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RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 6  26 SEPTEMBER 2000
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THOMAS CUP - THE CONFESSIONS OF A NOVICE HANDICAPPER
by Will Graves
"My first handicap race ever. The Thomas Cup 2000. Many of you will have
realised already that this was my first. Bob Beatson, Brian Chard, Emily
Boswell, Eliete Nascimento, John Barnard, Kathleen Harris and Mike Pearce
all managed, somehow, to appear twice on the start list! 
However, by the powers invested in me during a secret handicapper's ritual
on top of King Henry's Mound in Richmond Park they were all given the harder
of the two start times assigned to them.
The time involved in Handicapping is surprisingly short. Once the genie has
bothered to appear from out of the lamp the main task is to make sure that
he gets on with the work required. All the 'handicapper' has to do is check
the work but being only a novice I failed a little on that score. Rest
assured, though, the genie will be made to work harder next time.

The race itself, for those who couldn't make it, was held on a very pleasant
day in Richmond Park. The days before had been exceedingly wet and many were
predicting some pretty damp ground. As it happened the ground was relatively
dry which made for slightly comfortable running.
Before the race there were murmurs that Dave Rowntree had a good chance and
so did Ken Powley. Ken was going to start his first handicap for quite some
time and had been running well recently. There were an encouraging number of
youngsters running and a fair spattering of new club members. Of those
youngsters Daniel Fielder ran very well coming in 20th place and Simon
Burrell surprised the time keepers by almost arriving before they were ready
- what was the handicapper up to?!
As the results were churned out it appeared that the pre-race favourite,
Dave Rowntree, had not been affected by the pressure and duly ran in as the
first non-guest. His new training partner and pace setter(?!), guest John
Keep, appeared to have a lot in reserve when finishing 30 seconds ahead of
him. 
Hilary Saw ran well to come second and Archie Taylor made a good appearance
for third position still 1 minute behind Dave.
Hugh Jones ran better than expected to take the number one spot only 6
seconds ahead of a recuperating Dave Benton and a very determined Andy
Bickerstaff. Dave had passed Andy with about 1 mile to go but they still
finished at the same time. Allison O'Neill in 7th place was fastest woman.
Amongst the many other good runs, I found myself high up the finish list and
as handicapper I felt like apologising to everyone I passed.
The most vociferous complainer was Mike Hynd who felt very hard done by with
the handicap given. Where did he finish out of 69 starters? About 49th. Very
well run Mike.
All in all I believe everyone had a fun day."
                                 H'cap      H'cap     Actual    Speed 
                                 Time       Allow      Time     Order 
                                                                 
  1   David Rowntree             18.33      10.05       28.38     41  
  2   Hilary Saw        (L)      18.55      15.30       34.25     58  
  3   Archie Taylor              19.33       9.00       28.33     40  
  4   Bill Harvey                19.42       4.15       23.57     12  
  5   Hugh Jones                 19.43       0.30       20.13      1  
  6   Bastien Tardy              19.47       6.00       25.47     25  
  7   Allison O'Neill   (L)      19.49       5.30       25.19     19  
  8   Mike Bruce                 19.50       4.05       23.55     11  
  9   Matt Gisby                 19.59       5.40       25.39     23  
 10   Will Graves                20.08       2.40       22.48      7  
 11   Louise Piears     (L)      20.11      10.55       31.06     48  
 12   Clive Beauvais             20.15       4.05       24.20     13  
 13   Giles Marshall             20.15       2.15       22.30      5  
 14   Dave Benton                20.19       0.00       20.19      2  
 15   Andy Bickerstaff           20.19       1.20       21.39      3  
 16   Mike McDowell              20.25      14.25       34.50     59  
 17   Chris Owens                20.32       1.50       22.22      4  
 18   Paul Negri                 20.33       5.10       25.43     24  
 19   Corinne Bishop    (L)      20.40      12.50       33.30     55  
 20   Steven Barber              20.41       2.45       23.26      8  
 21   Milos Dusek                20.46       3.00       23.46     10  
 22   Stephen Instone            20.47       2.50       23.37      9  
 23   Alastair Sinclair          20.48       5.10       25.58     26  
 24   Margaret Auerback (L)      20.50       5.45       26.35     29  
 25   Allan Lang                 20.50       4.40       25.30     21  
 26   Roger Brankin              20.52       4.10       25.02     18  
 27   Brian Chard                21.00       8.10       29.10     45  
 28   Carol McDiarmid   (L)      21.11      10.05       31.16     50  
 29   Brian Coles                21.16       9.50       31.06     48  
 30   Mary Nash         (L)      21.28      17.50       39.18     66  
 31   Carol Barnshaw    (L)      21.31      10.25       31.56     53  
 32   Clive Naish                21.32       4.05       25.37     22  
 33   Mike Peace                 21.32       2.50       24.22     14  
 34   John Newton                21.33       8.00       29.33     46  
 35   Alan Davidson              21.35       5.20       26.55     32  
 36   Sue Ashley        (L)      21.37       6.45       28.22     38  
 37   Eliete Nascimento (L)      21.38       7.25       29.03     44  
 38   Pat Hewlett       (L)      21.40      15.30       37.10     63  
 39   Mike Hynd                  21.41       3.20       25.01     17  
 40   Alice Beverly     (L)      21.47       6.40       28.27     39  
 41   Jim Forrest                21.48       6.50       28.38     41  
 42   Mandy Holliday    (L)      21.52       7.10       29.02     43  
 43   Ray Auerback               21.57       5.45       27.42     33  
 44   John Pratt                 22.04       4.15       26.19     28  
 45   Marcus Gohar               22.10       0.30       22.40      6  
 46   Richard Clay-Jones         22.14       5.55       28.09     36  
 47   Mike Elliot                22.15       4.20       26.35     29  
 48   Dave Knight                22.18       2.25       24.43     15  
 49   Julie Naismith    (L)      22.23      10.45       33.08     54  
 50   Bob Beatson                22.35       5.15       27.50     34  
 51   Beverley Ali      (L)      22.38      18.20       40.58     68  
 52   Paul Perry                 22.41       4.00       26.41     31  
 53   Kathy Mallett     (L)      22.46       5.35       28.21     37  
 54   Dave Campbell              22.51      14.20       37.11     64  
 55   Tony Tresilian             23.52       6.05       29.57     47  
 56   Mike Pearce                24.42      11.10       35.52     61  
                                                                      
