Newsdesk 2020

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 569           15th April 2020
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: sandsrowland@btinternet.com  
 What strange times we are living in. I hope everyone is keeping as well as
 possible? It is at times like this, where all of daily life is disrupted,
 that we discover what it really means to be part of a club. Although we can
 no longer train together or even run together (family Ranelagh groups
 aside), I've been cheered to see many of you continuing to build on your
 existing Ranelagh friendships to sustain yourselves in different ways,
 including Strava for workouts, WhatsApp for chats and Facebook for memes. I
 am sure there have been many text and zoom calls into the bargain. 

 As an example of how to keep running at the moment it's great to see
 interest in the virtual relays from the women's team. I am sure there are
 many others including somebody doing laps of their garden for marathon

 I would urge you all to remember each other and take time to be in contact,
 Ranelagh is the sum of its members. You are the magic that makes it such a
 great place. Check in on each other and find ways to ask for help if you
 need it. 

 The club committee is keen to restart training as soon as we are allowed to,
 but in the meantime, try to keep happy and healthy. For me that has meant
 daily walks with Rob, cooking lots from scratch and some Ballet workouts
 from youtube while I try to manage my very busy work schedule. You do not
 need to be 'making use of this time', remember that adaptation from training
 comes with rest. 

 As these strange days turn into weeks the thing I look forward to most is
 cheering you all on at the next race we can hold. Hopefully we can be
 resplendent in blue and gold soon! 

 Becky Curtis-Hall

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 Suzy Whatmough reports:
 “A virtual version of the National Road Relays were held this year, since
 the usual race had to be cancelled. The Ranelagh ladies took part, with each
 runner doing their own solo 5km at a suitable social distance from others
 and somewhere local to home. I think we were all keen to wear the Ranelagh
 vests, be part of a team again (even if not in person) and to have a good
 excuse to eat more cake. Karima Graham and Clare Day even managed to get
 PB’s! Honorary mentions also for Fanny Vein, Keeley Phillips, Laura Blazey,
 Adrienne Baddeley, Emma Lloyd Harris, Natalie Haarer and Holly McGuigan, who
 all did their 5km but for various reasons weren’t in the official scores. 
 We came 22nd in the 12-stage competition, 60th in the 6-stage competition
 and 30th in the vets race.”
 1913 Suzy Whatmough      19:19
 2437 Clare Fowler        20:39
 2509 Sarah Palmer        20:52
 2687 Cecily Day          21:26
 2779 Rebecca Northmore   21:44
 3075 Katherine Henry     22:56
 3103 Marianne Malam      23:05
 3122 Jessica Harbert     23:09
 3187 Ann Kearey          23:36
 3372 Karima Graham       24.55
 3378 Charlotte Hyde      24:56
 3381 Clare Day           24:58
 3392 Carol Aikin         25:05
 3467 Fiona Pugh          25:50
 3546 Claire Warner       26:44
 3750 Ellie Lawley        31:49


 I am comforted in these intolerable circumstances, which are affecting every
 continent on the planet, of the creativity and resilience of people. From my
 teams in Monaco who are in isolation but still running the business, and our
 Member Federations in 214 countries who are trying, day by day and hour by
 hour, to figure out how to keep everything afloat, to our amazing athletes
 who are doing whatever they can to train in bedrooms and backyards while
 also finding time to produce inspirational and motivational videos and
 tutorials for adults and children who, like them are confined to their homes
 across the world. I have never been prouder of them. The spirit of human
 optimism and endeavour stands the test of time. When we get through this,
 and we will, we will be braver and more innovative. We will be more
 collaborative and resilient. We will be stronger and more tolerant. We will
 be more global, not less.

 In sport we have a unique opportunity not to tiptoe around things and tweak
 at the edges. We have the chance to think bigger, to rip up the blueprints
 and banish the ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ mentality. Ironically,
 I believe social distancing will actually bring us closer together as a
 community and sport can sit right at the centre. The situation the world
 finds itself in today is a huge wake up call for all of us – as human
 beings, as businesses and as sport. We should capitalise on this and work
 out new ways of delivering events, create and plan new events that embrace
 the many as well as the few. We can use this time to innovate and extend our
 sport across the year. Rather than just focusing on one-day meetings and
 one-day road races at one end of the spectrum and 10-day extravaganzas at
 the other end, we should look at weekend festivals of running, jumping and
 throwing that take advantage of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere
 seasons. We should work with governments to re-establish sport in schools,
 rebuild club structures, incentivise people to exercise and get fit. This
 should and could be the new normal. We don’t have to do things the same way.

 The priority for all of us right now is to contain the pandemic, stay
 healthy and stay home. But where we can continue to drive our sport forward,
 we must, and again my thanks go to the World Athletics team, our Member
 Federations, our athletes and all our partners for making time to do this.
 The world will not be the same after this pandemic. It will be different and
 that could be a good thing. Going back to core human values, back to basics
 of what is important, redefining our purpose, is something we can all do on
 a human, business and sporting scale. We have heard a lot from governments,
 health care professionals, Prime Ministers and Presidents about social
 distancing and we are all practising it. But as I said at the beginning,
 although we may be separated physically during this period, my instinct is
 that ultimately this will draw us closer together, not further apart.
 Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President (March 27)

 By Track Stats Editor, Bob Phillips
 It’s a macabre coincidence that the lead-up to the Olympic Games of 100
 years ago was fraught with a universal calamity all too similar to that
 which we are now facing in 2020. Already by January of 1919 there had been
 400,000 deaths reported in the USA alone from the “Spanish Influenza”
 epidemic which was ravaging the World, but there was no question of that
 country – the most successful at the Games since their revival in 1896 –
 withdrawing from the next celebration planned for 1920. Far from it.

