Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Defeat in Thames Mob Match
 *  Club men's veterans championships won by Marcus Gohar, Chris Owens and
    Bill Harvey
 *  Chris Owens also the first recipient of the "Richard Clay-Jones Pint"
 *  First Junior Points Prize races
 *  31.53 10km by Paul Doyle
 *  Allison O'Neill and Alice Beverly in Reebok Cross Challenge

 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 27th         Surrey League Division 1  All are welcome to
 take part. See below.
                                             Men at Kingston Vale (Wimbledon
 Common), women at Kingston Gate (Richmond Park).
                                             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.
 See below.
                                             Ellis Cup invitation men's
 race, 5 miles in Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm. See below.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Friday December 10th             Ranelagh Christmas Party at the Turk's Head
 in St Margarets.

 Saturday December 11th         Stubbs Cup Mob Match v South London Harriers
 in Richmond Park starting at 2.30pm.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 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

 4th December in Richmond Park
 We're the current holders of the Dysart Cup, which is a five to score
 women's team race, but more important is that the first Ranelagh finisher
 will become the club women's club champion and win the Hugh Jones Salver.
 Sara Grosvenor was last year's winner and Kathy Mallett has Trish's Trophy
 which goes to the first Ranelagh over 40 to finish. It's a 4 miles race
 starting at 2pm. All Ranelagh women welcome!

 ELLIS CUP MEN'S RACE   Saturday 4th December in Richmond Park
 The men's team race is a 5 miler and follows on from the Dysart Cup event -
 nominally at 2.30pm but usually a few minutes later as we wait for all the
 women to finish first. It's 10 to score and the Stragglers are the current
 holders. All Ranelagh men welcome! 

 miles in Richmond Park
 Our next mob match, again at home in Richmond Park over the same course as
 we ran against Thames. Start time is 2.30pm. This race incorporates the club
 men's championship for the Wynne Cup.

 SOUTH OF THE THAMES 7.5 MILES CHAMPIONSHIP  Saturday 18th December on
 Wimbledon Common
 This race is open to everyone but entries have to be made in advance. If
 you're interested in taking part, please let Andy Bickerstaff know by the
 end of November. Contact details above. 

 MOB MATCH v THAMES HARE & HOUNDS  Saturday 20th November  7.73 miles in
 Richmond Park
 It was two numerically well-matched sides that lined up in the freezing
 drizzle in Richmond Park on Saturday. But that's where the equality ended.
 On their last visit two years ago, Thames came unstuck by giving too many of
 their fast men the day off and Ranelagh scored a notable victory. They were
 not about to repeat the mistake! This time they were out in strength and
 those few Ranelagh men who could have given them a run for their money were
 mostly absent for one good reason or another. The result was a whitewash, if
 that term can be used on a day when Thames's white vests were well
 mud-splattered by the time they had covered two greasy laps in the Park. 

 No less than the top thirteen were from Thames, with only Marcus Gohar
 showing the home colours amongst the leading group - and then only for a
 couple of  miles. But Marcus did hold on to be our first finisher and in the
 process retain the Hastings Cup club veterans' championship. Not far behind
 Marcus there were encouraging performances from Peter Weir and Rob
 Stillwell, just ahead of the Captain. Next in was Chris Owens, winning the
 McDowell Salver club over 50s championship by just over a minute from Gordon
 Whitson who had travelled back from Athens ("I fancied a cross-country
 race"). The holder of the McDowell Salver, Mike Peace, was one of several
 late starters owing to traffic problems. In between Chris and Gordon there
 was a noteworthy run from Dave Powell. Bill Harvey was once again the winner
 of the Maslin Mug club over 60s championship, but he was being closed down
 rapidly in the closing stages by Pete Warren. Sarah Seal was comfortably
 first of the 21 women taking part.

 It fell to Chris Owens also to be the first recipient of the "Richard
 Clay-Jones Pint", an engraved tankard which is to be awarded each year to
 the first Ranelagh over 50 finisher in the Thames mob match. This has been
 presented by Richard's friends with help also from Young's Brewery. It was
 good to see Richard's wife Gill in attendance to make the presentation.

