Newsdesk 2006

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 208                1 March 2006
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com  
 *  Best-ever 7th place for our women's team in the 'National'
 *  Jo Ronaldson and Anna McLaughlin both in the top 50
 *  Peter Haarer just outside the top 100 in the men's race
 *  Good performances from the juniors
 *  Hec Petersen Trophy and final Junior Points Prize races this Saturday
 *  MABAC League in Richmond Park on Sunday

 HEC PETERSEN TROPHY  Saturday 4th March in Richmond Park
 An opportunity to have a blast round one lap of our mob match course. That's
 about 3.83 miles according to Ken. All are welcome, the start is at 3pm.

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE FINAL RACE  Saturday 4th March in Richmond Park
 Frances Ratchford writes:
 "4th March is the last Junior Points Prize race. The race starts at 2pm so
 either collect your numbers at the clubhouse before 1.45pm or up at the
 start by the woods.
 After the race there will be a tea for all competitors and their families
 and prize giving at the clubhouse. Remember that everyone who has run at
 least three races will receive a certificate".

 MABAC LEAGUE  Sunday 5th March in Richmond Park
 Bev Ali writes:
 "What is a MABAC? 
 MABAC is a cross country league consisting of 12 running clubs (including
 Epsom Odballs, Wimbledon Windmilers, Dorking and Mole Valley AC, Runnymede
 Runners and the Long Distance Walking Association, to name a few local
 groups), that organises races once a month for its members at different
 locations in Surrey. It also holds two 'open' events each year that are used
 to fund the other races. 

 Each participating club is responsible for organising one race per year. The
 next race is in Richmond Park, which is not only convenient for Ranelagh
 members, it is Ranelagh's race! And, no, I am not asking for volunteers!
 Just, please, if you are so inclined, come and try it out. I am of the
 opinion that quite a few of the regulars are using these races at least
 partly as training runs for the Surrey League. As you can imagine from the
 list of participating clubs (Ranelagh included) there are bound to be some
 very competitive Surrey League runners at the front - BUT there are also
 many more of varying speeds streaming off behind them. There are no trophies
 to be won, so there is no pressure to perform. At the last race, Pat and I
 had to stop a few times to avoid frightening the horses, and to admire the

 It costs nothing to enter. All numbers are given out on the day, so there is
 no need to book ahead and all races (except the two open events) are cross
 country in different, scenic parts of Surrey. The races are a nominal 5
 miles long - 'country miles' I am told. two laps of approximately 2.5 miles.
 The idea is that walkers, juniors, joggers or less than fighting fit runners
 can opt to do one lap while still earning points for their respective
 clubs - it is somewhat like a year long mob match with all runners counting! 

 The race on the 5th March will start across the road from the Broomfield
 Hill Car Park (between Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Gate) - not the Isabella
 car park as previously reported - at 11 am on Sunday - please try to arrive
 by 10:30 for collecting numbers. Hope to see you there!" 

 Our club 20 miles road championship will be with the Finchley 20 at Ruislip
 on Sunday 12th March.  

 The popular MABAC League Cranleigh 21 miles road race (with a 15 miles
 alternative) on Sunday 26th March is full up. Entries closed.

 The ASICS Kingston Breakfast runs ( 8 or 16 miles) are on Sunday 2nd April.
 On April 9th is the Reading Half Marathon. 

 The Ranelagh Road Grand Prix will kick off with the Thames Towpath 10 miles
 which is also on Sunday 9th April. 

 Dave Locke writes from Australia:
 "The Ranelagh Gazette report for the July '66 Belgrave 20 starts: 'The day
 was overcast but the conditions for running were near perfect'. And so they

 Graham Taylor from Cambridge Harriers became the first man, as far as I
 know, to crack the 1hr 40 barrier for a 20 mile road race, running 1.39.48.
 Also memorable was that the Ranelagh A and B teams headed by Ian Macintosh
 collected the 'gold' and 'bronze' medals due to some cunning team selection! 

 As for marathon preparation, I had the misfortune to read Chris Brasher's
 article in the Observer about 'carbo loading' a few weeks before a 'Maxol'
 marathon in the early '70s. For the first three days of the week before the
 race no carbohydrates but only foods rich in protein [plus some vegatables
 and fruit] were to be consumed, with training to be carried on as normal.
 Then for the last 3 or 4 days no more protein just lashings of carbos. I
 fronted up on the day still feeling a bit drained and ran another mediocre
 2.34. A couple of days later in an elite orienteering event somewhere on the
 North Downs between Redhill and Reigate, with numerous controls alternating
 at the top and bottom of the scarp, I had boundless energy!" 

