Newsdesk 2003

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 118           29 OCTOBER 2003
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 Apologies for the length of this edition, but there was a lot to cover.... 

 PRIORY RELAYS    Saturday November 1st  at Priory Park, Reigate
 We have two or three women's teams entered for their race which starts at
 1.30pm. The men are giving it a miss to concentrate on....

 SOUTH OF THE THAMES "JUNIOR" CHAMPIONSHIP  Saturday November 8th at Coulsdon
 We won this championship two years ago thanks to Messrs Haarer, Smith,
 McDonald and Gohar. The race's barring clauses prevent that quartet from
 taking part again for another year, but despite this Captain Bicks is
 hopeful of putting out a team that can challenge for medals. 

 MOB MATCH v ORION HARRIERS for the HAROLD LEE CUP in Richmond Park  Saturday
 October 25th
 Orion have begun to make something of a speciality of mob matches and after
 winning all four last season they began the new campaign with the clear
 intention of repeating that feat. A coach disgorged an impressive batallion
 of fit-looking white-vested runners, and augmented by the independent
 travellers they counted over 60 on the starting line. Our response, on our
 own course, in champagne air beneath blue skies, was a measly 39.
 Ranelagh, this was nothing short of pathetic. Computer Ken tells me that
 we've only once in the past 25 years had a smaller turnout for a home mob
 match - and that when there was the excuse that it was two days before
 Christmas. Some were legitimately engaged elsewhere of course. But it is
 very disappointing indeed that so few of the club's rank-and-file could be
 bothered to answer the call for one of the handful of inter-club
 cross-country events where we all play a part in the final result. That we
 lost heavily goes without saying. But to put up such a feeble effort in our
 home Park showed scant respect for opponents who had taken the trouble to
 brave the M25 round from Essex.
 On a brighter note we did at least provide the individual winner in Marcus
 Gohar. This was his first-ever mob match win, which can't be bad at the age
 of 43! Mick Lane was our only other top-ten finisher and there were only six
 blue vests amongst the top twenty home. I could continue with similar stats
 but they wouldn't make happy reading. Come on, we can do better than this.
 The race incorporated the various club veterans' championships. The Hastings
 Cup of course was retained by Marcus and the McDowell Cup for the leading
 over 50 went to Mr President Mike Peace. Bill Harvey kept a handle on the
 Maslin Mug for the first over 60. The vets' sealed handicap was won by Steve
 Rowland, just ahead of Clive Naish.  
 Following Marcus's example, Eliete Nascimento made it a family double by
 running a course pb to lead the ten women home. 
 At least the day ended well as we enjoyed the usual high standard of tea and
 hosted a handful of Orion to supper at the Rose of York. 

 WOMEN'S NATIONAL ROAD RELAY  Saturday October 25th at Sutton Coldfield
 Clare Nicholson reports:
 "When Sarah called me on Friday at lunch time to tell me something was
 niggling in a hamstring as she'd just walked up the stairs, parliament was
 out as to how the substitute I'd lined up [me] would perform the following
 day at the National Women's 4 Stage Road Relays in Sutton Park, Sutton
 Coldfield.  I've learned recently myself how running on a niggle can turn
 into a season-long injury, there of course was no way I would have
 encouraged Sarah to injure herself BUT I had done quite a hard speed session
 that morning and wasn't sure how I'd be able to run myself.  Having said
 that, I did buy my first-ever pair of road racing shoes about a month ago
 and had been itching for an opportunity to try them out in a proper road

 This year the weather was a little breezy but sunny and it looked like the
 rain would hold off too.  Made a pleasant change from the gale-force
 nightmare winds of the preceding year.  Jo Ronaldson had agreed to take
 Sarah's normal seat on the first [race] leg, she said she was hoping she'd
 get a good time that way.  Alice Beverly was happy with second as a friend
 of hers was running that leg.  I convinced Liz Kipling she wanted to run
 last leg 'cos that way she'd get to overtake all the people I let past me on
 the third leg.  When you know you're going to be far and away the slowest of
 four runners, I find the third leg the most comfortable place to be. 