 The race was a milestone for Jim Forrest - his 100th mob match. Three more
 centurions were taking part - David Wright (117), John Hanscomb (116) and
 Steve Rowland (111). Clive Naish's total is "only" 84 but he's not missed
 one since 1983! That Jim had prepared well for the event was evidenced by
 his win in the sealed handicap, ahead of Tim Woolmer and Kathy Mallett.

 Ed Whitlock had generously provided funds for a round to be bought on his
 behalf to celebrate his 2.54 marathon a few weeks ago (world record for an
 over 70), and beers were duly consumed in the Dysart between the race and
 the evening's supper. There must have been 50 or 60 Ranelagh and Thames
 squeezed into the clubhouse for the supper, with excellent catering from the
 Dysart kitchens. The Chris Brasher fund which usually provides wine for the
 evening was untroubled this year thanks to Brian Chard's generosity. Toasts
 were accordingly proposed to both Ed and Brian. John Bryant sang but we
 returned as good (or bad) as we received.

 Stephen Instone adds:
 "Since the benefits of running a Mob Match for Ranelagh may not be
 immediately apparent, it may be worth considering that:
 Mud is good for the skin, and preserves old fossils.
 You get a feel for what it was like to live in ancient Sparta.
 You gain experience in tolerating crushing defeat and ignominy.
 It's good for the physiotherapy industry.
 You can philosophise over whether 50 counts as a mob.
 Spikes aerate the soil."

 BRIGHTON 10Km  Sunday 21st November
 Paul Doyle writes:
 "My apologies for not running the THH Mob, I intend to run the remaining
 two. I had set my sights on breaking the 32 min mark for 10k, something I
 failed to achieve during the summer. Brighton has the potential to be a fast
 course depending on the weather. Indeed by all accounts last year conditions
 were perfect.

 This year 's race started in a drizzle, with a noticeable wind (I guess
 that's what you would normally expect on a seafront), so conditions weren't
 great, but they weren't that bad either. This year's course was slightly
 different to last year's. We started just east of the main pier and headed
 east for 1.5k towards the marina, into the wind. Dave Taylor was obviously
 on a mission and the chasing pack set off at a modest pace. As we turned
 around the cone at 1.5k, I made a break, noting we were running at 33min
 pace. A breakaway group of four formed (including local runner Matt
 Bristow), we wound up the pace on the 5k long straight to the next
 turnaround cone at 6.5k near Hove. With the wind at our backs, we could
 afford to enjoy the scenery and reminisce about the fun times on the beach
 in the summer. A good number of people cheered me on, which was really
 encouraging, thanks. At the 5k mark the group clocked 15.52, so we were back
 on track, after this it would boil down to endurance. As we turned at 6.5k,
 it was just me and a Crawley runner left. Again into the wind, a bit more
 mental grit was required. I was relatively comfortable, and made a push for
 home at 8k, that did the trick and I clocked 31.53 in 2nd, a pretty much
 evenly paced race Kelly Holmes style. The race was won by Dave Taylor M40
 (Blackheath) in 30.12. If we had been a bit luckier with the weather, I'm
 sure he would have made his target of sub 30".

 1 D Taylor (Blackheath) 30.12
 2 Paul Doyle 31.53

 Full results haven't surfaced yet but we hear there was a pb too for Evelyn
 Joslin, and Janet Turnes and Julie Naismith were also in the field. More
 details when available.

 REEBOK CROSS CHALLENGE  Saturday 20th November at Parliament Hill
 Allison O'Neill reports:
 "Alice Beverly and I couldn't let the chance pass us by to suffer an extra
 race at Parliament Hill this season - although the course was only 5k and
 not quite as muddy as 'the Southerns' version.  With high expectations for
 this race, I finished a disappointing 25th, well down on my performances of
 a few weeks ago - despite (or perhaps because of!) some intense training in
 between. Drained and heavy legged from the start, I guess I made the classic
 error of training really hard for a particular race and not easing back to
 recover in time - lesson learned the hard way!  Alice, by contrast,
 delivered what I'd judge to be the best performance of her fledgling senior
 career, finishing 41st and really beginning to mix it with some
 well-established runners.  She is clearly gaining in confidence with every
 race and should be timing it just right for a best-ever Varsity performance
 in 2 weeks time as Oxford Captain. Well done Ms Beverly!"

