Newsdesk 2003

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 104             18 JUNE 2003
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 Frances Ratchford writes:
 "On Tuesday 24th June we are holding the Ponds Challenge, a run round all
 the 20 Richmond Park ponds.  It was a challenge introduced by Chris Brasher
 and will be in his memory. The distance is 8 - 9 miles and there will be two
 or three groups of different speeds each with a leader. Ken Powley (who will
 of course know the way!) will be one leader and he has kindly produced a map
 showing the optimum route. You can download this from our web site. 
 There will also be a 10 Pond Run led by Hilary Saw for those who think 9
 miles & 20 ponds a little too long!
 Start time for the run is 7pm. Everybody is welcome. There will be a party
 afterwards in the clubhouse, so entry for the challenge is an item of food
 or drink for the party".

 Our second Brasher commemoration event will be a relay along the South Downs
 Way, another one of Chris's brainwaves. This is set for the weekend of
 August 16th / 17th. Most people seem to prefer the Saturday but it's
 possible some might run on the Sunday instead. The original run was 30 years
 ago last month and the Brasher rules called for teams of three runners in
 one car - if you weren't running you'd be navigating or driving. This was
 subsequently changed (softened, Chris would have said!) to allow a
 non-running driver. "Serious" teams should stick to the three runners and
 one driver format but "social" teams
 can be larger. Total distance is about 70 miles (shorter than the full SDW
 today) so teams of three run about 23 miles each in stages of 2 - 4 miles at
 a time. More details later but start getting your teams together now, or let
 me know if you're interested in taking part. There's an overall record of
 7.08.33 to go for, a vets record of 8.01.50, a women's record of 9.23.45 and
 that inaugural Brasher standard of 8.04.43. We have 24 Ranelagh team times
 on record, plus times for four or five other clubs. Over 50s, Over 60s and
 women's vets records have yet to be set! On the other hand, you could just
 jog along enjoying the countryside... 

 DYSART DASH 10km  Sunday June 29th at Ham
 Our annual open 10km race takes place on Sunday week, starting at 10am. We
 like to see as many Ranelagh members taking part as possible, but of course
 we also need help on the day so if you have an hour or two free please come
 to marshall, man the water station etc. If possible let Alan Hedger know
 that you'll be there. Entry forms for the race, which is also the Surrey
 Championship and the 6th race in the Ranelagh Road Grand Prix, can be
 downloaded from our web site.

 The club committee needs you!
 Are you a whiz at looking for sponsorship, good at developing ideas and
 plans for an energetic running club?  Then Ranelagh needs YOU.  Will you
 stand as our Development Officer?  A new committee post.
 Anyone interested please contact Mike Peace or Frances Ratchford. 

 Margaret Auerback was (I think) our only competitor, but she came away with
 a fistful of medals. Competing in the over 55 category she won the 5000
 metres in 20:56.69 and finished 2nd in both the 800 metres (2:47.55) and the
 1500 metres (5:27.31).  

 Hilary Saw writes:
 "On 7th June Frances Ratchford and Peter and Hilary Saw visited the
 Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre in South Kensington. They saw the
 name Ranelagh Harriers emblazoned on the second Challengers' Wall there, in
 recognition of our club's contribution to the raising of funds for the work
 of the centre. The visit included the opportunity to see two research labs
 and speak to each of the scientists heading the research teams who worked in
 them. Frances and Hilary came away inspired by the value of the work done at
 the centre and hatching schemes for how the club might raise more for that
 work. Meanwhile, watch this space and pass on any suggestions for
 fund-raising wheezes to Frances or Hilary please". 

