Afternoon All

I hope you all enjoyed the racing and the socialising of the Burton Leonard Mob Match. Huge congratulations to team NIDD, you gave it your all and retained the trophy for another year with a 192 point margin. There were some excellent individual performances too with Fiona Deacon taking 1st place FV55 and Dave Seaman 1st place MV70. There may be others but these are the ones I’m aware of.

Team Nidd – Burton Leonard 10k July 2019

As most of you know the summer training plan is well underway and should prove beneficial for anyone that’s entered the Redcar half marathon at the end of September. If you haven’t already entered then please do so. Its a flat, fast course but more importantly its a chance to enjoy a coach trip to the seaside with your fellow Nidders.
The interval session on grass last week received lots of positive comments, this type of training is really beneficial and will seriously increase your chance of a PB when racing.As they say “Train hard, race easy”  Lets see!

After racing at Burton Leonard today we’re back at it this week with the final evening league race at Wetherby so read on for further information.

The Week Ahead.

Tuesday 16/7/19. No intervals this week due to the mid week evening league race.I’m not suggesting a route but leaving the choice to those members at the club. A decision can be made on the evening as I suspect lots of people will be saving themselves for the evening league race.

Wednesday 17/7/19 7.20pm
Harrogate District Summer Race league. Wetherby. Handicap race.Sicklinghall Cricket Club, Kirby Lane, Sicklington. LS22 4BH. Parking in the field opposite. 5.5 miles mostly road. Please refer to the website for full details and note the start time of 7.20pm .

Thursday 18/7/19. Crimple Valley
Kingsley Drive onto Knaresborough Road, across Morrisons, Stonefall Park, Great Yorkshire Showground. 
Options to run through the woods, across the fields or up the road leading to the squash club.Hookstone Road, through the Saints area and across the Stray back to the club.Approx. 5 miles.

Pacing Groups. 

Group 1. – Approx 8 to 8.30 minute mile paceGroup 2. – Approx 9 to 9.30 minute mile pace

Group 3. – Approx 10 to 10.30 minute mile pace

Group 4 – Approx 10.30 to 11 minute mile pace

Group 5 –  Social, recovery run with no pace in mind but a chance to chat as you jog, going as far as you want.

Health and Safety Briefing.

Warm up and cool down correctly.

Buddy up where possible and always with any new members.

In the event an injury does occur please remember to inform the welfare officer using the on line form on our club web site.

Best wishes. Christine NVRR Chair.

Week Ahead – Sunday 2nd June 2019

Afternoon All

Its June already and we have a busy time ahead of us with lots of running, training, racing and of course the highlight of the month with the Great Knaresborough bed race.

We have 4 teams entered this year! Good luck to each and every one of you. Have fun, race well and know that we are all  supporting you.

The month started well with a fun social evening last night. Huge thanks to Nadene for organising this.

The monthly newsletter with its official title is attached so there’s lots to read this week. Thanks again to Kevin for producing this. Please remember to send him details of PB’s, anecdotal stories or significant achievements. Download, Issue 3, of The Gold and Black now.

The Week Ahead.

Tuesday 4/6/19

HDSRL. Ripon.

This is the second of the evening league races. Check the web site for full details of start times and parking. You must bring your number and wear your club vest.

Sarah Chalmers and Martin Lofthouse will be there to hand out numbers to those yet to collect them.

Hockey Club. Social Run.

Alan Harby is kindly opening the hockey club so there’s an option to run from there for those not running the evening league. There is some essential maintenance work taking place at the club so there will be no shower facilities.

Thursday 6/6/19.


Bed Race Training.

This is possibly the last training session before the big day on Sunday 8th June.

If you’re thinking of joining the teams please liaise direct with team captains and check email and Facebook messages.

Social Run. Knaresborough.

Kingsley Drive, Knaresborough Road, Boroughbridge Road, Stockwell Lane, Briggate, Forest Moor Road, Morrisons and Kingsley Drive. Approx. 7 miles.

Off Road.

An off road run through the beautiful Nidd Gorge.

Pacing Groups.

Group 1. – Approx 8 to 8.30 minute mile pace

Group 2. – Approx 9 to 9.30 minute mile pace

Group 3. – Approx 10 to 10.30 minute mile pace

Group 4 – Approx 10.30 to 11 minute mile pace

Group 5 –  Social, recovery run with no pace in mind but a chance to chat as you jog, going as far as you want.

Health and Safety Briefing.

Warm up and cool down correctly.

Buddy up where possible and always with any new members.

In the event an injury does occur please remember to inform the welfare officer using the on line form on our club web site.

Best Wishes, Christine

NVRR Chair.

Results: 11 – 17 September 2017


At Harrogate, we had 28 club runners in and amongst the 460 people taking part. There were some fast times once again with Alex Patrickson finishing 4th overall in a time of 18:09, and a PB for Hasabo Hasabo who finished in 18:49, and 7th overall. Andrew Johnson got himself a PB by finishing in 25:28, while Debbie Dilasser and Rebecca Ventress both achieved their quickest times yet since 2015, finishing in 26:44 and 26:45 respectively.

In other parkrun news, Moira Mactague was in County Tipperary running in the Templemore parkrun. This event was only started in January and the route seems quite scenic as it is situated in a nice country park. There were a total of 44 runners taking part, and Moira finished in a time of 26:10.

Fiona Robinson was in Bath for the Bath Skyline parkrun – the route description includes ‘an uphill flight of approximately 30 woodland steps (which some runners will find demanding)’…… anyway, Fiona finished in a time of 33:18, and the steps did not cause an issue….

Matt Wilkinson ran the Weymouth parkrun, and finished 2nd overall out of 390 runners. Unfortunately he forgot his barcode so there is no official time for him and he is shown as ‘unknown’….

Richmond Half Marathon

Kirsty O’Donnell was in Richmond upon Thames to take part in the Runfest – this includes the choice of a 10k, half marathon, full marathon, and there is a mile long race for the kids. The half marathon starts and finishes in Kew Gardens, going along the Thames and out towards Teddington Lock. Kirsty wore her club colours with pride for her first half marathon (even the huge medal she got for finishing has matching club colours), and she finished in time of 2:14. A brilliant effort from Kirsty – maybe the full marathon next??

Tadcaster 10

This race was next on the club champs calendar and once again NVRR provided a good show of strength. Tadcaster – home of three breweries and Tadkebab – provided a flat and fast 10 mile course, and back to its original route after the historic bridge was reopened. We had 19 runners take part this year, and Adam Kirk was first over the line for Nidd, and 16th overall in a new PB of 1:01:55. Martin Lofthouse was next in 1:05:39, then Jamie Dilasser in 1:09:32. Chris Beattie got himself a PB, finishing in 1:15:45, while Emma Dooley was the first Nidd lady to cross the line, finishing in 1:17:26. Sue Simpson was ever so close to Emma and finished in 1:17:30, and Brian Hainsworth was not too far behind in 1:17:57. Emma David was next in 1:19:30, Christine Jones 1:26:38, Dave Prince 1:27:25, Christina and Richard Taylor 1:27:21, and Nadine Wilkinson and Hannah Peagram finishing close in 1:28:04 and 1:28:14 respectively. Robert Hill crossed the line in 1:30:29 and bagged himself 3rd in the M70 category, and Rebecca Ventress got herself a PB finishing in 1:32:13. Fiona Robinson, Sylvia Morten, and Jeff Walker rounded off the fantastic effort by Nidd, and their finishing times were 1:48:55, 1:48:59, and 1:49:00 respectively.

Results: 4 – 10 September 2017

Vale of York Half

Flat, fast, and local – just what you want for a Sunday half marathon in September. Three of our club runners made the short journey over to Sherburn In Elmet for this potential PB bagging event that attracted over 1600 runners. First back for Nidd, and continuing with his good form, was Adam Kirk. Adam finished in a time of 1:25:22 which was a PB for him despite suffering with a bit of a hamstring issue during the last couple of miles (he soldiered on in true NVRR style) Also landing a PB was Richard Taylor who crossed the line in 1:45:36 – a fantastic effort. Michelle Smith was representing the NVRR ladies at this event, and she crossed the line in brilliant time of 2:08:15. Well done to all three of you, great running….

The Great North Run

Thousands of runners from around the UK and beyond descended on Tyneside yesterday to compete in the world’s most popular half marathon (plus the fact of earning extra kudos for running in the same race as Mo Farah) This iconic event is forever remembered by the runners going over the Tyne Bridge with the Red Arrows doing their thing just above them, and several of our club runners were lucky to experience this event in all its glory. Nidd had eleven runners taking part, and all of them put in a massive effort to get round the course. Club captain Martin Lofthouse was first back for Nidd, finishing within the top 500 runners in a time 1:26:35. Jamie Dilasser was next in 1:30:57, followed by Sam Fugill (in full tank mode) in 1:42:28. Phil Ventress finished in 1:45:54 (couldn’t find him at first as he wasn’t linked to any club) with Michael Benson the next Nidd home in a great time of 1:53:28, then Catrin Harrap was the first Nidd lady over the line in a time of 1:55:31. Natasha Harrison followed shortly after in 2:01:58, then Nick Smith in 2:07:49. Rosemary Thompson was next in 2:13:03, followed by Jane Hill putting in a marvellous effort to finish in a fantastic time of 2:19:16. Stephen Pattison was the final Nidd over the line, and finished in a great time of 2:37:59. Another great effort by NVRR at the Great North Run, and well done to all our runners who managed to raise a load of money for their chosen charities – your hard work and dedication will have no doubt made a difference to someone’s life, a huge pat on the back to you all…..


It seems as some of you can’t be pulled away from the mud and hills, you would much rather be exposed to awful weather and monster ascents than run on flat tarmac. Nidd Valley had ten representatives at the Yorkshireman Half at the weekend, and mud was certainly a given at this one. The race is organised by Keighley and Craven Athletics club, and starts and finishes in Howarth. As it is an off road marathon, the actual distance is more near to 15 miles. Out of the 226 finishers, Alan Davidson was first over the line for Nidd in a time of 2:14:12. Next were James Cook and Carol Morgan, finishing in 2:29:21 and 2:30:27 respectively, followed by Mark Armstrong in 2:31:40. Christopher Beattie was next in 2:38:18, with Phil Robinson not too far behind him in 2:43:27. Dave Seaman was next in 2:54:04 (and grabbing 2nd MV70 in the process) Debbie Gibson, Fiona Robinson, and, making her return to fell running, Sarah Chalmers, all crossed the line together in 5:32. Rumour has it that Sarah even had smile on her face…..

Clarinbridge Oyster 10k

Newlyweds Philippa and Matt Wilkinson had a bit of a honeymoon in Galway, Ireland, and Philippa took the opportunity to race in the local 10k event. The race made up part of the running festival in and around the village Clarinbridge (I couldn’t find much info on this village but there is an oyster festival there in October, and one of its past residents was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1901) Philippa was one of the 99 finishers, and she crossed the line in 55:40. Well done Philippa, Guinness gives you strength….

One result I forgot to mention last week – Edoardo Piano ran the Grisedale Horseshoe fell race in the Lakes. 10 miles and 5000ft of ascent is not for the fainthearted, and despite being geographically challenged at a few points, Edoardo finished in 77th place out of 136 runners in a time of 2:56:43.

Another fantastic weekend of running, and well done to Sarah Chalmers on her magnificent return to the fells!

Results: 28 August – 3 September 2017

This week’s results, another jam packed weekend. Please let me know if I have missed anybody out or other races that have gone under the radar.

Tholthorpe 10k

A flat and fast course, plus the promise of a race branded cup for a finishing prize, was more than enough to temp 18 Nidd’s to try and grab some more championship points. First back for NVRR and just squeezing in a top 10 finish overall, was Adam Kirk in a time of 38:30. Martin Lofthouse was not too far behind and crossed the line 39:28, with Andy Todd close by in a time of 40:52. Dan Eagling was next in 43:01, with David Shores soon after him in 44:24. John Mitton crossed the line in 45:24, followed by Richard Taylor in 46.56 – that’s a new PB for Richard, knocking a massive 89 seconds off his fastest 10k time! Sue Simpson was the first Nidd lady back in 47:07, then there was a bit of a sprint finish between Michael Benson and Dave Seaman, finishing in 49:35 and 49:52 respectively (I understand that some words were exchanged between these two during the final sprint but no further information as come to light yet… but Dave did manage to grab the prize for 1st M70+ category) Christina Taylor was next and she crossed the line in 51:18, also achieving a PB, followed by Hannah Peagram 53:34. Next was Nadine Wilkinson in 53:42, Sarah Hughan in 53:49, Moira Mctague 54:35, Jane Hill 59:54 and Michelle Smith in 1:00:42. Completing the brace of NVRR personal bests’, Graham Hyde finished the 10k in his fastest time yet of 1:03:35. Well done Graham and the rest of the other PB hunters – excellent running!

Wetherby 10k

You may or may not have had a flyer put under your windscreen wiper for this event while attending other local races, and you may or may not have seen this race advertised on Facebook, but it appears the Wetherby 10k is as popular as ever with around 900 runners taking part this year. We had four runners making the quick dash over to Wetherby for this one, and first over the line for the club was Kevin Nicholas in a very respectable time of 40:42. Kaye Kent was next in a time 54:11, and she was followed by Debbie Dilasser who finished in 56:38 (this was Debbie’s fastest 10k in a long time and she apparently really enjoyed it. She has now banished all demons from previous Wetherby 10k experiences) Kirsty O’Donnell was the final Nidd over the line – Kirsty finished in 59:54. Great running from all of you!

