Newsdesk 2003

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 SURREY ROAD RELAYS Saturday September 13th at Wimbledon Park
 We're hoping to be pretty well represented on Saturday, with three senior
 and two vets teams in both the men's and women's events. The senior women
 and all the vets kick off proceedings at 12 noon and the senior men's race
 follows on. All are invited back afterwards to Julian Smith's place at 14B
 Lansdowne Road, near Wimbledon Common, where we are promised copious
 quantities of tea and Sarah's home-made cakes.
 RIVER RELAY     Sunday September 14th Virginia Water to Ham
 Gluttons for punishment, we also have two teams out for this towpath race on

 "TRAINING WEEKEND"  Saturday November 22nd and Sunday November 23rd in the
 New Forest
 Clare Nicholson writes:
 "A bunch of us are considering a weekend of insanity (training - I use the
 words interchangeably ) in the New Forest from Friday 21st November or
 Saturday 22nd November thru Sunday 23rd November.  I believe our very own
 coach Sarah Seal will be devising something suitably torturous for the
 occasion PLUS there will be ample opportunity to sample the fruits of some
 of the local alcohol serving establishments - clearly no Ranelagh training
 weekend would be complete without it ...  We'll pick somewhere with a
 variety of accommodation costs i.e. standard B+B thru to hotels and/or
 cottages etc.  Let me (mailto:clarenicholson@hotmail.com), Paul
 (mailto:paulgraham28@hotmail.com) , Julian or Sarah know if you're
 interested in joining us."

 123rd SEASON OPENING RUN and THOMAS CUP HANDICAP  Saturday September 6th in
 Richmond Park
 The balmy days of early September when there's a bright golden haze on the
 meadow and the ferns are as high as an elephant's eye is not perhaps the
 ideal time to start our winter season. A good proportion of the club
 membership evidently thought not, and so we had only 43 starters for the
 "Thomas", probably the smallest field for many years. Quite a few more were
 in attendance hors de combat, including Past President Rex Lofts up from
 The proceedings started with a rain shower and ended with a hail storm, in
 between which we managed to squeeze the club photo (results of which can
 already be found on our web site) and the race itself, both in warm and
 mainly sunny conditions.
 First away were Celia Beverly and Mike McDowell, but it wasn't long before
 handicap specialist Teresa Segovia was out on the course. In last year's
 "Thomas", her first club handicap, Teresa was first across the finish line.
 A few weeks later in the "Page" she repeated the trick, but didn't collect
 either trophy because she was competing as a guest. "Bad luck Teresa," I
 wrote, "You won't get another chance for at least 30 years!" 
 So what do I know? She came within an ace of proving me wrong in the "Baker"
 in April, losing out to Steve Hook only in the last few yards. And today?
 Teresa romped away to record a time some six and a half minutes faster than
 in 2002 and at last a trophy will adorn her mantlepiece. She managed to keep
 clear daylight between herself and the bookies' tip Tom Reay, who passed
 newcomer Maia Rushby on the run-in. Maia was a guest so next home Joanne
 Turner will take the bronze medal.
 Quickest by a long long way was Marcus Gohar, while Clare Nicholson
 appropriately set the fastest women's time in her first club race as
 BRISTOL HALF MARATHON   Sunday September 7th
 Julian Smith reports:
 "Peter Haarer claimed that he had never prepared so badly for a half
 marathon, which is an encouraging sign. Golden Oldie Hugh Jones was only 50m
 behind Peter at halfway, but a sore calf restricted him later and he was to
 be seen afterwards bandaged and iced up, having come second in the Golden
 Oldie stakes a minute behind Nick Rose. Andy Bickerstaff seemed to be
 enjoying himself, whilst Sarah Seal found it hard later, and decided that
 half marathons are really too far for her. Then she discovered that she had
 won 150..."
 Chip times are shown in brackets.
 1 J Kibet (Kenya) 62.52  (62.51)
 19 Peter Haarer 72.00  (71.57)
 23 Hugh Jones 72.27  (72.26)
 110 Andy Bickerstaff 82.27  (82.05)
 174 Sarah Seal (11th W) 85.45 (85.40)
 1348 Jenni Kruse  106.29 (104.19)
 6700 finished
 Hugh was taking part in an "Olympic Legends" race-within-a-race. It probably
 seemed like a good idea at the time...
 1 Nick Rose 71.09
 2 Hugh Jones 72.27
 3 Mike McLeod 80.53
 4 Tim Hutchings 83.13
 5 Steve Jones 86.20
 6 Steve Cram 88.58 

