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: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/, and tickets are available from Judy G: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.

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 chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk. 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 – membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk, 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: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: http://www.yorkshiresmokehouse.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Autumn-Breakfast-Menu-2016.pdf. That done, you need to email Sarah to confirm your attendance and breakfast choices: scpyman@hotmail.com. 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: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk 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: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: scpyman@hotmail.com.


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: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk. 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 dave.seaman2@btinternet.com. More details at our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/.


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: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1auJ74kWsms6JbXP7eQcJnGAjJt2E6V1YmW-9xe8wdh4/edit#gid=0, and the fell results are here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13BmRuVyXleVUF1qju2Okw4JCYozY2rnvRRMpO_SQwMU/edit#gid=0. 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: sqwubbsy@gmail.com.


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: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


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: http://www.pecoxc.co.uk/pages/race1.html. Got a question? Badger Michelle and not me: mjnissan@hotmail.co.uk.


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: scpyman@hotmail.com.


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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/.


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