Golden Ball 20

This 20 miler is part of a series of races in and around Lancaster, and organised by the recently formed Lancaster Runners Club. It’s a flat race and fairly fast, and by all accounts ideal if you are training for a marathon. Emma Dooley and Isabel Potter made the trip west to take part in this event, and although they were a bit put off by running out and back along a canal tow path in the drizzle for three hours, they did enjoy it. Isabel finished in a time 2:48:11 and Emma finished 2:53:16 – well done ladies, looks like the huge dinner plate sized medals were well worth the trip!

The Bullock Smithy Hike

This is a 56 mile circular route through the Peak District – walkers (or runners) have 24hrs to complete the route, and must visit all the checkpoints in the correct order. You need maps/compass, emergency rations, and all other basic kit for walking on exposed hillsides during the dead of night. Andy Harris decided to have a crack at this one, and set off at 12 noon on Saturday. He was in company with a pal of his called James (a veteran of the hike having completed it 15 times previously). They eventually got round all checkpoints and finished at about 6am on Sunday morning – that’s good going, no doubt there will be some sore legs this week. Awesome effort Andy!


Nidd didn’t have as many people park running this weekend due to other races taking priority, but we still had a good numbers turning up at Harrogate (also in volunteering capacity – you know who you are, thanks for using your spare time to help out), and a few at Fountains. Special mention to young Alex Robinson who ran at Fountains on Saturday in the JM 15-17 category – he bagged himself a PB of 21:07. Well done Alex, that magic sub 20 minute time will be along in no time…

Another busy but successful weekend for NVRR, everyone ran well and there some brilliant times achieved all across the board. Let’s keep up the good work and look forward to the Yorkshireman Half and Tadcaster 10 coming in the next few weeks.

Just before we end, I have just remembered about another little race that happened over the weekend. The Kerry Way Ultra in County Kerry, Ireland – 120 miles (or 200k if you are in Ireland) starting and finishing in Killarney. (I think it would be worth entering just for the brunch on the Sunday morning alone, it looked pretty epic) Carol Morgan was back on home turf for this one – she finished it in 27:58:22. She was the first lady finisher and 4th overall, and she smashed the previous ladies’ finishing time. We will have to keep an eye on this Morgan character, she has got potential…

Results: 21 – 27 August 2017

Sessay Swift

img_1212First race mentioned this week is this fast and flat 6k race near Thirsk. We had an impressive 21 runners make the trip to Sessay, and first over the line for the club and 8th overall was Matt Wilkinson, in a time of 21:13. He was followed by Alex Patrickson in 21:33, then Adam Kirk in 22:26 and Jamie Dilasser in 23:16. Carol Morgan was the first Nidd lady over the line, and 3rd lady overall in a time of 25:00, with Phil Ventress soon after in 26:12. Damien Handslip finished in 26:17, Brian Hainsworth 26:39, Christina Taylor 29:16, Sarah Hughan 30:02 (first race after returning from injury), Kaye Kent 30:15, with Moira Mctague and Nadene Wilkinson both crossing the line in 30.17. Debbie Gibson finished in 30:37, then Jeff Walker in 32:03, Michelle Smith 33:26, Jane Hill 33:47, Fiona Robinson 36:30. Rounding off the magnificent display by the club, Graham Hyde was next in 36:50, Robert Hill in 46:07, and Rebecca Ventress in 46:08. Another great performance by all involved…

The Chevin Revving

For those who didn’t fancy running on flat tarmac (let’s face it, we’ve all been there), there was another type of race on offer the same night as Sessay. We sent three runners over to The Chevin at Otley to take part in this 6.5 mile self-guided trail race. There were some spectacular views to take in on this fine evening, and first back for Nidd Valley (and 16th overall out of 134 starters!!) was Alex Robinson in an impressive 54:31 (the full results don’t seem to be up online yet – all this info is coming from my covert fell running source who may or may not be Phil Robinson) Mark David was next in 43rd positon overall, and ‘Fell Running’ Phil Robinson finished in 62:22, 44th overall.

Mark David has also taken part in several other fell type races over the last couple of weeks:

The Gribdale Gallop at Great Ayton in the North Yorkshire Moors is 9.1km with a couple of hundred metres of climbing, which includes a blast up to the summit of Roseberry Topping. Mark finished in a time of 57:23.
Next on his calendar was The Gargrave Show on 19th August. This ever popular annual proper Yorkshire agricultural show incorporates loads of events including egg throwing and terrier racing, and of course 5 different fell races welcoming runners of all ages. Mark finished in 37:14, but the full results have not been published online yet.
The most recent race Mark took part in was the Tour of Norland Moor, near to Halifax. It’s a 12k route with about 800ft climbing so I imagine it was a bit cheeky. There were 140 runners taking part, and Mark was 68th overall in a time of 1:09:14. Well done Mark….


We love a good parkrun at Nidd Valley. It seems that the majority of us were running at Harrogate again, and there are couple of PB’S worth a mention. Firstly, Matt Wilkinson got himself his fastest time yet on The Stray and finished in 5th place overall in a time of 17:49. Also stealing a new PB was Sylvia Morten with a great time of 29:57 – brilliant running!

It appears that Norwich was the furthest that NVRR have ventured out this week for a parkrun. Ben Rosie, a NVRR junior running in the JM 11 – 14 category, finished 193rd out of 479 runners in a time of 25:04. Well done Ben, keep up the hard work!

That’s all I have for now unless anyone tells me about some other race they have snuck in under the radar…..

Great running once again, all the best for this coming Sunday’s race at Tholthorpe – it’s fairly flat and fast from what I can remember…



Weekly Update: Mark and his Mohican

Afternoon team.


Yeah, I know. Like a bad penny and all of that. Anyway, your current committee are seemingly all on their jollies and so you’ve got a supply teacher for the week. So with a quick swish of the cane and well-aimed piece of chalk to stop Fingers and Lofthouse mucking about at the back or the class, its exercise books and pencil cases out for the first lesson of the day: the results.



And, my oh my, what interesting reading they make. On Wednesday, we had Ben Baird (20:00) and Adam Kirk (18:14) who were larking about at the Even Splits 5k. For those in the know, this is a PB hunters dream for those who are happy to run around numerous laps of a cycle track in Leeds (and if Fell Running Phil isn’t in the know, we best keep it that way because there wasn’t even one sheep-shit-covered rocky ascent to be found). Still, all impressive stuff and faster than most of us can do it, so big congratulations there.


A couple of Nidds did the Northumbrian Costal Run up in – no surprises here, folks – Northumberland last week and, as I have not seen the results, think I’ll squeeze them in here just to keep everyone happy. Well, I say everyone. I mean Debbie and Damien Handslip, as they were the only two Nidds to work their way round the sandy 14 something mile course (it varies, depending on whether the tide is in or out). Anyway, Damien (1:57:43) was first over the line for the team, with Debbie (2:15:13) never far behind. With a performance like that, Damien might be forgiven for thinking that he wears the trousers in that relationship, although I imagine Debbie tells him which ones.


I know I should do some results for today’s James Herriot Race up in Wensleydale (I can’t say the word Wensleydale without wanting to remark that it’s “cracking cheese, Gromit…”). The problem is that the results take a fair few days to emerge, this being off road running and them being Yorkshiremen and all of that. That’s the thing with people from Yorkshire. They won’t do anything until they’re ready (for which you can read, never), you can’t understand a word they say but, if you want to know your shortcomings, then you won’t find a more helpful people anywhere. I’m sure Jon will set you right on all things statistical next week, but well done to all who took part, especially Melissa who says that she still cannot stop smiling. Simple minds and all of that.

Mark rocking the Mohican look. Looking good!

Mark rocking the Mohican look. Looking good!

Finally, we come to everyone’s favourite lesson of the week: parkrun. We start with Fiona Robinson who has finally completed her mission to run all the parkruns in Humberside and Yorkshire. I know, I know. Heaven only knows that life is like at home if getting in a car and driving to Humberside (for any reason, not necessarily to run 5k) is a more attractive option but there are. It takes all sorts. Fiona (32:56) was dutifully supported by the hubster Fell Running Phil (24:57) as they made their way around the course at Rothwell. Michelle Smith (32:01) was out to play down at Temple Newsam, Andy Todd (20:36) said a prayer for Nidd Valley up at Fountains Abbey, and Adam Kirk (19:50) took more performance enhancing drugs to secure second place at Oakwell Hall (wherever that may be).


Andrew and Hannah Peagram were down in Suffolk to double the parkrun gene pool. Honestly, have you seen it down in Bury St Edmunds? Population of some 40,000 people and they’ve got about seven faces between them. I’ll tell you something, when Visit Suffolk said that Bury was coming into its own, they really did mean it. Anyway, one digresses. Mr (21:08) and Mrs (26:28) nailed the course in beautiful times and we look forward to congratulating them in person when we see them back at the club.


Let’s finish with a quick spin round the Stray where Sarah H and I were ready with stop watches to beep you in under the watchful eye of Funnel Manager David Shores. Martin Lofthouse (19:12), Ben Baird (21:10) and Jim Cook (22:57) kick started proceedings for us. It’s also a whoop whoop for Sue Simpson (23:13), Bwian Hainsworth (23:22), Dave Prince (24:37) and Mark Armstrong (24:44). We were all terribly relieved to see Robert Hill (27:19) find the finish line without the help of the local ambulance service and orthopaedic surgeons (well, you say that, he was out running today and I almost took his legs from under him in one of my more absent-minded moments behind the wheel), with Tony LC (30:18), Graham Hyde (30:42) Jeff Walker (34:38) completing the line-up for us.


Chairman Dan asked me to tell you that you’ve come a long long way together, through the hard times and the good, he has to celebrate you baby, he has to praise you like he should:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, there’ll be another club run. Excellent. Great. Thrilled. Could not be happier. I’ve no idea what you’ll be doing – and nor am I too worried, as I don’t plan on being in the country – but get yourself to the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm. There’ll be the usual casual chat about where the run will be before we all nonchalantly accept we’re getting taken up the gorge. Again.


If you go down to the woods today, you’d better close your eyes. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Indeed you are, because on Thursday, Chairman Dan is going to do a mid-summer interval session in the woods behind Hornbeam Park. It’s got it all: hill, descent, track, mud and gravel, all good stuff for building stamina and technique for the last few club champ races. Get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm on Thursday and, should you have a pair of off-road shoes, bring them with you. And, if you think this sounds like thirsty work, keep reading….


Now this is the kind of running I can get it up for. On Sunday, we’ve got another of the Fell Champs Race, this one being just down the road at Timble. It’s the Round Hill Fell Race. Kick of is at 11am and it’ll cost you only a fiver to get yourself a chance to cough up blood and snap your ankles on open moorland. Seriously, it’s brilliant fun and I really do recommend it. Road running sucks compared to this shit. Ask Phil, Fingers, Cath or any of the other muddy brethren if you need a steer or kit or any other questions answered. Most questions can, however, be answered here:


Birthday Dan

It’s a little known fact but Chairmen of Nidd Valley – much like the Queen – have both a real birthday and an official birthday. I don’t know which one it is, but Chairman Dan will be celebrating his Ruby Jubilee to mark his 40th birthday. I know, I can hardly believe it. He looks so young. I’ve spent a good deal of time wondering just how good a runner he would be when he finally hit puberty, but then I go and find out he is actually going to be 40 this week. Anyway, if you can get up to the bar for a pint and some birthday bumps after the run on Thursday, then he would love to see you. Go on, make his day.


Word to the Wise

And why does it come as no surprise that we have to keep Phil Ventress behind after class for detention for passing rude notes under the desk? So while he is lowering his short trousers for the thrashing of his life, I’ll share his unique insights to the challenges that come with organising races in Suffolk:

“That’s the problem and why they need chip timing. Photo finishes are no use to anyone” – Phil Ventress giving a hi-six to the people of East Anglia.


Game, set, match.


See you around.


Sam x



Nidd Valley Road Runners


On Facebook:

Tweeting: @NVRunners

Weekly Update: Goodbye…

Evening all…


Disaster has struck here at Nidd Valley House. In the early hours of the morning, a small electrical fire started in the kitchen – someone left the toaster plugged in apparently – and this small fire ripped through the Grand Ball Room, State Rooms and Executive Function Suites. The Chairman’s Luxury Penthouse Apartment is totally gutted. It was all hands on deck as we dashed to the West Wing, which obviously holds the Fell Running Department and Central Intelligence Unit, but we were too late to save very much at all and only a few sparking computer monitors and Fell Running Phil’s third best pair of off-road shoes survived. He’s totally distraught, the poor thing, and is sat there covered from head to foot in ashes and sobbing over some lost spreadsheets and his prized laminated OS Maps. Treasurer Dave isn’t coping much better, if we’re being honest, having lost all of the accounts that he has meticulously kept for decades. He always did accuse me of frivolous and unnecessary spending, and now it really has all gone up in smoke. He’s devastated. And what can I tell you about the ladies in the Central Administration Department? Bless them, they tried their best, passing buckets of water up and down the corridors and trying to hold back the fire, but in the end their efforts came to nothing and the fire got the better of them, leaving them not even the time to grab their personal belongings before they had to flee from the flames.


