Steady Group

So, a steady grouop, yeah? A bit of explanation about what we’re trying to do is probably helpful.

This is going to be on a Tuesday as part of the usual club runs, except when winter intervals are on (people always enjoy doing that together). It will be a group making a conscious effort to go steady away and stick together so that the less speedy, more relaxed, less confident are able to come to the club knowing that there will be some fellow runners for them.

No one gets left behind and everyone is encouraged.

We’re hoping to introduce a group at the other end of spectrum for those that like pain, distance, silly speeds and the possibility of vomiting. Inclusivity works both ways, encompassaing the fast and the steady. More details on this one to follow.

There will still be the sizeable ‘middle ground’ who’ll do the run they’ve always done, breaking into ad hoc groups and varying their route as they go. We’re just pushing towards making sure there is something for those at both ends of the Nidd Valley Spectrum with a conscious effort to include them from the off.

All runs will start from the Hockey Club at the usual time. It’s good to keep that club feel, I think.

Thursdays will remain a more relaxed club run, with no specific groups but with beers afterwards.

This is NOT about segregating the club into regimented groups. It’s your club, run with who you like, as far as you like, as you like. We’re not telling you to do anything. Run with the steady lot one night, and step up another time, or vice versa if you need to take your foot from the gas. That’s fine.

This is NOT about turning the club into Harriers with stratified groups. We’re still Nidd Valley, and just as friendly and daft as e’re we once were. I’d just like everyone to feel that they are included, and I hope this goes someway to make that happen.

Comments / questions etc., always welcome.

Sam x

Weekly Update: I’m not blowing it for you…



So has anyone heard from the London Marathon organisers yet? I’m desperately hoping for good news and could barely wait to get home today, only to find my doormat bereft of any news. Sorry if you haven’t received good news and instead received the magazine of doom. We’ll be applying for club places as per usual, so you should have a chance to relive the ubiquitous disappointment all over again in December. Feel dejected? Don’t feel so sad, there’s some cracking results to share. If these don’t get your pecker up, well, I don’t know what will.



Does anyone remember Jane Hill and Michelle Dinsdale? They used to run with the club. We haven’t seen them for ages ever since they got this silly marathon running business in their heads and went off on their lonesome to train for the York Marathon. And, well, they’ll be pleased that they did and that all their hard work paid off. Jane (4:49:10) and Michelle (5:13:21) both set off with a sub-4:30 looking like a distinct possibility, but a marathon is a cruel and fickle mistress with a venomous sting in her tail, and the going got tough for the ladies as they battled for home in their first attempt at the marathon distance. They were joined in popping their marathon cherry by Marcos Montana (5:04:47) who wasn’t going to let the long course daunt him. Marathon veteran Michelle Smith (4:42:22) was on hand to lead the Nidd Valley Brigade through the City, out to Stamford Bridge, though Dunnington, round the villages and back to York University. Well done to you all, especially to you marathon newbies.


The Church of Nidd Valley (amen to that, I say) is nothing if not broad, and while we had a contingent out pounding the streets of York, Emma David was back in the Lake District to compete in the Lakes in a Day Race. You know the kind of thing, nothing too strenuous, only 50 miles and 14,000ft of climb. Emma (13:28:46) – and get this – managed to take fifth place out of the 68 female finishers. For some reason the website insists on differentiating the results based on gender, and I haven’t the time nor the inclination to count through them all, put them in order, disregard the many that didn’t finish just to furnish you with more irrelevant statistical context. You don’t need it. Is all you need to know is that Emma did incredibly well. But hey, you knew that anyway, right?


You know that moment when the dog brings you a stick or a half-chewed tennis ball, drops it at your feet and then looks up at you with the puppy dog eyes? You know what you’re expected to do, and no further explanation is necessary. Well that is pretty much what Dave Prince has just done with the results from the Withins Skyline. He just text me the link, nothing else, and clearly expects a write up. Well, so long as he doesn’t expect me to pick up his poop in a little plastic bag as well, then I’m happy to oblige. Tim Harvey (48:06) was first Nidd back off the hill, beating a very much on-form Fingers Harris (50:49) with a strong finish. I’m just gutted that I didn’t accept Fingers’ £20 wager that he could beat Tim. Carol Morgan (57:19) led the Nidd Valley Ladies back to the finish line, Fell Running Phil (1:04:16) was unable to wipe the smile off his face having been allowed up to play in the hills for two weeks in a row, and Dave Prince (1:06:04) was enjoying a return to full strength. Dave Seaman (1:10:09) and Catherine Barber (1:12:08) were just ahead of the ever-chatty Debbie Gibson (1:07:48) and Sarah Chalmers (1:32:21). Congratulations to you all.

