Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com
 *  Ranelagh wins the Stubbs Cup mob match
 *  Paul Doyle wins the Wynne Cup club championship
 *  Christmas Party swings
 *  London Marathon ballot result 

 Sorry for the delay in listing new members recently, but belated welcomes to
 the following:
 Ina Pontoppidan, Rhiannon Lewis, Roger Wilson, Gill Wilson, Luke Wilson,
 Holly Wilson, Bruno Wilson-Betancor, Amelie Hunton, Christopher Hunton.

 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 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!)

 Sunday December 26th           Social run in Richmond Park.  11am from the

 Monday December 27th           Henty Relay in Richmond Park.  2pm start but
 you MUST report to the clubhouse by 1.30pm. See below.

 Saturday January 1st               Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in Bushy Park.
 9am start

 Saturday January 8th               Surrey County Championships at Lloyd
 Park, Croydon
                                              Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday January 15th             Surrey League Division One - men on
 Wimbledon Common, women in Richmond Park

 SOUTH OF THE THAMES 7.5 MILES CHAMPIONSHIP   Saturday 18th December on
 Wimbledon Common
 We are running men's and women's teams in this event over a three lap course
 starting at 2pm. The start is right by the horse ride near Cannizaro Road
 (where the arrow is here...
  ). Race HQ, toilets etc
 are at Belgrave Hall in Denmark Road (at the bottom of the map). Entries
 have already been made but if anybody else fancies a run contact Andy or
 Julian Smith adds:
 "After the South of Thames on Saturday everyone is invited back to 14b
 Lansdowne Road for tea, mince pies and mulled wine, and anything else I can
 find lying around...". Press the "move south" button on the map to find
 Lansdowne Road.

 HENTY RELAY  Monday 27th December  1.3 miles laps in Richmond Park
 This is our Christmas fun relay, the opportunity to run off all that turkey
 and alcohol (as if...). All are welcome, including guests and juniors - the
 course is the same as for the Junior Points Prize, one lap of Sidmouth Wood.
 Teams of three are made up on the day, comprising one "fast", one "medium"
 and one "slow". For each team the fast runner has to cover a total of three
 laps, the medium two and the slow runs just one lap. The race will start at
 2pm but you must come to the clubhouse first by 1.30pm at the latest. This
 is to allow the teams to be formed up. Please don't go straight to the
 start, you might not get into a team.

 22 names went into the hat at the Christmas party on Friday night and the
 lucky five who have won places in the Marathon are Stephen Roberts, Chris
 Read, Tim Woolmer, Crispin Willis and Celia Beverly. Step up that training!

 NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday 19th February at Cofton Park,
 It seems a long time ahead, but the entry deadline is not far away. Anyone
 can run, so if you want to experience a "National" - and it IS an
 experience - contact Andy or Anna straight away.

 The capacious function room at the Turk's Head in St Margarets was full to
 bursting on Friday night and, I suspect, their kitchens were stretched to
 the limit to serve us all! But the food was good, the wine flowed freely and
 so did the dancers. Many thanks to Jo Turner and Marina Quayle for their
 marvellous organisation and to David and Howard Rowntree for providing the
 The numbers in attendance led some to suggest that in future the Christmas
 Party should be on Saturday afternoon in Richmond Park...with the small
 condition that you have to run 7.7 miles first. Instead, some of us were
 just a little bleary-eyed for... 

 miles in Richmond Park
 "This Saturday will be the tenth consecutive win by South London against
 Ranelagh" forecast Computer Ken on our web site. Having the Christmas Party
 the night before might have seemed part of a cunning strategy to ensure that
 we would indeed lose, but if so it failed. 45 Ranelagh Harriers formed our
 Saturday afternoon mob - not a brilliant turnout, but OK and well in excess
 of South London's 27. Some may have been feeling the worse for wear but it
 was a fine afternoon for a run in the Park.

