Newsdesk 2003

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 DYSART CUP and ELLIS TROPHY RACES   Saturday December 6th in Richmond Park
 The Dysart Cup is our annual women's inter-club race but more importantly
 includes the Ranelagh women's club championship for the Hugh Jones Salver
 and the Ranelagh women's veterans (over 40s) championship for Trish's
 Trophy. Start time is 2pm and the distance is 6km. Following on is the Ellis
 Trophy men's race, scheduled for 2.30pm but usually a few minutes later as
 we wait for all the women to finish first. Distance is 8km. All welcome for
 both races. 

 Entry for the Surrey, Southern and National Championships is nowadays open
 to all, but entries do have to be sent in well in advance. For the Surreys
 (Lloyd Park Croydon, January 3rd) and the Southerns (Parliament Hill,
 January 24th) the closing date is almost upon us already. The women's
 entries have in fact already be sent in but there's still a few days for the
 men, so if you'd like to run contact Andy Bickerstaff or Paul Graham
 immediately. The closing date for the National (Leeds, February 21st) will
 be following shortly, so men and women who'd like to run there should let
 Andy or Paul or Clare Nicholson know as soon as possible. Contact details

 And you'll have to act quickly too if you're interested in taking up one of
 the five guaranteed entries allocated to the club for the 2004 London
 Marathon to be held on April 18th. Clare Nicholson writes:
 "Club members who are not eligible for championship or good for age entry,
 or who failed to get through the ballot can apply for these places to any
 committee member or the club coaches.  A sub-committee of coaches, the club
 captains and committee running representatives will meet on Tuesday 16th
 December 2003 to review the list of applicants, decide from the list how the
 places should be allocated/balloted etc.  Don't miss out!!!!  If you would
 like to be considered for a place, contact Andy Bickerstaff or Clare
 Nicholson (contact details below) or one of the committee members or coaches

 MOB MATCH v THAMES HARE & HOUNDS   Saturday November 29th on Wimbledon
 It was very pleasing indeed to count in 53 finishers for Ranelagh on
 Saturday in our away match against Thames. This must be our biggest mob for
 an away fixture for many years and was a just reward for some hard work put
 in by several members to encourage more blue vests to the starting line.
 That we narrowly failed to overcome the mighty Hare & Hounds was almost a
 minor detail. We outnumbered them by 7 - a great achievement in itself - but
 they had 14 of the first 20 home. But even with such a substantial early
 deficit, scoring 46 a side we very nearly overhauled them - a testament to
 the old adage that the outcome of mob matches depends not only on the fleet
 of foot but also on the mid-fielders and the tail-enders.  
 The Common was much drier than might have been anticipated, especially after
 the heavy morning rain which relented only just in time for us to venture
 out of the changing rooms. There were a few soft patches but even the
 infamous 'butts' near the finish were not too bad.
 Paul Doyle ran well to mix it with the leading Thames runners and Sara
 Grosvenor and Sarah Seal led home the 23 women in the race, of whom no less
 than 16 were from Ranelagh. Sara was accompanied across the line by her
 brother Alex in his first race for Ranelagh for many years. Alex, Ed Barker
 and Christian Vaughan formed a trio that had not run together since they
 were all very small juniors back in the mid-1980s! 
 Anything but small juniors, Messrs Wright, Rowland and Forrest could be seen
 running together at one early point in the race: between them they can boast
 something over 300 mob matches! For the rest, there were good runs and bad
 runs, but most people seemed to be enjoying the scenic tour of the Common,
 even Marina and Bev who brought up the rear in the gathering gloom.
 Alastair Sinclair takes up the story: 
 "Having 53 finish an away mob match was an effort much appreciated by many
 members and we hope that the trend will continue for the remaining two mob
 match fixtures for this season.
 As usual after finishing, a few of the faster runners (Bickerstaff, Doyle,
 Peace, etc) jogged back out onto the course to cheer the slower Ranelagh
 runners back home. Thames's lousy hot water system ensured that these guys,
 and the slower finishers, were rewarded with a cold shower!
 In the evening Thames hosted the post-race supper at The Albert Arms in
 Kingston, a new venue from previous years since the vicinity of their
 clubhouse is now void of any appropriate establishments. The evening was
 very well attended, especially by Ranelagh. Even Thames were not expecting
 such a large turnout from us, as evidenced by the fact the food pretty much
 ran out before everyone was satisfied. With chicken curry, chilli and rice
 forming the menu, the vegetarian contingent was understandably unimpressed.
 The wine (provided by the Brasher fund) flowed fast, yet could still not
 make the Thames captain's joke sound funny or worth the wait for the
 punchline. Not able to keep up with Thames on the running course, Ranelagh's
 'humorous' offering was recited by Marcus Gohar, ensuring that Ranelagh
 could match Thames with an equally bad joke. John Bryant entertained by
 performing his customary recital of 'The First Meeting of the Thames Hare
 and Hounds and the Ranelagh Harriers'. As usual he followed this by leading
 the gathering in the Thames Saltire song. 
 What Thames lacked in the food department, they made up for with gin &
 tonic. Towards the end of the evening, several Ranelagh ladies were
 surpassing all expectations of participation, fuelled by rather large
 (almost half pint) measures of G&T. By the end of the evening, all were
 partaking of Thames's generous measures of G&T, many without the benefit of
 the T!"  