Despite the horrors, we were able to salvage the oil paintings from the Chairman’s Gallery and rescue most of the Burgundy and prize Claret from the cellars but I can’t begin to tell you what other carnage we’ve had to deal with, it’s all gutted: from the gift shop to the tea rooms. Even Bed Race HQ has gone up in flames, taking years of extravagant decorations and cross-dressing costumes with it. Obviously, all flights with Nidd Valley Airlines are suspended until the ash cloud clears, but that really is the last of our worries. We’ve lost the cargo manifest for the HMS Nidd Valley, the sheet music for the Nidd Valley Choral Society and the Nidd Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, not to mention all of Mark’s paperwork for the championships.


Alan H and Tony LC actually think it is quite good fun, saying it reminds them of the good old days in the blitz, but I don’t think they’ve grasped the seriousness of the situation. Thank heavens we had Fingers staying with relatives at Knaresborough Striders this weekend. I’ve been speaking to Catherine and we really don’t know how we will break it to him when he comes back. He loved this place, you know, he really did.


I’m too sad to tell you any more, you’ll have to come and have a look for yourself. So, from the Emergency Crisis HQ Tent which has been hastily assembled on the parched ornamental lawns in the shadow of a burnt-out stately home, I suppose we better have a look at the results.



Bloody hell! Adam Kirk has done it again. Quite the scandal, I know, but Adam (1:26:37) took more time from his already impressive PB when he competed at the Liversedge Half Marathon in atrocious conditions yesterday. He finished 33rd out of 485 runners on what was a decidedly difficult course. Congratulate him when you see him or, if you’re anything like Matt Wilkinson, just start banding around allegations of doping and start demanding urine samples. Well done, Adam.


Oh, this is very interesting indeed. ‘Muddy’ might have been a little bit of an understatement for the Muddy Boots 10k in Ripon yesterday. Makes the Doomsday Book look like a raffle ticket. Anyway, regardless of the mud clinging to their shoes, four intrepid Nidds made fantastic work of the course. Martin Lofthouse (40:09.1) was the first Nidd to finish. Sue Simpson (52:13.7) will chin me if I make any further comments about her height (and anyway, I can’t find any diminutive rhymes for ‘boots’, ‘Ripon’ or ‘muddy’) so I’ll just leave you with her time. Christine Holleran (55:8.2) and Debbie Dilasser (1:01:06.4) put in fantastic efforts, too, so well done to you all for getting up and showing the best of Team Nidd.


And so the status returns to the quo with the parkrun results for the week. Matt Wilkinson (18:56) and Martin Lofthouse (19:12) both made the cut for the top five finishers, while Ben Baird (22:05) gives us our first result of the Twenties Brigade. David Shores (22:42) and Andrew Aird (22:49) were the two newbie roses surrounding old-hander Mark Armstrong (23:55), with Sarah Hughan (24:50) leading Team Peagram to the finish (Andrew finishing in 26:02 and Hannah finishing in 26:03). Fingers Harris (26:46) sent me a good old moaning message about his time, lamenting the work still to be done to get back to optimal form but frankly, it was a five minute improvement on last week and so he should stop moaning and be pleased with his progress. This must be two parkruns in a row for Steve Newton (28:38) – just what is going on, I hear you cry – with Rebecca Ventress (28:45) and parkrun veteran David Rushton (31:22) putting in strong performances out on the mud. Jane Hill (50:11) and Jeff Walker (50:12) complete the line-up for us. Well done to you all.


In other parkrun news, Debbie Dilasser (28:25) was back up in the motherland and took time out from meeting her rellies to take park in the Redcar course, and Adam Kirk (20:52) was back down in Dewsbury to take ninth place overall. If you’d had asked me, I’d have said Alice Holt is the name of a person (probably a librarian with that kind of name, I imagine) but apparently it is the name of a parkrun, and I can share this titbit of exciting trivia with you because Chris Beattie (24:56) raced the parkrun there in a cracking little time. Fiona Robinson (32:13) really was scraping the barrel of exciting parkrun venues when she headed down to Goole, but there we are, it takes all sorts. Up at Fountains, we had a Holy Trinity of beautiful performances from Robert Hill (28:11), Michelle Dinsdale (30:49) and Michelle Smith (30:50). Amen to that, that’s what I say!


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, there’ll be lots of love in the air here at Nidd Valley House for Valentines Day. Our very own cupid Sarah H will have her wings on and her bow and arrow in hand, and will be sure to get your heart racing with some speed-building intervals down on Derwent Road. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm (I’ll be wearing a pink carnation!) or down at Derwent Road for about 7.10pm. Unless you’ve got other plans, that is, in which case enjoy your night in eating a special meal from M&S, drinking some midweek wine and having a good old bonk.


On Thursday, we’ve got the AGM so we’re going to be keeping it short enough with our run. Let’s meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm, run down Skipton Road as far as Kings Road, cut through Coppice and onto Ripon Road. Pick up Duchy Road and then hang left on Harlow Moor Road to Otley Road. This sets you up nicely to get back to the club, although you can do a little extra if you can still be back, showered and with a pint in your hand by 8.30pm, ready for the changing of the guard. More on the AGM below.


On Sunday, we’ve got the fourth of the PECO XC series, so no doubt you’ll be getting pestered by our club captains to find your off-road shoes and that kind of thing. This time, the racing is down near Crossgates (a place called Pendas Fields, apparently) and starts at 11am. I might even show up, you never know. If I did, it would be nice if you would make the effort too. More details here:


AGM: 16 February 2017

I have two rules when chairing meetings at work: (1) nothing meaningful or relevant is ever said after 30 minutes, and (2) there is never any need for ‘any other business’. I intend these two rules to be meticulously upheld at our AGM on Thursday night. I need you there to pass a few bits of procedural jargon and to vote in your new committee (or vote people out, if you’re so inclined). If I don’t have enough of you, then it will have to be rescheduled and that would be a right ball ache. There’s free pizza for those of you that turn up. Go on, please, do the decent thing. Bums on seats for 8.30pm in the Hockey Club Bar, please:


Run Nidderdale: 7 May 2017

Ever fancied paying £12 to run 20 miles around Nidderdale? Yeah, me too! To think that a lovely chap called Patrick Doherty from the Rotary Club is on hand to help you do such a thing and will give you a goodie bag for your troubles is almost too good to be true. Get informed:


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Dan and I have managed to hash a few teams together (1x female, 2x male) based on the interest. I think most of you who would want to express interest will have done so by now but if there are any last-minute requests, then please let me know ASAP:


Word to the Wise

Over the past two years I have acquired a stack of wise words that were too explosive to print. Bigger than Rebecca ‘potty mouth’ Ventress’ finest offerings and even more nuclear than FRP’s outrageous and provocative sexism. Not even I would have gone that far. But then I thought what better way to go out with a bang than by going absolutely postal and causing mass offence. Philippa thought it was a great idea. I mentioned the idea to Sarah H, but she gave me the look that she normally reserves for those moments when I am at risk of a severe bollocking. Better not, then. So you’ll never hear Martin’s wise words about a certain Nidder’s love life, and I can’t regale you about Alan’s encounter with a particularly dashing bartender in Bangkok in his RAF days. My apologies.


Excuse the sentiment, but it’s easy to forget, folks, that we have something really special with Nidd Valley. Really, we do. Crazy as a bag of frogs, of course, but special. Despite the occasional argument and an inexplicable adherence to tradition, Team Nidd remains one of the friendliest and most encouraging groups of people I have ever met. On paper, it isn’t terribly appealing: turn up on a cold, dark and wet night, run for an hour or thereabouts in lycra, and then go home and have some reheated leftovers for tea. That’s it? Really? I’ll go and do something else, then. But you and I know it is more than that. Whether you can run a sub-three hour marathon or barely run for the bus, you’re at home in Team Nidd. Whether you are into road running, trail running, bed racing, fell running, park running, night running, social running, only-turn-up-if-the-sun-is-shining running, push-it-so-hard-until-you-are-sick running, or just sacking-off-the-running-and-coming-for-a-pint-afterwards running, you’re at home in Team Nidd. Your ability or commitment or confidence doesn’t matter. That is what makes our club special, that is what first drew me to Nidd Valley however many years ago, and that is what brings me back even now. We’ve got something special, people, and we should never forget that. Long may it continue.


Will Nidd Valley House rise from the ashes once again? It isn’t for me to say. It is, of course, a question for another day and for another chairman.


Love you all, peeps.


Sam x


Weekly Update: Offending Smoggies

Evening all!


I met Matt Wilkinson’s parents at Wetherby parkrun yesterday. Lovely couple. Anyway, Matt introduced me to them, to which the reply was “really, Sam? As in the writer?”. Apparently, Mrs W reads this old drivel every weekend and it would make her weekend to have a special mention. So, here it is Mrs Wilkinson, this one is for you (as an aside, if anyone else would like to make a special request, you do only have to ask).


It’s been a busy old week at NVH as we’ve been clearing up after the Awards Night and keep finding empty wine bottles tucked behind pot plants, although we’ve managed to get the carpets clean at last so that is a relief. That said, no one has seen Dave since we last saw him sauntering in the direction of Hales Bar singing happily to himself. If anyone sees him, give him a tenner and pop him in a taxi to Nidd Valley House, will you? Anyhow, we’re pretty much on top of things and locked into meetings with Chairman-elect Dan’s transitional team and negotiating the finer points to secure an orderly transition of power. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the results.



Not much going on this week, so it won’t be long until we get the parkrun results. Before that, however, you’ll be pleased to hear that Adam Kirk has hit another developmental milestone and we’re all very proud of him. Although the days of potty training are long behind him (accidents not withstanding) and although we are waiting for the day when he can tie his own shoelaces, we are pleased to announce that he finally smashed the 40 minute barrier for a 10k race. Oh yes, the recently anointed ‘most improved runner’ was down in West Yorkshire to run the Dewsbury 10k where he (38:14) demolished his PB by a comfortable margin. Well done, Adam! Go on, buy him a pint when you see him. He deserves it.


Well, first off the parkrunning blocks, we’ve got Alex Patrickson at Middlesbrough. He’s a brave young chap for going up Smoggieland for fun, but there we are (I’ll probably find out his family has lived for centuries or something and that I’ve put my foot in it in spectacular style and managed to upset six generations of Patricksons or something like that). Anyway, Alex (17:48) got round in a time that I could only match if I were free-falling from a plane without a parachute, so very big congratulations there. We’ve also got John Mitton (23:25) down in Dewsbury putting in an equally as impressive effort, so very well done there, John.


What is it with you people? We organise a group trip to Wetherby parkrun and some people still insist on sticking with what they know. Honestly, what can you do? Anyway, the home-comfort loving creatures who stayed at Harrogate were Adam Kirk (23:47), Mark Armstrong (24:02), Jamie Dilasser (24:20), Catrin Harrap (24:35), Christine Holleran (24:23), Tony LC (27:35), Rebecca Ventress (28:51) and Debbie Dilasser (29:11). Seeking monastic familiarity, up at Fountains we had a quadruplet of fine performances from Andy Todd (20:06), Nick Smith (27:30), Jane Hill (29:56), and Michelle Dinsdale (31:04). Well done, everyone!


It isn’t often you say this, but the bulk of the action was at Wetherby parkrun, where a slightly surprised race director was amazed to see Team Nidd nearly double the contingent of regulars down by the Wharfe. But, you mention a cross-country championship race to any Nidd and they’ll be all over it like a pig in shit…. So, what happened? Matt Wilkinson (18:34) was first home for Nidd – much to the delight of his proud mummy and daddy, who had come out to watch – narrowly relegating Warren Lowcock (18:84) into second place. Incidently, you’ll be interested to know that when Matt arrived that morning, he asked me whether Warren was running that day. “Oh f***” was his only reply when I answered in the affirmative, so it is good to see that Team Nidd is as competitive as it ever once were. Anyone, one digresses. Dr Edoardo Piano (20:00), apart from winning best named Nidder 2016-17, also took third place overall, chased down by an increasingly muddy chairman (20:34). Andrew Peagram (21:37) had one hell of a fight on to keep Jon Easton (22:10) at bay, with David Shores (22:43) and Ben Baird (23:01) always close behind. Maurice Kelly (23:16), Jim Cook (23:35), Chris Beattie (23:37) and Rob Snow (24:14) were the next to finish.


Sarah Hughan warned me that I’d get in trouble for referring to the diminutive Sue Simpson (24:16) as the Dwarf by the Wharfe, but I can’t resist and I’ll just have to hope she was so pleased with claiming the coveted first lady position that she won’t notice. If you have noticed, Sue, sorry – you know we love you really. After Sue, we had great performances from Sarah Hughan (24:49) and from Steve Newton (25:14), who was clearly out on domesticated day release. I did wonder what the tag round his ankle was. After that, it was lovely to see Mike Benson (25:32), Moira McTague (25:36), Debbie Gibson (25:50), Hannah Peagram (26:05) and Marcos Montana (26:17) cross the finish line. We finish our tour of the three muddy laps of Wetherby with Neil Wright (28:48), Robert Hill (29:53), Michelle Smith (31:44), Sarah Chalmers (32:11), Fingers Harris (32:49) and Fiona Robinson (33:20). Nice work, everyone!