 And then it's Peter Saw's turn:
 "The next Founders' Challenge organised by the Long Distance Walkers
 Association London Group takes place on Sunday 19th October 2003. The event
 visits places associated with the founders of the Association, Blatchford
 Down, Steers Field, Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel and the Toposcope on Pitch
 Hill. The event HQ is opposite the Old Peaslake Post Office where an advert
 started the Association. The entry fee of 5.00 (less for entries before the
 day) includes drinks and some food (usually including sandwiches and
 biscuits) at the checkpoints and a light meal (typically goulash or beans on
 toast followed by fresh fruit salad and ice cream) at the finish. In
 addition, all who finish the twenty six mile route within the time limit of
 nine and a half hours receive a specially designed certificate. The event is
 open to all, runners (the fastest time last year was around four hours),
 joggers (the average time was around seven and a half hours) or walkers
 (within the time limit of nine and a half hours); or you could combine all
 three methods of progress in the Surrey Hills. Further information is
 available from me, or from the Hon. Organiser, Bill Thompson, 86 Lynton
 Road, London, W3 9HW or via the LDWA website (www.ldwa.org.uk). Entry forms 
 are in the club house and should be returned to Bill as soon as possible 
 because numbers are limited by parking space. 
 For those who are helping with the organisation on the day (and others who
 cannot take part), I am leading the London group on a walk round the route
 on Saturday 27th September to prove the accuracy (or otherwise) of the route
 description and Ranelagh members unable to participate on the day are most
 welcome to join us. Further details available from me". 

 Deborah Young writes:
 "I've just got back from a fun week in Spain. The company who acted as my
 host are looking for more English speakers and as it was such fun I thought
 other members of the club might be interested.
 Vaughan Systems is a language school based in Madrid. They run intensive
 7-day and 10-day courses for their students in 'Englishtown' country
 locations. They invite native English speakers to come along and converse
 with the students - on any topic you like. Vaughan Systems pays for all your
 food and accommodation - all you have to do is get to Madrid, and enjoy
 chatting with by-and-large interesting people. The flight and incidentals
 cost me about 150. If you'd like to know more have a look at
 http://www.vaughanvillage.com/ or ask me on Tuesday or Thursday at the 
 Club/Barn Elms". 

 We have only recently heard that former Ranelagh member Brian Nott died
 earlier this year of a heart attack. Brian will be well remembered by older
 members not only as a fine runner but as a character and raconteur. His own
 running career was curtailed by injury but its highlight was the prestigious
 Polytechnic Marathon of 1965 where he recorded 2.27.56 to finish 12th
 overall and 8th Brit. It's hard to resist (so I won't) remarking that that
 time would not have been far off 8th Brit in this year's London Marathon! He
 subsequently became a long-time member and some-time treasurer of NUTS - the
 National Union of Track Statisticians. 

 Robin Drummond's training course aimed at improving 5k and 10k times
 continues on Wednesdays at 7pm from the clubhouse. Steady Wednesday night
 runs continue for those who are fast enough already! 

 The regular speed and hill sessions also continue on Tuesdays at 7pm from
 the clubhouse. Details are on our web site but forthcoming sessions are:
 June 24th Ratchford Relay loop (opposite clubhouse) - 3 x (double and
 single loop)
 July 1st Petersham Gate hill: 2 x (1 hard & 1 steady);
 Pembroke Lodge steps hill: 1 x (1 hard & 1 steady)

 Also sessions at Barn Elms track on Thursday evening and Sunday morning.  

 More details of the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:norris.hobs@ndirect.co.uk ) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 / 
 mailto:sarahs@walker.co.uk ). See our web site for details and scores in
 the Ranelagh Road Grand Prix.

 Tuesday June 24th The Chris Brasher Ponds Run in Richmond Park. 7pm
 start. See above.

 Sunday June 29th Dysart Dash 10km at Ham, Richmond. Race 6 in the
 Ranelagh Grand Prix series 2003. 10am start. Entry forms in the clubhouse 
 or from our web site.

 Sunday July 6th Harry Hawkes 8 miles at Thames Ditton. Race 7 in the
 Ranelagh Grand Prix series 2003. Entry form can be downloaded from

 Wednesday July 9th Annual General Meeting in the clubhouse. 7.45pm

 Saturday July 12th Brickmakers Arms Marathon Relay (10 x 2.5 miles) at
 Windlesham. 2pm start. A low key fun event based around an excellent country
 pub! More details nearer the time. 

 Wednesday July 16th   Coad Cup 5 miles handicap in Richmond Park. 6.45pm

 Sunday July 20th Elmbridge 10km at Walton. Start 10.30am. Race 8 in
 the Ranelagh Grand Prix series 2003. Entry form can be downloaded from

 Friday July 25th Wedding Day 7km in Bushy Park, Teddington.
 7.30pm start. Those entered last year should have received an entry form in
 the post; otherwise they can be downloaded from www.stragglers.org
 Note there will be no entries on the day. 

 Steve Rowland
 e-mail: srowland@calor.co.uk
 Tel: 01926 318734
 Fax: 0870 4006901