Ranelagh Harriers Running Club

Annual General Meeting via Zoom.

Tuesday 7th July 2020

MINUTES

There being a quorum, Rebecca Curtis-Hall, President, called the meeting to order at 19:35.

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies were received from the following members:

Clive Beauvais, Michele Gibson, Dave Lawley, Michael Woods, Tim Woods.

2. MINUTES OF THE 2019 AGM AND MATTERS ARISING

Approval of the 2018 AGM Minutes, circulated prior to the meeting was proposed by Angus Cater and seconded by Steve Rowland

 

3. Honorary Secretary’s Review of the 2019/20 Season

Writing in June 2020 and looking back over the 2019/20 season, I am struck by the normality with which the activities of the club proceeded until after the final Mob Match of the season on 7 March against Blackheath. Then, suddenly, together with the rest of the sport and indeed the country as a whole, the club simply fell off a cliff. All remaining fixtures for the winter season were cancelled, organised training was curtailed and the clubhouse closed as the severity of the impact of Covid-19 became apparent and we all went into lockdown from 23 March onwards. The story of Ranelagh under lockdown and whatever will follow it will, however, be told in next year’s review. I shall instead focus on the high and low points of the so normal year that preceded the pandemic.

Unlike in the previous year, up until March 2020 at least, the Committee did not have to deal with any major unexpected events. As detailed in the Treasurer’s report, the absence of major one off expenses, improved subscription income and increased profits from both the road races successfully organised by the club led to a healthy profit for 2019/20, in contrast to the two previous years. Membership numbers were not impacted by the decision taken at the 2018 AGM to increase subscription rates. Tuesday training and Thursday track sessions were generally well supported despite the very wet weather we faced over the autumn and winter. Participation in the Summer Grand Prix and Surrey Road League and in Mob Matches was generally high. Some of the road relay events, cross country fixtures and club handicaps attracted fewer members that might have been wished and perhaps we should focus on understanding why.

The 2019 AGM on 2nd July 2019 was conducted in record time by the President and threw up no surprises. The only notable change among the Officers was that Phil Killingley stood down as Men’s captain after an extended tenure and was replaced by Richard Kimber. Regrettably, relations with the Lessees of the Dysart have not seen the hoped for improvement and indeed permission for any access to the clubhouse via the car park was withdrawn in July 2019. Plans for work on the pathway to the clubhouse and the boundary fence were impacted by this action and then frozen by Covid-19.

The spring road race season kicked off with the Thames Towpath 10, in which just under 30 members took part without any standout performances. In the London Marathon, Aussie member David Criniti finished 3rd V40 in 2hrs 21mins 41secs and there were good performances by Ross Macdonald and James Riley (both sub 2hrs 40mins) and by Tom Fairbrother, Andy Starr and Richard Kimber (all sub 2hrs 50mins). Among the Ladies, Laura Blazey was first home in 3hrs 18mins 47secs and Alice Forbes and Clare Fowler both broke 3hrs 30mins. Mike Peace maintained his ever present status, finishing just in time to get to the Roebuck for the evening post race celebration! In the Boys’ under 15 Mini Marathon, Sam Nesbitt finished a creditable 12th.

The Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon was held just a week later on 5th May in glorious conditions and 526 finished the race led home by Andrius Jaksevicius of Belgrave in 71mins 49secs. Szymon Chojnacki, 9th in 75mins 25secs was first Ranelagh man home closely followed by Ian Kenton, Jordan Mungovan and Marc Leyshon, forming a Ranelagh ripple in positions 13 to 15 and securing first team. Our leading lady was Rachel Smith. In all, 41 members finished the race. The event, despite forebodings, was a resounding success and praise is due to Sandra Forrest and her organising team.

