Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 141                    1 JUNE 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 *  Mostly Marathons...and a touch of track  

 DORKING 10 MILES    Sunday June 6th
 This is the next race in our road GP, as well as the Surrey championship.
 Start time is 10.45am. See www.dmvac.co.uk   for details.

 A RUN IN THE COUNTRY     Sunday June 13th
 Chris Owens is organising a Sunday morning social jaunt around West End and
 Esher Common starting at 11am with lunch afterwards at the Prince of Wales
 pub. Everybody welcome. 

 CHRIS BRASHER MEMORIAL 10km  Sunday June 20th in Richmond Park
 Enter at www.chrisbrashermemorialrun.co.uk   7 of the entry fee goes towards
 the Petersham Trust to preserve Petersham Meadows behind our club house. Don't
 forget too that we have been asked to man a water station for the race.

 DYSART DASH 10km   Sunday June 27th at Ham  10am start
 Get your entries in early please - there may not be entries on the day.
 Forms are available on our web site and at the clubhouse.

 BRICKMAKERS' ARMS RELAY MARATHON  Saturday July 10th at Windlesham   2pm
 This is a low-key fun event based around a pub. Teams of 10, each running
 2.6 miles. Contact Mike Peace if you're interested
 (mailto:head@frimley.surrey.sch.uk  or Tel: 07711513745). 

 COOMBE HILL 5 MILES  Sunday May 23rd at Kingston
 Sonia Rowland won the W45s prize. An interesting competitor finishing a
 minute behind Sonia was Diane Tomlinson, now just an occasional runner but
 whose performances from the early 1990s still feature highly in our club
 ranking lists.
 1 J Downes (Lon Irish) 24.30
 39 Stephen Instone 31.27
 65 Steve Rowland 33.36
 76 Pete Warren 34.04
 100 Sonia Rowland 36.30
 172 John Hanscomb 42.28 

 PRAGUE MARATHON  Sunday May 23rd
 Tom Reay writes:
 "The course of the Prague International Marathon is almost wholly flat and
 goes past many of the city's main tourist attractions, starting in the Old
 Town Square beneath the famous Astronomical Clock. The route then follows a
 double spiral onto the riverfront, past the National Theatre, along the main
 shopping streets, under the Powder Gate and then about 9K along the
 riverfront, before doubling back and crossing the river at a distance of
 17K. There then follows a long out and back dual carriageway section next to
 the river until about 35K. The route then delves into the shadow of the
 Castle, across the famous Charles Bridge with its chessmen-like statues and
 does a circuit to the finish at 42K. 

 Before the start I had tried to set myself three goals: 3' 55'' (ok), 3'
 50'' (good) and 3' 45'' (fantastic) and was aiming one of these. I started
 off fairly well and passed 10K at 51 mins and was feeling good. I passed a
 Maidstone Runner and one from Lytham St Annes and was in a group of Czechs,
 French and Italians. I still felt good at 17K, but for some reason at about
 18K I slowed and found the last 24K were a bit of a struggle. I reached the
 Half Marathon in 1' 48 '', 30K in 2' 38'' and eventually got home in 3' 50''
 (mat to mat).I really had to convince myself to keep going at times
 especially going over the cobbles on the Charles Bridge. 

 I was very pleased though to have achieved my "good" time with no problems
 except feeling a bit tired at the end. I might just (fingers crossed) do
 another marathon before the end of the year. Highly recommendable". 

 Andy Hayward reports:
 "As per my usual rushed trip to the USA on business, I managed to sneak in a
 couple of marathons. Two weeks after the London Marathon, and the day after
 getting off the plane from London, I lined up for the first Potomac River
 Run Marathon. This was a new marathon (and half) put on as a successor to
 the doomed "Official Washington Marathon", which became the "Un-Official
 Washington Marathon" of last year (see my e-news report of this race last
 year). It was run on a scenic but undulating bike path along the Virginia
 side of the river, across from Washington DC, and because the path was
 narrow, and there was also an accompanying half marathon, it was decided
 that there would be three starts. It was out and back for a quarter marathon
 along the bike path from Alexandria to just short of Mount Vernon; the
 marathon did this same route twice. It was a bit unusual - the starts were
 6:00am, 6:30am or 7:00am. You could decide beforehand which start you
 wanted, and you could elect to register for the marathon but drop out at
 half way and still have it recorded as a completed half marathon, rather
 than a DNF in the full.

