Weekly Update: What Happens on Tour…

(TLDR. For those short of time…. On Tuesday, there’s bed race training and a club round Valley Gardens in reverse. On Thursday, there’s a club run down the gorge, and on Saturday we’ve got the Cake Race in the fell champs followed by a quiz night. Scroll down for information on up and coming races, events, and wise words).

Good Evening,

Welcome to the Church of Nidd Valley. You join us this week at Saint Niddbury’s Cathedral for our service of worship. Bishop Seaman will be preaching, Deacon Deacon is on his organ, and Fingers the Altarboy will be taking the collection. As usual, there’s a massive queue outside the confessional box, so while we wait for them, it’s hands together and eyes closed as we open in prayer with the week ahead.

The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, let’s see if we can get ourselves down the gorge (it always keeps Dave Seaman happy, and that of course is the main thing). It’s out from the club, over the railway, and up the cycleway to Bilton Crossing. Hang a right over the fields and head into the gorge. You can come up by the Gardeners Arms, or if you’re feeling speedy and the light allows, you can head further and come up onto Bilton Lane. Be at the club and good to go for 7pm.

On Thursday, our run has been chosen by Rebecca Ventress who would like to enjoy the spring blossom. So her plan is now your plan and it goes like this: leave the hockey club at 7pm and head along the back of The Stray, over the railway and past Tewit Well. Head up Otley Road and right along Harlow Moor Road. Then it’s back down through Valley Gardens, up through town and back to the club. If you want to extend a bit, head up from Valley Gardens and along Kings Road. Run along Woodfield Road (more blossom there, I’m told), past the school, over the Bridge of Spliffs and back into the club. Beer and bantz in the bar afterwards.

If you’re not sick to the back teeth of Knaresborough yet, you’ll probably find a few bed race teams taking a spin round town on Tuesday or Thursday nights. I’m sure they’d appreciate some company and encouragement as they slog up Castle Ings (that’s bed race hill to you and me).

There’ll be great excitement among the fell running contingent on Saturday, as we’ve got the Cake Race. This is ten miles of boggy fun in the hills around Saddleworth, followed by an all you can eat cake fest in Diggle Village Hall. Entry is £10 (£5 if you bring a cake), and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/38sc54aw. They’re quite insistent on you bringing full kit even if they waive kit requirements on the day, and they will check before the off (for the uninitiated, this is full waterproof body cover with taped seams, hat, gloves, map, compass, whistle, and emergency food).

On Saturday, we’ve also got a few hardy Nidds heading to Horton to compete in the Three Peaks Fell Race. Entries are now closed, but good luck to those Nidds heading up to tackle Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. It’ll be a toughie.

On Saturday evening, we have the DEC Ukraine Fundraiser Quiz. Gather up the family, friends and hangers on and get yourself down to the Hockey Club for 7.30pm for quiz questions, beer, pie, and peas. It’ll be a laugh and it doesn’t matter if you’re a proper smarty pants or (to use my  mum’s turn of phrase) thick as clarts. We ideally need to know numbers in advance to make sure we have enough pie for you all. Entry is £10 per head and 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. It’ll be wonderful to see you.

Finally – and this goes without saying – if you fancy doing something different on a club night (faster, slower, further, shorter, elsewhere, whatever), then fantastic. Why not let us know and we can put it in the weekly update and include more people? You can tell me your plans when you tell me your results: samfugill@gmail.com


Let’s start up on the fells at the Blakey Blitz, the next taxi off the rank in the fell championships. This being fell racing, you’d be optimistic to expect results anytime soon. So the best we can do is to celebrate our intrepid Nidders, and we do so enthusiastically and alphabetically: Dave Seaman, Fingers Harris, Martin Lofthouse, Nigel Scaife and Sarah Chalmers (and yes, Sarah, as the only female Nidd you bag yourself the full 50 points!). Great effort, all of you!