Over the weekend of 18/19th May, Ranelagh finished a solid 3rd in the Open and 4th Ladies team categories in the Greenbelt Relay. Ross Macdonald carried his marathon form into the London 10km on 27th May, although his 33mins 17 secs was only good enough for 188th and Peter Haarer entered the V50 club rankings in 5th with 34mins 50secs. Fanny Vein was leading lady in 40mins 31 secs. Our correspondent reported that the sultry conditions left a trail of bodies in the Dorking 10 miles on 31 May and resulted in unimpressive club performances with no man breaking the hour and no lady 70mins. Ross, however, capped a busy few weeks by taking 10th position in the 22 mile Man versus Horse in Powys on 8th June but was well beaten by Wootonheath Herbie, 4 further four hooved and 4 two footed competitors.

The Ranelagh Richmond 10km on 16th June was a sell out and the race which went off smoothly was a credit to Race Director Michael Morris and all those that supported him. George Howard became club 10km Men’s champion, his 34mins 17secs being good for 10th position and Kathy Henry Ladies’ champion, running 43mins 3secs for 220th position overall. An enormous number of club members seemed to run the race and most members who did not run seemed to be helping out in some way. Returning to the club’s natural habitat, Ranelagh entered 4 teams for the THH organised Parkland Relay in Richmond Park on 12th June and our A Team matched the club’s best ever finishing position of 5th, closely followed by a nifty vets team in 8th. Sam Davidson, son of Kris, laid down a marker for the future, running 17.55 for the B team.

Bushy Park parkrun, 29th June, was the scene of this year’s mini-mob match versus Stragglers on their "home" course with Ranelagh out to stem a flow of Straggler victories in Captain Phil’s final fixture. We turned out 89 versus 117 but Killingley’s die-hard Surrey League squad were out in force, packing the front of the field and we were never headed – a fitting curtain call for the retiring men’s captain. Cordy Parker was our leading lady in 18.48, just ahead of Phil!

68 members and guests competed for the Coad Cup, our Summer 5 mile cross country handicap on Tuesday 9th July. The clear winner was Andres Garcia and the fastest time was recorded by Marc Leyshon who ran through the field to finish 4th in 28.08.

The Club was modestly represented in the Elmbridge 10km on 21 July, possibly because members were saving themselves for the Wedding Day 7km on Friday 26th July in Bushy Park in which 71 members took part. The Men’s team (MacDonald, Twomey, Herbert and Whistler) won the handsome Stag trophy and Cordy Parker was our leading lady once more.

Tuesday, 6th August saw two internal club events. The first was the established Ratchford Relay which was won by a team of wonder W’s, Whatmough, Warner and Walton, who stormed home a minute to the good. The second event was the inaugural Tamsin Trail informal handicap run round Richmond Park organised by James Riley, in part to commemorate the legendry training exploits of his now semi-mythical namesake Mike. After reviewing the handicaps beforehand, the Hon Sec declared Phil Killingley a racing certainty and he duly was first back to the Petersham Gate after his lap of the park, hotly pursued by Jackson Creegan in a time that perhaps Mike Riley himself would not have dismissed out of hand.

Unfortunately, Ranelagh’s men blew away their chances of a team award in the Surrey Road League at the final fixture, the Wimbledon Dash 5km on 11 August, fielding a depleted team. Szymon Chojnacki ran well for 11th position, but the team, 9th on the day, slipped from 2nd to 4th overall in the competition. Megan de Silva was our leading lady in 52nd overall, 6th lady, and also picked up a Surrey VL35 bronze medal as the race doubled as the Surrey 5km road championship. Ranelagh Ladies ended with 10th position in the League. The race was also the final fixture in the Ranelagh Grand Prix in which 156 members competed in at least one race. Ted Mockett was declared a clear Open category winner and Wiebke Kortum narrowly won the Open Women’s competition.

Ranelagh representation at both the Surrey and the SEAA Road Relay champs was limited. A men’s team finished 10th in the former with Ben Anderson, fresh from a track season, running a sound 15.19, but failed to enter the latter whereas, the ladies had an incomplete team in the former but closed in a team in 44th position in the latter.

So we arrived at September and the start of the cross country season with the Opening Run/Thomas Cup on Saturday 7th, which was preceded by the club photo and cameraman Ken Powley’s annual speed session. 67 members and guests took part. Keeping it in the Sinclair family, the Thomas Cup was won this year by a country mile by mum Sue, following on from daughter Eilidh’s victory in 2018. With many of the club’s swiftest runners absent, James Riley seized the opportunity to record the fastest time, coming home mid field in 22.12.

