*************************************************** RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 296 23 December 2008 Editor: Steve Rowland mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org *************************************************** HEADLINE NEWS ************* * Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all * All welcome at the Henty Relay this Saturday * Ranelagh wins Stubbs Cup mob match v SLH * Ralph Street wins Wynne Cup club championship * First place in the sealed handicap for Kath Phillips * Results of draw for London Marathon places * Howard Gleave first over 50 and Marie Synnott-Wells first over 35 in South of the Thames Champs * Sam Perkins 2nd in Bushy Parkrun * Keith Firkin in the Himalayas SEE HERE ******** TWO MOB MATCH WINS - ONE MORE TO GO... Niall O'Connor writes: "Thanks to everyone who turned out for the mob match against SLH on the 13th. 55 is a great turn-out, especially on such a miserable day. The win was our fourth of the last fifteen years against them and our second mob match win of the season. Last year just 21 travelled to Coulsdon so bear the return fixture in mind as a 2009 resolution. Of more immediate concern is the fourth, and final, mob match of this season, scheduled for January 31st. This will be in Hayes, Kent, and pits us against Blackheath and Bromley Harriers. This has proven to be a difficult away mob match for us, it being 38 years since we last beat them at their place! There have been a few close contests (just 3 points separated the clubs in 2005) but since that fateful day of 16th January 1971, the result has always been in their favour. This next mob match is a definite case of - 'Your club need you!'" CHRISTMAS PARTY and DRAW FOR LONDON MARATHON PLACES Deborah Blakemore reports: "Regarding the Christmas party on Saturday 13th December at the Dukes Meadow Golf Club, I think I have been asked to say a few words as I probably enjoyed it the most! The venue was a great success with a big dance floor to shake off that excess energy after our successful mob match. The DJ was particularly good and kept the evening going with a swing. Bubbly on arrival, everyone dressed up in their Xmas finery, together with a raffle and the draw for the marathon places, made a memorable evening all round. I am sure that everyone who was there will join me in a big thank you to Michele for all her hard work in pulling together such a great evening. Now, did I mention the hangover the next day...!" The lucky five whose names were drawn out of the hat for the club's five allocated London Marathon places were: Ian Grange, Chris Wilson, Lee Davies, Tanya Allen and Jo Turner. Congratulations! TUESDAY NIGHT CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION After training tonight (December 23rd) there will be mulled wine and other goodies in the clubhouse. If possible, bring along a small contribution to the feast. CHRISTMAS DAY For those who can't do without their running fix, there are actually two events in the area on Christmas morning. The Bushy Parkrun takes place at 9am and the traditional Christmas Morning Paarlauf at Wimbledon Common starts at 11am. The latter, from Lauriston Cottage on South Side, dates back over 50 years: it's a two-person 30 minutes relay on a road circuit on the edge of the common. Just turn up and register by 10.30am on the day. Free hot punch and mince pies afterwards! HENTY RELAY Saturday 27th 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. CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS The county (Lloyd Park, January 3rd), South of England (Hillingdon, January 24th) and National (Parliament Hill, February 21st) championships are all open to all club members but entries must be made in advance. If you'd like to experience taking part in one of the big championship races (and it IS quite an experience) contact one of the Captains as soon as possible. ALETSCH HALF MARATHON 25th - 29th June 2009 at Bettmeralp, Switzerland Peter Fordham writes: "I still have some places available for next year's trip to run in the spectacular Aletsch Half Marathon. Starting in the car-free village of Bettmeralp, the race includes the ridge alongside the longest glacier in Europe, with views of 4000 metre peaks. Having run this race four times, I believe it represents the perfect introduction to mountain running and takes place in truly beautiful surroundings and fresh air! I am offering this trip through my alpine sports company, whose main focus is mountain running and makes use of my wide experience of races in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The