Good evening, class.
Welcome to the first lecture here at the University of Nidd Valley. Please ensure that your mobile phones are turned off to silent or vibrate. We’re not expecting any fire alarms today, so if there is one, then please proceed out the main door at the back, through the corridors of Nidd Valley House and assemble on the main driveway. I trust you’ve all had chance to review your learning objectives and have completed your learning styles questionnaires, so let’s turn to the first slide on the ever ubiquitous PowerPoint display: the results.
It’s a game of many halves today as we have results from half marathons both at home and abroad, so let’s not hang around and offer our first congratulations to Marcos Montaña who was out in Logroño in Spain (no, I’d not heard of it either). Marcos (1:56:19) describes himself as pleased with his PB – and who wouldn’t be pleased with that time, PB or not, when running 32 degree heat? – and as proud to be wearing “the rightful running colours”. Quite right, too, it’s about time you lot started showing some respect round here at Nidd Valley House. Well done, Marcos. We’re proud of you, too.
I now know that the club member I referred to as “Irish Chris” in the marshal plan for the GF10 actually has a proper name: Chris Beattie. It’s quite lucky, to be honest with you, as we have to congratulate him (1:59:58) on his performance on the Farnham Pilgrim Half Marathon. It’s a thoroughly off-road and trail affair, so Chris will be especially pleased to snaffle in under the 2 hour barrier. Congratulations, Chris!
We keep this half marathon malarkey going with Neil Wright’s showing at the Langdale Half Marathon yesterday, in which he clocked an impressive time (2:15:21). Neil, stop moaning about being 25 minutes off your PB. As you quite rightly mention, it’s as hilly as buggery with 1,500ft of ascent, ridiculous gradients and a description as the hardest half marathon in the UK. Everyone at Nidd Valley House is pleased with your time, and you should be too.
Bloody hell. Another one. This time it is the Vale of York Half Marathon where – and this will come of no surprise to you, I know – Adam Kirk (1:28:58) got yet another PB. Definitely doping. Whether Fiona (1:36:57) and Mike (1:38:59) were throwing performance enhancing drugs down their gullets, we may never know. It’s also a huge congratulations to Michelle Smith (2:05:44) and Jeff Walker (2:09:16) on yet another set of sterling results.
And so we go up to Geordieland for the Great North Run. Well it was howay the lads as Steve Newton (1:47:03) and Nick Smith (2:09:24) led the team home, with Rosemary Thompson (2:13:45) never far from their heels. I won’t pretend to know, explain or excuse the fact that Jane Hill (2:22:58) or Michelle Dinsdale (2:27:36) appeared to be wearing bumble-bee outfits, but there we are. Never mind. Congratulations to you all and I hope you all enjoy your recovery meal of a fishie on a little dishie when the boat comes in (yes, yes, if you were born anywhere south of the Angel of the North then that’ll mean nothing to you, I know).
Congratulations to Matt Wilkinson on completing the Weymouth Ironman Triathlon earlier today. Despite a shocker of a bike ride – whatever would Philippa think? – Matt had a good swim and a strong half marathon (yes, I know, a half marathon. Very surprising) enabling him to get himself back into a strong position for a brilliant finish (6:24:something). Well done, Matt!
I missed the results for the Tholthorpe 10k in last week’s write-up, despite an email from Sue Simpson telling me her time. So, let’s straighten Sue’s record and note that she (46:55) put down a cracking time, as did Amanda Metcalfe (53:20). Well done, ladies, two great times there.
