Newsdesk 2000

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OK, lads, take off the blindfolds. Girls, put those guns down. It transpires
that the men DID after all win the Surrey Cup at the Wimbledon 5km and
therefore need not be shot for dereliction of duty. This means that 100 in
used notes will be heading for our men's and women's teams. Yes, that is 100
quid for each team. Wow! Where did the Surrey County AA get all the money
from? Also, how should it be distributed? The teams in the qualifying rounds
(Dysart Dash 10km and Elmbridge 10km) should probably get their slice of the
cake. Maybe the Captains should decide.     

Last Tuesday (August 22nd) was the Ratchford Relay in Richmond Park. If I
say the race format is similar to our Christmas Henty Relay, this will be of
no use whatsoever to those who have never done the Henty. So I'd better
explain. Henty / Ratchford regulars can skip the rest of this paragraph.
Runners are divided into three categories ("fast", "medium" and "slow").
Teams of three are drawn, one from each category. For the race itself, the
fast runner has to do three laps, the medium two and the slow one. They can
go in any order. The Henty is over 6 laps of Sidmouth Wood (about 1.3 miles)
but the Ratchford uses a smaller lap of about just over half a mile in the
corner of the Park opposite the clubhouse.  

Star turn was certainly Liz Kipling, who ran all three of her laps inside 3
minutes while no-one else managed it once. But 16-year-old Ali Beverly
(definitely not to be confused with definitely-not-16-year-old Beverley Ali)
also caught the eye with a 3.01 and two 3.09s for the second best aggregate
amongst the "fasts".

But neither of them was in at the kill. Julie Drummond had been almost at
the back after the first stage but then unleashed her secret weapon in
"medium" Clare Bowen, who carved through the field with a 3.10, faster than
half the "fasts" . Julie held the lead after the third lap, but after four
only 10 seconds separated the first three teams, with Sara Grosvenor having
slipped past Nicole Steinkruger to take the lead and Sarah Seal closing fast
behind them. Clare did her stuff again on five, easing away from Louise
Webster, and at the start of the final lap Sarah S had 17 seconds to make up
on Julie. You could see Sarah was trying - the grin almost disappeared - but
at the finish Julie still had three seconds to spare. Results:

1 Julie Drummond 3.18 / 3.27 / 3.23 
  Clare Bowen 3.10 / 3.29
  Nicole Steinkruger 4.32 21.19
2 Sarah Seal 3.06 / 3.08 / 3.09 
  Louise Webster 3.28 / 3.36
  Judy Turner 4.55 21.22
3 Sara Grosvenor 3.08 / 3.17 / 3.25 
  Denise English 3.55 / 4.17
  Diane Hodds 4.03 22.05
4 Ali Beverly 3.01 / 3.09 / 3.09 
  Penny McInnes 4.00 / 3.59
  Terry McDowall 5.24 22.42
5 Sonia Rowland 3.18 / 3.17 / 3.22 
  Simone Bretherton 4.19 / 4.33
  Donna Roberts 4.09 22.58
6  Liz Kipling 2.52 / 2.57 / 2.57 
  Hazel Carr 4.10 / 4.35
  Janet Appleyard 5.41 23.12
7  Angharad Hughes 3.04 / 3.31 / 3.22 
  Mary Nash 4.02 / 4.36
  Lynn Barber 4.43 23.38 
8  Marion Rayner 3.16 / 3.18 / 3.18
  Bev Ali 4.21 / 4.55
  Aideen Moore 5.00 24.08
9  Jessica Harvey 3.06 / 3.11 / 3.17
  Maureen Connolly 5.19 / 5.41
  Emily Boswell 4.17 24.51
10 Eliete Nascimento 3.13 / 3.25 / 3.21
  Mary Donoghue 5.12 / 5.27
  Eileen Woodley 5.24 26.02 

Gleanings from 'AW':
Bridget Cuthbert finished 14th in last Sunday's Burnham Beeches half
marathon in 99.23. 

Saturday September 9th  Surrey Road Relays (men and women) at Wimbledon Park
Sunday September 10th  River Relay (mixed teams of 6) from Virginia Water to
Kingston. We're planning to put two or three teams into this relay which
mainly follows the Thames tow-path. Stage lengths are between 3.5 and 7
miles and each team of 6 must include a maximum of 3 male non-vets and at
least one woman. Watch this space for more details!
Saturday September 16th 3pm Thomas Cup 6km handicap preceded by club photo
at the clubhouse. 
Sunday September 24th  10am  Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at Twickenham
including Callis Cup club championship. Entry forms in the clubhouse or I
can fax you one. 

Fixture cards for 2000 / 2001 have just been printed and are at the
clubhouse for collection. 
They'll be sent some time next week to those who haven't picked one up. 

Simon Hedger, who has been resident in Sydney for many years now, writes to
us on some forthcoming piffling little event they're having over there:  

"I thought I'd give you a bit of a rundown on the lead up to the Olympics.

Having failed to qualify (just) as athletes, both myself and Dad (Alan) are
signed up as volunteers for the Olympics. Our jobs will be to man drink
stations for both Marathons (Men's and Women's) and both Triathlons (we
shouldn't be too busy during the swim leg though).

We have already carried out our job tasks for the practice events (the
Sydney 'Host City Marathon' and the Sydney World Cup Triathlon in March and
April) and subsequently  done three training sessions (one full day and two
evenings), with two more to come, including a 'dress rehearsal' on 10
September (each involves 700 volunteers). You can thus begin to understand
why the Olympics costs so much to put on. Next week we will be issued with
uniforms (x2 each). There are approximately 70,000 volunteers altogether.
Alan will give you a quick twirl in his uniform on his return!!!

By the time it all starts we will be a well-oiled (as Ranelagh members often
are) machine. The first event for us is the Women's Triathlon on Saturday 16
September (look for us at the 180 degree turn point in the bike/run leg).
Then next day it's the Men's Triathlon. Then on 24 September the Women's
Marathon (we are at the 10km drink table in Centennial Park) and finally the
Men's Marathon on 1 October, which finishes just before the closing

In between all of that we have tickets to 2 or 3 medal sessions of the
Athletics as well, plus boxing, swimming and a football semi-final, so we'll
be busy.

Sydney has been set up as one big party town, with lots of events and
entertainment. Pubs and restaurants have 24 hour licences (must have heard
that some Ranelagh members will be coming) and there are giant screens going
up all over the City so that you don't miss any of the action, whatever
you're doing (working, or rather standing in Martin Place watching a screen
and not working in my case).

Also looking forward to, during the Games, catching up for a run and a beer
with Hugh Jones, the IOC 'Official Course Measurer' for the Marathon event.
Even he has to 'practice' and I understand he's on his way here this Friday
(18 August) to carry out a 'provisional measurement' (and presumably to
decide where the 'blue line' goes)!!! Nice work if you can get it (I wonder
whether I'm supposed to hand him a drink as well - better look in the
training manual)!

Australia has certainly gone to great lengths to put on a big show and will
probably clean up quite a few of the medals as well. Hope to see some of you
down here next month.

Hooroo as they say downunder."

Anybody who is going to the Olympics should watch out. According to 'The
Times' this week, security forces in Sydney have been given special powers
to (and I quote) "shoot civilians on sight". A bit draconian perhaps, but it
should keep the crowds down.....

Steve Rowland
e-mail: srowland@calorgas.co.uk