race takes place within the only UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in the Alps and is almost entirely on good mountain track. The trip group will be kept quite small to ensure success. I have also selected it because of my knowledge of the area, and the good contacts and negotiations made with the race organization, the hotel, and the Swiss Travel Centre. The cost represents outstanding value for money in relation to other overseas trips. Trip Price of £599 includes: * Stay at the 3 star Hotel Alpfrieden in Bettmeralp- 4 nights with half board. * Scheduled protected flights from Heathrow to Geneva (booked through The SwissTravel Centre who have full affiliation with ABTA, ATOL and IATA). * Transfer by rail, cog railway and cable car to hotel. * Race Entry Fee and full support at destination. * Personal insurance and travel within the UK is NOT included. I am not at the clubhouse every week, so please indicate your interest as soon as possible, by e- mail or phone to make sure I can secure rooms and flight seats. More information contact: Peter at 07799 072307 or at email@example.com. For more details on the race: www.aletsch-halbmarathon.ch. NUTRITIONAL THERAPY Eddie Richards writes: "I am a runner from Somerset, a member of Wells City Harriers and formerly of Bristol AC. I am currently in my second year of a three year diploma/foundation degree in Nutritional Therapy with the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (www.ion.ac.uk) and am beginning to work with clients in the training clinic in Richmond. I am required to provide a client to give an observed consultation to in the clinic on Friday February 20th at 10.30am with a follow up consultation on Friday March 20th, the former lasting 60 mins, the latter 30-45 mins. Not being local to London it is a little harder for me to find someone and the person I had lined up is unavailable due to a wedding invite! So I was hoping you might be able to help me by asking if anyone in your club would like a free nutritional therapy consultation with me. It would obviously be helping me out but I would hope it would also be of benefit to my client. I don't mind whether it is an athlete or not or whether their state of health is good or not, although if they are in perfect health there won't be much to work on! But not many people are in perfect health!" If you are interested, contact Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org. MARGARET IN KATMANDU Margaret Nilsen-Fehn writes: "Last lap now. spent a few days in Bandipur, a mountain village on the old trade route between Tibet and India. Went to Gorkha, old capital of Nepal. Four months now and I have had enough! Back in Katmandu counting the days for return on the l8th". WHAT'S COMING ************* More details of the following from Marc Snaith (07717 213035 mailto ( email@example.com ) or Marie Synnott-Wells (07956 431319 / mailto firstname.lastname@example.org ) Saturday 27th December Henty Relay - our Christmas special, all members and guests welcome. See above for more details. Saturday 3rd January Surrey Cross-Country Championships at Lloyd Park, Croydon Saturday 10th January Surrey League Division 1 - women and men both at Coulsdon. Note earlier start times - 12 noon for the senior women, 2.30pm for the senior men. Saturday 24th January South of England Cross-Country Championships at Hillingdon Parkruns every Saturday at 9am Bushy Park Diana Fountain car park Richmond Park Richmond Gate Wimbledon Common Windmill car park Banstead Woods Car park off B2219 Park Lane, Chipstead More details and registration at www.parkrun.com WHAT'S HAPPENED *************** STUBBS CUP MOB MATCH v SOUTH LONDON HARRIERS Saturday 13th December in Richmond Park Ken Powley reports: "You wait ages for a mob match win, then two come along together. Since the coming of the new millennium, we had only mustered 9 wins in the 34 mob matches --- so a welcome surprise to win two in as many weeks, especially in the absence of quite a few of our fast runners, relying instead on the mid-field and slower runners and sheer weight of numbers. This event also included the Wynne Cup Club Championship, won this year by 18 year-old Ralph Street. Chris Illman was our first man home, but ineligible to win the trophy as he is first-claim for Cirencester. It was Ralph of course who finished first for us in the Thames mob match, two weeks ago, in his first season with the club --- a bright future awaits. In conjunction with the Wynne Cup, there is also a Sealed Handicap, this year won easily by Kath Phillips, whose scintillating form was far in