Newsdesk 2002

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 62                 9 MAY 2002
 Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
 ...this weekend! We are a couple of runners short of five teams, but it
 should be a great weekend. Feel free to come along to the Hawker Centre in
 Ham on Sunday afternoon at about 5.15pm to see the finish and join in with
 the beer and barbie.

 Niels Andersen reports from our first club foray into Denmark:
 "This race is described as the toughest relay race in Denmark with the
 course providing everyone with the indisputable pleasures of running up
 (and down) 23 hills on a 10 km circular route. This race would allow us to
 compete against some of the best runners in Denmark, while enjoying a
 great day in the woods. Moreover, no one could think of a better excuse
 for organising a weekend away in Denmark. So, having run this race myself
 several times during the mid-1980s, the choice was easy, and I thought
 this would be an excellent occasion to improve my course PB, and to show
 the Ranelagh lot what Danish hill running is all about.
 The build-up for the race went smoothly as a small, local brewery extended
 their hospitality and opening hours. This ensured that no one had to worry
 about getting too much sleep before the race, and it also inspired our
 Club Captain to perform the "Hobble Gobble", which soon restored our
 feelings of belonging to a respectable running club. And we all retired
 for the night with optimistic target times, thinking that if we can't beat
 the best, at least we should beat their second teams.
 In the women's race Bridget ran the first leg for the Lassies in a 62-team
 field. Setting the 40th fastest time of the day, having stopped for a
 drink at 6 km, Bridget sent Alex on the second leg in 10th place. Alex
 maintained the speed with the 46th fastest time of the day, and at the
 change to Michelle on leg 3 the Lassies were in 7th place, only 3 seconds
 adrift from 6th. Well disguised without a Ranelagh vest, Michelle put in a
 round of good defensive running, and only allowed 6 runners in the women's
 race past her. Judging from her pained expression I'm sure she felt
 otherwise. Joanne who finished the 4th leg in 15th place produced another
 solid performance, but always managed a smile whenever the cameras came
 out, so apparently we can expect more from her next year. On the 5th and
 final leg, Sonia brought the Lassies home in 12th place out of 59
 finishing teams, putting a safe 3:29 to 13th with the 55th fastest time of
 the day, while a further 9:20 separated the Lassies from 11th place. All
 in all, a quite respectable performance from the girls, and no other club
 managed to finish their second team in front of us.
 In the men's open race Chris and Keith (making a guest appearance in his
 first Ranelagh Vest) started alongside the rest of the 280 runners,
 running for the Greyhounds and Bloodhounds respectively. Team tactics the
 previous night had cunningly pitted the two to pace each other on the
 first leg. This disposition worked a treat with Keith finishing a narrow 7
 seconds in front of Chris in 18th and 19th places respectably. And the
 Arhus 1900 second team was well behind in 26th.
 As race Captain I had been given a discretional place with the Greyhounds.
 A place I decided to pass to Steve, judging him the more able-footed on
 the day. But starting the second leg for the Bloodhounds with a slender
 lead to the Greyhounds duly compensated me. Going uphill for the first
 mile and a bit, I managed to maintain my lead on Neil, who ran second for
 the Greyhounds. After that Neil just kept absorbing hills as if he was
 still at the Two Oceans Ultra, only slipping down one place at the finish,
 but finishing nearly 3 minutes behind the Arhus 1900 second team. I just
 stayed focused on counting the two runners I managed to overtake. And by
 the end I had lost the Bloodhounds not only their lead over the Greyhounds
 but a further 20 places. My new PB was never in sight.
 On leg 3 Julian ran for the Greyhounds, while Martin did his stuff for the
 Bloodhounds. Here, Julian produced what was to be the 27th fastest time of
 the day bringing the Greyhounds back into contention in 11th place, before
 going for a dip in the sea. The lead on the Arhus 1900 second team was now
 restored to more than 30 seconds. Martin, showing his running prowess on
 the downhill sections, neatly rounded off the top 50 at the change. Though
 being slightly disappointed with his time, he would have ranked a
 comfortable 3rd had he been allowed to compete in the V55 category.
 On Leg 4 for the Greyhounds, Dave was striding out confidently, making up
 one further place to 10th at the end. He also managed to record his first
 40 minutes plus for 10 km. Not long passed before a 10 km marker was
 discovered some 20 meters before the finish, which we were to hear much
 about. We have yet to hear what exactly Dave did with the 7 extra seconds
 inside the final metres, however, he managed to finish 7 seconds ahead of
 the Arhus 1900 second team. And that counts. Catherine running leg 4 for
 the Bloodhounds produced a convincing comeback from long-term injury with
 only two shorter training runs behind her. In fact, Catherine was alone in
 meeting the target times set in the build up to the race. This
 performance, however, couldn't prevent the Bloodhounds from sliding to
 140th, but we were still just inside the top 50%.
 Clive took over on Leg 5 for the Greyhounds, and demonstrated that his
 selection for the team probably was due to his complexion on the race
 morning. Swiftly he lost the place Dave had gained the team on the
 previous leg, as the runner from the Arhus 1900 second team decided to run
 8:30 faster than Clive. With only 7 seconds in hand, Clive had little
 option but to use his experience to ensure that he would rank narrowly
 behind Neil to once again make the last man in the scoring team. Umberto
 ran 5th Leg for the Bloodhounds, and with his usual solid performance he
