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Newsdesk 2002

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 RANELAGH HARRIERS E-NEWS # 60              17 APRIL 2002
 Web site: http://www.surreyweb.net/rharriers
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 LONDON MARATHON
 was the big event this week of course, but I'll hold our report over until
 next week to allow a bit more time to collate results and impressions.
 Suffice it to say for now that Marcus Gohar and Lizzie Clifford were out
 first man and woman home and will be suitably rewarded with the Winter Cup
 and the Brasher Bowl respectively, Mike Peace and John Hanscomb maintained
 their 100% records and Bev Ali beat 5 hours!

 CHEDWORTH ROMAN TRAIL RUN
 Julian Smith reports from this race on April 7th:
 "At Dave Wright's invitation, a small and select etc. etc. band travelled
 down (up? over?) to Cirencester for a 10 mile multi-terrain race in the
 heart of the Cotswolds. First however we had to survive the night before,
 a trawl around a bitingly cold Cirencester in search of proper beer, which
 proved surprisingly elusive, although not sufficiently so to prevent the
 Captain from downing substantial quantities (I limited myself to 6 pints.
 I think). Highlight was when our leader was accosted in one bar by a very
 fresh-faced young man called Spartacus (really) who thought Andy had a
 "great coat" (the one he uses as a tracksuit), and who was clearly in awe
 of such a guitar legend being in Gloucestershire.
 As for the race, well it was wonderful. A mixture of empty roads, paths
 through open spring woodland, bright green fields full of lambs, plenty of
 hills, and a stream to be crossed 3 times in a mile, all of this under a
 dazzling blue sky.  Peter Haarer soon disappeared into the distance chased
 by a lone pursuer, and was never seen again. Your correspondent spent 7
 miles digesting breakfast before eventually setting off after Peter's lone
 pursuer, whilst Chris spent several miles tussling with the lead woman and
 was third man in our winning team. Andy began to wonder whether his band's
 name is getting too close for comfort, and Louise enjoyed being a
 pacemaker. Dave Wright, he marshalled...
 All in all an excellent 24 hours, and many thanks to Dave, Claudie and the
 engaging Natalie for their generous hospitality".
 1	Peter Haarer		59.56
 2	Julian Smith		61.47
 12	Chris Owens		65.10
 22	Andy Bickerstaff		67.45
 213	Louise Piears		87.46

 OVERSEAS
 Not far overseas, but Lucy Facer finished an excellent 3rd in 54.04 in the
 Newport to Ryde 7 miles on the Isle of Wight on Easter Saturday.

 Marina Quayle missed getting into the London Marathon but instead ran the
 Paris version on April 7th. She finished in an official time of 4.35.43,
 with an actual time some 10 minutes faster.

 Neil Walford reports on his run in the Two Oceans Marathon in South
 Africa:
 "The World is Never Enough (but 56 kilometers will do for now).
 Briefing -December 10th, 2002
 Well looks like 007 has been captured by Spectrum, so its down to you
 00pless (think about it...)  to achieve the mission , codename 'Pointless'
 and run up and down in a big circle until you fall over or everyone else
 decides to go home. Yes, I know it sounds stupid, but apparently the South
 Africans do a lot of this ultra running, and they have gold, diamonds,
 platinum and lager at 45 pence a pint, so we had better investigate.

 The 35 miles Two Oceans run seemed a logical one to do considering:
 1. I hadn't trained properly for about 6 years.
 2. I had only ever run over 22 miles once before - a marathon in 1992 that
 I ended up walking.
 3. No one else I knew was doing it and
 4. I could think of about 100+ better things to do with a 3 month gap
 between jobs than train in the cold and wet of the English winter.

 However, the 45 pence a pint lager convinced me otherwise and so I headed
 off to show the 'Dutchies' how to run long distances. A minor pork pie on
 the entry form overcame the need to have run a marathon in the previous 12
 months, and a family illness meant that I missed doing a 20 mile race as
 part of my training (or even a half marathon come to think of it), but
 hey, it's only a case of putting one leg after the other so no worries
 there.

 The race itself lived up to its billing as one of the most beautiful runs
 in the world, with some spectacular views and really good organisation and
 support. The day itself was lovely and sunny (if you weren't running that
 is) and Amanda dragged herself out of bed to drive me to the 6.00 am
 start. The first 20k was flat and went down to and around the coast at
 Fishhoek. Being a total novice to ultra distance, I took advantage of this
 to charge through the field, overtaking other runners who were going
 'ridiculously slowly' and positioned myself on the shoulder of the fourth
 placed female athlete - this was going to be a doddle. I should have taken
 the hint after 25k when in addition to water and sports drinks, they were
 handing out oxygen masks, and the teams of Ghurkas that normally run UK
 marathons seemed to have been replaced by teams of Sherpas -  the ascent
 of Ou Kaapseweg had begun.