advance of anything she has shown in her previous races. Michael White seems to have an unassailable lead in the Points Prize, where he has scored heavily in each of the three events so far. Thanks to all the marshals and officials who braved the elements, on what must have been the worst race conditions for many a year - cold, wet and windy. Our next mob match is away to Blackheath and Bromley, which I'm sure we can win, if we can make the same commitment. It is also the venue of course, for celebrating Clive Naish's extraordinary achievement of running in 100 consecutive mob matches". The winner, Stuart Major, also ran against us in a Thames vest two weeks ago - where, in better conditions, he found a time almost a minute and a half faster than today only good enough for third. Behind Ralph Street, Jonathon Stacey took silver in the club championship and Marc Snaith - one of few to run faster today than two weeks ago - bronze (David Wright being ineligible). Marc was also runner-up in the handicap with Lee Davies third. Speaking of David Wright, he now has a blog: www.wrightyrunning.blogspot.com/. Chris Brook adds: "My ankle seemed to stop working with about 1.5 miles to go in the mob match (why these things don't happen at convenient points like the end of the first lap I don't know). After a visit to A&E at West Middlesex Hospital on Saturday night, it seems that I have strained the anterior ligament, so have some crutches to help me get around for a bit. My heartfelt thanks to Danny Norman for getting me back up the hill. Without him, I might still be crawling around in the mud somewhere around Pen Ponds. Thanks also to Andy Hayward, Michele Gibson and Mike Peace for making sure that I was able to get home. Not ideal timing, the day before Jonny's 5th birthday... and I think that Kate suspects that it may just be a ploy to get waited on over Christmas!" SOUTH OF THE THAMES 7.5 miles Championship Saturday 20th December on Wimbledon Common No three-line whips were sent out for this final club race before Christmas and we were represented by a dozen or so refugees from Christmas shopping. The course was three laps of the Belgrave league course on Wimbledon Common. Our first finisher was Howard Gleave, who was also the first over 50 home. The scoring six was completed by ex-Captain Bix, Captain Snaith, Jerym Brunton, Nick Harrison and Kevin Jacques. Suffice it to say that they did not overly trouble the winning Belgrave team. We had only two starters in the women's race, Marie Synnott-Wells who finished in 4th place and Kath Phillips who was 7th. Marie was the leading vet. MABAC LEAGUE 5.7 miles Sunday 7th December at Ockham Common 1 F Dawson (Dorking) 34.35 62 James Barber 46.02 120 Lynne Barber 56.09 133 Lorna Smith 58.15 139 Penny Merrett 62.50 144 Pat Hewlett 75.31 145 Bev Ali 75.32 HONG SONG 10km Sunday 7th December Niall O'Connor is currently on a round-the-world trip (which doesn't stop him for twisting everyone else's arm to run the mob matches!). He writes from deepest Vietnam: "All well here in Hoi An in central Vietnam....except I am getting a bit fed up of Pho (noodles) all the time - Aine has gone 'native'! Flying down to Saigon today and then New Zealand on the 17th. I am looking forward now to getting back running again. A fortnight off is good but I am getting restless again. I think my target will be sub-60 on the Thames Towpath in April. I ran the 10k Hong Song race last weekend and achieved my first (and probably only) win in a race. Sounds good, eh? Except my time was 43:09 but I did have to wait for the person in second place to catch me a few times so I could get directions. There were no markers en-route! My first wait was at a junction after 6:50 - I had to wait for 45 seconds there - gives an idea of the competition...". BARBADOS BOUND "One-lap" Wally Garrod reports: "When the lovely Ms Gibson suggested in February that some of us might like to run in Barbados in December (and get £100 off) I thought 'I'll have some of that!' I've run in Lyon, Coutainville and Cyprus with Ranelagh chums. Brian Coles decided to join me, Martin Clark decided to go to Mexico. Brian's training consisted of a 60 miles cycle ride round Exmoor, mine involved £90 ultrasound treatment plus two free sessions at St Margarets thanks to Cindy! 