Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Women finish 2nd in Surrey League but retain overall lead
 *  Men finish 7th but stay in 8th place overall

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

 Saturday December 18th         South of the Thames 7.5 miles Championship on
 Wimbledon Common starting at 2pm. See below.
                                             Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday December 25th         Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in Bushy Park. 9am
 start (yes, really!)

 Saturday 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 - just turn up at the clubhouse
 in good time to collect a number.

 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 - as above, just turn up at the clubhouse
 to collect a number.

 Jo Turner writes:
 "Not long to go now before the party. We're having to turn late requests
 down but we have 110 people coming so it's going to be a pretty big party.
 The Turk's Head pub is on Winchester Road, St. Margarets and is an easy walk
 from that station or people can park in the surrounding streets. We would
 like people to get there at 7.30 for eating at 8pm. Can we also remind
 people that we want to see party clothes and a bit of dressing up. No sports
 wear! The bar will be open until 12". 

 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. Everyone, male or female, who
 can manage 7.7 miles will be more than welcome! This race incorporates the
 club 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
 immediately. Contact details above. Note that the start time for this event
 has been brought forward to 2pm to avoid losing any runners in the darkness!

 Entries have to be in soon for the Surrey county championships at Lloyd
 Park, Croydon on January 8th and the Southern Championships at Parliament
 Hill on January 29th. Again, anybody can run but you must be entered.
 Contact Andy or Anna if you're interested.

 Best of luck to Oxford University club captain Alice Beverly as she attempts
 to lead her troops to victory over their rivals from Cambridge on Wimbledon
 Common on Saturday.

 SURREY LADIES' LEAGUE DIVISION 1  Saturday 27th November at Kingston Gate
 (Richmond Park)
 First, the statistics. We finished 2nd today, 33 points behind Belgrave, and
 though we retain our overall lead it is now reduced to just 22 points. A
 little disappointing then? Not a bit of it. This was a really great
 performance from a severely depleted team. Of the five runners who
 registered such a comprehensive victory in the first race on Wimbledon
 Common, only one - Marie Synnott-Wells - crossed the finishing line today. A
 second, Allison O'Neill, had started but suffering from swollen glands she
 lasted barely half a lap. Of the others, Lauren Shelley is back in
 Australia, Jo Ronaldson is injured and Alice Beverly was on University duty. 

 But how well the rest rose to the challenge! Sarah Seal showed that she's
 almost back to top form by leading the team in 6th place - up from 28th in
 the first race. Marie finished 10th (up from 13th) with Sara Grosvenor not
 far behind in 14th (up from 31st). The pressure was then really on the final
 two scorers but Sally Piesse and Clare Gutch both responded brilliantly in
 25th and 29th respectively. Skipper Anna McLaughlin, herself returning from
 injury and much relieved not to be in the scoring five, led the rest. We had
 21 finishers altogether in what was probably a record field of 250 - 159
 first division and 91 second division. Our second five were well enough
 placed to take 13th place overall, 2nd B team and ahead of four A teams. 

 The third of the four League races is on our own course in the Park on
 January 15th. Anna's hoping to have some of the absentees back for this one
 and so stay on target for our first-ever senior Surrey League Division One

 It was good to see a crowd of Ranelagh vests in the junior races, several of
 the girls in their first League race. Our only runner in the combined U20
 and U17 race was Anair Beverly and she ran strongly as usual for 5th overall
 but 2nd U20.

 The U13s and U15s run together but they are separated out in the results.
 There was a great fight amongst our leading runners with Georgia Miansarow
 just coming out on top to take 13th place amongst the U13s. Victoria
 Elbourne and Rebecca Clayden were right behind, 18th and 20th in the U15s.
 Our youngest runner Amelie Hunton put in a great run half a minute behind
 the top three, just ahead of Emily Ball and Rhiannon Mehta. Emily was
 incorrectly listed as a U13 in the official results, so the team scores and
 positions for both the U13s and U15s are to be confirmed.

 SWEATSHOP SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION 1  Saturday 27th November on Wimbledon
 In contrast to the women, our men's team's lack of strength in depth at the
 moment was cruelly exposed in the second race of their League campaign. Even
 though we had David Benton over from Paris and he and Paul Doyle both ran
 splendidly to finish in the teens, the loss of Julian Smith and Nick
 Henderson to injury proved too big a handicap for us to be able to dig our
 way out of the hole we had fallen into in the first race. Indeed, the hole
 got deeper. We actually finished 7th today, one place better then in the
 first race thanks to Aldershot suprisingly failing to field a complete team;
 but they can hardly be expected to be so obliging again and against our main
 rivals Guildford and Reigate we lost more ground.

