(TLDR. For those short of time…. we’ve got a club run to Oakdale on Tuesday, plus fell training in Burn Bridge. Wednesday gives us the last counter in the Evening League with the handicap at Otley. It’ll be emotional. Thursday’s club run is round the supermarkets. Other information this week includes crucial news about FRP’s birthday, the Nidd Valley Juniors, and some up and coming events. Christine has brought her filthy mind to bear for word to the wise).
Well, as Captain Dazzler likes to say: “suns out, guns out”. The first mention of a heatwave and him and Martin have stripped their tops off and are walking round the place in nothing but their shorts, flexing their muscles to anyone unlucky enough to see them. Jane and the two Sarahs are down on the terrace and are smashing the piña coladas. Well, I suppose that the sun is over the yardarm somewhere in the empire, and it’s always happy hour here at Nidd Valley House. Mike, Plippy and Fingers are in the pool, and Fingers is having a lovely time on the inflatables we bought him on his holidays last year. It’s great to see him so happy. Dave and Sylvia are being as sensible as you’d expect, and are anxiously handing out sun hats to anyone they meet, telling them to get into the shade, and slapping sun cream onto any unsuspecting shoulders. So as the mercury climbs higher, let’s see what we have in store in the scorching week ahead.
The Week Ahead
We’ve got a double offering on Tuesday. For those that want to hone their fell running skills, Emma D will be leading a fell training session in Burn Bridge. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to try something a bit different and have a bit of a laugh. Meet outside the Black Swan pub at 6.30pm.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then there will also be a club run on Tuesday as per our usual arrangements. Your ‘route chooser’ for this run is no other than Laura Francis, who has suggested the Oakdale Run. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and head out through town. Work your way up through Valley Gardens and then through the Pine Woods. Once you get to Harlow Carr, turn a right and head to Birk Crag, and then have a lovely run through the woods before dropping down from Kent Road into Oakdale. From there, head back up via Coppice to the club. Say goodbye to your chums and go home, satisfied that you’ve had another cracking run out. Again, there are plenty of opportunities to cut short or do something different, so feel free to do whatever scratches the itch. Don’t leave anyone behind though. That’s not the done thing.
On Wednesday, the Evening Leagues will come to a thrilling and ecstatically orgasmic climax (okay, maybe not) with the handicap at Otley. The handicapped starting positions are on the website and, if the bean counters have crunched their numbers correctly, then all the runners should finish within a matter of minutes of one another. It’ll be like the Grand National, only with a few less Scousers and injured runners are unlikely to get shot in a tent. The first runners set off at 7.10pm, with the speediest setting off at 8pm to hunt them down. There’s all to play for and everyone has a chance of snaffling the win. All the details are here: https://tinyurl.com/mr38vwyy.
As the week rolls on, we’re back with our sore legs for another club run on Thursday, and our ‘route chooser’ is Emily Wighton. Our Emly has gone with the unconventional option of the supermarkets run, but I won’t argue (she actually chose Oakdale, but Laura got there first so I made Emily tell me her second choice). Be at the club for 7pm, and head out towards the iron bridge, but tack left and go along the railway and past ASDA. Running through town, you’ll pass Waitrose (ooooh, fancy, I hear you say), and then when you get to the Stray you can decide whether to head straight to the Showground and Sainsburys or whether you want to pop to M&S first. From there, come back through the park into Starbeck, and head back to the club. Afterwards, there’ll be thrilling gossip and chit chat in the bar. I think it was Ernest Hemmingway who said that he drank in order to make other people more interesting. Anyway, never mind.
On Sunday, Rob Northfield will be hosting a reccie of the Hampsthwaite Feast Run, followed by drinks and snacks back at Northfield Manor. If you would like to go along, then you need to be at Stoney Banks, HG3 2AB for 10am. If you are going, can you let Rob know so he knows how many people he’s catering for. You’ll find him here: email@example.com.
