Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 128            4 FEBRUARY 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com 
 *  Ranelagh wins Blackheath mob match
 *  Peter Haarer regains club championship
 *  Allison O'Neill and David Benton both 5th in Northern Ireland

 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP   Saturday January 31st in Richmond Park.
 The heavy snow of mid-week had been washed away by Saturday and we were
 greeted with what promised to be a wild, wet and windy day. But by start
 time it wasn't too bad: breezy yes, but the rain had stopped and stayed away
 until at least the first few finishers were home and dry. Comparatively dry,
 that is: underfoot it was about as wet and muddy as the Park ever gets and
 club washing machines would have been on overtime after the race.

 Given that the threatened conditions might have deterred a few, it was
 pleasing that we cleared 60 starters. Blackheath mustered only 31 so a home
 victory was on the cards from the off. Unfortunately we lost two from the
 sharper end with injuries early on - Julian Smith and Tim Woods - but it
 soon became apparent that we were dominating the front of the race even
 without them. Julian thus lost his chance of retaining the Wynne Cup club
 championship but Peter Haarer is in fine form and would have been a hard nut
 to crack. Peter was soon away clear and had more than a minute to spare over
 Paul Doyle at the finish. Paul was equally isolated in 2nd place, a full
 quarter mile ahead of the first 'heathen Eamonn Prendagast. There was
 another strong performance from Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 4th place but as a
 second-claimer he might miss out on the club championship bronze this time.
 Marcus Gohar was close behind, then in 8th place John Barnard with a run
 that earned him 3rd spot in the sealed handicap.

 Ranelagh had eight of the first twelve home and twenty of the first thirty
 scorers, so the destination of the Pelling-Ratcliff Cup was never in doubt.
 We'll hold it for the year and though next season it won't be such an easy
 task on Blackheath's home territory, we'll hopefully give it a good shot. 

 Sarah Seal frightened a good few of the men up in 19th place and she was an
 impressive 6 minutes clear of the second woman Kathy Mallett. It was good to
 see Anair Beverly completing the course, running most of the way with her
 father Michael who went on to win the sealed handicap at a canter. Paul
 Perry was 2nd and Barny 3rd.

 There should have been two other awards presented, the FB Thompson Medal for
 the overall winner and the Harry Sheer Cup for the first over 50 to finish.
 I didn't see either of them change hands, but I may have been busy with the
 excellent tea! Peter Haarer of course should add the Thompson medal to his
 day's spoils and it looks like the leading over 50 was Chris Owens.  

 Bill Bird, with his stats hat on, adds:
 "It was the ninth time Peter Haarer had finished first man home for Ranelagh
 in a mob match, which puts him in ninth place in the all time list behind
 Arthur Stansbury's 39. Not surprisingly Arthur also heads the all time
 number of outright victories with 28. Peter with 4 is ninth equal. Amongst
 current runners, Julian Smith has 13 "first Ranelaghs" and 4 wins, the 13
 ranking him fifth all-time. Mike Riley has 11 and 6, Hugh Jones has 7 and 6,
 Dave Wright has 7 and 4 and Tim Woods has a 100% 4 and 4. Marcus has clocked
 up 5 and 1, Darryl McDonald and Andy Bickerstaff have 4 and 1, along with
 Jim Forrest, and the only other runner with 4 is Bill Harvey who did not
 manage a victory". 

 On the Sunday, the tireless Peter Haarer turned out for his second-claim
 club Headington Road Runners in the Oxford Mail League at Cirencester, and
 finished runner-up!

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 3   Saturday January 31st in Richmond Park
 This was the third event in a four race series. The final showdown will be
 on the day of the Clutton Cup, Saturday February 28th.
 Paul Graham reports:
 "Dan Jermy sprinted round the 1.3 mile course in Richmond Park to record an
 impressive victory with a time of 7.55 to collect all 6 points in the Under
 15 Boys race. Matt Hirshler, the winner from the second fixture, had a good
 run to claim second place in 8.34, with Frank Brown Griffiths in third and
 Joseph Rake in fourth. This now leaves the league table very close with just
 two points between the overall top three of the Under 15's Boys, Joseph Rake
 on 13pts, Dan Jermy (12pts) and Matt Hirshler (11pts). 

