**************************************************************************** RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 166 19 JANUARY 2005 Editor: Steve Rowland mailto: email@example.com **************************************************************************** HEADLINE NEWS * Surrey League - women's team beaten by Belgrave but still leading overall * Surrey League - men's team rallies but still in relegation zone * Valentine's Day Ball * Alf Pearce obituary WHAT'S COMING... ************************ 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: firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Phil Aiken (07739 035189 / mailto: email@example.com ) or Anna McLaughlin (07971 606521 / mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org ). Saturday January 22nd Inter-club v Bank of England and others including the Hec Petersen Trophy v Ealing. Ranelagh Bushy Park Time Trial 5km. 9am start Saturday January 29th South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill Ranelagh Bushy Park Time Trial 5km. 9am start Saturday February 5th Pelling Ratcliff Cup Mob Match v Blackheath Harriers at Hayes (Kent). See below. Ranelagh Bushy Park Time Trial 5km. 9am start Sunday February 6th London Mini-Marathon trials for Richmond's team in Richmond Park. See below. Saturday February 12th Surrey League Division One final fixtures - men at Coulsdon, women at Ewell. Ranelagh Bushy Park Time Trial 5km. 9am start INTER-CLUB incl HEC PETERSEN TROPHY Saturday 22nd January in Richmond Park Your chance to race over some different bits of the Park. This is 5 miles starting at 2.30pm on the Bank of England's course from Roehampton Gate. All welcome. MOB MATCH v BLACKHEATH & BROMLEY HARRIERS & AC for the Pelling-Ratcliff Cup Saturday 5th February at 2.30pm. This is the last of our 2004/2005 mob matches. Above all else, mob matches are all about which club can get the most runners to the starting (and finishing!) line. So we need as many Ranelagh Harriers as possible to turn up for a seven and a half mile multi-terrain run through the Kent countryside. It really doesn't matter if you're fast or slow. The Blackheath HQ is in Bourne Way, close to the junction of the A2022 and A232 and near Hayes station. Note that's Hayes in Kent, not Middlesex!. The start is at 2.30pm but note it's a 10 mins jog from the clubhouse. If you're late, go straight there. We will be running a free mini-bus from the Ranelagh clubhouse leaving at 12.15pm and returning after the post-race tea. Please use it! It would be helpful (but not vital) if you could let Andy Bickerstaff know if you're likely to make use of this (contact details above). SOUTH OF ENGLAND CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS Saturday 29th January at Parliament Hill Easiest access is by rail from Richmond to Gospel Oak station, which is literally within sight of the start. 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. VALENTINE'S DAY BALL Marina Quayle writes: "Jo and I have decided that we need another party to cheer everbody's winter blues so we are organising a Valentine's Day Ball at the Turk's Head on Friday 11th February from 7pm to 11pm. There will be an entry fee of £5 at the door. We will hire a DJ or band and will ask people to bring finger food as we do not want a sitting down meal this time and the pub does not provide buffet food. If anybody knows a DJ or band who would be interested in playing that night, please contact me (mailto:email@example.com) or Jo (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). The dress code will be: smart dress essential, ladies in red and gentlemen in black". WHAT'S HAPPENED... **************************** SURREY LADIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE Saturday 15th January in Richmond Park Anna McLaughlin reports: "Congratulations to everyone who ran on Saturday, it was a great team result with everyone improving on their performances from last time! We had 13 runners lining up on the start line for this fast and furious race over near perfect conditions and from the off it was obvious that it was going to be a tight battle with Belgrave. Sarah Seal led the Ranelagh contingent from the front, quickly settling into her fantastic final finishing position of 5th closely followed behind by Alice Beverly who managed to finish just ahead of the 2nd Belgrave scorer. Next home on the scoring A team was Marie Synnott-Wells who managed to keep ahead of the final two Belgrave scorers, who sadly just finished ahead of the very strong running from Estelle Damant and Sara Grosvenor. Overall on the day we were the 2nd team by just 5 points but still holding onto our lead at the top of the league. However, it is now all very tight for the last match of the season with there only being 17 points between us and Belgrave to claim that coveted top spot so please mark in big bold letters in your diary, Saturday February 12th - Surrey League XC, West Ewell, 12:30pm!" Just to underline that last paragraph - Ranelagh has never won a senior Surrey League Division One title, male or female. If we can hang on to that slender lead it will be a historic triumph. Let's give the team the best support we can on February 12th, either by running - it would be great to have a big crowd of blue vests in the field - or by lining the course to make sure they get no chance to rest! It's a 12.30pm start for the senior women's race. More