Got a new PB? I’ll tell you where you can stick that for a start:


The Week Ahead

Now then, on Tuesday we are back with these bloomin’ stamina interval sessions. The Chinese needn’t have bothered with water torture when they realised they could just get someone to run round the Stray. Anyway, that’s where we will be (West Park, that is, not Beijing) for the next of these sessions. They’ll do you good, at least that is what the coaches tell me. Either meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down by the Prince of Wales Roundabout for about 7.10pm.


On Thursday, let’s really stretch our legs and get down into Knaresborough. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out down Kingsley Road and through Starbeck and down the big hill into Knaresborough. Most will head down Waterside, although some may push further through town, but all routes come back together to go over the Low Bridge, over Forest Moor (killer mile, to me and you) and back through Starbeck and up to the club. Catherine Barber will be acting as a focal point for steadier and more social runners, so introduce yourself to her if that sounds like your bag. Regardless of speed and that kind of thing, all welcome in the bar afterwards for a swift pint and to hear the old farts bang on about the good old days and that things ain’t what they used to be and you know how it and that’s how it was.


Now’t on at the weekend as far as I can see. Get those odd jobs done instead.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Unfortunately, I cannot go to this as I am up in the Fugill heartlands in Northumbria, but as you won’t be coming with me (I don’t care how many times you ask, you’re not coming!), why don’t you see if there are any last-minute seats at Lucia’s as we break the farewell break with Mike and Judy? Fiona Deacon has it all in hand and will easily help you sort your linguine from your spaghetti:


AGM: 16 February 2017

And nominations have now closed. Please do not call the hotline now as your vote will not be counted and you may still be charged. Right, look people, I’ll cut to the chase. I really need you to be there. If we don’t get enough people there then the meeting can’t carry business and that is a right ball ache. It doesn’t take much time, you get free pizza, and we get it over for another year. Think of it like a dental appointment (albeit marginally less enticing). Relevant information here:


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

We’re working to get three teams together this year, and have some exciting teams taking shape. Dan and I will be meeting on Tuesday to try and pull things together, so if you want to take the ride of your life, dress as a woman and drink your own body weight in beer, then please do let me know. It really is the best day in the whole world. Be part of it:


Championships 2017

Sorry if it wasn’t clear (blame me, that’s fine) but we voted to take the joker races out of the club championships as of this year. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it caused a bit of confusion with some members about who actually qualified for awards and participation awards etc., and secondly, the whole idea of the championship races is to get people out running together as a team. We hope that the extra races in the list this year will give everyone the chance to partake and bag themselves some silverware. Boring bit over, sorry. Yawn….


Word to the Wise

Without a word of a lie, we received the following message late on Thursday night at our enquiries address as we were waiting for a last-minute flurry of nominations for the AGM:


“I want to build a wall, a big beautiful wall ladies and gentleman – we are going to make Nidd Valley great again! I’ve got something to say about those who oppose me: chairmen, secretary, committee – lock them up! What to do about it though? That’s a whole other question…” – Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.


Would the real Donald Trump please stand up?


God bless you all, and God bless Nidd Valley!


Sam x (for the penultimate time…)


AGM 2017 – Update

The AGM will be held at 8.30pm on Thursday 16 Feb 2017 at Harrogate Hockey Club. Please make all effort to be there.

The final agenda for the AGM can be found here.

There’ll be pizza for those that want it, free from your loving committee. If you have any special dietary requirements, let me know:


Sam x

Weekly Update: Chewing pudding…

Evening all!


Hope you are all really well and enjoyed the Awards Night. It goes down as one of the most surreal evenings of my entire life. Rachael and I both felt like the condemned, waiting for the meal to finish before we did our turn. I’ve never seen someone chew a desert quite so much. The anxiety almost killed her, the poor thing. As Rachael says, it could be worse, at least next year we’ll be able to eat the meal. Anyway, less of me. And less of her. Thanks to all of you who came. You make Team Nidd a really special group of people (yeah, ‘special’) and, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you won an award of not. No one really cares about those things. It’s about getting out there, getting the miles in, and enjoying running with a group of like-minded daft buggers. Thanks for being part of it.

Happy. Or drunk. Maybe both.

Happy. Or drunk. Maybe both.



Well, spank me on the bottom and call me Shirley, it appears that there are no results this week other than the parkrun results. Could be worse, I suppose, at least this way I’ll get to bed before midnight. Let’s have a little look and see what you have in store this week.


We’ve got Ben Baird (21:42) down at the parkrun at Bedford. God, I love Ben, I really do. But not in the biblical sense, obviously. Anyway, I digress. We’ve also got Fiona Robinson (34:11) down running at the Bramley parkrun, clearly making quick progress as she didn’t want to let her hubcaps out of her sight for too long. Up at Fountains, you could see Andy Todd (20:06) lead the troops home and Mike Deacon (22:22) nail a pleasingly symmetrical time. Jamie Dilasser (22:47), Dave Prince (25:54), Debbie Dilasser (28:58) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:31) complete the monastic roll call.


I’ve no idea how Martin Lofthouse (18:53), Matt Rickard (19:54) and Adam Kirk (19:59) managed to get under the sub-20 marker given the conditions out on the Stray. The mud was horrific and it was all we could do to stop ourselves going arse over tit. Andrew Peagram (21:21) and Jon Easton (21:44) were the next to follow, while yours truly (22:14) found himself being lectured by a Donald Trump supporter. And to think I was having so much fun as it was. Next up, we’ve got David Shores (22:45), Mark Armstrong (23:25), Sue Simpson (23:44) and Sarah Hughan (25:03), before proceedings were concluded by Jeff Walker (27:31), Ewa Scott (29:29) and Hannah Peagram (32:38)


And I lift my glass to the awful truth / Which you can’t reveal to the ears of youth / Except to say it isn’t worth a dime / And the whole damn place goes crazy twice / And it’s once for the devil and once for Christ / But the boss don’t like these dizzy heights / We’re busted in the blinding lights / Of closing time:


The Week Ahead

If you missed Jon’s interval session last week then don’t fret yourself, he’s back in action on Tuesday. If you want to get a piece of him, then get yourself down to the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm, or meet up with him at the end of St Catherine’s Road for about 7.10pm. He’s looking forward to seeing you. Unfortunately, I have to work up in Catterick late so won’t be able to join you. Social work sucks. I don’t recommend it.


But I will be back in action on Thursday, and am rather excited to see that we are running the Kings Road route. It’s a great one this, starting at the Hockey Club for 7pm. From there, it is out onto Skipton Road and down Kings Road. Once you get to the Crown Hotel, push on up Cold Bath Road and from there you can hang back towards the club, or push on down Pannal Ash Road and Leadhall Lane. Pints and awkward silences in the bar afterwards.


I can’t see any races on the calendar this weekend, but don’t think that gives you an excuse to do bugger all. Oh, not at all! Get yourself, have a cheeky little tank and remember to put out a shout and get some other Nidds to join you.


Club Championships

I’ve had my knuckles rapped for not getting the club championships schedule out to you last week. Sorry about that folks. Anyway, you’ll find it here: It’s probably worth noting that some of the dates are still provisional, but this should give you an idea of what is going on and get some races booked.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

So this is it. We come to the parting of the ways. Mike and Judy are going onto pastures anew in the Lake District. Nidd Valley House won’t be the same without them. If you would like to go along to their farewell meal at Lucia’s next week, then there is only one person you should be speaking to and that is none other than Fiona Deacon. You’ll find her here:


AGM: 16 February 2017

If you are still considering making a grab for power, then you have until midnight on Thursday to let Sarah Hughan know: I’d really encourage you to think about standing for any role, and certainly don’t think that a lack of experience should stop you getting involved. It didn’t stop me. Anyway, even if you don’t want to stand, please try and get yourself there. We need as many people as we can. More details here:


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Fancy it? Go on, you know you want to:


By Popular Demand

For those who were lucky enough to be somewhere else…


It’s time for speech, isn’t it?

It’s a worry I’m singing, isn’t it?

And because I’m afraid that I can’t even hold a tune,

I’m standing before you, shaking in fear, terror, and doom.


I am reviewing the year that we’ve had,

And all those things that make me glad to be a Nidder,

All of those races, relays, and long runs,

Are just some of the things I shall consider:

Think of Evening League and bed racing,

Then marathons, parkrun pacing,

And in the club champs, PBs smashing,

In the Mob Match, Striders trashing!

In the fell champs, getting mucky!

You’ve so much choice, you’re so lucky!

I wonder at what point we should begin.


So where to begin? I know where.

Down by the Nidd, that is where.

And I wonder, with that said, if you are able to guess?

It’s a chance to get sweaty, get drunk, and always cross dress.


I am reviewing the Knaresborough Bed Race,

And the two teams that we sent up Castle Ings,

Along the High Street, down past Bond End,

And through the River Nidd, but don’t forget these things:

Most importantly, your swimming trunks,

Although you’re dressed like Buddhist monks,

And in the river, should you choke,

Remember, then, to drink some coke,

But even that won’t do the trick,

For at the end, you’ll still feel sick!

This year I think we’ll get dressed up again.


Time for the song’s next section!

Time to admire Dave’s erection!

As we gathered excited, assembled on the village green,

What followed next was the highlight of our year as a team.


I am reviewing our Mob Match Victory,

When as a team we brought the Mob Match Trophy back!

That glorious Sunday, we raced that 10k,

With our faces painted gold and painted black.

So this, then, is our strategy,

Which guarantees us victory,

Thanks to the generosity,

Of this: your loving committee,

The trick, I think, is plain to see:

Get Dave to pay the entry fee!

This year I think we’ll the win the race again.


Who can I mention? I know who!

Their achievements are great. Yes, it’s true.

And I’m quite sure that you would really love to hear,

Of the great runs that we’ve ran over this past year.


I am reviewing, your achievements,

Over hill and road and track and fell and trail,

And please excuse me, if I mention,

You within the rhyming couplets of my tale.

For starters, I cannot resist,

To mention Matt on Everest,

From park runners out on the Stray,

To Carol on the Pennine Way,

And climbing high on Lakeland Ground,

Emma on the Bob Graham Round.

I wonder what you have in store this year.


I am very sorry, if I’ve missed you.

Don’t forget this: I love you, too.

But if I listed each and every run then I really would fear,

That you’d be sat there bored out your brains at the start of next year.


But in reviewing, the year that we’ve had,

There are some words of thanks I want to say,

To all the people, to whom I’m grateful,

For the help that they do give in their in their own way,

So think back to November, when,

Matt directed Guy Fawkes 10,

And thankyou to our coaches three,

And then, of course, the committee,

And lastly thanks to all of you,

For all those other things you do,

You’ve made Nidd Valley House a special place.


We come to the end, what a relief!

It’s time to sign off, I’ll keep it brief.

For although you’ve been sitting and smiling politely thus far,

I know that you’re itching to go form an orderly queue at the bar.


I’ve been reviewing the year that we’ve had,

And I want to say I’m grateful for your time,

I hope it’s helped, that you’ve been drinking,

As you’ve sat and listened to my tuneless rhyme,

But now’s the time to leave the show,

I’m sorry that I have to go,

And now I’m done, you know, I think,

I’m feeling ready for a drink!

So that’s it, kids: I’m outta here!

Can someone get me a cold beer?

This year I think I’ll leave it all to Dan.


Word to the Wise

Some of you might recall Christine Jones taking a tumble at the intervals session last week. And that was just the warm up. Anyway, ever the concerned and loving Chairman, I sent a text to her and ask if she was ok and whether the ankle was holding up. And the reply is a warning to all of us about the dangers of predictive text:

“Hi Sam, it’s very sore but I can still gobble so that’s good…”


Whether or not Bill is benefiting from Christine’s special skills, I can’t say.


See you around…


Sam x


Weekly Update: Why is Ben wearing a shawl?

Evening troops.


Well, once again everyone is very excited as we get ready for the Awards Night. Delivery lorries are up and down the drive to Nidd Valley House and we’re having to bring in extra staff to supplement the hired help already based here. The kitchens are awash with activity as pots and pans bubble away, the chefs try out exciting new recipes and the pastry cooks get started on the puddings. We’ve promised Fingers Harris that he can lick the mixing bowl clean if he is good. The banqueting hall is getting all tidied up and sorted out, although we’ve had to make Fell Running Phil throw the hoover around the place given that it was him who trod mud all over the luxury carpets. We’re working to deadline, but we know we’re on track for a great night on Saturday night and look forward to seeing you.



We’re running out of superlatives to describe Carol Morgan taking the position of first lady in the Montane Spine Race from Edale to the Scottish Borders. She set off early on Sunday morning, and some 268 miles and 43,000ft of ascent later, rocked up at the finish late on Thursday night. She managed to knock 43 hours of the previous female course record. That’s nearly two days, people. As she finished, her nearest opponent was still back at Hadrian’s Wall. You can’t overstate the magnitude of her achievement. She’s been covered in everything from the Harrogate Advertiser to the Guardian. But, the greatest honour of all: top of the bill in the weekly round up from Nidd Valley House. Well done, Carol. We’re incredibly proud of you, pleased for you, and thrilled that you’ve made your home with us here in Team Nidd.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Right, enough of such adoration. Let’s get to the PECO results from earlier today. For the men, we’ve got Matt Wilkinson (33:44) looking strong and just managing to keep Tim Harvey (34:01) at bay. Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse (34:58) was always close enough behind to be a danger to them throughout, with Alex Patrickson (35:42), Andy Todd (36:13) and Matt Rickard (37:00) hanging on in there. Mike Deacon (40:50), Maurice Kelly (41:57), Damien Handslip (42:13), Jim Cook (43:31), Mark Armstrong (43:54) were next over the muddy line, with Dave Seaman (45:24), Phil Robinson (45:35) and Neil Wright (59:06) completing the masculine-up (see what I did there? Masculine line up…. Oh never mind). From the ladies, Sue Simpson (44:58) managed not to get herself locked in the loo and so was first Niddette to finish. She was joined (on the race, not in the loo) by Christine Holleran (46:56), who was locked in battle to the finish with Sarah Hughan (46:58). Debbie Gibson (48:08) was on top form as she finished neck and neck with Moira McTague (also 48:08). I’m told that Hannah Peagram (49:28) had a wee in a ditch with Sarah H, but that’s probably too much information for you, so we’ll gloss over that and move onto a pleasingly symmetrical result from Debbie Dilasser (50:50) and other great results from Janet Carling (51:42), Rachael Prince (52:51) and Debbie Handslip (54:20). The muddy proceedings were concluded in great fashion by Michelle Smith (57:51), Sarah Chalmers (59:24) and Fiona Robinson (1:01:31). Well done, peeps!