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes…

Oh, stop press. The results from Blakey are in, as follows: Fingers Harris (1:37.48) just snaffling Martin Lofthouse (1:39.39) for the top points, with Nigel Scaife (1:57.06) and Dave Seaman (2:31.01) making another deposit in their fell running savings accounts. Sarah Chalmers (2:40.23) was there for the ladies with a cracking time under her belt.

This week saw the long awaited trip to Magaluf (see also Shagaluf, Shagamuff, and Shagga) for the half marathon and 10k. When the race description promised us that “coastal landscapes and incredible pedestrian walkways are the protagonists of the courses”, you’ll understand why Phil and Reb couldn’t wait to get us on the plane. Of course, the decision to head to Mallorca had nothing at all to do with drinking Estrella at £1.60 a pint in fine establishments such as the Benny Hill Bar and the Happy House, a club for underage drinkers called Coco Bongos, and a late night eatery called the Ding Dong Halal Kebab Shop. As you’d expect, everyone was very well behaved and the long weekend passed without incident. Rumours about dancing firemen, old ladies dressed as babies, almost being arrested following a disagreement with a waiter are grossly exaggerated.

And on that note, let’s look at what athletes can achieve after a couple of nights on the lash. In the 10k, first home was Rebecca Ventress (53.10) with Philippa Wilkinson (53.23) snapping at her heels. Debbie Dilasser (58.28) managed a great time even without her enormous flanges (she’d been worried about her baggage allowance on the plane), and Mike Kaye (1:07.10) was rightly proud to bring his run in under his 70 minute target. In the  half marathon, we’ve got to give huge praise to Fiona Deacon (1:47.01) came first in her age category (that’s the FV55 category, but I know what you’re thinking: she certainly doesn’t look it). Matt Wilkinson (1:26.54) came 33rd overall, Phil Ventress (1:42.03) didn’t come 33rd overall (he came 116th), and I (1:52.07) was just pleased to finish. You’ve not seen bleeding nipples like it. Jane Evans pulled up halfway with a calf injury, so best wishes to her for a swift recovery.

Primed and ready for off in Magaluf!

She only went and got herself 1st FV50!

Continuing the theme of Nidds on tour, Nigel gathered his merry band of happy campers up to Kettlewell for another weekend of running, fire starting and mucking about. It doesn’t look like there was much racing going on, but His Lordship organised a run up a big hill and some eye candy in the bar left Christine Jones feeling all hot and bothered. In Kettlewell as in Magaluf: what happens on tour, stays on tour.

No, I’m not sure what they’re up to either…

The hills are alive with sound of Dazzler…

Staying in God’s Own Country, Russell Geraghty (2:20.59) competed in the Burnsall Half Marathon yesterday, coming an impressive 145th of 258 athletes. Well done, Russ! Russell described the course as “undulating” but concedes that, as he passed Ted Mason’s farm, the words “complete b*stard” came readily to mind. I’m glad that he had a lovely time, and I’m sure that you are too.

First dog from the parkrun traps this week is Laura Francis (32.26) who ran at the wonderfully named Talkin Tarn parkrun. Jess Webster (33.49) was running at Rothay, Wil Ker (22.04) was at Milfield, and Mr (28.11) & Mrs (38.32) Robinson ran at Bramley. Adam Kirk (19.52) took first place at Wetherby, Ian Foy (37.58) was back at Penrith, Iain Scott (26.20) was at Woodhouse Moor, and Alan Ward (27.31) ran at Workington. Well done everyone!

Andy Todd (18.55) was first of the black and golds home at Fountains – no surprise there, I hear you say – with James “The Pram” Braddon (21.27) and Denise Allsopp (26.07) making up the trinity. Chandra Shekar (27.05), Marcos Montaña (28.02), Sue Rogers (34.08) and Michelle Dinsdale (36.09) complete the round up round the Abbey. At Conyngham, Simon Cocker (22.58) and Diane Winnard (26.01) were first home for the club, with Fraser Dobinson (26.04), Debbie Gibson (30.48) and Michelle Smith (35.52) all on top form.

