Weekly Update: Put those pompoms away, for crying out loud!

Good evening!


I can barely hear myself think here at Nidd Valley House today, it’s so noisy. Everywhere I turn I am bumping into over-excited cheerleaders marching up and down the corridors with their black and gold pompoms as they shout out “Give me an I, give me an N, give me a T, give me an E, give me an R, give me a V, give me an A, give me a L, give me an S…. INTERVAAAAALS”. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the intervals are back and Nidd Valley House has not seen this much excitement since Fell Running Phil got a new pair of off-road shoes and Mark David got himself a new spreadsheet. O yes, make no mistake: the intervals are indeed back and everyone is VERY excited. Read on to find out more, why don’t you?



When I was busy faffing round for GF10 last week, I didn’t notice that last Saturday saw Damien and Debbie Handslip pack up and head to the Lake District to compete in the Helvellyn Trail 10k Race. Sorry about that. No matters, that record can be righted and set straight here: Damien (47:39) raced round the scenic course in a brilliant time, with the missus (1:03:16) never far behind. Well done to you both, they’re two brilliant times.

If you're this happy when running then you're not trying hard enough ;-)

If you’re this happy when running then you’re not trying hard enough 😉

And talking of chairmanly failings, I have to console Alan Davidson who was racing up in Greenock in Scotland at the end of October but was let down when yours truly failed to get his name in print. So, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Scotsman races in Scotland. Hardly news of the century, is it? But then he pointed out to me that he (18:43) had managed to get himself a new PB and – to use his words and not mine – it isn’t often that an old boy like him gets PB so we best make a fuss of him while we have the chance. Consider yourself fussed over, Alan.


It was muddy as buggery up in the Pennines yesterday – and when isn’t it, I hear you reasonably cry? – when Team Nidd was racing the Wadsworth Half Trog (9 miles, 1,400ft of climb and an awful lot of sheep shit, you know the kind of thing). Anyway, Carol Morgan (1:33:23) added more silverware to the Nidd Valley Trophy Cabinet, and was helped by Catherine Barber (2:02:27) and Rachel Prince (2:37:18) to claim the Ladies Team Prize. Just amazing. Edoardo Piano (1:36:00) just pipped part-time-Nidd Simon Franklin (1:37:39) to the finishing tape, while Fell Running Phil (1:52:51) just managed to hold Dave Prince (1:53:15) out of harm’s way as they hurtled down the final hill. Fell running newbie Jim Cook (2:00:35) got himself thoroughly acquainted with all things filthy, and Dave Seaman (2:25:24) and Sarah Chalmers (2:53:51) brought proceedings to a suitably impressive finish. Well done to you all.

Simon is playing with fire...

Simon is playing with fire…

Now then, everyone here at NVH is very excited to see that Warren Lowcock (18:40) was the first to finish overall at Harrogate parkrun, all very impressive until you realise that he was running almost a minute slower than his PB so easily within his comfort zone. It is sickening isn’t it? Never mind, just kick him in the shins when you see him. That’ll learn him for showing off. Jamie Dilasser (21:07) was back where he belongs with Team Nidd, having hung up his Harriers vest for good (great choice, that’s what I say), and was soon joined by Andrew Peagram (22:24) and Sue Simpson (23:12) at the finish. Mark Armstrong (23:44) was joined in his athletic ablutions by Junior Thomas Gillett (24:55), Moira McTague (25:27), Jim Cook (26:23) and Hannah Peagram (26:31). Nick Smith (28:00) swapped YorTours for YorParkrun as he hit the 28 mark smack on the nose, joined by a steadier than usual Fingers Harris (28:04) – what’s going on, Fingers? – Kirsty O’Donnell (28:09), Jeff Walker (32:05) and the old parkrun faithful Mandy Smith (38:11). Excellent work!


Martin Lofthouse pulled off a Warren, if you get my drift, when he also got a first place parkrun finish. He (18:54) was down in Lincolnshire – not something he wants to say too often, if he can help it – and racing in Boston Spa, whereas Fiona Robinson (31:39) was down racing in Cross Flats and Neil Smith (28:13) was even further away in Leicester. You go to all the best places, people, I’ll say that much. Andy Todd (19:54) was in the much more refined setting of Fountains Abbey, where he bumped into Mark (22:25) and Emma (23:00) David. I wonder what Mark was doing there. He races parkruns as often as I race sober. No matter, give a few cheers for Marcos Montana (24:17) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:02) who joined them on the monastic paths.