Best photo of the year, I think.

Best photo of the year, I think.

There wasn’t much by way of parkrun tourism this week. Not that I’m complaining, it means I’ll have this bad boy dispatched this side of midnight. Anyway, starting with Fountains, we’ve got some great times from Tim Harvey (18:01) – clearly resting for Withins by taking it faster than I could ever do – and Andy Todd (18:54), with Matt Rickard (20:56) and Jamie Dilasser (21:56) not too far behind them.


Down in Harrogate, Warren Lowcock (17:34) found himself a new PB and second place overall, with Alex Patrickson (18:26) just pipping Martin Lofthouse (18:28) to the finish – such cruel fate! I’ve no idea what Matt Wilkinson (19:10) was so relaxed, and Dan Eagling (20:01) just missed out on the 20 minute cut off point. No worries, he’s been there, done it, and got that tee-shirt. Stop rambling and focus, Fugill. We don’t see much of Christine Holleran (23:40) but it is always nice when she turns up, and we’re always pleased to catch up with Mark Armstrong (23:48), Alison Iles (24:04), Sarah Hughan (24:10), Moira McTague (24:54) and Catherine Barber (24:56). The hugest of congratulations are also due to Tony LC (26:38), Hannah Peagram (26:48), Neil Wright (29:50) and Jeff Walker (32:26). As ever: well done all. Your club loves you.


You’ll have to blow your own trumpet. I’m not blowing it for you:


The Week Ahead

Yes, okay. I know it’s a pain in the arse when the weather turns and gets dark early as it does restrict the choice of routes somewhat. Nothing I can do about it, I’m afraid. Cheer up. It’ll be intervals soon.


Ah to hell with it, let’s throw caution to the athletic wind and run Pannal on Tuesday. From the club house, it is round the edge of the Stray to Oatlands Drive and down Hookstone Chase to Leeds Road Crossroads. If you don’t fancy Pannal (understandable if you don’t, tbh), then you can head back down Leeds Road or out towards Rossett School and back in. If you do Pannal, it’s down Leeds Road to the village before you start the pull up Church Lane and onto the bottom of Green Lane. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


On Thursday, we’ll run the Cold Bath Road run. Meeting at the Hockey Club for 7pm, it is out on Skipton Road and down to Kings Road. Once you’re down into town, head past the Council Offices and the Crown Hotel before the climb up Cold Bath Road. After that, you can turn for home, or push out down Pannal Ash Road and Leadhall Lane. Extend or cut short as you feel. I don’t mind. But do turn up, it’ll do you good. You can even have a pint upstairs in the bar afterwards.


On Saturday, we’re hosting Harrogate parkrun. Thanks to all who have volunteered to help out, and I’m dead excited to have all pacing positions between 20 and 35 minutes all filled and ready to go. I’ve attached our marshal plan for this here, so if you don’t know what you are doing, then this is where you need to be.


We’ve got the Bridlington Half Marathon on Sunday. There’s still space to enter the race (you do that here: and I’ve still got a couple of seats left on the minibus. If you want a seat on that, then let me know. If you are coming on the Nidd Valley Express, we are leaving from the Hockey Club at 6.45am sharp (yeah, I know) as this gives us time to get to Brid, get parked up, kitted up and warmed up. We’re leaving at 3pm in the afternoon, so this gives us time for fish and chips and for Alex and Martin to try their luck on the slot machines. I’ll send out a confirmation to people nearer towards the end of the week.


And last, but not least, good luck to all of you racing in the British Fell Championships in Loch Lomond at the weekend. You’ll have a blast, I’m sure. I think. I hope. Maybe.


Caption Competition

Well done, Anne-Marie. A bottle of the finest red wine from the cellars here at Nidd Valley House will be specially selected for you. For those that wanted to know Anne-Marie’s winning one liner…

“When I said that that was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, it was metaphorical, I didn’t mean you to test it out”


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

I appreciate this is becoming a bore for you each week. You know the deal: check it and confirm it. If you can’t do it, I need to know ASAP, but I also need to do if you can. I’ll start ringing round and badgering you all in person next week, so save yourself the hassle (it’s like the TV licence people, isn’t it?). Marshal plan attached here.


Thanks to all of you who are getting involved. We couldn’t do it without you. I’d give you a big hug but I’m not a huge fan of touching people, especially strangers.