And so with our stamina flagging, we come back to the inevitable tedium of the results at Harrogate. But before we start that, we’ve got the bang the drums for Emily Wighton (26.50) who did her 100th parkrun yesterday! That’s dedication for you! Well done, Emily! Also, we’ve got to make a fuss of Mrs Harris (47:55) – she’s Fingers’ mum, if you were wondering – who did her 250th spin of parkrun yesterday. Yes, yes, I know she’s strictly not a Nidder, but we’re a broad church and she’s much loved and known by many of our members (mainly for her poetry and crocheted hats) so that it would be remiss not to give her a mention. Well done, Mrs H.!

Matt Rickard (21.09) opened the show for us on the Stray, with Jon Easton (21.44) and Lloyd Brown just within snaffling distance. Say hello to Fingers Harris (22.16) and Sarah Staiano (22.28) who continued the run of Nidds, and were joined by Richard Evans (22.42) and Jeremy Scott (23.03). Now it isn’t often we see Edoardo Piano (23.05), but it was lovely to see him this week, and even more given he was followed by Christine Holleran (23.59), Emma David (24.10) and Rob Northfield (24.47). Let’s have three cheers for Rachel Mills (25.24), and three cheers more for Kris Northfield (26.04), Roger Duckworth (26.05) and Katherine Dolman (26.10).

Alex Leslie (26.36) was the next to appear at the finish line, with Guy Parker (26.43), Emily Wighton (26.50), Ian Wighton (26.50), Moira McTague (26.57) and Steve Newton (27.49) also laying down really good showings. Next up, it’s a huge congratulations to Helen Cook (28.01), Nadene Wilkinson (28.07), Rosemary Thompson (28.14) and junior Jessica Beaumont (28.23). We finish the parkrun write up with the brilliant results from Philippa Thompson (28.47), Colleen Gruenwald (29.08), Sarah Chalmers….. Hang on?! Sarah Chalmers actually did a parkrun? Sarah Chalmers?… Sorry… Sarah Chalmers (29.10), Lynsey Barraclough (29.59), Kirsty O’Donnell (33.21), Bev Aspin (33.27), Janet Jarvis (36.24), and lastly – but by no means leastly – Jeff Walker (36.28). Very well done to you all.

If you’ve been running and you’d like a gold star to show everyone else in class just how hard you have been working, then you only need to let me know: samfugill@gmail.com

Apology of the Week

I’ve had my ear chewed off by Jane Evans as I reported last week that she ran the Winchester parkrun in 28.14. She actually did it in 24.18 and I’m more than happy to correct that athletic spoonerism.

Also, in the round up for Fountains last week, I celebrated the PB record-breaking endeavours of Cath Barber. Cath was actually first lady home for Nidd, but I accidentally gave that accolade to Sarah Staiano and Fiona Deacon. I had plenty of texts from numerous Nidds keen to point out that oversight For the avoidance of doubt, Cath is all woman (sorry Cath! And sorry Andy!).

Booking Now Open

Your quick reminder of up and coming opportunities to wee your hard earned cash up the athletic wall…

The Evening League will soon be with us, so get your entry in now: https://racebest.com/races/2zeut. Don’t forget to apply the discount code NVRR22 when you enter to get the £3 discount as thanks for marshaling our race in May.

For the fell championships, Jack Bloor is on 10 May 2022 (https://tinyurl.com/5dakjk7n) and is EOTD. For the road championships, the Fountains 10k is on 15 May 2022 and you’re encouraged to enter in advance (https://tinyurl.com/2p82vc5w)

Committee Meeting Minutes

If you’re quite bored and have precious little else to do of an evening, the minutes for the latest committee meeting have been uploaded to the t’interweb. Bore yourself silly: https://tinyurl.com/4nw4f7s5.

Word to the Wise

This week’s wise words come from no other than Debbie Dilasser, as she watched the unpredictable weather in Magaluf prior to the race.

“If you come to run in foreign climes, you expect to run in the sun. If you want to run in the p*ssing rain, you can just stay at home…”

And there you have it. Have a lovely week.

Sam x

Posted in General News.