If you’re like Alan and I’ve missed your result, then don’t fret. I’ll still be here next week: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Lots going on, so you best pay attention. We start on Tuesday with the first of the winter interval series. It could hardly be more exciting. New coach Sarah Hughan will be out of quarantine and under the watchful gaze of her supervisor Emma David. Who knows how this will end up? If you want to find out, then get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm or down outside the Knox Arms for about 7.10pm and be ready to feel the exciting burn on the hills. Burn baby burn! It’ll be great, I promise, and we look forward to seeing you there.


You don’t want to be down in Bilton twice in a week if you can help it, so I suggest that on Thursday we run to Pannal. It’s not as a daunting as it sounds, trust me. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head round the Stray and past St Aidans, onto Hookstone Chase and to the crossroads. From there, you can head back to club or head down Leadhall Lane. Alternatively, line up down Leeds Road and plough on to Pannal, through the village, up the yarking big hill and join the others back somewhere in HG2. Catherine B will be leading her usual steady group, so don’t go getting yourself stressed about being left behind, and I’m happy to co-ordinate things for anyone who wants things a bit more sparky. Pints in the bar afterwards and a chance to play the exciting game called ‘I am quite sure we had this very same conversation last week.


On Sunday, Mike and Fiona are leading a 10k-ish run (shorter option available) followed by a breakfast to celebrate their new house. Bloody lovely people, aren’t they? Anyway, it’s a muddy one so make sure you take your shoes off before you go traipsing through the house looking for the toilet. Meet at the cottage for 9.30am. I won’t post their address online as we don’t want the Strider and the Harriers all and athletic sundry turning up demanding to be fed. Fiona has been peddling her bacon butties on the Facebook group and you can find the details there. If you are planning to go, they’d appreciate the heads up: mjfjdeacon@ntlworld.com. They might even tell you their new address if you ask them nicely.


Committee Meeting: Wednesday 16 October 2016

Jesus wept. Speak now or forever hold thy peace: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

Dave Prince would like to share with you the three lessons he learned from the Wadsworth Half Trog yesterday, which are:

  1. Phil Robinson should not follow me when I am blindly following someone who is lost. Maps are more use in your hand than the bag.
  2. But the same applies to Rachael.
  3. It does, however, makes a change from Dave Seaman getting lost.


Can’t argue with that. Enjoy your evening and see you tomorrow.


Sam x

Weekly Update: A terrorist on car parking duties…

Now then,


Once again – you did it! Another Guy Fawkes 10 is in the bag and whether you marshalled, packed, drove vans, put signs up, took signs down, clapped, cheered, directed, dressed up, handed out, picked up, watered, tidied up or just stood around trying to look busy, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you very much indeed. You’ve shown why Nidd Valley is indeed the friendliest club around (if not a little bit odd, but there we go) and today we showed a thousand lycra-clad visitors the very best of Team Nidd. Twitter and the email are full of positive comments from the runners. Thanks for being part of making it happen. #hurrahfornidd #bossedit #winning

A terrorist on car parking duties...

A terrorist on car parking duties…

No doubt Race Director Matt will do his roll call of beer-fuelled thanks over pizza later, so I’ll record my thanks to him here. He’s done nearly all the work behind the scenes, with neither a grumble nor a penny’s pay. He got his moment’s glory stood on a wall brandishing a megaphone today, though, but that isn’t really recognition enough for the work he’s been quietly getting on with it over the past 12 months, graciously responding to stupid questions from an interfering Chairman along the way. The club owes him a tremendous debt. Thanks, mate.



Results are mercifully thin on the ground this week as you’ve all been helping marshal the GF10, so I’ve only got a handful of parkrun results from this weekend. But before I go to them, I need to set the record straight on a few that were omitted when I didn’t get an update to you last week.


