Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 125             7 JANUARY 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Sarah Seal wins individual bronze in the Surrey Championships and the
 women's team narrowly misses gold
 *  Peter Haarer 5th in the Oxfordshire Championships
 *  The return of Tim Woods 

 SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION ONE   Saturday January 10th in Richmond Park
 This is the third of the four Surrey League fixtures this season and it's on
 our home course in Richmond Park. Proceedings start early with the senior
 women's start at 12.30pm, followed by the junior women's events at 1.15pm
 and 1.45pm. Then the junior men run at 2.30pm followed by the senior men at
 3pm. All members are welcome to run but if you can't or don't want to take
 part please come along if you can to give a hand with the organisation and
 support our valiant teams. 
 Be aware that with so many runners taking part the Pembroke Lodge car park
 is likely to fill up, especially if it's a fine day. So allow yourself
 plenty of time.  

 SURREY CHAMPIONSHIPS   Saturday January 3rd at Lloyd Park, Croydon
 Captain Clare describes the women's and junior events:
 "Lloyd Park was the firmest under foot I've ever seen it.  It was a brisk,
 cool, but very bright morning and I was actually pretty sorry knowing I
 wasn't fit enough to run myself.  Gone were the knee high waters of last
 spring, the course was 9-12mm spike length with some sections positively
 race track-like.

 The youngsters were up first and Ranelagh fielded a good smattering of our
 young athletes.  Victoria Elbourne finished 10th in the U13 girls.  Matt
 Hirshler was a last minute entrant, but clearly ran his socks off to finish
 16th in the U15 boys.  Alex Hook was looking somewhat apprehensive and cold
 before the start of her race but against stiff competition in her first year
 at the county champs in the middle age group fought through to take 13th
 place - the sort of excellent performance we almost expect from the
 youngster these days.  Anair Beverly finished 10th in the combined under 20s
 and under 17s in a field somewhat swollen due to university and school
 holidays - but was 5th under 17 home - well done Anair!!! 

 The gun went for the Senior Women's 8km race with 10 Ranelagh vests on the
 start line.  We'd seen a few Belgrave and SLH women around but didn't really
 know who'd succumbed to the excesses of the season, skipped training etc.
 until a good way round the first lap.  The first time I saw Sarah Seal
 running round in 3rd place behind Jo Kelsey and Eleanor Baker I assumed
 either I must have blinked and missed a couple of other athletes or that
 Sarah had drunk a gallon of coffee for breakfast.  Alice Beverly, Jo
 Ronaldson, Estelle Damant, Liz Kipling and Sara Grosvenor appeared to be
 packing well shortly behind her and a couple of Belgrave vests.  As the
 first lap went on, and the girls started to string out it became clear that
 Sarah was actually on some sort of mission.  The look of absolute resolute
 determination on her face I have never seen the like of before.  Shortly
 behind her our girls were clearly working well together and against each
 other as it just looked like one determined face after another.  On the last
 lap I passed Julian "Stats" Smith who had worked out who needed to overtake
 whom in order for our girls to win the team event - all of a sudden my
 stomach was in my throat.  Despite being somewhat depleted, Belgrave had
 their 4 scorers between 4th and 11th - I'm not that good at "on the fly"
 maths.  Sarah had secured 3rd by at least 1/2 a minute, Alice took 7th (a
 fantastic result for her first year in the county champs at Senior level)
 with Jo and Sara fighting it out with a pack of girls to take 12th and 13th
 (Sara overtook two in the last 1/2 mile).  Estelle gave the team strong
 backup finishing 16th and Kathy (31st), Eliete (38th), Sophie (49th) and
 Louise (53rd) should feel mighty pleased with their efforts.  Unfortunately
 Lloyd Park got the better of Liz's back again and she didn't finish - speedy
 recovery Liz!!!! 

 When the points were added up, Ranelagh drew 33 all with Belgrave, only
 losing out on the gold team honours on count back. Not one of those girls
 had an ounce of energy left when crossing the line.  A brilliant performance
 by all.  It goes without saying a fantastic bronze individual medal for
 Sarah. Her performance of finishing 6th at the County Championships last
 year put her name on the club honours board.  What happens when you take an
 extra couple of places off that???? 

