Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Alex Kew wins Page Cup
 *  Inaugural Bushy Park time trial
 *  Girls' team 6th in county relay championship

 The fixture list for the 2004/05 winter season, can be found on our web site.
 More details of the following from
 Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 / mailto: andy@norris-hobs.co.uk ) or 
 Phil Aiken (07739 035189 / mailto: phil.aiken@rnid.org.uk ) or 
 Anna McLaughlin (07971 606521 / mailto: anna.mclaughlin@itv.com ).

 Saturday October 9th             Surrey Women's Cross-Country League on
 Wimbledon Common starting at 12.30pm (seniors, followed by junior races)
                                             Surrey Men's Cross-Country
 League in Brockwell Park starting at 2.30pm (juniors, followed by seniors at
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start.

 Saturday October 16th           Surrey Veterans' Cross-Country Championships
 in Richmond Park (women 6km at 2.30pm, men 10km at 3pm). See below.
                                             Invitation match v Oxford
 University and others at Shotover, Oxford.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Sunday October 17th              Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at
 Twickenham. Entries now closed.
 Saturday October 23rd            Lee Cup Mob Match v Orion Harriers at
 Chingford.  7.5 miles. 2.30pm start. Free transport will leave from the
 clubhouse at 12 noon.
                                            Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 The men's and women's Surrey League Division One campaigns both kick off
 this Saturday. We need as many of our faster runners as possible for the
 team competition, but all members are eligible and welcome to run - just
 turn up and register with the captain or team manager.

 The women are on Wimbledon Common, close to the end of Robin Hood Road at
 the end of a footpath.  The senior race of 6km comes first at 12.30pm,
 followed by the Under 20s and Under 17s at 1.15pm (5km) and the Under 15s
 and Under 13s at 1.45pm (4km).

 The men's race is in Brockwell Park, between Brixton and Dulwich.  
 The junior race (Under 17s, Under 15s and Under 13s) over 5km starts
 at 2.30pm followed by the seniors (8km) at 3pm.

 Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm.
 A final call for any veterans (women 35 and over, men 40 and over) wishing
 to be entered: contact Margaret Auerback at
 mailto:margaret.auerback@btinternet.com or Chris Owens

 PAGE CUP 5 MILES HANDICAP  Saturday October 2nd in Richmond Park
 Alex Kew reports:
 "Having spent most of the summer plodding around Oxshott woods it seemed the
 right time to have a go at a race. I really enjoy the Page Cup course
 although the last time I ran it a couple of years ago proved to be pretty
 painful but I was feeling quite good in the preceding few weeks so was
 looking forward to the event.

 I suppose that it was that fairly disastrous run in 2002 that accounted for
 my favourable handicap and a feeling of 'I could be in with a shout',
 although all too often in the past this feeling has evaporated somewhere
 near Pen Ponds as Mike Peace glides past!

 It was almost perfect for running even though the breeze had started to
 freshen up but the course being quite sheltered meant that this was only
 really noticed on the open stretch to Pen Ponds with firm ground underfoot,
 the rain not materialising until everyone was home.

 I have learned through experience that there is not much point in me
 formulating a plan before starting as I never seem to be able to actually
 carry it out. On too many occasions I have promised myself to start off
 slowly only to find myself charging down Queen's Ride like the Light Brigade
 while trying to hang onto someone minutes faster than me and then wondering
 why it's all gone wrong before even one mile has passed. But for once I
 actually managed to exercise some self-control and found that not only did I
 overtake a few people but they didn't overtake me back! Amazing!

 Cresting the small hill before the Pen Ponds turn was when I had my first
 'Oh no, not again!' moment as all of a sudden my pace slowed fairly
 drastically (no hills in Oxshott woods you see) but over the next mile and a
 half I managed to gain a bit more confidence.

 Swinging back through the woods towards home I realised that I was pretty
 much on my lonesome and with amnesia setting in I had to ask Margaret
 Auerback the way, only then realising what all the piles of sawdust that had
 been left around were for. Doh!

 Coming around the bottom of Sidmouth Wood I caught up with Michael Brandon
 who was running strongly for the finish. The final 400 metres had that usual
 feel of 4000 metres and my running had deteriorated into a fairy painful
 shuffle and I was glad to just hang on to the end, with Michael finishing
 well to gain the second spot.