The girls were first off the blocks last week with the North Tyneside to Newcastle Half Marathon. And they were led home by Little Miss Chatterbox herself, Debbie Gibson (1:56:28). Katie Cowie (1:56:36), Michelle Smith (2:13:21) followed next, with Brenda Loades (2:28:51) and Anne-Marie MacPhearson (also 2:28:51) rounding things off. Well done to you all ladies.


It was also an all-female affair up at the Yorkshire Coast 10k where Jane Hill (58:28) just sneaked in under the one hour barrier last weekend, with the tireless Michelle Dinsdale (1:01:15) never too far behind. Nice work!


We’ve got more silly antics from the Franklin-Morgan household, this time in the shape of the Dusk till Dawn Ultramarathon in the Peak District, with runners chased by the ominously Halloween-esque Grim Sweeper. Equipped with her headtorch and plenty of spare batteries, Carol Morgan (10:08) was first lady and third overall on the 50 mile nocturnal challenge, with hubby Simon (13:46) also putting down an outstanding time. Congratulations to you both.


Matt Wilkinson (19:14) kick started proceedings for us at Harrogate parkrun yesterday, with Martin Lofthouse (19:22) slotting tidily into his slip steam. Sue Simpson (23:13) was first Mrs Nidd to acquaint herself with the finish line, before she was joined by Mark Armstrong (24:03), Paul Manning (24:22) and Mike Benson (25:33). Moira McTague (25:45), Sarah Hughan (26:19) and NV Junior Thomas Gillett (26:42) led Hannah Peagram (27:05) to the finish, before we caught up with Jeff Walker (27:38), Rebecca Ventress (28:26), Tony LC (28:27) and Ewa Scott (28:54). It’s hard to believe that NV Junior Eddie Ventress (32:02) was spotted trying to snaffle some chocolate for himself at the bag packing yesterday morning, but with a time like that I can only assume the poor thing must have been starving. You have to feel for the little love, don’t you? I sometimes wonder if his mummy can rouse herself from her prosecco soaked stupor to feed him. He’s like Nidd Valley’s very own Oliver Twist.


Anyway, let’s leave such Dickensian tragedy behind us and look at the other parkrun results. Up at Fountains, Any Todd (19:55) just sneaked under the 20 minute barrier, and we had two cracking little results from Marcos Montana (24:22) and Nick Smith (27:58). Over in Skipton, Fiona Robinson (32:15) continued her quest to complete all the parkruns in Yorkshire. Some people collect stamps, other people collect shoes. Fiona, well, she collects parkrun results. Takes all sorts I suppose. Adam Kirk (20:14) set off with the big boys at front of the pack at Dewsbury and managed to hold on long enough to bag himself an impressive fourth place. Well done to you all.

Spot the Nidd!!

Spot the Nidd!!

I’m told that Matt Wilkinson’s mum reads the weekly update to find out what her son has been up to. If you too would like to share your news with Mrs Wilkinson, then you only have to let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Moira M has chosen this Tuesday’s run and she thinks that you just can’t beat Bilton. I’m not so sure, but I’m not one to argue with her so on Tuesday let’s run Knox. As per usual, meet up at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out over the railway bridge and down Woodfield Road and Tennyson Avenue. God willing, we’ll come up for air somewhere on Skipton Road from where you can head back to club if you have had enough, or head down to Little Wonder Roundabout and back up Ripon Road. Chase a few Strava Segments while you plough on up to the town centre, along West Park and then turn for the club. Catherine B will be taking charge of a slower and steadier group, so please don’t turn up thinking there is nothing for you. There’s something for everyone here at Nidd Valley House.


On Thursday, I fancy a little bit of Cold Bath Road action. Get a wriggle on and get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm, from where we will run out onto Skipton Road, down Kings Road, past the Crown Hotel and up Cold Bath Road. You can hang a left from the club there if that’s your lot, or you can head down the seemingly endless Pannal Ash Road and then onto Green Lane and Leadhall Lane. Yadda yadda, you know where to go from there. All roads lead back to the Hockey Club where the old grumps will be having a couple of pints and a bag of crisps in the club house bar. Why don’t you join them?


