Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Women's team 14th in National Road Relay
 *  Mob match victory for Nick Henderson, but Orion win the Lee Cup

 ...to the following new members:
 Nadia Fidler, Willow Mallin, Daisy Mallin, Russ Hendry.

 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 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 both starting at 1.30pm. Note the start
 time - not 2pm as shown in our fixture list.
                                            Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday November 13th        South of the Thames "Junior" Championship in
 Richmond Park. Men's and women's races starting at 2.30pm
                                            Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday November 20th         Mob Match v Thames Hare and Hounds in
 Richmond Park.  See below.
                                            Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 MOB MATCH v THAMES HARE & HOUNDS  Saturday 20th November in Richmond Park
 This year we're at home to the mighty Thames Hare and Hounds so we'll need
 every runner we can get on the starting line. It's 7.5 miles on our own
 course in Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm. Race it or use it as a training
 run - it's the size of the "mob" that counts. In the evening we'll be
 hosting our guests to a supper in our clubhouse. Those who attended the
 supper at Thames last year will attest that these are extremely sociable
 occasions! More details nearer the time but note the date now both for the
 race and the supper.

 RANELAGH CHRISTMAS PARTY  Friday 10th December at the Turk's Head in St
 Don't forget you need to book your places by the end of this month. Tickets
 are 18 per head for a three-course meal and disco. See the end of this
 e-news for the menu choices. Contact Jo Turner
 (mailto:joturner_45@hotmail.com) or Marina Quayle

 LEE CUP MOB MATCH v ORION HARRIERS  Saturday 23rd October in Epping Forest
 We had 22 starters on a miserably gloomy day at Chingford. Old-timers would
 be surprised to find the first couple of miles of the notorious Orion course
 are now mostly easy going on firm paths. But the incessant rain over the
 past fortnight ensured that the rest of the course more than made up for it,
 and shoes and kit soon took on the traditional Essex mud-brown hue.

 Julian Smith takes up the story:
 "After a delay to allow Dave Wright to extricate himself from the M25, we
 stood on the edge of Epping Forest in a driving drizzle, and performed a
 high-speed hobble-gobble to keep ourselves warm. Then it was off into gloom.
 With a nasty cold still, I had intended to 'jog' round in trainers, but the
 pack-run like start meant that within a mile I was just behind the leaders,
 and it's a bit difficult just to jog along when you're there. So very soon a
 quartet comprising Nick Henderson and me and two Orions were heading the
 Orion train of at least half a dozen white vests, slithering between the
 trees whilst trying to work out the direction of the vanishing paper trail.
 Detours down the wrong 'path' were regular; then there would be shouts as
 the Orion train sped by on the right course, and we had to haul ourselves
 back to the front of the race, just for the same thing to happen again, and
 again. Staying upright amongst the mud, bogs, tree roots and leaves was an
 equal challenge (especially in trainers), and I went over on my ankle at one
 point, necessitating yet another round of catch-up.

 Gradually Nick and I and an Irishman from Orion eased ahead. We tried to get
 rid of the Irishman, but it was enough effort just finding the route and
 staying on our feet, and every time we thought we were away he would
 rematerialise, as if by magic: and just behind him we could sense the Orion
 train, still chugging along. And then the hills started to become much
 bigger and the underfoot conditions intermittently more and more ridiculous.
 I was feeling more and more grotty, Nick was looking stronger and stronger,
 and still we couldn't kill the Irishman. With less than a mile left as we
 made another bid for freedom, I described the last part of the course to
 Nick, gave him my next of kin's details, and wished him luck. Down to the
 bottom before the huge final climb went Nick, then me, then the Irishman,
 and then. we heard the shouts and looked behind to see the Orion train, half
 a dozen off them, disappearing off up the final hill on the correct course.
 I wearily retraced my steps to find myself about 8th, but Nick found a hole
 in the bushes and managed to rejoin the race alongside the new leader. There
 was still half a mile left, so he was able to run away from the rest and
 reclaim the victory that was rightfully his: a great run. I managed to haul
 myself past all but one of the rest, including the Irishman, but I was left
 with the nagging thought that had I remembered that final turn at the bottom
 of the hill we would have finished 1-2 instead, and Ranelagh would have lost
 the match by only 456 points instead of 458".

 We made our presence felt at the evening's festivities, ten RH joining a
 couple of dozen Orion for an excellent supper and quiz. One of our two
 intellectual teams sprinted into an early lead but alas couldn't stand the
 pace and we finally had to settle for 2nd and 4th.

 Park, Birmingham
 Anna McLaughlin reports:
 "Last Saturday saw two ladies teams from Ranelagh Harriers battling it out
 at the National Road Relays.it was an early start for those of us who hadn't
 travelled up to Birmingham the night before (or conveniently go to uni
 nearby.) so a little after 8am we ventured out of Richmond in the 'fun but
 injured' bus in a northerly direction! Arriving (a couple of hours later) at
 Sutton Park, we quickly realised that all the main opposition was out in
 force (along with their festooned tents) and that a long warm up around the
 course would be needed to calm our nerves. The two teams comprising Allison
 O'Neill, Sarah Seal, Jo Ronaldson, Alice Beverly, Estelle Damant, Lauren
 Shelley and myself were soon donning our club vests and race numbers and
 were ready for the off.

