Newsdesk 2006

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 236                6 December 2006
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com  

 *  Ranelagh wins the Dysart Cup
 *  Marie Synnott-Wells wins club senior and veterans' championships
 *  Stragglers retain the Ellis Cup
 *  Anna McLaughlin wins the Grim Challenge
 *  Sam Perkins selected to represent the South in Brussels
 *  London Marathon ballot for club places
 *  Christmas Party 15th December - book now!
 *  All runners needed for the SLH mob match this Saturday
 *  Second junior points prize race also this Saturday

 Our next mob match is another home fixture in Richmond Park on Saturday 9th
 December at 2.30pm. This race includes the club championship for the Wynne
 Cup, and also the three men's veterans championships: the Hastings Cup
 (overall), the McDowell Cup (over 50s) and the Maslin Mug (over 60s). It's
 the usual two-lap 7 miles course. As always in mob matches, we need as many
 runners as we can get - the more we have, the better our chances of winning.

 The second event in the four race Points Prize series takes place on
 Saturday 9th December at 2pm in Richmond Park. The course is the usual one
 lap of Sidmouth Wood. All under 17s are welcome to take part. Current points
 leaders are Emily Johnston and Josh Keisler (under 13s), Stephanie Espinosa
 and Jamie Taylor-Caldwell (under 15s) and Rebecca Clayden and Nicholas
 Harrison (under 17s).

 Envelopes should be landing on doormats this week with news of acceptance or
 rejection for the 2007 London Marathon. If you have been rejected you can
 apply to be entered in the ballot for one of the guaranteed places the club
 is granted. We are allowed five places, but one is already spoken for - it
 is reserved for John Atkinson who was erroneously told he had a place last
 year when we thought we had six places available rather than five. The draw
 will be made at the Christmas Party on 15th December, so if you want to be
 entered, give your name without delay to Simon Burrell - either at the club
 on Tuesday nights or by e-mail (mailto:simon_burrell2000@yahoo.com). Only
 those who have entered and were rejected are eligible.

 There's still time to book for the Ranelagh Christmas Party on Friday 15th
 December at the Turk's Head, Winchester Road in St Margarets, Twickenham,
 but don't delay!

 It's 7.30pm for 8pm and there's a Mexican theme to the evening, but Mexican
 dress is most definitely optional! The cost is 22 per head, including a
 three-course meal. When you book, please specify whether you'd like turkey
 and all the trimmings or the veggie option (see previous editions of the
 e-news for fuller details of the menu).

 Jo and/or Marina are taking bookings this Saturday and on Tuesday evening,
 or you can send a cheque (payable to Ranelagh Harriers) to Marina Quayle at
 101 Sheen Road, Richmond TW9 1YJ. 

 These will take place on Saturday 6th January at Lloyd Park, Croydon, but
 entries have to be in before Christmas. If you'd like to run, please let
 Andy or Anna know as soon as possible (contact details below). 

 Note that the trials for the Richmond team to take part in the Mini Marathon
 in London on April 22nd will take place on Sunday February 11th in Richmond
 Park, and not the 4th as had been shown in our junior fixture list. Entry
 forms are at the clubhouse and can also be obtained from the Richmond
 Council Sports Development Team on 020 8831 6133.

 "A few weeks ago I asked for help to fund an English course for an excellent
 Sri Lankan runner I met whilst on holiday. Conditions in Sri Lanka are
 extremely difficult and Neel is from a poor family. He lives with his mother
 who picks rice earning 15 per month plus they get a rice allowance which is
 their staple diet. What struck me about Neel was his sincerity and
 dedication to his sport of running which he was obviously very good at -
 well, he beat me with embarrassing ease. Whilst he could speak English quite
 well he could not read or write in English which hampered him in gaining
 good employment in Sri Lanka and to some extent with his sport. He has
 access to a free email translation service which is how we communicate.

 Thanks to the generosity of a number of Club members I was able to raise the
 300 needed to fund the course and he successfully registered on 1st
 December; he has sent me a copy of his registration receipt. In fact when
 all the pledged money is collected I will have raised 365 and plan to send
 the additional funds to help him with transportation as he lives about 40
 miles from the college.

 I would like to thank sincerely all those members who helped me with this
 appeal. Having spoken to Neel he is overwhelmed that such an organisation
 should have helped him in this way. He has written a short email by way of a
 thank you, which follows. Once again thank you for your support". 

 Neel writes:
 "I would like to thank you so much for the money you sent me and it was a
 great help for me to learn English which is very important to me while doing
 my sport activities too. And also I would like to thank David for
 introducing me to you. Again thank you very much and wish you all the best
 in your future endeavours".