 SLH's star turn Stuart Major confided to Paul Doyle before the start that he
 felt he needed a hard run, and Paul reports that Stuart was disappearing
 into the distance down Queen's Ride before he had even woken up. Once he got
 going Paul lost little more ground but Stuart ran home the clear winner and
 Paul finished equally isolated in 2nd place. More importantly for Paul,
 though, was that he will now put his name for the first time on the Wynne
 Cup as club champion, after finishing third two seasons ago and second last
 year. Congratulations - certainly a just reward for a lot of hard work. 
 Marcus Gohar and Mick Lane were as reliable as ever in 5th and 6th places
 and Chris Owens and Simon Austen - in his last race before returning to
 Melbourne - also made the top ten, just ahead of Peter Weir, a jetlagged
 Captain Bicks and debutant James Corbett.

 We were scoring 24 a side, and SLH unfortunately lost three of their
 starters during the race, meaning that every one of their finishers had to
 score. We lost one or two ourselves, including John Herries who must have
 set some kind of record by dropping out injured after about 500 metres. SLH
 almost literally lost another as the man in 3rd place behind Major and Doyle
 contrived to run off course. Given the quality of the sawdust trail laid
 down by Chief Scout Drummond (he even raked a path through the fallen leaves
 to ensure the trail wouldn't disappear), this took some doing!

 We were fairly evenly matched but when the maths was done it was Ranelagh
 who came out ahead, 554 points to 642, and the Captain was duly presented
 with the Stubbs Cup. Well done everybody!
 The sealed handicap went by the proverbial street to Bill Harvey, professing
 himself puzzled as to what he had done to deserve such a generous allowance.
 Peter Weir and Gareth Davies filled the minor places.

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 2  Saturday 11th December  1.3 miles in Richmond
 Sorry to say I don't yet have the results of this. There seemed to be a good
 crowd of juniors present and those of us plodding around in the mob match
 much appreciated the support they gave us as we completed our first lap and
 at the finish. Results and report will follow as soon as I receive them.

 REGENT'S PARK 10km  Sunday 5th December
 Phil Aiken ducked inside 40 mins, only to find himself absent from the
 results! On appeal...
 1 S Barrett (Serpentine) 33.42
 38 Phil Aiken 39.53
 45 Steve Rowland 40.09
 60 Bill Harvey 41.55
 219 Michelle Harvey 58.37

 BUSHY PARK 5Km TIME TRIAL  Saturday 11th December
 Paul Sinton-Hewitt officiated in style, still dinner-jacketed from the
 Christmas party the night before. And it wasn't just your bleary eyes Paul -
 it really was foggy! Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot was undeterred by the
 conditions and massacred the women's course record.
 1 R Simms (Unatt) 17.02
 2 V Cheruiyot (Kenya) 17.52
 4 Darren Wood 19.56
 11 Gill Wilson 25.10

 Andy Bickerstaff reports:
 "'Are you feeling Hot Hot Hot'...whoever sang that terrible record has a lot
 to answer for if you ever visit Barbados 'cos from the moment you land it
 gets played every day all day. However if you do any running there it can
 feel quite appropriate.

 A quick seven day visit to the 'Island in the Sun' happened to coincide with
 the 'Run Barbados Weekend' so I foolishly decided a 10k would be in order.
 Deciding to run was my first mistake as an administrative cock-up meant I
 got entered for the Half Marathon instead. This was run at 5:30am the day
 after I landed. Starting in the dark at 26 degrees Centigrade I would have
 prefered to join the locals still celebrating Saturday night in the rum
 shack next to the start. Still I jogged conservatively off the line with 200
 other fools and one or two who knew what they were doing. 

 Passing 9k in something under 35 mins I was beginning to feel - you guessed
 it - Hot Hot Hot. Finishing time was 1:28 for 21st place. I dont think Hugh
 Jones was impressed: 'You can survive up to 10k pretty well here but longer
 gets difficult'. Ummm you don't say. As many time past winner and legend on
 the Island he should have added 'for you anyway!' 

 Thanks to Lana for getting up early to watch me run past and meet me at end.
 Thanks to Hugh for marking what was a nice course - just too far, too road,
 too early, too jetlagged, and Too Hot". 

 1 J Kamau (Kenya) 68.16
 21 Andy Bickerstaff 88.00 

 SOUTHERN INTER-COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP  Saturday 11th December at Stowe School
 Sarah Seal and Estelle Damant were members of the second-placed Surrey team.
 Estelle was 13th finisher in the associated Under 23s event.
 1 D Appleton (Essex) 23.53
 36 Sarah Seal 26.30
 47 Estelle Damant 27.16

 Robin Drummond's  "Improvers Sessions" continue on Thursday nights at 7pm
 from the clubhouse, concentrating on speed and technique. See below for an
 outline of the next few weeks. Full details can be found on our web site. 

