Weekly Update: Niddwarts School of Niddcraft and Niddary

(TLDR. For those short of time…. we’ve got a club run round Hookstone Woods on Tuesday, unless you fancy the Danefield Relays on the same night. On Thursday, we’ve got a club run round Knox and Coppice, and on Saturday we have a parkrun takeover. Sunday is the Ilkley Half Marathon. Read on for details of away from club runs, and some new fell training sessions).




It’s all go here at Nidd Valley House. We’ve got so much going on: away from the club runs, at the club club runs, fell training nights, intervals, road races, fell races, parkrun takeovers, you name it. Obviously everybody is very excited, but it’s carnage. There are sheets of paper everywhere, spreadsheets and plans pinned on every available wall, people typing furiously at computers, and everyone denying being the last to have used the stapler. We’ve had to hide the credit cards to stop FRP from buying another pair of fell shoes, and to stop Captain Sarah buying more prosecco. We’ve given her a glass of fizzy water, and I don’t think she’s noticed. Fingers Harris is giddy as you like (he does get himself easily excited) and we’ve had to tell him that it’ll be another early night if he doesn’t calm down. To be honest with you – and keep this to yourself, will you? – his Lordship is being a right pain in the jacksie, demanding the impossible to be done yesterday, you know the kind of thing. I tell you something, if he rings that frigging bell for room service once more, I’ll shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. Anyway, I shouldn’t let him get to me. There’s lots to get through, so let’s turn our attention to more exciting things. To the week ahead…


The Week Ahead

There is still time to get entered in for the Danefield Relays on Otley Chevin on Tuesday night. It’s excellent for beginners and a really mixed field, so beginners will feel welcome and in good company. It’s for teams of three, with each runner taking a spin at the 5k course. You’ll cover some of the same tracks as the Chevin Forest parkrun, but then peel off for some more technical off road magic. Entry is only £9 for a team, so £3 each (payable on the day), with pre-registration available here: https://tinyurl.com/2pfkdhzf


If some relay racing isn’t your thing, then there is no need to stress your pretty little heads as we’ll have a club run lined up just for you on Tuesday. Be at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and your run this week takes you out round the Stray, down through the Saints and into Hookstone Woods. The path trails round by Roosters Brewery and the Hospice, before heading down Fulwith Mill Lane and across the paths to Leadhall Lane. Thread back to the club via the Cricket Club and Leeds Road Roundabout. You can extend out as far as Pannal if you like, or head back earlier through Hornbeam Park or Leeds Road. The choice is yours. As ever, keep an eye out for others and don’t leave people behind.


On Thursday, we’ve got another club run in the offing. But where?, I hear you cry. Well, if you’re at the Hockey Club for 7pm we’ll be heading out over the iron bridge and up the cycle track. Over Bilton Crossing and turn left over the fields and down towards Knox, and from there you can tack over the hill and down to Ripon Road. There’s a lovely run through the woods by Oak Beck, bringing you out by ALDI. Get any shopping that you need, and then head back up past the Hydro and up through the Coppice Woods. From there, you can make your way back to the club. As ever, extend, tweek, improve or amend as the mood takes you.


If this does not tickle your fancy, then Emma D will be doing a short interval session from the club on Thursday night at 7pm if you want to get involved in that and pretend that you’re a proper athlete. Whatever you do – club run or intervals – there’ll be pints, chat and outdated cultural references in the bar afterwards, and it would be lovely to see you there.


They should change the name of Saturday to Parkrunday, and I can think of no better time than this week when Team Nidd takes over the Harrogate Parkrun. It’s the hugest of thanks to the ever lovely Jeff Walker for herding the cats and knitting the fog and making sure that we have a rota that is fit to burst with volunteers. Thanks to you if you are getting involved and helping out. Further instructions will doubtlessly follow from the man himself, but, if you are volunteering, plase get yourself to the Stray for 8.30am and check in with Jeff. You can’t miss him, he spends most of his time running round town dressed as a dinosaur these days. He can also be found here: bigjeff1963@icloud.com


Apropos of nothing, on Saturday there is a little fell race called the Baildon Canter. It’s only 5k in length, with a modest 499ft of climb, so is well within reach of the less confident or experienced. Kick off isn’t until 3.15pm, so you have time to get yourself dusted off from your volunteering and down to Baildon Rugby Club, where entry will set you back a modest £3. No fell champ points but it is worth it for a laugh, I suppose. Read all about it: https://tinyurl.com/2un8w37s.