 Marcus Gohar comes back:
 "The two occasions on which I did the Finchley 20 I tried to run much too
 fast and crashed out on the last lap. I finished on nine minute miles and
 could hardly walk to the changing room. However, after a few days of easy
 training I was running better than before". 

 Alan Craig does not plan to continue as Club House Manager after this
 summer's AGM, so we are looking for a volunteer. Alan has prepared a job

 Main Aim
 To maintain the club house in good condition for the benefit of club members
 now and for the future. 

 Main Duties
 To develop service contracts for the regular maintenance and adhoc repair of
 the building, grounds and mechanical and electrical services.
 Advise the Committee of day to day costs and future expenditure for
 replacement plant, cyclical maintenance and redecoration.
 Improve the club facilities. 

 Ideally someone who is personable and positive who can engage others in the
 club to be involved and enthusiastic about improving the club house.
 Technical expertise is not essential, although practical skills would be
 Enjoys managing projects.
 Good at organizing and managing. 

 Projects in the Pipeline
 New kitchen.
 Landscaping the lawn for vehicular access.
 New gas supply.
 Replacing boundary fencing. 

 Please contact any committee member if you are interested. 

 Thanks to Pete Mulholland, Ranelagh has a good spread in the April 2006
 edition of 'Running Fitness' magazine. The story is the re-union of the
 Centenary match team 25 years on, complete with 'before' and 'after'

 The latest 'Reality TV' show to grace our screens is 'Run For Glory'.  To
 quote the BBC web site: "13 people from around the country volunteer to
 train for the gruelling 26.2 mile London Marathon in just six months. This
 is a huge undertaking. Not only are they unfit, many are battling personal
 traumas from cancer to disabling road accidents. World class athletes Sally
 Gunnell and Steve Cram are their tough coaches. But will they make it?" 

 I have to wonder what Sally Gunnell knows about marathon running, but we'll
 let that pass...it begins this Thursday (March 2nd) at 7pm on BBC1. 

 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 4th March       Hec Petersen Trophy inter-club 6km race in Richmond
 Park. 3pm start.
                                    Junior Points Prize final race in
 Richmond Park.  2pm start. Followed by prize presentations.
                                     Bushy Park Time Trial  5km. 9am start. 

 Sunday 5th March         MABAC League 5 miles in Richmond Park. See above. 

 Saturday 11th March     Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap in Richmond Park.
 2.30pm start.
                                     Bushy Park Time Trial  5km. 9am start.
 Sunday 12th March       Finchley 20 miles road race at Ruislip, including
 Spendlove Cup club championship. 

 Saturday 18th March     Ranelagh Cup Schools Race in Richmond Park. 2.30pm

 NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday 25th February at Parliament
 Anna McLaughlin writes:
 "Wow what a weekend, it was cold, it was windy, there were hills and there
 was mud, but this did not seem to deter the Ranelagh ladies that braved the
 conditions at Parliament Hill for the National XC Champs on Saturday!  

 Having run around the course as a warm up we knew that it was going to be
 muddy in patches, but I don't think any of us had factored in just how foot
 sucking the mud was... for those of you who have never been, the xc course
 at Parliament Hill starts straight up a hill and once you are at the top,
 you run straight back down the other side... a mad start when combined with
 nearly 500 runners but it makes quite a spectacle for all those that are not
 running!  After that it is a mix of mud, hills, hills, mud and possible one
 flat bit, but I may have imagined that bit x 2!! 

 Sadly the Parliament Hill curse once again struck and Liz Kipling had to
 drop out mid way through as the combination of the hills and mud was playing
 havoc with her Achilles.  But the rest of us madly stuck with the task and
 finished in an absolutely FANTASTIC 7th place in the team competition!!  In
 fact all of our first four runners finished in the top eighty. Which I think
 if I have got my history right, makes it the most successful team result
 EVER for Ranelagh... :-)  Congratulations to everyone that ran on the day
 and thank you to everyone that came along and supported and cajoled us

 Jo Ronaldson led the team and throughout the race held a place in the top
 forty. She'll be awarded the Aotearoa Trophy as the first Ranelagh finisher.
 Just a few second behind Jo, Anna was tenaciously hanging on to a top fifty
 place, and Marie Synnott-Wells was close behind in the early stages before
 her recent heavy racing schedule began to take its toll. As Marie lost
 ground, Clare Gutch made her usual strong finish to cross the line ahead of
 Marie for the first time. 

