Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Ranelagh women's team takes silver medals in South of the Thames Championship
 *  Sarah Seal wins individual bronze
 *  Ranelagh men out of the medals in 5th place but 3rd in 8-to-score
 *  36.31 10km by Lauren Shelley
 *  Mob Match v Thames Hare and Hounds this Saturday
 *  Chris Spink to open new runners' shop in East Sheen

 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 November 20th         Mob Match v Thames Hare and Hounds in
 Richmond Park. 7.5 miles starting at 2.30pm See below.
                                             Junior Points prize races in
 Richmond Park. 1.3 miles starting at 2.35pm. See below.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start 
 Saturday November 27th         Surrey League Division 1  All are welcome to
 take part.
                                              Men at Kingston Vale (Wimbledon
 Common), women at Kingston Gate (Richmond Park). See below.
                                              Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday December 4th           Dysart Cup invitation women's race
 incorporating the Ranelagh women's championship for the Hugh Jones Salver;
 also the club women's veterans championship (over 40s) for Trish's Trophy.
 All Ranelagh women welcome to take part. 4 miles in Richmond Park, starting
 at 2pm.
                                             Ellis Cup invitation men's
 race, 5 miles in Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm. All welcome.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 MOB MATCH v THAMES HARE & HOUNDS  Saturday 20th November in Richmond Park
 starting at 2.30pm.
 Just to repeat the message: everyone who can make it around 7.5 miles,
 please try to turn up! Race it or use it as a training run, but every
 finisher counts towards the final result. The more runners we have, the
 better our chances of winning. There's a course map and more explanation of
 the scoring system on our web site.

 The race incorporates the club men's veterans championships for the Hastings
 Cup (over 40s), McDowell Salver (over 50s) and Maslin Mug (over 60s). It
 also sees the inaugural presentation of the Richard Clay-Jones Pint for the
 first over 50 to finish. This trophy has been donated in memory of Richard
 by his many friends and will be presented after the race by Mrs Clay-Jones.

 In the evening we'll be hosting our guests to a supper in our clubhouse: an
 informal and usually very entertaining occasion! Cost will be about 8 -
 please book your places with Jo Turner (mailto:joturner_45@hotmail.com) or
 Marina Quayle (mailto:marina_quayle@hotmail.com).

 We are repeating last season's series of races for juniors, each over one
 lap of Sidmouth Wood, about 1.3 miles. They will take place on Saturdays
 20th November, 11th December, 22nd January and 28th February, starting at
 about 2.30pm. All under 17s are welcome. If possible register at the
 clubhouse by 2pm, but otherwise come straight to the start opposite Pembroke
 Lodge. There will be separate categories for under 13s, under 15s and under
 17s, boys and girls, and there will be prizes at the end of the series for
 the overall winners. 

 SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION 1  Saturday 27th November
 The second Surrey League races of the season will be vital to both our men's
 and women's teams - but for very different reasons! The men have to dig
 themselves out of the relegation spot they currently hold, while the women
 have to build on the lead they established in the first race. But the bottom
 line is the same - we desperately need everybody who might be in with a
 chance of making the scoring teams to turn up and run!

 Men's race is at Roehampton Vale, Wimbledon Common, HQ 200 metres up the A3
 from Robin Hood Gate. Under 17s at 2.30pm, seniors at 3pm. Map
 Women are at Kingston Gate (Richmond Park). Note the car park at Kingston
 Gate is small, so allow time to leave your car outside Richmond Park or at
 the larger car park near Isabella Plantation. Seniors at 12.30pm followed by U17s
 at 1.15pm and U15s/U13s at 1.45pm. Map

 SOUTH OF THE THAMES 5 MILES CHAMPIONSHIP  Saturday 13th November in Richmond
 The race formerly known as...the South of Thames Junior. This was always a
 confusing title as it referred to "junior" in standard rather than age.
 Various barring clauses excluded most star runners, giving the lesser lights
 a chance to shine. Unfortunately entries have been falling steadily over
 recent seasons and the SoT committee decided this year to remove all barring
 clauses. The result was a field of over 200 men and women tackling our
 "league" course of 5.5 miles on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Richmond
 Hercules Wimbledon's Ethiopian Kebede always looked in control of
 proceedings and ran out a comfortable winner over steeplechase international
 Jermaine Mays of Kent AC. Paul Doyle featured in the chasing group until it
 splintered up the last hill but his 8th place was another fine performance
 to add to his ever-growing list. Nick Henderson made steady progress
 throughout the race to finish 25th and Marcus Gohar and Mick Lane completed
 the four-to-score team in 31st and 40th. Aussie Simon Austen showed improved
 form to beat the Captain, while just behind him was junior Jordan Mungovan.
 Peter Weir took the day off from football to complete our top eight.
 Teamwise we finished 5th in the main 4-to-score count, but 3rd in the
 8-to-score: no medals for this, alas.

