Newsdesk 2007

 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 270                17 December 2007
 Editor: Steve Rowland
 mailto: steverowland@ranelagh-harriers.com  

 *  Peter Haarer first home in SLH mob match but South London win the Stubbs
 *  London Marathon draw result
 *  Team bronze for Anna Scally in Southern Inter-Counties
 *  Duncan Bell and Kerrie O'Connor lead Ranelagh in the South of the Thames
 *  Henty Relay on Saturday 29th

 HENTY RELAY  Saturday 29th December in Richmond Park
 This is our Christmas fun relay, open to all members, friends and family.
 Anyone who can run a mile and a bit, in fact. It's for teams of three (which
 are drawn on the day). Each team consists of one "fast" runner, one "medium"
 and one "slow". The relay is over six 2km laps of Sidmouth Wood - the "fast"
 runs three laps, the "medium" two and the "slow" one lap, in any order. The
 race starts at 12 noon, but you MUST come to the clubhouse to register by
 11.30am, in order to be allocated to a team.

 SURREY COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday 5th January 2008
 The county championships for all age groups, male and female, will be held
 at Lloyd Park, Croydon, on 5th January. Junior events start from 11am,
 senior women are at 1.25pm, senior men at 2.15pm. All are welcome to run but
 entries must be made in advance. If you're interested, please let Andy or
 Marie know immediately (contact details below).

 SURREY LEAGUE  Saturday 12th January.
 For the final two League events, our men and women are both in action at the
 same venue. The next, on January 12th, will be at Priory Park in Reigate.
 The final race, on February 9th, will be on our home territory in Richmond
 Park. The timetable for Reigate is:
 12 noon Senior women
 12.45pm Girls under 17 and Under 15
 1.15pm Girls under 13
 2.00pm Boys Under 17, Under 15 and Under 13
 2.30pm Senior men 

 The Reigate event will be crucial, particularly for our women's team. We are
 taking a 32 points lead into this race, with Herne Hill Harriers now our
 only serious opposition. 32 points is not a bad buffer, but it could very
 easily be wiped out at a stroke. All are welcome to run, but Captain Marie
 will be particularly hoping to see everyone who might be in with a chance of
 making the scoring five.

 The men, too will be looking for another good performance to follow up our
 fourth places in the first two fixtures. They are well ensconced in fourth
 place overall with a gap of over 400 points to fifth placed Hercules
 Wimbledon. Belgrave in third place are over 100 points clear and probably
 not catchable, but it would be nice if we could overturn them in at least
 one of the remaining races.

 All members are welcome to take part, just turn up and collect a number on
 the day.  Reigate venue here:

 The 'Southern' will be taking place at Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath) on
 Saturday January 26th, and the 'National' will be at Alton Towers (really!)
 on Saturday February 23rd. Entries for both are due in very soon, so if
 you'd like to take part please contact Andy or Marie as soon as possible

 The January 2008 edition of Runners' World contains an article about the
 Time Trial phenomenon founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, and also includes a
 "Case Study" featuring David and Sharon Rowe. Take a look at David and
 Sharon's blog for some more background: rowerunning.co.uk/

 RUNNING ON EMPTY by Andy Blackford
 Peter Fordham writes:
 "This is a highly amusing paperback by the regular columnist (20 years) in
 Runner's World. Andy is a writer first and a runner some way behind that -
 in many respects! He has been a regular running partner of mine for the last
 20 years. His book includes witty accounts of the many adventure and
 mountain races and 'off the wall' events such as the 'man versus horse' race
 in Wales and the (canine) 'K9 9K'. The book is highly entertaining, although
 it will probably keep everyone in their armchair and therefore won't do much
 for their running!

 Quote by Frank Keating in The Guardian: 'I've been cheered, by a diverting
 new book by Andy Blackford, a dashing, not to say breathless, collection of
 essays in which monomaniac marathon vet and enviable wordsmith Andy
 touchingly sends up his obsession with rare and appealing wit...'
 Quote by Andrew Baker, Telegraph Book Reviewer: 'I should say straight away
 that it is very funny, because the idea that anything amusing emerging from
 a running publication does seem unlikely...' 

 The book retails at 7.99 and I am offering it to club members at 6.00".