The 5 mile Page Cup, contested by a small field of 37 runners on 28th September produced the result of the year. Clive Naish has been trying to win a handicap since shortly after the formation of the club in 1881 and today he finally managed it, converting those speed sessions over the summer at Osterley Park into silverware. It was a close run thing however as Richard Kimber, with the day’s fastest time of 29.01, was bearing down at speed over the final yards. But Clive was not to be denied!

The Surrey League fixtures produced contrasting outcomes for the Men’s and Ladies’ teams. Relegated from Division 1 at the end of the preceding season, the men proved themselves by far the strongest team over 4 fixtures in Division 2, winning three of them and surrendering first place narrowly just once to Fulham in that club’s home fixture. In the first fixture at Reigate, Ben Anderson and Jackson Creegan were first and second and the team closed out in 38. In the second fixture on Wimbledon Common in November, Pat Wright was first home in 13th but a tidal wave of blue led to our tenth runner finishing in 36th and restricting the loss to Fulham. Ranelagh’s dominance after Christmas increased, 3 (Assmundson, Pat Wright, Killingley) in 10 and 10th man in 27th position at Chobham in January and 10 in 22 in the final fixture at Lloyd Park. So Ranelagh was promoted as champions along with Fulham, who should not be relied upon as relegation fodder in the 2020/21 season when we are faced with the prospect of surviving in Division 1. The season closed with Peter Haarer uncomfortably poised on 64 scoring 10 Surrey League finishes, needing just one more to dethrone Julian Smith on the all time list.

The Ladies team struggled for consistency at the front although the club was well supported by a dedicated core of ever presents. In the final fixture at home in Richmond Park in February a weakened turnout finished dead last and meant that Ranelagh clung on to first division status by a narrower margin than was comfortable, finishing 11th team of 15 over the 4 races. The season started well enough at Reigate in October with Cordy Parker and Megan de Silva prominent in 11th and 13th, well supported by Fanny Vein in 24th and we closed in 7th team. In the November fixture, Megan and Fanny were again up there with debutante Fenella Ross close behind but the team slipped to 10th. In January on Wimbledon Common Cordy Parker was back in action and Suzy Whatmough made a welcome appearance along with Sarah Palmer but the team only managed 12th position. Then in February, we suffered the nail-biter in Richmond Park with only Megan at the front end of the field. Still, our Ladies live to fight another season in Division 1.

After the summer success against Stragglers, Ranelagh made a clean sweep of the 4 cross-country Mob Matches. First up were Orion at home on 2nd November. They brought a creditable 48 runners from Epping but were swamped by the Ranelagh mob, led home by Jackson Creegan who won by over a minute and George Howard in 3rd. The race was preceded by a brief silence in memory of Jim Forrest and Bill Harvey, both mob match centenarians who had died in recent months. Bonnie Morgan won the Hastings Veterans Handicap held in conjunction with the race. The final result of the Thames mob match away at Kingston Vale was long delayed, leading us to conclude that firstly the result was close and secondly we had probably shaded it. Thames fielded only 28 runners against 65 for Ranelagh, and for once Ranelagh was able to match our hosts up front (Pat Wright 2nd, Assmundson 4th and Anderson 5th). Our weight of numbers brought us a narrow victory by 608 to 653. 14th December saw us at Coulsdon to take on SLH. We eventually started 34 runners after Mike Peace showed up, slightly fewer than our hosts and the result was very much in the balance throughout. However, we won narrowly by 944 to 1013, with Mike having overtaken 11 runners to finish as our final scorer.

The morning fixture against Blackheath on 7 March 2020 was the 100th running of the event. The race itself was a foregone conclusion as Ranelagh with 69 finishers outnumbered our guests by three to one. Ben Anderson won the race and regained the Wynne Cup, held alongside the mob match, followed home by Pat Wright and Carl Assmundson. Afterwards, at the club house it was a privilege to welcome a good number of Ranelagh past winners of this fixture from the 1960s onwards and Ranelagh leading ladies from the 1980s to the present time. Andy Hayward had brewed a special commemorative beer and sundry speeches were made by representatives of both clubs as we enjoyed one of Carol Barnshaw’s excellent teas.

