Newsdesk 2004

 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com

 *  Sarah Seal and Marie Synnott-Wells first and second in South of the
    Thames Championship
 *  Gold medals for Ranelagh women's team
 *  Junior Points Prize Race 2
 *  New Handicapper needed!

 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 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.  2.30pm start
 but you MUST report to the clubhouse by 1.45pm. 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
                                              Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in
 Bushy Park. 9am start

 Saturday January 22nd            Inter-club v Bank of England and others
 including the Hec Petersen Trophy v Ealing. 5 miles starting at 2.30pm in
 Richmond Park on the Bank of England's course from Roehampton Gate. HQ: Map
Ranelagh 5 km Time Trial in Bushy Park. 9am start 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 2.30pm but you must come to the clubhouse first by 1.45pm 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. NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS Saturday 19th February at Cofton Park, Birmingham The climax to every club runner's cross-country season! The entry deadline is not far away. Anyone can run and the club pays entry fees, so if you want to experience a "National" contact Andy or Anna before the end of the year. WHAT'S HAPPENED... **************************** SOUTH OF THE THAMES 7.5 MILES CHAMPIONSHIP Saturday 18th December on Wimbledon Common The second of the two South of the Thames races was in many respects a repeat of the first: supported by the same clubs, though with a few less runners, and featuring the same two leaders - with the difference that this time Jermaine Mays of Kent managed to get the better of Hercules Wimbledon's Ethiopian Dereje Kebede. Anna McLaughlin takes up the story: "7.5miles of cross country around Wimbledon Common is never going to be easy so it was with some trepidation that seven of the Ranelagh ladies lined up on Saturday afternoon for the start of the South of Thames Championships... after the rain of the previous week it was never going to be dry underfoot, but fortunately the three lap route managed to avoid the majority of the mud except for one particularly squelchy half mile. The race was held at the same time as the men, so it was never lonely out there(!) and from the off Sarah and Marie managed to battle their way into good front positions, a task which in some respects was not dissimilar to shopping in Oxford Street at Christmas! Running amazingly well all the way round (and round and round!) they both managed to maintain their leading places coming home in 1st and 2nd positions respectively... a fantastic result, which was backed up with the ladies team of six also bringing home the team gold! Congratulations to everyone that ran, it was a long way but thoroughly enjoyable!!" It was somewhat optimistic of the organisers to set the women's race as 6 to score, and Ranelagh was in fact the only club to muster more than four finishers. But with Sarah and Marie in the top two places and Anna herself 7th, we would have been hard to beat whatever the number to count. Sandra Foot, Michele Gibson and Louise Piears were all delighted to complete the scoring team, even if the gold medals have yet to appear. There was however an extra gold medal for Marie as the first over 35 to finish. Amongst the men, Paul Doyle was supposed to be in Wimbledon for shopping but managed to fit in a "tempo" training run which brought him home in 17th place. For good measure he ran two more laps! In a somewhat scratch team Andy Bickerstaff was our second man throughout while not far behind Andrew McLauchlan was galvanized into action every time Sarah caught him. Watching the action was Neil Walford and the scoring six was completed by Will Graves and Graham Quick. We finished 7th out of eleven clubs closing in. JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 2 Saturday 11th December 1.3 miles in Richmond Park Race 2 of this series was almost a repeat performance of race 1: Nadia Fiddler, Alex McKenna, Robert Curtis, Matt Hirschler and Dan Jermy all recorded their second straight wins, though all but Dan were harder pressed by their rivals this time. In the Under 13 girls' race Nadia was pushed all the way by Georgia Miansarow who improved by 26 seconds from the first event and actually ran faster than Nadia's time in race 1 - but Nadia herself was 12 seconds faster this time. Rachel Price, Amelie Hunton and Stephanie Croucher all followed within half a minute. It was a similar story with the Under 15s where another battle between Alex McKenna and Victoria Elbourne resulted in improved times for both of them, with Rebecca Clayden also quicker in 3rd place. Robert Curtis ducked inside the 9 minute barrier for the first time in the Under 13 boys ahead of newcomer Luke Penny and Luke Wilson, while in the Under 15s Matt Hirschler had Dan Jermy's brother Scott for company with David Ready another big improver in 3rd place. Dan himself was unopposed in the Under 17s. Full details of the scores to date can be found on our web site (http://www.ranelagh-harriers.com/results/041211pp.html). Unfortunately race 3 will NOT now be on 22nd January as originally planned, because the Surrey Schools championship is scheduled for the same date. The next race will be on February 28th. BUSHY PARK 5Km TIME TRIAL Saturday 18th December Twenty-two runners this week on a freezing morning. 