 He recently finished 3rd in the Sri Lankan National Youth Festival 800
 metres in a time of 1.57.

 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 9th December   Junior Points Prize Race 2 at 2pm in Richmond Park.
 See above.

 Saturday 9th December   Stubbs Cup Mob Match v South London Harriers at
 2.30pm in Richmond Park. See above

 Friday 15th December     Christmas Party at the Turk's Head, St Margarets.

 Saturday 30th December  Henty Relay in Richmond Park. 12 noon start.

 Every Saturday               Bushy Park Time Trial. 9am start at the Diana
 Fountain car park. See http://www.bptt.net/ for details. There will be BPTTs
 on Christmas Day and New Year's Day too.

 DYSART CUP  Saturday 2nd December  4.11 miles in Richmond Park
 This race incorporates the club women's championship for the Hugh Jones
 Salver and the over 40 women's championship for Trish's Trophy. Curiously,
 it has often in the past not been very well supported by the Ranelagh team,
 so it was pleasing this year to see a strong turn-out and the likelihood of
 a keenly-contested championship. With Jo Ronaldson currently sidelined owing
 to injury, Marie Synnott-Wells and Anna McLaughlin were the home favourites,
 though the meteorically improving Kerrie O'Connor and former winners Clare
 King and Liz Kipling could not be discounted. 

 Individually, Thames's Naomi Warner was always in command and after a fairly
 easy first short lap she turned on the pace and ran away to a 50 seconds
 victory. In her wake there was never more than a handful of metres between
 Marie and Anna. Marie it was who made the running most of the way, and, come
 the finishing straight, she still held on to a slight advantage. She crossed
 the line four seconds to the good and, in putting her name on the Hugh Jones
 Salver for the first time, she upheld an odd tradition: there has now been a
 different name on the Salver every year since 1997 - and in fact only one
 repeat winner since 1991!

 Marie was of course also the clear winner of the over 40s championship,
 ahead of Yvonne Hill and holder Sonia Rowland, and accordingly Trish's
 Trophy will be added to her collection.

 Bronze medallist in the club championship was Kerrie O'Connor, with Clare
 King closing fast just ten seconds behind. They were 5th and 6th overall,
 and with Liz Kipling 9th the team convincingly regained the Dysart Cup. If a
 B team had been scored they would have been well placed too, with Jenny
 Lloyd-Jones, Mandy Westlake and Yvonne Hill all in the top twenty and Evelyn
 Joslin and Sonia Rowland not far behind.

 Evelyn's was a great performance and deservedly won her the sealed handicap
 by the hefty margin of over a minute. Behind her, the handicapper did his
 work well and the bulk of the field was in within 90 seconds.

 ELLIS CUP  Saturday 2nd December  5.53 miles in Richmond Park
 Stragglers were out in great force to defend the Ellis Cup, which they
 successfully achieved with some ease...which was just as well, as they had
 forgotten to bring the trophy back! For Ranelagh as usual it was a fairly
 low key race, and only Mark Middleton and Duncan Bell could be seen at the
 sharp end. An under-the-weather Duncan called it a day after one lap,
 leaving Mark to fight a lone battle. He held third place for much of the
 race before being shunted back to fourth at the finish. James Corbett, Niall
 O'Connor and Marc Snaith made the top thirty and our scoring ten included
 two over 60s, Pete Warren and Tim Woolmer.

 FULL RESULTS of both the Dysart Cup and the Ellis Cup races are on our

 BIRMINGHAM LEAGUE  Saturday 2nd December at Plock Court, Gloucester
 Sam Perkins, now at Birmingham University, writes:
 "I had a really good run in the Birmingham League to finish 12th. On the
 back of this I was selected to represent the South in Brussels in a
 fortnight's time".

 1 B Tickner (Birm U) 30.36
 12 Sam Perkins (Birm U) 32.12

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 2nd December
 1 W Clark (Epsom & E) 16.37
 31 David Rowe 19.47
 46 Chris Camacho 20.36
 59 George Inman 21.00
 166 Gill Wilson 25.57
 169 Dawn Bates 26.14
 173 George Coates 26.26
 180 John Hanscomb 26.52
 219 Sharon Rowe 33.50

 GRIM CHALLENGE 8 miles  Sunday 3rd December at Aldershot
 "Run, wade and crawl...8 miles off-road challenge" says the event website,
 "Have you got what it takes?"

