Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Surrey League: women's team wins opening race
 *  Men's team back in 8th place
 *  Under 13 girls runners-up

 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 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. See our web site for details. 

 Sunday October 17th              Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at
 Twickenham. Entries now closed.

                                             Founders' Challenge at
 Peaslake - a 26 miles ramble through the Surrey Hills.See

 Saturday October 23rd            Lee Cup Mob Match v Orion Harriers at
 Chingford.  7.5 miles. 2.30pm start. See below.

                                            Women's National Road Relay at
 Sutton Park, Birmingham

                                            Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday October 30th           Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in Bushy Park. 9am

 Saturday November 6th          Priory Cross-Country Relays at Priory Park,
 Reigate. Men's and women's races starting at 1.30pm.

 Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm.
 This is open to all our Surrey-qualified veterans (women 35 and over, men 40
 and over). Entries will be accepted on the day (4) but will not count for
 the team scoring.

 Anyone not involved with the veterans' race will be welcome at Oxford Uni's
 course at Shotover. Contact Andy Bickerstaff (details above) for more

 CABBAGE PATCH 10 miles  Sunday 17th October at Twickenham
 Note there are NO entries on the day.
 Phil Aiken writes:
 "There are a number of us running this Sunday so why don't we all meet up
 before the race? I'll be at the Cabbage Patch from 9am, so look out for me
 in and around the car park. And afterwards let's congratulate ourselves and
 relive our experiences over a social drink or two inside the pub. Anyone not
 running is welcome to join us or offer their support along the route. It
 does help and is appreciated. Here is a map of the course
 Phil adds:
 "If anyone would like to marshal, their assistance would be appreciated.
 Contact me and I will pass on your details. A race t-shirt and a free meal
 (and drink) in the Cabbage Patch pub after the race are on offer to those
 who help". Phil's contact details are shown in "What's Coming..." above.

 LEE CUP MOB MATCH v ORION HARRIERS  Saturday 23rd October at Epping Forest
 Our first mob match of the season. A brief explanation of mob matches for
 new members: two clubs only take part, each side fields as many runners as
 possible and ALL count towards the final result. The club that gets the most
 runners to the starting line effectively gives itself a head start, so we
 need as many people as possible to make the trek over to Epping.

 FREE transport will leave from the clubhouse at 12 noon. Please use it! If
 you want to make your own way, the Orion HQ is at the rear of the Royal
 Forest Hotel on the A1069 Rangers Road, near Chingford Station.
 Don't park at the pub, there's a car park almost opposite.

 The race is 7.5 miles, starting at 2.30pm. The course is scenic
 multi-terrain: some forest tracks, some road, some fields.

 This will be taking place at the Turk's Head pub in St Margarets on Friday
 10th December. It will be a sit-down three-course meal followed by a disco,
 price 18 per head. There are 120 places available and they are going fast!
 Jo and Marina need to know by the end of October if you're planning to come,
 and what you'd like to eat. See the end of this e-news for the menu choices.
 To book your places contact Jo Turner (mailto:joturner_45@hotmail.com) or
 Marina Quayle (mailto:marina_quayle@hotmail.com).

 SURREY LADIES LEAGUE Division 1  Saturday 9th October on Wimbledon Common
 Anna McLaughlin reports:
 "The start of this season's Surrey League xc was an electric clashing of
 elbows and runners (mainly due to its strange positioning just before a
 steep left hand bend) and a flash of blue streaming past and down the
 hill... with the course consisting of 2x3km laps the Ranelagh Cheerleaders
 (pom poms will hopefully be here in time for the next race) waited in eager
 anticipation to see how the Ranelagh contingent would fare when they
 returned... but we needn't have worried as with the front of the pack came
 the blue flash with Allison O'Neill leading the way in the front three and
 the rest of our runners following closely behind... and then as fast as they
 appeared they disappeared down the hill again... leaving us to wait
 nervously at the finishing straight to see how they had fared... out of
 sight, along the route, the girls battled valiantly jostling for position
 and fighting the reality that once again the xc season was upon them... and
 then from out of the woods they re-appeared ...and for the next few minutes
 I successfully managed to lose my voice cheering our awesome team across the
 line... our first five finishers (the A team) all finished in the top 13 and
 our B team were not far behind. Even without Allison & Lauren's storming
 results we still would have been the 1st team by 4 points. In total our 14
 runners all finished within 10mins of each other... quite an achievement and
 an amazing sight to watch!