And with a voice laden with doom, let’s get our hands dirty with the parkrun results. I suppose we should start at Fountains 10k where the majority of Nidds were out to play in the hope of snatching a few more points in the club championships. We saw three great results from Fingers Harris (17:48) and Warren Lowcock (17:50) and Martin Lofthouse (18:45), but I want to make the bigger fuss this week of Ben Baird (19:58) who finally got his act together and brought proceedings home under the elusive 20 minute barrier. Well done, Ben. Go on, treat yourself, ask Dave for complimentary membership. Dan Eagling (20:11), yours truly (20:44) and Carol Morgan (20:57 – first lady!) kept the good times rolling, with John Mitton (21:30), Steve Newton (21:47) and Sarah Hughan (23:22) never far behind. Let’s make a lot of noise for Mike Deacon and his pleasing symmetrical time (23:23), Moira McTague (24:37) and Fiona Deacon (25:02). Catherine Barber (25:37) just managed to keep Jenny Manning (25:38) behind her – what an exciting finish! – but things were no less dramatic with the finishes from Hannah Peagram (25:46), Carolyn Easton (26:27), Debbie Dilasser (27:18) and Michelle Dinsdale (29:33).
I’m not sure what kept the following runners from joining in the celebrations at Fountains – the miserable old buggers – but we’ll congratulate the Harrogate parkrun contingent anyway. Well done to Mark Armstrong (22:21), Alex Crowton (22:27), Sue Simpson (22:59), Nick Smith (27:48), Rebecca Ventress (28:11), Nicki Walton (29:20), junior Eddie Ventress (34:34) and Mandy Smith (37:06). Finishing things off for us, we’ve got Matt Rickard (19:47) smashing things up at Wolverhampton and Matt Wilkinson (19:03) at Weymouth, taking it easy before the triathlon but still managing to run faster than I could ever manage.
I asked the committee for a Presidential Plane. They said no. I was going to call it Nidd Force One and everything. Console me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
Right then, let’s see what’s occurin’ at Nidd Valley House this week as the nights begin to draw in and we need to get our off-road bits in as early as we can.
On Tuesday, let’s do the modified Knox route. If this means nothing to you, read on. It’s out from the club, over the bridge, up the cycle track past the crossing, before heading down the steps to your left and through the woods round the back of Bilton. Provided that you don’t go missing in the woods, you should hopefully emerge at the bottom of Knox and from there you are back over the field and onto the safety of Ripon Road. If there’s enough light, head round the woods to Oak Beck, and then work your way back up past the Hydro and through Coppice towards the club. See you at the Hockey Club, ready to run for 7pm.
The same principle applies on Thursday. From the Hockey Club, we’ll head out down through Coppice and onto Jennyfields. From there, we’ll pick up the Ringway through the woods, emerging at the far end of Kent Road. From there you can head along Harlow Moor to Otley Road, but if there’s enough light, you can dive back into the woods and push onto Harlow Carr, before looping back to Otley Road from there. Find your own way back to the club, you must know what you’re doing by now. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.
On Sunday, if you’re at a loose end, why not have a look at the Embsay Fell Race? It’s local, short (4k) and pretty cheap at £4. Well, it passes an hour, doesn’t it? Go on, take a peek: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4708.
EXCITING FREEBIE! Bridlington Half Marathon: 16 October 2016
This is the penultimate race in the club championships and the opportunity to get an all important long race under your belt. It’s a steal at £15, as well (unlike the £52 non-Yorkshire types will pay to do the Great North Run. Suckers.). Anyway, go on, have a look, and if you get yourself booked on then let me know so I can save you a seat on the Nidd Valley coach. As an aside, although free, the coach is on a first come first served basis, so once those seats are gone then there’ll be no persuading me. You can get your place on the start line: http://www.bridlingtonrr.co.uk/page16.html and a resting place for your buttocks on the bus here: email@example.com.
Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016
I’ve had a few people have to pull out, so the plan has been rejigged a little bit. Please have a look at it here. If you can’t do it, please let me know. If you can do it, please let me know. If you want to sack it off and pay for a place in the Abbey Dash instead, don’t. Your club needs you. You know where to find me, buried behind the spreadsheets: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Word to the Wise
We have yet another wise wording virgin for you as this week Warren Lowcock steps up to the plate. Warren’s fellow parkrunners were discussing whether they liked their own surnames, and Warren shared his own traumatic experiences:
“You think yours is bad. Try going to school with the surname Lowcock.”
Whether Warren lived up to such early promise, I can’t say. Either way, with that image etched firmly in your impressionable minds this close to bedtime, I’ll leave it there.
Sleep tight. I’m for a pint with Matt now.