Newsdesk 2001

Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
Well, we've been served up a double whammy. No sooner was the Park beginning
to dry out nicely when along came the outbreak of foot and mouth disease
which has prompted the Royal Parks authorities to close Richmond, Bushy and
Hampton Court Parks until further notice. This means that the Hec Petersen
trophy 5 miler this Saturday will NOT go ahead, and if the situation remains
unchanged the Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap scheduled for March 10th will be
postponed, perhaps to be re-arranged later in the year. 
The Baker Cup 3 miles road handicap WILL take place as planned on March
24th. If the Park is still closed we will use an alternative course. A
couple of possibilities are being looked at, the favourite perhaps being a
return to our old course around Ham Common. Traffic forced us to abandon
this course, but with Ham Gate  closed this will not be an issue. Watch this

Robin Drummond reports from last Saturday's National Cross-Country
Championships at Durham:
"Our bedroom window looked out over Durham from the top of a hill and gave
us a magnificent panorama which included the cathedral, the river and the
start/finish of the English National XC Champs. If we had been able to book
in on the Saturday morning we could have sat in the warm in our bedroom and
watched through binoculars. Since our landlady was out at the supermarket
and we couldn't get in to discover this amazing facility we had to pull on
extra clothes (Julie had on 3 pairs of trousers) and slide and slither over
the ice to find the race.
We did this by following a couple of lads in tracksuits which seemed like a
good idea until they split up and went in opposite directions. We did
eventually find our way to the start by following the distant noise of the
PA through the woods. Luckily we were in time for the start of the senior
ladies race because Allison, Sarah, Louise and Louise did us proud. Allison
came past on the first short lap in the top 80 and fought her way up to 61st
with 800 metres to run. Realising that she could find herself under Peter
Haarer, Dave Benton and Julian Smith if she tried hard enough (on the
honours board, that is) all the stops were duly pulled and she clawed her
way to 57th. Sarah and Louise in the meantime were both hanging on to
positions just outside the top hundred and the other Louise closed in the
team with a solid run to cap off a good season for Ranelagh women - 13th
team, their best ever.
Barely pausing to gather breath the men were off before the last woman had
crossed the line. Julian made his normal relaxed start -perhaps a little too
relaxed as Dave had already got ahead and would not be seen again. Julian
then found a pair of shoes which Darryl had carelessly left on the course.
Darryl had to lose a go and so Julian jumped a square up to 2nd place.
Behind all this excitement Peter, Andy, Chris and Mick were holding their
own, which probably slowed them down a bit, but they kept running anyway.
Mick explained his new race theory afterwards which is that if you jog until
the last 600 metres you will be so fresh that you will make up more places
than if you had tried hard all the way! PG was going round at the back with
a black bin liner picking up discarded litter. Thanks to him Ranelagh got
tidiest team of the event, 20th place overall (the best result since 1967)
and Dave was given a tot glass to drink Alan's brandy from.
On the way back from the race our gallant women's captain fell down the
river bank and almost slid into the icy waters. She blamed a fence that
moved just as she went to grasp it, nothing to do with the post race brandy.
Later that night, appropriately at O'Neills, Ranelaghites were seen in
skimpy clothing and high heels, just like the locals, despite the blizzard
that started as night fell. Luckily common sense prevailed and PG and Alan
gave Jo and Clare back their clothes. Later we realised that high heels
could be used as crampons on the steep icy streets.
All made it safe to their beds."

Allison adds:
"Back in January, Steve Rowland and Julian 'Stats' Smith had told me my best
chance of achieving Club Honours would probably be the National in Durham -
top 60 was 'all' that was required! Of course I didn't believe them for a
minute (and had already planned to fly back from Spain in 2002 to have a
real go!) when, at the start of the second lap, Alan Hedger (or was it
Robin?) shouted that I was in 75th place. So the race was on! Inspired by
shouts of '70th!', '68th!', '63rd', '62nd' as I pushed round the second lap,
I found myself 61st with half a lap to go, confirmed at separate points by
all of David, Stats, Robin, Julie, Alan H. and David's parents!  So, trying
desperately to remember how I used to do it in moments of former glory (at
least 15 years ago now!), I entered the last 400m with
as close to a 'sprint' as I am capable of these days. Of course, I wouldn't
have tried so hard if I'd known that Stats and David planned to rugby tackle
a couple of girls ahead of me if I'd still been 61st with 50m to go. As it
was, they didn't need to, as I took four more places and crossed the line in
57th. Pure elation, it was - up there with anything I ever felt in those
afore-mentioned 'moments of former glory'! The only thing that worries me is
that Stats seems far too excited by the fact that he 'gets to be on top of
me' (as the last person on the Honours board in 1999...)"

So the Roffey Salver and the Aotearoa Trophy - respectively for the first RH
man and woman to finish - will be flying off with David and Allison at
Easter to their new home in Barcelona. We'll miss them ( and David and
Allison too!). 