2 Dec 6 30 am. Brian picked me up only to tell me he had a flashing warning light on the dashboard and please would I take my AA card. Auto check in at Virgin (naturally). Gatwick was very quick but the baggage drop took over an hour, hardly leaving time for the much looked-forward-to full English breakfast. I had hoped to get a prize as the oldest runner but spied Bruce Tulloh on the plane. He won gold in the 5000 metres at the 1962 Europeans, and lapped me in the Finchley 20 (1hr 41mins!). Our hotel had seen better days and horror of horrors our balcony overlooked a building site! Brian soon changed that and now we had the lovely white sandy beach and clear blue sea to enjoy from our new room - except that at night water seeped into the room. Faced with a return to the first room we improvised with a bucket! At registration the tourist office seemed to have lost our registration, and whilst doing new forms whom should we spy but Sharon and David Rowe. For their sins they had opted to run the 1/2 Mar which started at 5 am. Then we bumped into the one and only Hugh Jones, official marker and still Barbados marathon record holder. The 10km was on the Saturday at 4.30 pm, and mercifully it was cloudy, 32C and high humidity. The roads in Bridgetown had been closed and there was good crowd support, but how one longed for the next water station to come into sight. Trish, of Stragglers, was asked if she wanted cooling down, said yes and had a load of water thrown all over her ! Brian went off far too quickly and I caught him at 4km at which point he took off like a ferret up a drainpipe. I faded badly, not in small part to the bronchitis I developed on arrival. One young Barbadian ran barefoot (Bruce used to run his track races thus but Abebe Bikila won the Olympic marathon barefoot). This is a well organised event, results out quickly and lots of prizes. Well worth the trip to do the 10km! Barbados is a beautiful island, the streets are very clean (not a bit like Tolworth ), the taxis are cheap (50p any distance) but they drive like Fittipaldi. However they are remarkably polite to pedestrians! I was a little put off when reading in the hotel lobby 'In the event of a hurricane...'!!!" 10km Brian Coles 59.03 Wally Garrod 63.18 Half Marathon David Rowe 1:43 Sharon Rowe 2:43 BRIDGES 2.3 miles Handicap Wednesday 10th December at Westminster 1 G Appleby (unatt) 18.30 (actual time 15.30) 3 John Hanscomb 20.28 (21.28) 6 Simon Hedger 20.43 (14.28) 18 Alan Davidson 21.05 (16.20) BUSHY PARKRUN 5km Saturday 13th December 1 T Elsey (Herne Hill) 16.59 30 Darren Wood 20.43 40 Kerrie O'Connor 21.14 121 Jose Scheuer 25.58 177 John Hanscomb 29.23 RICHMOND PARKRUN 5km Saturday 13th December 1 J Varney (Thames T) 16.45 56 Kerry Anley 20.28 70 Stephen Instone 20.57 175 Karen Weir 26.11 210 Pat Hewlett 32.59 218 Joanne Turner 36.23 HOLLY RUN 6 miles Sunday 14th December at Priory Park, Reigate Representing Tiffin School, Ralph Street finished 5th overall and first Under 20. 1 P Rodgers (Reigate P) 31.14 5 Ralph Street 33.11 BOLSOVER 10km Sunday 14th December Phil Aiken reports: "Raw and grey but no rain, this is a popular, predominantly flat race on country roads, with a long sleeved t-shirt that can be worn in the real world". 1 N Renault (L Eaton) 31.12 (chip time 31.11) 270 Phil Aiken 48.18 (47.51) HOG'S BACK 8 miles Sunday 14th December at Guildford 1 H Raidi (Belgrave) 41.38 565 John Hanscomb 78.34 570 Sharon Dooley 79.17 615 David Meaden 84.48 BEDFORD HALF-MARATHON Sunday 14th December 1 J Parslow (Shaft B) 1.08.46 657 Pete Warren 1.48.57 658 Melissa Glackin 1.48.58 LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5km Friday 19th December in Hyde Park 1 J Shane (Basildon) 15.16 105 Alan Davidson 22.04 150 Michael Bull 24.32 185 John Hanscomb 29.43 BUSHY PARKRUN 5km Saturday 20th December Sam Perkins was runner-up. 1 J Trapmore (Shaft B) 15.49 2 Sam Perkins 16.16 10 Nick Wright 18.18 84 David Ready 21.37 147 Michael White 23.54 160 Jose Scheuer 24.22 197 Kirsty Bangham 25.50 198 David Rowe 25.51 267 John Hanscomb 29.13 273 Wally Garrod 29.43 286 Sharon Rowe 30.52 RICHMOND PARKRUN 5km Saturday 20th December 1 C Assmundson (SMR) 17.00 12 Stephen Instone 20.00 23 Andy Woodhouse 21.12 36 Richard Goddard-Jones 22.50 48 Paul Martingell 24.03 53 Wiebke Kortum 24.39 54 Alison Dicks 24.40 61 Louise Reeder 25.52 72 Sharon Dooley 28.25 81 Pat Hewlett 31.20 83 Annemarie Goodridge 31.39 RON HILL CLASSIC 10km Sunday 21st December at Horton Country Park 1 T Doran (OWLS) 34.05 198 Wally Garrod 58.10 232 John Hanscomb 67.46 DISS 15 miles Sunday 28th September One that slipped through the net - third place for Nathan Mills. 