 Alex Hook stretched her lead in the Under 15 Girls race to claim victory
 with a time of 9.32 over Rhiannon Mehta. She now leads Rhiannon and Emma
 Sibley by 3pts and 7pts so there's still everything to run for in the last

 The most hotly contested race of the day was the Under 13 Boys with only 24
 seconds between the first seven finishers. Robert Curtis claimed the
 all-important 6 pts with a time of 10.02. Max Bridger and Tom Culverwell
 both clocked 10.09 with Harry Graham 10.12, David Ready 10.15, Alexander
 Woods 10.21 and George Brown Griffiths 10.26. The overall standing in the
 Under 13 Boys now leaves today's winner Robert Curtis in pole position with
 12 pts with Tom Culvertwell on 10pts and David Ready and Max Bridger both on
 9pts. The last of four fixtures is sure to be close with any one of the
 contenders able to leapfrog each other.

 Alex McKenna made light work of the Under 13 Girls race with a winning time
 of 8.59 to leapfrog Victoria Elbourne (9.41) into the overall lead. Alex now
 has 17pts with Victoria only one point behind with all to run for in the
 last round. Becky Culverwell finished 3rd in 9.57 and Stephanie Croucher
 held off the challenge of Georgia Mainsarow to take 4th place on the day and
 hold joint third overall with Becky". 

 Scores after three races:
 U15 Boys: Joseph Rake 13, Dan Jermy 12, Matt Hirschler 11, Frank Brown
 Griffiths 8, Lloyd Bridger 4, Max Heartland 2
 U13 Boys: Robert Curtis 12, Tom Culverwell 10, David Ready 9, Max Bridger 9,
 George Brown Griffiths 7, Harry Graham 6, Alexander Woods 1, Sebastian Graff
 1, George Hutchinson 1, James Cordwell 1, Max Carroll 1 
 U15 Girls: Alex Hook 12, Rhiannon Mehta 9, Emma Sibley 5
 U13 Girls: Alex McKenna 17, Victoria Elbourne 16, Stephanie Croucher 8,
 Becky Culverwell 8, Holly Clemens 5, Martha de Ferrer 4, Anna Mallett 3,
 Rosie Polyer 3, Rhian Lewis 2, Georgia Mainsarow 2, Sophie Clifford 1, Manon
 Quayle 1, Clair O'Neill 1, Pamela Watson 1, Carolyn Guildford 1     

 31st at Coleraine
 Allison O'Neill reports:
 "It's amazing how fifth place can mean something so different to two
 different people!  David's 5th in Saturday's NI men's Championship was
 pleasingly unexpected and made two days of relentless rain seem (almost)
 worth the trouble.  Moving strongly through the mud, there were clear signs
 that David is returning to fitness in good time for the start of his
 duathlon season in April.

 By contrast, my 5th place in the women's race was a huge disappointment. Had
 I run to form, there is little doubt in my mind that I was in the shape
 needed to win this race. Indeed it was my major target in my last
 'competitive' season and I so much wanted to regain the title I haven't won
 since I was 17.  But, having not felt well the week before, I knew from the
 first stride on Saturday that I was 'running on empty'.  I wanted to shout
 at the starter to call everyone back and let us do it again in a week's
 time!  But, in the end, I simply tried to run the race I should have been
 capable of - leading to half way and trying to get away - but my legs just
 wouldn't respond. So 5th it was. At least I did as well as my husband..."

 1 M Synott (Ireland) 21.35
 5 Allison O'Neill 21.43

 1 D Donelly (Annadale) 37.42
 5 David Benton 39.54 

 Thanks to Jay Rowden and Paul Graham we are now getting some excellent
 coverage in both the "Richmond and Twickenham Times" and the "Surrey Comet".
 I believe one or two of the local freebies are being approached too. Last
 week's R&TT included a photo at the South of England Championships of Clare
 Nicholson and Allison O'Neill together with Allison's lost spike, while the
 SC featured a photo of Paul Doyle at the same venue. 

 Phil Aiken writes:
 "If there's anyone who wants to do London this year but doesn't have a place
 they may be interested in this:
 http://www.rnid.org.uk/html/news/latest/marathon.htm ". 

