Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 139                    12 MAY 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 *  Runners-up trophies for our men and women in the Green Belt Relay, plus
 the toilet seat for Bev's Bloodhounds!
 *  Maximum GP points for Mick Lane and Liz Kipling in the Sutton 10km

 RICHMOND HALF MARATHON  Sunday May 16th  Ranelagh Road Grand Prix race 4
 including Surrey Champs and club Half Marathon Champs. 
 There will be no entries on the day! The new course needs even more
 marshalls than the old, so anyone who can help on the day will be very
 welcome. Contact Alan Hedger on 01372 740626. 
 The race starts at 8.30am in Meadlands Drive (5 mins from clubhouse - the
 same starting point as the Dysart Dash).   

 DYSART DASH 10km   Sunday June 27th at Ham
 Entries are already coming in steadily for our next promotion and there's
 every chance the 500 limit will be reached - so if you don't want to be
 disappointed, get your entry in now. Forms are available on our web site.

 GREEN BELT RELAY  Saturday May 8th and Sunday May 9th
 More details and reports in the next edition, but our Greyhounds finished
 2nd to the Flanders Running Club from Belgium, our Lassies finished 2nd to
 the ladies from Serpentine and our Bloodhounds won the toilet seat trophy
 for finishing last - again! Double stage wins came from Sarah Seal and Liz
 Kipling and one from Mick Lane.

 SUTTON 10KM  Sunday 2nd May at Beddington Park   Ranelagh Road Grand Prix
 race 3
 Mick Lane and Marius Acker fought it out at the sharper end of the race and
 both were rewarded with sub-35 minute times on a flat but urban course. Mick
 was the 2nd veteran home. Adam Tapley put in a good run too, followed home
 by Trevor Maguire and Mike Peace both inside 40 minutes. Next in was Liz
 Kipling, 10th in the women's race. 

 This race was the third event in our road Grand Prix series, and with the
 first three races so close together this year no-one has a 100% record.
 Current leader on 19 points is Trevor Maguire, ahead of Liz Kipling on 16
 and Mike Peace on 14. Liz and Mike lead the women's and over 50 categories
 respectively and Mick Lane, Stephen Instone and Ken Fotherby are joint
 leaders of the men's over 40s. Bev Ali is clear in the women's over 50 and
 Jackie Alderton and Janet Turnes lead the over 40s. A full score sheet to
 date can be found on our web site. 

 It was also the first event in the Surrey Road League 2004. Our men are the
 current holders and they made the best possible start by scoring maximum
 points. The women, with only two runners taking part and three required for
 a full team, are back in 8th place.    

 Chris Read reports:
 "Bob Beatson, John Hanscomb, David Rowntree and I made up the Ranelagh
 contingent for the Keswick Half Marathon. Before the race Bob announced that
 he was planning to try a new tactic of running with me rather than going for
 his normal fast start.  The weather was warm and sunny but there was a
 cooling breeze on the higher parts of the course.
 My time was 1.36.30.  Bob's new tactic obviously worked.  His time was
 1.39.01, which was 3 minutes faster than his time last year.  John's time
 was 2.06.26.  David struggled round in 2.22.30, having picked up an injury
 en route.  We were all some way behind the race winner, Simon Booth of
 Borrowdale, whose time was 1.12.30".

 20km RELAY  Sunday 2nd May   Somewhere in France
 Andy Bickerstaff writes:
 "Kevin Jacques, Neil Walford and I planned to be the Ranelagh team for this
 relay where each runner covers 5km and then all three run a final 5km
 together. But cos Kevin is still injured (not to mention slightly over
 racing weight) we had a Julie from Brighton in the team aiming for a good
 mixed performance. We ended up 2nd mixed, 9th overall. I felt I ran well
 only to find Neil was less than a minute slower. Good fun course, very
 hilly, a lot of off road and sharp turns. Julie 20:45, Neil 19:04, me 18:14
 all 20:46. Fun!" 

