Newsdesk 2007

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 241                31 January 2007
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com  

 *  Women's team wins bronze medals in South of England Championships
 *  Another World Record for Ed Whitlock
 *  Junior Points Prize Race 3 - Sam Hunton first home
 *  Third straight wins for Emily Johnston, Stephanie Espinosa and Josh
 *  Blackheath Mob Match this Saturday - minibus from the clubhouse at noon

 MOB MATCH v BLACKHEATH HARRIERS  Saturday 3rd February at Hayes (Kent)
 This is the last of the mob matches this season, and as usual we need
 everybody we can get on the starting line. Last time we visited the
 'heathens, two years ago, we fielded 29 starters and lost by just THREE
 points, 690 - 693. Last year, at home, we had 81 starters and easily won the
 Pelling-Ratcliff Cup. If we can get just half that number to Hayes on
 Saturday we can retain the trophy. Please be there if you possibly can. Andy
 Bickerstaff adds: "If we do win, Ranelagh's 'Runner of the Day' gets to keep
 the magnificent Pelling-Ratcliff trophy for a year! What an incentive! Yes,
 I'll decide who is 'Ranelagh Runner of the Day' in consultation with a hand
 picked Consultation team. I promise it won't be me...".

 The course is 7 miles multi-terrain through the Kent countryside. The
 Blackheath HQ is in Bourne Way, close to the junction of the A2022 and A232
 and near Hayes, Kent, station.

 There will be a minibus leaving from our clubhouse at 12 noon. The start is
 at 2.30pm but note it's a 10 mins jog from the clubhouse.  If you're late,
 go straight there.

 SURREY LEAGUE FINAL RACES  Saturday 10th February in Richmond Park
 We are hosting the final race of both the men's and women's Division One
 campaigns. Timetable is:
 12.15pm Senior women
 1.15pm Girls under 17 and Under 15
 1.45pm Girls under 13
 2.30pm Boys Under 17, Under 15 and Under 13
 3pm Senior men

 The current League situation is that our women's team is in second place and
 the men are in fourth. For the women there is little realistic chance of
 improving their position. Despite our clawing back 20 points on Belgrave in
 the last race, the Belles hold a virtually unassailable 69 points lead. It
 would take a major disaster for them to be dislodged, but it would be nice
 to end the season with a win on the day. In addition our 'B' team is in
 second place amongst the 'Bs', just 11 behind SLH, so there's everything to
 run for.

 Belgrave is the target for the men's team too. They currently lead us by 39
 points, well within touch. We beat them by 59 in the last race, so if we
 could repeat the dose, overhaul them and move into overall third, that would
 equal our best-ever finish in Division One of the League. 

 Everyone is welcome to run, and of course we need officials and marshals on
 the day too.

 STREET O  Tuesday 13th February at the clubhouse
 Full details were in last week's e-news and will be repeated next week. In
 brief, this is your chance to try something new as a change from the normal
 Tuesday night sessions. It's a Street Orienteering event which will start
 and finish at the clubhouse. You don't need Orienteering skills or
 equipment, just the ability to read a street map. It will all take place on
 lit roads in Richmond, and you can take part alone or in pairs or
 threesomes. You have one hour to visit as many control points as you can and
 return to base. Entry is free, all you'll need is a pen or pencil and a
 watch. A small torch is helpful but not vital. You can make it a hard
 fartlek session, or at the other extreme you can just walk or jog round. You
 can start any time between 7pm and 8pm. Give it a try! 

 Jo Turner writes:
 "The Baker Cup supper and annual prize giving is going to be at the Orange
 Tree pub in Richmond on Saturday 31st March. This is opposite the train
 station and there is a car park (Old Deer Park) behind it which is free from
 6.30 onwards.
 There will be a finger food buffet and tickets will cost 12.50.
 Unfortunately, we can only have 60 people so the first come first served
 system will be in operation. Put the date in your diaries."
 Book your places with Jo or Marina on Tuesday nights or contact either of
 them at mailto: joturner_45@hotmail.com or mailto: marina_quayle@hotmail.com 

 Dawn Bates writes:
 "The charity Missing Persons has four Gold Places for London Marathon due to
 people pulling out. They require a minimum sponsorship of 1500. Anyone who
 is interested should contact:
 Tina Burdon
 Community Fundraiser
 Tel: 020 8392 4521". 

