Newsdesk 2006

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 232                2 November 2006
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com  

 *  Whiskers galore at the 125th Anniversary Run
 *  125th Anniversary Mass Mob Match this Saturday 4th November - don't miss
 *  Sam Perkins 16th in UK Cross Challenge

 Mass Mob Match on Saturday November 4th in Richmond Park
 The big one! Not to be missed! We are taking on all four of our traditional
 mob match opponents - Blackheath Harriers, South London Harriers, Orion
 Harriers and Thames Hare and Hounds - at once. The route will be the normal
 two laps making up 7 miles but for those who might find 7 a bit too much
 there will be the option of running only one lap. Start time is 2.30pm.

 All competitors and officials will receive a special commemorative shot
 glass. For those who might not have taken part in a mob match before, the
 idea is that each club fields as many runners as possible and all might
 count towards the final result. So even if you do no other cross-country
 races this winter, please try to get to this one!

 Parking is obviously going to be at a premium. Even the Pembroke Lodge car
 park opposite our race start seems to fill up on most Saturdays now. If you
 can use public transport or bike, please do so. If you drive, please be
 prepared to park a little distance away in the side roads towards Ham.

 As this race doubles as our annual match against Thames, it will incorporate
 the "Richard Clay-Jones Pint", which goes to the first Ranelagh over 50 to

 There will be a supper in the evening in the clubhouse, starting at 6.30pm,
 price about 6. Book your place with Jo Turner
 (mailto:joturner_45@hotmail.com) or Marina Quayle

 The second League fixtures are on Saturday 11th November. We made good
 starts a couple of weeks ago in both the men's and the women's competitions.
 The men, newly promoted back to Division 1, finished 3rd - their best result
 in the top division since 1998. The women are the reigning Division 1
 champions and finished a close-up 2nd to Belgrave in the first race.

 So, there is everything to run for: the men to retain a high position, the
 women to overtake the Belles. Don't forget there are B, C and so on teams in
 the women's competition, and we are running an unofficial B team contest
 against Stragglers in the men's. Everyone will count. 

 The men's event is at Coulsdon. HQ is the South London Harriers clubhouse. The
 start is a 5 minutes jog away on Farthing Downs. Start times are 2.30pm (all
 juniors) and 3pm (seniors). 

 The women's event is at Lightwater Country Park.  Start times are 12.15pm
 (seniors), 1.15pm (under 17s and under 15s) and 1.45pm (under 13s).

 Bill Bird writes:
 "Next spring a small group of the 1971 Pennine Way Relay team are thinking
 of doing the coast to coast as a walk in 10 days. We are seeking the
 services of a driver who can map read, who might like to run/walk back to
 join us and would share our B/B accommodation and might even get paid! If
 you are fit and fancy some concentrated conditioning drop me an e-mail. No
 obligation on either side at this stage". Mailto:wpbird@btinternet.com.

 David Rowntree writes:
 "Whilst in Sri Lanka recently I met up with a local runner when out running
 on the beach. Having met up with him a few times (he kept passing me!!) and
 seeing that he looked pretty good I later found out that he competes on the
 track, 800m, and does some 10k's with times of 1m 57s and 29 minutes

 Before I left I gave him a Club vest and said that I would register him as
 member of Ranelagh Harriers. His name is Neel De Alwis and he can speak very
 good English but is trying to get the money together to fund a college
 course to learn to read and write English which will help him with
 employment in Sri Lanka. At the moment he can only get seasonal work during
 the holiday period and still lives at home with his family who are obviously
 pretty poor.

 I also thought I may try to start a fund through the Club to help him with
 his English course, which will only cost about 100". 

 If anyone would like to make a contribution to the fund, please contact
 David at mailto:davidcjrowntree@aol.com. 

 Ranelagh has some links with the charity wpf Kensington, who have a number
 of guaranteed places in the 2007 London Marathon. Runners would have to
 undertake to raise at least 1,300 in sponsorship. Anyone interested should
 call 020 7361 4816 or e-mail mailto:sarojini.kanagasabai@wpf.org.uk. 