So we’ve had the results from last week’s Skiddaw Fell Race finally drop through the letterbox, and I can tell you that Fingers Harris (1:29.36) snaffled 25th position overall in what was a brutal climb to the top of England’s sixth highest peak. Martin Lofthouse (1:32.56) and Luke Wakelin (1:35.02) were in a tussle to be next home, with Martin just sneaking the win. Nigel Scaife (1:42.30) just kicked Brian Hainsworth (1:48.44) into touch before Emma David (1:54.50) and Jane Evans (2:05.51) got things started for the ladies. Incidentally, I had transferred my place to Roger Duckworth as I could not run last weekend, and he thanked me yesterday with all the enthusiasm of a Conservative cabinet minister in a news studio. Something about the hill. No pleasing some people. Anyway, Roger (2:15.16) got himself round without too much trouble, before Dave Seaman (2:22:27) made it back to the finish line. I don’t know why Dave Prince appears in the results as Prince Dave, but it pleases me, and it also pleases me to tell you that HRH finished in a cracking 2:28.05. Sarah Chalmers finished things off for us in 2:35.59. Well done to you all.
On Tuesday, some of us headed off to the Otley Chevin to take part in the Danefield Relays. In a crowded field of 98 teams, the first team of Nidds to finish were Darren Townend, Andy Todd, and Phil Ventress, who stepped in to sub for Fingers Harris at the last moment. They were the 28th team to finish, did so in 1:07.40, and had rather ambitiously called themselves ‘Nidd Valley A Team’. Oh the arrogance! Oh the hubris! Oh the lack of originality!
Nidd Valley Midpackers were next up in 1:13.34 (that’s 40th place, if you’re taking notes), and they were none other than Yours Truly, Andy Iddon and Brian Hainsworth. Also making more effort with their team name, it was the Knights Who Say Nidd! (another outdated cultural reference, there) made up of the lesser spotted Mark David, the lesser spotted Edoardo Piano, and the ubiquitous FRP. They clinched 68th place in 1:21.53. In 90th place, the NVRR Sarahs (Chalmers, Fabron and Staiano) got round the course in 1:32.20. Well done to all who took part.
Now if, like me, you wonder whether it is possible to love Fingers Harris any more than you already do, just wait until I tell you about what he has been up to this weekend. Fingers took part in the St Cuthberts 45 Mile Ultra in the Borders. Running from Melrose to Wooler, Fingers completed the course but unfortunately the results are not yet out and his watch died at 40 miles, so I can’t give you all the data and the details. Not that it matters, it’s an incredible achievement. Well done, Fingers.
Nigel Scaife was another Nidd taking part in races far from home, and this time he was down in Wales to keep a welcome in the valleys and race the Barmouth 10k. Nigel (44.29) came 68th out of a field of more than 1,100 runners, so that’s a great result. Well done, boyo. Sorry, I mean Nigel.
Emma David was over in the Lake District yesterday. She took part in the Lakeland Trails 14k round Rydal Water, finishing in a very respectable 1:35.35 given the stifling heat. Jane Evans was meant to race as well, but apparently she had a hangover and that is the fault of the person who she went out with on Friday night. Utter nonsense, that’s what I say. Still, they both had a lovely cooling dip in the lake afterwards, so that helps make up for things.
Well, maybe Noel Coward only had it half right when he said that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. I don’t remember him ever saying anything about Nidds taking part in the Ilkley Half Marathon today but there we are. Despite the heat, Captain Dazzler (1:24.12) managed to get himself a PB despite the oppressive heat, while Kev Dalton (1:28.49), Andy Todd (1:28.58), Martin Lofthouse (1:30.34), Loz Hawksworth (1:34.36) and Luke Scorer (1:41.47) must have been sweating like pigs by the time they hit the finish line. It is a truth universally acknowledged that women don’t sweat but that they glow, so it is very well done to the glowing Laura Francis (1:46.33), Helen Gregory (1:49.49) and Fiona Deacon (1:51.42). Chris Morris (1:54.14) was next to finish, with Rachel Mills (1:57.57) snapping at his heels as they made their way round Wharfedale. Susie Mallet (1:57.52), Katherine Morton (1:58.28), Christina Tyalor (1:58.39) and Christine Holleran (1:59.45) all sneaked in under the two hour barrier, while our trio of finishers were none other than the resplendent Jeremy Leggings (2:13.50), Susan Rogers (2:36.53) and Yvonne Skelton (2:38.45). You’ve all done Nidd Valley proud. Well done.
