Weekly Update: A Blanket For Christine

(TLDR. For those short of time…. Tuesday and Thursday are club runs through Hookstone Woods and to Killinghall, respectively, and on Sunday we have Alan Harby’s celebratory birthday run and tea party. But go on, why not read some more, you might learn something…).


Hi team!


Well, the noise is deafening here at Nidd Valley House. The tour bus has just returned from Manchester and a victory lap round Harrogate. Oh, you should have seen the crowds as they turned out to welcome home our victorious marathon runners. At times the bus – bedecked in gold and black streamers, balloons and banners – could not make any progress as supporters crowded round, all eager to get a view of the athletes waving from the open top deck. The noise of the celebrations could still be heard when the victory parade was miles away from Nidd Valley House, so by the time the bus was through the monumental main gates, all the staff here were running down the main drive to meet it. The ladies in the Results Department, the staff in the kitchens, and the therapists from the Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Unit were all out in force to welcome the heroes home. It was particularly nice to see the nursing staff from the Nidd Valley Specialist Care Unit for the Elderly, Frail and Confused put a blanket over Christine Jones’ knees and wheel her out to join in the celebrations. She’s had a lovely day. And, well, what celebrations they are. The team have just come out of a drinks reception with His Lordship which sounded pretty riotous, although no-one thought it was as funny as Matt Wilkinson did when he relieved himself in a pot plant, or were terribly amused to hear that Jess Harby has only just stopped throwing up in the bushes. We’ve got a big evening planned, including an all-night party and a fireworks display, so there’s still plenty for them to look forward to. You hardly need me to tell you that everybody is very excited.


And with the sounds of the celebratory singing – Three Nidds on a Vest, You’ll Never Run Alone, and Running’s Coming Home – ringing in your ears, why don’t we turn and have a little look at the results?



Before our Manchester athletes go out for yet another round of media interviews, it’s only right that we should get their results in print first. And I’m unapologetic in starting with our marathon virgins who went and popped their long distance cherry at Manchester today. It’s a big day is your first marathon, so it’s a HUGE round of applause and three cheers for Lloyd Brown (3:37:17), Sam Heathcoate (4:48:57), Jess Harby (4:01:10), and Laura Francis (4:14:40). They were supported by other veterans of the Nidd Valley marathon campaign, and how impressive are the results from Martin Lofthouse (3:10:41), Fingers Harris (3:14:20) and Nigel Moscandi (3:15:24)? Matt Wilkinson (3:19:16) and his legs were clearly untroubled by his 55 mile long cross country date with the missus last week, and I’m bowled over with the brilliant results from Kev Dalton (3:20:02), Nigel Scaife (3:33:05), Captain Dazzler (3:50:40), Karen Mills (4:17:45), and Kev Nicholas (4:25:46). You all did Team Nidd proud, so a massive well done to each and every one of you.

Well done, Jess!


News just in from Christina Taylor who has written in to tell us that she completed the Baildon Boundary Way Trail Half Marathon. Christina (2:27:47) got herself a brilliant time, but surely I am not the only one to be disappointed to note that Christina had to let us know her result. I mean, if hubby Richard was on top of his game then I would have expected him to have beaten her to it, and to have told us just how proud he was of her. Well, Richard, I think you now need to go and make Christina a lovely cup of tea or pour her an indecently large gin and tonic. She certainly deserves it.


I’ll take a quick break from sowing marital harmony and concord to correct a couple of omissions from last week. It turns out that Chris Orr and Fiona Robinson also took part in the Blubberhouses 25 last weekend. I can’t find the results online, but if you see either of them and want to congratulate them for their athletic endeavours, then that would be a lovely thing to do.


Also, the Strava Elves tell me that we have a great result from Rachael Prince. Rachael (0:00:01) completed the challenge no-distance course in a  spectacular time, averaging an impressive pace of 45:47m/mile. Either that, or she accidentally started her watch. Well done, Rachael.

Inspiring stuff from you, Rachael.


You know how it works by now. We get so far through the results and you think you’re nearly done, only to be slapped across the chops by a huge wad of parkrun results. This week is no different so, if you’re sitting comfortably, then I shall begin.


Phil (28:46) and Fiona (40:22) Robinson were down at Roberts Park and their beloved boy Alex (20:17) was up in St Andrews. I’ve just noticed that Alex uses his Sunday name ‘Alexander’ on his parkrun profile, so it’s lovely to see someone treating proceedings with the respect and formality that they are due. Alan Ward (29:11) was in Workington (again), Ian Foy (24:27) was in South Shields, and Adam Kirk (18:03) and Lisa Gibson (31:44) were in York. James Braddon (22:42) was up in Edinburgh to tackle the Portobello parkrun, Jane Evans (26:53) and I headed up to Spennymoor to bag the evasive J for the parkrun bingo at Jubilee parkrun, and a trio of Nidds laced up their shoes for parkrun at Millfield: Iain Scott (25:38), and John (28:49) and Susie Mallett (29:52).


John Mitton (26:27) was down in Knaresborough, with Guy Parker (30:27), Moira McTague (30:31), and Michelle Smith (37:31) joining him on his tour round Conyngham Hall. Andy Todd (18:54) was the first Nidd home at Fountains Abbey and so retains the senior wimple for yet another week, although needs to watch his back with impressive performances from Andy Iddon (21:27), Fiona Deacon (22:34), His Lordship (22:58), and Lorna Eley (32:05). The Nidd performance on the hallowed ground was concluded by our very own Holy Trinity: Jeff Walker (37:37), Jonathan Clipston (37:40), and Michelle Dinsdale (37:48). 