 You can catch Peter on Tuesday evenings or contact him at peter_fordham@yahoo.com

 Wally Garrod writes:
 "You missed it folks - no not the Led Zeppelin concert but the Ranelagh
 Choral Society bash at Robin and Julie Drummond's on Sunday 9th December.
 Robin welcomed us with a tasty glass of mulled wine and Julie, with her
 usual beaming smile, showed us to our seats.

 A motley collection of Ranelagh members and a few hangers on (not in a
 running sense), bedecked in stunning red and black outfits, entertained us
 with an eclectic festive programme. Even the dog seemed to enjoy it. Led by
 effervescent conductor Lisa Byrnes at the piano, the programme opened with a
 catchy rhythmic African number and progressed through Sentimental Journey
 and Let It Be to finally some carols. We were encouraged to join in and
 several did. What fun. The whole experience was indeed a treat. One might
 almost say a "Stairway to Heaven"! It was such a change not to be bored
 stiff with talk of P.Bs, injuries past and present and race details. 

 So folks how about joining us in 2008? You don't have to sing like Pavarotti
 or Kathleen Ferrier (believe me, just listen to Robin!!). We meet at Robin
 and Julie's every Thursday evening at 8pm and we look forward to seeing some
 new faces. See Robin or Julie or e-mail Julia Langensiepen at jlangensiepen@talk21.com".

 Those members who remember Joe's larger-than-life character - or who might
 have read about him in our history book - will be saddened to hear that Joe
 died of multiple myeloma in Freemantle, Australia, in September at the age
 of 66. Follow this link and click on "David Cairns eulogy" for an account of
 his unconventional life and extraordinary achievements in the field of
 ultra-distance running: Link to Joe Record 

 London Marathoners might be sorry to hear of the cancellation of two of the
 20 miles races that are often used as "warm-ups" or at least as long
 training runs. Apparently both the Worthing 20 and the Bramley 20 are not to
 be held in 2008.

 More details of the following from
 Andy Bickerstaff ( 07772 111491 / mailto: andy@norris-hobs.co.uk ) or 
 Marie Synnott-Wells (07956 431319 / mailto: nandmwells@aol.com ).     

 Saturday 29th December   Henty Relay in Richmond Park, 12 noon start.

 Saturday 5th January       Surrey County Championships at Lloyd Park,
 Croydon. See above. 

 Saturday 12th January     Surrey League men and women both at Priory Park,
 Reigate. See above. 

 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.
                                       Banstead Woods Time Trial: 9am start
 off B2219 Park Lane, Chipstead
                                       Richmond Park Time Trial: 9am start
 near Richmond gate.
                                       More details at parkrun.com 

 CHRISTMAS PARTY and LONDON MARATHON DRAW  Friday 7th December at the Turk's
 Eighty or so members and guests enjoyed this year's party, and thanks as
 ever go to Marina and Jo for organising things. There were enthusiastic
 celebrations in parts of the room when the draw for the club's guaranteed
 London Marathon entries was made. Nineteen names went into the hat and those
 that came out were Cindy Croucher, Deborah Blakemore, Chris Wilson, Lynne
 Barber and Daniel Hobbs. But it was subsequently learned that Daniel had
 asked to be excluded at the last minute, so in a later draw it was John
 Molloy's name that was added to the list. Best of luck to them all! 

 Captain Bicks writes:
 "I've long wearied of worrying about our low turn out at mob matches, and
 away mobs in particular, preferring to note that a significant number of
 people turn up and have a lot of fun. That number was 21 of Ranelagh's
 finest on Saturday at Coulsdon (only 45 mins from Richmond incidentally) and
 before the start the rain, wind and ambient temperature suggested that fun
 would be in short supply. However once the race was underway the
 miserableness of the day was forgotten in negotiating nigh on 8 miles of
 traditional English countryside. It was difficult to get lost due to the
 goodly number of obdurate (not to mention cold and wet) marshals doing a
 fine job and it was a tad slippery but that's all in the fun. Oh, yes it is. 

 Highlight for me was Niall's interesting tactic of charging down the first
 hill scattering SLH runners willy nilly to the right and left. He then
 sheltered behind the aforementioned runners all the way along Happy Valley
 into the teeth of the gale. The contretemps down the hill was (mostly)
 forgotten as the pace was shared nearly to the finish. There was some pretty
 excellent running by Peter and Duncan, first and second home, followed by
 the aforementioned Niall an excellent 5th and we had six in the top
 ten...then the SLH mob arrived in strength....goodnight Coulsdon".

