Newsdesk 2004

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 146                21 JULY 2004
 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  David Benton 3rd in British Duathlon Championships
 *  Coad Cup win for Gareth Davies
 *  Stephen Instone bares all

 Ranelagh's Greek scholar Dr Stephen Instone was featured a few years ago in
 a radio programme about the ancient Olympics, which amongst other things
 featured Stephen running in Regents Park clutching a dustbin lid and
 saucepan in an attempt to recreate the armour race. Stephen also recounted
 an experiment he had conducted on a remote Greek beach, in which he
 concluded that he could cover 200 metres faster when naked (as the ancient
 Greeks themselves competed) than when clothed.
 A BBC2 programme called "The First Olympians" to be broadcast this Friday at
 9pm recreates this experiment, though as it pitches a now 49-year-old
 Stephen against top club sprinters, it is perhaps not altogether a fair
 test! Read all about it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/3860261.stm.

 John Hanscomb's South of England AA "long service" award made at the club
 AGM was the silver (30 years) and not the bronze (20 years) as reported in
 the last e-news. Sorry, John, you must be even older than I thought!

 My e-mail address is now steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com. My old fax
 number is also no longer accessible.

 ELMBRIDGE 10Km  Sunday 25th July
 This is the next race in our GP series and in the Surrey Road League. Note
 that the 600 runner limit has been reached, so entries are now closed.

 COAD CUP  5 miles handicap  Wednesday 14th July in Richmond Park
 Christian Vaughan reports:
 "Apart from winning the Clutton as a kid 16 years ago, my experience of
 handicaps is that you put a lot in and get very little out. The Handicapper
 has a long memory and there is always a grandson of a former Club President,
 who appears on the day and carries off the trophy.

 The only way I would ever win one again would be to put on a lot of weight,
 take 5 years off and then get fit very quickly - whilst losing said weight.
 I managed the first bit with ease but the second bit is 'ongoing'. I might
 have blown it with 4th place at this year's Clutton in March, but some
 stunningly poor performances since then had obviously caught Handicapper
 Will's eye, and he obliged with a competitive handicap for the Coad last

 The results, of course, show that it wasn't to be for me. Tim Nash was first
 across the line, quickly followed by Gareth Davies. As Tim was sporting the
 'G' for guest, Gareth took the trophy and 3rd fastest on the evening to
 boot. I was next across the line, followed closely by country-member Geoff
 King and first lady to finish, Frances Wray. Captains Andy and Anna were the
 fastest man and woman on the night, respectively, by a fair distance each. 

 And who said wisdom doesn't come with age? As I passed Jim Forrest, I
 inquired of him who was ahead that I had to catch. He answered: 'Some bloke
 in blue!' That narrowed it down a bit for me, thanks Jim.

 Anyway, congratulations to the winners from an almost gracious loser".

 BRICKMAKERS' ARMS MARATHON RELAY  Saturday 10th July at Windlesham
 This is the only road relay I have ever run where the competitors are
 obliged to carry batons as in track relays. Most lug the thing round in the
 conventional manner but a few prefer to stuff it down bras or shorts ("Is
 that a baton down your shorts or are you just pleased to see me?").

 Most of the entertainment, however, is provided at the change-overs.
 Athletes schooled in the great tradition of British sprint relay baton
 changing can be seen juggling with the baton, facing the wrong way, tieing
 shoelaces, pirouetting and all but stopping for a chat. Some seem strangely
 reluctant to give up the baton at all. But nobody gets disqualified for
 passing outside the zone, so that's all right.

 The scratch Ranelagh team acquits itself well enough in 10th place, though
 only some quick thinking by Wyn Williams gets us into the race at all. At
 start time captain-for-the-day Phil Aiken and designated first stage runner
 Bob Beatson are still languishing in a traffic jam, so Wyn grabs a number
 and sets off with no warm-up. Bob eventually runs stage 6 and is our fastest
 of the day and Sonia Rowland is the quickest of the women, though Michele
 Gibson would have been closer had she not developed a preference for running
 the course in the wrong direction.

 See www.windlevalley.com for full results and some jolly photos. The first
 leg is 2.8m, the rest 2.6m.