1 A Smalls (Colchester) 90.19 3 Nathan Mills 91.36 HIMALAYAN 100 including EVEREST CHALLENGE MARATHON Monday 3rd to Friday 7th November Keith Firkin reports: "So it's over, I surely could not have run any quicker and definitely, in places, not been slower. Even now the memory of the first day's running adventure is starting to fade along with the emotions, but before a step was taken you have to get to the start line .............. Arriving at Terminal 5 and still with my luggage was a simple enough task but as I walked through the revolving doors my mind decided to test my mental nerve. 'Are you sure about this?' Now having given the mental preparation as little thought as possible, to avoid such a moment was nigh on impossible - still I did what any self respecting runner does and just kept taking another step forward. Arriving at the hotel in Delhi in the early hours of the morning I discovered I was sharing a room with a fellow competitor who had been safely tucked up until my gentle tapping awoke him. How can you get to know someone in 30 seconds whilst undressing for bed three feet from them? You can't! I spent the little that remained of the night more awake than alive. The adventure had begun. The following day was spent travelling onward to our base camp in the Himalayan foothills. During this time some 30 oddballs spent many an hour asking questions about locations, running habits and pretty polite stuff - this was the one and only time. So with just one day to go and the whole group assembled, we spent the time trying to understand the chaotic but effective baggage arrangements which turned out to be a fine piece of logistics, but no one knows how. Day 1 - 24 miles with 8,000ft of ascent After all the team bonding of the previous day the eventual winner turned up on the start line wearing long socks and Speedos - Enough said! It's fair to say everyone ran the first 400m and it's fair to say that at 405m we all understood what effect running at altitude would have...you walk. No matter how much you want to run it will not happen. Imagine a plastic bag over your head with two pinholes for oxygen intake. My time for day one was 5hrs 32mins and it took the Land Rover with Lord only knows which bags five hours to cover the same ground. Interesting facts 1. 95% of participants became delirious because of the altitude and gradient. 2. The other 5% became delirious because of the heat. 3. One faller at the first - well done Antonia for getting back in the saddle and completing the whole five days with her left hand heavily bandaged. 4. 3 nanoseconds - the total amount of time spent by all competitors looking up - unfortunately two of those caused Antonia's fall. 5. 100% of stunned looks on everyone's face at the finish. 6. 75% - the number of people who couldn't be bothered to run the last 30m to the finish line just for a good photo! Day 2 - 20 miles with only 1,000ft of ascent Once again we awoke to an early breakfast and by this time the toilet humour was in full flow. When you share a hut with thirty other inmates the barriers are soon broken, unless you wear Speedos. Day two was an out and back course so you understood the return journey. Once again walking uphill was completely the norm. Myself, well I was fortunate enough to catch a big wave at the turning point and fairly ripped through the field on the return until I hit a 1:1000 hill which stopped me dead. Having climbed the previous day through jungle the stunning and varied scenery was akin to 'The Hobbit'. I swear was asked for directions by a Hobgoblin. After the run it was all into the dining hall for curry. Interesting facts 1. 50% of people who were already on Diamox to hold altitude sickness at bay. 2. 80% of people who took anything prescribed or otherwise to help survive. 3. 100% of people having a ball! 4. 15% - the number of people affected by the curry. 5. 10% - the number of people affected by altitude but who carried on regardless. Day 3 - 26.2 miles The Everest Challenge marathon with 6,000ft of descent Starting at the same location as day two and with Mt Everest and his buddies firmly hidden in the clouds we all started at a somewhat lethargic pace. But no matter, it was still a race and by now you had a good idea of your overall standing and would do anything to protect that position - and I mean anything! So pretty soon race mode kicked in and the field strung out. I was grateful for the big descent at 16 miles having paid for yesterday's folly. As pleasant as the downhill section became for scenery and minimal effort you knew that the quads would be irretrievably scarred by the end. Being told I had ten miles to run when my finely tuned mind knew there was only six was not what I needed, and as it happened the overall distance was long but believe me when I say I covered several sections of the downhill on my derriere by default, such was the gradient. Interesting facts 1. 