 More details of the following from
 Andy Bickerstaff ( 07772 111491 / mailto: andy@norris-hobs.co.uk ) or 
 Mark Middleton ( 07725 119649 / mailto: markjmiddleton@yahoo.co.uk ) or 
 Phil Aiken (07739 035189 / mailto: phil.aiken@rnid.org.uk ) or 
 Anna McLaughlin (07971 606521 / mailto: anna.mclaughlin@talk21.com ).     

 Saturday 4th November   Mass Mob Match in Richmond Park at 2.30pm. All
 members please try to come! See above.

 Sunday 5th November     MABAC League 5 miles at Puttenham Common. 11am
 start. See http://www.mabac.org.uk/.

 Saturday 11th November  Surrey League Div 1 - men at Coulsdon, women at
 Lightwater Country Park. See above.

 Saturday 25th November  South of the Thames 5 miles Championship (men and
 women) at Tadworth. 2pm start.

 Every Saturday               Bushy Park Time Trial. 9am start at the Diana
 Fountain car park. See http://www.bptt.net/ for details.

 125th ANNIVERSAY BIRTHDAY RUN  Sunday 29th October at Putney Heath
 Upwards of eighty 21st Century Ranelagh Harriers assembled on a sunny Sunday
 afternoon in front of the Green Man. At 4pm, 125 years on to the very hour
 from the club's first-ever meeting, they set off to recreate that pioneering
 run of their 19th Century predecessors. The route was to the Windmill on
 Wimbledon Common and back, about 2 miles in all. After the mandatory
 photographs had been snapped, a hobble had been gobbled and some discussion
 had been entered into about which of the underpasses beneath the A3 we
 should aim for (not a problem the 1881 Harriers would have faced!), off we
 went: a motley collection of modern running clothes, 1881 kit, and -
 wherever you looked - whiskers, real or stuck on. What the other common
 users made of us, I wouldn't like to think. In due course the pack
 reappeared and we filled out the bar of the Green Man. The buffet, alas,
 didn't last long, having been ordered on an estimate of fifty or so
 attending. Still, it was an enjoyable and historic occasion. 

 Answers to FAQs
 Frank Wynne, 19 year-old Hon Sec of the Ranelagh Cricket Club in Fulham, had
 the original idea to form a cross-country club as a means of keeping fit
 during the winter months.
 The Cricket Club committee appointed Wynne as the first Ranelagh Harriers
 club captain.
 Eight runners took part in the opening run, though according to a letter
 written by Wynne, "a great crowd of spectators were outside the Green Man,
 including the grand old Duke of Beaufort aged 77".
 They started their runs as late as 4pm because many people worked until 1pm
 on Saturdays.
 The club's home remained the Green Man until 1935, when redevelopment of the
 pub's old stables forced us to move to the Dysart Arms, where we have
 remained ever since. 

 UK CROSS CHALLENGE  Saturday 28th October at Senneleys Park, Birmingham
 Sam Perkins writes:
 "I am not sure whether to start with the result or the excuse. I was pretty
 disappointed with the result. I started slow and never sped up before dying
 on the final lap. I had a cold the previous week which I thought I had
 shaken off but clearly hadn't. I hadn't had time before the race and after
 the cold to do a session to see whether I was okay or not so it was a bit of
 a gamble. Anyway hopefully I can knock a few good weeks in before the next
 cross challenge in Liverpool".

 Representing Loughborough University, Estelle Damant was 77th in the senior
 women's race.

 Men Under 20  10km
 1 K Deighton (Bridlington) 32.04
 16 Sam Perkins 34.40

 1 H Yelling (WSEH) 22.22
 77 Estelle Damant (Lough) 27.59

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 28th October
 259 finishers this week, and only one PB from the Ranelagh contingent - by
 Sophie Spink.
 1 R Stanhope (Belgrave) 16.07
 28 Chris Read 19.43
 33 Darren Wood 19.58
 51 Phil Aiken 20.22
 56 Chris Camacho 20.42
 57 Peter Wright 20.44
 82 Alan Davidson 21.29
 96 George Inman 22.10
 109 Sophie Spink 22.37
 111 Evelyn Joslin 22.41
 117 Jim Forrest 22.54
 121 Karen Broadbent 22.59
 199 John Hanscomb 27.14 

 CHICAGO MARATHON  Sunday 22nd October
 Here's Iain Wilson's own report (result was included in the last edition):
 "The Chicago course is dead flat, with lots to look at (if you like
 skyscrapers) and with fantastic support. It was bloomin' cold on race day,
 though - about 5C, with a keen north wind. I was on the latest leg of my
 quest for a sub 3 (of vet vintage) and I had a cunning plan. This was to
 start steady, hit halfway no faster than 1:29 and trust on the training
 miles in the bank to hold the pace through to nick a sub 3.