 ANGLO-CELTIC PLATE UK 100 Kilometres championship  Sunday 27th June at
 Andy Hayward's latest madness (his words, not mine!):
 "Bute Park Cardiff was the venue for the annual Anglo Celtic Plate UK 100
 Kilometre Championships. Teams of five runners with three to score on the
 men's side, and teams of three with two to score for the ladies represented
 the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic
 of Ireland. Unfortunately not all the nations fielded complete teams, but
 all were represented. An open race saw 43 entries, of which 39 toed the
 starting line at 7:30am. It was already warm and humid, so there were not
 many doing warm-up runs! The course in Bute Park is in the centre of
 Cardiff, right behind the castle, close to Glamorgan's cricket ground, and
 with impressive views of the Millennium Stadium. Unfortunately, the park is
 not that big, so it required 31 laps of an exact two mile circuit to
 acheive the 62.1 miles/100 kms course. The obvious disadvantage to this is
 the almost terminal boredom, even though much of the two miles was on a
 paved path in woods and open parkland. The positive was that every fifteen
 minutes (at least initially) one passed the aid station/supporters/lap
 counters etc. so there was a lot of encouragement. Also, it was easy to get
 splits, not only every two miles, but it was easy to work out the ten,
 twenty etc. splits. It was a narrow oval, with the start/finish area in the
 middle on one side, so the one mile point was about 400 yards from the
 start/finish, which made it easy for the helpers to see their runners twice
 on every lap if they were so inclined. You were never further from the
 finish area than half a mile, so in the later stages the temptation to just
 stop and end the misery was great.

 Feeling good to half way, I went through 50km (31 miles) in 3:59 - bang on
 my target time of sub 8 hours. However, as the laps wore on, my recent
 training schedule (largely enforced by lots of business travel) of many
 marathons and ultras, but a much lower weekly base mileage than I really
 needed, took its toll. By 36 miles I started to struggle. I knew I had done
 a full marathon plus ten miles, and I still had another full marathon to go.
 I pushed on to 40 miles before I allowed myself to walk through the water
 station. After that, I began walking through the water stop on about every
 other lap, for about 500 yards, before running the rest of the lap and the
 next one. After 50 miles I walked that distance on each lap for a few laps.
 I got though 56 miles, and knew that that was the furthest I had ever run
 (previous longest was three London to Brighton 55 milers). I also knew that
 I would finish. Slower than hoped, but finish. I managed to keep going at a
 reasonable pace for the last four miles, and was encouraged over the line by
 all the supporters, lap counters, marshalls etc. My time had slipped to
 8:45, so I had quite a big positive split, but still a reasonable position.

 Positives out of the event were there, despite the disappointment of the
 time, and the fact that I had to walk a little. I finished tenth overall of
 the 25 finishers in a UKA Championship race. I stayed ahead of people that I
 felt I should have been with at the Sutton Park 50km race in May. Of the
 nine ahead of me, only one other was not representing a national team (as
 were most behind me). Unfortunately, four of the five England runners were
 ahead of me (the fifth dropped out at around 40 miles). However, I beat the
 entire Welsh team, so like the footballers, if I can find out that my
 grandmother visited Wales once, I may qualify for a national vest! (Dream
 1 B Hennessey (Crawley) 7.07.23
 10 Andy Hayward 8.45.47

 BEGINNERS' COURSE  Tuesday 29th June  2.8 miles in Richmond Park
 Sixteen women "graduated" from our 2004 beginners' course with a fun run of
 two laps around Sidmouth Wood.
 1 Consi Dworschais 26.14
 2 Louise Neville 27.43
 3 Tanya Wolken 27.43
 4 Diane Wilson 28.24
 5 Aileen Cahill 31.38
 6 Caroline McClune 32.33
 7 Sian Tingley 33.11
 8 Louise White 33.14
 9 Jane Tilley 33.34
 10 Lorna Boyd 33.56
 11 Sue Jamal 34.14
 12 Amy Lowman 34.33
 13 Helen Bradley 35.15
 14 Jacqui Mellan 35.21
 15 Margaret Fenn 38.23
 16 Angela Smith 38.23

 BRITISH DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS  Sunday 11th July at Llanelli (10km run /
 40km bike / 5km run)
 David Benton reports:
 "Ever since my 'breakthrough' race at the Ashbourne Duathlon in April, I
 have been targeting the British Duathlon Champs in Llanelli as a chance to
 take on the best duathletes in the country - and to hopefully win selection
 for the GB "Elite" team for the European Champs in Swansea in September.

 The first run (10k) was two laps out and back. After a steady first
 kilometre, current champion Martin Yelling put in a burst which split the
 front of the field. I closed the gap and at the first turn, we were joined
 by Mark McKay (winner at Ashbourne). I got dropped at around 4k and was a
 lonely third for the rest of the first run. Given the bike leg was "draft
 legal", I eased back towards the end of the run (still clocking 32:15 for an
 apparently accurate 10k) and allowed the chase group of 5 to catch up on the
 first part of the bike. 

 The bike leg was 40km over 6 laps. Our group of 6 worked well to chase down
 the two leaders, cutting their initial 1 minute lead to around 25 seconds by
 half way. McKay dropped back to the pack soon after half way, having fallen
 out with Yelling who had tried to drop him! We caught Yelling with 10k
 remaining and the group of eight came into the second transition more or
 less together.