 And, we mustn't forget the fine running that the rest of the team produced
 in the B and C teams. With new girls to the club Becki Chapman and Carolyn
 Turnhout experiencing the joys of xc running for the first time, Alice Gilks
 escaping her new life as a student to get some normality(?!) and Sonia,
 Sarah and Kathy adding experience to the field all is looking very promising
 for the future!

 Not to be outdone our Juniors also put in some fine performances, including
 Anair Beverly who came home 2nd in the combined U20s/U17s race, but was the
 leading U20. Our U13s all finished in the top half of their race and took
 second team place and our two U15s ran well for 11th". 

 Note Carolyn Turnhout doesn't appear in the official results for some
 reason. If she is re-discovered, our C team position should improve its
 position a little.

 SWEATSHOP SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION 1  Saturday 9th October at Brockwell Park
 In contrast to the women, our men's team was not at full strength and was
 blown away at windswept Brockwell Park. On a course short of the advertised
 five miles but featuring repeated climbs of the park's central hill we could
 do no better than eighth out of the nine division one clubs.

 Paul Doyle ran his usual gutsy race and led our men home, pursued by Julian
 Smith who as usual forged through the field after a steady start. It was
 good to see Steve Day back in action and running well, and he held on
 strongly to be our third in, just ahead of Marcus Gohar. Further back it was
 also good to see some new faces in Ranelagh colours, including Gary Croke
 and Simon Austen who both made the scoring team in their first league race.

 So we currently occupy one of the two relegation positions, some 80 points
 behind the seventh placed team. But there's a long way to go yet before the
 end of the season. We'll need a three-line whip to get as strong a team as
 possible out for the next race, so make a note for your diary now - November
 27th, Kingston Vale.

 Matt Hirschler was our only representative in the junior races but he ran
 well for 6th place.

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL  Saturday 9th October
 Matt Morgan enjoyed a solo run at the front.
 1 Matt Morgan 19.07
 2 Stephen Instone 20.21
 3 Peter Wright 20.54
 4 Chris Read 21.13
 7 John Kipps 23.27
 8 Jo Turner 24.03
 9 Julie Drummond 24.03
 10 Darren Wood 24.16
 11 Karen Broadbent 24.33
 13 Annie Coates 29.09
 14 Frances Ratchford 29.09

 John Kipps reports on the marathon, one of three distances on offer:
 "My first marathon effort, so quite pleased with result, although I had
 hoped to do 8m/m and try to dip under 3:30. Typically though I set off very
 slightly too fast and my legs dried up at 16 miles. I had a few walk breaks
 and took on lots of fluids and shuffled onwards singing Frank Sinatra's 'I
 Did It My Way' (I must learn all the words so I don't have to make my own up
 next time). Thanks to all the Ranelagh supporters for the encouragement that
 was most welcome and to the other runners who helped me through those low
 1 M Byansi (Belgrave) 2.41.15
 74 John Kipps 3.36.24

 In the 16 miler, Marie Synnott-Wells ran exceptionally well the day after
 finishing as our 5th scorer in the Surrey League race. She was 3rd woman
 home and first veteran.
 1 T Berg (Mornington C) 1.27.46
 25 Marie Synnott-Wells 1.46.54
 379 Simon Tyler 2.21.03

 And in the 8 miler Graham Quick and Simon Rothwell were 3rd over 40 and 3rd
 over 50 respectively.
 1 P Wicks (Unatt) 42.24
 24 Graham Quick 52.55
 49 Simon Rothwell 55.19
 82 Phil Aiken 57.15
 613 John Hanscomb 72.27
 665 Janet Turnes 74.13
 668 Catherine Gadd 74.15
 758 Emma Corbett 76.43
 880 Claire Berry 82.09
 881 Rachel White 82.09

 RON WHEELER 2.75 miles HANDICAP  Wednesday 29th September at Wapping
 Paul Doyle was the only Ranelagh runner this month and just missed the
 course record.
 1 J Cevik (unatt) 19.56 (actual time 19.56)
 4 Paul Doyle 20.24 (actual time 12.54)

 Tom Reay writes:
 "Just to let you Tuesday night people know that Wednesday evenings are not a
 bowl of cherries either, here are some of the races I've done in the past
 few months, based on Wednesday evening sessions.