 To quote Robin Drummond "Tuesday nights are clearly working".  The quality
 and distance training sessions our women are doing by themselves and with
 the assistance of the club coaches - Frances, Robin and most notably Sarah
 and Margaret (who put together and take the fast groups training on Tuesday
 nights) over the last few seasons are clearly paying huge dividends.  The
 girls should be mighty excited (as indeed Sarah is :o)) going into our own
 home Surrey League fixture this coming weekend with what looks like
 (although it does beggar belief) a STRONGER????? team than the one fielded
 on Saturday - hurrah!!!!!"

 Julian Smith reports on the men's race:
 "Having accepted that we're not going to win either the Surrey League, the
 Southern or the National this year, it was decided to concentrate instead on
 winning medals in those events where we had a chance. We succeeded in the
 South of Thames junior (a race from which your correspondent was barred),
 and next target was the Surrey Champs, where we have not won medals for
 decades, if ever.  

 Encouragingly the specified team all made it to the start line, even Paul
 Doyle, who ran round with a phone in his pocket as his wife was in hospital
 expecting a baby (Surrey medals mean a lot!). Then even more encouragingly a
 Thames runner dropped out early on, leaving them without a full team. We
 were in there! But since this is Ranelagh, it couldn't last. The frost
 turned to mud, and our spikes were suddenly too short... Rob Stillwell hurt
 his foot and had to drop out... but still we could do it. Then your
 correspondent developed a calf injury and had to stop. The rest battled on
 gamely, especially Paul Doyle - whose phone didn't ring - but at the end we
 worked out that had this correspondent finished in the position he stopped,
 we would have sneaked medals by a single point. Instead of course we got
 nothing: no prizes for guessing Mr Popular that evening. Next target is the
 South of Thames Senior in March, when I shall have pneumonia". 

 Andy Bickerstaff adds:
 "Having thought we had outside chance of our first Surrey Medals since
 .........it turned into a comedy of errors. The team consisted of cross
 country veterans (and just veterans full stop). So at the gun we had two
 facing the wrong way and chatting, one in the bushes having a leak and one
 tieing up his shoe laces (plus re-tieing them during the race). Seeing
 Julian pulled up at the side at the end of lap one just put the lid on it!
 At the end of the second lap we were cheered on by half of a very good team
 consisting of Julian, Rob Stillwell and Paul S-H. Nice course, good day out
 ...next year! 

 Can I add my plaudits to Sarah and the women's team for an awesome
 performance, inspiring to be there, and very unlucky not to win". 

 OXFORDSHIRE CHAMPIONSHIPS   Sunday January 4th at Oxford
 Peter Haarer finished one place lower than last year but almost exactly the
 same distance behind the winner Kevin Sheppard. 5th place should be good
 enough to see Peter into the Inter-Counties team. 

 1 K Sheppard (Tipton) 32.45
 5 Peter Haarer 35.01 

 HENTY RELAY   Saturday December 27th in Richmond Park
 The return of Tim Woods! Our erstwhile club champion and Honours award
 winner had not been seen at the Dysart since the 1980s but seemed to have
 changed little in the intervening two decades and ran only a little slower.
 He finished the opening lap in third place, chasing hard after Marcus Gohar
 though both were well behind Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the only man to crack 7
 But it was another Woods, Tim's 9-year-old son Alexander, who stole the
 show. He sprinted round his lap in 9.51 to put his team into a clear lead
 which Marcus and Wyn Williams duly consolidated. Paul Sinton-Hewitt was
 closing on Marcus on the final circuit but Marcus had a little in reserve
 and the result was never in doubt. 

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 2   Tuesday December 23rd in Richmond Park
 The second of the four race series for juniors was just before Christmas and
 saw a slight drop in numbers from the first event but no drop at all in
 enthusiasm. Matt Hirschler was fastest of all on the day but having missed
 the first event he has some catching up to do on Joseph Rake who fiished 2nd
 to Matt in the under 15 age group but leads the series overall. George Brown
 Griffiths also won today after missing the first under 13 race but lies 2nd
 overall to David Ready.
 There's a real head-to-head in the under 13 girls category, with Alex
 McKenna turning the tables this time on Victoria Elbourne. They are now
 equal on 11 points each. None of the under 15 girls ran this time so Alex
 Hook retains the overall lead.
 The next race of the series will be on Saturday January 31st and will run
 while our mob match with Blackheath is under way. The start will be shortly
 after the mob match start at 2.30pm. 

