (34:39:49) was 191st to finish, taking the 20th female place in an incredible feat of stamina. Emma was, unfortunately, having one of those days – and don’t we all have them, hey? – meaning the race got the better of her. Still, I couldn’t even run up one of those hills, so to achieve what she did is achievement enough. Well done, Emma. And well done, Carol, too. You’re both incredible.
I’m going to be a little indulgent this week and promote the parkrun results from their lowly position at the bottom of the write up. Fingers Harris was well set to chase a PB at York, and was joined on the Knavesmire by an early-rising contingent from Team Nidd on the 9am start line. The excitement at Nidd Valley House was palpable as Warren Lowcock (17:38) got himself a new PB when he finished second place, chased down by Fingers Harris (17:40), who smashed the 18 minute barrier, took a new PB and a strong third place. Yours truly (19:43) ran like he was being chased to bag himself the third PB of the morning (and back under 20 minutes! Yeah, I know, one second behind Matt Rickard. I shall have to do something about this). The excitement reached fever pitch as Catherine Barber (24:42) took minutes from her own PB to join the sub-25 minute brigade. Jeff Walker (30:34) was taking things somewhat more leisurely as he coached his friend round the two laps of the racecourse. Well done to you all.
Up at Fountains, Andy Todd (19:15) made easier work of his result than I did of mine, and Fiona (22:08) and Mike (22:11) Deacon took a break from unpacking boxes in the new house to enjoy the scenic course. We also had some great results from Nick Smith (26:50), Sue Reast (28:23) and Michelle Dinsdale (31:22). All on his lonesome up near Bridlington, Neil Smith (37:34) ran the Sowerby course, ensuring that the glorious reputation of Team Nidd is spread to all corners of the world. Even East Yorkshire.
It’s always with a sense of doom I tackle the results from Harrogate. They take bloody ages. Still, you’d only moan if you didn’t get your moment of parkrun glory, so it’s three cheers for Martin Lofthouse (18:46), Sue Simpson (22:39), Mark Armstrong (23:01) and junior Alex Robinson (23:19). I’m thrilled to hear that Jamie Dilasser (23:35) is returning to the Nidd Valley fold, and just as excited to see the parkrun results from Fell Running Phil (23:58), Tony LC (26:23), Moira McTague (27:13) and Debbie Dilasser (27:20). Bloody hell! It isn’t often to you see Sarah Chalmers (28:07) so I hope you enjoyed the spectacle while you could. She probably won’t repeat it for another six and a half years. All things parkrun are rounded up in the most tasteful fashion possible by Fiona Robinson (30:38), Natalaia Lancosova (33:41) and Mandy Smith (35:31). Well done to you all.
I’ve been sent a result from Dave Prince from some malarkey down in the Peak District. It seems to be a bit of family affair, so if your surname isn’t Prince then I’ll assume you don’t know anything about it. Dave describes it as a “fell sprint” from Edale made up of a ridiculously short 1.5miles but with a 300m of ascent including the rocky rib of Ringing Roger (could be worse, Dave, they could be rogering your ring) and a few hundred metres of very rutted peat moor at the top. Conditions were atrocious on the top with barely enough time to drink the whiskey (this is my kind of fell race, clearly) before descending in unrelenting driving rain to the pub for beer and chips. Dave was pleased to come fifth out of the eight runners, and overjoyed to beat his brother for the second year running.
We had a great little contingent at the Bradley Fell Race today as the fell champs begins to draw to a close. Congratulations to Birthday Boy Tim Harvey (27:39) who was first home for the club, just managing to hold Fingers Harris (28:13) at bay. My parkrun legs were not happy about being taken for another race and so I (36: 21) wasn’t surprised to see Mark David (35:39) overtake me on the last ascent and put sufficient distance between us to deny me any chance of reclaiming third position. Dave Seaman (38:22) was feeling very relaxed and on good form after his holiday and was running well, but was no match for the technical skill of Fell Running Phil (37:14) who overtook him on the steep descent. After that, we were pleased to see Catherine Barber (40:49) and Debbie Gibson (42:52) back safely to the village, and joined in with Sarah Chalmers (47:26) as she celebrated not being last. Congratulations, muddy peeps.
