Newsdesk 2002

 Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
 This Saturday the final Surrey League fixtures for men and women both take
 place on South London Harriers' course on Farthing Down at Coulsdon. Note
 that as usual for the last women's fixture the senior event will be held
 FIRST. This means a start time of 12 noon! Under 15s and Under 20s follow
 the seniors. Junior men appear at 2.30pm followed by the seniors at 3pm.

 Last Saturday's Southern Championship at Parliament Hill was a classic
 squelchathon with mud up to here and driving rain for most of the day. "Why
 do we do this?" were Julian's first words. They might have been his last
 too, as he spent most of the race complaining that his legs wouldn't work.
 "Am I really our second scorer?" he asked incredulously half way round his
 last lap. Well, yes. Peter H was well ahead, looking strong and hovering
 around the 70 mark for most of the race. CO, tripping lightly over the mud,
 was having a great run close behind Julian for much of the way before losing
 a little ground in the closing stages. Cap'n Andy, tripping heavily over the
 mud, called it a day after his third worm's eye view of Hampstead Heath.
 Marcus and Paul battled their way into the top 200 and PC Mick closed in the
 team at 262nd with the President backing up not far behind. We finished 15th
 out of 64, a slight improvement on last year.
 The women, on the other hand, slipped a little from last year's 10th down to
 17th place. Kristina  imperiously led our crew, making light of the mud for
 an excellent 69th. Liz seemed unhappy but progressed steadily after a slow
 start to come in a few places ahead of Margaret with Sue, looking like she
 wished she was somewhere else, last scorer at 168th. Louise, looking quite
 happy to be where she was, followed close at hand.

 Well done to all runners and spectators who braved the elements and
 especially to Hugh Jones who as clerk of the course had been out with posts
 and tape in whatever Mother Nature could chuck at him for the previous two

 Ian Milne writes from Matlock:
 "More congratulations on becoming a mob match centurion. But how many
 current members realise that it was only since the mid 1970s that we had 4
 mob matches a year. Prior to that the Thames match was a 2 race affair, an A
 race over 8-ish miles, and a B race over 4-ish miles. I know, I was the
 fixtures secretary who changed it, at Captain Jim Forrest's request. So our
 older gents would have had to run in all 3 traditional mob matches for a
 minimum of 34 years to obtain the century, while our current (younger) gents
 can do it in 25 years.
 Also, how many know of the old Thames changing rooms in Roehampton, the hip
 baths with only a gallon or so of water in each (although hot, not cold like
 our own were when we ran out of water), and the devastating fire which
 destroyed these and many of the prized possessions of the oldest of the
 nation's Cross Country Clubs.
 This brings me to my suggestion.
 Ron Callis had a difficult task of producing the First Hundred Years of
 Ranelagh Harriers, with no-one old enough to remember the early years. As a
 result, it was more a catalogue of events gleaned from old reports than
 living record of the spirit of the times. Since 1981 the club has
 experienced dramatic changes, many of which are only recorded in our
 memories. Do our current members know what was involved on race days in
 having a bath, for example? By the time 2081 comes around, the best of these
 will be lost, and the chronicler of the Second Hundred Years will have
 another difficult task. Would it not be nice to record the last 20 years
 while these memories are still alive ? Just think of the changes,
 demolishing the old club house (John Barnard tried to do it single handedly
 with his Ford Fiesta), building the new one, the lady membership, the London
 Marathon, our own half marathon, the changes in the Dysart, the massive
 increase in membership numbers, and all the fun and work which all this
 entailed. Perhaps Bill Bird and Alan Hedger could get together and bring us
 up to the year 2002 before we all forget".

 More details of all the following from Andy Bickerstaff (07966 552302 /
 mailto:norris.hobs@ndirect.co.uk) or Sarah Seal (020 8995 2380 /

 Saturday February 2nd    Surrey League Div 1 final fixtures, women (12 noon)
 and men (3pm) both at Farthing Downs, Coulsdon 

 Saturday February 9th   Pelling-Ratcliff Cup mob match v Blackheath Harriers
 at home in Richmond Park, incorporating our club championship for the Wynne
 Cup. 7.5 miles, 2.30pm start. Our last chance to win a mob match this
 season! In the evening there will be a supper upstairs at the Dysart. Price
 about a tenner. Book with Mike Peace (mailto:admin@frimley.surrey.sch.uk)

 Sunday February 10th    Richmond Mini Marathon trial in Richmond Park,
 incorporating the Ranelagh junior women's championship for the Camilla Cup. 

 Saturday February 16th    v Bank of England and others in Richmond Park (on
 the Bank's course from Roehampton Gate).   5 miles, 2.30pm start. 

 Saturday February 23rd    National Championships at Bristol

 Check out the details for the relay in Aarhus, Denmark, on April 28th at
 and for the Green Belt Relay on May 11th / 12th at at

 Looking further ahead, the Camberley Half Marathon on March 3rd incorporates
 the Surrey county championship so might be a good pre-London choice. Entry
 forms in the clubhouse or from www.camberleyathleticclub.co.uk. The Thames
 Towpath 10 miles at Chiswick on March 17th will again be the first event in
 this year's Ranelagh road Grand Prix. Entry forms in the clubhouse. The
 Dysart Dash, our own 10km race, was incorrectly shown on our fixture card as
 June 23rd. In fact it will take place as usual on the last Sunday in June,
 which is the 30th.

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