 The women ran with the men and Thames's Alison Outram finished well ahead of
 her opposition in 48th position overall. Sarah Seal showed her continuing
 return to fitness by scrapping hard for the silver medal before having to
 settle for bronze. But she did receive a silver in the team event, together
 with Marie Synnott-Wells in 6th place and Kathy Mallett and Clare Gutch both
 in the top twenty.

 The SoT committee will be well satisfied with the support for this race, but
 it remains to be seen whether there remains scope for both this event and
 the former "South of Thames Senior" championship scheduled this year for
 December 18th.

 It seems I was a little premature in last week's e-news in sending Lauren
 Shelley back to Australia! On Sunday 14th she won the women's section of the
 Town Moor 10km in Newcastle by over half a mile in a new course record of
 36.31. This performance jumps her into 4th place in Ranelagh's all-time 10km

 BUSHY PARK 5 Km TIME TRIAL  Saturday 13th November
 The seventh Bushy Park time trial saw a record entry of 25 runners, 14 of
 them from Ranelagh. Stephen Instone explains how he managed to finish in
 front of Tim Woods: "I failed in my attempt at a sixth consecutive pb
 despite heroic coaching efforts and unparalleled altruism by Woods who thus
 sacrificed his own chance of supreme glory". The Wilson family was out in
 force again, and we're pleased to report that they have now become members
 of Ranelagh as a result of taking part in the time trial. Son Luke has
 hacked five minutes off his time in four weeks! 

 1 J Desmond (Stragglers) 18.36
 2 Stephen Instone 19.07
 3 Tim Woods 19.10
 4 John Kipps 19.35
 9 Darren Wood 21.38
 12 Roger Wilson 22.45
 13 Alan Craig 23.01
 15 Steve McClune 24.01
 16 George Coates 25.36
 17 Luke Wilson 25.43
 19 Janet Turnes 26.33
 20 Frances Ratchford 26.53
 21 Holly Wilson 30.19
 22 Gill Wilson 30.20
 25 Annie Coates 34.00 

 RON WHEELER 2.75 miles Handicap  Wednesday 27th October at Wapping
 1 J Cevik (Dresdner) 19.50 (actual time 18.50)
 21 Chris Read 22.05 (17.05)

 KINGFIELD CANTER 2.85 miles Handicap  Wednesday 3rd November at Woking
 1 A Sprigings (Unatt) 25.17 (actual time 20.47)
 18 Steve Rowland 26.52 (17.37)
 23 Sonia Rowland 27.16 (21.01)

 ...seems to have recovered quickly enough from his 2.54 world over-70
 marathon record. On Sunday he ran the Sockade-athon 15km in Schenectady, New
 York, finishing 54th in a field of over a thousand in a time of 58.57. 

 PHOENIX 7.3km  Sunday 14th November at Preston Park, Brighton
 Steve Rowland was 2nd over 50 in 28.05.

 October in the Brecon Beacons
 Pete Taylor writes:
 "It was good to read Chris Owens's report of the KIMM - I also was there,
 but doing the long score event. What Chris did not mention was the mud on
 the track down to the overnight camp, it made Parliament Hill look like a
 golf course fairway. After selecting a flat dry spot to pitch our tent, one
 of the few remaining by the time we finished, it was down to the stream at
 the bottom of the field for a paddle to wash the mud off.

 This was our first long score together, and the first in which we had a
 chance to accumulate points, however our planning as a result was poor. On
 the first day we underestimated what could be achieved, and missed out some
 easy initial points. This left us at the top of the track to the final
 checkpoint with time to spare, but as my partner was less than fit we took
 the easy option of a walk in with time to spare. On the second day we went
 the other way and tried to do too much, and therefore were over on time
 resulting in points deducted. 

 A brilliant weekend, superb weather, excellent terrain, a well designed
 course. Highlights were a pair of Red Kites lazily circling overhead, and a
 chocolate birthday cake at the overnight camp, courtesy of the Birthday Boy.

 The December issue of 'Trail' magazine has an article on navigation, with
 photos, set in the area of the KIMM, should anybody be interested in seeing
 the terrain over which Chris and myself were running. Also a full report,
 with lots of photos including the mud, can be found on www.kimm.org.uk . If
 you find the photo of the birthday boy I can be seen standing in the

 1 N Barrable & M Johansson 1090 points
 105 Pete Taylor & Andy Heald 585 points

 Chris Spink writes:
 "I'm opening an 'Up and Running' shop in East Sheen on the 18th of December
 2004 and all of the club are invited to the opening day. See the web site
 for more information: http://www.runningshoes.co.uk/site2/eastsheen.html".

