Newsdesk 2001

RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 25            28 MARCH 2001
Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
Last Saturday's Baker Cup race at Ham Common turned out to be a Barber
family jamboree. Dad James was the star turn, crossing the line third but
winning the Cup. The two ahead of him - his daughter Stacey and Hannah
Turnes - had both received a tad over-generous starts (scratch man David
Benton had barely started his second lap when Hannah was finishing!) - but
were fortunately competing as guests. Son Steve's girl friend Louise Webster
finished 2nd, mum Lynne finished 4th, and only Steve himself let the side
down by trailing in 28th!

James writes:
"On Saturday 24th, as it was our 22nd wedding anniversary, I was persuaded
by my wife Lynne to dig out my running shoes and join her, my son Steven and
daughter Stacey in the Baker Cup run.

Will the handicapper had been generous to me allowing me to start fairly
near the front. I had the feelings of a hare at a greyhound meeting as I set
off on my way, however I was pleasantly surprised, despite my legs at the
end giving the impression of Bambi on ice, to find out I had come in third
behind two guest runnners (one of whom was Stacey) to win the race.

I was heartened by all the encouragment and support I received from the
Ranelagh runnners and helpers. Now that I have caught the running bug I hope
to see you all at the next race where I can get back to my accustomed
position at the back of the pack."

Fast-improving John Keep sneaked into third place to spoil the family party
and fastest times went to David Benton 14.44 and Katharine Mallett 18.34.

Here are some really interesting stats. Oh yes they are. The Baker was last
held on this course in 1979. Of the 56 Ranelagh Harriers who competed that
day (all men - the women's section was still a couple of years away),
exactly half are still alive and paying their subs 22 years later, but only
three competed in both races. Gordon Whitson most impressively has lost only
a couple of seconds per year, recording 15.37 then and 16.26 now. The
passage of the years has been less kind to Steve Rowland (15.45 to 18.13)
and John Hanscomb (16.57 to 22.28). Another four who ran on that day in
March 1979 - Jim Forrest, Danny Wakeford, John Petersen and Alan "GET OFF
THE ROAD" Hedger - were present this time in official capacities. Old gits
like me are always banging on about falling standards, but look at this: in
1979 the fastest time was faster (Tim Woods 14.30), the slowest time was
faster (Gordon Seconde 32.55), eight runners beat 16 minutes and 21 beat 17
minutes as against two and six respectively in 2001.

In the evening 60-odd sat down to a supper upstairs at the Dysart - though
disappointingly there were a few who had booked but did not show - and the
club silverware was efficiently despatched by Mike Peace and Alan Craig to
its new owners. The season-long competitions for the McLeod Cup (attendance
at major races) and the Points Prize (consistency in handicaps) went to
Marcus Gohar and - jointly - Alan Craig and Matt Gisby.

There was also a presentation of club honours to Allison O'Neill for her
performance in the National Championships. This was the last club event for
Allison and David Benton before their departure to Barcelona and we wish
them well. Keep in touch!

With the cancellation of the Finchley 20, the Worthing version at short
notice became the club 20 miles championship for the Spendlove Cup. Only a
few RH made the trek the day after the Baker Cup, and they were led by
Darryl McDonald:
"Worthing 20 was a blast. I mean in terms of wind, not fun. Flat, but not
THAT fast due to a strong westerly (or east?) wind, which blew my skinny
frame around. But at least there was no precipitation. John Hanscomb, who
drove me to Shoreham-By-Sea from Surbition (bless) predicted relatively
little pressure due to (1) no Chris Owens or Marcus Gohar to make me work
and (2) the fact that no one knew who I was.
But that theory went right out the window due to (1) some guy who pushed me
the first two laps and (2) an SLH guy, Kevin Tilley, WHO I KNEW, who pushed
me the last two laps (aargh!). I wanted a training run, not a
puesdo-marathon! Anyway, thanks to the "pacesetters," I managed just under
1:55.00 in 4th place, although I should be doing 1:50.00, wind or not.
Marlene Pautard got round in 2.21 for 12th in the women's race and
John....got round.
On a final note, please send my deepest apologies to Ranelagh for not making
it to the Club Supper due to the fact I had Worthing 20, which meant an
early morning Sunday, due to the fact that clocks were pushed ahead one
hour. But due to no sleep Saturday night (where I slept, I was near a train
station), the "early-to-bed, early-to-rise" theory went out the window as
The Ranelagh dysfunction continues... "
Liz Kipling, whose main discipline is the Modern Pentathlon, has missed this
winter cross-country season due to back trouble but has had some success in
her speciality. She writes:
"The back is OK as long as I don't run on uneven surfaces (well it's a good
excuse for not running cross country anyway!) and don't fence too much. I
didn't run the Baker Cup as I'm resting for an intensive training camp in
Bath at the beginning of April!
The competition I won was the National Tetrathlon (Shoot, Fence, Swim, Run)
which was held in Wolverhampton at the end of February (same day as the
National Cross Country in Durham!). There's not much to say about it really,
I had a fairly average competition, but due to a couple of people not
completing all the events, I won! Having said that I did win the run and
fence events."

Congratulations to Lynne Bryant and Richard on the arrival on 17th March of
a daughter Helen Lara.

I've just heard that Bill Day, who was at the Baker Cup supper on Saturday,
has been admitted to West Middlesex Hospital with heart trouble. We wish him
a speedy recovery.

At present this is still scheduled to take place on the weekend of May 19th
and 20th, but I believe a decision will be made in mid-April as to whether
it can go ahead.

More details of all the following from Paul Graham (0796 7788945 /
paulgraham28@hotmail.com or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 /
Sunday April 8th  Thames Towpath 10 miles at Chiswick Bridge. Ranelagh Grand
Prix race 1. You have probably seen John Barnard's note about this - owing
to higher than usual demand they will probably not be able to accept entries
on the day. So if you want to run, enter now!  10.30am start. Entries 6
(payable to West 4 Harriers) by April 1st to West 4 Harriers, Flat 3, 15
Grosvenor Road, Chiswick, London W4 4EQ.
Sunday April 22nd  London Marathon.  Ranelagh Grand Prix race 2.
Sunday May 6th  Sutton 10km. 10.30am at Sutton Arena. Entries 5 payable to
Sutton Runners to Race Sec, 245A Carshalton Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5
3PZ. This is not included in our Grand Prix due to the proximity of other
events, but it does form part of the Surrey Road League; so if those of our
members who won the individual competitions last year (Marcus Gohar, Clive
Beauvais, Martin Clark and Eliete Nascimento) want to retain their titles
they might want to think about taking part. The League has been reduced to
only five fixtures this year, with the best 4 scores to count. The other
races are the Dorking 10 miles (June 3rd), the Dysart Dash 10km (June 24th),
the Elmbridge 10km (July 22nd) and the Surrey 5km (August 12th).

Sunday May 13th  Richmond Half Marathon. Ranelagh Grand Prix race 3.

Well done to Paula Radcliffe on her inspiring efforts in the World
Cross-Country Championships last weekend - but have you ever noticed what a
pig's ear they always make of organising the finishing funnels at these
events? They need Alan Hedger...

Steve Rowland
Tel:  01926 318734
Fax: 01926 318718