 Bang on 12 noon the starter's gun went and a stream of runners raced down
 the first hill with Allison in the front pack and Estelle a little way
 behind. The rest of us were left to wait nervously.how would they get on
 with that first long drag of a hill? Would Allison's feet like her newly
 purchased yellow Mayflys? Would Estelle enjoy running the first leg as much
 as we tried to convince her she would?. All these questions and more flew
 around our heads, but it wasn't long before the sprightly figure of Allison
 appeared up the hill towards the finish in an amazing 6th place.posed ready
 on the line for the change over was Sarah and off she went.! Not far behind
 came Estelle in a very creditable time, having put the B team in a good
 position for Lauren to do her stuff! Now it was time for Jo and I to do our
 final preparations.the adrenaline was flowing by this stage as a flood of
 excitement and nerves kicked in.and then it was time to get on the start
 line.first came Sarah still in a very high placing in the field and looking
 as though she had had her racing legs on and off went Jo like a shot leaving
 me to wait, although not long at all as Lauren raced towards the change over

 Sadly as I was still out on the course battling my way round I cannot report
 on Jo's handover to Alice, but I will impart one bit of advice from my run. 
 When you strap up your knee make sure you can bend it enough for when you
 are running up hills as otherwise it is really hard work!.despite this I
 did get round the course without losing too many places and handed over to
 Allison to do the business! Yes, Allison our star runner of the first leg
 for the A team, stepped in gallantly at the last moment to run again when
 the B team got struck down with flu.so once again the runners were out there
 and we were all left to wait...by this time the rain was really beating down
 and the conditions underfoot were starting to get slippery. But this didn't
 seem to stop the front runners who were still managing to put in course
 record times, with the team from Bristol & West AC winning by a margin of 1
 minute. And then suddenly in a whirlwind of colour appeared Alice round the
 last bend, she certainly had her fighting feet on and charged up the hill to
 finish in an awesome 14th position. Only 3 minutes behind came Allison into
 the finishing straight, only 1 minute down on her first leg time and
 bringing the B team home in a very creditable (no sorry it was fantastic)
 27th place!

 So all that was left to do after the jumping up and down was to head off to
 TGIs for some well earnt food, bubbly and celebrating! Finally, I just want
 to thank all the girls for making it such a memorable day, for racing with
 all their hearts and legs and putting Ranelagh Harriers on the map where it
 For the record, Allison's 14.42 for the 4.315km was 14th fastest of the day,
 right up there with internationals like Tara Krzywicki and Lucy Elliott. Our
 B team, albeit reinforced by Allison #2, was 3rd B team home amongst the 74

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL  Saturday 23rd October
 Paul Sinton-Hewitt reports:
 "A wet and blustery day greeted us at Bushy Park this morning. I didn't
 expect too many runners as I half expected runners to be blown off the
 course. But I was surprised. Our largest field yet! Twenty runners took
 part, including the Wilson family. Our youngest ever runners, Holly and Luke
 Wilson 9 & 10 respectively, finished the course with a great burst of

 Tim Elsey, who came second last week, was out to prove that he could win the
 race. However, today was not his day. New to Bushy Park, Tim took a wrong
 turn and had to backtrack, thereby giving up his lead to Ricky Simms.

 Unfortunately we had a problem with the results this week. I have resolved
 the situation but apologise for this mishap and for any times which are
 slightly out".

 1 R Simms 17.58
 4 Stephen Instone 19.30 approx
 7 Peter Wright 20.20 approx
 12 Darren Wood 22.30 approx
 13 Jo Turner 24.11
 14 Karen Broadbent 24.56
 15 Julie Drummond 25.05 approx
 16 Hilary Saw 28.00 approx

 EXMOOR STAGGER  Sunday 24th October at Minehead
 Louise Piears reports:
 "The Exmoor Stagger was probably the toughest race I've done after the
 marathon - there's no let up from the (very) steep slopes which were even
 mostly too slippery to run down properly. Added to that the trails are full
 of stones in the mud so I seemed to be continually looking at the ground to
 avoid turning my ankle again. It took me a grand total of 3 hours and 6
 minutes to run just 13.5 miles but it was actually a great challenge and I
 didn't get bored! Possibly not to be repeated again - but as the days, weeks
 and months pass..."
 1 A Symonds (Kendal) 1.52.11
 179 Louise Piears 3.05.55

 DUBLIN MARATHON  Monday 25th October
 The race that goes through the original Ranelagh! Adam Tapley ducked inside
 3 hours with 2.57.43 for 185th place and Sue Ashley recorded 3.35.10 in

 CABBAGE PATCH 10 miles  Sunday 17th October at Twickenham
 Apologies for omitting David Meaden from the results published last week. He
 finished 893rd in 92.16.
 Robin Drummond adds:
 "It should also be noted that Julia Langensiepen took 4:43 off her last
 year's time and Juliette Chan achieved a 4% increase in her age graded
 performance as recorded in Ken's stats (I don't know if she has run 10 miles
 before). Julia, Juliette and Simon Burrell are regular attenders at coaching
 sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays".

 Sophie Timms writes:
 "A chance to earn some extra Xmas cash! Volunteers needed to marshal The
 Grim Challenge in Aldershot on Sunday 5 December 8.30-13.00. Volunteers will
 each receive 40 and jobs involve just manning water stations and helping
 tidy up afterwards. Anyone interested, please call John Gladwin on 07714
 725024 or email: john@grimchallenge.co.uk".

 Tuesday sessions for the "fast" group over next few weeks, starting from the
 clubhouse at 7pm:
 26/10  2x 4 x Holly Lodge Hill
 2/11   10, 8, 6 and 4 min efforts + 3 x 30 secs efforts
 9/11   Pyramid: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 min efforts
 See our web site for more complete details.

 The ongoing saga of the new floor in the men's shower area continues. It was
 all stripped back last Thursday and is unavailable for use again this week.
 It should be relaid by this weekend.

 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

 Ken Powley writes after looking at a race Risk Assessment form:
 "One of the items:
 Injury Risk: Conkers falling from trees and hitting runners on the head in