Report from Laura Hind
On the back of the euphoria of completing a long distance event that didn’t involve a sense of humour failure like Rombald’s Stride 2016, I decided to enter the Nidd 20, traditionally a long distance walking event which was to admit runners for the first time. Liz Fawcett had already signed up, so whether she liked it or not, I volunteered to run with her.
Slightly nervous about my substandard navigating skills and amused by Liz, who thought we were completing the course in an anti-clockwise direction up until 20 minutes before the start (it wasn’t), it was a relief to learn that the whole course was carefully marked out by the Rotary Club of Harrogate.
The 60 runners set off along what is the first mile and a half of the Guy Fawkes 10 route, before we headed across a field. We were quite bunched up for the first couple of miles (speedsters apart) but then as people missed markers, the group became more strung out and we were able to enjoy our own race.
Surprisingly, a fair section of the route was on the road – fine by me – although it also took in beautiful riverside paths along the Nidd, fields, woodland and the moors from Brimham rocks. There were a few checkpoints along the way, but after being spoilt during the Blubberhouses 25, it was disappointing to find only water – NO CAKE! Thankfully, I always pack my own supply, suspicious type that I am.
Within the last 3 or 4 miles heading back to Ripley, we passed quite a few of the runners who had taken flight earlier but had run out of gas on the home straight. A good feeling and we headed back to the Hotel de Ville (or Town Hall, as most of us might call it) in a very satisfying time of 4 hours and 3 minutes, looking forward to our hot meal. The goody bag was also pretty decent, so for £12, in spite of cake shortage, we fared well. I’m sure this will become more popular next year and be opened up to greater numbers too.