 A moment of panic at the start when I discovered my watch display had gone
 haywire. I decided to incorporate this into my plan; which was to ignore
 mile splits and simply use the 10k splits as pointers. This one was going to
 be without the help of Garmins, HRMs and now, without watches. Kind of
 liberating, really.

 I set off feeling good, but cold, simply concentrating on not going too
 fast - and enjoying the great support from the crowds. We zigzagged through
 the city centre grid, before heading north into the wind. Seeking some
 shelter behind the guy ahead, I could see several hundred runners in front
 similarly 'drafting'. Despite the width of the road, there we all were,
 squeezed into the left hand gutter. I pitied the runner at the front.

 10k split OK. Turn at 7 miles and head back downtown, past the Sears Tower.
 Going well now, slowing only to sip water at each station. I still can't
 drink on the run. Hit halfway in about 1:29.

 Then, as we headed west, I was gradually joined by the 3:00 pacing group.
 Without my watch, I decided it would be daft not to go with them for as long
 as possible, and was reassured by hearing the leader call out a succession
 of 6:48 miles. South now. Around 20 miles I checked myself for burnout, but
 all seemed OK. Tired, but still going. This group was getting smaller all
 the time. 21, 22, 23. My legs getting heavier now, but spirits still up.
 This is further than I've ever got before without slowing. At 24, to keep
 cramp at bay, I eased off the pace a bit. This worked, and I was heartened
 to be able keep the pacer guy in sight just ahead. Passing loads of people
 now. The final turn includes the only 'hill' on the course, an overpass.
 400m now to the finish. I'm fairly sure that I'm on for sub 3, but I'm going
 by the evidence of the clock at 40K and the fact that the pacer is still in
 sight. From their place in the stand, I get a big cheer and a wave from
 Bridget and the boys. When I see the finish clock click round towards
 3:00:02, I'm already going for it with both (eye)balls out. But I'm so happy
 as I cross the line. Irrespective of the clock, I know I've run sub 3. The
 only race I was running was to the chip time, since there was not much I
 could do about having to give 200yds to the Kenyans and other speedies at
 the start line. 2:59:31, 946th finisher out of 33,000,11th in age division.
 Pleased with the even splits and with my finishing form.

 Women's winner was Berhane Adere (2:20:42) and men's winner was Robert
 Cheruiyot (2:07:35), who won despite slipping on a La Salle Bank logo on the
 road surface at the finish, and cracking his head on the ground. He did
 however, cross the line, feet first, without breaking the tape! Some
 people - quite possibly lawyers from La Salle Bank - removed the logo from
 the road after that.

 None of this got in my way at all. I was dead chuffed with my run, and with
 the event generally".

 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5km  Friday 27th October at Hyde Park
 Mike Rowland writes:
 "M Rowland is still recovering from an op and his time of 26 mins exactly
 was not an attempt at trying to fool the handicapper. The latter knows M
 Rowland's tricks only too well".

 1 J Shane (Basildon) 15.59
 71 Alan Davidson 20.27
 150 Mike Rowland 26.00
 163 John Hanscomb 27.36

 SURREY CLASSIC 10km  Sunday 29th October at Nonsuch Park
 1 W Clark (Epsom & E) 32.51
 257 John Hanscomb 55.48
 266 Alan Meaden 56.34
 298 David Meaden 60.54 

 KINGFIELD CANTER  2.85 miles handicap  Wednesday 1st November at Woking
 1 M Brown (Unatt) 24.17  (actual time 23.17)
 12 Sonia Rowland 26.31  (actual time 20.01)
 16 Alan Davidson 26.55  (actual time 18.40) 

 I am indebted to Pete Mulholland for the following:
 "Nadezda Kavastina won the Latvia marathon title with a time of 4:02:36 on
 October 7th. What is remarkable is that Kavastina was born on 25 Jul 1936,
 making her 70y 74d of age and, most likely, the oldest runner ever to
 achieve a national championship".