And, with a sense of overwhelming inevitably, the results from Harrogate are vying for our attention. Martin Lofthouse (20:30) was going steady in readiness for Manchester – well, I say steady. If I ran like that then a lung would explode – with Matt Rickard (21:14) never far behind. Now John Beaumont (23:52) is not often seen and is frequently overlooked, so that makes his appearance this weekend all the more special. Helen Gregory (24:18), Phil Ventress (24:51), Nigel Scaife (25:16), Jeremy Leggings (25:35), and Ewa Scott (25:50) make up the next tranche of Nidds to cross the line. If you were worried that we haven’t yet heard from Alex Leslie (26:15) or Roger Duckworth (26:46), then you need not have worried as they are safely in and over the line. Say hello to Ian Wighton (26:46), Captain Sarah (26:53) and Emily Wighton (27:12), and get ready to celebrate with Sophia Khan (28:15), Debbie Dilasser (31:19), and Lynsey Barraclough (31:32). Parkrun faithfuls Graham Hyde (32:46), Yvonne Skelton (33:32), and Martin Weeks (36:07) put down the next results for the team, while Mike Kaye (37:52) took his first steps out after recovering from coronavirus. Welcome back, Mike. And I’ve got nothing to say but a huge well done to Lily Scaife (37:55), Tony LC (40:10), and Laura Francis (52:56).


Don’t believe it all / Find out for yourself / Check before you spread / News of the world: samfugill@gmail.com


The Week Ahead

The days continue to get marginally longer, so we can now begin to rediscover some of our off road paths. And that is exactly what we will do on Tuesday. Get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm, and from there we will run round the edge of the Stray past the hospital, through the Saints, and go through Hookstone Woods. This will bring us out on Fulwith Mill Lane, and from there you can turn back up Leeds Road to the club, or head further along Leadhall Lane and come back up Green Lane and down past the Grammar School.


On Thursday, let’s push it and head down to Killinghall. So, leaving the club at 7pm, we’ll head over the the iron bridge (or, Bridge of Spliffs, as new member Andy has named it), and onto the cycle path. Keep going all the way to the viaduct, from where you can turn left and head down into Bilton if you’re after something a bit steadier. If you’re up for it – as it were – then follow the path all the way until you emerge at Killinghall Bridge, then work your way back up through the village, past Knox Mill and up through Bilton where pints and chat will await you in the bar at the Hockey Club.


As an aside, Saturday is the Grand National. Our very own pundit Robert Hill has reviewed the form and would like to commend (11) Mount Ida, (27) Discorama and (38) Augusta Gold for your consideration. Don’t let the fact that none of these horses have ever won a race or that no professional pundits are offering even the merest scrap of support put you off, if Robert picks a winner then he’s going to be more famous than that octopus that made all the right calls for the FIFA World Cup.


On Sunday, we celebrate Alan Harby’s 85th birthday. I know, what a ledge. There will be tea and cake at Gracious Street Methodist Church in Knaresborough from 2pm , and it would be lovely if as many of you as possible could join us. There’ll be a run from the club house at 12.30pm at a social pace, heading past the Gardeners Arms, along Bilton Lane and down the Beryl Burton cycle path. We will collect Alan and anyone else who wishes to join us at Bond End Bridge at about 1.30pm, before the final run alongside Waterside and then up for the tea and cake. Thanks to all the bakers, tea makers and candlestick makers who are helping to make the day a great success, and thanks to Fiona Deacon who is coordinating everything from a catering point of view. It’ll be a great day.


30 Apr 2022: DEC Ukraine Fundraiser

I know that a fundraising quiz seems somewhat inadequate in the face of such suffering and that other things – such as a bullet in the back of the head of that bullying, warmongering butcher – would be more preferable, but we are where we are. We’ll be having a pub quiz, with pie and peas (from Wetherheads in Pateley Bridge of all places. I know. Get us), and hopefully a few prizes at the Hockey Club. It would be great if you could join us, and maybe even bring some family or friends. This is the evening after the Cake Race and the Three Peaks fell races, so  you’ll be ready for a cold drink and some food. Tickets are £10 and we’re hoping to raise as much money as possible for the Disasters Emergency Committee.


You need to pay your dues to the club account (Nidd Valley Road Runners; Sort Code 40-23-12; Account Number 12074796), then send an email confirming this to Sylvia (sylviamorten1@gmail.com), and starting whether you want a meat pie or a vegetable pie. Please support this if you can.


For those of you who are down with the kids, you can get more info on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/325729119448250. Innit, bruv.


Evening League

Fate is a cruel and fickle mistress. Some people are born Harrogate Harriers, some are born Ripon Runners, and some poor unfortunates are even born Knaresborough Striders. Well, Lady Luck was on your side and you’ve been born a Nidder. This is the time for you to live up to this highest of callings and become who you were born to be. Evening League is calling, and we need every single Nidder on the start line. Entries are here: https://racebest.com/races/2zeut. Please remember that Nidders can get a £3 discount as we will be marshalling for one of the races, so don’t forget to enter the code NVRR22 when you sign up.



Well, spank me on the bottom and call me Susan, what do you mean you haven’t renewed? Sort it: https://tinyurl.com/4dakbjvp


Word to the Wise

This week’s wise words come from Rachael Prince, sharing her reflections after her challenging run today.


“Don’t want to over train. It’s all about pacing yourself…”


I couldn’t agree more. So while she puts her feet up, it’s a goodbye from her, from me, and from everyone else here at NVH. Take care, my lovelies.


Sam x

Posted in General News.