5 ladies represented Ranelagh in the Surrey Championships, held in fine weather at Denbies on 5th January. Megan da Silva was 15th, Suzy Whatmough 20th and Fenella Ross 26th, with Alice Littler 78th and Marie Synnott-Wells 85th completing the team. Ranelagh was represented in the Boys U15 by Felix Allen and Finlay Sinclair and his brother Euan in the Youths U17. In the senior Men’s event, Ranelagh had 7 runners. Ralph Street paid one of his all too rare visits from Norway and ran a very strong race to finish 2nd and Ben Anderson ran well for 12th. Both Marc Leyshon 41st and Jonathan Smith 44th performed well but the club could have benefited from more support from our younger members in what remains an important championship race. In the Middlesex Championships, held at Wormwood Scrubs the previous day, Ladies Captain, Rebecca Northmore, finished 45th in the Senior Ladies, Carl Assmundson 21st in the Senior Men and Greg Atkins 7th in the Junior Men U20.

From my vantage point as a course marshal, it was good to see a solid team turnout for both the Ladies and the Men at the Southern Championships at Parliament Hill on 25th January. It was dry on the day but underfoot conditions were pretty diabolical in places. Suzy Whatmough 74th and Fenella Ross 79th spearheaded our efforts and Ranelagh’s team completed by Ria Woodfield and Captain Northmore was 25th. Felix Allen was our lone representative in the U15 boys, finishing 184th. In the senior Men’s race Pat Wright ran solidly for 105th. Our remaining 5 scorers topped by Ross Macdonald, tailed by Mark Herbert formed what constitutes a blue wave in a field of this size by closing in within 100 places of each other to secure 21st team.

The brave few who went to Nottingham for the Nationals on 22nd February seemed to have survived the experience. The Ladies, led home by Suzy 110th and Natalie Haarer 188th finished a team in 34th position. Ben Anderson was 142nd in the Men’s race but with support from only Grant Brook, Peter Haarer and James Ritchie, we failed to finish a team.

The final fixture before lockdown was the Clutton Cup on 14th March, contested by 26 members and won by Mark Herbert. Pat Wright was the only competitor under the hour, recording 57.28 for the fastest time.

In addition to the major races described above, the regular programme of inter-club and minor championship events that are supported by a wide distribution of members trundled along throughout the autumn, winter and early spring of 20/21. There seems to have been a rise in interest in ultra-distance events during 2020/21 and as usual, members have reported their exploits in unusual events in strange places all over the globe. Let us all hope that when I come to write next year’s review I will be able to describe another year of great activity.

 

 

 

4. Hon. Treasurer’s Report for the 2019/20 Season.

 

Financial Highlights  
       
Income and Expenditure Account
The surplus for the year of 4,004 is a significant improvement on the deficit before write back of
reserves of 8,033 in the previous year. I set out some of the reasons for this below.
       
Race profits increased from 1,336 in the previous year to 7,325. This reflects both increased
numbers of entries and cost reductions.
       
Subscription income increased from 13,200 to 15,634. This reflects a subscription increase that took
took effect on 1 April 2019.  
       
The previous year's results were adversely affected by a charge of 1,455 in relation to kit. The
charge related to a contractual obligation for the club to purchase unsold stock from a previous kit supplier.
No similar event occurred in the current year.
       
Coaching costs reduced from 1,459 in the previous year to 399 in the current year. This reflects
the lack of a coaching day in the current year and fewer people taking coaching qualifications.
       
Balance Sheet    
The balance sheet looks relatively strong. As at the year end date the club had just under
130,000 in the bank.    
       
There was a reduction in creditors from 8,615 in the previous year to 2,618. The coronavirus resulted
in reduction or elimination of race entries, subscriptions and Baker Cup Supper payments
received in advance.    
       