On Sunday, we’ve got the Ilkley Half Marathon. Entry is a bit steeper than most championship events at £32, but the course looks like it’s good for some fast times and personal bests and, as ever, you can guarantee a good crowd of Nidds heading out and cheering you home to the line. It’ll make a change from the usual 5k and 10k distances that dominate the championships, and give you the chance to stretch your legs and show other lesser clubs what the Mighty Nidd really is capable of. Details here: https://tinyurl.com/2am9tsr4.


Apology of the Week

This week’s apology goes to Chris Nelson who was absent mindedly left from last week’s write ups. I’ve just finished flagellating myself for this careless oversight, and am now happy to let you know that he got 55:56 in the Staveley Stampede. And with that record straightened, let’s have a look at the results from the past week.



For those of you who think that running five mile laps in the middle of the night is, well, as interesting as running five mile laps in the middle of the night, look away now. So, yes, Endure24. Overpriced misery, if you ask me, but there we are. We had a few Nidds town at Bramham Park involved in this 24 hour challenge and it would be remiss not to include them. In Team Better L8 Than Never, Graham Hyde, Chris Morris, Loz Hawkworth, Hannah Percy, Jess Harby, Alex Gudgeon and Bec Carman joined non-Nidd Perrie Bunton to clock in 120 miles between them. Nick Crebbin joined Team Lost Runners, who collectively clocked 108 miles between the four of them, while Mike Kaye and Lynsey Barraclough lined up with Team Pro Laps to log 96 miles of the course. Rachel Capstick was one of a team of six in the Starbeck Stampede, who stampeded round to clock 108 miles. 


The big cheer from the Endure24 endeavours surely has to go to Matt Wilkinson and wife Plipps. With the two of them forming a team called You’re Only Ever One Lap from Divorce (I know, doesn’t that just sound like marital harmony?), the Wilks clocked in an incredible 29 laps, taking the prize for the most distance covered by a couple at the event and, to be honest, we couldn’t be prouder. Well done to you, and to everyone else who was out getting their laps in.  


There are lots of things that I don’t know: namely, that there is a place called Oakworth, that it has a fell race, and that the race is called the Oakworth Haul. I also didn’t know that some Nidds got in on the action and raced that race yesterday, but there we are. And those Nidds were none other than FRP (58 minutes and something), who was just pipped to the muddy post by the lesser spotted Mark David (57 minutes and something). If you’re taking notes, you might want to scribble down that they covered 9km and climbed 250m of ascent. So well done to them, then.


Now, I’m not normally one for celebrating the achievements of non Nidds. You know what I mean. It’s like inviting a muggle to Hogwarts and giving them a wand, but there we are. This time, however, I’m prepared to bend the rules a touch and celebrate Karen Mills’ boy Cal, who went and set a new record at the Harrogate 10k of 33.13. I know, it’s bonkers. Well done to him, that’s what I say.


Back in the wizarding world of Niddwarts School of Niddcraft and Niddary, Steve Newbould (41.47) and Captain Dazzler (41.49) had a proper old tussle for the line, with our Daz being thoroughly tamed by the new boy. Kev Clark (43.36) and James Coulthard (45.47) had a right job on to keep first Niddette Laura Francis (48.41) behind them, and we also enjoyed cracking runs from Fioan Deacon (49.16), Helen Gregory (49.34) and Rachel Mills (52.06). I’ve no idea what psychedelic legwear Jeremy Scott (52.13) had on, but can trust that Russ Geraghty (53.24), James English (57.51), and Hannah Kempson (58.17) were attired with more sobriety and decorum. Emily Wighton (1:00.02) and Philippa Thompson (1:02.00) finished things off for us with flair and panache, so huge congratulations are heading their way. 


Awwwww, now this is sweet. Fingers Harris was all on his lonesome at the One Mile race held by Hyde Park Harriers earlier this week. Still, ever the trooper and without the cheers and support from his Niddmates, Fingers sped round the one mile course in a suitably speedy 5.24. Say well done to him when you see him, will you? He does love those positive strokes.