As an aside, we’re looking for someone (or some people) to get involved with helping to run this race next year. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t run itself, and there is a bit of work behind the scenes, but we really need some more to get involved. You can speak with me if you want rambling delusions of power and fame ( If you want sensible answers, ask Matt (


Word to the Wise

So we met for drinks last Monday for Bob and Annie, and Terry Massey was holding forth at the bar, complementing Fingers Harris on his recent running achievements, unwittingly becoming one of Nidd Valley’s wise men in the process:

“You’re running well, Fingers, what are you doing? You stopped drinking? You taking drugs? You joined a proper running club?”


Fair point.


I’m outta here!


Sam x

Weekly Update: Clumsy AC



Today I remembered why I love fell running. It’s muddy, basic, friendly, unpretentious, cheap, hard, fun, silly, exhilarating, inclusive, demanding, challenging, exhausting, stunning, and terrifying. It’s the perfect antidote to a sanitary week in the office, to restraint, to cleanliness, and to health and safety. I was out playing in fells with some of the Nidd Valley Collective today (more on that below), and just had one of those days when it felt good to be running, to be moving and to be alive. Not to mention covered in sheep shit. I just wanted you to know that.



It might just be me, but does the name the Grewelthorpe just bring the mind the orphanage from Oliver Twist? No matter. We had 16 Nidds up there this week battling for club championship points in the multi-terrain race. Warren Lowcock (55:07) was first off the blocks with Martin Lofthouse (57:45) in his wake, so there’s no surprise there. Well done to Andy Todd (1:00:05) on a well deserved third Nidd place. Jon Easton (1:05:13) kept the good times rolling, with Mark Armstrong (1:10:18) just managing to pip Chris Beattie (1:11:20), Jim Cook (1:11:46) and Dave Seaman (1:16:24) to the line. Huge congratulations are also due to Jenny Manning (1:20:29) as she led Team Nidd’s ladies to the finish: Sarah Hughan (1:21:26) and Moira McTague (1:23:35). Keeping us satisfied with strong finishes right until the end, there were some excellent performances from Neil Wright (1:23:53), Hannah Peagram (1:23:58), Janet Carling (1:26:24), Debbie Dilasser (1:27:56) and Sarah Chalmers (1:38:14). Very well done to you all.


I was down in the Lake District this morning to compete in Team Nidd’s inaugural showing at the Hodgson Brothers Fell Relay in Patterdale. There were some serious fell runners there. And I mean serious, this is a nationally renowned contest. I felt left out as it seemed I was the only one who’d not completed the Bob Graham Round (though I was quite in there with the unkempt look and facial hair). We got a special mention as a ‘new team’, giving a big welcoming shout out to Nidd Valley Road Runners. Well that caused some confusion to these inov8-clad off-road-loving fell aficionados as they tried to work out what on earth road running was. If we’d entered as the Outer Mongolian Mixed Country Dancing B Team, I’d have felt less conspicuous. Never mind. Damien Handslip and Edoardo Piano got things off to a flying start in the first leg to Hartsop, before Fingers Harris and Tim Harvey gained some ground for team in the tough leg round to Kirkstone. From there, the baton passed to Fell Running Phil and yours truly as I bitched all the way up and down Red Scree, onto the Fairfield Horseshoe and back down to Brothers Water. Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin picked up the last leg, running back up onto Fairfield, down over St Sunday Crag and back into Patterdale. Given the quality of the field, we were thrilled to come 60th out of the 70 teams entered, and have plans (well, Tim Harvey and FRP have plans) to finely hone our performance next year and aim for 50th. You might also be interested to learn that during this race, Edoardo fell over and had to get himself a bandage on his elbow from the first aid tent and a smiley face sticker for being a brave boy. Fingers tripped over somewhere on his run, I fell down a hill, and Simon threw himself into in a bog. They should rename us Clumsy AC.


I finally figured what the race was that Alex Patrickson had done last week. He did the Robin Hood Half Marathon down in – not surprising really – Nottingham. Everyone was very impressed to see that Alex (1:25:46) managed to bag himself a new PB while down there. He’s come to the attention of the talent scouts here at Nidd Valley House and I understand that they are about to make him an offer he won’t be able to refuse. It’s very exciting.


Fiona Robinson (37:32) has now done more turns round Wetherby parkrun than I’ve had hot dinners, although we could probably say the same for Andy Todd (19:15) as he had his usual waltz around Fountains Abbey. Catherine Barber (26:43) joined Andy up at the Abbey and learned the hard way that a run doesn’t always sort out a banging hangover. I could have told her that.