Future Prospects    
Coronavirus will clearly have a significant impact on club finances in 2020/21. The cancellation of the
the 2020 Half Marathon and 10k will significantly reduce club income. Non-recoverable costs
totalling 506 in relation to these races are included in the current year's accounts.
       
Early indications are that subscription income in April and May 2020 is significantly lower than for the
same period in 2019. This is likely to reflect absence of club activities and potentially financial
difficulties for some members.
       
As long as the club has no activities, costs are also likely to be relatively low. With substantial
reserves. I think the club will be financially well placed to resume activities when circumstances
Permit.      
Thanks      
The club remains indebted to the many members who give their time free of charge throughout
the year. Without the efforts of these members the club would not be financially viable. In
particular I would like to thank John Herriott and Deepa Sharma for serving as assistant treasurers and and Anna Reichwald for serving as Honorary Auditor.
and Anna Reichwald as Honorary Auditor.
       
Christopher Read – Treasurer

5. Officers and Club Roles for the 2020/21 Season

Elected Roles

Role2019/2020 SeasonOffering to Serve for 2020/21 Season

PresidentBecky Curtis-HallTed Mockett

SecretaryGordon WhitsonYes

TreasurerChris ReadYes

Assistant TreasurerDeepa Sharma, John HerriottYes

Men’s CaptainRichard KimberYes

Women’s CaptainRebecca NorthmoreSuzy Whatmough

Fixture SecretaryRick JennerYes

Chief Race OfficialAndy BickerstaffYes

Premises ManagersClive NaishYes

Catering ManagerCarol BarnshawYes

Social SecretariesMichele Gibson/Andy HaywardNo

Press OfficerSteve RowlandYes

Kit StewardMarianne MalamYes

Membership SecretaryChris OwensYes

AuditorAnne ReichwaldYes

Committee Appointed Roles

Role2019/20 Season2020/21 Season

Data Protection OfficerHon Secretary ex officio Yes

HandicapperSimon MartinYes

Welfare OfficersRob CurtisYes and Clare Fowler

Non-Elected Roles

Role2019/20 Season2020/21 Season

Men’s Vice CaptainDave Lawley, James RileyYes

Men’s Team ManagerJonathan SmithYes

Women’s Vice CaptainMarianne Malam, Suzy WhatmoughCarol Aikin, Becky Northmore, Marianne Malam

Women’s Team ManagerPhil AikenNo

Junior Team ManagerVacant?

Assistant Membership SecretaryVacant?

Half Marathon Race DirectorSandra ForrestYes

10K Race DirectorEdmund PerryYes

Trophy StewardTed MockettJames Ritchie

StatisticianKen PowleyYes

Gazette EditorJulian SmithYes

E-News EditorSteve RowlandYes

Schools Race Co-ordinatorJulian SmithYes

Assistant Chief Race OfficialPaul RiderYes

Club ArchivistSteve RowlandYes

Road G.P. Co-ordinatorSteve Rowland, Ken PowleyYes

Community LiaisonAndy HaywardYes

Club Coaches/LeadersACTIVE: Marcus Atkins, Deborah Blakemore, Colin Brett, Tamsin Burland, Lloyd Camp, Daniel Chiechi, Emily Coulson, Cindy Croucher, Tor Heron-Brett, John Herriot, Andrew Kew, Phil Killingley, Wiebke Kortum, Trevor Maguire, Simon Martin, Ross Macdonald, Paul Murphy, Martin Nance, Rebecca Northmore, Anna Reichwald, Rachel Revett, Philip Roberts, Maia Rushby, Amrut Sharma, Katie Walton, Gordon Whitson. INACTIVE: Trevor Maguire, Chris Read

The President mentioned that the Club is looking to appoint a female Welfare Officer to join Rob

Curtis in his role and is also looking to appoint a new Trophy Steward. Both positions were subs-

equently filled. As regards the vacant role of Social Secretary, a task specific approach might be

appropriate with one person taking responsibility for the Christmas Party, a second for the Baker

Cup Supper etc.

6. AOB

There being no AOB, the President closed the meeting at 20.05.