 Thank you to all the officials, helpers and supporters on the day and with
 it being 17 years since my last handicap win I'm looking  forward to 2021 to
 try and get my next one!"

 Fastest times went to Marcus Gohar and Lizzie Clifford who also filled the
 bronze medal position in the handicap.

 It was also a day of anniversaries. Chief official Alan Hedger was presented
 with a birthday cake and Ken Powley celebrated the 25th anniversary of his
 first race with the club. On this being announced, Ken countered with the
 fact this this was apparently Mike Peace's 100th handicap race!

 at Stoke Park, Guildford
 A bright morning degenerated into a wet afternoon with the rain at its very
 heaviest for the girls under 15 race in which Victoria Elbourne, Rachel
 Pryce and Georgia Miansarow were flying the flag for Ranelagh. They were
 probably the youngest team in the race but all ran strongly on a course
 shorter than normal because of a junior rugby tournament also being staged
 in Stoke Park.

 The leading two teams, Aldershot and Guildford, were well clear at the
 finish, but the Ranelagh girls were always in sight of the fight for the
 bronzes, and although they finished in 6th place they crossed the line less
 than 40 seconds behind third-placed Dorking, an excellent result.

 1 Aldershot F&D 21.17
 6 Ranelagh 23.11

 The inaugural event took place on Saturday 2nd October, and you can see some
 photos on the race web site (follow the link from the Ranelagh home page).
 Paul Sinton-Hewitt writes:
 "Congratulations to all those who ran the inaugural event. Just like the
 first London Marathon we had a tie for first place. We also had a tie for
 last place. A new course record has been established and is jointly owned by
 Chris Owens and Matt Morgan at 18.47. Thirteen runners completed the course
 in crisp and chilly conditions.

 Prizes were awarded to the first and last man and woman. Congratulations to
 Chris and Matt, Rachel, Simon and Tanya. I hope the Sweatshop vouchers come
 in handy. 

 A special thanks to those who helped marshal and organise the event: Duncan
 Gaskell, Alan Hedger, Robin Drummond and Jo Turner. As this is a weekly
 event we will be looking for helpers from time to time. Please conatct me if
 you want to help (mailto:p.sintonhewitt@btinernet.com)."

 1 Chris Owens 18.47
 Matt Morgan 18.47
 3 John Kipps 19.15
 5 Steve Rowland 20.24
 6 Peter Wright 20.41
 7 Rachel Rowan 21.01
 10 Karen Broadbent 24.56
 11 Julie Drummond 24.56
 12 Tanya Wolken 29.39
 Simon Lawrence 29.39 

 MARATHON DE NORMANDIE  Sunday 3rd October
 Tim Woods finished as 3rd veteran but found it "A horrific experience not to
 be repeated in a hurry!".
 1 P Bandawe (Zimbabwe) 2.16.21
 18 Tim Woods 2.47.56

 WIMBLEDON 10 MILES  Sunday 3rd October
 Stephen Instone writes:
 "Course record-holder Bob Holt was at the Wimbledon 10 on Sunday. Now 60 and
 no longer running, but looking very well, he set the astonishing time for
 the fiendishly hilly course of 48.10 in  ... 1977. Twenty-seven-years on,
 Sunday's winner was 3 minutes faster than he ran last year but it's hard to
 imagine he, or anyone else in the universe this century, knocking off almost
 another 6 minutes".
 Phil Aiken adds:
 "I have to admit being rather surprised at my time, a Ranelagh 10 mile pb by
 48 seconds and a 6.29 improvement on my last 10 miler just four weeks ago!
 Roll on the Cabbage Patch in a fortnight".

 1 R Copestick (Walton) 53.58
 26 Stephen Instone 66.39
 45 Phil Aiken 69.51

 BUPA WINDSOR HALF MARATHON  Sunday 26th September
 One of the women originally listed as finishing ahead of Marie Synnott-Wells
 was later found to have run only one lap, so Marie is promoted  to 6th place
 overall and 2nd over 35.