 ENDURO PEDESTRE DES SABLES  Sunday August 24th at Coutainville, France 
 Brian Chard reports:
 "I believe it was 22 years ago that we first heard about Coutainville. It
 was at the time of the explosion in the popularity of marathon and long
 distance running and many of the present day Ranelagh stalwarts became
 interested in running at that time. We were regular competitors at events
 (mainly half-marathons) in the area and would muster quite significant
 numbers for events like the Fleet half-marathon and, of course, the London
 We had a few members from overseas running with us and a Frenchman called
 Jean-Paul Mounier was working in the UK and joined us. Over a beer in the
 Dysart (we used to drink there when it was a pub rather than an eatery!)
 Jean-Paul introduced another Frenchman, Auguste Lespinas, who mentioned that
 he hoped to be involved in the organisation of a run in France where he and
 many other people took their summer holiday. We agreed to try and get some
 runners together to participate in the first race and, much organisation
 later, finally ended with well over 50 people travelling to Coutainville for
 that event. Coutainville turned out to be a small seaside resort in Brittany
 (about 1 hour south of Cherbourg) which only came alive in July and August
 when the French took their summer holidays. The beaches are beautiful and
 the race is run on the long sandy beach (when the tide goes out) at the
 front of the town and covers a distance of about 14k for men and 10k for
 women. The course seems to vary slightly each year.
 Over the years the Ranelagh hordes have diminished to much smaller numbers
 and this year (August bank holiday) was down to 3 competitors and about
 another dozen families/supporters. Many current members have competed in the
 races and there have been a few good runs, a larger number of bad runs and a
 much larger number of memorable "other events/happenings" whilst we have
 been going. I have been to the race about 12 times and it always seems to be
 exceptionally hot for the run. There are some great photos in the clubhouse
 of the one year when it rained but that proved to be the exception. 
 This year's run started at 11.00 on Sunday 24th, just when the temperature
 had started to rise rapidly. Thankfully, there was a cooling breeze from the
 sea for most of the race as the temperature had risen to about 25C within
 minutes of the start. Although Ranelagh entries are at an all time low, the
 overall numbers are at an all time high with well over 1000 taking part in
 the main event. There is a separate Youths race. Unfortunately, my time
 seems to get slower each year but I do enjoy the race (when it's over!) and
 tell myself that I'll do better next time. Doesn't happen! This was no
 exception, the course does a detour of about 3k in the sand dunes and I
 dread to think how warm it was when we were out of the sea breeze and this
 put paid to my first 5k improvement. I was never going to catch the
 Treasurer (it seems to be his speciality to run this race better than any
 other event that he takes part in each year) but I thought I might keep
 ahead of our past President. My ambitions were dashed with about 2k to go.
 Ah well, next year!
 For those runners who have never been to Coutainville, it's well worth the
 experience. Jean-Paul, who didn't run this year, wishes all his friends at
 Ranelagh well and hopes to see you next year.  
 Times, although they don't mean much:
 1 W Cheseret (Kenya) 44.28
 752 David Rowntree 75.50
 919 John Hanscomb 80.50
 992 Brian Chard 82.27 (better next year)"

 HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON  Sunday August 31st at Sherborne, Dorset
 1.2 miles swim, 56 miles bike, 13.1 miles run
 Kerrie O'Connor reports:
 "It went pretty well. Andrew decided that he would meet me after 5 miles on
 the bike and do the rest of the race with me ('cause he didn't want to race
 it as it would mean him not recovering fast enough for his hard training
 this week). Start was delayed by 1h 30 because there was so much fog that
 you could not see the lake, so it would not have been very safe (and you
 could not have seen where you were swimming!). I didn't have a great swim
 (43 mins) - 1 min slower than last year, but a lot rougher. Bike was pretty
 hilly all the way - but Andrew gave me tips on how to sprint downhills (and
 we didn't draft - he spent most of the time down the road looking behind
 him!) and so I made up a lot of time. I rode 3h 19. Then the run was quite
 tough - 2 laps. I thought it only had 1 big hill each lap but there was
 probably 3 each lap. I think it may have been half a mile short, but I ran
 1h 52 which I was very chuffed with. Total was 6h 05 including transitions,
 and last year I did 6h 38, so that was a big improvement. I think going
 under 6 hours is definitely possible with a better swim and a slightly
 flatter bike course!"