 Frances Ratchford, who is not only our President but is also a Grade 4 Coach
 (the top qualification available), is organising a marathon training course.
 She writes:
 "It's three days coaching per week: Tuesday at the clubhouse, Thursday at
 the track and Saturday at the clubhouse. The Saturday morning, 10.30-11.30
 will include conditioning work. There will be plans for individuals, email
 suport and a special coaching day in February. For members of Ranelagh it is
 free but outsiders will have to pay 26.2".
 Contact Frances at mailto: grapevineproductions@compuserve.com

 RICHMOND MINI-MARATHON TRIAL  Sunday 11th February 2007 in Richmond Park
 As usual we are jointly hosting the trials for the Richmond team to take
 part in the London Mini-Marathon. The course is two laps of Sidmouth Wood
 (opposite Pembroke Lodge) and the timetable is: 10am Girls 13-14 and 15-17;
 10.30am Boys 13-14 and 15-17; 11am Girls 11-12; 11.30am Boys 11-12. The
 categories relate to ages on London Mini-Marathon day, which is Sunday 22nd
 April. The first eight finishers in each category will be selected for the
 team. To be eligible for the team you must either live or go to school in
 the borough of Richmond. Entries close on Friday 2nd February - there are
 forms in the clubhouse or call the council Sports Development team on 020
 8831 6133.

 Clive Beauvais led a party of half a dozen in Windsor Great Park last week,
 including Fari and Mark whose navigational skills (lack of) resulted in them
 covering a few more miles than anticipated! There should be no such problems
 this week, with a run out along the Thames towpath and back. All are welcome
 to join in, all paces catered for.

 Sunday February 4th  Thames Path run (out & back) - 24 miles maximum - turn
 back earlier if you want to do less. From Ranelagh HQ at Petersham, starting
 at 9.30am. 

 Sunday February 11th  'Punchbowl Marathon' - another LDWA event, 20 or 30
 mile options. From Witley (nr. Godalming) beautiful scenery and great
 facilities including hot meal at the end.

 Sunday February 18th  24 miler in Windsor Great Park. 4 x 6 mile laps -
 ideal for getting your marathon race drinking needs sorted out - opportunity
 to place drinks every 3 miles.
 The February edition of "Running Fitness" magazine includes a good feature
 on the website run by John and Louise Piears and Andy Bickerstaff - 
 www.goodrunguide.co.uk It focuses on one of guide's runs, the St Martha's
 Hill Challenge near Guildford, and features photos of Andy and Louise in
 action, including one of Andy most impressively bounding up the hill by St
 Martha's Church.

 Incidentally, the January edition of the same magazine featured a profile of
 our new second-claim member Wendy Jones, in which she gives most of the
 credit for her progression to international status to David Wright's
 coaching - though David prefers to call it mentoring. 

 And while we're on the subject of magazines, the February "Runner's World"
 included an account by Hugh Jones of our Centenary Mob Match, in his
 "Classic Races" series; and the March issue features some suggestions from
 Anna McLaughlin as to how an experienced runner and a beginner can do
 training sessions together. 

 Kerry Anley is available to provide Sports Massage to Ranelagh members at a
 discount rate of 28 per hour. Be pro-active and don't wait until you are
 injured before you book a massage. Telephone Kerry on 07834223290 for an

 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 3rd February    Pelling-Ratcliff Cup mob match v Blackheath
 Harriers at Hayes (Kent). See above.

 Sunday 4th February      MABAC League 5 miles at Farley Heath (near
 Guildford). 11am start.  

 Saturday 10th February   Surrey League Division 1 (men and women) in
 Richmond Park. See above.

 Sunday 11th February    Valentines 10km at Chessington.  
                                     Mini Marathon Trial from 10am in
 Richmond Park. See above.

 Tuesday 13th February   Street O event from the clubhouse. See above. 

 Saturday 17th February   v Bank of England, Herc Wimb, Ealing and others
 (incl Hec Petersen Trophy). 5 miles in Richmond Park (Roehampton Gate).
 Start at 2.30pm.