 After David in 14th and Paul in 18th there was a two-minute gap before our
 third man crossed the line, though that third man was one of the brighter
 points of an otherwise gloomy afternoon. This was Jordan Mungovan in 52nd
 place, the second junior to finish overall, an outstanding performance. A
 minute behind Jordan the rest of the scoring ten began to pour in headed by
 a strong run from Rob Stillwell, but they were all just too far down the
 field. A special mention for Seb Jones who made a good effort at mixing it
 with the top men in the early stages, even though this time he finally found
 himself passed by Rob, Mick Lane and the Captain. Marcus Gohar, Chris Owens
 and Adam Tapley completed the scorers.

 So with two races to go we remain in 8th place out of nine, with the bottom
 two to be relegated at the end of the season. We're sitting over 100 behind
 Aldershot and 165 behind Reigate. It'll be a tall order indeed to retrieve
 the situation but we'll keep on fighting and hope for better luck

 Dan Jermy and Matt Hirschler flew the Ranelagh flag in the junior race, both
 well placed in a field of 24. Dan was 2nd Under 17 home, less than half a
 minute behind the overall winner, and Matt was 5th Under 15.

 CHELMSFORD 10km  Sunday 21st November
 Mick Lane was 3rd over 40 in 34.48.

 RON WHEELER HANDICAP 2.75 miles  Wednesday 24th November at Wapping
 1 L Armitage (Kent) 18.50 (actual 13.20)
 8 Chris Read 19.20 (actual 16.35)

 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5Km  Friday 26th November in Hyde Park
 Pete Warren was the only Ranelagh runner this month and was 4th over 60 home
 in 20.09.

 BUSHY PARK 5Km TIME TRIAL  Saturday 27th November
 There were 26 finishers this week and a new course record from Aldershot and
 the Sweatshop's Kevin Quinn.
 1 K Quinn (AF&D) 16.10
 2 Simon Lawrence 20.04
 5 Darren Wood 21.04
 7 Roger Wilson 22.50
 10 Robin Drummond 23.41
 11 Luke Wilson 24.00
 12 Steve McClune 24.06
 13 Karen Broadbent 24.19
 16 Wally Garrod 25.22
 21 Gill Wilson 31.46

 KINGFIELD CANTER HANDICAP 2.85 miles  Wednesday 1st December at Woking
 1 J Harper (Unatt) 24.41  (actual time 22.41)
 10 Sonia Rowland 26.33  (actual time 20.33)
 13 Steve Rowland 26.48  (actual time 17.18)

 Robin Drummond is starting another series of "Improvers Sessions" on
 Thursday nights commencing on December 2nd. The sessions will concentrate on
 speed and technique and will start from the clubhouse at 7pm. See below for
 an outline of the first few weeks. Full details can be found on our web

 There is now also a regular Sunday morning long run from the clubhouse
 starting at 10am. It's a fairly small group at the moment but with a few
 more regular attenders we can introduce separate groups at different paces.
 Everyone welcome!

 As an alternative on Thursday nights, Margaret Auerback and Frances
 Ratchford are holding Strength and Conditioning coaching sessions at 7.30pm
 in the free-weights room at the gym at St Mary's College, Waldegrave Road.
 Coaching at the gym on other days is negotiable. For more information
 contact Frances at mailto:grapevineproductions@compuserve.com.

 Tuesday nights continue as normal, with speed work for various groups and
 Wally's beginners' club. The next few sessions for the "fast" group are
 shown below, full details on our web site.

 Don't forget Wednesdays too, 6.30pm at the clubhouse for a steady run in the

 Thursday sessions. Each also includes a steady run warm up and warm down.
 Dec 2nd   4 x bottom of Nightingale Lane, 1 x top of Nightingale Lane
 Dec 9th   2 sets of 3 x 60 secs  in Ranelagh Drive
 Dec 16th  4 x bottom of Nightingale Lane, 2 x top of Nightingale Lane

 Tuesday "fast group" sessions. Each also includes a steady run warm up and
 warm down
 Dec 7th   4 x 6 mins efforts
 Dec 14th  4 mins, 2 mins, 7 mins, 3 mins, 4 mins, 2 mins efforts
 Dec 21st  3 x 5 mins efforts, 3 x 3 mins efforts

 Deborah Young sends news of a study published in 'Nature' magazine:
 "Long-distance running may have been a driving force behind evolution of the
 modern human body, American researchers said. Humans began endurance running
 about 2 million years ago to help hunt for prey, influencing the development
 of the human body. Previous studies have suggested running was purely a
 by-product of walking.

 Without the development from running, humans would be much more like apes
 with shorter legs, smaller heads and a hunched posture, the scientists said.
 Important attributes for endurance running include skull structure to
 prevent over-heating, ligaments to give spring, long legs to increase stride
 length and independent head and shoulder movement to aid balance. The
 scientists said that because of natural selection, our ape-like ancestors
 known as Australophithecus, who were good at running, survived, while
 shorter-legged ancestors died out".