Newsdesk 2004

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 *  Peter Haarer and Sarah Seal our first finishers in the 'National'
 *  An engagement is announced
 *  Three indoor silver medals for Margaret Auerback

 Will be a busy day in the Park! The final Junior Points Prize races will
 kick off the proceedings at 1pm - NOT following the Clutton Cup start as
 previously stated. The course will be the usual one lap of Sidmouth Wood and
 all under 15s are welcome. Presentation of the prizes will take place after
 the races down in the clubhouse.
 Then at 2pm comes the Ranelagh Cup schools race, followed at 2.30pm by the
 Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap. All club members are welcome for this. 

 Please note that owing to the absence abroad of not only the President but -
 more importantly! - the Trophies Steward Alan Hedger, it has been decided to
 shift the date of the Baker Cup supper and awards presentation. It will now
 take place on Saturday April 24th upstairs in the Dysart.
 The Baker Cup 3 miles road handicap race itself will go ahead as originally
 scheduled on Saturday April 3rd.

 Beating off the competition from "Hello" magazine and the tabloids, we are
 delighted to announce that Sarah Seal and Julian Smith became engaged on
 Valentine's Day. Ahhhh. Great news guys, and many congratulations from

 Louise Piears reports:
 "The accommodation for the week-end was a pleasant surprise - lovely views
 over Ilkley Moor - and a pub right next door. The Friday night group soon
 settled down to ideal race preparation, i.e.a large meal, lots of drinking
 and for a determined few a lock -in at the local until 1.30am!  Surprisingly
 Andy Bickerstaff wasn't in the last group, but was busy throwing up back in
 his room all night - not actually caused by alcohol as some might think but
 by a nasty stomach bug.

 The race itself was held in the grounds of Temple Newsam house on the
 outskirts of Leeds - and the course was typically over wind-swept undulating
 grassland - 2 laps for the women and 3 for the men. The start was uphill,
 the finish was uphill and it felt like the rest was uphill!

 Unfortunately there wasn't a complete women's team, but Sarah Seal, Sara
 Nakielny and myself had made it all the way to Leeds so that wasn't going to
 stop us.  Sarah Seal set off to a good start but had a surprising fall
 half-way round, not on  nice soft mud (there being very little around) , but 
 on hard ground. However, Sarah picked herself up and battled on to finish in
 128th place.  Meanwhile, Sara and I were  battling on further down the
 field, keeping each other in close distance all the way. Finally Sara
 finished in 345th and I struggled up the last hill to finish four places

 There were now 11 Ranelagh Harriers lined up at the start of the men's race,
 not 12 as originally expected due to Andy's badly timed illness.  The start
 of the National men's race is always an awe inspiring sight due to the large
 number of runners  (approx 1400) charging off from the pens and funnelling
 down at the top of the hill.  Peter Haarer was always the first Ranelagh,
 finishing in 142nd place followed by Paul Doyle, just pipped by  2nd claimer
 Paul Sinton-Hewitt. Julian was steadily moving through the field as usual
 during the first two laps, but then had problems with his leg and struggled
 through in 266th.  Chris had a good race, holding off Mick to the very end.
 Paul Graham bounced in not too far behind to finish off the scoring team
 which was placed 37th out of 117 clubs closing in teams.  Then came Mike and
 Neil Walford.  Clive Naish finished just ahead of Peter Taylor and Phil
 Aiken closed in the Ranelagh runners.

 We were also represented in three of the junior races and Alex, Richard,
 Dan, Ben and Matt all acquitted themselves well in very big fields. Dan got
 the best result with 150th in the Under 15 race but he was only one second
 ahead of Ben.  

 Saturday night we were joined by more intrepid runners and their supporters,
 and a large group headed off to the local town.  Not surprisingly, none of
 the Otley restaurants could cope with such a large number of diners so
 splitting up into smaller groups was necessary. Finally everyone met up
 again at the 'local' but unfortunately or perhaps fortunately a lock-in was
 not forthcoming this time.

 Being a Ranelagh Harriers week-end and not just a jolly - the next morning
 there was a group up bright and early ready to run around the local
 countryside, and later on another group who went to do a fell race on Ilkley
 Moor - very tempting but not quite tempting enough!"

 February 22nd at Cardiff
 Over a busy weekend Margaret Auerback picked up three silver medals in the
 Over 55 category, having to give best each time to her nemesis Pat Gallagher
 of Wales. Margaret recorded 2.51.24 for the 800m, 5.45.05 for the 1500m and
 12:25.99 for the 3000m. 

 26.2 RRC VALENTINE'S 10Km   Sunday February 15th  at Chessington
 A good run by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in Straggs colours, pbs by Simon Burrell
 and Eveleyn Joslin, and the first-ever race for John Hanscomb's daughter

 1 A Shepherd (Morpeth) 31.42
 3 Paul Sinton-Hewitt (Str) 32.53
 113 Steve Rowland 41.42
 194 Phil Aiken 44.47
 218 Simon Burrell 45.36
 274 Evelyn Joslin 47.56
 305 Brian Chard 49.27
 347 Wally Garrod 50.42
 397 John Hanscomb 52.50
 441 David Meaden 54.47
 481 Alan Meaden 56.57
 563 Louise Hanscomb 71.05 

 BOMBAY MARATHON  Sunday February 15th
 Stephen Instone sent two dispatches, one before the race and another very
 brief one afterwards - one assumes he was too knackered to write any more!
 "Bombay awaits its first marathon, to be run on Sunday, director Hugh Jones.
 City railings being painted, trees pruned, potholes filled. But will there
 be enough water, will it be light enough (7.15 a.m. local time = 1.45 a.m.
 UK) for the helicopters needed for TV transmission to fly, will all the
 locals who've said they'll turn up to assist in fact do so, and what about
 the thousands of people who normally sleep rough in the start area? Will it
 be possible to get to the start, in a city where crossing the road is no
 small achievement, where the poor beggar-children grab you physically for a
 few rupees - though maybe my Thomas the Tank Engine rucksack attracts them.