 Jo set off at a cracking pace.  It became apparent that a substantial number
 of teams had put their quickest runners on the first leg, but Jo didn't let
 that deter her.  As I saw her with only about a kilometre to go I knew she
 was having a good run, she wasn't much more than 20 seconds behind Angela
 Walker of Belgrave.  She flew round in 16:44 ultimately the quickest of all
 of us.  I saw Alice as she came up the slight incline to the changeover
 point somewhat quicker than what I'd expected, she fought all the way to the
 line for another sub-17 minute run with 16:53, having overtaken another
 team's runner on her leg.  As I set off on the third leg the Tipton Harriers
 B team runner came storming past me like I was standing still.  I
 immediately decided I must just be running too slowly, so despite knowing
 there was a really nasty long hill through the last 1/2 of the first
 kilometre, I put my foot down and went for it.  By the time I got to the top
 I felt like I was flying.  I kept waiting to die horribly, but it just
 didn't seem to happen (it's got to be Sarah's Tuesday night hill/speed
 sessions).  I couldn't believe how many other runners came back to me, the
 results say I overtook 7 in total and I even seemed to have energy for a
 sprint finish.  My split was 17:06, which despite being the slowest of the
 four, was faster than my effort last year by 1 minute 22 seconds.  Liz took
 off strongly and I saw her as she rounded the last bend and up into the
 finish.  Jo and I were shouting and willing her on to the line, she was
 concentrating really hard. Liz ran 16:51 and made up another 5 places.  She
 didn't seem too impressed, but again, it was 5 seconds faster than her split
 last year, which is fantastic considering she'd just come back from a week's
 vacation in Cornwall (lots of cream teas no doubt ;-)).

 All told we all finished within 22 seconds of each other.  Overall, the team
 was two places higher and about two minutes quicker than last year.  Imagine
 where we might be next year and with a fully fit Sarah Seal :)".

 STROUD HALF MARATHON   Sunday October 26th 
 Peter Haarer reports on what seems to have been an excellent run for him,
 notwithstanding the super-vet in front:
 "Another stellar performance from Martin Rees, who broke his own V50 world
 best half marathon time (I think that's right - previous record was set at
 Bath). Some considerable distance behind I produced my first p.b. for five
 1 W Kogo (Kenya) 65:32
 4 M Rees (Swansea) 66:42
 5 Peter Haarer 70:14
 126 Ed Barker 84:43
 244 Paul Perry 90:52 

 BEIRUT MARATHON   Sunday October 19th
 Hugh Jones's absence from the Surrey League race is accounted for by his
 attendance at the inaugural Beirut Marathon in Lebanon. Hugh writes:
 "Beirut was good, if a little disorganised. Apart from a Kenyan scorer in
 the 'open' race I was first vet in 2:40:51. I took it easy to 30km and then
 pushed from about 36km, overtaking the leading woman with about 500m to go.
 She was completely spent, as I took about 90 seconds out of her to the
 finish line, and by then I was easing down".

 EXMOOR STAGGER  Sunday October 26th
 Sophie Timms reports on an event not for the faint-hearted: 
 "Woke up to sunshine but cool breeze (but thankful that it wasn't a howling
 gale like last year's reports/video coverage played helpfully at race HQ!).
 Started at 11am and we immediately started climbing. People were walking at
 1 mile as it was so steep. Finally reached the brow of the first hill and
 was greeted with stunning scenery before the downhill. Still what goes down
 must also come up again. This time it was Dunkery Beacon which was a steady
 2.5 mile climb up to the peak at 2500 ft. Actually fared OK on that bit but
 was in agony on the way down due to injured ankle, hip flexors and scratches
 from the bracken and gorse. Also narrowly avoided being trampled by an
 Exmoor stag! Miles 9-11 were hell on Earth and was being passed all the
 time. Fortunately, I was better on the uphills so managed to regain all the
 lost places on the final climb (at mile 12). Then found a final last push to
 beat 4 people (who had also previously overtaken me) in the last 400m.
 Finishing time was 3.12.39 for 14.5 miles which at an average 13+ min miles
 gives you some idea of what I was up against (and only 2 people in the whole
 race went under 2 hours). The highlight was when the Ranelagh vest was
 spotted and the spectator shouted 'Isn't that Surrey? What on Earth brings
 you here?', to which I replied 'Sheer lunacy!'
 Chris Spink's version of events:
 "Started off questioning whether they'd remembered to put out mile markers
 as averaged 10 min miles for first 2 miles. Then realised they hadn't
 forgotten - it was just incredibly steep, not to mention the loose rocks
 under foot. However, managed to avoid being forced into a walk until mile
 12. Happy with my time of 2.24.12 and 18th senior man, particularly when up
 against the mountain goats that are the stalwarts of South West running
 clubs! Hardest race of that distance I have ever done". 