 Every Saturday               Bushy Park Time Trial: 9am start at the Diana
 Fountain car park.
                                      Wimbledon Common Time Trial: 9am start
 at the Windmill car park.

 Holkham Hall, Norfolk
 "Very flat, Norfolk," wrote Noel Coward. Clearly he had not visited Holkham
 Hall. Anyone who expected a track runners' course for the "Southern" was
 doomed to disappointment. There were hills, it was very rough underfoot and
 the Ranelagh women revelled in it. Jo Ronaldson's 13th place was perhaps her
 best-ever run on the country, and the second highest placing ever achieved
 by a Ranelagh woman in the "Southern". She took several notable scalps,
 including the winner of the last Surrey League race. And yet Anna McLaughlin
 was only a minute behind in 26th with Marie Synnott-Wells almost another
 half minute back in 32nd. 

 Three home in 32 set us up well for the team race, but all depended on the
 fourth scorer. This turned out to be Abi Weeds in 69th, just a few seconds
 ahead of Yvonne Hill. Carola Richter completed the team ("I truly enjoyed my
 first cross-country race after sooo many years - I could have chosen a more
 low profile event but nope, straight to the championships"). 

 When the scores were totted up Winchester and Blackheath were clearly first
 and second and Ranelagh was found to be level on points with Aldershot. The
 tie-breaker in those circumstances is the position of the last scorer, and
 Abi's 69th was nine places ahead of her Aldershot counterpart. So the bronze
 medals came to Ranelagh, the first team medals our women have ever won in a
 South of England Championship. We have to go back to 1976 for the last team
 medals of any kind in this race, when our junior men finished 3rd; and way
 back to 1921 since we were placed in a senior championship.

 In the men's championship we had only a token presence, with Howard Gleave
 leading home Andy Bickerstaff and James Corbett, all three well in the top
 half of the field.

 Ed Whitlock's latest world record came last week with a 5.31.23 indoor 1500
 metres, taking some eight seconds off the old mark for the over 75 age
 group. Here are Ed's comments on the Canadian web site LetsRun.com:

 "Well 5:31 is maybe not too bad off a training regime of glacial paced long
 runs around the cemetery. But I don't recommend it as proper training for
 the 1500 at least in the absence of some races at a similar distance. Anyway
 it is certainly not that great when you compare it to Earl Fee's M75 indoor
 mile record of 5:41. Still hoping to improve though. I'm struggling at the
 moment with knee problems. Took a few days off recently and cut my run short
 today because it felt a bit sore and uncomfortable. Haven't done a 3 hour
 run for several months but have still managed a fair amount of training".

 JUNIOR POINTS PRIZE RACE 3  Saturday 20th January in Richmond Park
 Sam Hunton ducked inside the eight minutes barrier for the first time to
 lead home the 41 finishers. Chasing hard were Josh Keisler and Joss Moran
 who completed their third consecutive one-two in the Under 13 age group.
 Emily Johnston and Stephanie Espinosa also chalked up their third wins in
 their respective age groups. Katie Bryant and Anna Richardson were close
 behind Emily in the Under 13s, but Stephanie had over half a minute to spare
 over Lucy Edmunds in the Under 15s.

 Sam also had a good lead in the under 15 boys, but Guido Tavella's big PB in
 second place brought him home ahead of Matthew Wilson and George Inman. This
 sets things up for a very close finish in the last race: scores to date are
 Matthew 19, Sam and George 18 and Guido 13.

 Unsurprisingly Josh, Emily and Stephanie stand clear at the top of their
 points tables. All three have 25 points, their closest rivals being
 respectively Joss on 22, Katie on 20 and Holly Clemens on 17.

 In the Under 17s Rebecca Clayden beat nine minutes for the first time and
 defeated Victoria Elbourne, but Victoria goes into the last race ahead by 22
 to 18. Alfie Purdue was the only runner in the Under 17 boys, but Steven
 Downie retains a clear overall lead.

 A full score sheet can be found in the Juniors section of our web site.