 MAYLARCH 10 Km  Sunday November 30th at Eynsham
 Peter Haarer finished 2nd overall but won the Oxfordshire championship.
 1 A Gardiner (Windsor) 31.59
 2 Peter Haarer 32.35 

 REEBOK CROSS CHALLENGE  Saturday November 22nd at Liverpool
 1 J Pavey (Exeter) 18.30
 65 Alice Beverly 22.14
 85 Estelle Damant 23.06
 WOLVERTON 5 Miles    Saturday November 22nd
 1 K Cullen (Chelmsford) 23.46
 37 Mick Lane 27.33 

 VETERANS AC 6.2 Miles cross-country Saturday November 22nd on Wimbledon
 (Over 65)
 1 Alan Howard 42.45 

 KINGSTON & POLY 7 Miles   Saturday November 29th in Richmond Park
 1 A Arbour (K&P) 39.52
 9 Stephen Instone 44.38 

 REEBOK BRIGHTON 10 Km   Sunday November 16th
 Further details:
 1 A Fletcher (Dulwich) 35.33
 5 Sarah Seal 36.50
 59 Sonia Rowland 43.27
 192 Thérèse Panetta 50.28
 217 Janet Turnes 51.50
 241 Julie Naismith 52.47
 1 S Moran (Brighton) 30.52
 156 Jacus Engelbrecht 39.12
 354 Steve Rowland 43.38  

 THE BALLBUSTER  Sunday November 9th at Box Hill
 Bridget Cuthbert fills in the gory details:
 "The Ballbuster...aptly named as it a race and a half..well I think so
 anyway.  I don't know what it is about it as I have completed many more
 gruelling events like a 24 hour adventure race, Comrades marathon and the
 likes.  But it has to be said Box Hill 5 times is tough...especially the
 final 8 mile run!
 Even though I classify myself as a runner more than a cyclist, I never feel
 like one as I dismount the bike and my legs feel unnatural and my gait is
 awkward as I try to stride out.  This year was my 4th attempt at this event
 and I did a PW (yep a personal worst!).  On my third lap on the bike I
 simply ran out of fuel and decided it was wise to stop at the side of the
 road and quit, however I happened to stop next to a chap who had come 4th in
 the event the previous year and he gave me an energy bar and a  drink. After
 a chat with him, I thought I had better finish this race as I would not be
 able to forgive myself for quitting, so I got back on the bike and completed
 the final lap and the run. 
 So next year I will be back, hopefully with more training under the belt,
 but I always appreciate the beautiful countryside at this time of the year,
 when all the leaves are changing colour and the early morning mist glides
 over the top of Box Hill.  For info on the race if you are interested in
 doing it yourself see www.humanrace.co.uk ". 

 This is a collection of quotes by or about Chris Brasher, plus some
 reminiscences from Ranelagh members and a few pictures. I have already sent
 it in the form of a Word file to some of the membership but I'm aware that
 at 1.8mb not all e-mail systems will accept it, especially Hotmail. There is
 a version on our website (look under News) which includes all the text but
 excludes most of the photos and other illustrations. If you haven't received
 a copy of the full version and would like to, please contact me. 

 Malcolm McBride of Max Sports in Twickenham (sponsors of our Dysart Dash and
 the Surrey Ladies Cross-Country League) is celebrating the shop's 10th
 birthday and for this Thursday, Friday and Saturday only all stock items
 will be 25% off for Ranelagh members. Show a fixture list or something to
 prove membership.  

 Speed / hill sessions lined up to torture you over the next few weeks -
 starting from the clubhouse at 7pm.
 Dec 9th 2 x 7 mins effort, 2 x 5 mins, 2 x 2 mins
 Dec 16th 3 x 5 mins effort, 3 x 3 mins
 Dec 23rd Christmas special! 

 There will be a Christmas party with a band in the South London Harriers
 clubhouse at Coulsdon on the evening of our mob match with them on December
 20th and any Ranelagh members who would like to stay on will be more than

 A full fixture list for the 2003/04 winter season is available on our web

 More details of the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:andy@norris-hobs.co.uk ) or Paul Graham (mailto:paulgraham28@hotmail.com )
 or Clare Nicholson (07710 348030 / mailto:clarenicholson@hotmail.com ).  

 Saturday December 6th         Inter-club races in Richmond Park: Dysart Cup
 (women) including the Hugh Jones Salver club women's championship and
 Trish's Trophy club veteran (over 40) women's championship - 3.8 miles
 starting at 2pm; and the Ellis Trophy (men)  5 miles starting at 2.30pm. 

 Saturday December 13th       Surrey League Division 1 - men at Reigate
 (2.30pm juniors, 3pm seniors), women at Lightwater Country Park (12.30pm
 seniors, 1.15pm and 1.45pm juniors)  

 Saturday December 20th        Stubbs Cup Mob Match v South London Harriers
 at Farthing Downs, Coulsdon. 7.5 miles, start at 2.30pm. All runners

 Tuesday December 23rd         Junior Points Prize race 2, 2.30pm in Richmond
 Park. Hot mince pies promised afterwards! 

 Saturday December 27th        Henty Relay in Richmond Park. Our Christmas
 fun relay for all members and friends. 2km legs, start time 2pm but be at
 the clubhouse by 1.30pm to be sure of getting in a team. 

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