I’ve no idea where Oakwell Park is, but apparently they have a parkrun and that is where Phil (26:14) and Fiona (34:25) Robinson were on Saturday morning. David Shores (23:21) was at the Humber Bridge – sounds ghastly, how the hell they got the capital of culture I’ll never know – and Paul Manning (23:21) remains down under where he completed the Canning Park parkrun. Is it just me, or is it a slightly arresting notion that Paul and Yvonne are currently upside down? Adam Kirk (19:17) was showing off with a brand new PB and second place overall at Dewsbury parkrun. Has to be doping. A quick peek up at Fountains tells me that Andy Todd (21:09), Marcos Montana (25:16), Rob Snow (25:55) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:57) had their trainers laced up and were ready to go.


Down in Harrogate, we had the usual suspects lining up to do their three laps of the Stray, starting with Martin Lofthouse (18:57), Matt Wilkinson (20:17), Maurice Kelly (22:44), Jamie Dilasser (23:00), Andy Peagram (23:13), Sue Simpson (23:21) and Steve Newton (24:42). Now he would never tell you himself, but yesterday was Ben Baird’s (24:46) 100th parkrun. But not only that, he even volunteered without pushing himself to a PB and surround himself with bacon sandwich glory. How charitably minded is that? He’s like Mother Theresa. Only minus the shawl and with more lycra. Anyhow, Dave Prince (25:20), Marl Armstrong (25:24), Sarah Hughan (26:22), and newbie Robert Hill (26:37) were the next to finish. But the story doesn’t end there, for we’ve also got great results from Tony LC (26:54), Moira McTague (27:13), Kirsty O’Donnell (28:42), Sue Reast (28:57) and Dave Rushton (29:29). And the famous finishing four? They were Neil Wright (30:22), Hannah Peagram (31:50) Natalia Lancosova (33:04) and Mandy Smith (38:28). Well done to you all.


From parkrun to the Pennine Way, I want to know all the juicy and sordid details:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’re back at the stamina-building interval sessions. This one is going to be led by the ever-lovely Jon Easton and we’ll be down on Slingsby Walk. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or at the Wetherby Road crossing for 7.10pm and get ready to feel the burn. It’ll be both fun and nice to see you!


Sarah Chalmers has suggested that Thursday’s club run should be the supermarkets. Unfortunately, I won’t be there as I am up working in Tyneside so while I’m up there enjoying a little fishie on a little dishie and waiting for the boat to come in, here is your plan: set off from the club at 7pm and make your way down by the railway towards ASDA, heading up Station Parade towards Waitrose. From there, you’re lining up for the showground, and you can go via St Aidan’s or via M&S. Your shout. After that, push on towards Sainsburys, down Wetherby Road and Forest Lane to Morrisons. This takes you into the glorious surroundings of Starbeck with one last pull back up to the club. Refresh yourselves with a few beers with Dave in the bar afterwards.


On Saturday, you might think about trading in your parkrun for this little fell race up near Todmorden. The Hoofstones race is only 8 miles with a little under 1,400ft of ascent, so it is all quite manageable. The details of the race can be found here: You might want to have a chat with Fell Running Phil (our very own evangelist of mud) if you’re new to fell running, and he’ll allay any anxieties you might have, not to mention bore you silly with a detailed exposition of his favourite ever off-road shoes.


But don’t spend too long out running because on Saturday night we’ve got the Awards Night. We’ll be on it and at it from 7pm at the Gold Club, so get that cow shit scrubbed of your legs and get yourself dressed up all fancy (well, I say that, I’ll just try and hack a few years off with a razor, you know how it is) and we’ll see you there. If you’ve missed the boat, then I’m sorry to say we have sold out and there is not even one additional ticket left for sale. Can’t wait to see you.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Good grief, she is a popular old bean, isn’t she? There are hardly any seats left for Judy Greenwood’s leaving meal at Lucias. I’ve never been a huge fan of Italian restaurants to tell you the truth, lots of people breaking into spontaneous renditions of O Sole Mio and waiters trying to jam their groins in your tortellini while brandishing oversized pepper mills. But enough of me and my prejudices. If you would like to share some farewell garlic bread with Judy and Mike to say goodbye, then you need to get yourself booked in with Nidd Valley’s very own maître d’, Fiona Deacon:


AGM: 16 February 2017

Nominations have started to pour in here at Nidd Valley House as we prepare for the AGM and election of the new committee. We haven’t seen Treasurer Dave for weeks as he is buried under a pile of spreadsheets anxiously trying to find his red briefcase. He does like to commend his budget to the house, I’ll say that much. But you really need to be there. We might even buy you some pizza for your tea as a special treat. All the relevant info from Secretarial Sarah can be found here:


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

I am still unbelievably excited. Maybe you are a bed race veteran or perhaps you are looking to pop your bed racing cherry for the very first time. If you’d like to be involved in the Nidd Valley campaign this year, then you need to let me know:


Word to the Wise

“That was cracking” – Carol Morgan, having completed the Montane Spine Race. She’s a funny old cookie.


See you soon, kids.


Sam x


AGM 2017

Dear Members

This email gives formal notice of the Annual General Meeting of Nidd Valley Road Runners on Thursday 16th February 2017, at 8.30pm in the bar at the hockey club.

proposed agenda is attached for your information along with copies of the current constitution and minutes from last year.


Club Committee

You are eligible to stand for any positions on the committee even if the current incumbent wishes to stand for re election. Should you wish to stand please email with your name, the position you wish to stand for and two fellow club members to propose and second you for the post. All nominations should be in by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017. Please see attached agenda.

Motions for discussion

Please email with any motion you or other members wish to be discussed and voted upon, this will then be included in the agenda. These must be in within 14 days of the meeting by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017.

We will be taking a vote on a charity donation of some surplus club funds. Should a motion pass to allocate funds to charity, we will need to identify a suitable recipient. Ordinarily we have always given this to Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate, should you wish to nominate any other cause, all nominations should be in by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017, to

Attendance at the AGM
We require as many people as possible to make any electoral decisions count on the night so please make every effort to attend. Every AGM requires a minimum of 20% attendance to be able to conduct business.
Pizzas will be provided for those attending at the AGM – please let Sam know if you have any dietary requirements.
See you there.
Many thanks
Sarah Hughan
Nidd Valley Road Runners


Weekly Update: Nidd Valley House, we have a problem…

Guten tag, alle zusammen!


So who else is following Carol Morgan as she does the Spine Race on the Pennine Way? I can’t take my eyes off the online tracker. It’s like Mission Control here at Nidd Valley House. Lots of anxious people watching the countless monitors on the wall and staring intently at computers. She’s doing very well, and at the time of writing is the first lady and in seventh place overall. It’s early days as she skirts round Manchester, Edale behind her, on her way up towards Yorkshire and Northumbria, but we all know she can do this! Come on Carol, we’re all rooting for you! Follow Carol here:

NVH Mission Control

NVH Mission Control

And while she slogs up another hill in the pouring rain, let’s have a look at the results.



Jane Hill is this week’s eager beaver, being the first tell me her result from the Brass Monkey half marathon in York, and we will indeed come to her in a moment. Alex Patrickson (1:21:49), Andy Todd (1:25:35), Adam Kirk (1:29:17) all squeaked in under the 1:30 barrier – something that I can only dream of to be honest with you – so it huge congratulations to those three people (I’ve also just noticed that their names all being with an A. First letter in the alphabet. First to finish. Spooky). Rachael Prince (1:57:29) sneaked herself in under the 2-hour barrier, with Jenny Manning (2:02:04) never too far behind. And last, but by no means least, Jane Hill (2:17:19) completes the line up.


So that’s your lot for road running. We had a few people up racing the Stanbury Splash fell race today up near Haworth. I cannot find any results for this race yet (well it is fell racing, after all – have a look in a few weeks, they might have appeared by then), so you’ll just have to imagine some arbitrary numbers in imaginary brackets when you read the following list of Nidds: Matt Wilkinson, Cath Barber and Sarah Chalmers. Although timeless, I’m sure it was all very impressive, and has given me one of the best wise words for months – see below!! Well done to all of you who took part.


Update: results are in at the last minute: Matt Wilkinson (59:48), Cath Barber (1:20:01), Sarah Chalmer (1:48:27). You’re nothing if not updated, peeps.


And with the inevitable and soul destroying tedium, we come to parkrun. First off the blocks this week, we’ve got Phil and Fiona Robinson who were racing down in the parkrun at Barnsley (I can’t help saying that in an exaggerated Yorkshire accent, like ‘Baaarnslay’ so that I end up sounding like William Hague. I’ve no idea why). Phil (25:43) was first to finish and was back at the line to cheer Fiona (32:42) home. If taking your wife to run a South Yorkshire parkrun is your idea of a hot date, Phil, you need to up your game. Take a leaf out of Paul Manning’s book, why don’t you? He’s taken his missus Yvonne to Australia, and while she was drinking a Fosters and throwing a few more shrimps on the BBQ, Paul took a turn round the Albert parkrun in Melboune. He finished in 23:29, you know, the little superstar that he is.


Anyway, it’s a relief to get away from savages of Barnsley back to the civilities of Harrogate, where Matt Wilkinson (18:18) got what proud-wife-to-be Plippy tells me is his second fastest ever time. Well done, Matt. Martin Lofthouse (18:37) pipped Matt Rickard (19:23) to the line in what I think will be a new PB for Matt. Andy Peagram (21:00) was the first post-20 minute Nidd, with Adam Kirk (21:29), Jamie Dilasser (22:13), Sue Simpson (23:02) and newbie David Shores (23:07) making easy work of the course. Good god, this list goes on forever doesn’t it? Never mind. Onwards. Jim Cook (24:15), Mark Armstrong (24:42), Tony LC (26:32), Hannah Peagram (28:07), Debbie Dilasser (28:08), Rebecca Ventress (28:18) and Ewa Scott (28:21) were the next to finish, with Kirsty O’Donnell (28:50), Sue Reast (28:58) and Jeff Walker (29:01) also putting in to-drawer efforts. Finishing things off, we’ve got three veterans of the Nidd Valley parkrun campaign: Dave Rushton (29:28), Michelle Dinsdale (31:26) and Mandy Smith (37:36). Well done to you all.


Same shit, different day. Update me:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we have the next instalment of the stamina interval sessions. This one is down on West Park (you know the one, the triangle run that seems to go on for ever) and is led by Sarah H. Maybe we’ll get to do another 1980s fitnessIt’ll be a blast, and we look forward to seeing you warm up! Anyway, you won’t know unless you turn up so get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm for a warm up jog. I can hardly wait to see you.


On Thursday, you’ve got a couple of choices going on. There’ll be a steady club run running the Knox route. For that, it’s over iron bridge and round Woodfield Road, picking your way through Bilton before coming up for air on Skipton Road. After that, it’s down to the Little Wonder roundabout, before heading up Ripon Road and into town, before turning for the club, extending round the Stray if that tickles your fancy. As an alternative, I’m going to lead a headtorch run down the greenway to Ripley. We’ll join the others over iron bridge, and then make our way through the darkness to see what things go bump in the night, before heading back through Killinghall and up through Bilton to the club. Whatever you do, be at the Hockey Club for 7pm and join us for a couple of pints afterwards.


Committee Meeting: 18 January 2017

My very last one. It’ll be emotional. If you’ve got something you’d like discussing at what promises to be a tense, thrilling and gripping meeting, you’ve still got time to let Sarah H know:


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

I warned you, and I warned you many times. If you didn’t get a wriggle on, you’d miss the boat. And the HMS Nidd Valley has indeed set sail: there are no more tickets for the Awards Night. Not a sausage. We have completely and utterly sold out.


If you haven’t let Sarah C know your food choices or if you haven’t settled the bill with Dave (actually, that reminds me…) then you need to do so ASAP. You’ll find Dave in some state of undress in the men’s changing rooms, and you’ll find Sarah here:


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Yeah, I know. It’s pretty tragic but Judy G is abandoning us in pursuit of an idyllic life in the Lake District with hubby Mike. You can’t blame her, I suppose. Anyway, if you want to come and say your tearful goodbyes or just make sure that she goes, that sort of thing, then there will be a farewell meal at Lucias on Friday 10 February. If you want to go along (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), then you need to let Fiona F know: (please note the new email address!).