Sunday marks the end of the Fell Championships with the Wadsworth Trog. It’s really the last thing we need, to be honest with you, as Fell Running Phil is an emotional wreck. I haven’t seen him like this for years, and we don’t know what to do with him. Just when you think he’s holding it together, something sets him off and he’s crying his heart out into his hankie, shoulders shuddering as he sobs. It’s a terribly sorry sight. If you can face the emotional car crash that he’ll be come Sunday, then you can find out more about the race here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4285. It’s just over nine miles in length, and just under 1,400ft in climbing, so you’ve got your work cut out. Good luck to all competing.


Winter Intervals

We’ll be starting this season’s Tuesday intervals next week, and will be unveiling Nidd Valley’s finest new coaching team: Sarah Hughan, Jon Easton and Dan Eagling. I’m really quite anxious about unleashing the King of Bantz, Dan, on you all so we’ll have to see how this one goes. I can still remember the time he spanked me on the arse as I ran past him when he was doing his coaching training. I never knew he felt that way if I’m being honest, and can only say I am sorry that his playful affections went unrequited. More details to follow next week (of intervals, that is, not Dan’s cheeky hands).


Deacon Towers: 20 November 2016

Yeah, so Fiona and Mike have got themselves a new country pad. You know how it is – wood burners, agas and chicken shit, that kind of thing. All sounds lovely. Anyway, they’re opening their doors to Nidders for a breakfast run on 20 November. If you would like to go for a run with these lovely people and then stop by for a brew to marvel at their new rural idyll, pop the date in your diary. Full details to follow next week.


Guy Fawkes 10: 5 November 2017

Only joking.


Word to the Wise

At last week’s Guy Fawkes’ reccie run, the conversation turned to lookalikes and the Nidders, perhaps ambitiously, were bragging about which celebrities and famous faces they have been likened to. And, in a moment of alarmingly intimate self-revelation, Jeff Walker made his word to the wise debut:

“I once pulled off Ian Botham…” – Jeff Walker, whose private life is thankfully no business of mine.


You’ve got Jenny Manning to thank for grassing Jeff up and bringing you that piece of filth.


See you for pizzas at the Hockey Club. 7pm. Be there or be hungry.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Debbie’s gender reassignment surgery has been a great success…

Now then,


Following some concerning information, we are declaring a State of Emergency here at Nidd Valley House. First thing this morning, we heard reports that Fell Running Phil was taking part in a road race. Then an anonymous caller let us know that Lee Dalton had made a return to racing. Shortly after that, the Deputy Manager of the Intelligence Department reported that Carol hasn’t run up any mountains this weekend. And, strangest of all, we then heard that Philippa has actually been for a run. This is all very concerning and our Intelligence Analysts are working round the clock to get to the bottom of things. For now, please remain in your homes, secure your doors and windows, stockpile non-perishable food, and avoid all non-essential travel. Thank you.



We start this week with some belated news, this time from Christine Holleran. Christine took part in the Shaun Lee Johnstone Memorial Race last weekend and you’ll be impressed to hear that she finished the muddy and wet 10 miler in a brilliant (1:29:25). Congratulations, Christine.


Up in Osmotherley, Lee Dalton took part in the 20k trail race earlier today, marking a return to racing after a long hiatus. Impressively, he was the first in over the line – not just first Nidd, but proper first. Even more impressive, isn’t it? Our sources tell us that it was a quite a convincing win for him (in 1:26:ish) with some distance between him and his nearest rivals. Sarah Chalmers (1:24:ish) wasn’t first in the 12k race, but nor was she last so that should at least put a smile on her face. Well done to you both.


Neil Wright tells me that he was down in Leicester – not something he wants to say too often, if he can help it – where he raced in the half marathon down there. Well, bugger me. He only went and got under the two hour barrier with the most athletic of results (1:53:55). As is tradition, Neil has sent me the email apologising for not being faster and putting himself down. Neil, get a grip of yourself: that’s a great result and a profound achievement. Nice work.