 I was 4th into T2 and 7th out of it - a bit more transition practice needed
 I think! I quickly got back into 4th again and felt to be running strongly.
 The second run of 5km was 3 laps round a lake so no chance of short cuts! I
 caught Martin Yelling after a mile and he dropped out immediately, claiming
 cramp. After that, I put in a big effort to move into 2nd with 1km to go.
 Unfortunately the guy I had caught, Mike Jubb, was an 8:50 steeplechaser,
 who hung on and out-sprinted me for silver.

 Still - bronze medal in a National Championship was a great result. It's
 certainly something I never thought I'd achieve in my athletic career and I'
 m now waiting to hear whether I've got the GB vest to accompany it!

 1 Mark McKay 1:48.35
 2 Mike Jubb 1:48.54
 3 David Benton 1:48.55

 P.S. For those who want to see a picture of my bike (with me on it of
 course!) have a look at the July issue of '220' magazine for an action photo
 from the world age group races in Belgium".

 JIM BRABEN 10Km  Sunday 11th July at Wimbledon
 Tim Woods finished second veteran.
 1 T Berg (Morn Ch) 33.08
 16 Tim Woods 37.30
 22 John Kipps 38.47
 298 David Meaden 56.25

 SUMMER EVENING 10Km  Wednesday 14th July at Reigate
 1 D Robinson (Herne H) 33.58
 7 Mick Lane 36.32

 PORTSMOUTH PROMENADE 5Km  Wednesday 7th July
 Allan Lang battled gale-force winds to finish 2nd over 60 in 21.45.

 SELF TRANSCENDENCE 2 miles series
 These races are held on Monday nights on the roads of Battersea Park. Jacqui
 Reid and John Pratt have been regular competitors and Jacqui has shown
 impressive improvement through the series. In the first event on 14th June
 she recorded 14.31 then in subsequent weeks 14.05, 13.28, 13.41 and 13.25.
 In two of these she was 2nd woman home and in the latest she managed to beat
 John for the first time. John himself has run three of the races, with
 admirable consistency: 13.38, 13.25 and 13.32.
 The vets track league also takes place on Monday nights in Battersea Park,
 and Jacqui has twice gone directly on from the road race to tackle a couple
 of track events! 

 RATCHFORD RELAY  Tuesday 20th July in Richmond Park
 No less than 49 women took part in this year's Ratchford Relay, and after Jo
 Ronaldson had blazed round the lap in 2.52 on the opening stage her team was
 never headed. Full details next time. 

 ...sends an update on her triathlon career:
 "Just wanted to update you with the news that I took part in my first
 International Points Triathlon, in Holten, Holland, and came 9th which mean
 I am now World Ranked!!  I ran 38.06 for the 10k.  (It comes out as 39mins
 in the official results, as the time include the transition off the bike)".
 1 R Lisk (Germany) 2.04.42
 9 Kristina Semple 2.11.51
 You can catch up with Kristina's latest news on her own excellent web site

 We can now confirm that we can expect a brace of both individual and team
 golds in this championship, which was incorporated in our Dysart Dash 10km
 on June 27th. Paul Doyle and Jo Ronaldson are the individual champions and
 the Ranelagh teams of Paul, Mick Lane and Steve Whitehead and Jo, Marie
 Synnott-Wells and Sara Grosvenor also came out on top. 

 Peter Saw would like to see a few more Ranelagh Harriers tackling this event
 in the Surrey Hills on Sunday 17th October. It starts in Peaslake and it's
 the full marathon distance of 26 miles but you can walk, jog or run as you
 please. The time limit is nine and a half hours. More details from Peter or
 pick up an entry form from the clubhouse. 

 ...to new members Karen Vinicombe, Vicci Hollis, Lukas Appenzeller and
 Alexander Woods.

 ...to Sophie Timms and Chris Spink on their engagement.

 A provisional fixture list for the 2004/05 winter season, 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 July 25th                    Elmbridge 10km  at Walton. Ranelagh Road
 GP race 8 and Surrey Road League race 4. See www.elmbridgeroadrunners.co.uk
 for details. Entries now closed.

 Friday July 30th                      Wedding Day 7km in Bushy Park.
 Ranelagh Road GP race 9. Start 7.30pm. See www.stragglers.org/weddingday.htm
 for details. Probably no entries on the day.

 Sunday August 22nd               Surrey 5km at Wimbledon. Ranelagh Road GP
 race 10 and Surrey Road League race 5. Entry forms at the clubhouse or just
 send your details to Derek Crookes, 209 Lynmouth Avenue, Morden, Surrey SM4
 4RX. Entry fee 3 payable to Surrey County AA. Entries usually also accepted
 on the day (4).

 Steve Rowland
 e-mail: Steve Rowland