I’ve hung around the results from Skiddaw Fell Race, which tempted a few intrepid Nidds this afternoon. However, there are no results available yet, so you’ll have to wait until next week. Well done to all of you who got up and down safely and bagged yourself some championship points.


When this whole shizzle of the weekly email started a few years ago, we were a club of about 100 members. We’re now on the other side of 200, and writing everyone’s parkrun result is becoming an even more time consuming task. His Lordship has always believed, however, that we should celebrate every run and every runner, and that this includes parkrun. If you have a view on this, one way or the other, then please let me know (email below) and I’ll be led the majority view. For the time being, however, here is the link for the parkrun results for the club this week: https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=2883. Obviously, if you break a record, get a PB,  hit a milestone, or just have parkrun news to share and celebrate, then please do let us know. We’ll be more than happy to put your name in athletic lights.


If you want a lover / I’ll do anything you ask me to / And if you want another kind of love / I’ll wear a mask for you: samfugill@gmail.com


Further Ahead & Booking Now Open

The James Herriot Trail Race on 31 Jul 2022 is the one point in the year when the roadies and the fellies come together for the same race. You’ll be able to spot who is in what group, as they’ll be stood 40ft apart and eying each other up with mutual suspicion and distrust. One group will also have sheep poo on their legs and significantly more facial hair. Aaaaanyway, the race is held on farm tracks and trails in the hills above Castle Bolton in Wensleydale and, after a lung busting climb, has some wonderful views out across the Dales. Again, this is a great run out and has much to commend it. But don’t just take my word for it, have a look for yourself and get yourself booked in: https://tinyurl.com/24wbsnps


Fell Training Sessions

Talking of off road running (and yes, I appreciate that I do precious little else these days), Coaching Chief Mouse, Emma, has put together a package of fell running practice sessions. These Tuesday night jaunts are great opportunities to practice running up hills without weeping and running back down them and remaining on your feet. Again, these are open to everyone and not just for the fell running crowd. Most of them are lovely, and Brian doesn’t bite. Here are the dates:

  • 12 Jul 2022: Burn Bridge (Emma D) 
  • 19 Jul 2022: Down the Gorge (Sarah C)
  • 26 Jul 2022: Showground or Birk Crag (Brian H and Rachel P) 
  • 02 Aug 2022:  Pateley Bridge (Cath B and Rachel P)
  • 09 Aug 2022: Beamsley Beacon from Addingham (Emma D)
  • 16 Aug 2022: To be confirmed.

Go on. Give it a go. You know it makes sense.


Away from Club Runs

Just your friendly reminder not to turn up to the club house and find that you’re a right billy-no-mates.

  • 21 Jul 2022: Bishop Thornton (Sam F)
  • 4 Aug 2022: TBC (Emma D)
  • 25 Aug 2022: Hartwith (Mike & Fiona D)
  • 01 Sep 2022: Pateley Bridge (Sarah C)
  • 08 Sep 2022: Knaresborough Fish and Chip Run (Sarah S, Sarah C, & Sylvia M).


Word to the Wise

This week’s wise words come from none other than esteemed committee member, Dave Seaman. Now, obviously there is no way to approach this delicately, but it is fair to say that there is a history with Dave so far as navigation is concerned, as those present on the ill-fated night in Spofforth will remember all too well. Anyway, at the Almscliffe Crag Run on Tuesday night, Dave stopped about half a mile from the station, and consulted his map with furrowed eyebrows. “I think it’s this way”, he said, pointing to a direction opposite to that which scores of other Nidds were facing. “I don’t think so, Dave”, we replied, pointing out that we were indeed going the way he has gone for the past 17 years. “Oh no”, he replied, tapping his map with the confidence of a man who has climbed many a mountain and doubtlessly owns several pairs of waterproof trousers, “I’m sure it’s this way”. He then struck off before adding, somewhat ambitiously, “I’ll wait for you at the top of the crag”.


As Nidds regrouped on the road sometime later, the chat was genial as we waited for the tail runners to join us. And yes, to everybody’s surprise, not to mention their unmitigated joyous delight, they were joined by Dave, who shared this priceless pearl of wisdom:


“I wasn’t wrong. They’d moved the paths…”


Typical. But we wouldn’t change him for the world.


Have a good week. I’m sure you will.


Sam x


Posted in General News.