 KINGFIELD CANTER  2.85 miles handicap  Wednesday 6th October at Woking
 1 R Cotton (unatt) 23.21 (actual time 20.21)
 11 Steve Rowland 26.30 (17.45)
 28 Alan Davidson 27.42 (18.57)

 Mike McDowell ("Aged 76 and still proud to be a Ranelagh Harrier") reports:

 "Since the beginning of the summer, I have run two 4-mile races, two 5-mile
 races, and three 5km organised by my club Severn AC, always winning the
 prize for the Over-75s as there is no other running Over-75 in
 Gloucestershire! I have also run the Berkeley, Beacon and Frampton 10kms,
 mainly because you always get a free pint of beer or cider at the end of the

 I also ran the Gloucester 10km in which I think I may well have established
 a Ranelagh record. 47 runners toed the start line headed by the Commonwealth
 Games marathon champion. I looked round for the usual rabbits who I might be
 chasing, but saw no-one. The start came and the field disappeared. I was the
 only person in the field to run slower than 50 minutes and I finished an
 extremely dispirited last by the mere margin of 17 minutes which, over 10km,
 I thought might well be a record.

 I also ran the BMAF 10km championship at Portsmouth. The only other Ranelagh
 Harrier to go to Portsmouth was Michael Marshall, who had enough sense to
 run in the open race before the championships to win the Over-45s, something
 he wouldn't have done in the championship race! I wish I had had a fast
 time, but the course runs alongside a large area of water, is wide open and
 it was blowing a gale, which even slowed the winner. My fifth kilometre -
 note: kilometre and not mile - was one minute slower than my first

 After last year's silver, I knew, with the venue being Portsmouth, that I
 had little chance of gaining a medal and I finished 6th (but not last) in
 the time of 64.36. However, I am a member of South West Vets AC and I did
 win the Over-75 championship, again not being the only runner.

 Last Sunday, I went to the Cirencester 10km, which is also the Gloucester
 10km Championship, and with no chance of winning a medal as Gloucestershire
 sometimes gives medals for Over-70s and sometimes doesn't, but does not
 believe in 5 year age groups and there was another Over-70 running. I
 therefore set out to enjoy my day and was cheered on by Dave Wright, who was
 acting as a steward. Much to my surprise, on what I considered to be a tough
 course, I set a season's best by nearly a minute to do 62.32, 336th out of
 373, winner 33.03.

 The only other race I did during the summer was the Coad Cup, where I
 thought the numbers were a bit disappointing, but the handicapper was very
 fair to me bearing in mind he never sees me. I could do with a bigger one
 next time though, please".

 Duncan Gaskell writes:
 "I have a room (with separate shower and WC) to let in my house in central
 Teddington. My house is a modern two bedroomed house within five minutes of
 Teddington station and one minute from the High Street.  I can be contacted
 on 07818 452696".

 Michele Gibson writes:
 "Lovely, spacious two bedroom flat in Ashtead, Surrey. Opposite beautiful
 common, 1 minute walk from mainline station and shops - for rent - 6 month
 contract, renewable every 6 months @ 750pm. Please see / call Michele
 Gibson on 07703 518 956. Email on micheleagibson@hotmail.com".

 Tuesday sessions for the "fast" group over next few weeks, starting from the
 clubhouse at 7pm:
 12/10  3 x 3 x Ham Gate hill
 19/10  2 x 7 mins efforts + 2 x 5 mins
 26/10  2x 4 x Holly Lodge Hill
 See our web site for more complete details. 

 Apologies for mis-spelling the name of one of the new members listed last
 week. It should have been Georgia Miansarow.

 Just to clarify last week's note - it is just the medals for the three
 fastest men and women in handicap races that will be presented on the day.
 Winners' cups and medals for the first three finishers will be presented as
 usual at the Baker Cup supper in March.

 Pete Mulholland sends the following extract from some communication about
 marathons he has had from a runner called Mick Thompson:
 "Filled with further curiosity about the 1980 AAA champs, I looked up the
 full results of that race, which included split times, which I kept. Would
 you believe that 44 dropped out of that race with 195 finishing. Some famous
 names amongst those not finishing were Keith Penny, Graham Tuck, Jim Alder,
 Alistair Hutton and Nigel Gates, plus a good few not familiar to me as I had
 not long been running then. As I said, no need for Paula to feel too bad.
 The last and 195th finisher was 3.07, a J Hanscomb of Ranelagh Harriers, who
 has a sort of claim to fame as the last finisher in the last separate AAA
 championship race, and probably the fastest last place in a UK marathon
 ever? Where is he now I wonder..."