 HARROW HILL RACE  6 miles  Sunday August 31st
 Pete Warren was first over 60 in 42.57.

 SURREY VETERANS CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPS    Saturday October 11th in Richmond
 Margaret Auerback writes:
 "The Surrey County vets champs are being held in Richmond Park on Saturday
 11th October. There are races for women 35 and over and for men 40 and over.
 We usually do very well in these championships both as individuals and as
 teams so I am hoping for a good entry this year.
 Women who want to run should contact me as soon as possible . I need your
 name, date of birth and 3 entry fee. I will be at the road relays on
 Saturday or you can e-mail me (mailto:margaret.auerback@virgin.net) or see 
 me on Tuesdays at the club.
 Men should give details to Clive Naish asap (mailto:clive.naish@bt.com). 
 This is effectively a home fixture with tea afterwards in our very own 
 clubhouse so don't miss out! 

 On 25th October the National Cross Country relays are being held at
 Millfield School in Somerset, remember Ranelagh women's silver medals last
 There are races for women 35+, 45+ and 55+ with three to a team. Men are
 40+, six stages, 50+, four stages and 60+, three stages. If you are
 interested in competing please contact me by 27th September, preferably well
 before so that I can see if there is enough interest.
 Lastly, if you have been competing on the track during summer and you have
 run a time faster than the times you did at the Battersea Masters League
 could you tell me please as I am preparing the list to send in for the

 THAMES HARE & HOUNDS BRASHER RELAY     Saturday September 20th and Sunday
 September 21st
 You should have received a separate note about this, which is Thames's
 commemoration event for Chris Brasher. It's non-competitive and all speeds
 are catered for. If you'd like to take part, please contact Mike Peace at
 The event is scheduled to finish at Petersham Meadows adjacent to our 
 clubhouse at about 3.45pm on Sunday afternoon. Anyone who is free that 
 afternoon, please come along.

 Paul Graham is trying to build up the numbers for Sunday morning runs from
 the clubhouse at 10am. Easy pace, the more the merrier.

 CABBAGE PATCH 10  Sunday October 19th
 Paul Graham writes:
 "The Cabbage Patch 10 is our club 10 mile championship but this year it has
 turned out to be the day after a Surrey League race and many of us may be
 knackered and therefore choose not to run it.  The Stragglers need 60
 marshalls on the day to hold the event, and are also running two other
 events across the nation so are struggling a bit to get 60 people at the
 moment. Clare and myself were going to watch it anyway, but will now be
 marshalls, and I wondered if a few more of you might be able to help out,
 especially if you are going to be standing around anyway. Contact to me on
 You get a free t-shirt and meal in the Cabbage Patch after!" 

 The fixture list for the 2003/04 winter season is now up on our web site.  

 More details of the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:andy@norris-hobs.co.uk) or Paul Graham 
 (mailto:paulgraham28@hotmail.com) or Clare Nicholson (07710 348030 /  (mailto:clarenicholson@hotmail.com)  

 Saturday September 13th      Surrey Road Relay Championships (men & women,
 including vets categories) at Wimbledon Park from 12 noon.

 Sunday September 14th        River Relay  Virginia Water to Ham  

 Saturday / Sunday September 20th / 21st    Thames Hare & Hounds Brasher
 relay - see above.

 Saturday September 27th      Men's Southern 6-stage relay at Aldershot
 (including M40, M50 and M60 categories) from 12.30pm.

 Sunday September 28th        Women's Southern 4-stage relay at Aldershot at

 Saturday October 4th        Page Cup 5 miles handicap in Richmond Park at

 Saturday October 11th          Surrey Veterans Cross-Country championships
 in Richmond Park. Women 6km at 2.30pm, men 10km at 3pm.
 Saturday October 18th        Surrey Cross-Country League Div 1 in Richmond
 Park (Kingston Gate).  Women from 12.30pm, men from 2.30pm. 

 Sunday October 19th        Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at
 Twickenham. Likely to be popular so get your entries in early to avoid
 disappointment. See www.cabbagepatch10.com  .  
        Also today, the Founders' Challenge 26 miles
 "go as you please" from Peaslake. Details from www.ldwa.org.uk
   or from Peter Saw. 

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