You know it is a big event in the road championships when even Fell Running Phil laces up his road shoes to get involved. But it was a big event indeed, where today we marked the end of road championships with the Whixley 10k. If this was what he was like at the road championships, I dread to think what he’ll be like when the Wadsworth Trog brings the fell champs to an end next month. He’ll be insufferable. Never mind, we’ll throw ourselves off that bridge when we get to it. For now, let’s have a look at the results. It’ll be no surprise that Warren Lowcock (36:45) was first to finish for the club, coming in an impressive third place. What is it about that man and getting placed third? He always does it. Anyway, I’m pondering whether to share Tim Harvey’s result as he ran with his new friends from York Knavesmire. Still, we’re a kind hearted, reconciliatory lot and you’re forever dodging dove shit and tripping over olive branches round here, so I’ll tell you that he (37:06) nailed an incredibly impressive time, too.


Stop dithering, Fugill, and get back to the results. After Warren and our prodigal son, we had Martin Lofthouse (38:15), Adam Kirk (40:56), Mike Deacon (43:52), Fiona Deacon (45:50) and Jim Cook (46:48). From there, Mark Armstrong (47:17) guided Fell Running Phil (49:00) over that funny stuff they called tarmac, while I’m sure that Debbie Gibson (53:36) kept Jenny Manning (53:43) entertained with plenty of bantz. Debbie Dilasser (56:21) almost took the prize for first lady with a course record to boot until someone pointed out that she’d been mistaken for hubby Jamie (41:13), with Michelle Smith (57:28) and Fiona Robinson (1:04:55) completing the line up. Well done to you all.

Celebrating Debbie's new course record! #everyoneisveryexcited

Celebrating Debbie’s new course record! #everyoneisveryexcited

As that marks the end of the road championships, if you have a joker you’d like to play, then you only have until midnight to get your call in to Mark David: sqwubbsy@gmail.com. Please do not call after the deadline, as your vote will not be counted and you may still be charged for your call. Please always remember to ask the bill payers permission.


Parkrun-wise, we have to give a shout out to Dan Eagling (20:15) who took fourth place at the Tramore parkrun yesterday while out visiting his brother Paul. Well done Dan! Michelle Dinsdale (29:58) was on her lonesome up at Fountains Abbey (let me hear you shout amen, sister!), while Fiona Robinson (40:34) continued her parkrun bagging campaign around Yorkshire at the Sheffield Castle course.


Each week, your Harrogate parkrun results make me think that I’ve made a rod for my own back with the write up. It takes bloody ages, but you are special peeps and I would hate to let you down. So, from the top, Matt Wilkinson (18:32), Martin Lofthouse (18:34) and the-not-seen-for-some-time Chris Crabtree (21:05) got things off to a flying start for us, with Ben Baird (22:30), Sue Simpson (22:55), Steve Newton (22:59) and Christine Holleran (23:37) never far behind. Mark Armstrong 24:34), Mike Benson (24:59) and Moira McTague (25:38) were the next to complete their athletic ablutions, with Jeff Walker (29:57) just sneaking in under 30 minutes. Ah the romance, Jamie (30:02) and Debbie (30:03) Dilasser were sure to finish together, before Neil Wright (33:16), NV Junior Thomas Gillett (36:10) and Mandy Smith (37:09) brought the show to an end on the highest of highs. Fabulous running all round.


Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? Precious kisses words that burn me, lovers never ask you why: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

As I am away on Tuesday with work, your compère for the evening will be no other than Fingers Harris. He’s got the keys for Nidd Valley House and has a cracking run lined up for you. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and run over the Stray and into town. Head down to the bottom of Valley Gardens, before heading up Cornwall Road and onto Harlow Moor. From there, it is back onto Otley Road, where you can head straight back to the club down Otley Road, or extend down Beckwith Road and Green Lane before emerging on Leeds Road. As ever, Catherine B will be leading a steady group so you’ve got no excuses for not coming. There’ll be something for everyone – even you, you little scamps!


On Thursday, I’ll be back in the driving seat and at the Hockey Club for 7pm. Come on, let’s push it. Let’s do Knaresborough. Down Kingsley Road and into Starbeck, before heading down the hill to Knaresborough. Once you’re down there, it’s along Waterside before heading over the low bridge and along Forest Moor, back from Starbeck and back up to the club. Dave isn’t here this week, but we’ll be keeping his memory alive with a pint and a bag of crisps in the bar afterwards. Why not come up and say hello?