 Anna McLaughlin certainly does, as she ran, waded and crawled over an army
 assault course to a two minutes victory the day after a hard race in the
 Dysart Cup. 
 1 D Symonds (West Sch) 51.46
 42 Anna McLaughlin 59.29
 50 Matthias Mahr 60.26
 397 John Scally 71.45

 REGENTS PARK 10km  Sunday 3rd December
 Jenny Lloyd-Jones was another racing two days in a row. Half way through the
 six-race Regents Park series, she holds a clear lead in the W35 category.
 1 N Bryan (Unatt) 41.02
 4 Jenny Lloyd-Jones 43.09

 WOLVERTON 5 miles  Saturday 25th November
 1 A Waterlow (Sale) 28.43
 12 Liz Kipling 32.57

 OMM THE FIRST  Saturday / Sunday 28th / 29th October at Galloway Forest Park
 Donkey reports:
 "Not something Buddhist - the event formerly known as KIMM, renamed as The
 Original Mountain Marathon due to sponsor loss (http://www.theomm.com/).

 As we'd had to drop out last year due to Mike's chest infection, it was
 'once more to prove we can' time, and so we drove up the M6. Galloway bills
 itself as 'The Highlands of the Lowlands', and given the time it took to get
 there, it might just as well have been much further north.

 To spare the blushing reader (and space), we'll draw a veil over the trip,
 the hotel (why no breakfast before 7am when the whole TOWN was full of
 competitors?), and the night spent in a four-poster bed with another man (in
 spite of booking a twin in August), and pass swiftly to the start. The race
 involves navigating to specific points using a map available 60sec before
 the race starts, with a running partner (the other man in the four-poster),
 carrying defined safety and camping equipment (food is a good idea too) over
 the toughest terrain the organisers can find. You then camp overnight using
 only the kit you have carried, and get up next day to do it again. Fastest
 wins - there are different classes of distance and difficulty; in our case
 we did 24km Day 1, 18km Day 2.  Oh, and the time of year is specifically
 chosen to make things more challenging - rain, mist and wind feature
 prominently, although you do get a compulsory overnight camp, and an extra
 hour in bed as the clocks go back.

 We started off down a forestry road in a gentle drizzle, clutching our maps.
 The track lasted at least 4km, and then we were off into trackless. boggy,
 peat hags with 200m visibility as the higher hills were travelled. About
 20km, three stream crossings (anything higher than waist deep counts as a
 crossing, other burns are just big puddles) and five checkpoints later, we
 squelched into camp about seven hours after we started.  Each class camps
 together, and by the time we had pitched the tent and heated up the "brew",
 the next tent had disgorged its team of one member of the Stragglers and one
 member of Reigate Priory - small world! As part of the fun of the OMM is
 discussing the day's experiences over a cuppa, this could not be beaten. The
 rain, mist and peat hags had given us plenty of grief, so that was lots to
 mull over before retiring for the night. No four-poster Saturday night - but
 a very welcome extra hour was enjoyed before the skirl of the pipes brought
 us back to semi-consciousness. After the breakfast "brew", we set out on Day
 2. I'm avoiding discussing food (this is a family publication), let's just
 say much time is spent in supermarkets looking for the MOST calorific
 items - lard is good - but not very palatable. 

 Luckily the weather was much clearer, and in calm and sunny conditions we
 traversed some more trackless wastes. Neither of us found the underfoot much
 good for running, unlike the experts who could be seen bounding over the
 landscape, but we improved from an overnight position of 105th to 79th,
 putting us about halfway down the finishing order.  The Straggler/Reigate
 team finished well ahead of us (80mins to be exact), and a special mention
 must go to the Thames H&H team in Elite who finished a very creditable 17th
 of 19 on their first attempt in a very tough race (Elite did 60km). The
 overall stats for our class make interesting reading: 296 entries, 239
 started, 187 completed. A special mention must go to Dumfries Ice Rink  - to
 balance the no breakfast burg of Newton Stewart - for allowing the two boggy
 (looking and smelling) strangers who turned up on Sunday evening a free

 OMM 2006 B Class
 1 G Gristwood & H Wyber 7.56
 79 Mike Hynd & Chris Owens 11.44

 VARSITY Seconds, Thirds and Fourths match  Saturday 24th November at
 Wendlebury Common, Cambridge
 Anair Beverly, who this year is filling the vital role of OUCC women's
 social secretary, is still finding a little time for running too. She led
 the Oxford team in the Thirds race, finishing 3rd overall.

 Mike Hubbert sends news of a recent study undertaken by Harvard Medical
 School. "The good news," the report says, "is that yet another study has
 concluded that the consumption of red wine is good for you - in this case,
 possibly contributing to a 20 percent longer and healthier life. The bad
 news is that the initial results suggest that to achieve this level of
 longevity, you'd have to drink about 300 glasses of red wine. A day."