 managed to stop the team sliding much further down the rankings by
 finishing in 171st place. The only thing to upset his performance surely
 came from seeing Andy go past, leaving the Bloodhounds one lap behind the
 On Leg 6 for the Greyhounds Andy started and finished in 11th place. On
 his way round the course he found time to think of ways to improve the
 race. His new idea is that all runners should wear their leg number on the
 back, so it would be possible to distinguish the runners you are lapping
 from the runners you are overtaking. With a time ranking him shared 90th
 on the day, beaten by Julian (twice) and Darryl, Andy managed to reduce
 the deficit to the 10th placed team from 3 minutes to 3 seconds. Maybe if
 he could have seen the leg number of the man in front he would have found
 the speed to overtake him at the finish. The Arhus 1900 second team was
 now well ahead. The Bloodhounds fielded their second guest runner of the
 day on Leg 6, where Michelle's cousin Richard from Denmark produced a run
 that almost saw both guest runners making their way into the moral first
 team. This allowed the Bloodhounds to regain some the lost ground with a
 position of 135th.
 Kevin took over from Andy on Leg 7 for the Greyhounds, and quickly
 finished what Andy couldn't, bringing the team back into 10th. Though not
 quite making it into the Top 100 with a run that ranked him 103rd on the
 day, Kevin continued to make up ground on the teams in front. By the
 finish the Greyhounds were in 9th place, with 38 seconds lead to defend
 and 1:55 to make up for 8th. Some time later, Bridget, another of our
 Ultra runners from the Two Oceans, ran her second leg of the day, this
 time as number 7 for the Bloodhounds. Another good performance saw the
 Bloodhounds charge ahead to 123rd.
 Steve was out in my place on Leg 8 for the Greyhounds, and didn't shame
 his selection. Though being unable to make up the deficit to 8th, let
 alone defend 9th, Steve managed to run 2 seconds under my PB from 15 years
 ago (I'll catch him later!), and only gave in to someone from Aalborg
 Athletics, who charged through the field 6:30 faster than himself. For the
 Bloodhounds Jaroslava made a strong appearance on the 8th leg, putting the
 selectors to shame by becoming 4th fastest Ranelagh woman on the day. The
 Bloodhounds, however, found themselves in below the 50% mark in 158th
 place at the change.
 Milos took over on Leg 9 for the Greyhounds. Steve had left him 3:28 to
 make up for 9th place and 10 seconds to defend 10th. Despite a good
 effort, though some way off the 36 minutes he'd advertised in the build up
 to the race, Milos managed neither, as following the pattern for the day
 the guy in 11th ran a good 6:30 faster than Milos, to see the Greyhounds
 were back in 11th.  Neil, still warming down from the Two Oceans, helped
 fill the gaps for the Bloodhounds running his second leg of the day on Leg
 9. Also this time did he look largely unaffected by the hills, and only
 lost 13 seconds to the time he recorded for the Greyhounds, which probably
 happened when towards the 9-km marker he tried to sneak in an extra lap
 before handing over to Julian on the final leg. The Bloodhounds were now
 back up to 121st.
 On the last leg for the Greyhounds Darryl had exactly 4 minutes to make up
 on Aalborg Athletics in 10th. This time it was our turn, and Darryl had
 caught up with 750 meters to go. At the finish he had put the Greyhounds
 25 seconds ahead with a time ranking him 29th on the day. Afterwards,
 Darryl complained that the chase had been too easy, and this may go to
 explain why he had to settle with being 4 seconds behind Julian in the
 rankings. A mere 1:59, or 12 seconds per man, separated the Greyhounds
 from 9th place. Julian put down his second leg running last for the
 Bloodhounds. Without his racing shoes he was 40 seconds slower than first
 time round, earning him a ranking of 41st, and the Bloodhounds a position
 in the Top 33%, as 78th of 255 finishing teams.
 Though the Greyhounds only had to give way to the second team from Arhus
 1900, it was discovered that they fielded no less than two such teams,
 obviously a force that had us outnumbered. And staying with the numbers
 game that always becomes important when we don't win the race itself: with
 two teams in the men's open race and one in the women's race we shared the
 lead for the number of teams from a foreign club with the Swedish club
 Kyrkhults, while outnumbering the German club Blankenese which only
 featured two teams in the men's event. Counting individual runners we had
 22 against 21 from Kyrkhult, so we win narrowly if we allow our two guest
 runners to count. In the race itself our Lassies finished well ahead of
 their Swedish competitors, while the two Swedish teams in the men's race
 finished neatly between the Greyhounds and the Bloodhounds. And I suspect
 it will matter to some that both our teams beat the German teams".

 More details of the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:norris.hobs@ndirect.co.uk) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 /

 Saturday May 11th / Sunday May 12th	Green Belt Relay

 Sunday May 19th      Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon at Old Deer Park, 8am

 Sunday May 26th     Logan's Run 10km at Aldershot. A race in memory of
 former Ranelagh member Ian Logan who died of lung cancer. Proceeds will go
 to the Phylis Tuckwell Hospice.
 Entry form can be downloaded from www.afd.org.uk.

 Sunday June 9th       Dorking 10 miles road race (note the date is the
 9th, not the 2nd as originally thought). 10.45am start. Entry form can be
 downloaded from www.dmvac.org.uk.

 Entry forms for both the Half Marathon and the Dysart Dash 10km on June
 30th can be downloaded from our web site.

 'Athletics Weekly' reports that Paul Radcliffe ran the last 2 miles 385
 yards of the London Marathon 18 seconds faster than men's third-placer
 Haile Gebreselassie....

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