    Guests:-                                                          
      Simon Burrell        (G)   15.11      18.20       33.31     56  
      Daniel Fielder       (G)   16.03       9.20       25.23     20  
      John Keep            (G)   17.59      10.05       28.04     35  
      Sandy Renshaw     (L)(G)   18.13      23.10       41.23     69  
      George Fielder       (G)   19.38      16.30       36.08     62  
      Luke Gisby           (G)   20.35       4.15       24.50     16  
      James Fielder        (G)   21.04      13.10       34.14     57  
      Niels Andersen       (G)   21.07       5.00       26.07     27  
      Owain Clay-Jones     (G)   21.23      10.20       31.43     51  
      Michele Harvey    (L)(G)   21.30      14.10       35.40     60  
      Lynne Barber      (L)(G)   21.58      18.55       40.53     67  
      James Barber         (G)   21.58       9.50       31.48     52  
     Nicholas Ash         (G)   24.41      13.10       37.51     65  

Will's predecessor as handicapper, Computer Ken Powley, apparently didn't
run after all but pronounced Will's effort to be "pretty good". 

By the way, Ken has just celebrated his 70th birthday and Mike Pearce his
60th. Good on yer lads, you don't look a day over.....(insert appropriately
ludicrous figure). 

There was a building fund draw at the Thomas, and drinks can therefore be
had from Andy Bickerstaff (152), Mary Smith (63) and Alison Fowler (38).

Full results have surfaced from the inky depths of the Surrey Road Relays on
September 9th:
Men:
1 South London 87.11
7 Ranelagh 97.42
Giles Marshall  16.24,  Darryl McDonald  15.19,  Tim Bacon  16.49,  
Chris Owens 16.15,  Andy Bickerstaff 16.28,  Paul Graham  16.27
Over 50:
1 South London 66.39
5 Ranelagh 73.54
Martin Clark  20.20,  Mike Peace  17.25,  Steve Rowland  18.44,  Clive
Beauvais  17.35
Women:
1 South London (yawn) 70.14
3 Ranelagh 76.11
Margaret Auerback  18.51,  Linda Cartwright  17.53,  Clare Nicholson  19.49,
Sarah Seal  19.38
Over 35:
1 Dorking & MV 76.18
6 Ranelagh 85.07
Sue Healey  19.53,  Jo Allam  21.18,  Julie Naismith  23.41,  Sonia Rowland
20.15 

Julian Smith, meanwhile, was having a maths lesson in France:
"Ronde des Vendanges, Carcassonne (9 Sep 2000)
This was a 4 lap race of almost 16k around the streets of Carcassonne, which
David Benton ran last year. This year a Ranelagh raiding party returned in
an attempt to repeat the experience - including me, arriving a day late
after missing my plane. An omen I suspect.