 It's coming! Reserve the dates now - Saturday May 8th and Sunday May 9th. We
 hope to run four teams again so there will be a space for everybody who
 would like to take part. There will be more details following soon, but in
 the meantime see the race web site www.greenbeltrelay.org.uk for more
 information about this unique event.
 Our veterans team the Old Dogs won the vets Walking Stick Trophy last year
 and Bev's Bloodhounds won the Toilet Seat for the last team to complete all
 20 stages. Bev's ahead of the game with her organisation - see below:

 "Calling all Bloodhounds! 
 If you are interested in participating in a relay race that circumnavigates
 London between 9:00 Saturday morning and about 5:30 Sunday evening, have no
 realistic aspirations to belonging to the winning, or even the middle of the
 pack team, and are, or expect to be, fit enough to run a total of about
 21-22 miles, split, not necessarily evenly, over two consecutive days by the
 8th May, then THE BLOODHOUNDS NEED YOU! If you wish to participate, but are
 not able to run, drivers will be welcomed with open arms as well........ I
 am talking about the World Famous Green Belt Relay. The award winning
 Ranelagh Bloodhounds Team has won the (in)famous Toilet Seat two years
 running, and our goal this year is to be eligible for it, but not actually
 win it (ie come second last.........). Entry deadline is 31 March, and it
 will cost you 16 each before expenses, and each team needs ten runners
 minimum, fifteen maximum, to allow for injuries/cancellations between now
 and then. More information about the relay itself can be found on the
 website: www.greenbeltrelay.org.uk . If you are interested, please e-mail
 Bev at mailto:bev.ali@blueyonder.co.uk  or sign up on the list that will be at
 the Clubhouse. It is a fantastic team experience, and covers areas around
 London with some very beautiful and historic scenery. 

 Angus Cater writes: 
 "I am participating in the Engadin Ski Marathon in St Moritz, Switzerland on
 March 14th. The course is described as 26 miles across frozen lakes, forests
 and through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe.  However, as I
 haven't run a marathon (let alone skied one) for 20 years I may not be in
 the best physical state to appreciate it! I am doing the race with a charity
 called Well Child (www.wellchild.org.uk ) and have to
 raise shed loads of sponsorship so if any kind Ranelagh member felt like
 supporting me and them it would be much appreciated. I can send a letter
 plus form to anyone who emails me on mailto:angus.cater@sfs-group.co.uk ".

 As reported last week, Dave Braybrook died on Sunday 24th January. 
 Dave is listed as having joined the club in 1950 but his first appearance
 seems to have been in the Orion mob match of November 1949. Formerly a naval
 man and member of Thames Valley Harriers, he obviously came with something
 of a reputation as he was made scratch man in the first two handicaps he
 contested. It wasn't long before he was justifying that sort of confidence,
 winning the Page Cup 5 miles handicap in 1951 with a time of 29.48 and
 setting the fastest time of 59.40 in the Clutton Cup 10 miler of 1952. He
 was a regular member of the club first team throughout the first half of the
 1950s and picked up several more "fastest time" medals in handicaps. He also
 competed regularly on the track for Ranelagh and was a member of the club
 team that took part in the re-running in 1951 of what is believed to have
 been the first relay race ever held in this country, the "Flying Squadron"
 event held in 1894.
 In the mid-1950s Dave suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a Southern
 Championships and was rushed to Barts Hospital by Harold Lee, an eminent
 surgeon and member of Orion and Ranelagh. Harold performed what was reputed
 to be the first repair of an Achilles tendon with a metal wire! Despite or
 because of that Dave was able to continue running for many more years,
 though never at the same speed as before the injury.  
 He was the Hon Assistant Secretary from 1953 to 1957 and served on the club
 committee until the mid-1960s. Bill Bird recalls the invaluable
 encouragement Dave gave him when Bill first became club Captain. Dave was
 also a strong oarsman and for several years captained the Ranelagh crew in
 the annual Franckeiss Cup rowing race against Blackheath and SLH. 
 In 1962 he got his name onto the Page Cup for the second time and three
 years later he won the club's longest and shortest handicaps, the Clutton
 and the Baker, within the space of a few weeks. His racing appearances were
 limited after the 1960s but he did pick up one more trophy, the Coad Cup
 summer handicap, in 1977. By this time he had moved to Hertfordshire and
 joined Orion Harriers but always remained a Ranelagh man at heart. He was a
 quiet and modest supporter of the club in many ways: as avid spectator at
 Southern and National championship races, as driver on four of our Pennine
 Way Relay runs, as a contributor to the building fund draw from its
 inception and as enthusiastic supporter of our various building projects.
 We offer our condolences to his wife and family.
 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 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. 
         Junior Points Prize final races in Richmond
 Park. Start when the handicap is under way. 

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