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 20th January
 This was Darren Wood's 100th BPTT. He wasn't one of the thirteen pioneers at
 race number 1 on October 2nd 2004 but he was there the following week and
 most Saturdays ever since. To commemorate the occasion Darren was presented
 with a special "100 Club" fleece.

 1 M Ashton (AFD) 16.01
 6 Mark Middleton 17.28
 27 Jonny Peacock 19.34
 36 Darren Wood 19.55
 46 David Rowe 20.26
 57 Chris Camacho 20.55
 70 Andrew Morris 21.24
 76 John Herries 21.32
 95 Layla Smith 21.58
 119 Adam Wright 23.06
 150 Paul Bisping 24.31
 153 Roger Wilson 24.38
 198 Gill Wilson 27.05
 199 John Hanscomb 27.10
 266 Sharon Rowe 31.25

 WIMBLEDON COMMON TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 20th January
 The third WCTT saw 47 finishers including the first Ranelagh representation.

 1 M Hillary (Clapham) 18.13
 5 Andrew Forth 18.47
 38 George Coates 27.12

 EPSOM ODDBALLS PERCH VIII 2007   Sunday 21st January 2007 at Epsom
 Bev Ali reports:
 "I believe that the village of Epsom is a black hole that always draws me
 in - but it is getting easier to break away from the gravitational pull of
 the one way system - at least this time I realised that 'East Road' would
 likely be going in the wrong direction since the race course is southwest of
 the village.Considering the recent weather the Perch course was in good
 condition.  There were some moderately muddy sections, virtually dry by
 MABAC standards, and some rocky bits but mostly grassy paths and paved paths
 and roadways.  The first half of the route is generally undulating uphill,
 culminating in a sign that informs you that you are at the highest point on
 the course, followed by a sign that says it is all downhill from here,
 MOSTLY!  You keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, as you careen on down
 the long, long descent, and when you reach the sign that tells you that you
 are now at the lowest point on the course, and you still have at least a
 mile to go, you know it is payback time!  The 2000 perch definitely ends
 with a bump not a whimper!  However, the long-sleeve t-shirt and the Mars
 bar at the finish, the friendly faces and the brilliant sunshine were
 definitely worth it. I don't think we have been to Epsom for a race that
 hasn't finished as a positive experience. 

 The winner for 2007 was the winner from 2005, James McMullan of Epsom
 Oddballs, in a time of 34.39. In the Ladies race the winner for 2007 was the
 winner from 2004, Emily Nelson of Epsom & Ewell Harriers, in a new course
 record for women of 38.20, beating her old record by four seconds. John
 Hanscomb finished 3rd in the over 70 age group. The men's team prize and
 also the ladies' team prize went to Epsom & Ewell Harriers. Ranelagh men's
 team (Phil Aiken, John Hanscomb and Alan Meaden) was 16th out of 19, and the
 ladies team (Alison Cullen, Lorna Smith and Hazel Carr) was 12th out of 14".

 1 J McMullan (Epsom O) 34.39
 13 E Nelson (Epsom & E) 38.20  (1st W)
 115 Phil Aiken 46.42
 268 Alison Cullen 53.17
 413 John Hanscomb 59.09
 464 Lorna Smith 62.37
 468 Alan Meaden 62.46
 479 Hazel Carr 63.25
 490 Sally Stembridge 64.08
 492 Lynne Barber 64.11
 508 David Meaden 65.14
 546 Jane Wyatt 68.40
 577 Cindy Croucher 73.25
 579 Bev Ali 73.38

 ST ALBANS 10 miles  Sunday 21st January
 1 B Southin (Serpentine) 55.31
 258 Pete Warren 75.30 

 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5km  Friday 26th January in Hyde Park
 1 S Neill (RAF) 15.50
 38 Tim Noon 19.23
 127 Mike Rowland 24.56
 139 John Hanscomb 26.52 

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 27th January
 Mandy Westlake took 15 seconds off her personal best as the 5th woman home,
 while further back Sharon Rowe improved by 31 seconds in her inexorable
 progress towards the 30 minutes barrier. Husband David found himself
 displaced at the head of the BPTT points table after several weeks at the
 top, but it's still very close. 