 1 H Yelling (WSEH) 16.47
 25 Allison O'Neill 18.10
 41 Alice Beverly 18.41 

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 1  Saturday 20th November  1.3 miles in Richmond
 Frances Ratchford reports:
 "The weather may have been cold, gloomy and very wet but it did not dampen
 the spirits of the twenty youngsters who lined up for the first race in the
 Junior Cross-Country Points series.  And it may have been slippy underfoot
 but it did not stop the young athletes producing an amazing number of
 personal best times in both the girls' and the boys' races.  Daniel Jermy
 (Ranelagh) was first home in an excellent time of 7.39 closely followed by
 Owen Evans (Thames Turbo).  The first girl home was Alex McKenna  (Ranelagh)
 who seems to get faster with every event she does, closely followed by
 Victoria Elbourne (Ranelagh) also running a personal best. But the two stars
 of the race were also the youngest: Luke Wilson who came home in 10.07 and
 Amelie Hunton, who is only 10 was 4th U13 girl home in 9.57.

 The next race is on Saturday 11th December at 2.30. There will be a goody
 bag for all contestants at the end of this race".

 BUSHY PARK 5Km TIME TRIAL  Saturday 20th November
 1 R Simms     17.29
 3 Duncan Gaskell 19.57
 4 Simon Lawrence 20.32
 6 John Kipps 20.50
 7 Darren Wood 21.04

 HILLINGDON TRISTARS AUTUMN DUATHLON  Sunday 21st November at Minet Park,
 Roger Wilson reports:
 "This was Luke's and my first duathlon; for me the day after the Thames mob
 match which was my longest run for 19 years, and for Luke the day after his
 first junior club run".

 Boys Under 11   1.2km run, 4.5km bike, 0.75km run
 1 N Robertson 20.16  (6.50, 8.46, 4.40)
 4 Luke Wilson 22.32  (5.51, 12.25, 4.16)

 Senior Men     2.5m run, 15m bike, 1m run
 1 V Ellerby 58.14  (13.41, 38.38, 5.55)
 23 Roger Wilson 73.58  (17.44, 48.36, 7.38)

 We have been assigned five guaranteed club places for next year's "London".
 Watch this space for details of how to apply for one if you fail to get a
 place in the open ballot. We also have an elite women's team entry.

 Ian Milne, now a resident of Matlock in Derbyshire, is the organiser of
 these multi-terrain events. He writes:
 "Both events are to be run over the White Peak Trails, starting at 11.00 am
 on Saturday 21st May 2005. The marathon route is from Thorpe to Cromford
 Meadows following first the Tissington Trail to Parsley Hay, then the High
 Peak Trail to Cromford, while the half marathon follows the High Peak Trail
 and the Cromford canal. Both runs are over firm compacted limestone and
 cinder surfaces on former railway tracks making road running shoes ideal.

 The half marathon follows the latter stages of the marathon course from
 close to the highest point on the trail. The total descent is approximately
 800 feet, and with no steep uphill stretches it provides the potential for
 fast times and personal bests. We like to think of it as a swift half. No
 navigational skills are needed for either event.

 For more information see the Matlock AC web site at www.matlockac.org.uk or
 contact Ian at milneofmatlock@aol.com."

 Christian Vaughan writes:
 "We all have siblings who are more talented than us...Captain Andy's sister
 is obviously a better runner than him, for example. My more talented
 siblings are in a band called Everstrong. They are based in Manchester and
 are releasing their debut album, Hello Again, on Monday 29th November. Their
 first gig after that will be on Friday 3rd December at Kingsmeadow football
 stadium (aka Norbiton track), in an AFC Wimbledon-sponsored event.

 The doors open at 8pm, with Everstrong and one other band appearing. The bar
 closes at 12:30am. Over 18s only, a fiver on the door. If you like what you
 see, the album will be on sale for a very reasonable ten pounds. For more
 information, either call me on 020 7591 1431 or visit www.everstrong.co.uk."

 ...seems to have thrown a hissy fit last week and it looks as if no Hotmail
 addresses received e-news #158. You can view it on our web site, bit if
 anyone would like to be sent a copy, please let me know.

 Ed Whitlock writes to suggest that we might apply to have Thames Hare and
 Hounds banned under the new anti-hunting legislation...