 BARRY JONES 10km  Monday 3rd May in Wimbledon Park
 1 J Trapmore (Shafts Barnet) 32.50
 45 John Hughes 45.00 

 RON WHEELER HANDICAP  Wednesday 28th April in London
 The three Ranelagh representatives finished 11th, 12th and 13th in the
 Speed order:
 1 A McGarva (Australia) 13.03
 11 Andy Hayward 15.34
 13 Chris Read 16.09
 15 Alan Davidson 16.24 

 TWO OCEANS MARATHON 56km  Saturday April 10th at Capetown, South Africa
 Andy Hayward reports:
 "As a follow up to the successful club trip last year to the Two Oceans
 (Ultra) Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa, several of us wanted to return
 this year and run the race again. This was really for two reasons; we all
 felt that we could do better; and because after a break of four years, the
 race was returning to the original route over the (in)famous Chapman's Peak.
 The recent editions of the run had been routed over Ou Kaapse Weg due to a
 landslide closing the road on the traditional course. Unfortunately for
 various reasons, but mainly injuries, there was only a party of four of us,
 with only Mike Peace and I running the race. In addition, Two Oceans regular
 Derek Mason travelled over independently. 
 As last year, the festivities began on Thursday evening at Newlands Cricket
 Ground and the Runner's World Pasta Party. We were happy to learn that Dave
 Spence, the unlikely looking on line "virtual coach" had this year named the
 parrot that appears on your shoulder trying to persuade you to give up
 during the toughest parts, Percy. Then Friday was registration. It rained
 hard that morning, and we were feeling sorry for the hundred or so people
 who were allowed to run the race on the Friday for religous reasons. When we
 got to the UCT, the rains combined with thousands of tramping feet at the
 registration had transformed the rugby fields (which would tomorrow host the
 finish area) into a bit of a quagmire. 

 6:00am Saturday found Mike and I in Pen A, right behind the real athletes.
 Before we knew it, everyone had moved up, we were swallowed in the mass, and
 then we were off. It was raining, but was about 20'C, so not at all cold.
 Mike went off on a schedule to attempt a silver medal (sub four hours)
 whereas I knew that the best I could hope for would be 4:15 - 4:20, so went
 off a bit slower. The course is basically a big loop around the Cape
 Peninsula. It followed the same route as last year as far as the turn off
 for Ou Kaapse Weg, and was fairly flat apart from an early slight hill in
 the first couple of kms, and a section in Fishhoek where the route turns
 inland from the coast. Then about half way in (about 28 km) comes the start
 of Chapman's Peak. It teases you first with "Little Chappies" which while
 noticable is over fairly quickly. However, as you descend and turn a corner,
 you realise the "Big Chappies" is waiting for you. And it goes on, and on,
 and on. Every time you turn a corner thinking you must be there, it goes on
 further. I had to give Percy a severe talking to towards the top of
 Chappies, and there was a trail of dead parrots all along the side of the

 Then finally you crest the hill, and the view of Hout Bay is amazing. Even
 though it was cloudy and raining, at least the cloud was high enough to get
 the view, unlike last year. Then you see why they call it "The World's Most
 Beautiful Marathon". But like last year on Ou Kaapse Weg, descending was
 almost as tough as going up. Your quads really start screaming at you. Then
 through Hout Bay, the marathon point was almost at the bottom of the road
 that we were staying in, and was at the bottom of the second killer hill,
 Constantia Nek. The temptation to turn right to the guest house and a cup of
 tea and warm bath was strong! I saw Mike just after this, and we exchanged
 the usual lies of encouragement, such as "looking good", and not far now".
 In truth we both looked like pooh, and there was still nearly nine miles to
 go! However it worked for me, as I managed to brain the imaginary Percy with
 the imaginary bottle of beer that I had promised myself at the finish line,
 and continue without walking to the top of the second long hill. Connie and
 Annie were waiting at the top of Constantia Nek to offer encouragement for
 the final few miles. 

 After that, it is still fairly undulating, but no major hills. However,
 remembering how tough those undulations were last year, I was taking nothing
 for granted. I looked at my split at 50k and realised that I was just off
 pace to get within 4:30 which was the worst time that I would be happy with.
 So I managed to grit my teeth and increase the pace. My 5k split from 50 -
 55k was my fastest 5k of the run, despite the undulations. The final 1k into
 the UCT had one uphill, followed by a downhill into the rugby fields. Horror
 - the last 400m or so on the "grass" was actually mud at the start, quickly
 followed by a surface with the consistency of very thin porridge. Some
 people stopped to take their shoes off as the swampy mud was ankle deep, but
 I just wanted to finish, and I still had one eye on the clock. I finally
 crossed the line in 4:29:27 actual, 4:29:35 on the clock. Mike came in
 twenty minutes later, so we both substantially improved on last year's
 times, but were both a little disappointed not to have finished ten or
 fifteen minutes faster. However, we both also managed to complete the London
 Marathon eight days later, so all in all, a good week of 61 racing miles! 

