Newsdesk 2001

 Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
 Jim Forrest provides some Jimthoughts on last Saturday's Thomas Cup, the
 Opening Run of our 121st season:
 "We had a glorious day for the Opening Run this year, not too hot, perfect
 for running - quite similar to my first Thomas Cup 39 years ago.   Having
 contributed last winter to the club's efforts by running through various
 swamps in unbelievably appalling times, I was rewarded by a very pleasant
 handicap allocation this time. (All this without any secret payments
 either!)  My part of the start area was like a dream, really - not since
 university days have I been surrounded by so many beautiful women in such a
 state of undress.
 Geared up by all this excitement, I probably ran a little too purposefully
 in the first mile.  I had forgotten that infernal steep hill that the club
 has kindly inserted at Isabella and was definitely on zero momentum for
 large parts of it.  It was an immense relief to finish in the end and get in
 the medals just before the scratch man came bounding through.  A sobering
 thought that I shall have to do the darned circuit twice on October 6th in
 the Orion Mob Match.  My time was even more sobering, being my slowest ever,
 and needs some explanation to the readers.
 The answer as I see it is that the Earth (the section that I am running on,
 anyway) is expanding at about 4% per year.  This explains the apparent
 deterioration in my performances perfectly." 

 There was a good field of over 50 starters, quickest of all being Senor
 Benton and Senorita O'Neill, visiting from Barcelona. Julie Gilding was a
 clear winner, but the rest - except for a few injured and lame tailed off -
 were home in a little over 4 minutes - good work by Will the Sorcerer's

 Quite a few more than 50 assembled before the race for the annual club
 photo, including many old friends who had travelled some way - if not quite
 as far as the Spanish contingent - to be with us.

 On September 16th Allan Lang finished 4th in the over 60s category in BVAF
 10km championship at Brockwell Park in a time of 41.20.  

 to the following new members: Ildiko Solti, Eleonora Zona, Jo Tresidder,
 Sally Ann Morris, Jaroslava Duskova, Paul Doyle, Eamonn O'Dwyer, Michael

 Wally Garrod has a room to let again in his house in Tolworth. If you're
 interested, contact Wally on 020 8390 1676.

 Neil Lewis writes: "Old RH Neil Lewis, now a sculler with Hexham Rowing Club
 in Northumberland won his first regatta last month on 18 August at
 Berwick-sur-Tweed, that border enclave famed for having only recently
 stopped being at war over the Crimea (good quiz question that). Due to foot
 and mouth restrictions upstream, the Tweed course was set in the
 tidal/coastal town reaches, making for 'interesting' water. In his heat
 Lewis's opponent jammed himself in Hexham's medieval bridge arch. Superior
 watermanship in a borrowed boat took L through however, but having set up
 his boat wrongly whilst seized by fear before the race, he was just beaten
 to the line, also racing crabs with most strokes. The opponent was
 disqualified for interference and so L made the final. Sea conditions had
 worsened, but L had now rerigged his borrowed boat and felt more confident.
 Sadly he had rigged too far the other way, but his new opposition was more
 scared of the conditions than he was and he won his first trophy, a lovely
 chrome plated plastic dish on a wood-effect plastic stand bearing the sticky
 label emblazoned '2001'. If you hold the dish in a certain light you can
 just see the club crest. Category - novice old man who has never won
 anything before. The trouble is, four boats made this a ranking race so he
 now has to race in a higher category where the competition know one end of a
 boat from another, and may even train."
 Winners in the draw held after the Thomas Cup race were Gordon Neal (157),
 Steve Rowland (65 - yippee) and Mick Lane (39). Join in for just a tenner
 a year (cheques payable to 'Ranelagh Harriers Building Fund') to Pete
 Trainor at 30 Hatch Place, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 5NB.

 More details of all the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 norris.hobs@bigwig.net) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 / sarahs@walker.co.uk). 
 Sunday September 23rd    Cabbage Patch 10 miles road race at Twickenham.
 10am start. This incorporates our Callis Cup 10 miles club championship.
 Entries on the day 10. 

 Saturday September 29th / Sunday September 30th     Southern Road Relays at

 Saturday October 6th     The season's first mob match at home v Orion
 Harriers. 7.5 miles in Richmond Park, starting at 3pm. All able bodies to
 the start line please.

 Saturday October 13th    Surrey Cross Country League Division One - men at
 Brockwell Park, women at Wimbledon Common. Note that the women's league
 start times have been brought forward this year. Under 13s & under 15s now
 run together at 12 noon, under 17s and under 20s at 12.30pm and seniors at
 1pm. Men's races remain at 2.30pm for under 17s and 3pm for seniors.

 Saturday October 20th    Surrey Veterans Championships (women 6km at 2.30pm,
 men 10km at 3pm) at Richmond Park. This is on our course but entries do have
 to be made in advance to be eligible for the team competition. We regularly
 seem to miss team medals because of this, so anyone planning to run should
 please be sure to add your name to the list on the clubhouse noticeboard or
 contact John Hanscomb (020 8399 3928) or send your entry direct to Derek
 Crookes at 209 Lynmouth Avenue, Morden, Surrey SM4 4RX with the 2 fee
 payable to Surrey County AA.

 Alan Davidson revealed at the Thomas Cup that it was his 2000th race since
 taking up running back in 1985. By my reckoning, that works out to slightly
 over two races per week....

 Steve Rowland
 Telephone: 01926 318734
 Fax: 0870 4006901
 e-mail: srowland@calorgas.co.uk