details of the exact venue when I have them, but as Anna says, put the date in your diary now! Let's not overlook in the excitement that we had some juniors running hard too, including Anna Mallett in her first Surrey League race. Georgia Miansarow joined Anna in the Under 13s and finished a strong 14th while in the Under 15s Victoria Elbourne, Emily Ball and Rhiannon Mehta all finished in good mid-field positions. SWEATSHOP SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION ONE Saturday 15th January on Wimbledon Common Mike Peace reports: "And so the day of reckoning. Would the amassed Ranelagh ranks (20+) in the sunshine of Wombly Common be good enough to keep our hopes alive. Would the opposition reveal a chink in their running talent (that's a weakness not a nationality). Changed and warmed-up on a balmy (or was that just Phil'n Andy) Saturday afternoon the greens and golds (foliage) of the common invited us to run ...... even without numbers; well-done Matt who ran the whole junior race without his for an excellent 5th. Could the seniors emulate this WITH our numbers on. Well some of us ran. Dave Benton (merci beaucoup) couru tres bien et fini kilometres a tete de touts les autres Ranelites mais seconde de Paul Doyle, superbe coureur extraordinaire sur le jour. Some of us spoke Greek and ran a Corinthian, nay Athenian, race and some of us just swore at each other and plodded round. Capt Bix reckoned it was the best we could do and those of us with maths degrees added, subtracted and accumulated scores well into the night; well evening at least, via tea at Julian 'n Sarah's (great rock cakes), beer at The Swan, dinner 'n more beer in Twickenham (amongst Irish moonies) and more beer 'n rock music in the Red Lion. So, well-done to the Girls in their League race, thanks to the girls for their support and encouragement for the boys, esp. Sarah, Sonia, Alison 'n Annie who cheered us all on. The boys .. well we're still working out the maths .. sacre bleu ... nous esperons. Voyez les resultats". Paul "call me Popeye" Doyle's run was certainly his best ever over the country and he added a whole hatful of scalps to his growing collection - one of them David Benton, beaten by a fellow RH for the first time in several seasons. David still made the top 20 in a classy field and Julian Smith did his best to do the same. Abandoning his usal slow start tactics J blasted off and paid the penalty by losing some ground in the closing stages. Unfortunately he took Jordan Mungovan with him and Jordan suffered even more. But this was another highly promising run from Jordan and he was the first Under 20 to finish. The dependable Marcus and Mick were 5th and 6th for Ranelagh and Captain Bix, Rob, Peter and Chris completed the scoring ten just ahead of new man James Corbett. It was a very encouraging sign to have 27 Ranelagh men taking part. Team-wise we finished 6th but gained only a little ground on Aldershot and Reigate and remain adrift in 8th place overall with just the last race - at Coulsdon on February 12th - to come. GORING AND WOODCOTE 10km Sunday 9th January Alice Beverly writes: "I did a 10km the day after the Surrey Champs, as I was a bit annoyed with my performance. I won in 39.20 (by my watch), a bit disappointing, but I blame the very hilly course, which seemed to add a good 90 seconds to everybody's times... excuses, excuses!" Alice's time was officially 39.22, which places her 21st on the Ranelagh all-time list. 1 Sam Aldridge (Reading) 33.19 12 Alice Beverly 39.22 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km Saturday 15th January Fighting 50s Steve and Stephen spent the race desperately trying to burn each other off, both in the certain knowledge that the two young men jogging effortlessly along beside them would leave them for dead as soon as they knew the way home! There was a record field of 33 starters and 31 finishers, including Luke Wilson celebrating his 11th birthday. Rachel Rowan was the first woman home. 1 Shane McDermott (Raheny) 19.16 3 Stephen Instone 19.29 4 Steve Rowland 19.42 5 Jonny Rowan 20.18 6 Rachel Rowan 20.34 11 Sam Hunton 21.48 14 Amelie Hunton 22.22 15 Chris Hunton 22.22 20 Jo Turner 24.32 23 Wally Garrod 24.57 25 Luke Wilson 27.07 26 Gill Wilson 27.08 29 Holly Wilson 30.08 CABBAGE PATCH BOXING DAY RUN Sunday 26th December Terry Marks was the leading over 60. 1 D Huck (WSEH) 22.30 25 Terry Marks 28.41 53 Caitlin Limmer 38.30 SUSSEX CHAMPIONSHIPS Saturday 8th January at Bexhill Neil Walford finished 39th on the 7.5 miles course in 51.56. TRAINING ************ Tough Tuesdays continue as normal, with speed work for various groups (next few sessions below) and Wally's beginners' club. Full details on our web site. 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 forthcoming sessions. 