Newsdesk 2003

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 92             5 MARCH 2003
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 died on Friday February 28th aged 74. An obituary has already been
 distributed separately but I'll repeat the request I included therein for
 your favourite Brasher stories. A number of people have suggested that we
 should organise something in conjunction with Thames Hare and Hounds to
 commemorate Chris's life and it is to be hoped that this will prove
 possible. A South Downs Way relay seems an obvious choice - Chris himself
 formulated the original rules - but any other suggestions will be welcome. 

 INTER-CLUB RACE v Stragglers and Hercules Wimbledon  Saturday March 1st  3.8
 miles in Richmond Park
 Divested of its Hec Petersen Trophy status this race was as low-key as they
 come but attracted a field of 43 starters. More than half were from Ranelagh
 but we tended to congregate gregariously at the back and scoring 6 a side
 the Stragglers were anything but. Only Marcus, still not back to full
 fitness, bothered the leaders though there were good runs too from comeback
 kids Mike Hill and PG. Before the start there was a minute's silence in
 memory of Chris Brasher.

 The Green Belt Relay is approaching fast. This year's event will take place
 over the weekend of May 10th/11th. For the benefit of newer members who
 weren't around when we last took part, this is a 20-stage relay taking a
 scenic 200 miles+ circular route right around the fringes of London. This
 makes the average stage length about 10 miles. There are ten stages on
 Saturday and another ten on Sunday, with a mass start for each stage. Teams
 comprise 10 runners and each has to run one stage each day.
 You can see more details, including route descriptions, maps, results and
 photos on the race website at www.greenbeltrelay.org.uk 
 Last year we ran five teams and won two trophies - our fast men won the
 Green Belt itself as the overall winners and Bev Ali's team won the coveted
 toilet seat for the last team to complete all 20 stages. The 2001 event was
 cancelled due to foot and mouth disease restrictions but the year before
 that we scored a clean sweep of the major trophies - first overall, first
 vets and first women's. It was certainly the highlight of the year in most
 people's estimation. 
 We'll run four teams in 2003 assuming there's sufficient interest. These
 will be the Greyhounds (seniors), Old Dogs (veterans), Lassies (women) and
 of course Bev's Bloodhounds. We struggled to fill a fifth team last year so
 this time the Mongrels will only run if there are definitely sufficient
 numbers to fill all ten places. 
 If you want to take part you don't have to give up the whole weekend: some
 of us will stay with the race and hotel it overnight on Saturday in Essex,
 but you're free to run your stage and go home if that suits you better.
 We'll need logistical help with driving etc too, so even if you don't run
 you can still be part of the team. 
 We'll have to send our entries in soon and it's a big financial commitment,
 so if you haven't already done so please contact me as quickly as possible
 if you think you'd like to take part in any capacity
 (mailto:srowland@calorgas.co.uk ).        

 Alan Hedger writes:
 "The Baker Cup Prize Giving is fast approaching and all the club trophies
 need to be engraved for their new owners. Please contact Alan Hedger on
 01372 740626 if you have a club trophy so that it can be assessed and made
 ready for presentation". 

 ...it is of course to be held on Saturday April 5th, not the 6th as I
 claimed last week. The afternoon race is a 3 miles road handicap and in the
 evening our annual supper and prize presentation will take place at the
 Hawker Centre in Ham. All are welcome at both events! Half the tickets have
 already been sold but there are still plenty left. Do try to make it,
 especially if you're a prize winner. Tickets are 16. Book with Carol
 Barnshaw on 020 8898 9285 (home), 020 8547 6600 (work) or