 1 R Stannard (Belgrave) 16.32
 47 Chris Read 19.43
 55 Darren Wood 20.05
 60 David Rowe 20.12
 63 Mandy Westlake 20.19
 78 Chris Camacho 20.35
 113 Edward Smith 21.50
 133 Adam Wright 22.33
 177 Ray Smith 24.34
 209 Roger Wilson 25.37
 221 Gill Wilson 26.06
 236 John Hanscomb 26.50
 249 Bruno Wilson-Betancor 27.40
 275 Wally Garrod 30.45
 278 Sharon Rowe 30.54 

 CANTERBURY 10 miles  Sunday 28th January
 1 M Coleman (Med&M) 51.18
 96 Phil Aiken 68.06 

 BOX HILL FELL RACE  Saturday 20th January
 Abi Weeds and Matthias Mahr competed in the colours of their Orienteering
 club SLOW, and Abi was third woman home. 

 1 D Lacy (Camb H) 52.59
 27 J Carritt (Highgate) 62.00  (1st W)
 45 Abi Weeds 66.24
 46 Matthias Mahr 66.39 

 GORING and WOODCOTE LIONS 10km  Sunday 7th January
 This was Sharon Rowe's first-ever 10km, only four months after taking up
 running. Here's her report, taken from Sharon and David's own running blog
 at http://www.rowerunning.co.uk/:
 "Got up early, ready brek in bed courtesy of David, hardly slept a wink,
 every time I woke up I can only say that I was terrified! We got to Woodcote
 and thought that given the reported hilly nature of the course, we should
 drive it so that I could see what I was up against. They weren't wrong! The
 first 5kms were steadily downhill except for two teeny hills but the second
 half was dominated by three hills, one which was much of 5-6kms, then from
 7kms to just over 9kms. Eeeek! I could only think that I would have to be
 veeery slow up them! So, several comfort breaks later, it was almost start
 time. I lined up at the back (where else!) and we were off. As I thought,
 the first 5kms were good and I did them in less than my BPTT best, which
 concerned me as I could only think of those hills ahead! Tried to drink the
 water at the halfway point but it was too cold to drink. Suceeded in
 chucking some of it down my top instead. 

 So, up the first hill I set. At this point it decided to become a tad windy
 and drizzly but I kept going. I even overtook two women on the hill. Got to
 the top, blown to bits and said 'hello' to the pigs in the field before
 going downhill again to 7kms. Of course, what goes down must come up and so
 I was off up hill number two. At the top of this, my legs really gave up. It
 was hurting and I wanted to stop. But I didn't. Somehow I got going again
 and never have I been so glad to get onto a flat piece of road. The next
 thing I knew, I could see the finish line and our godson Harry and his mum
 running towards me, then I saw David taking photos
 http://www.sharonrowe.co.uk/photos/2007/72157594465066887/ so I tried to

 My official time was around 1:11:52 (I think, waiting for the results to
 appear) but my watch time was 1:11:40 from my first running step before the
 start line. I can't believe I managed to do it. From literally not being
 able to run a step at the start of my Runner's World beginners training plan
 on 21st August 2006, I managed a 10k! The next 10k is already booked and as
 long as David doesn't chicken out with his dodgy hip excuse, he'll be there
 with me. Well, about 30 minutes in front...".
 The official results have now appeared and credit Sharon with a time two
 minutes faster than she expected!

 1 C Payne (Reading RR) 35.27
 414 Sharon Rowe 69.22

 CRYSTAL PALACE CANTER 5km  Thursday 4th January
 Yvonne Hill was the leading woman in 20.58. 

 A couple of years ago I posed a question here asking which country boasted
 the most men inside 29 and 30 minutes for 10,000 metres on the track. No-one
 guessed the right answer, which was Japan. Maybe this is how it was
 achieved: at a meeting in Yokohama on November 26th there were no fewer than
 ten separate 10,000 metres races. The winner of the 'A' race was Kihara in
 28.16. Behind him, 44 men beat 30 minutes. Over all ten races, 37 men beat
 29 minutes and 154 beat 30 minutes. Overall in 2006 the 300th ranked
 Japanese ran 29.24. Would you care to hazard a guess how many Brits ran that
 fast? One...