 In March 1919 the Central News Agency in New York reported the definitive
 decision of the US sports administrators: “In reply to a query from the
 Swedish Athletic Association, prominent officials here at the Amateur
 Athletic Union declared ‘America stands ready to send a representative
 athletic team to the next Olympic Games, regardless of the time or place
 which may be designated’ ”. The members of the French Olympic Committee –
 whose opinion counted for much as founders of the modern Olympic movement –
 were more circumspect, but their hesitation had nothing to do with health
 matters. They declared, “The Olympic Games should not be held before 1921 as
 there would not be sufficient time for the Allied countries which have
 supported, and are still supporting, the burdens of the war to prepare
 adequately for a meeting in 1920”. 

 Those burdens of war had, of course, been horrendous. There had been an
 estimated 8.6 million military fatalities – 1.3 million of them in France
 and over 900,000 throughout the British Empire – and yet the toll from
 influenza between 1918 and 1920 would be far greater. Though there was not
 even public radio in those days there was still widespread newspaper
 reporting of the epidemic but no screaming headlines of doom-laden
 predictions. The Minister of Health in Great Britain, for instance,
 announced in July 1919 that in the six months to 31 March there had been
 136,000 deaths from influenza in England and Wales, but this caused no
 barrage of demands from Members of Parliament for immediate Government
 action. To provide some sort of perspective, in his same address to the
 House of Commons the Minister reported that there had been 488,000 visits to
 venereal disease treatment centres the previous year. The MPs moved on,
 undisturbed, to other business.

 No thought was apparently given to the idea of suspending major
 international sporting events attracting thousands of spectators. Already in
 1919, in the euphoria of peace at last, there had been an Inter-Allied Games
 held from 22 June to 6 July at the Stade Pershing, in Paris, specially built
 for the occasion by the US Army, in which 1500 athletes from 18 nations took
 part. Then, when the protracted Olympic Games of 1920 opened in Antwerp as
 per schedule on 20 April, lasting until 12 September; there were actually
 more competitors than there had been in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912 (2607
 as against 2547) and one more country (29). 

 Why was there such indifference at these mass gatherings to the health
 implications? Well, that’s a question which needs more expertise to answer
 fully than that of a mere athletics writer with an interest in history, but
 perhaps a salient factor is that the populace of a century ago lived with
 the impact of infectious diseases every day of their lives to a far greater
 extent than we do today, and though there were strong views expressed on the
 wisdom of taking part in an Olympic Games these were for other reasons

 In Britain a campaign to boycott the Games on the grounds that they were
 getting too seriously competitive was led by no less a person than Sir
 Theodore Cook, who had helped organise the 1908 London Games and had written
 the Official Report and become an International Olympic Committee member!
 For those reasons, his views were naturally given due attention but were
 out-weighed most notably by the counter-arguments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
 the creator of Sherlock Holmes and an avid athletics enthusiast. Then Sir
 Theodore rather undermined his stance by entering the literature section of
 the Olympic Arts competitions in Antwerp and taking 2nd place!

 John Mather reports:
 “Sad news, long time athletics servant, volunteer, marshal and athlete for
 Hercules Wimbledon AC, Pete Mulholland has passed. Pete was awarded the
 British Empire Medal in 2015 for services to athletics. Pete was very
 popular among his teammates and colleagues, always happy to chat and offer
 encouragement, he will be sadly missed by all that knew him.” 

 Our friends at sporting-feet continue to support
 runners in these challenging times. Please support this local business and
 friend of the club when you're thinking about any running / footwear
 purchases. Their Richmond and Putney shops are physically closed but you can
 order online or over the phone. You can pick up in store or they will
 deliver within two days free of charge. If you quote the code WEB10 and you
 will get 10% off whatever you purchase.

 Andy Hayward writes from his Brewery and Tap Room on the Thames close to
 Staines Bridge:
 The Government has confirmed that 'off-licenses and licensed shops selling
 alcohol, including those within breweries' are exceptions to the closures. 
 We are now Staines 6th Emergency Service . This means that Thames Side
 Brewery taproom selling beer for takeaway can remain open (following
 government guidelines regarding social distancing, numbers on premises at
 any one time etc). 

 TAKEAWAY OPENING - Thursday, Friday & Saturday - 4 pm to 7pm
 Takeaway is preferred, but If you live locally, are self-isolating and
 require DELIVERY, our delivery day is Friday between 10am & 4pm, mention
 delivery when you call. Reward yourself - Use your daily bike ride, run or
 walk and come on over to collect .
 Call / Text with order - Michele 07703 518956 or Andy 07749 204242.

 2 pint container - £6.75
 4 pint container - £13.50
 Bottles = £1.90 
 Bag in Box - Keep cool between 10-12 degrees - lasts a minimum of 4 weeks if
 properly stored.
 5 litre - £24.99
 10 litre - £48.99
 20 litre - £96.99 

 IMPORTANT - Filling takes time so please order beforehand if you don't want
 to wait. Beer is unfined to increase shelf life and may be hazy. Tastes the
 usual fantastic taste!!!

 CABBAGE PATCH 10 miles  Sunday 18th October at Twickenham.
 CP10 entries are on hold, but you can put your name on their waiting list
 for further announcements. https://www.cabbagepatch10.com/ 

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