You’re getting your email late tonight as we’ve been sat around waiting for the results to arrive from the Wetherby 10k. The Results Administrators have been working overtime so we can get them out to you, and it is at no inconsiderable expense to us either given that we pay them double time on a Sunday. But the results are finally here, and they’re worth every penny. Congratulations go first to Matt Wilkinson (37:55) for his brilliant opener, with Andy Todd (39:49) never far from his heels. Adam Kirk (40:44) claimed a new PB as his sub-40 edges ever closer (is he doping or something?), with Christine Holleran (50:05) and Moira McTague (51:52) also enjoying good times. Nick Smith (54:24) was delighted with an injury free run, and it’s made my day to see newbie Debra Jenkins (55:27) round things up with a cracking time. The hugest of congratulations to you all.
Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
Dave will be pleased to hear that on Tuesday we’ll be making the most of the last of the summer light nights with a run down the Gorge. From the club, it’s down towards the cycle track and over the field and down into the woods. Hang around in there as long as you like and come back up for air when you’ve had enough. See you at the Hockey Club, ready to run for 7pm.
There’s a cheeky little fell race on Wednesday: the Ilkley Incline. If you can spare £2 and think your legs can take the hammering of ascending and descending 561ft in the space of one short mile, then it’s all yours. Fortune favours the brave: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4424.
On Thursday, I think I’ll be ready for Hookie Woods. It’s one of my favourites. So it’s out from the club, round the Stray and down through the Saints. From there, it is into the woods, over the railway line and onto Fulwith Mill Lane. After that, you can head back to the club up Leeds Road, or push on up to Leadhall Lane or Church Lane. You’ve got a lot of choices. Yes, I know you don’t deserve it, but what can I say? I’m that kind of guy, and I’ll see you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.
Don’t get too carried away with your prosecco-fuelled celebration of the weekend, because on Saturday we’ve got another counter in the club championships with the Fountains Abbey parkrun. You don’t need me to tell you how these things work. It’s a 5k and you run like your life depends on it. You can even join us for coffee and a dead pig butty in the shop afterwards. Get chummy with Catherine Barber. She has a National Trust discount card. Anyway, don’t forget your barcode and we’ll see you on the start line at 9am. Further details here: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/fountainsabbey/.
If you fancy something a bit more substantial at the weekend, then there is the off-road joy of the Yorkshireman down near Haworth on Sunday. You’ve got the choice between the half and full marathon distances, and both will set you back £20. I suspect, if you’re going to do the marathon, you’ll have already decided and be training by now, but I thought the half might at least arouse some interest. If you have any questions, then Keighley AC has the answers: http://www.kcac.co.uk/club-races/yorkshireman/.
Knaresborough Crag Rat Run: 25 September 2016
Knaresborough Striders are taking their first tentative steps like a drunk toddler as they organise their first race. It’d be great if as many of you could get out there, take part and give them some encouragement. They are unfailing in their support of the GF10 and it’d be great if we could return the compliment. It’s a 5 mile race taking in the delights of the Nidd, Abbey Road and the Crag, and an absolute steal at only £6 for club members. You can wash the car and cut the grass another day: http://knaresborough-striders.org.uk/club-championship/knaresborough-crag-rat-run/.
EXCITING FREEBIE! Bridlington Half Marathon: 16 October 2016
Okay, we really are far better to you than you could possible imagine. We’ll pay for the bus for you. There’s only about 30ish seats, though (I’m waiting for confirmation), so please only get back to me if you have a number for now. It’s first come, first served (though if you’ve already let me know, I’ll assume you still do it now it is free). It’s open to all club members, and we’ll look to extend to family members etc. for a nominal fee of £5 if they want to tag along to watch you in your moment of glory. You can get your place here: http://www.bridlingtonrr.co.uk/page16.html. All aboard the bus: email@example.com.
Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016
I’ve attached the first draft of the marshal plan here. We’ve had to rejig it round quite a bit to accommodate people leaving the club and the influx of new members, so there’s a fair chance you might be doing something different. I’ve tried to get it as consistent with previous years, though. Please have a look, especially if you’re lucky and down to do two different jobs. Can’t do it? Try to excuse the inexcusable: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Word to the Wise
We start today with yet another line from Fell Running Phil, demonstrating that it isn’t just members of the fairer sex who fall prey to his venomous insight:
“Pick him up, Sam. He’s rubbish at downhills” – Phil Robinson advice to me as I chased Mark David down from the summit at Bradley. Encouraging, if nothing else.
And we finish with a little gem from Fingers Harris, helpfully reflecting upon yesterdays parkrun:
“That’s the thing. Running fast is hard. Harder than running slowly” – Fingers Harris, stating the obvious. Thanks for that, Fingers, that’s helpful.
Right, that’s your lot. Have a good week and I’ll see you on Tuesday night. I’m outta here…