On Sunday, we’ll be having our second reccie of the Guy Fawkes 10 route. If you haven’t run it before or don’t know your marshal position, then it’d be a really good idea if you could make time to get to this. The pace will be relaxed and steady – we won’t leave you behind, I promise – and it will be made all the more fun as I will be your host for the day. If you can come, and I hope that you can, then please meet at the carpark at Ripley and be ready to run for 9.30am.


If the thought of the morning in my company is as welcome as, well, I don’t know, then you could always have a look at bit of fell running action on Sunday morning. There’s the 7.5 mile Bronte Way fell race near Colne, starting at 11am. I’ve never done it before, so don’t ask me anything. Just scrape together your £8 entry fee and get all the other relevant info here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4449.


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

There are loads of you I haven’t yet heard from. And I really need to. If you can marshal, then stop teasing me and holding me in suspense. Give me the answers that I long to hear.


Marshal plan attached here.


Word to the Wise

So I was out running the Three Peaks yesterday with Dave Prince and Matt Rickard (5:49:and a bit, thank you very much). Dave had educated us both in the difference between type one fun and type two fun (the former is fun while it is happening, and the latter only fun after it’s all over). Somewhere near the bottom of Ingleborough, Matt decided he’d had enough, that his legs hurt, and that any type one fun remaining was quickly converting into the second type. Under the guise of tying his shoelaces or something, he lay down in the middle of the path, put his hands over his face and cried out:

“How the f*** do people actually do this in under three hours?” – Matt Rickard, in mid-tantrum.


And if it weren’t for the tantrum, we’d have probably done it in 5:47.


See you later in the week. Sleep tight.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Sarah’s doggy fashion…

Evening all…


So we went for fish and chips after the Bridlington Half Marathon, like you do. When in Rome and all of that. Only it wasn’t Rome, because it wasn’t sunny and we couldn’t find the Spanish Steps. It was hoying it down with rain. Anyway, while Martin was educating us all on the virtues of pickled eggs and mushy peas, Warren and Dan decided they’d skip lunch and head straight to Wetherspoons. We caught up with them an hour later to see them in full flow on the Birra Moretti and Dan relishing in his new found role as Bantersaurus  Rex and offering advice to all and sundry on the local area and it’s inhabitants:

“I’m in Jeremy Kyle country here. Get a beer and get out”

The man never shut up, later advising his bestie:

“You’re in East Yorkshire, Warren. Forget your middle class ideas and get out”

And get out we did, Dan diverting via the off-licence to get more beer to drink illicitly on the back of the bus. This gave the newly appointed Archbishop of Banterbury the chance to tell us about his difficulties in paying the shop assistant because she only had two fingers. Once he’d given his views on all the pubs, bars, taxi firms and seedy joints in Harrogate, he decided to give some life coaching to Alex P, all the while ducking behind the seat in front to sip at his beer. Without pausing for breath (and he really didn’t, not even Debbie G could get a word in edgeways, bless her), he then struck up with conversation with driver and asked him if he had enjoyed his fish and chips. The driver replied:

“I didn’t have fish and chips. You’ve asked me three times already”


Without a doubt, the best day ever. And with those fond memories and a hangover, let’s have a look at this week’s results.



First off the blocks this week is Andy Todd, who has been over the sea in the Netherlands. Andy (3:04:38) competed in the Amsterdam Marathon at the weekend, and as you’ll see managed to get an incredible time on the course. Say what you like about that part of the world being pan flat, it really doesn’t matter. That’s an amazing time. Well done, Andy.


I bloody love, Alex Crowton, I really do. Cheers me up every time I see the loveable Brummie. His fellow natives might have described ‘our kid’ as ‘yampy’ for tackling the Birmingham Half Marathon at the weekend, but his performance was ‘bostin’ as he (1:43:05) romped home to a brand new PB. His Facebook post dedicates his victory to all “the brothers and sisters at Nidd Valley Road Runners”. I’m not sure whether he had been drinking or not. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that, but we appreciate his sentiment either way.