Harrogate-wise, it looked like a few had the foot off the gas in readiness for racing today, but we still have some great results nonetheless. First off, we’ve got Martin Lofthouse (18:59), followed by Matt Wilkinson (19:35), Ben Baird (20:51), Matt Rickard (21:22) and Mark Armstrong (23:08). Sue Simpson (23:15) was first home for the girls, with Jamie Dilasser (23:50), Steve Newton (24:11), Dave Prince (24:17), Marcos Montana (24:59) and Jim Cook (25:05) never too far behind. It’s always nice to see Sarah Hughan (25:42) make an effort isn’t it, but just as heart-warming to see Tony LC (28:09) and junior Eddie Ventress (29:54 – PB!) put down great times. Moira McTague (29:56), Rebecca Ventress (29:59), Debbie Dilasser (29:59) and Jeff Walker (31:49) made sure we finished on the highest possible note. Well done to you all.


While we’ve been on the subject of results, I was out running last week when Dan asked Warren if he was upset that he hadn’t been included in the last week’s results. Apparently I’d omitted his result from the Sutton 10k from the write up. Never mind the fact that Warren hadn’t told me and never mind the fact that I’m not Mystic-friggin’-Meg, Dan thinks that Warren has been very hard done by and I was made out to be devil of chairmanly incarnate. So, just for Dan and Woz (yeah, Dan calls him Woz, it’s all very cute as another bromance blossoms here at NVH)…


Eagling & Lowcock Corner

Warren, Dan would like to congratulate you on completing the Sutton Park 10k in an impressive 37.44, coming third out of 199 runners. He would also like you to know that he loves you so very much and that you only have to give the word. He’ll drop everything for you.


If you too would like to make a dedication to your beloved here on Nidd Valley Love Songs:


The Week Ahead

Eyes down for a full house, people.


Members of the Nidd Valley Mafioso, Bob and Annie Sweeting are back in Harrogate for a few days, and will be holding court in the Swan on Stray on Monday night. They’ll be there for 7pm and would be delighted to see you and let you buy them a drink.


Tuesday is yet another club run, and I think we’re due a run round Knox. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm and from there we head out over the Iron Bridge, round the perimeter of Bilton to Knox and down to the Little Wonder Roundabout. It gets a bit fruity with those hills back up Ripon Road into town, but I’m sure you’ll manage admirably. From there, you can head back along York Place to the club, or add an extended loop on up Leeds Road and Hookstone Road. Whatever you like.


On Thursday, you need to be back at the Hockey Club for 7pm because we’re having a run down to Knaresborough. It’s a toughie but a goodie. Out round the back of the school, along Kingsley Drive and into Starbeck. From there, it’s down the big hill into Knaresborough and along waterside, over Low Bridge and back up Forest Moor. After that, it’s back through Starbeck and up to the club. Plenty of options to cut short or (god help us all) extend if that kind of thing takes your fancy. We don’t mind. Whatever works for you. Pints and palpable excitement in the bar afterwards.


On Sunday we’re (well, you are. I’m in London) over at Haworth to race in the next race in the Fell Championships: Withins Skyline. FRP is like a cat that got the cream to have another fell race so soon after the relays, and, well, so he should be because it is an absolute cracker. 7ish miles with nearly a 1000ft of climb over some fantastic Pennine landscapes. You’d be a fool to miss it, especially as numbers are only £4 a pop. More info here:


If you can’t be bothered racing at the weekend, you could always pop over to York on Sunday to watch Team Nidd compete in the York Marathon. Good luck if, like Jane and Michelle, you’re lining up at the start. You’ll be fine, ladies. Just remember, when you get to mile 22 and wish you were dead and start hallucinating, don’t be alarmed. It’s quite normal.


Caption Competition

This photo was taken at the end of Leg 3 of the Lakeland Relays today. Fiona Robinson threatened to post it if I didn’t. Anyway, you have until Friday night to post / email your wittiest caption. There’s a bottle of wine in it from me for the winner.


