Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 127            27 JANUARY 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 *  Women's team 4th in the "Southern"
 *  Allison O'Neill 8th individual - with one shoe!
 *  Men's team 14th

 January 31st in Richmond Park.
 This will be the 85th running of this mob match, first held back in 1907.
 Ranelagh have won 16 times to date - you do the maths! Let's try to make it
 number 17.
 As ever with mob matches, the more runners we have, the better our chances
 of winning. Do please try to make it if you can. It's our usual 7.5 miles
 course in the Park, with a start time of 2.30pm. No need for pre-entry -
 just turn up at the clubhouse or at the start by Sidmouth Wood. Race it hard
 if you like (for the fast boys it's the also the club championship) or treat
 it as your Saturday training run.  
 After the main race has started we'll be holding the third races in our
 junior "Points Prize" competition. As before, the course will be one lap of
 Sidmouth Wood (1.3miles). All under 15s welcome.

 After the race on Saturday we'll be hosting our guests from Blackheath to a
 supper at the Rose of York, starting at about 6.30pm. It'll be 8 a head for
 a starter and a buffet main course. Book with Mike Peace
 (mailto:head@frimley.surrey.sch.uk ).
 Veggie options available but please let Mike know if you'll be wanting one.

 Parliament Hill
 We're a mile into the women's championship and things are looking very
 exciting. Allison is in the top ten and moving forwards, Sarah in the 30s,
 Jo, Alice and Estelle around 50th and Liz, Kathy, Eliete and Louise
 following not far behind. "The team could finish in the top six," says

 But wait. Things are going too well. This is Ranelagh. We love to make a
 crisis out of a drama.   

 First, here comes Allison. Last time we saw her she was incredibly
 contesting 3rd place, now she's slipping back. She points to her right foot.
 It's shoeless. Sarah too is losing ground. Julian reveals that she has been
 unwell. Then Estelle Damant is seen walking back from the furthest extremity
 of the course, very upset at having to drop out of a race for the first time
 in her life. She's damaged an already dodgy knee in one of the Parliament
 Hill ditches. 

 But the Ranelagh spirit is made of strong stuff. Undaunted by the prospect
 of covering the remaining three miles in one spike and one sock, Allison
 rallies and pulls back to 8th. Sarah's courage too is never in doubt and she
 battles on. Jo gains ground steadily with Alice always just a few yards

 At the finish, Allison hangs on to 8th place, only a minute behind the
 silver medallist. Jo and Alice pass Sarah but a little over 20 seconds
 covers the three of them. Four brilliant runs, and the team position - a
 marvellous 4th.  

 Liz, Kathy, Eliete and Louise all finish well up and an imaginary 'B' team
 would have made the top 30. 

 There are some "might have beens" and "if onlys" but let's forget about them
 and celebrate our best result in a senior Southern championship since the
 men finished 4th 69 years ago! It's our best ever by a women's team of
 course, beating their 7th place in 1990. And Allison's 8th is our best ever
 finish by a woman. Allison's foot was a little sore afterwards but
 fortunately it sustained no serious damage. She is contesting the Northern
 Ireland championship this weekend, where we wish her the very best of luck
 and advise a double knot. 
 Alex Hook and Victoria Elbourne were our only competitors in the junior
 women's events and both showed up well in the top half of large fields.  

 With all the fuss justifiably accorded to the women's team it would be easy
 to overlook a very solid performance by the men too. 14th place out of 66
 teams closing in was no mean achievement and placed us ahead of such local
 rivals as SLH and Herne Hill. As with the women's race, Belgrave failed even
 to complete a team. 

 Peter Haarer was always our leading man and held on for his best Southern
 finish for some time, breaking into the top 50 at 45th place. Julian Smith
 made his usual stealthy advance through the field up to the mid 70s and
 Daddy Doyle was never far behind to give us three in a hundred. 

 There was a little gap then before the remainder of our scoring six in the
 low to mid 200s, but they packed in well with less than half a minute
 covering them at the finish. Chris Owens, who always seems to revel in the
 Parliament Hill course, was our 4th man for much of the journey but had to
 give way on the final circuit first to Andy Bickerstaff and then to Paul
 Graham. PG ran an extremely well-judged race, making steady progress
 throughout and also passing Captain Bicks before the end. Marcus Gohar had
 been mixing it with these three on the first two laps but feeling off-colour
 and with a sore ankle he wisely decided to call it a day as soon as he had
 slipped out of the scoring team.  

 Mike Peace, Neil Walford, Andy Hayward, Pete Taylor and Phil Aiken also
 sampled the delights of the Hugh Jones's twisting Hampstead Heath course -
 Mike for the umpteenth time and Phil for the first. I hope they enjoyed it

 It was good to see four juniors out in Ranelagh colours, Jordan Mungovan
 cracking the top 100 in the Under 17 race ahead of Richard Sim, and Dan
 Jermy and Matt Hirschler close together in the Under 15s.

 Check our web site for some shots of Saturday's action, courtesy of Ken
 Powley and Robin Drummond. 
 Kathy Mallett left hers at Parliament Hill on Saturday. Did anybody find

 VETERANS AC CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday January 17th on Wimbledon Common
 Alan Howard and John Hanscomb finished 1st and 3rd respectively in the over
 65 category, with times of 41.00 and 49.56 for the 5.5 miles course.  

 SURREY LEAGUE  Saturday January 10th in Richmond Park
 Apologies for omitting President Peace from the results listed last week.
 Mike finished 114th in 37.01. 

 "NOT THE ROMAN 9" 12km  Sunday January 18th at Stratford-upon-Avon
 Lucy Burnett finished 235th in 54.35. 