They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And by that we mean that Cath Barber, Edoardo Piano, Alan Davidson, Carol Morgan, Fingers Harris and Sarah Chalmers grabbed their waterproof jackets and laced up their off-road shoes to compete in the British Fell Relays up in Loch Lomond. Under the watchful eye of their Jedi Master, Fell Running Phil, they battled through high winds, torrential rain and dire visibility to claim 89th place (6:39:something) out of 115 teams – an amazing achievement when you consider the quality of the field (not the actual field, obviously, I assume that was just muddy and field-like, but you know what I mean). Nine teams didn’t even finish, so if that doesn’t say something profound about the effort of our lot, then nothing will. Anyway, well done to you all. That’s a great achievement, and I’m relieved to hear that the Nidd Valley flag remained suitably erect despite the poor weather conditions.

My love for these people. What can I say, it's pretty spectacular...

My love for these people. What can I say, it’s pretty spectacular…

The weather wasn’t much better yesterday when we headed over to East Yorkshire to get involved in the penultimate race in the club championships: the Bridlington Half Marathon. It was lovely weather beforehand. It was lovely weather afterwards. But for the two hours that we were out there, it did nothing but pour down, with headlong winds making the last two miles into town even more of a challenge. Anyway, I’m a running club Chairman and not a Michael Fish, so I’ll get straight to the result. Warren Lowcock (1:22:32) took tenth position overall in the 530-strong field, while Martin Lofthouse (1:24:01) pulled out all the stops to deny Alex Patrickson (1:27:50) second place in an exciting twist of fortunes. I have really no idea how I (1:32:59) managed to take so much from my PB, but am pleased to the extent that I am not even trying to be self-effacing when people congratulate me. But less of me! Spare a thought for Adam Kirk (1:36:26) whose asthma got the better of him, allowing Dan Eagling (1:34:31) to take a lead in the last two miles. It’s hard to believe that it was Jon Easton’s (1:37:19) first ever half marathon, and I’m sure you’ll agree it was a great performance to get that particular ball rolling. Fiona (1:39:10) and Mike (1:39:20) Deacon were the next to finish, with Mike, ever chivalrous, maintaining that he let Fi win. Emma Dooley (1:43:00) was on cracking form as she stretched her legs after her performance at Berlin last month, before Jim Cook (1:43:47) and Chris Beattie (1:45:51) came a-slippin’ and a-slidin’ down the harbour front as the rain poured harder still. The show was rounded up with Debbie Gibson (1:53:00), Rachel Hebblewhite (1:53:09) and Mark Armstrong (1:55:36), all coming in comfortably under two hours. Special thanks to Ann and Dave Rushton, who were cheering us like only Nidders can as we passed through the halfway point at Bempton, and also to Sarah Hughan who acted as coat-carrier and key-holder in her new role as Nidd Valley’s Pastoral Care Officer.

The boys are back in town!

The boys are back in town!

Right, this impressive stuff on my part. With nothing but a slightly ambiguous Facebook status a couple of photos to go on, I’ve managed to deduce that Matt Wilkinson competed in the Bedford Autodrome Duathlon yesterday. Impressed? Yeah, so you should be. Matt (2:10:17) took tenth place overall out of the 33 hardy souls who lined up at the start. Congrats, Wilks.


You’ve been spared the long parkrun write up this week, as most of you were down at the Stray helping out Nidd Valley host what was – in my humble opinion – a truly magnificent parkrun. Thanks to all of you who turned out, whether you paced, scanned, marshalled, cajoled, timed, or just hung around and cheered. We got some really good feedback, and I appreciate it very much. We’ve had a few people enquire about coming along to the club since Saturday, so you’re clearly doing something right. Thanks, team!

Race Director, Baby G

Race Director, Baby G

But on the subject of parkrun, I’ll allow Fiona Robinson (31:43) a quick mention for her showing at Doncaster parkrun as she continued in her campaign to do all the Saturday 5ks in Yorkshire. If you want to know why she wasn’t on the Stray with you all, then you’ll have to bring it up with her when you see her. Well done, Fiona!