Committee Meeting: 5 October 2016

Please don’t add anything else to the agenda. We’ll be there all day as it is so I hope Dave has an extra pack of luxury biscuits in. If you’ve got something to say and it just can’t wait, then Sarah is all ears (well she’s not really, she just has two, but you get my gist):


Bridlington Half Marathon: 16 October 2016

You know what this is all about by now. We’ve got a few seats spare on the party bus. You need to get yourself a number for the race (you do that here: and then you send me an email to say you have been ever so good and deserve a free seat on our bus up the race:


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

You know the usual drill. Please have a look at the marshal plan here, especially if your name is Alex, Damien or Debbie, and make sure you know the lay of the land. If you can help and haven’t let me know, then please do so, and if you can’t, then why not? You know where I am:


Word to the Wise

I got a very threatening text yesterday from Rebecca Ventress advising me that whatever she is alleged to have said at parkrun yesterday was not true and warning me not to publish it. Of course, I would never do such a thing. I have merely consulted with my sources and have decided to share with you the following, and I’m sure quite coincidental tale, from yesterday’s parkrun when Rebecca was pacing son Eddie to his first sub-30 time.

Eddie: “Mum, mum, I’m going to have to stop and walk. I’m going to be sick.”

Rebecca, not even breaking stride: “Swallow it”


I know.


Whatever you do, have a great week. Hope to see you at club soon.


Sweet dreams.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Back on the naughty step…

Hello. Thank you for calling Nidd Valley House. I’m afraid the Butler is not available to take your call at the moment. Please leave your name and number and a short message and we will call you back as soon as we can. Thank you. Beep!



We started last week’s email with an Emma (David), and this week will be no different as we turn our attention to Emma Dooley who hoiked up her lederhosen and headed over to Germany to compete in the Berlin Marathon this weekend. Unfortunately, Emma broke the prime rule in the Nidd Valley Rule Book: to never outshine your chairman. It pains me to say it (it doesn’t really, we are just really very excited) but Emma completed the course in an incredible 3:41:12, two minutes faster than my best time. Well done, Emma, and we hope you’re enjoying a large stein or two or restorative beer. Congratulations.


Martin Lofthouse (31:16) got the third overall at Knaresborough Crag Rat Run today, so one does have to wonder whether he is joining Adam Kirk in the doping scandal that threatens to rock Nidd Valley House. Carol Morgan (32:57) had no need of performance enhancing drugs to help her on her way in claiming 1st Lady Prize, with Ben Baird (34:14) and Mike Deacon (35:59) hot on her speedy heels.


The Holy Trinity here at the Church of Nidd Valley. Amen.

Fiona Deacon (37:06) was the second lady to finish – again, more excitement – followed by Chris Beattie (37:55), Mark Armstrong (38:10) and Sue Simpson (39:03). Treasurer Dave (40:14) made easy work of the hills, while Knaresborough native Alison Iles (41:16) was on top form as she toured her home town. Moira McTague (42:53) finished alongside the ever chatty Debbie Gibson (also 42:43), with Carolyn Easton’s (44:14) sprint finish holding Tony LC (49:16) at bay. A very well done to you all.


Now that is what I call a finish. Incredible.


Alex Patrickson did some race or other but I can’t find his results anywhere. I’ll sort this in time for next week.


This week’s parkrun tourism starts off with Phil (24:21) and Fiona (30:56) Robinson – where was Alex – at the Halifax course, and with Andy Todd (19:01) who was a lone operative up on the monastic course at Fountains. But, more importantly, Nick Smith would never forgive me for being anything less than totally positive about his performance at Harrogate parkrun today where he bagged his 100th trip through the finishing funnel. Well done, Nick (26:06)! Fingers Harris (17:36 – yeah I know, bloody hell), Martin Lofthouse (18:35) and Adam Kirk (19:28) were on hand to clear the way for his victory parade, with Dan love-that-man Eagling (20:42), Andrew Peagram (21:11), John Mitton (21:32) and Mark Armstrong (22:39) laying down strong performances on the Stray. Sue Simpson (23:01) led the girls through the finishing funnel, with Steve Newton (23:15), Christine Holleran (23:40), Marcos Montana (24:28) and Captain Centennial just behind. We round up this run with big cheers for Sarah Hughan (26:57), Debbie Dilasser (27:07), Hannah Peagram (28:12), Tony LC (30:10), Michelle Dinsdale (30:19), junior Eddie Ventress (30:29) – who marked the occasion with his first run without any walking, way to go young Edoardo! – under the eagle-eyed supervision of mum Rebecca (30:30). Well done to you all!