We toddled off at 9pm, following swarms of sprinting Frenchmen. After two
laps idly cruising the dark streets with John Herries (completely failing to
observe the sight of the floodlit mediaeval walled city on the hilltop
beneath the moon), I went harder on the third lap, weaving through the
hordes of lapped runners. I was moving through the field rapidly, although
the last man I caught near the end of the lap stormed away again, explained
when he sneaked off through the finish funnel (the sort of bizarre thing
that happens in French races). Into the final lap through even more lapped
runners, the front of the field became really spread out, and I couldn't see
any faster people to chase at all (except for the winner, already jogging
back down the course). By the finish the lapped runners were even thicker,
but as I turned into the funnel, half of the joggers did too! Looking at the
masses who had clearly already finished, the horrible truth suddenly
dawned...

David was the only one who realised it was just 3 laps this year, when the
guys he was racing started sprinting to the finish. He ran back down the
course afterwards to alert the rest of us, but I had already gone by. 744
people finished the race. 743 ran three laps, and one ran four. Nobody
noticed." 
Ronde des Vendanges (11.7k)
1    B Abdelslam 37.09
7    David Benton 39.41
30  John Herries 42.27
188 Allison O'Neill  (4th W) 50.29
349 Julian Smith 55.18 

We had at least fifteen runners in the Women's London Run on September 3rd
in Southwark Park.
Bev Ali writes: "The weather was perfect, the organisation was fantastic -
pipers along the route - the dj at the start (and finish) had a list of
names and numbers and was greeting some of the runners by name over the
loudspeakers.  The route was a little different this year, most of us liked
it better, except that Tower Bridge seemed to never arrive! And then there
was a veritable feast at the finish provided for the runners."
The winner was Salford's S Wilkinson in 33.24, then came:
167 Louise Piears 49.17
179 Carol Barnshaw 49.29
285 Julie Naismith 51.59
344 Janet Turnes 52.57
772 Akua Obeng-Frimpong 58.37
1011 Pat Hewlett 60.24
1216 Anne-Marie Hickey 63.01
1313 Gill Fonteyn 64.14
1314 Anna Wood 64.16
1327 Bev Ali 64.28
1685 Jane Wyatt 69.39
1700 Simone Bretherton 69.53
1701 Emily Boswell 69.53
1783 Anna Coady 71.36
1855 Terry McDowall 73.27    

Darryl McDonald writes with touching honesty about the Wimbledon 10km on
September 17th:
"Err, it was a good race overall, but I suspect the course was not
accurately measured, judging by my time. South London South African Trevor
James finished first in 30:04 (course record), followed by Ian Harkness
(TH&H) in 31:08. Then Dan Ayrton (Blackheath) finished third in 32:40. But I
was not far behind in 32:50, a PB.

But I have never broke 33:00 and I really did not think I ran a sub 33:00
race. In other words, I really thought I slowed down in the middle bit, but
maybe when I gave chase to number three, I made up for a lacklustre
performance. Maybe.  (Ed's note: take it, Darryl, take it)

Mick Lane was first M40 in 34:29 (and he ran for Met Police, but wore a
Ranelagh vest! Go figure). John Hanscomb was there too. 

By the way, Pete Mulholland referred to me as a "local lad" in 'Athletics
Weekly'. Have I been here THAT long!? Cor blimey!"

Other gleanings from 'AW': John Hanscomb was first over 60 in 39.35 in the
Perivale 5 miles on September 10th.
Speaking of jolly John Hanscomb, here are a few more results from the
Burnham Beeches Half Marathon back in August: behind Bridget Cuthbert
(186th/14th woman in 1.39.23) came Lizzie Clifford (207th/18th woman in
1.40.20), John Hanscomb (358th in 1.50.31), Eleanor Grey (492nd in 2.00.35)
and Catherine Gadd (529th in 2.04.54).

No news yet of Sunday's Cabbage Patch 10. Does anybody own up to having run
it?

TRAINING
For those otherwise engaged on Sunday mornings, Tim Bacon, Milos Dusek and
one or two others are meeting at the clubhouse for training on Sunday
afternoons at 4pm. All are welcome to join them. 

COMING UP
Saturday September 30th  Men's Southern 6-stage and vets 4-stage relays at
Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot. Men at 2.30pm, vets at 12 noon.
Sunday October 1st  Women's Southern 4-stage and vets 4-stage relays at
Rushmoor Arena, Aldershot. Start at 3.45pm (following junior events).
For all those not involved with the relays, please give some support to the
race on Saturday 30th at RMA Sandhurst (entrance on the A30 near Camberley).
A tough but interesting 6 miles against half a dozen other clubs and half a
regiment of officer cadets, followed by a tea of epic proportions. Parade
for kit inspection at 1430 hours.
Saturday October 7th  Page Cup handicap. The season's second handicap, this
time over 5 miles. 
Richmond Park, 3pm.
And further ahead...the mob match on December 16th against South London is
indeed at home and not as shown on the Fixture card. Please don't go to
Coulsdon!

No more news lately from the Sydneysiders. Those breakfast time beers are
obviously taking their toll....

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