 Roger Wilson adds:
 "Mike Peace celebrated his 100th mob match on Saturday in truly awful
 conditions at Coulsdon. 'I wouldn't have wanted it any other way', said Mike
 after the race. Sonia Rowland also notched up her half-century of mob
 matches. Wind and rain battered the runners huddled by the hedge on Farthing
 Down at the start, but the field was warmed up by the 'Razzle Dazzle' led by
 Mike. The course was slower than two years ago - around a minute and a half
 for the leaders - with mud, turns, puddles, slippery paths and small hills
 making this a true cross-country course. Alan Hedger gave good support from
 carefully selected places around the course. Excellent tea and cakes were
 provided at the SLH clubhouse afterwards. I had every excuse not to be
 there, which made up my mind to make the effort for a fantastic run in the
 country. Come and run the home mob match on 2nd February against Blackheath
 whatever standard you are - it's great fun to run in the park as part of a
 large team, and much better than a training run". 

 SOUTHERN INTER-COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday 8th December at Parliament
 Anna Scally reports:
 "As predicted (by my fellow party goers on Friday night), Parliament Hill
 was ridiculously wet and therefore ridiculously but traditionally
 muddy...within three minutes of stepping off the train I was cold, soaked
 and had wet feet...but isn't that what xc is meant to be all about!?! In
 preparation for this, on the way there I had decided that it was going to be
 a 15mm day so duly prepared my spikes whilst on the train, in which I was
 suddenly interrupted by a 'Mummy, that lady is putting nails in her shoes'.
 After being corrected and informed that actually I was a mad runner who
 likes nothing better than getting wet and muddy, he piped up with 'Do you
 think you could kill someone with those?'...a Surrey Team Manager called
 Sarah immediately sprang to mind!! 

 After arriving and finding the Surrey camp huddled in the bandstand, I
 decided to do a quick lap of the course as a warm up, which soon developed
 into a hop, skip and jump to avoid the worst parts and a confirmation that
 my selection of spikes had been right...plus came the realisation that as
 this was a 6.5km course as opposed to the usual 8km course, they had cut out
 one of the worst hills... hooray!

 All too soon it was time to strip off, get colder (if that was possible!)
 and race...three mins before the off I was the only one on the start line
 and beginning to dream of gold medals, but alas the other 130 or so soon
 appeared and we were off!  Knowing that Parliament Hill is a tough course at
 the best of times, I had decided that I would start off steadily (which felt
 really slow!) and not join the rush to the front with those unsuspecting
 souls(!) and this game plan seemed to work a treat, as not only could I
 breathe after the first lap, but I also gained six places on the second lap
 as gradually the mud kicked in and the tired legs dropped out, something
 that rarely happens in ladies' XC.  So all too soon (it was probably nearer
 6km than 6.5km!) it was onto the final downhill stretch and a sprint to the
 finish line (I was desperately trying to catch the girl in front but
 probably needed about twenty metres more to achieve that) and the joys of
 Parliament Hill were over for 2007!  I ended up crossing the line in 20th
 place as fourth Surrey scorer, which when all was added up meant that we won
 the team bronze...so although it was the gold I had first dreamed of whilst
 waiting to start, it was a great medal to add to my collection!" 

 In the under 20s' race, Rebecca Clayden was third scorer for the
 sixth-placed Middlesex team.

 Senior Women
 1 F Fullerton (Essex) 20.47
 20 Anna Scally (Surrey) 23.28

 Teams (4 to score)
 1 Essex 17
 3 Surrey 54 

 Under 20 Women
 1 E Pallant (Hants) 20.37
 28 Rebecca Clayden (Mx) 25.40

 Park, Banstead
 There was little enthusiasm for another seven and a half miles slog, though
 in fact the course turned out to be short of seven miles. The race was held
 at Banstead's Nork Park, a venue we seldom visit, fairly fast going on a
 hillside featuring long descents and climbs. 

 We failed to field the requisite six to complete a team in either race, but
 there were some good individual runs. In the men's event Duncan Bell took
 some good scalps in finishing 22nd, the fourth over 40 (albeit also behind
 one over 50). Justin Webb was not far behind, Niall O'Connor got the better
 of Captain Bicks again and Simon Hedger provided the rearguard still in the
 first half of the field.