I see my light come shining / from then west onto the east, / any day now, any day how / I shall be released:


The Week Ahead

Oh God, its happening isn’t it? The nights are drawing in. The icy fingers of Jack Frost are taking hold round your neck – cheer up, it could be Jack the Ripper – but this can only mean one thing: hi viz vests on, please. This isn’t health and safety gone mad, it’s just the Chairman not wanting a mound of paperwork when one of you ambles out unseen under a bus on Skipton Road. You’re far too special to be flattened and I can’t afford for you to get caught up in a road traffic accident. Not until you’ve marshalled GF10 for me anyway…


If it is a Tuesday, it is a club run. So get yourself off the sofa and to the Hockey Club for 7pm. We’ll have a run round the supermarkets. You know the deal. 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. There’s plenty of extensions and shortcuts to suit all inclinations and abilities, so feel free to make it up as you go along.


If you’re joining the old grumpsters in the bar afterwards on Thursday for beers and salty nuts, then you’ll want to work up an appetite first. Tell you what, get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out down Skipton Road towards Kings Road. It’s a lovely descent from there past the Conference Centre, before heading past Wetherspoons – swift half? – and up Cold Bath Road onto Otley Road. You can hang back to the club from there, or head round Beckwith Road, Green Lane and Leadhall Lane, before turning for home. Your club, your run, your choice. See you there.


Catherine Barber will be organising a rerun of the beer mile on Friday night for those of you that have no plans for Saturday morning. You need to get yourself to the bit of the Stray by the hospital and Knaresborough Road for 7pm with a four pack of beer in your hand. I’m told by beer mile aficionados that the minimum volumes are 330ml and 4%, though if you want to up the stakes you are more than welcome. You’ll be expected to run 4x round a 400m course, each lap interspersed with a beer, so your life is very much in your own hands. Last time, we repaired to the Coach and Horses for more civilised drinking, intellectual conversation and stimulating debate, so there’s also that to look forward to. Badger Cath if you’ve got any questions.


There’s something slightly awkward about having the Grewelthorpe Multi Terrain Race in the Road Championships, but there we are. I would have thought terms like ‘road’ are pretty self-explanatory. If anyone knows who is responsible for the mishap, then please ask them to report to a senior committee member at the first opportunity. Anyway, I digress. On Sunday, we’ve got this race in the calendar and it is an absolute beauty. There’re championship points to be had along with the free lunch and flapjack. There’s nothing about this race I don’t love. If you’re going to be on the start line for 11am, then you’ll need to be here first: They don’t do entries on the day, so don’t try your luck.


Fell Running Phil was beside himself with excitement when he heard we have been accepted into the Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays in the Lake District on Sunday, we had to put him on the naughty step for five minutes just to calm him down. He’s pulled together the requisite crack team of seven dedicated and experienced fell runners, weighed down by yours truly. I’ll get back to you on this one, and good luck to the rest of you.


Committee Meeting: 5 October 2016

Go on. I dare you. Just say it:


Parkrun Adoption: 15 October 2016

Can you help show the rest of the world what makes Nidd Valley so special (and I mean that in the fullest sense of the word ‘special’)? We’re hosting parkrun again. I’ve got a few pacing positions going (I’m desperate to fill 22 and 24 minutes, and have anything over 33 going spare), plus a wealth of jobs marshalling, scanning, beeping, sweetie-handing-outing, managing, timing, and other exciting things in  hi-viz jacket. Go on, lend us a hand:


Half Marathon: 16 October 2016

Never say I’m miserable and unkind, people, I’m giving you a bus for crying out loud. If you want to run the Bridlington Half Marathon and get some more club championship points, then you need to get yourself a number for the race. You can do that here: Let me know once you’ve done that, and the Cabin Crew here at Nidd Valley Travel look forward to welcoming you on board our luxury, start of the art coach at absolutely no extra cost to you. You have no idea how good we are to you:


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

If you have not yet confirmed you can marshal for me, then I really need you to do it ASAP. I’m assuming you can. The few hours you give on this day sustain the club for the rest of the day, it’s that simple. We really do need each and every one of you and have attached the marshal plan for your information here. If you can do it and haven’t told me, or if you can’t and have a buttock clenchingly poor excuse, then I need to hear from you:


Word to the Wise

Sometimes I wonder whether people deliberately let the innuendo slip while I’m around in an attempt to make it into the annals of wise words. Maybe so, and so congratulations to Fiona Deacon who has this week sent a picture into Nidd Valley House of Mike trimming his balls.



Night night!