 It was a marvellous trip, improved by the fact that everyone else staying at
 the B&B was doing the race, which resulted in good camaraderie and support.
 They have promised to meet up with us next year if we go out on a club trip
 to do the Comrades. Watch this space!" 

 Or "Veterans" if you prefer! Margaret Auerback writes:
 "The first match in the masters league took place last Monday at Battersea
 in perfect running conditions. Unfortunately illness and injury took its
 toll and our team was down to four. With Serpentine covering every event bar
 one it was inevitable that we were going to get a hammering.
 However, there were sparkling performances from those who were there; Janet
 Turnes scored an amazing twenty four points finishing in third place in W35
 100m, fourth in W35 400m and second in W45 1500m. Mary Nash was back in good
 sprinting form finishing second in W45 100m and third in W45 400. Julie
 Drummond won her 2K walk in fine style and finished second in W45B 400
 despite being called up at the last minute to run in the GBR at the weekend.
 Your team manager tried very hard to be competitive in the walk and javelin
 but I can see that I don't have a future in either event. 
 We already have a few more names for the match on 24th May so we should get
 a better result. If I haven't already asked you - don't be shy - come along
 and give it a go. I am away now until 23rd May but you can get more details
 from Robin and Julie Drummond or Frances and you can leave me a message on
 m.auerback@btinternet.com   If you would like to come. Next match 24th May,
 Battersea, at 18.30 for field events, 19.00 for track. I will be there from
 18.00, vests supplied on the night". 

 Margaret adds: "Thursday sessions are going well and we are seeing
 improvements in performance already. Last Thursday being the 50th
 anniversary of Roger Bannister's sub 4 minute mile we started the session by
 seeing how far everybody could run in 3.59.4. We have to admit that nobody
 made it to the fourth lap but it was fun and good to see everybody trying so
 hard. Sessions are at 18.30 on Thursdays and Steve Hook does a middle
 distance session on Sundays at 11.00. Opportunities to try jumps and throws
 as well on Sunday. 

 Close to Richmond Park, Ranelagh Harriers, Richmond, Kingston and
 Double room with small en suite.  
 400pcm inclusive.
 Contact:  Joanne Muirlittle on 020 8487 2224 or 020 8948 4341. 

 The 2003/04 fixture list, together with details of the 2004 Ranelagh Road
 Grand Prix, can be found on our web site.
 More details of the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:andy@norris-hobs.co.uk ) or Anna McLaughlin (07971 606521 /
 mailto:anna.mclaughlin@itv.com ). 
 Sunday May 16th                    Richmond Half Marathon. Ranelagh Road GP
 race 4 and Surrey Half Marathon Championship. 8.30am start. Our Half
 Marathon is on a different course this year, starting where our Dysart Dash
 10km starts, in Meadlands Drive. See our web site for details.  

 Sunday May 23rd                   Coombe Hill 5 miles 

 Thursday May 27th                 Summer Junior Handicap Series 2km race 2.
 7pm at the Hawker Centre, Kingston. All under 17s welcome. 

 Sunday June 6th                     Dorking 10 miles. Ranelagh Road GP race
 5 and Surrey 10 miles Championship. Start 10.45am. Forms available from

 Sunday June 20th                   Chris Brasher Memorial 10km in Richmond
 Park. See www.chrisbrashermemorialrun.co.uk  for details.  

 Thursday June 24th                 Summer Junior Handicap Series 2km race 3.
 7pm at the Hawker Centre, Kingston. All under 17s welcome. 

 Sunday June 27th                   Dysart Dash 10km.  Ranelagh Road GP race
 6 and Surrey 10km Championship. Start 10am in Meadlands Drive, 5 mins from
 our clubhouse. Forms available from our web site.

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