 In the women's race, Kerrie O'Connor echoed Duncan's performance - fourth
 over 35 but behind one over 45. Kerrie was 9th overall and behind her Sandra
 Prosser put in a particularly good performance in 12th. 

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 8th December
 1 I Johnson (Stragglers) 16.39
 25 Darren Wood 19.45
 34 David Rowe 20.10
 122 Adam Wright 23.15
 143 Ivan Boggis 24.22
 167 Alison Salmon 25.39
 185 John Hanscomb 26.22
 198 Wally Garrod 26.42
 240 Daniel Hobbs 28.52
 248 Sharon Rowe 29.34 

 RICHMOND PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 8th December
 1 N Rothwell (Stragglers) 19.02
 4 Vaughan Ramsay 19.25
 11 Stephen Instone 20.04
 22 Wiebke Kortum 22.58
 33 Louise Reeder 26.27
 35 Lorraine Clifton 27.09

 SANTA RUN 6km  Saturday 8th December in Battersea Park
 Yes, you run in a Santa costume...

 1 I Sharman (Serpentine) 22.35
 873 Katherine Hall 41.23 

 BEDFORD HALF MARATHON  Sunday 9th December
 A wet, windy and cold day was not conducive to fast times, but David Rowe
 managed a PB.

 1 R Burgess (Barnet) 1.09.56  (chip time 1.09.56)
 90 Darren Wood 1.26.48  (1.26.40)
 105 David Rowe 1.27.50  (1.27.42)
 237 Mandy Harris 1.34.44  (1.34.36)
 570 Carola Richter 1.46.06  (1.45.07)
 1212 Sharon Rowe 2.12.47  (2.11.39)

 HOGS BACK 8 miles  Sunday 9th December
 1 M Mashford (AFD) 40.37
 523 John Hanscomb 73.05
 650 Alan Meaden 81.24
 659 David Meaden 82.34

 PERIVALE 5 miles  Sunday 9th December
 A good performance by Alan Howard a couple of weeks after his 71st birthday.

 1 A Bowden (Harrow) 24.59
 92 Alan Howard 39.11

 RICHMOND PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 15th December
 1 A McFarlane (Serp) 16.34
 36 Sean Paynter 19.34
 38 Jonny Rowan 19.41
 40 Clare King 19.48
 49 Stephen Instone 20.05
 61 Kerry Anley 20.36
 112 Jo Turner 23.53
 119 Louise Reeder 24.46
 124 Gill Wilson 25.57 

 BUSHY PARK TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 15th December
 1 J Trapmore (Shaft B) 15.22
 21 Darren Wood 18.57
 161 Ivan Boggis 24.31
 214 John Hanscomb 27.01
 216 Wally Garrod 27.08
 257 Daniel Hobbs 31.03

 BANSTEAD WOODS TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 15th December
 1 B Shields (Collingwood) 18.38
 25 Yvonne Hill 22.03

 WIMBLEDON COMMON TIME TRIAL 5km  Saturday 15th December
 1 I Higgins (TH&H) 17.37
 12 Steve Grout 20.36

 LUTON MARATHON  Sunday 2nd December
 This race must be one of the best regulated on the calendar, incorporating
 as it does the Police championships! Mick Lane, representing Police Sports
 UK, just missed the championship medals in 4th place.

 1 D Croft (Woodstock) 2.39.25
 16 Mick Lane 2.58.52

 Kerrie O'Connor reports on husband Andrew Forth's exploits:
 "Andrew did Ironman Western Australia last weekend in a great time of 9hrs
 23 mins. That was a PB of 15 mins for him, and that was despite feeling
 under par for the race due to a stomach bug. He came 6th in his age group
 and 62nd overall". I am promised a fuller account from Andrew in due course. 

 The distances were 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike and full 26.2 miles
 marathon run. Andrew came out of the water in 48th position in a time of
 53mins 54secs, moved up to 29th after 4hrs 45mins 35secs in the saddle but
 slipped back to 62nd with a 3hrs 44mins 4secs marathon.

 1 P Vernay (New Cal) 8.06.00
 62 Andrew Forth 9.23.33

 Thanks again to Pete Mulholland for providing this week's last word:
 "No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding
 experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the
 race is unchanged; each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race
 stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about
 myself and others". George Sheehan.