1 J Desmond (Stragglers) 19.37 6 Darren Wood 21.24 7 Roger Wilson 21.31 8 Chris Read 21.48 9 Chris Hunton 23.24 10 Amelie Hunton 23.25 13 Karen Broadbent 24.23 14 Luke Wilson 24.47 17 Carol Barnshaw 25.36 18 Gill Wilson 25.52 19 George Coates 28.17 McLEOD CUP ***************** This is a winter season-long competition with points scored based on finishing positions in all Ranelagh club races. Full rules and current scores are on our web site (http://www.ranelagh-harriers.com/ranelaghstats/mcleod/mcleod1a.html) but the leaders after eight races are: Men: Marcus Gohar 784, Andy Bickerstaff 675, Mike Peace 595, Phil Aiken 490, Chris Owens 474, Will Graves 462 Women: Sonia Rowland 666, Corinne Bishop 633, Kathy Mallett 582, Michele Gibson 474, Sandra Foot 471, Sarah Seal 393 HANDICAPPER REQUIRED ******************************** Will Graves writes: "Your chance to help out! After several years (not as many as Ken though) of handicapping I have decided to hang up the club laptop and pass on the reins to someone new and hopefully more capable. As I have decided to leave the country (not because of my handicapping!) we will need to find a new Handicapper following the 2005 Baker Cup. Ideally someone might want to join me in producing both the Clutton and Baker Cup handicaps so that they can get a feel for the role. There are nine handicaps every year which require work produced for them and of these five require some on the spot handicapping for new runners and guests. The Thomas Cup, Page Cup, Henty Relay, Clutton Cup, Baker Cup and Coad Cup potentially all require on the spot work on the day of the race. The others - Hastings Cup Vets Sealed, Hugh Jones Salver [Ladies] Sealed and Wynne Cup Sealed do not require work on the day but the presence of a handicapper has been useful to clear up any minor issues. My methods (finger in the air and a particularly handy random number generator) currently mean that each handicap involves about 3 hours of work. I am available for any queries regarding the task on 020 8944 5948 and will be happy to discuss most things that do not give away too many handicapping secrets. I have really enjoyed handicapping and will certainly miss the excitement of watching the runners come through the line all at the same time". TRAINING ************ 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 session. 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 contact Frances at mailto:grapevineproductions@compuserve.com. Tuesday nights continue as normal, with speed work for various groups and Wally's beginners' club. 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 23rd 4 x 60 secs and 3 x 60 secs in Ranelagh Drive LONDON MARATHON 2005 Frances Ratchford writes: "Congratulations to everyone who got places in the marathon. If you need any coaching or help I am more than happy to coach you as my specialism is the marathon distance. It doesn't mean that you have to leave your coaching group on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, that will be incorporated into my training schedule for you. If you want help or advice or a training schedule then contact me by email (mailto:grapevineproductions@compuserve.com) or at the club on Tuesdays". LONDON MINI-MARATHON 2005 The trials for the Richmond team to take part in the London Mini-Marathon will take place in Richmond Park on Sunday 6th February. The 5km Mini-Marathon takes place on part of the London Marathon course on the marathon day itself, Sunday 17th April. Competitors must be aged between 11 and 17 on April 17th and to represent Richmond you must either live or go to school in the borough. There are four races in the trial - girls 13-17 at 9.30am, boys 13-17 at 10am, girls 11-12 at 10.30am and boys 11-12 at 11am. Entry forms are in the clubhouse or can be obtained from the Sports Development Team, Regal House (1st floor), London Road, Twickenham TW1 3QB. FINALLY Anthony Eady and Mike Rowland both wrote in response to last week's "Finally" which featured a claim for a world record for overtaking runners in the course of a marathon - 9,150 by two late-starting Ethiopians in this year's Berlin race. They recall a charity run by British international Ian Thompson in the 1989 London Marathon, where he deliberately started at the back of the field and was sponsored for the number of runners he could pass. The total was 19,489...