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:email@example.com. Also Wednesdays at 6.30pm and Sundays at 10am at the clubhouse for a steady run in the Park. Tuesday sessions. Each also includes a steady run warm up and warm down. Jan 25th 8 x 90secs on Holly Lodge hill plus 4 x 30 secs Feb 1st 3 x 5 mins, 3 x 3 mins Feb 8th 4 x Nightingale Lane bottom, 3 x Richmond Hill, 3 x Nightingale Lane bottom Feb 15th 2 x 3 x 4 mins efforts Thursday sessions. Each also includes a steady run warm up and warm down. Jan 20th 3 x 3 x 60 secs in Ranelagh Drive PARIS MARATHON Sunday 10th April A sizeable group of Ranelagh Harriers is heading for Paris in the Spring, either for the marathon or for the shopping! They are staying at the Hotel Baudelaire, 12 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, a ten minutes metro trip from the start. Most are planning to travel by Eurostar on the Saturday morning, returning on Sunday night or Monday. Others are welcome to join the party - contact Simon Burrell for more info (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). THE PERFECT RACE Dave Powell writes: "If anyone has a few quid left after Christmas, or a spare book token looking for a home, I recommend getting your hands on a copy of "The Perfect Race - Ovett and Coe", by former Times and FT athletics writer Pat Butcher, if you haven't already done so. It's a simply unputdownable account of the lives of Steve Ovett and Seb Coe on and off the track - the world records, the family dramas, the training, the rows with the press and of course the epic battles in the Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics and elsewhere. It's all there. Pat Butcher saw much of it and has tracked down the training partners, coaches, family and friends of the two champions, everyone - including other great runners, like Thomas Wessinhage and Steve Scott, that were unlucky enough to reach the pinnacle of their careers in the years when these two very different Englishmen were setting new standards in middle distance running. But it's not just hero worship. Butcher is critical of the pair's use of pacemakers to set many of their world records: a development he sees as corrupting the free competition of racing where all compete to win. And so other heroes emerge from the book. Particularly Filbert Bayi of Tanzania, who ran from the front in the 1974 Commonwealth Games 1500 to beat world record holder John Walker and take nearly a second off the old record. It can still be done from the front without paid assistants to pull you round, he argues. This is thoughtful analysis of the issues our sport faces as well as a gripping evocation of the terrors and triumphs of racing at the top level. I challenge any runner to read it without a quickening of the heart and the odd tear. But be careful if you read it on the train. You could go way past your stop". ALF PEARCE Alf died late on Wednesday 12th January after a long illness. He was 87 and with his death Ranelagh loses one of its oldest and most popular members. Always a livewire, ready for a voluble but friendly discussion over a pint, ready to prick any pomposity, Alf was - to use an overworked term - a "character". It is ironic but quite appropriate that a reference to Alf's success in club handicap races appeared in the e-news sent out just a few hours before his death, for it is as a handicap specialist that he will be best remembered in the club records. Over 52 years of membership he achieved an unparalleled total of eight handicap wins, when most members think themselves lucky if the handicapper smiles on them once. Three second places and four thirds complete his tally. Alf was born in 1917 and originally ran with Thames Valley Harriers. After Dave Braybrook, with whom Alf had served in the Royal Navy, had switched allegiance from TVH to Ranelagh, Alf followed his example in 1953. He started as he meant to continue with a win in the Baker Cup three miles handicap at the end of his first season. His time of 16.51 was fourth fastest of the day. In complete contrast in May 1954 he won the club's own 20 miles road race, at that time held over a three lap course in Richmond Park, after a sprint finish in a record time of 2.10.52. "It must be almost unique in the history of the club," wrote the Gazette correspondent, "for the holder of the Baker Cup to go on and win the 20 mile road race eight weeks later". One month further on Alf beat three hours for the Polytechnic Marathon. He was a keen road runner and recorded 58.39 for 10 miles in 1957 and was still able to run as fast as 64.41 in 1970. "Alf seems to be getting faster with age," reported the Gazette. A week later Alf won the Thomas Cup handicap for the third time, ten years after the second of two consecutive wins, another feat almost unique in the club's annals. The joint handicappers are reported to have resigned! Alf also competed regularly over the country, featuring in our championship teams up to the mid-1960s. He was the inaugural winner in 1957 of the club veterans' championship and although never able to match that success he placed frequently until the late 1960s. He often led the Ranelagh contingent in the Veterans Mob Match. An accident at work may have permanently affected his health but he continued to run when he could and recorded his last handicap win - the Thomas Cup yet again - at the age of 70 in 1987. His final club races were in 1990 but he continued occasionally to take part in the monthly Hammersmith handicap races near his home almost up to his 80th birthday. Latterly he would help at the water stations in our road races and perhaps his last appearance at the clubhouse was in October 2003 when he was presented with an engraved tankard to mark fifty years of membership. "I backed a winner fifty years ago," he said. Our condolences go to Alf's two daughters. The funeral will take place at 10am on Tuesday 25th January at St Teresa's Child of Jesus Church, Boniface Walk, Harrow. Would anyone planning to attend please contact Alan Hedger (tel 01372 740626).