Don’t be like Matt. Send me your result instead: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

If it is a Tuesday, it is a club run. But you knew that so I have no doubt that you’ll be at the Hockey Club for 7pm. We’ll have a run round the supermarkets. Leave the club towards Iron Bridge, down the back pass towards ASDA, through town and past Waitrose, and from there you head over the Stray towards the Showground and Sainsburys – you can add in a detour via M&S en route if you’re feeling sparky – then up Forest Moor towards Morrisons and up to the club. I’ll be sorry to miss it, but work calls.


As is becoming usual on a Tuesday, Catherine Barber will be leading a ‘steady’ group for those of you who don’t have the speed, inclination or confidence to go haring off. The pace will be one everyone can keep up with, and no one will be left behind. You see, you really have no excuse not to be involved. Meet at the Hockey Club with everyone else at 7pm. More details on the general ethos of this can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2016/10/17/steady-group/


On Thursday, let’s have another crack at Knox. Well, I like the hills. From the Hockey Club, it’s over the bridge and onto Woodfield Road, down Tennyson and Bachelor Gardens before climbing up onto Skipton Road. From there, you can head back to the club, or push up Ripon Road into Town, extending round the Stray if you have it in you. It’s your call. After that, we’ll be letting our hair down as things get totally out of hand in the club house bar. It’ll be a night to remember, I promise you that much.


In readiness for the GF10, we’ve got the first of the reccie runs for you on Saturday. This one is ably led by Jon Easton, so you’ll be in the safest of hands. If you haven’t run the course before, don’t know your marshal position (see below!), or are able to help deliver leaflets to the natives of Nidderdale, then you need to be at the carpark in Ripley for 9.30am. Go on, we’ll even let you off parkrun for a week to take part.


If you fancy something a bit different on Saturday, you could always head up to Kettlewell to take part in the Great Whernside Fell Race. It’s only 4m and comes with an attractive £5 price tag. If you can get yourself there for the 11.30am start, then you’ll need to do your preparation here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4259.


On Sunday, we’re back at the club championships with the final race of the season: the Whixley 10k. Bloody hell, they’re offering a snack pack to all finishers. I can think of nothing that isn’t to love about this race. Entry is £11.50 for Nidders, and you need to get your name in by the Friday deadline. Well, go on, what are you waiting for? Get on it: http://www.whixley.org/?p=8232.


Talking About the Championships…

A few of you have been asking to see the standings for the club and fell championships. The results take a few days to filter through (Mark D has to do some techy things with them. He tried to explain it to me but I just looked bewildered so he kindly gave up and promised not to confuse me again), so the results from Withins and Bridlington won’t be uploaded yet. Still, you’ll notice that it is quite close and there is all to play for. Have a look, if you’re that way inclined.


These links will continue to work as we update them, so just save the ones that you are interested in, and keep an eye on your competition. Keep your enemies close, and all that…


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

Right, okay. You really do know the deal by now. Whether it is affirmation or excuses, I need to hear from you (especially if you’re name is Laura Angus and you find yourself promoted from the reserve list into your very own position). Marshal plan attached here and I am where I have always been: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


I’ll be sending Alan Harby round with the baseball bat and piano wires to get the answers from you if they’re not forthcoming. Nobody wants that.


Oh yeah, and by the way, we’ll be doing the usual goody-bag packing in Ripley Village Hall on the Saturday from about 10am. I’ll confirm nearer the time. But many hands make light work yadda yadda yadda… If you could pop up after parkrun and help out (it usually takes no more than an hour), Race Director Matt will give you a big hug.


Mike & Fiona’s Housewarming Run: 20 November 2016

Some advanced notice here. Mike and Fiona want to invite you up to the new Deacon Towers so you can marvel in jealousy at the brand new rural idyll. You know the kind of thing, go for a run and they’ll pop the kettle on afterwards. All sounds lovely, and it will be even lovelier when more details emerge in the next few weeks. Just pop the date in your diary.


Word to the Wise

So at a club run last week, Sarah H was out with one of those flashing light things clipped to her so that she could be seen by motorists and so we could shout her back if she got all excited and ran off into the darkness. And one of her fellow Nidder had a thought to share:

“You look like one of those dogs on the Stray, Sarah” – Dave Seaman, playing with fire.


I’ll leave it there.


Sam x