At Bramham today, Matt Wilkinson took second place overall in the 5k trail race in an impressive 20.25, whereas in the 10k, Adam Kirk (40.24) took third place overall. It’s lovely to have some more silverware for the trophy cabinet here at NVH. Also in the 10k, Fell Running Phil (57.24) and his missus Fiona (1:24.04) also nailed fantastic times out in the sun. Well done to you all.
If you want to have a looksie at the parkrun results for this past week, then this is where you need to be: https://tinyurl.com/4cbrfjde. As an aside, thanks to all who marshalled and volunteered at our takeover of Harrogate Parkrun yesterday. It was a great morning and so good for people to see the best of Team Nidd.
Ain’t talkin’, just walkin’ / Through this weary world of woe / Heart burnin’, still yearnin’ / No one on earth would ever know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
60 Years of FRP: 28 Jul 2022
So the great Fell Running Phil,, muddied legs and aching quads and all, is going to be sixty years old. He’ll be long beyond that which the Tudors thought of as ye olde age (and syphilis free, too!). But I’m sure you’ll agree that he looks just marvellous for it. In celebration of this happy day (which is actually the day before, on the 27th), we’ve organised a little off-road relay and we’d love you to be there.
The general premise is a relay for teams of three Nidders. Each member tackles a two mile (ish) loop around Crimple Valley (route to be confirmed nearer the time), before passing the baton to their team mate and so on. The course will be well within the capabilities of everyone, so don’t think it’s just for the fellies. The emphasis is most definitely on fun. Afterwards, we’ll regroup in Roosters Brewery for cake, prizes (serious and silly), beer and chat. It would be lovely to see you. We hope you can make it.
If you have a team of three, or you don’t but would like to be included in a team, please email Jane at email@example.com, as she is getting all the teams coordinated.
Nidd Valley Juniors Sports Day: 18 Jul 2022.
I’ve heard from Michelle Beaumont, and she in the look out for volunteers to help with the Nidd Valley Juniors Sports Day on Mon 18 Jul 2022. It’s from 5.50pm to 8pm, so it isn’t like you’ll be out so late that you can’t go to the pub later. If you can help out, then the Juniors would be really, really grateful, as would I. Please contact Michelle on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Further Ahead & Booking Now Open
If you’ve got a parkrun barcode, you don’t need to do anything else to register for the Heslington Parkrun, which is going in our road championships on 23 Jul 2022. If you don’t know how parkrun works, or need some more guidance on how to run round in circles, then this will set you right: https://tinyurl.com/3nk4btzr.
In both the fell and road championships, entries are open for the the James Herriot Trail Race on 31 Jul 2022. Cracking views and challenging terrain are the order of the day, but it’s a great chance to get some more trail miles in your legs and break the monotony of tarmac. There’s also a lovely tea room in Jervaulx, too, which is always a plus. Entries are nowhere near as expensive as Ilkley Half Marathon, and you can spaff your money up the wall right here: https://tinyurl.com/24wbsnps
Word to the Wise
This week’s wise words come from none other than Christine Jones and Debbie Dilasser. At post-parkrun coffee yesterday, Christine was talking about her up and coming cycling challenge. Always happy to share more than she needs to, Christine said that likes to wear pants with her cycling shorts for comfort. “Oh you shouldn’t do that”, said Debbie, pouring more tea, “the chamois wicks away all the moisture and you’ll get lots of bacteria.” “Moisture?”, asked Christine as she bit into her biscotti, “there’s no moisture down there when you’re nearly sixty and menopausal…”
Have a good week.