AGM: 16 February 2017

The details for this will be out this week. Just save the date. You really need to be there.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Oh, yes please! I love bed racing, I really do. It probably is my very favourite day of the entire year. Drinking, cross dressing, swimming, running. Great. Anyway, if you want to get involved in Team Nidd’s glorious efforts this year, please register your interest with me. Once we’ve got a list of daft buggers together, we’ll try and form some teams from there. I’m not after ready-made teams yet, just expressions of interest. I’m still here at Nidd Valley House:


Word to the Wise

My informant rang me up today with this absolute gem from the Stanbury Splash race. It really is great and more than a little bit risqué, and I hesitate to print it for fear of reprisals. But then I thought, hey, I’ll be gone in a few weeks. What’s the worst that can happen?


Sarah Chalmers: “At least I didn’t get mud up my crack this time…”


Whether she is talking about her rear bottom or her front bottom, I’m unable to say.


And on that lurid note, it’s a goodnight from me.


Sam x

Weekly Update: What did Warren have that was long, lonely and hard?

Good evening!


This is your captain speaking. Yes, I’m back here on the bridge of the HMS Nidd Valley as we prepare to hoist the anchor and make sail. Everyone is, as you can imagine, very excited as we get ready to embark on the first voyage of the new year. We’ve got the full crew here: Chief Petty Officer Philippa has spent the day checking all the supplies, Seaman Seaman is faffing about up the rigging, and Fingers The Cabin Boy has been hard at it scrubbing the decks. We’re all good to go! Ahoy my hearties! It’s the treacherous unchartered waters of the results.



And we first make landfall at Temple Newsam, where we’ve had three of our crew mates running in a gruelling 10 mile race earlier today. Jon Easton (1:19:36) – for some inexplicable reason running as James Easton and not affiliated with the club, don’t ask me why – was first home for the club, followed by the correctly named and affiliated Jim Cook (1:26:41). I tell you something, it isn’t often we see Christine Holleran, but it is always nice when we do, especially when she (1:30:39) such brilliant times. Congratulations to you all.


Right, don’t take it out on me. I don’t know why the women’s course at yesterday’s Yorkshire XC Championships was a few laps shorter than the men’s. I didn’t plan the route, and can only conclude that the organisers were of the opinion that it would be too much for the fairer sex to contend with given that their embroidery-addled minds were too full of things like little kittens to be worrying about getting too muddy, I don’t know. Anyway, take it up with them. Despite a few commendable protest absences at the flagrant sexism, we still had a good few showings from the ladies on the muddy course up at Lightwater Valley. Fiona Deacon (40:42) was first Nidd round the roller-coaster course by a good clear margin, with Hannah Peagram (47:57) gaining ground behind Sarah Hughan (47:17) on every turn. Sarah Chalmers (55:29) put in a sterling effort to conclude the ladies team’s effort, securing them a final position of 28/29. Well done!


And to the men and their longer course. Ever-speedy, Matt Wilkinson (40:35) kick started proceedings for us, with the Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse (42:29) battling hard in the mud for the finish line. You’ve got to love Andy Todd (44:14), haven’t you? He’s like the Duracell Bunny of Nidd Valley. He just keeps going, and going, and going, even all the way to the end of a tough cross country course. That said, Adam Kirk (44:56) was never too far behind him in what was a tight race, with Mike Deacon (47:40) pulling out all the stops for the team. Who’s next? It’s Andrew Peagram (48:40), Jim Cook (52:37), Chris Beattie (55:14) and Marcos Montana (58:25). And the final position for the men? They took 23rd place on the table out of 33 teams. Nice work, chaps.

Looking good, Mr B!

Looking good, Mr B!

And we come, after such a tumultuous voyage, to the safe harbour of the parkrun results. Paul Manning has been down in the Australian Capital of Canberra to take part in (what is, in my opinion, the finest named parkrun in history) the Tuggeranong parkrun. For those of you that are interested, Tuggeranong is the traditional home of the indigenous Ngunawal Tribe, has a population of some 87,000 people, and the town centre is built alongside a rather arresting lake. For those of you that just want me to cut to the chase, Paul (24:23) finished 66th out of 360 runners.

Anyone know who Paul's new special friend is?

Anyone know who Paul’s new special friend is?

Much less glamorous, Fiona Robinson (32:48) took part in the Rotherham parkrun (and by less glamourous, I mean Rotherham and not Fiona. She’s incredibly glamourous, as I’m sure you know). Marcos Montana (25:50) was up at Fountains with Michelle Dinsdale (30:43), while Neil Wright (29:48) had no one to keep him company at Wetherby, the poor thing. Also on her lonesome, we’ve got Sue Reast (29:50) up at the Dalby Forest parkrun.


As ever, most of the action is on the Stray, and so we best get ourselves up there to see Maurice Kelly (21:46), Martin Lofthouse (22:00), Ben Baird (22:44) and Alex Crowton (22:54) lead the troops home. Sue Simpson (23:21) was the first Niddette over the line and managed not to get herself locked in the bog, so that’s a relief. Matt Wilkinson (24:02) had his foot off the gas in preparation for the XC later in the day, with Mark Armstrong (24:07) and Mike Benson (24:17) tucking in nicely behind him. You’ve got to love Dave Prince (24:48) haven’t you, but also spare some loving for Adam Kirk (24:56), Tony LC (27:02) and Christina Taylor (27:44). We’ve got four superb results to finish things off this week, and they come courtesy of Rebecca Ventress (29:29), Jeff Walker (29:48), Kirsty O’Donnell (21:26) and parkrun veteran Mandy Smith (38:40). Well done to you all.


I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm / Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm / Yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new / In city and in forest they smiled like me and you / But let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie / Your eyes are soft with sorrow / Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye:


The Week Ahead

If it’s a Tuesday, it’s intervals, but you must know that by now. And this week’s vomit-fest will be led by Sarah Hughan down on St Catherine’s Road. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm for some drills in the carpark before we head down for a warm-up job and the main event. Get ready to feel the burn, kids. You know it’ll be worth it.


Alex Patrickson is one very lucky boy as he has got to choose Thursday’s club run. The lucky scamp. Anyway, he has suggested that we run the Duchy Estate, which seems a capital idea if you ask me. So we’ll meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and then head down Skipton Road and onto Kings Road, through Springfield and onto Ripon Road. Weave your way through the Duchy and onto Harlow Moor. From there, you can head back down Otley Road or extend round the middle-class suburbia of HG2. The choice is yours, and we’ll be blotting out the whole sorry incident with a few pints in the bar afterwards. It’d be lovely to see you.


There don’t seem to be any local races this weekend, either on the fells or on tarmac, but if you’re heading out for a spin (and if not, why not?), then why not let a few fellow Nidders know so that they can come and interrupt your solitary run and get in the way?


Committee Meeting: 18 January 2017

We’ve got Chairman-elect Dan coming along for his first security briefing, and so it’s going to be an interesting meeting. Mainly banter, I should expect. We’ve got a lot to get through, including agreeing the races for the championships, sorting out our bed race entries, and having a last-minute panic about the Awards Night. If you want to add to our problems, then you need to speak to our esteemed secretary:


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

There’s still tickets left for this most prestigious night here at Nidd Valley House. It’s normally quite a good night, and I’ve got a couple of little surprises up my sleeve to make sure it all goes with a bang. As ever, everyone is very excited. Dave and I have spent the weekend doing a wine tasting, the butlers are busy polishing the silverware, and the two Sarah H has been working her way through a stack of taster menus. You won’t want to miss it, especially when it is only going to cost you £20 a head. There’ll be food, wine, dancing and plenty of silliness, so we hope you’ll be able to join us. There’s a Facebook group on the go with plenty of irrelevant information:, and tickets are available from Judy G:

Awards Night: champagne, cocaine and hookers as standard...

Awards Night: champagne, cocaine and hookers as standard…

AGM: 16 February 2017

I’ll be sending out my one sensible email of the year in a couple of weeks with all the relevant info for the AGM. We need to be quorate to have a meeting, so if you want to get rid of me then you need to make sure that you’re there. There’ll be free pizza too to sweeten the bitter pill of a financial report. Please save the date! We’ll be taking formal nominations for posts soon, but all positions are up for grabs, even if the current incumbent is trying to secure another term. Have a think about whether you’d like to be involved, why don’t you?


Word to the Wise

It isn’t often that I would deign to feature in this section of the email, but here is an excerpt from some texting between Warren Lowcock and I following his marathon training run yesterday.


Sam: How was the run?

Warren: Long, lonely and painful.

Sam: Sounds like my sex life.

Warren: Word to the wise! You better report it correctly.

Sam: This week’s email is entitled ‘What did Warren have that was long, lonely and hard?’

Warren: Ha ha you better not I get enough funny looks as it is.

Sam: The NVRR ladies will be very impressed.

Warren: It was a long, painful, solo effort.

Sam: Did you have any power spurts?

Warren: I’m not talking to you anymore. I forgot the golden rule: never talk before email time.


Sleep tight, kids.


Sam x

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all around Nidd Valley House…

…Everyone is very excited of course and so should you be. There’s gifts-a-plenty in this your weekly round-up, of races past, results present and dates yet to come…

Running in a winter parkrunland…

At Harrogate it was Centenary celebrations for Martin Lofthouse as he completed his 100th run in 19.01, from the Nidd contingent only super speedy Warren Lowcock beat him to the line in 18.58. They were soon joined by Simon Franklin 21.39, Andrew Peagram 22.12, Matt Rickard 23.13, Sue Simpson 23.47, Steve Newton 24.11, Nick Smith 27.01, Tony L-C 27.09, Moira McTague 29.07 and Kirsty O’Donnell 29.48. Then came the three wise women, Debbie Dilasser 30.10 Rebecca Ventress 30.11 and Hannah Peagram 30.11, I have been reliably informed that Hannah didn’t get in (after a booze-soaked Christmas party) until the very small hours of Saturday morning, so actually she probably wasn’t feeling very clever at all… Anyway, Jeff Walker 35.06, Amanda Smith 38.53 were next home, and Fingers Harris 38.55 rounded things off nicely before everyone decamped to celebrate with Martin over a coffee, I was sad to miss it, but congratulations again Martin.

Over at Fountains Abbey, Andy Todd sped round in 19.51, Mark David 22.00 was next, Marcos Montana 24.54. Jane Hill 31.19 and partner in crime Michelle Dinsdale 31.22 also soon finished their 5k around the beautiful course. Good running.

Keswick  was the home this week  for our lovely parkrun tourist Fiona Robinson, finishing in 33.41.

Over in Wetherby Lizzie Medwell finished in 29.19.

I have had a quick look at the Junior parkrun results and found Connie Mitton 12.21 – well done!

Don’t forget there will be 2 parkrun’s at Harrogate next weekend, Saturday on Christmas Eve as normal and an extra one on Christmas Day… I do this every year and it is brilliant, it is the only time I get out of the kitchen on Christmas Day so I will definitely be going, leave the presents and burn off a few calories before your Christmas dinner!


PECO race 2 – Middleton Park

What a fab day for a run out this morning at Middleton Park.

The juniors in school year 4-6 ran a 1 mile course, storming home, first for the club Joseph Turnbull in 6.40, followed by Will Harvey 7.04, the delightful Evie Isles 7.33, Aidan Ranns 7.34, Euan Madden 8.11 and Finlay Ranns 8.21. Brilliant running all of you!

School years 7-12 ran a 2 mile course, Joe Sutcliffe was first back in 13.37, Jake Stalker 14.09, James Harvey 14.59, Edward Chesworth 16.39 and Eddie Ventress 20.57. Well done!

Sue Simpson was the first of the Nidd Valley ladies home in 41.16. Debbie Gibson was next in 43.19, Catherine Barber 43.28, Rachael Prince 46.55, Debbie Hanslip 48.06 and Sarah Chalmers 54.16.

Matt Wilkinson led the men home in 29.55, Alex Patrickson 31.15, Martin Lofthouse 31.43, Andy Todd 33.02, Matt Rickard 34.09. They were soon followed by Mike Deacon 37.02, Damien Hanslip 38.33, Jim Cook 39.30, Dave Seaman 40.59, Marcos Montana 41.03 and Dave Prince 41.25.

Great running everyone and brilliant to see the PECO’s so well attended.


Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin have been busy as always, Carol did Tour de Helvellyn in 7 hours 36 mins and was 5th female home…  it is 38 miles with thousands of feet of ascent and descent on tough mountain trails, it sounds incredibly difficult, so really well done Carol.
Earlier today they both did The Stoop, Simon in 45mins something and Carol told me she didn’t know her time, but she enjoyed it and got very very muddy!!!! I couldn’t find the results either, but did read on the site that you got a free Curly Wurly on finishing and you had to run in a Santa Hat – can’t be bad! Well done to you both.

Another fan of distance running and lots of hills, Emma David did Hardmoors ‘marathon’ last Sunday – 30 miles and 5,500 feet of climb in 6 hours! Another fantastic achievement – well done Emma!

Remember to email your results to Sam will be back in the New Year and normal service will be resumed!

Coming up!

Lots of dates to remember so let’s hope you get a new diary in your Christmas stocking!

Tuesday 20th December. Intervals at Wheatlands Road East – PLEASE READ!