 MARINE CORPS MARATHON  Washington DC    Sunday October 26th
 The indefatigable Andy Hayward reports:
 "It was overcast and muggy with 90% humidity, but fairly cool (60sF) for the
 18,000+ runners in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. The course
 was impressive in places, passing all the major monuments in DC, and
 semi-industrial in others. Very twisty and turny, but only a few fairly
 small hills. A nice section in Rock Creek Park set us up for the impressive
 run past all the memorials, turning behind the Capitol Building at 16 miles
 for the long slog back to the finish at the Iwo Jima Monument in Arlington
 National Cemetery.
 I had been dubious about running it as it was only three weeks since the
 London to Brighton, and I felt my legs may not have recovered. However, it
 is very difficult to get a place for this one - it usually sells out on-line
 the same day it opens. I only got one because of the cancelled race earlier
 in the year (see previous e-news) which resulted in the running of the
 Unofficial DC Marathon, and they secured 1,000 places for runners of that
 one. So it seemed a shame to waste it. Anyhow it all went well on the day. I
 took it easy for the first ten miles, but then felt strong enough to up the
 pace. I did feel it in the last three or four miles, but hung on for my
 fastest time of the year so far, 3:05:45 (chip time) - good enough for 126th
 overall, and 16th in the 45-49 age group".

 DUBLIN MARATHON    Monday October 27th
 Jenni Kruse finished 1203rd in 3.37.35.

 SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION 1  in Richmond Park (Kingston Gate)  Saturday October
 The senior men's result was shown in its entirety last week, but we did not
 have full details of the junior and women's races. It seems we had 27 finishers 
 in the senior women's event (apologies for missing Cindy last week) and our 
 team position was 3rd rather than 4th as first reported. Good! 
 Our 'F' team is bringing up the rear, but it's the leading 'F' team!   

 Sophie Timms sends a reminder about the training day being organised by the
 triathlon club to which she, Chris Spink and other Ranelagh members also
 "We are having a training day at the Ful-on Tri club with Julian Goater,
 former international runner and world Duathlon champion. It's an all day
 session on 30th November in Bracknell, looking at running & cycling
 techniques. Cost is 30 (non-refundable but transferable) and includes
 lunch. If you're interested please e-mail or phone me:
 mailto:sophie.timms@uk.zurich.com / 020 7317 3819.

 Frances Ratchford writes:
 "Three Saturdays, 30 youngsters, 5 coaches and numerous helpers, lots of fun
 and a wide variety of athletic events = Star:Track.
 It was an idea to get more youngsters into Ranelagh and in the early summer
 it still looked like a good idea but as the day approached it just seemed
 What were we going to do with thirty-five 10-14 year olds for 3 hours each
 Saturday?  Timetables, discussions, and D-day proved that all our fears were
 unfounded.  Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves from the warm-up games
 right through to the final relay.  The young athletes were coached in
 throwing, jumping and running events including cross-country.  Not a second
 was wasted, even the breaks were filled with quizzes on every aspect of
 sport from Olympic gold medallists to nutrition, we were amazed by the
 youngsters' knowledge, particularly about Paula Radcliffe.
 The final Saturday was sports day: three teams, Denise Lewis, Linford
 Christie and Dwain Chambers, 6 events, some tears but no tantrums, lots of
 talent. The Denise Lewis team romped home and all got gold medals: Tom
 Beardon, David Morris, Jas Dosanth, Tessa Lively, Darcie Walsh, Natalie
 Ellis, Leah Randall, Jasmine Joynson, Sherine Rose.  An award was aso made
 to the youngster who made the most endeavour over the three weeks and it was
 awarded to Mannon Quayle.  
 The good news is that, with a grant from UK Athletics, all the youngsters
 have now been made members of Ranelagh.  But we want to keep up the
 enthusiasm for competing and encourage them all to try cross-country.  Alan
 Hedger has suggested a series of 4 races with prizes at the end of the
 series, the first race is on 15th November. It will be a lap of the Henty
 course, separate races for boys and girls and there will be prizes for the
 U13 & U15 age groups".  

 A full fixture list for the 2003/04 winter season is available on our web

 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 November 1st         Priory Relays at Reigate  

 Saturday November 8th         South of the Thames "Junior" Championships at

 Saturday November 29th       Mob match v Thames Hare and Hounds   7.5 miles
 on Wimbledon Common (Kingston Vale). 2.30pm start.

 Saturday December 6th         Inter-club races in Richmond Park: Dysart Cup
 (women) including the Hugh Jones Salver club women's championship and
 Trish's Trophy club veteran (over 40) women's championship 3.8 miles
 starting at 2pm; and the Ellis Cup (men)  5 miles starting at 2.30pm.

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