 Bombay is perhaps the 2nd-largest city in the world, in terms of population,
 with c. 16 million. There's no shortage of ready, industrious labour. The
 labour of the marathon could be great. It's not fiercely hot, just warmish
 at dawn, rising into the 80s. With 25,000 dollars for each winner plenty of
 stars are here, including Tergat (not running) and Michael Johnson!"

 "I improved my personal worst for the marathon by more than 20 minutes in
 Bombay, finishing in 3 hours 50 minutes. Hendrik Ramaala (SA) won the men's
 race and $25,000 in 2.15.47, Violetta Vryga (Pol) the women's in 2.47.53".

 'London' is on the horizon...
 1 J Claeys (Highgate) 1.08.37
 757 John Keep 1.44.39
 964 Simon Burrell 1.50.06
 1057 Catherine Gadd 1.52.20
 1121 John Hanscomb 1.53.54
 1184 Steve McClune 1.55.34
 1341 Simon Tyler 1.59.32
 1597 David Rowntree 2.10.58

 SUSSEX BEACON HALF MARATHON  Sunday February 22nd at Brighton
 Another weekend, another half marathon, but some big PBs show that the
 'London' training is going well.
 1 J Baker (Chichester) 1.10.33
 812 Steve McClune 1.49.04
 988 Jo Turner 1.53.15
 1029 John Hanscomb 1.54.26
 1336 Marina Quayle 2.02.12

 BUSHY PARK TRAIL RUN  Sunday February 22nd
 A good crowd from Ranelagh and a 1st over 55 prize for Carol Barnshaw.
 1 C Bannon (Windsor) 24.01
 91 Simon Burrell 36.12
 102 Carol Barnshaw 36.58
 107 Wally Garrod 37.39
 123 Frances Wray 39.15
 130 David Meaden 39.57
 142 Julie Naismith 41.00
 144 Clodagh Fahy 41.16
 145 Frances Ratchford 41.32
 150 Alan Meaden 42.01
 167 Hazel Carr 43.46
 168 Lynne Barber 43.46
 181 Jane Wyatt 45.03

 SURREY LADIES LEAGUE DIVISION 1  Saturday February 7th at Lloyd Park
 Under 15
 1 K Mertens (Woking) 11.57
 9 Alex Hook 13.11
 14 Emily Ball 13.36
 24 Rhiannon Mehta 19.00

 Teams (4 to score)
 1 Herne Hill 27 (overall 1st  192)
 2 Dorking & MV 50 (2nd  240)
 3 Kingston & P 77 (4th  348)
 4 Ranelagh 81 (6th 370) 

 ...writes from New Zealand:
 "I just wanted to drop you at Ranelagh a line, to let you know that I have
 won my first ever middle distance running race - ever ever. It was a local
 5k race up and back down the beach in New Brighton, Christchurch, and I ran
 just over 19mins. I have been concentrating on running for my triathlon
 training, and it seems to be improving steadily".

 Evelyn Joslin writes:
 "I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I have taken over
 from Clare Nicholson as Kit Steward.  For those who don't know me, I am
 usually at the club on a Tuesday night.  Also, please feel free to send any
 enquiries or suggestions to me at mailto:joslinem@yahoo.com

 I'll continue to use the same ordering process as Clare - send a completed
 order form and a cheque for the full amount to Ranelagh Harriers - Kit, 135a
 Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AA and I will then organise the
 order to get to you (you can find the order form on the web site).

 Many thanks to Clare for her work to keep us all smart and well equipped".
 If you're a trophy holder, please make arrangements to return them to Alan
 Hedger as soon as possible so that he can arrange for the new winners' names
 to be engraved before the annual prize presentation at the Baker Cup supper.
 You can contact Alan on 01372 740626 or mailto:alan@hedger1st.fsnet.co.uk

 The February edition features an article by Pete Mulholland on the famous
 Paarlauf held on Wimbledon Common every Christmas morning for the past 50
 years. Several Ranelagh Harriers get a mention and the more eagle-eyed
 amongst you might be able to spot Kevin Harrison, Dave Wright and Steve
 Rowland in the accompanying photo from 1978. 

 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 28th            Junior Points Prize final races in
 Richmond Park. Start 1pm followed by...
                      Ranelagh Cup schools race in Richmond
 Park at 2pm followed by...           
                                              Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap
 in Richmond Park. Start 2.30pm. 
 Saturday March 6th                 Inter-club 3.8m in Richmond Park starting
 at 3pm

 Saturday March 13th               South of the Thames "Senior" Championships
 7.5 miles at Stanmer Park, Brighton starting at 2.30pm

 Daunted by the 'London'? Italian Giorgio Calcaterra ran no less than 20
 marathons in 2003, winning five of them, recording sub 2.20 four times with
 a best of 2.16.45. In September and October he ran marathons on four
 consecutive weekends - 2.21.50, 2.22.18, 2.25.40 and 2.21.46. He also won a
 53km mountain race and a 50km road race during the year. But he has slipped
 a bit since 2000, when he ran 21 marathons with five wins, sixteen sub 2.20s
 and a pb of 2.13.15...

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