It may be Christmas but that’s no excuse for skipping interval training. Dan, Jon and I have done another day of our coaching course, and Dan will be on hand to warm you up, run you round and cool you down after a few laps of Wheatlands Road East… see if you can do an extra lap from last time!  Everyone should meet at 7pm at club please as Dan is going to trial a new style of a warm up this week so that you are ready to get straight into the main session by the time you arrive at Wheatlands Road East, please note that there will be no warm up there.

Thursday 22nd December.  It’s the Santa Run – now an annual event in the Nidd Valley advent calendar! Get your Christmas fancy dress on and head to club for 7pm where you will set off around town, “singing” a few Carols and generally spreading the Nidd Valley festive cheer and excitement. Beers in the bar at the hockey club afterwards.

Christmas holidays. There will be no 7pm club sessions between Christmas and New Year. So please don’t turn up to the hockey club on December 27th or the 29th as we won’t be there.

Tuesday 3rd January. Do however turn up ready for the first intervals of 2017 on Tuesday 3rd January! We will be starting the first of the endurance sessions (well, it will make a change from all those hills)!  Dan, Jon or I will be there to keep you motivated as you charge up Slingsby walk and around Saints. Meet at the club for 7pm and we will head down for the session.

Thursday 5th January. We can take a run down to Knaresborough via the well-lit roads. Cut along Waterside and back up Forest Moor and back to the club via the back of Morrisons and along Kingsley Road. You can add on some extra distance around Knaresborough or cut down over Belmont crossing if you want a shorter route / you are still recovering from over exerting yourselves at intervals!

Saturday 7th January. It’s the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships at Lightwater Valley! I did this last year as my first attempt at cross country since school and that was a very long time ago, but fortunately I liked it far more than I remembered, so don’t be put off!  If you are on the list I will see you there. Sadly I think it is too late to enter now, but if you’re not running, why not come and support? Senior women race at 12.50 and then we stay and cheer the men on at 2.10pm.

Saturday 28th January – Awards Night.  Get your glad rags and plenty of sparkle on for the most anticipated event in the NVRR calendar! Get your tickets quickly as they are selling fast. Let Judy know if you want to go –, and then pay your money to treasurer Dave it’s £20, please make sure you put your name on as a reference if you are paying by bank transfer. Don’t miss it!

AGM – Thursday 16th February 2017. A little advance notice of the AGM, where you, our valued club members, choose your new committee and run through the accounts from the previous year, plus we notify members of any other important changes for the coming year. This will take place at the hockey club upstairs after a shorter than normal club run. We need as many members as possible to attend on the night, so please make a note of the date and try your best to come to this.


Word to the wise.

Wardrobe malfunctions aplenty at intervals at Springfield Mount on Tuesday.

Halfway through the session, visualise if you will, Hannah Peagram, charging down the hill, hair flying behind her “Aaagghh I am having a hair disaster, it’s this clip thing, I look like a mad Amazonian woman!” (She did a bit!)-  I handed her my hair bobble and off she ran.

Christine Jones had some sound advice – Always choose your running pants carefully, I spent most of that session rearranging mine…   to be fair there was nothing I could have done to help there…

So that’s all from me, I for one have had a great year at NVRR and hope the next one is just as good.

From us all at Nidd Valley House, enjoy your Christmas and New Year everyone.

Sarah H x

Weekly Update: Oh dear, what can the matter be? Who got themselves locked in the lavatory?

Good evening!


Its pantomime season here at Nidd Valley House! Oh not it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Well, then, boys and girls, I wonder which Nidder has got the role of the pantomime dame this year and which lucky soul is going to be the rear end of Martin’s pantomime cow. It’s all very exciting, I’ll tell you that much. But, before the curtain rises on what I’m sure will be a terrific performance, we’ve got an email to get through. Oh yes we do!



I tell you something, people, the minute the club championships are over then everyone seems to hang up their racing shoes and start thinking about the Christmas shopping. Ghastly. Anyway, it makes my job easier as we only have the parkrun results to do this week so, without further ado, follow me and let’s have a look at what has been going on.


Chris Beattie went to Bangor – was she in, Chris? – and he took part in the parkrun while he was there. Although not quite scratching his PB, Chris (22:42) was pleased with his first time on the Northern Ireland course. Adam Kirk (20:09) was back down in Dewsbury for a bit of parkrun excitement down there, clocking third finisher overall. It isn’t often you hear West Yorkshire referred to as exciting, but there we are. It’s was all very romantic for Andrew and Hannah Peagram as they finished the Bury St Edmunds parkrun together – bless – each clocking 32:38. I don’t actually know if it was a dirty weekend or not, nor would I like to speculate, suffice to say that if I’d had a busy night then the last thing I’d think about doing is lacing up my running shoes at some unholy hour to run a 5k race.


To Fountains, then, where Andy Todd (19:48) just missed out in a top ten finish on the hallowed ground. Marcos Montana (24:46) was also on cracking form as he raced round the monastic course, while Sue Reast (28:33) and Michelle Dinsdale (29:40) demonstrated that wearing a wimple is no impediment to impressive and athletic performances.


Right then, Harrogate. Warren Lowcock (18:04) was on speedy form and managed to bag second place overall, with Martin Lofthouse (18:36) and Matt Wilkinson (19:23) hot on his heels. Matt Rickard (20:58) and Sue Simpson (22:57) were the next to finish. Incidentally, Sue Simpson has asked me not to mention that she got herself locked in the public toilets on the Stray just before the parkrun started as she’s terribly embarrassed about it. I can understand that so I won’t be talking about the time Sue got herself locked in the public toilets. If you see her, please don’t mention the fact she got locked in the public toilets. It’s best we just leave it and just try and forget the fact she got locked in the public toilets. Unlike Sue, Steve Newton (23:29), Christine Holleran (24:28) and Mark Armstrong (24:38) managed not to lock themselves in the public toilets. Dave Prince (24:46), Sarah Hughan (25:20), Nick Smith (26:54) and Tony LC (27:53) all went before they came out and so didn’t have to run the risk of being locked in the public toilets, and were joined by an injured Fingers Harris (29:11), Rebecca Ventress (29:48) and Moira McTague (30:06). Jane Hill (30:25) and Mandy Smith (36:46) round things up for us this week, and Jeff Walker (45:45) gets a mention for pimping himself out as sweeper for the week. Well done to you all.


If you too managed to escape from the public toilets before the race started (okay, I’m sorry), don’t forgot to let me have your results:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, Jon E makes his coaching debut. I can hardly wait. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down by the Knox Wood Mill for 7.10pm where Jon will be waiting with a cheeky little hill session specially prepared just for you. Whether he’ll be sadistic like Sarah H and make you do it in reverse, I can’t say, so you’ll have to be there to miss it.


On Thursday, we’re back to the happy world of a club run. This week’s request has come from Catherine Barber, who would like to run the Reverse Showground. So, for those in need of further information, this is out from the Hockey Club at 7pm and down Kingsley Road into Starbeck. From there, pass behind Morrisons, through the Dalby Estate and down Forest Lane. Pass over Wetherby Road and down past Sainsbury’s and up through the Showground to Hookstone Chase. From there, you can head to the club pretty directly, or extend up Oatlands Drive or Leeds Road as the mood takes you. As is becoming a regular feature, Catherine will be herding a group of steadier runners if that floats your boat, or you can go haring off with the daft buggers up front. It’s your choice. Whatever you choose to do, it’ll be lovely to see you. Afterwards, there’ll be beers in the bar with the old farts for those of you that have nothing better to do.


On Sunday, Sarah is organising the Ladies Santa Run. The plan has changed somewhat, and she is now hoping to see as many of you ladies as possible at 9.30am at Blubberhouses carpark for a quick spin round the reservoirs before heading up to Mackenzies Smokehouse for your breakfast. If you’re planning on going, then there are a few things that you need to do. Firstly, you need to get yourself a £10 gift for the secret santa, then you need to have a look at the menu and decide what you want to eat: That done, you need to email Sarah to confirm your attendance and breakfast choices: However, if you’re a boy, you can ignore all of those instructions. You can spend the morning in your PJs in front of Sky Sports scratching your balls or whatever it is you like to do.


Christmas Run: 22 December 2016

Oh dear God, not again. I’m glad that I have managed to be at the other side of the world while this is on. For the uninitiated, this is the plan: rock up at the Hockey Club for 7pm in some state of festive fancy dress and be prepared to run around the streets of Harrogate, stopping periodically to break into eye-wateringly toneless and barely recognisable renditions of popular carols. The Little Lord Jesus wouldn’t be asleep on the hay for long if he heard you lot massacring Away in a Manger in eight different keys, but it that way. Anyway, that done, head back to the club to get warmed up have a pint and a second-rate mince pie. I don’t know why we put ourselves through this.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

I for one have never bought a hot cake in my entire life but, regardless of their retail appeal, they ain’t selling as well as tickets for the Awards Night. It’s all very exciting, as you can expect, and the butlers and maids here at Nidd Valley House are polishing the silverware, trimming the candles and buffing up the chandeliers. The ladies are all choosing their cocktail dresses, Jon is looking for his sporran and we have bought Fingers a lovely new sailor suit. You wouldn’t want to miss it, believe me.

This is before the DJ and Jager Bombs

This is before the DJ and Jägerbombs

Anyway, tickets are an absolute steal at only £20 (we do subsidise it for you, but then again we are good to you) and this includes a three-course meal and a DJ. If you want in, then you need to book your place with Judy G: and transfer the money to the club account.


Also, if you have a trophy from last year, it’s time to take it off the mantelpiece and give it back. We need to get them to the engravers to immortalise the fame of this year’s winners. If you have one, can you please bring it to the club and give it to Sarah Hughan, or make alternative arrangements with her here:


Word to the Wise

I’ve got a couple of wise words for you this week. You must have been extra super-duper good and well behaved to get such a treat.


On Tuesday, we were getting ready for Dave’s surprise birthday party and in the changing room I decided it was probably a good shout to remind Alan Harby. For those that would like the fuller picture, he had put his socks on but was still looking for his underpants. Anyway, when more appropriately dressed, Alan wandered over and shared this little pearl of wisdom.

“How old is he? 70? Really? By jingo, I knew he was old and in his sixties but I had no idea he was that bloody old…”


On Thursday, Dave came up to the bar to get his usual post-run pint, only to find half the club there, cakes and a few presents waiting for him. He was visibly touched and emotional, prompting this final wise word:

“It isn’t often you see Dave lost for words, is it?” – Judy Greenwood, in observant mood.


Sorry about that, Dave.


I’m away now until the end of December and, freak aviation accidents notwithstanding, will see you again in 2017. I leave you in the capable hands of the staff here at Nidd Valley House and a handful of exciting guest editors. Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.


Sam x


Weekly Update: We have a photo of Sarah smiling during a race…

Hi all.


It’s all go at Nidd Valley House, as you can expect. We’ve finally finished the extensive and expensive renovations to the West Wing, the new carpets are down, the paint is dry and the fine artwork has just been rehung. It looks splendid. Still, we’ve had a bit of trouble with Fell Running Phil as he has been all excited about the new PECO season and in a moment of giddiness sent a fine and priceless Ming Vase flying so it shattered all over the floor in the Grand Ballroom. You cannot imagine Treasurer Dave’s response when he saw the excess bill from the insurers. You wouldn’t expect such language from him, to be honest with you. Still, with those expletives ringing in our ears, there’s only one place we need to be: the results.



Modesty, thy name is Morgan! Yep, once again I left a result out from last week’s write up and this time it has fallen to Fell Running Phil to let me know Carol’s exploits as she was keeping them very much to herself. Well, Carol, if you won’t take that light from under your bushel then I will, telling everyone that you took part in the Tour of Pendle Fell Race last week. I did a reccie of it with Emma last year and actually cried. It’s a brutal 27k with 1500m of climb and is no mean feat, I tell you that much. But we weren’t talking about me, so we’ll congratulate Carol (3:19:30) on her incredible third lady finish. FRP describes it as “probably one of her best performances in a Nidd vest” and if that isn’t high praise, then I don’t know what is.


I know you’ll be itching to get to the PECO results, but let’s just hang fire on that for a moment and get the parkrun results out of the way. We start off this week with Rebecca Ventress. Rebecca was up visiting her bestie and Nidd Valley Runner Emeritus Aimi Blueman up in Edinburgh. It was great to see Rebecca stay off the booze long enough to knock out the Edinburgh parkrun, where she (28:40) put down a thoroughly impressive time for that early on a cold and wet Scottish morning. Aimi, I’m sorry if you ran it and you aren’t included. I can’t find your result anywhere, but know it is thoroughly unlike you to pass up the opportunity for a quick run. Adam Kirk (19:43) was, we presume, down seeing the old trouble and strife down in West Yorkshire but managed to sneak out to compete on the Dewsbury Course, taking sixth place overall. As ever, we had a faithful contingent up at Fountains Abbey, led home by the indefatigable Andy Todd (19:45), with Marcos Montana (24:27), Nick Smith (26:21) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:59) storming home behind him.


But I’m sure you’re all champing at the bit to hear the news from Harrogate. Well calm yourself and fret ye not. Martin Lofthouse (18:45) managed to hold Matt Wilkinson (19:29) off for long enough to take fifth place overall, with Jon Easton (21:44) pulling over a minute ahead of Sue Simpson (22:49), Steve Newton (23:29) and Alison Illes (24:39). It’s always nice to hear from Sarah Hughan (27:07) who managed to squeeze herself in between Mr (25:15) and Mrs Dilasser (28:11). Neil Wright (28:34) soon popped his smiley face at the finish line, with Jim Cook (29:33), Tony LC (29:56) and Moira McTague (30:59) never too far behind. With mummy up tossing the caber in Scotland, it was up to dad Phil get Eddie Ventress (34:01) up in time, but the early start was well worth it with a time like that. And with two great results from Hannah Peagram (34:06) and Mandy Smith (38:12), that’s your lot from the Stray for this week. Well done to all you parkrunners.