 In the national Over 55 ranking lists for 2003, Margaret Auerback managed
 the remarkable feat of placing 2nd at every distance from 400 metres to 5000
 metres! For the record, her performances were: 76.9 (400 metres), 2.43.70
 (800 metres), 5.27.21 (1500 metres), 12:04.4 (3000 metres) and 20.56.69
 (5000 metres).  

 You can see full details of this winter-season points competition on our web
 site. In brief the rules are that the first Ranelagh finisher in each club
 cross-country event scores 100 points, 2nd 99, 3rd 98 and so on. With half a
 dozen or so races still to count, there's a clear leader in the men's
 competition but a close fight in the women's. 

 It's the President and the Captain setting the example to the rest of the
 men. Mike Peace has a convincing lead of nearly 250 points over Andy
 Bickerstaff, with Marcus Gohar and Will Graves not far behind. Sonia Rowland
 had also been enjoying a clear lead on the women's side, but a recent
 illness has caused her to miss a couple of events and now there's very
 little to choose between the leading contenders. 

 Top ten scores to date (including the South of England Champs):
 Mike Peace 1015,  Andy Bickerstaff 770,  Marcus Gohar 687,  Will Graves 642,
 Paul Doyle 592,  Julian Smith 582,  Paul Graham 579,  Chris Owens 563,  Andy
 Hayward 527,  Pete Warren 506
 Sonia Rowland 762,  Louise Piears 741,  Sarah Seal 694,  Corinne Bishop 646,
 Kathy Mallett 573,  Eliete Nascimento 570,  Liz Kipling 486,  Lynsey Morris
 483,  Carol Barnshaw 450,  Sara Grosvenor 391   

 Kristina Semple send some more details of her famous victory in New Zealand:
 "I was in New Zealand a few weeks before the race, which was good because
 jet lag is not good for athletic performance! For a week and a half after
 the flight I went so slowly in training, I dont know how the others who
 arrived just a week before coped so well.
 We got to Queenstown a week ahead and had time to check the course out
 properly. The swim was pretty cold but in an impossibly clean lake, like you
 never see in the UK. The bike and the run were both pretty hilly; it was
 quite a hard course. The weather would be the big unknown. Potentially wind
 and cold could make a 2 and a bit hour triathlon much, much harder, and the
 weather is very unpredictable in Queenstown in June. As it happened, it
 turned out sunny and blustery, but generally pleasant conditions; if
 anything a bit hot on the run. 
 As you already mentioned I came out of the swim with a fair lead, put my
 head down on the bike and rode my legs to shreds, and held it together on
 the undulating twisty turny run course to finish a minute and bit up from
 the second placed American. It was a fantastic feeling to run down th
 finishing chute with a Scottish flag in one hand and a Union Jack in the
 Now I'm staying in Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, to take
 advantage of the weather and long days to get some serious miles under my
 belt. I am missing Ranelagh! I will be back in mid April, so will see you

 Clive Beauvais is organising another longish country run this Sunday for
 anyone from Ranelagh and SLH who would like to join in, but specifically for
 those training for the London Marathon. It's in the Surrey Hills but
 unfortunately I don't have the full details. Contact Clive or Sue Ashley on
 01883 347410 for more info. 

 Carol Barnshaw writes:
 "As a result of the success of the Autumn ramble, Peter Saw will be leading
 another walk on Saturday 13th March. This time the walk will be in Epping
 Forest and again will be around 12 miles though it will be possible to come
 along for just the morning half or just the afternoon half.  Make a date in
 your diary and further details will follow". 

 Catherine Carthy writes: 
 'I would like to invite you to come to Ireland this summer, 29th August, to
 run a Marathon or half Marathon in Longford, 80 miles from Dublin, my home
 town. This will be its third year running. First year they had less that
 200, last year about 400 and a lot of interest this year with numbers
 growing. A guy from Morden in Surrey is planning to do his 100th marathon
 and lots of other overseas runners are getting involved. Please look at the
 web for more info: www.longfordmarathon.com 
 It's a very flat course and some lovely countryside and rivers. Lots and
 lots of good pubs. Read some of the messages on the chat page which will
 give you a feel for the event. It promises to be a fun race. I would be
 happy to help co-ordinate accomodation etc. I have been in touch with local
 newspaper who would like to do some coverage if we have a group from
 Ranelagh. Let me know if you are interested.  mailto:catherine@ancar.co.uk '  

 ...writes from Australia:
 "How wonderful to see Sarah and the girls doing so well. Even over here I
 follow the Ranelagh runners with intrigue and the they help me with my
 training, helping me to strive for the times they are making. I tend to make
 them more on the boogie board these days mind you ;-)
 Please send my regards to all of Ranelagh Harriers. I am endeavouring to
 come back later this year and hope there's a race around the time I arrive
 in sunny London!" 

 Senior member Dave Braybrook died on Sunday 24th January. Obituary to
 follow. The funeral will take place at the Holy Trinity Church in Bengeo,
 Herts, at 3.45pm on Thursday February 5th.  

 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 31st         Pelling-Ratcliffe Cup mob match v Blackheath
 & Bromley 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

 Saturday February 14th           Hec Petersen Trophy inter-club race v
 Ealing Southall & Middlesex etc at Perivale.  5 miles starting at 2.30pm.

 Saturday February 21st           National Championships at Leeds 

 Saturday February 28th           Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap in Richmond
 Park. Start 2.30pm. 

 Mike Rowland writes:
 "It used to take me 10 miles to run 65 minutes, now it only takes me 8.
 Perhaps I'm not deteriorating after all". 

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