 Andy Hayward writes:
 "The Road Runners' Club is a voice of, and represents the interests of road
 runners throughout the country, at a national level. It is a national club,
 so there is no local club house or training runs, which makes it an ideal
 club to join as a second claim club. There are a series of championship
 races held in conjunction with existing races that move around the country,
 from ten miles up to ultramarathon with trophies. There are also team prizes
 which second claim members would be eligible for, where Ranelagh are not
 able to enter a team. In addition to this, there is a Standards Scheme,
 which upon achieving certain specified times (open and veteran categories)
 in different length races, qualifies one for first class through to fourth
 class honours. There is also the RRC Challenge (see below). Of course, the
 RRC also organises the famous London to Brighton Road Race - one of the best
 known ultras in the world - at which several of our members have done a
 sterling job of helping to marshal for the past two years (in fact the RRC
 was originally set up to perpetuate this race as an annual event after it
 was run in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain).

 It is very cheap to join - 12.50 p.a. - and for that you get three very
 high quality glossy newsletters reporting on races and championships all
 around the world, along with discussions on all things running. In addition
 every year there is the Endurance Directory, which lists all races from half
 marathon up to ultramarathons, including trail races and even long distance
 walks. For samples of both the newsletter and the endurance directory, see
 the copies in the clubhouse. In addition to all this, there is also an
 insurance policy that covers for free, any member involved in an accident
 (i.e. hit by a car etc.) whilst out running (training or racing).

 Have a look at the web site at http://www.roadrunnersclub.org.uk. Anyone
 interested in joining, please contact Andy Hayward at
 AHAYWARD@MarathonRunner.com, or andrew.hayward@aleagroup.com".

 Andy is a very active member of the RRC and is Secretary for the local
 representatives network which covers the whole country. Amongst the local
 reps are David Wright for Gloucestershire and former Ranelagh man Ian
 Macintosh for Avon.

 Andy this year won the RRC Challenge Ultra section. He continues: 

 "The RRC Challenge is being run again this year. There are categories for
 all distances from 10k up to ultramarathon (next year will also include 5k
 races). To enter any category a member must submit proof of times in three
 different road races of the same distance (except ultramarathon where there
 is one category for any distance above the marathon). To enter the overall
 challenge, three categories must be entered. I entered the marathon and
 ultramarathon categories last year, but didn't do three races in the same
 category at any other distance, so could not enter the overall challenge.
 (Unless my achilles allows me to enter either two more ten mile races, two
 more half marathons, or one twenty miler before the end of December, then
 the same will happen this year!)".

 Gordon Whitson writes from Athens:
 "I would be grateful if you would publicise through the newsletter a matter
 which is of general concern to road runners. The issue to which I refer is
 that of the accurately measured course. I understand there is a group of
 spoilsports, one of whom is a Vice President of Ranelagh Harriers, who ride
 around on bicycles measuring courses thereby destroying the morale and
 enjoyment of the rest of us.

 This was a practice which until recently was unknown in Greece and over the
 years I have built up an impressive record of times on various courses run
 over various distances. The occasional poor time could always be put down to
 the course being grossly over distance and the more appropriate times to my
 impressive physical fitness. All that has now changed following the visit of
 Hugh Jones to Athens in August to measure the marathon course for the
 Olympic Games.

 Since 1998, one of my favourite races has been the 10km run on the same day
 as the Athens Marathon on the first Sunday in November. Not only did I get a
 lift from finishing the race in the stadium built for the 1896 Games but
 also from a finishing time that I could guarantee would be under 33 minutes
 and often much faster depending on the whim of the organisers.

 However, apart from the marathon, the 10km course also received the Jones
 treatment in August. The result: a totally dispiriting 38mins 49secs. It was
 small consolation that I beat the leader of the parliamentary opposition by
 more than 20 minutes and was the first vet 50-55 by 2 minutes. I could
 hardly bear to look at myself in the mirror knowing how close I had come to
 failing to break 40 minutes.

 Action needs to be taken before it is too late. Spokes need literally to put
 in wheels otherwise all our enjoyment will be gone".

 There was unfortunately another occurrence of theft of a bicycle during
 Tuesday night training a couple of weeks ago. The bike was well secured so
 the thief had evidently come prepared for the job. We are talking to local
 crime prevention officers but in the meantime suggest that bikes are left
 inside the clubhouse.