 The headlines certainly belong to the women's team but there was an
 excellent run in the men's race from Peter Haarer who only just missed a
 place in the top 100. The Roffey Salver will be his reward. Duncan Bell
 found himself held up by the crowds in the early stages but eventually
 fought his way through to 319th. Andy Bickerstaff's recent good form
 continued with 410th, ahead of Mick Lane and Chris Owens also in the 400s,
 and Graham Quick closed in the team in 527th. It was a far from
 full-strength squad, but still we finished exactly one third of the way down
 the list in 33rd place. 

 It was good to see plenty of Ranelagh juniors taking part, most of them
 savouring the delights of Parliament Hill for the first time. We had
 complete teams in the Under 13 boys and Under 15 girls races and they
 finished 35th and 25th respectively led by Matthew Wilson and Rachel Pryce.
 Best individual result came from Amelie Hunton, 112th in the Under 13 girls. 

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 25th February
 Four Wrights appeared in the BPTT this week. All that's needed now is for
 David Wright to come up from Cirencester for one of these and we'll have the
 full set! Sara Grosvenor was third woman home.

 1 F Kelly (Raheny) 15.55
 13 Nick Wright 18.58
 23 Darren Wood 19.48
 32 Sara Grosvenor 20.27
 35 Chris Read 20.39
 36 Peter Wright 20.39
 46 Chris Camacho 21.14
 48 Roger Wilson 21.19
 56 Chris Wright 22.02
 60 Adam Wright 22.18
 94 Gill Wilson 25.33
 111 John Hanscomb 28.16

 RON WHEELER 2.6 miles  Wednesday 22nd February at Wapping
 1 L Armitage (Kent) 13.27
 11 Chris Read 15.36
 13 Alan Davidson 16.19
 16 Andy Hayward 16.45

 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5km  Friday 24th February in Hyde Park
 Alan Davidson writes:
 "This had to happen sometime but having finished 87th in 20.43 struggling
 into the teeth of an icy blast my modest effort has been awarded to Andy
 Davidson of SLH. I hope he doesn't feel forced to give up after this!
 Mr.John Hanscomb can verify my attendance that day despite jokingly
 referring to me previously as a fair-weather runner as on that occasion I
 didn't fancy skating on the ice in Hyde Park!" 

 1 M Almond (Rugby) 15.31
 87 Alan Davidson 20.43
 124 John Pratt 21.53
 193 John Hanscomb 27.05 

 HAMPSHIRE CHRONICLE 10km  Sunday 26th February at Winchester
 Alan Davidson again:
 "Had a very embarrassing experience when lining up for the Winchester 10k as
 a Meridian TV crew chose me for an interview and I soon learned that it
 wasn't for my good looks as the first question was 'Are you the oldest
 runner in the race?' I replied that compared to some I was relatively
 1 A Moses (Reigate P) 31.39
 94 Alan Davidson 42.07
 97 Andy Hayward 42.13
 1 H Yelling (WSE) 33.45
 38 Michele Gibson 48.30 

 KINGFIELD CANTER 2.85 miles handicap  Wednesday 1st March at Woking
 1 K Jones (Thames H&H) 25.18  (actual time 19.48)
 16 Alan Davidson 26.43  (actual time 18.28)
 28 Steve Rowland 27.09  (actual time 17.24) 

 MIDDLESEX SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIPS  Thursday 9th February at Harrow
 Sam Perkins's win in the senior boys race was not the only good Ranelagh
 performance of the day. Nadia Fidler was runner-up in the junior girls and
 there were also top ten finishes from Joss Moran, Alex McKenna, Rachel Pryce
 and Emily Johnston-Purvis. The Richmond team won four of the eight races and
 the overall title. 

 Improbable as it seems, the Milton Keynes museum has some interesting
 stories about the history of the men's and women's 'National' and of
 cross-country in general.