Newsdesk 2003

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 *  South London win mob match. Ranelagh finish 2nd
 *  Kristina Semple wins her age-group in the World Triathlon Championships 

 HENTY RELAY Saturday December 27th in Richmond Park
 Your chance to run off all that turkey and mince pies! This is a
 not-too-serious relay for all club members, friends, aunties, dogs and cats
 etc. All welcome, the more teams the better. 

 This is how it works: you have to arrive at the clubhouse no later than
 about 1.30pm to put your name down. When all names are in, the club's wise
 wizards divide us all into three groups, known as "fast", "medium" and
 "slow", although those definitions are flexible to say the least! Teams of
 three are then made up comprising one runner from each category.     

 The race itself starts at about 2pm or as soon as we get everybody
 organised. It comprises 6 laps of Sidmouth Wood (where all our cross-country
 races start), each lap about 2km. For each team the "fast" has to run three
 laps, the "medium" two laps and the "slow" one lap. They can do them in any
 order they like. 

 The Saturday before Christmas was never going to attract large numbers of
 runners. For many, months of rigorous training with the credit card had
 honed their shopping skills to a peak for this weekend's Santa Marathon. Add
 to that a wet and windy morning and suddenly the prospect of elbowing your
 way through the milling crowds to Bentalls became almost attractive.

 We did not have milling crowds to contend with on Farthing Down. Very few
 hardy souls were about and that includes the runners. We had 25 on the
 starting line, pursued five minutes later by John Hughes. SLH had only a
 handful more. Most of us were at least spared the rain. Only a conscientious
 Peter Haarer, out for an early warm-up, braved the downpour. The rest of us
 lingered as long as possible in cars and changing rooms until lured out by
 some actual sunshine for the start of the race. 

 Peter had the last laugh though. He romped away from the gun and was
 scarcely seen again. Julian Smith had an equally isolated run in second
 place, though he was being hunted down in the closing stages by Paul
 Sinton-Hewitt's dog, pursued by Paul himself. Alas the dog had no number.
 Marcus Gohar was 5th human home, giving us a flying start in the team
 scoring, but then SLH began to pack in. It remained fairly close but we
 would have needed another three or four at the sharper end to make a real
 fight of it. 

 Sarah Seal won the women's section and it was good to see a few new names
 amongst the Ranelagh contingent - Peter Taylor and Pat Read both, I think,
 essaying their first mob match. 

 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5km   Friday December 19th in Hyde Park
 1 L Merrien (Guernsey) 15.10
 45 Alice Beverly 19.15
 54 Alan Davidson 19.53
 99 Brian Chard 23.15
 113 John Hanscomb 24.57

 WORLD TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday December 6th at Queenstown, New
 Kristina Semple scored a great win in the women's 30-34 age-group race. She
 was a clear minute ahead of her pursuers coming out of the water and held on
 to her advantage throughout the hilly bike and running sections. Her 43.25
 10km brought her home still well ahead in a total time of 2.19.58. Geoff
 Jones was also competing, finishing 42nd in the men's 40-44 age-group in

 I hope Kristina or Geoff will provide me with an account of the event, but
 in the meantime you can see more details, including photos of Kristina and
 Geoff, on the race web site at www.triworlds2003.com 

 The 2004 National Cross Country Championships take place on February 21st in
 Leeds. There is no restriction on entries but all names have to be submitted
 by the beginning of January. So if you're interested in taking part (it's
 quite an experience!) contact Andy Bickerstaff or Clare Nicholson straight
 away. Clare is already including all those seniors and juniors entered for
 the Surrey and Southern championships. She adds: "Some of us normally stay
 up the night, sample the delights of the local alcohol-serving
 establishments and go for a run in some area of great natural beauty the
 following morning (to clear the hangover) - details to follow nearer the
 Contact details for Andy and Clare below. 

 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 ).  

 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. All speeds welcome, the more teams we
 have the better the race. Each leg is 2km, start time 2pm but be at the
 clubhouse by 1.30pm to be sure of getting in a team.  

 Saturday January 3rd              Surrey Championships at Lloyd Park,

 Saturday January 10th            Surrey League Division 1 on our own course
 in Richmond Park. Women at 12.30pm (juniors at 1.15pm and 1.45pm), men at
 3pm (juniors 2.30pm).
 Saturday January 17th            v Bank of England and others.  6 miles in
 Richmond Park (Roehampton Gate) starting at 2.30pm.

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