 Bewl 15, Wadhurst, East Sussex, July 4th 2004
 This race is labelled as a '15' but is in fact a cross country 14.5 miles
 which circumnavigates a reservoir, starting from Wadhurst. The route is
 fairly undulating until about 9 miles where there are one or two steep hills
 which sort everyone out and then the finish is uphill for about half a mile.
 I would highly recommend this route and there is a huge table heaving with
 cakes and other goodies at the finish - all FREE !!
 I did 1 hour 57 mins and came 138th out of 314 runners.

 Burnham Beeches Half Marathon, August 15th 2004
 This was a race I didn't really enjoy. I thought I started off too fast,
 going through half distance at 1 hour 39 min pace, but the day was too hot.
 I couldn't keep up the pace, and everybody started overtaking me in the
 second half. Those of you who know the Burnham course will know the steep
 hill at the end which nearly reduced me to crawling up on it on my hands and
 knees !!
 I did 1 hour 48 mins and came 475 out of 1115 runners.

 Longford Half Marathon, Ireland, August 29th 2004
 A group of six runners including 3 Ranelaghites (myself, Catherine Carthy
 and Michele Gibson) travelled over to Ireland to do this run. The run is
 through pleasant countryside and also incorporates a marathon race, both
 races sharing the first 6 miles or so. The weather was rainy, but I enjoyed
 the race, coming in about a minute behind Michele who I thought had a good
 race. We all enjoyed the weekend.
 I did 1 hour 45 mins 49 secs and came 69th out of 154 runners. Michele was
 8th woman home in 1.43.42 and Catherine was 30th in 2.00.50.

 Epsom 10, 26th September 2004
 This hilly course runs through Langley, Headley, Walton and Tadworth,
 finishing on the racecourse at Epsom. I enjoyed this one, knowing the route,
 having marathon trained over most of it. The race commemorated the 150th
 anniversary of Epsom CoIlege. I thought I ran quite well and finished in 1
 hour 18 minutes.

 Clarendon Half Marathon, October 3rd 2004
 This is another distance cross country race. The course has everything,
 gravel. stones, mud, road, unploughed fields, slippery grass etc, etc. Plus
 it was pouring with rain all the way, but I would highly recommend the
 course and thought I did quite well finishing in 1 hour 55 mins".

 This comes from Joanne Muirlittle:
 "Room to let in Ham, 400pcm all inclusive.  Near Richmond Park, River
 Thames, Teddington, Kingston and Richmond.  Ample storage and parking.  Room
 is a good size double, furnished [including tv] with en suite.
 Contact Joanne on 020 8487 2224 or mobile 07984 830795".

 A problem was discovered with the newly-laid floor in the men's shower area.
 This is now being rectified but unfortunately the showers have been out of
 use again this week. They should be ready in time for Saturday's race.

 Tuesday sessions for the "fast" group over next few weeks, starting from the
 clubhouse at 7pm:
 19/10  2 x 7 mins efforts + 2 x 5 mins
 26/10  2x 4 x Holly Lodge Hill
 2/11   10, 8, 6 and 4 min efforts + 3 x 30 secs efforts
 See our web site for more complete details.

 1. Home-made broccoli and stilton soup
 2. Warm goats cheese and red onion tart with salad garnish
 3. Prawn and smoked salmon pate with lemon dressed salad
 4. Chargrilled asparagus with parma ham, rocket, parmesan and olive oil
 1. Traditional roast turkey with roast potatoes, seasonal veg. and all the
 2. Pan-fried snapper fillet with mango salsa, braised rice and winter veg.
 3. Braised beef steak in a rich red wine sauce with mushrooms, button onions
 and bacon pieces, and seasonal veg.
 4. Roasted winter risotto with rocket, Parmesan and chive oil.
 1. Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce.
 2. Dark and white chocolate mousse with strawberry sauce.
 3. Rhubarb and blackberry crumble tart with custard.
 4. Selection of cheese and biscuits

 Now here's an offer you can't refuse! After discussions about our poor
 result in the first Surrey League race, and various bets flying around on
 future results, Julian Smith writes:
 "All right. I'll give 20 to anyone apart from Paul D, Peter H, Dave B and
 Hugh J (sorry guys) and Christian (only joking) who makes the top 50 in any
 of the remaining three league races, and I'll double it if they beat me
 On further consideration and after consulting his wallet, Julian adds:
 "Maybe I should make payment conditional on our avoiding relegation..."