Sam x


Weekly Update: Filth

Hi all,


Good grief, it’s a wonder I can even sit up tonight. We had our Committee end-of-summer BBQ yesterday evening. Sarah was on the prosecco, I had the butler bring up the finest wine from the cellars, and Dave, Jon and Martin were making tidy work of a few kegs of special brew. The ornamental gardens are littered with cigarette ends, and I think Judy is going to regret taking the ride-on-mower for a spin round the lawns. Michelle shouldn’t have encouraged her.  It’ll take ages to put everything back to how it should be, especially as Matt decided he’d do one of his signature fry-ups this morning, so the whole place is far messier than I can cope with. And with the saturated fat coursing through my veins, let’s have a look at this week’s results.



Emma David was first to get her result sent in to Nidd Valley House and so she gets first mention. Sorry, folks, but that is how it is. Survival of the fittest. And you’d have to be bloody fit to achieve what Emma managed: the Cumbria Way Ultra. 73 miles from Ulverston to Carlisle. Heaven only knows how many feet of ascent she clocked up as she worked her way through the Lake District to claim fourth place overall in 18 hours. I know, quite incredible really, so it’s a huge well done to you Emma. Nice work.


The second blockage to clog up my emails comes from the tireless Sue Simpson who was down in Leeds – someone has to be, I guess – and took part in the Kirkstall Abbey 7 today. If, like me, you’re wondering why pick such a ridiculous distance (10k plus a bit?) when organising a race, then I am afraid I haven’t any answers for you. I mean, seriously, who walks round comparing their 7m PB times? You’ll just have to settle for congratulating Sue (52:05) who took the first FV55 prize. Seriously, Sue, you’re over 55? I’d have never guessed.


Give Sarah Hughan (132:46) a pat on the back when you see her, will you? She raced in the Tadcaster 10 today. The lengths people will go to in order to get club championship points. And on the theme of lone Nidd Valley Operatives, it’s three cheers for Edoardo Piano (26:39) who took his life in his hands when he raced the Embsay Fell Race earlier today (but managed to beat Otley’s Antonio Cardinale, and so claims the prize for first Italian. Not something you hear often, I grant you, especially in the context of a Yorkshire fell race). Anyway, well done to Sarah and Dr Piano.


Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin have just squeaked in this week with a last minute text. They were up in Scotland to take part in some cheery race called the Ring of Steall. I haven’t much more by way of detail but, to be fair, the internet accounts of the route look pretty horrific. In any event, Carol (5:37:something) showed Simon (6:38:something) who is boss, but they both did it much faster than I ever could so I won’t make any more smart arse comments. While they were up there, they also took part in some run called the Vertical Kilometre. And you though Bed Race Hill was bad. Anyway, Simon (73 mins) and Carol (68 mins) also made easy work of that course too. Do you think they ever just get to the weekend, crash out on the sofa and drink wine and eat kettle chips like we mere mortals? No, me neither.


Brace yourself. It’s parkrun time. Moria McTague (25:00) was over on the Emerald Isle where she took part in the Clarisford parkrun, flying the Nidd Valley colours for our continental cousins while they will still let us over the border. Fiona Robinson (31:54) was up in Northallerton – someone has to do these things, I guess – and Ben Baird (21:02) was at the Delamere parkrun, while Andy Todd (19:11) and Sue Reast (28:22) made handsome work of the monastic course at Fountains.

Blimey, Moira, you dont hang around. A 5k course and she's bagged herself two new men. Crikey.

Blimey, Moira, you dont hang around. A 5k course and she’s bagged herself two new men. Crikey.

Dan Eagling (20:34) was full of banter at Harrogate parkrun, with John Mitton (21:19) and a hungover Chairman (22:35) – seriously, rough as a badgers backside. A night with mates drinking red wine and shovelling a lamb dhansak down one’s neck does not make for a PB, just excessive flatulence – not too far behind. In my aromatic slip stream, we had some cracking finishes from Jim Cook (22:59), Sue Simpson (23:04) and Dave Prince (23:56). After that, we were pleased to see Christine Holleran (24:18), Marcos Montana (24:33), Mark Armstrong (24:37) and Sarah Hughan (25:12). Dave Rushton (26:46) put in a strong performance on the Stray, with Potty Mouth Ventress (27:38) and Tony LC (28:00) not too far behind. Debbie Dilasser (28:49), junior Eddie Ventress (33:47), Mandy Smith (37:06) and Neil Smith (37:16) rounded up proceedings for us. Well done to you all. Inspired by their parkrun? Then read on below about how you can dip your toes yet deeper into the parkrun waters!