 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 see
 below or 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.

 Also Wednesdays at 6.30pm and Sundays at 10am at the clubhouse for a steady
 run in the Park.

 Thursday sessions. Each also includes a steady run warm up and warm down.
 Dec 16th  4 x bottom of Nightingale Lane, 2 x top of Nightingale Lane
 Dec 23rd  4 x 60 secs and 3 x 60 secs in Ranelagh Drive

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

 Marcus Gohar adds:
 "You may find this interesting although some of you may have seen it before.
 It relates to canoeing but the same principles of course apply to running
 and all middle and long distance sports:

 Frances Ratchford writes:
 "Here are the frequently asked questions posed by runners about Olympic/free
 weight lifting:

 What are the benefits?  What will it do for me as a runner?  Won't I get big
 muscles?  Are there any other benefits other than stronger legs?    How do I
 get started?  Why train with free weights when I already use the machines?

 Let's tackle the easy questions first.
 Margaret Auerback & Frances Ratchford are both qualified coaches and they
 will work with you at St Mary's gym on a Thursday evening after 7.30.  They
 will teach the techniques so you can lift weights safely and effectively.
 If you ask nicely they can meet you there at other days and times during the
 week or weekend. The benefits of free weights:
 Your legs will get stronger very quickly so those hills will seem easier.
 Strong legs are necessary for endurance events, like the marathon.
 Core strength will be improved and to be more efficient as a runner and much
 faster you need core strength. Olympic lifting also needs good posture,
 posture control is vital aspect of successful athletics.
 Olympic lifts recruit the body stabilisers, something machines do not.
 Your upper body strength will also improve; stronger arms again mean a more
 efficient and faster running style.
 No matter what your age, research has shown that weight lifting increases
 bone density and strength, an important consideration especially for women.
 Weight lifting increases your metabolic rate, so you may find yourself
 getting slimmer!
 Olympic lifts are more closely related to athletic action.  All athletic
 events require an expression of a force against the ground. So do most
 Olympic lifts.
 Muscle groups can be isolated.
 Olympic lifts improve flexibility, the more flexible the runner the more
 efficient and faster.
 Olympic lifts will not make you bulky because the training programme
 emphasises lots of repetitions and low weights.
 And finally ghastly Nightingale Lane will seem like a molehill after Olympic

 Ruth Morrison of the University of London writes:
 "Just a quick call for assistance. As part of my job I am trying to find
 people who work in sport or health who would be interested in speaking to
 London school children about careers in their chosen area as part of a
 health/sport roadshow. If you are interested in finding out more please
 contact me on ruth.morrison@ulu.lon.ac.uk or the tel number below.

 Ruth Morrison
 Sports Development Officer
 University of London Union
 Malet St
 London, WC1E 7HY

 Tel: 020 7664 2008

 ...writes from Australia:
 "Just wanted to say hello from Down Under as the year draws to a close. Yes
 I'm still here and you'll be pleased to know getting back to good running
 fitness after a year of a couple of injuries. First a knee reconstruction in
 the early part of this year curtailing running and skiing. Then I had a dirt
 bike accident and busted my shoulder so running was curtailed there. I'm
 getting back into it and loving it. Not got any races planned as yet. We are
 in summer now and no-one runs much here then. Except die hards like me.
 Everyone else is surfing and enjoying the beach. Great to read the results
 emails and see how well everyone is doing. 

 Please say hi to everyone at the club. I hope to get over to see you all
 next year which for me would be quite exciting. Maybe even run with you
 again on a run".

 'Athletics International' reports:
 "Terefe Yae and Shimeles Molla, two Ethiopian runners in this year's Berlin
 Marathon, were unable to get to the elite start line in time and, caught up
 in the massed ranks, took over 19 minutes for the first 5k and 16 min for
 the second. They then covered the next 10k in 30:24 and eventually finished
 26th and 27th in 2:17:29 and 2:17:33. The organisers claim that Yae and
 Molla probably hold the world record for passing the most runners in a
 marathon ... 9,150!"