Okay, never mind Chico Time, this is PECO TIME! Oh yeah. Yep, it was the first of the PECO XC races at Temple Newsam and it was grand to see such a large contingent of Nidds out to race. With off-road running clearly one of the last bastions of arbitrary sexism, the results for men and ladies are separated, so you’ll have to forgive me for not trying to reorder them in time order. Let’s start with the ladies, who were led home by Sue Simpson (38:39), Debbie Gibson (40:48) and Catherine Barber (40:59). After that, Moira McTague (42:24), Hannah Peagram (43:24), Debbie Dilasser (45:29), and Michelle ‘PECO’ Smith (47:15) all put in really good runs on the difficult course.  Christina Taylor (47:17) and Sarah Chalmers (51:01) finished things off for us with two brilliant finishes.

She smiles!

She smiles!

From the men, Warren’s boyfriend Dan tells me that his beloved had a difficult race, noting that “f*** me, that was terrible”. Still, he didn’t let that stop him (29:15) make easy work of the course and just hold Matt Wilkinson (29:22) at bay in a nail biting finish with Alex Patrickson (30:19) closing in within striking distance. All terribly exciting. Martin Lofthouse (30:43) was never too far behind Alex, with not even a hair’s breadth separating Adam Kirk (31:49) and Andy Todd (31:54). Who’s next? It’s Edoardo Piano (32:39), Matt Rickard (33:31), Andrew Peagram (36:19) and Jim Cook (36:54). It isn’t often we see Rob Snow (38:49), and it was just as lovely to see newbie Mike Benson (39:22) pop his NVRR racing cherry. Fell Running Phil (39:24) was, as I am sure you can imagine, very excited, and it was great to see Dave Seaman (39:50), Dave Prince (40:22), Nick Smith (42:23) and Neil Wright (44:29) out in force in the mud. Well done to you all.


The statisticians here at Nidd Valley House (with their newly appointed Team Leader, Edoardo Piano, very happy with his new surprise promotion) tell me that after this first PECO Race, the Nidd Valley Ladies team are keeping Striders at bay, whereas the men’s team are beating both Harrogate Harriers and Knaresborough Striders in the Second Division. We’re also third in the Vets category (that’s as in veterans, by the way, not the kind of vet that puts your pet rabbit down). This is amazing work from all of you, people, so let’s keep that going.


Bish bash bosh:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’re hard back at the intervals and this time Sarah H has a brand new hill session lined up for you. It’s going burn, it’s going to knack, but it is going to be worth it. You wouldn’t want to miss it. If you can get yourself to the top of Wheatlands Road East (the junction with Oatlands Drive) for 7.10pm, then that’d be great, but most of us will be meeting at the Hockey Club at 7pm for the usual gentle warm up jog together. Come and join us, why don’t you?


On Thursday, you have a choice. Martin Lofthouse and I will be leading a headtorch run down Nidd Gorge. All are welcome and the pace will be sedate but please don’t come unless you have a decent headtorch and some off-road shoes that you feel confident running in. Off road night time running is tremendous fun, but the right kit does pay dividends. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, then Dave Seaman will be leading a more pedestrian route in town, sticking to paths and pavements and with the benefit of street lighting. As ever, there’ll be lots of different paces from the quick to the not-so-quick. Whatever you decide to do, we’ll be meeting at the Hockey Club at 7pm and hope you’ll join us in the bar afterwards for drinks and a good old bitch.


Ladies Santa Run: 11 December 2016

It’s like an inverse Yorkie Bar. It’s not for the boys. Ladies are invited to assemble themselves at Blubberhouses carpark at 9am for a run with Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs followed by breakfast at Mackenzies Smokehouse. If you are wanting to come, please bring a gift to the value of £10 for the Secret Santa and get yourselves all booked in with that ringleader of festive cheer and jollity, Sarah Chalmers:


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

Yep, this shit is real and this shit is hot. We are in business and ready to rock. If you want to come along to this star studded glittering event, then you need to get yourself a place booked with Judy Greenwood: You also need to transfer £20 for the ticket to the club account (Nidd Valley Road Runners, AC# 12074796, sort code 40-23-12). If paying by this method, please include a reference based on your name and email this reference to Dave at More details at our Facebook group:


Exciting details about menu choices, playlists and that sort of thing will all follow in due course.


Club Championship Final Results

Mark David has asked me to share the final results with you, and I am more than happy to do so. The road results are here:, and the fell results are here: If you have any problems, questions, think you’ve been overlooked or omitted, then please raise it with Mark as he understands these technical things far more than I do:


Word to the Wise

We have another great wise word for you this week, this time courtesy of Catherine Barber and Nidd Valley House’s favourite intern Fingers Harris.

Catherine: What is the name of the Welsh equivalent of the Bob Graham Round?

Fingers: Isn’t that the Paddy Buckley Round?

Catherine: Oh yeah, that’s it. What about the Scottish one then?

Fingers: Oh, I know it…. it’s… hang on…. it’s the something Round.


Thanks for that, Fingers. Helpful.


See you tomorrow.


Sam x


Weekly Update: Willies, smack and burnt sausages…

Good evening!


Sorry not to make the breakfast run at the Deacon’s this morning. It looks like it was a right treat, with Fiona’s chargrilled sausages and Philippa’s crockery-smashing attempt to turn the whole thing into a Greek Wedding. Well done to all of you whole hauled yourself out of bed in to get up to the cottage in time and to complete the chilly climb up to Brimham Rocks.


Things are, as you’d expect, getting very busy here at Nidd Valley House. People are very excited about Christmas, as I am sure you can imagine. Sarah Hughan is back on the prosecco, Judy has a new Christmas jumper and Dave is putting the finishing touches to his mistletoe crown. On top of that, we’ve got a new cross-country championship on the way, an Awards Night to organise, and all the while people are very anxious about a Trump-style upset at the AGM. So you can put that ‘Make Nidd Valley Great Again’ sign down and read on. There’s a lot you need to know.



Oooops! I only went and left more results out of the write up last week. So it is a sorry to Edoardo Piano who had to send me a reminder of his adventure down in Bingley at the Harriers vs Cyclists Race last Saturday. Not sure how the whole thing worked to be honest, but am pleased to tell you that Edoardo (48:02) managed to get near the front of the pack to finish 106/246. He was soon joined by Simon Franklin (49:32) and Carol Morgan (49:36) as they hared down the hill with a group of mountain bikers chasing them down to the finish line. Well done, you three!


I’ve got another group of three beautiful people for you this week, with our team at Fountains parkrun. It’ll be no surprise to you to hear that Andy Todd (20:15) was first off the Nidd Valley blocks, with Marcos Montana (24:50) and Michelle Dinsdale (31:41) also on good form on the scenic course. Fiona and Phil Robinson were down in Sheffield, where they competed in the Hillsborough parkrun. Yeah, I know, I can’t even get myself to the Stray for 9am. Anyway, Phil (24:06) and Fiona (32:30) both did remarkably well and so I am sure that the journey down the M1 was worth it all in the end.


And so we come neatly to Harrogate parkrun and, while we are here we may as well have a look at the results. They start with Dan Eagling (20:51), Andrew Peagram (21:58) and Maurice Kelly (22:24), and continue with Sue Simpson (23:34), Christine Holleran (24:13) and Dave Prince (24:55). Moira McTague (24:57) kept the good times rolling, while Evie Iles (27:25) kept mum Alison (27:26) on her toes as they shot around the freezing cold course. Neil Wright (27:43) and an injured Fingers Harris (28:16) were never too far behind, just managing to keep Jeff Walker (29:12) at bay. Jane Hill (29:19), Hannah Peagram (33:03) and Mandy Smith (38:29) rounded things off nicely. Well done to you all.


Please remain seated, do not put your hands outside the carriage and do not unfasten your safety belt until the ride has come to a complete stop. Thank you:


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we continue with all things intervals, and this week we are down on Springfield Avenue for the session we have come to know and love: ‘Double Trouble’. This is being led by Dan, so to be fair anything could happen. He’ll probably still be chatting away come Wednesday morning. Dan tells me that he is marking the return to the site of the infamous arse-slapping with a warm up technique called ‘cheek to cheek’. I dread to think. Anyway, get yourself down to the carpark opposite the Holiday Inn for 7.10pm, or be sociable and come and meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


It’s a bit of bind to be working away this week as I won’t be able to join you for the run on Thursday, when I’m told that it is the Cornwall Road route. It’s not a bad one, this, and there are so many variations it really is the run that keeps giving. Leaving the Hockey Club at 7pm, we head over the Stray and through One Arch and down to the bottom of Valley Gardens. From there, up Cornwall Road and along Harlow Moor. You can hang back home from there, or push on round to Green Lane and Leadhall Lane, turning for the club either up Leeds Road or Hookstone Chase. That done, turn left through the double doors and up the stairs to the bar for a beer and a bag of crisps.


On Sunday, we have the first of the PECO Races. You must have heard about the fact we have got a team entry for this by now; Michelle’s been pedalling this with one with more vigour than dealers try and shift smack. Anyway, this one is at Temple Newsam and the senior races start at 11am. Michelle has the numbers for you all, so you need to see her at club this week to get them and to settle your debts. More details on the race can be found here: Got a question? Badger Michelle and not me:


X-County Championships

I tell you something, Martin and Michelle really are good to you. They’ve only gone and decided that we should have a cross country championship to compliment the fell and road championships, as well as giving us something to focus on through the winter months. We haven’t told Fell Running Phil yet as he’ll just get himself all over excited again and that is the last thing we need this close to his bedtime here at Nidd Valley House. Anyway, it’s based on the PECO League, with a few other races thrown in, and Martin will be sending out the schedule and rules in due course, but we thought you’d at least appreciate the dates:

  • Sunday 27 November 2016: PECO – Rothwell Harriers @ Temple Newsam
  • Sunday 18 December 2016: PECO – Hyde Park Harriers @ TBC
  • Saturday 7 January 2017: Yorkshire XC Championships @ Lightwater Valley
  • Sunday 22 January 2017: PECO – Kirkstall Harriers @ West Park
  • Saturday 4 February 2017: Wetherby Parkrun
  • Sunday 19 February 2017: PECO – St Teresa’s AC @ Pendas Fields
  • Sunday 5 March 2017: PECO – Chapel Allerton Runners @ Roundhay Park


Get them in your diary, then!


Ladies Santa Run: 11 December 2016

Well, this is disgusting. It looks like the ladies are going to go off and do their own thing and leaves us boys on our lonesome. Yeah, I know, it’s harsh. Still, there we are. If you are of the fairer sex, then you’re welcome to join the ladies a Blubberhouses carpark at 9am for an eight mile run, followed by breakfast up at Mackenzies Smokehouse. If you want to take part, then you’ll need to bring a £10 gift with you for the Secret Santa. If, however, you have a willy then you’re not welcome and will have to stay at home to watch the football, drink beer and play with power tools. Further details from Sarah Chalmers:


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

Now this is very exciting indeed. Judy has been busy printing tickets, Philippa and I have been working hard on the wine tasting, and Jon can’t wait to show you his new little black cocktail dress. He looks quite the picture. Tickets will be on sale soon, and will be going for the bargain price of £20. It’s a great chance to get dressed up, eat a rather good three course meal, have a boogie and listen to me talk a load of old baloney. If you’re down with the yoof, find out more on social media innit:


AGM: 16 February 2017

I know this uber-early, but I’d appreciate it if you might get this date in your diary. Go, that’s it, do it now.


You are welcome to stand for election for any post of the committee. If you think you could do a better job than Martin or Michelle, or maybe you think that you could show Dave a thing or two about treasuring, then this is your chance. Just because someone is willing to stand again doesn’t mean that you cannot stand. We do, however, have a couple of jobs going begging so do have a think about it. Philippa is standing down as a general member at the end of this year as she has a wedding to organise, and Judy is finally bowing out after 11 years as membership secretary. Thanks to them both for their work, it’s much appreciated. I’m also going to be checking out as Chairman, too, so this is your chance to get your hands on the keys to Nidd Valley House. More details on the AGM and how to stand to follow soon, but do have a think if you’d like to be involved and come and chat to me or any of the other committee members.


Song to the Wise

Now this is actually quite sweet. Dave and Rachael Prince brought their two boys Ollie and Alex to pizza after GF10, and Alex was as hyper as ever. So impressed was he with my new yellow and black bobble hat from Matt that he composed a song about it in the car on the way home. Rather touchingly, he penned his song when he got home and put it through my door the next day. With the author’s permission, it’s copied here in full complete with Alex’s own creative spelling…

“Sam the bumblebee, ran for Nid valeey and he was the chereman, they gave him a hat, it waz 20 qid, Sam the bumblebee x4. By the time he was in the second yere of cherema, that’s the end of story. by alex p”


If you too would like to write songs and poems about me, perhaps create a sculpture or a fine oil painting, then I won’t stop you.


Have a wonderful week whatever you do, and I’ll hopefully see you on Tuesday.


Sam x