I’ve had a look for the results from the Haverah Park Trail Race. Sorry, kids, but I can’t find them anyway so I’m going to call it at a day. I’ll pop them in for you next week.


The dress rehearsal is over. You’re centre stage and it’s time to blow your own trumpet:


The Week Ahead

I am not going to be at Nidd Valley House this week so you’re all home alone. Do try to behave yourself and don’t answer the door to strangers. Anyway, there are lots of meals in the freezer for you, and here’s your to-do-list for the week.


On Tuesday, have yourself a run out to Knaresborough. You can head out over the fields towards the Travellers Rest and then pick up the Beryl Burton all the way down to the river. You should easily make the roads before darkness falls. From there, you can head along waterside, over low bridge, and then back up the killer mile of Forest Moor to Starbeck. From there, pick your way back up to the club house. As usual, meet at the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm.


On Thursday, your route takes you from the club house and through town. From there, head up through Valley Gardens and the Pine Woods. If you want, you can turn for Otley Road there, or continue through the woods as far as Harlow Carr before turning left. From Otley Road, you can head straight back down to the club, or extend round by Ashville and Leadhall Lane. Choice is yours, really. Usual rules of engagement apply: meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm and take Dave for a pint in the bar afterwards.


Sunday is a really important day as the lovely and beautiful peeps down at Striders Manor are hosting their first ever race. Yeah, I know, terribly exciting stuff. Anyway, it’s only five miles and an absolute steal at just £6. If you are free, please head down and give them some support. All the relevant info here so you can go give them crag rats a bit of inter-club loving:


Committee Meeting: 5 October 2016

What ails you? You should be talking to Dr Hughan:


Parkrun Adoption: 15 October 2016

Everyone at Parkrun HQ was clearly very impressed with our previous adoption of the Harrogate event that we have been invited back to the Stray to show the other running clubs how it is done. It’s a busy old weekend, with the fell relays up in Scotland on the same day and then Bridlington half the next day, but if you can help out then I would love to hear from you. I’ve already had the entire Ventress family volunteer. I know, they’re very special aren’t they? There are plenty of sedentary positions for those of you recovering from marathons or other long races, and I also have a few pacing spots left over (22, 24, and 31-35). Go on, make my day:


Half Marathon: 16 October 2016

I’ve got eight seats left on the bus – and they’re free to a runner just like you. Go on, treat yourself. We’ll be leaving Harrogate at sparrow’s fart to get there in time, but you’d be doing that if you drove yourself. We’ll leave Bridlington mid-afternoon to give people time for a mooch and some fish and chips. Dan and Warren are planning to go for a pint afterwards, and Mrs Lofthouse has given Martin a big bag of coppers for the slots, so he’s very excited as I am sure you can imagine. You can get yourself a place in the race by going here: Done? Excellent. Get yourself on the bus:


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

This is really heartfelt plea. We need every possible hand on deck here on the HMS Nidd Valley. Not only does this event pretty much subsidise all of the non-essential running costs of the club, including bus trips, entry fees into mob matches, pizzas, bed race parades and Sarah’s prosecco fund, but it also funds some of the essential costs of the club. There wouldn’t be a club without this race, and there wouldn’t be a race without each and every one of you. The point is, folks, this is the one day that we need you to turn up and be counted. There’s an excess of 100 marshal positions to be filled, so that pretty much accounts for all of us. Have a look at the marshal plan here and then let me know you’re with us. Thanks.


Word to the Wise

I spent the afternoon up at Brimham Rocks with Mike D, the Ventresses and Princes as Catherine B had promised us all some free logs for our wood burners in her capacity as Chief Ranger or whatever it is she does up there. A lovely afternoon spent larking around with power tools and doing manly things with axes, I’m sure you get the idea. With all that wood, there was no shortage of sexual innuendos and I’m spoilt for choice (well, go on then, you ask Rebecca where she wants you to put your wood). It all got serious when Catherine put on some ear defenders, pulled down the visor and revved up the chainsaw. Phil Ventress exhaled slowly and shook his head, clearly very impressed:

“I love it when a woman has a chopper in her hand”


But we finish this week with some Lakeland filth from Dave S’s trip up in the Lake District last weekend. Up on the top of some mountain or other, the Nidds were quietly chomping through their packed lunches when a dog walker appeared on the summit.

Janet Carling: “Please may I stroke your boxers?”

Ian McLeod: “You can stroke my boxers anytime”


Dirty beggars.


See you next week, darlings.


Sam x



Nidd Valley Road Runners


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