0% - the number of people wanting Mama. 2. 30% - the number of runners completely done in at the end of day three but who still managed days four and five. 3. 12hrs - the time one competitor took to finish - that took some doing. 4. 50% - the number of runners fooled into thinking the hard work was done! 5. 100% - the number of runners who couldn't give a stuff about the bag logistics. Day 4 - 13 miles with only 2,000ft of descent & 2,000ft of ascent What better way to start a race on sore quads than to go downhill for four miles. From somewhere we all started to find our running legs going uphill, well nearly all of us, to the end. This was the first day where everyone stayed at the finish line to applaud, cheer and support all of the adventurers. Interesting facts 1. 1hr 27mins - the winner's time. 2. 3 hrs - the time for sun bathing in the afternoon. 3. 0.02% - the total time spent talking about running ever again. 4. 100% - the number of children living in poverty but smiling all the same. 5. 100% - the number of embarrassed Westerners asked to perform at the cultural evening. Day 5 - 17 miles Having wrecked our calves in the final four miles of day four it was only right to start with 10km uphill. Still at least when we got to the top there would be respite. No chance! No one cared about positions, no one cared for isotonic refreshments but every last one of us prayed to finish, how cruel it would have been to cramp up, ping a muscle, lose control of yourself a few hundred metres short of the finish line. The gods were with us - we all finished, we all congratulated each other for the moment was to be lived. Interesting facts 1. 100% - the number of adventurers. Try an ultra for size - It's what your childhood is all about!". Himalayan 100 1 H Gantioler (Austria) 14hrs 58mins 7 Keith Firkin 18hrs 44mins Everest Challenge Marathon 1 H Gantioler (Austria) 4hrs 32mins 8 Keith Firkin 5hrs 32mins FINALLY... This part of the e-news has dwelt previously on the staggering strength in depth of Japanese distance running. But this story can't be ignored! It comes from "Japan Running News" here: Note, by the way, that in the whole of 2007 only 128 British men ran inside 70 minutes for the Half Marathon. "The Ageo City Half Marathon is the best-kept secret in Japanese distance running. On the surface it is nothing more than a local race in a small town, just one of a half dozen half marathons to choose from near Tokyo on the same day. Like most others it has scoring categories for age groups and gender, and a category for university student runners. What sets Ageo apart is that the students come. All of them. Ageo is six weeks before the Hakone Ekiden Relay, a championship event for universities in eastern Japan's Kanto region and the country's most popular and prestigious race. After a gruelling Ekiden season university coaches know who their star runners are. These athletes' places on their schools' 10-member Hakone teams are secure, but the second-tier runners must still demonstrate that they are worthier of being in Hakone than teammates who may have peaked earlier in the season. Located deep in the heart of Kanto, Ageo and its secret half marathon provide coaches already holding a handful of diamonds with the ideal setting in which to pan through their rosters in search of gold. The result is the most competitive half marathon in the world. The conditions at this year's race on November 16 were cool and misty, with light rain until just minutes before the start of the race. Chuo University's Yuichi Tokuchi led from start to finish, running alone to win in a PB of 1:02:50. 2nd placer Yuichi Suematsu of Komazawa University and 3rd placer Yuki Kawauchi of Gakushuin University both clocked 1:03:22. Relatively pedestrian times, especially in Ageo where winning times in recent years have typically been in the 61-minute range, but digging deeper you find something else entirely. 10th place: 1:03:53 25th place: 1:04:20 50th place: 1:04:45 100th place: 1:05:28 200th place: 1:06:43 300th place: 1:08:09 400th place: 1:09:48 500th place: 1:12:59 408 runners finished under 70 minutes, even without the usual presence of the professional Team Honda's B-squad. Anyone can enter Ageo. If you have run it and are fast enough to be with or near the university runners it is hard to describe. It's the Wild West. It's Pamplona. Go out hard and you're with the bulls. Start more conservatively and you will be disoriented the entire time, passing dozens of students at a time who, being young student guys, went out too hard and have faded".