 HOLLY RUNS  Sunday December 21st at Reigate
 In a Beverly family day out, Anair was 4th under 17 home in the combined
 senior / junior women's event.
 1 G Gardner (G&G) 18.05
 14 Anair Beverly 20.56
 52 Celia Beverly 29.33
 1 J Baker (Chichester) 31.52
 75 Michael Beverly 44.40 

 CHRISTMAS MORNING PAARLAUF  Thursday December 25th on Wimbledon Common
 1 A Weir (THH) & M O'Halloran (HW) 5m 1567yds
 4 Paul Sinton-Hewitt & M Ciglia (HW) 5m 1264yds
 11 Mike Peace & C Farr (HW) 5m 755yds 

 LAURISTON 7 MILES  Saturday December 27th  at Wimbledon
 1 R Ward (Belgrave) 34.40
 19 Stephen Instone 44.07

 SERPENTINE NEW YEAR'S DAY 10Km  Thursday January 1st in Hyde Park
 Hugh Jones measured a new course for 2004 and obligingly rode the lead bike
 to make sure nobody went the wrong way. The revised route certainly suited
 Mick Lane who ran his fastest 10km for some years and won the first veteran
 prize. Pete Warren was 2nd over 60 and Ranelagh finished 2nd to the
 organising club in the team race.
 1 H Lobb (Serpentine) 30.32
 9 Mick Lane 34.17
 44 Stephen Instone 39.28
 60 Alan Davidson 40.47
 78 Pete Warren 41.33
 261 Brian Chard 50.05 

 Winners of the regular draw held after the Henty Relay: Robin Drummond
 (£149), Jean Hedger (£62) and Trevor Maguire (£37). There was also a special
 Christmas bonus prize which was won by Catherine Carthy (£65). 

 A tree is to be planted in Richmond Park next week in memory of Trish Macé
 who sadly died of cancer just over two years ago. The planting ceremony is
 to take place at 12 noon on Thursday January 15th. Anyone who is able to
 attend would be most welcome. Meeting point is the noticeboard at Kingston
 Gate. If the ground is frozen hard the planting might have to be postponed,
 so if you are in any doubt please contact Sonia Rowland on 01483 278217.
 Sonia is planning soup and sarnies at Janet Turnes's pub the Wych Elm
 afterwards. Please let her know if you're likely to be able to join in with
 this so she can give Janet some idea of numbers expected.   

 ...is still looking for some accommodation to rent for a month. He has now
 finalised his travel arrangements and will be in the UK from April 23rd to
 May 20th. Can anyone help? Here's Mike:
 "My partner Joy's daughter and son-in-law are living in Surbiton and
 daughter is due to produce the first grand-child in late March. Since the
 daughter's flat is rather small, we're looking for a room for about 4 weeks
 from the end of April - preferably nearby.
 I wonder whether anyone in the club might have a spare room for rent to two
 very quiet (and mostly absent) boarders for a month, preferably with
 reasonable access to Surbiton?"
 Contact Mike at mailto:mikehubbert@ozemail.com.au

 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 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. 

 Saturday January 24th           South of England Championships at Parliament

 Saturday January 31st         Pelling-Ratcliff Cup mob match v Blackheath
 Harriers 7.5 miles in Richmond Park. Incorporates the Wynne Cup club
 championship and a sealed handicap. Start 2.30pm. All runners welcome and
                                             Also the third Junior Points
 Prize races, starting soon after 2.30pm. 
 Saturday February 7th            Surrey League Division 1. Men at Coulsdon
 (juniors 2.30pm, seniors 3pm), women at Lloyd Park (seniors 12.30pm, juniors
 at 1.15pm and 1.45pm). 

 Sunday February 8th              Richmond Mini-Marathon Trial in Richmond

 Overheard by Paul Graham as runners were lining up to start their race at
 the Surrey championships:
 A lad addressed his team-mates and said "'Right everyone, we've all eaten
 and drunk far too much over Christmas so take it easy at the start!" 
 This was in the U15's race!!! 

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