 It was warm and humid (75'F), but overcast, so bearable. Ranelagh singlet
 was fine. I led for the first half mile of my heat, which whilst not exactly
 unique, was a very uncommon experience for me. I was soon overtaken by a
 number of athletes, but not knowing who was doing the half as opposed to the
 full, I didn't know where I was in the field. At the final turn around, i.e
 around 19.6 miles, and allowing for earlier start times things became a
 little clearer - but not much. I figured I was fifth in my heat, but
 obviously unknown overall. The hills really took their toll on the second
 lap, but the main hills are in the last four miles of the quarter, so I knew
 that on the return, the last two miles of the race would be fairly flat.
 Once hitting the 24 mile mark I pushed on, and overtook two runners
 (including first overall lady) in the last mile. I finished in 3:12:12,
 coming third in my heat, which translated to sixth overall out of 107
 finishers of the full marathon, and won the 45-49 age group overall. They
 presented me with a bottle of wine, which as I am a beer drinker, I had to
 carry around for the next two weeks.

 Six days, six cities and 1500 miles later, I was in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
 This is a small town (population 1485 according to the sign) in the
 northwoods close to Lake Superior. There is an airport, but the flights are
 are every Tuesday! I flew to Rhinelander, 25 miles south but with a daily
 (sort of) flight schedule, and drove up to Eagle River. The course was point
 to point with an 8:00 am start, which meant getting on the school bus from
 the finish at 7:00am. Being that much further north, the weather was a lot
 cooler. The temperature at the start was 33'F and drizzling, but as it was
 still quite humid, it didn't feel too bad. Ranelagh singlet was just about
 adequate, although a lot of runners were in full winter gear. Again, there
 was also a half marathon here as well, but as this was point to point, it
 started thirteen miles closer, and an hour and twenty minutes after the
 marathon start. The first thirteen miles of the course were extremely hilly,
 on paved road through National Forest lands, so the half marathoners, with
 the benefit of local knowledge, were probably very wise! The second thirteen
 were undulating, but very much easier than the first half. As some people
 were walking the half, the marathoners started overtaking them from about
 their second, our fifteenth mile. They were, though, all very encouraging of
 the full marathon runners. With all the support (of the half marathoners if
 not of spectators) whilst tempting, it was difficult to ease off.

 I finished according to my watch in exactly the same time to the second as
 the race six days earlier - 3:12:12 - eighth place overall of 139 finishers
 in the full marathon, and third 45-49 age group. It was difficult to compare
 the runs for performance, but whilst most of  the hills in the second race
 were in the first half, it definitely seemed a tougher course. This time
 they presented me with a plaque, and were very accommodating, taking my
 award out of order to allow me the time to drive back to catch the 4:07
 plane, which was the last one out of Rhinelander that day, so I could get
 back to start the second week of my business trip. They were pleased to have
 an "international" runner at their event and asked me to say a few words at
 the presentation. Again it shows what a small world we runners inhabit - the
 brother of a Thames Hare and Hounds member (an ever present at London) who
 lives in Chicago and has a holiday home in Eagle River introduced himself to
 me afterwards, and sent his regards back".

 2nd May 2004  Potomac River Run Marathon, Alexandria, Virginia
 1 John Piggott 2:42:10
 6 Andy Hayward 3:12:12 (3:12:12 net)

 8th May 2004  Journeys Marathon, Eagle River, Wisconsin
 1 Wayne Dalton 2:44:52
 8 Andy Hayward 3:12:14 (3:12:12 net)

 Alice Beverly reports from Oxford:
 "I competed in the Oxford / Cambridge Inter-Varsity Athletics match last
 Saturday and thought I'd let you know how I got on.