 ...had an excellent reason for missing the National Cross-Country at
 Parliament Hill last week: she was representing Britain in the Steffi Cup
 indoor Modern Pentathlon in Budapest. In an event won by Britain's Georgina
 Harland with 5720 points, Liz finished an excellent 7th out of 24
 competitors with 5348.
 On Monday 24th February 2003 The Royal Parks launched its 'Traffic in
 Richmond Park: The Way Forward' report. This report details the results of
 the consultation on traffic management in Richmond Park that finished on
 25th October 2002 and sets out the decisions taken by The Royal Parks.
 There is a full copy of the report in the clubhouse, courtesy of Julian
 Smith, but the key decisions are that: 
 * The speed limit within Richmond Park will be reduced to 20mph. This
 proposal was supported by a majority of respondents to the consultation and
 will help to protect the Park and its wildlife, as well as increasing
 pedestrian safety; 
 * Richmond Park's Pen Ponds car park, sited in centre of a nationally
 important 250 acre zone of acid grassland, will stay open. It will be scaled
 down to 95 spaces, including 11 disabled park bays; 
 * Robin Hood Gate will be shut to motor traffic for a 12 month trial
 period with a review of its impact after just 3 months; 
 * Bus links to the park will be improved but there will be no bus
 links through it; 
 * Existing car parks will be enhanced through resurfacing, capacity
 enhancement and landscaping. This will provide around 50 additional parking
 * Road crossings for pedestrians will be improved; 
 * Any form of road charging in the park is rejected for the
 foreseeable future.
 These measures are to be phased in: the Pen Ponds car park changes should be
 completed by July, the Gate closure by the autumn and the new speed limit
 not until April 2004.   

 Margaret Auerback writes:
 "Those of you who competed in the masters league at Battersea last year
 should find your names in the national T&F ranking lists (copy in clubhouse,
 women only at the moment). Some of you, notably Pat Hewlett and Julie
 Drummond did particularly well.
 The first match in this year's league is not far off on 28th of April. Track
 training will start on Thursdays at Barn Elms as soon as the clocks change
 at the end of March, so you can get in some good sessions before the first
 Remember how well we did in the last two meetings last year just by having
 people in as many events as possible? If we can do that at all the meetings
 this year we can really make an impression. 
 Because they are low key and very friendly it is also the ideal opportunity
 to try out new events. Everybody who took part last year enjoyed it so if
 you are a woman of 35 or more or a man of 40 or over then please come along
 and give it a go. 
 Dates are:- 28th April, 19th May, 2nd June and 28th July. All meetings are
 at Battersea starting at 6 or 6.30. More details nearer the time. 
 Anybody with International ambitions and fancying somewhere exotic can get
 an entry book for the World Masters Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico
 this July by sending 4 first class stamps to Wendy Dunsford, 12A Salisbury
 Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6DQ. You'll need to hurry though as entries close
 about the 20th of March". 

 The first event will be the Thames Towpath 10 miles at Chiswick on Sunday
 30th March. There doesn't seem to be an entry form available on the web, but
 there are some in the clubhouse or if you send me an e-mail I'll forward one
 to you. Alternatively just send in your details to the race organiser at
 Flat 3, 15 Grosvenor Road, Chiswick, London W4 4EQ. Entry fee is 7 payable
 to West 4 Harriers. Entry on the day is 10.   

 For those who want to go further afield the Chedworth 10 is on the same day,
 March 30th, near Cirencester. Andy Bickerstaff is looking for at least one
 more runner to complete a team: 'A challenging course, multi-terrain but
 mostly easy underfoot and a short amount of road'. Dave Wright will arrange
 accommodation if required. More details from Andy. 

 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 ). 

 Saturday March 8th South of the Thames Senior Championship at Coulsdon. 

 Sunday March 9th Reading Half Marathon
 Saturday March 15th Ranelagh Cup schools race in Richmond Park starting
 at 2.15pm followed by 
 the Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap.
 Sunday March 23rd Worthing 20 miles road race incl Spendlove Cup club
 20 miles championship

 Sunday March 30th Thames Towpath 10 miles road race at Chiswick. Race
 1 in the Ranelagh Grand Prix series 2003.  

 No apologies for repeating this...
 "I'm glad Chris Brasher was part of my life. An entire nation has cause to
 say the same". Hugh McIlvanney.
    Obituary to Chris

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