 This was a climb of 315 metres, made worse by a short downhill in the
 middle of it, but the crowd at the top was very impressive - it was like
 the Tour de France crowds on the Alp d'Huez, handing out water, sweets and
 body bags. All the distance climbed was immediately lost in a really steep
 downhill that really took its toll and having gone through halfway (28k)
 in 2 hours 10, by the time I reached the 42k marathon mark I had taken 3
 hours 28. The final 9 miles i.e. the 'ultra' bit of the ultra marathon
 were really painful as by now the sun was fully up, the field had thinned
 out, the final large climb (Southern Cross Drive) had begun and I was
 getting dehydrated and was being overtaken by all those experienced Ultra
 marathon runners I had 'burned off' in the first part of the race - it
 wasn't so much fun now and my speed dropped to not much more than a slow
 jog. Still I managed to avoid walking and kept a nervous eye on my time -
 cursing those ex-work colleagues whose sponsorship depended upon finishing
 in under 5 hours. I looked around the crowds to see where Amanda was,
 looking for some encouragement, but couldn't find her.

 I got my second wind around 50 k (perhaps this race was too short for
 me...) and managed to finish with a flourish- despite nearly getting
 flattened by a 6 foot Ostrich in the finishing sprint (I am not sure who
 had the better running style). I found Amanda at the finish and asked her
 where she had been watching: 'Well, to be honest I went back to bed and
 didn't watch you race - it was really early you know', and to add insult
 to injury she proceeded to scoff the tin of ice cold lager that I had been
 given on finishing, while I sat down and was unable to stand up again.
 Still I had finished in 4.52, coming 1118th out of 6,600 finishers and
 enjoyed about 45 of the 56 kilometres.

 Overall, a beautiful race and there was also a half marathon run at the
 same time, and some shorter races the day before. In view of the great
 scenery, climate and cheap food and beer - a possibility for a future
 Ranelagh outing?"

 SUBSCRIPTIONS
 Robin Drummond writes:
 "Just a reminder that membership subs are now due.  Please send your
 cheques to the Membership Secretary - Robin Drummond, The Studio, 1 Church
 Street, Hampton, Middx. TW12 2EB, or alternatively you can hand your money
 to Mike Pearce if you see him at the pub. Rates are Senior Members (over
 20) 30, Students/Juniors 6, Family Membership 60, Country Members 10,
 Retired Members 5".
 
 OUT AND ABOUT 
 Chris Owens is hoping to see some of you for a Sunday morning run and pub 
 lunch next Sunday (April 21st): 
 "I'm suggesting we go to a nice area between Esher and Weybridge, known as 
 West End. This has the typical English village ingredients of a duck pond, 
 cricket pitch, access to very nice tracks and trails around the Esher 
 Commons, and a pub with good food and a big garden. West End is about 
 20mins drive from the Richmond area.  

 I suggest people park near the ponds, where it indicates West End, not
 where the P for parking is on the map. I'll use this to indicate some
 routes when people get there.
 As before we'd aim to start running in small groups of similar ability
 from about 10.45-11.00ish, so that people can have a run and be ready for
 lunch around 12noon - so we can be first in the queue ! Ground conditions
 are in general similar to Leith Hill - may be muddier than Richmond Park,
 so a change of shoes and extra layers for lunch are a good idea. Outside
 in April can range from nicely warm to quite chilly. Please let me know if
 you're likely to be coming (mailto:chris.owens@unilever.com). This is
 mainly to let the pub know if we are likely to appear with 25 people".

 GRAND UNION CANAL
 Chris Spink writes:
 "On the 1st & 2nd of June 2002, I will attempt to run the Grand Union
 Canal Race. This race is 145miles (6 marathons back to back) and you've to
 finish in under 45 hours. The route is Birmingham to London via the Canal
 tow path.
 I'm raising money for the children's Hospice in Winchester, Naomi House
 where my sister is a nurse. I've raised money for this charity before
 running marathons and the London to Brighton in October 2001. I am
 passionate about this charity and I am sure that I'll complete this
 challenge.
 This is not only an appeal for sponsorship but also for support however
 you could offer it. I'm trying to put together a support team: driver,
 masseur, nutritionist, and a team of runners for moral support..."
 Contact Chris direct if you're prepared to sponsor him or can help for all
 or any of the run itself (mailto:chriss@fulham.hphc.co.uk).

 COMMITTEE
 The next meeting will be on Tuesday 23rd April.  It will take place in the
 clubhouse at 8.30pm.

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

 Sunday April 28th      1900 Stafetten Relay in Aarhus, Denmark

 Saturday May 11th / Sunday May 12th	Green Belt Relay

 Sunday May 19th      Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon at Old Deer Park, 8am
 start (yes, really!).

 Sunday June 9th       Dorking 10 miles road race (note the date is the
 9th, not the 2nd as originally thought). 10.45am start. Entry form can be
 downloaded from www.dmvac.org.uk.

 Entry forms for both the Half Marathon and the Dysart Dash 10km on June
 30th can be downloaded from our web site.

 FINALLY
 The recent debates on the future of fox-hunting led several newspapers to
 run stories on possible alternatives, such as the bloodhound packs that
 track a human quarry. One such foxy fellow described his pre-hunt routine:
 the week before the meeting he would go for a long run in the clothes he
 planned to wear for the hunt. On finishing he would immediately seal them
 in a plastic bag and leave them there for the whole week to stew. The
 smell of them when he put them back on a week later would be strong enough
 for the most nasally-challenged bloodhound to follow.
 Does that sound like anybody's kit you know....?

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