 First up was the 2nd team mile - very intense as there were, by tradition,
 only 4 people in the race (2 Oxford, 2 Cambridge) and it was rumoured that
 the little-known Oxford miler, a bloke called Roger Something, was in the

 I stuck behind the "Tab" for the first lap then ran quite aggressively for
 the next 3 laps, pulling further and further away - and savouring the
 atmosphere - I haven't enjoyed a race so much for years! I got two PBs in
 the race - approximately 4:51 (I guess) going through 1500m, and 5:11 for
 the mile. Well, not quite a sub-4 effort, but I won my race by a big margin
 and was very pleased.

 The 5000m, only 2 hours later, was a different matter - I slogged round a
 very boring 12 and 1/2 laps, running steadily until I felt I'd "recovered"
 from the mile! With about 4 laps to go, I thought I'd better get a move on,
 and ran into 2nd place - unfortunately not quite catching the Cambridge
 girl. Not a great time but still a PB (18:47) but I had fun splashing the
 officials with the water they kept offering us every lap!

 Oxford won by a large margin which was brilliant. All in all, a great day
 though I did get some fairly disapproving looks from Roger Bannister's wife
 as I cavorted in my Oxford kit around the track after my race holding a can
 of that famous Isotonic, nutrient-rich health drink... Stella Artois".

 MASTERS TRACK LEAGUE  Monday May 24th at Battersea Park
 Margaret Auerback reports:
 "Another warm evening at Battersea and a much improved result for us. We
 finished third on the night and in third place overall, somewhat behind
 Hillingdon and Serpies but well worth making a good effort in the next two

 Some good results again - Mary Nash won the W45 long jump with 3.31m, a new
 p.b, and made an amazing debut at the shot, throwing 6.49 for fourth place
 against some very strong opposition including Vilma Thompson, a regular at
 world champs. Julie Naismith was called in at literally the last minute to
 run the W45B 200m and finished third just getting passed in the last couple
 of strides. Louise Piears ran a new p.b in the 3000m and Marion Rayner
 improved on her last season's time and won her 3000 having already run in
 the 200m and 800m. 

 We covered all but three events this time and it was good to see all those
 red and white vests out there on the track and field. The next match is 21st
 June, put it in the diary now please! Plenty of time for us all to get a bit
 fitter and faster and to perfect our triple jump". 

 200m 35A 2 Julie Drummond 35.7
 45A 2 Marion Rayner 34.7
 45B 3 Julie Naismith 40.6
 800m 35A 4 Julie Drummond 3.12.5
 35B 3 Janet Turnes 3.25.2
 45A 2 Marion Rayner 2.58.3
 guest Julie Naismith 3.49.0
 3000 35A 4 Louise Piears 13.21.5
 35B 3 Julie Drummond 14.14.9
 45A 1 Marion Rayner 12.15.2
 LJ 35 4 Louise Piears 2.42m
 LJ 45 1 Mary Nash 3.31m
 Shot 35 3 Margaret Auerback 6.18m
 45 4 Mary Nash 6.49m
 Discus 35 5 Margaret Auerback 11.10m

 7pm from the clubhouse:
 8th June 4 x Spankers Hill, 2 x Queens Ride
 15th June 1500m time trial + 4 x 3mins
 22nd June         Sand hills: 3 x (2 short + 1 long)

 South London Orienteers and Wayfarers (SLOW for short) are organising a
 series of trail runs during the summer. Their description sounds as if they
 fall somewhere between cross-country races and orienteering events, so they
 might prove a challenge for anyone looking for something a little different.
 The first, in Richmond Park, has already taken place. The next is on Tuesday
 June 22nd on Ham Common (HQ is the Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road) and the
 last is on Wimbledon Common (Roehampton Vale playing fields) on Tuesday July
 20th. There's a choice of 10km and 6km events, start 7.30pm. Entry 3 in
 advance, 4 on the night. See www.sloweb.org.uk   for
 more details. 

 Bill Bird writes:
 "Geoffrey Smith, a great supporter of the club in its battle to get the new
 club house locally, died recently. He was a useful and very active influence
 with the locals, most of whom were not that supportive. He was a very active
 churchwarden and until being declared bankrupt about 10 years ago he lived
 in the church house just down the passageway off Petersham Road. Geoffrey's
 major claim to fame was beating George Brown of Harold Wilson fame in a
 by-election against all the odds. His views were considered to be very
 right-wing but as far as the club was concerned one could not have had a
 more helpful and considerate person". 

 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 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