1 M Openshaw (Birch) 36.52
122 David Benton 41.25
134 Julian Smith 41.40
173 Darryl McDonald 42.14
270 Peter Haarer 43.36
323 Andy Bickerstaff 44.20
375 Mick Lane 44.59
391 Chris Owens 45.16
646 Paul Graham 48.45
1 Bingley 162
20 Ranelagh 1373
1 L Yelling (Bedford) 28.08
57 Allison O'Neill 32.58
106 Sarah Seal 34.52
123 Louise Trainor 35.32
227 Louise Piears 39.31
1 Sale 61
13 Ranelagh 513

Our club junior women's championship was decided at the trials for the
Richmond London Mini-Marathon team at Old Deer Park on February 11th. The
winner of the Camilla Cup was Alice Beverly, just 9 seconds ahead of her
younger sister Anair. Alice also recently won the London schools
1 Alice Beverly 16.30
2 Anair Beverly 16.39
3 Jessica Harvey 16.54
4 Eleanor Moore 17.20
5 Louise Webster 17.33
6 Laura Ball 18.32
7 Lucy Southwell 19.21
8 Hannah Turnes 20.02
9 Dina Lacmane 21.07
Under 13s
1 Emily Ball 17.39
2 Alex Hook 17.48
3 Stacey Barber 21.32
1 Gareth Greggains 14.18
2 Bastien Tardy 14.28
3 Daniel Fielder 14.45
4 Alister Hook 15.17
5 Henry Wilson 16.58
6 Owain Clay-Jones 17.37

Katharine Mallett finished 9th in 89.02 in Sunday's Brighton Half Marathon;
Bridget Cuthbert was there too but claims to have run a PW. These two are
both scheduled to be on the elite women's starting line in the London
Marathon in April, together with Marlene Pautard, who is clearly back to
fitness after a few months layoff. Marlene finished 3rd woman in last week's
Hook 10km in 40.10, ahead of John Hanscomb (47.40) and Jadzia Kruklinski

Results from the Wokingham Half Marathon on 11th February:
1 A Hennesy (Puma TVH) 70.39
84 Ian Dent 82.09
317 Chris Spink 93.30
388 Jonny Rowan 95.48
398 John Keep 96.07
761 John Hanscomb 104.50
802 Rachel Dixon 105.42
812 David Rowntree 105.59
868 Simon Burrell 107.15
1232 Nick Willan 116.35
1255 Brian Chard 117.04

A final reminder to club trophy holders to return them immediately please to
Alan Craig, or he won't have time to get them engraved in time for the Baker
Cup. Contact Alan at a.craig@rhp.org.uk.

The club committee has agreed to allow some oarsmen from Bristol University
to bunk down in the clubhouse on the nights of March 10th and March 16th
when they are competing at nearby regattas. Will Graves writes: "To ease
people's minds I'll be sleeping there too and I'll probably temporarily move
some of the nicer pots from the shelves. They will be arriving pretty late
in the evening and leaving pretty early in the morning so shouldn't get in
the way of any running activity."

More details of all the following from Paul Graham (0796 7788945 /
paulgraham28@hotmail.com) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 /

Saturday March 3rd  Hec Petersen Trophy CANCELLED

Saturday March 10th  Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap probably POSTPONED. But
don't forget that Zis Boom Bah will be playing at the Rose of York from
about 9pm onwards, and all are invited.
I don't know if anyone was planning to take part in the Southern Veterans
Championships which were to be held at Maidenhead today, but they have also
been cancelled.

Sunday March 11th  Stragglers 10km mob match at Kingston. More details to

Saturday March 24th  Baker Cup 3 miles road handicap (exact venue tba),
followed in the evening by the annual club supper and prize-giving, which is
to be held upstairs in the Dysart. More details soon.  

Sunday April 8th  Thames Towpath 10 miles at Chiswick Bridge.  Ranelagh
Grand Prix race 1

Sunday April 22nd  London Marathon.  Ranelagh Grand Prix race 2

Our Anglo-Canadian septuagenarian superman Ed Whitlock was recently named
'Masters Runner of the Year' by the American 'Runners World' magazine,
following in the footsteps of another illustrious North American-based
Ranelagh Harrier Priscilla Welch, who won the title in 1986, 1987 and 1990.
Priscilla, incidentally, has recently been nominated for induction into the
American National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Ed's barely credible best
marks in 2000 - as a 69-year-old - included 17.34 for 5km, 35.37 for 10km,
60.11 for 10 miles, 80.16 for the half marathon, 1.57.39 for 30km and
2.52.50 for the marathon. 
The Canadian Saturday Night magazine recently printed an in-depth article
about Ed and featured it as the pick of the week in their on-line edition.
I wasn't surprised to read that Ed has the physiology of a man half his age; 
I WAS surprised to read that the bulk of his training consists of slow two 
hour runs around a third-of-a-mile loop in his local cemetery... 

Steve Rowland
Tel:  01926 318734
Fax: 01926 318718
e-mail: srowland@calorgas.co.uk