Newsdesk 2002

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 Richmond Park
 We're on a roll - we've won one mob match in a row! We want to extend our
 winning streak, so there's a three-line whip on this one. Against Thames a
 couple of weeks ago we had 59 starters. If we can match that we can
 certainly win. Remember, it doesn't matter how fast you are, just being
 there and getting round the course is the important thing. Same course, same
 time 2.30pm. Your club needs YOU. Yes, you behind the keyboard! BE THERE! 
 For the fast boys, this race incorporates the club championship for the
 Wynne Cup and there's a sealed handicap to boot.  

 ...are at Parliament Hill on 22nd February, but entries have to be in before
 Christmas. Anyone can run but if you want to give it a try you must let Andy
 Bickerstaff know immediately. See 'NEXT'  below for contact details.  

 If you're interested in coming along to the club Christmas party on Saturday
 December 21st at Janet Turnes's pub, the Wych Elm in Kingston, please
 contact Robin and Julie as soon as possible at thedrummonds@blueyonder.co.uk
 It will only go ahead if enough people are interested, so please do let them 

 DYSART CUP AND ELLIS CUP  Saturday December 7th in Richmond Park
 The Dysart Cup race came first, incorporating the club women's and women's
 veterans championships for the Hugh Jones Salver and Trish's Trophy
 This was Sarah's day. With a newfound confidence born of excellent recent
 results she was out on her own from the off, built up a good lead on the
 initial lap round Sidmouth Wood and extended that to over a minute at the
 finish. And all this only a day after flying back from two weeks' work in
 Australia, swopping temperatures of 30C for closer to 30F and with a body
 clock set to 3am! This was Sarah's first race win and first club
 championship, both richly deserved and I hope the forerunners of many more
 to come.
 Bridget Cuthbert started aggressively, paid for that in the closing stages
 but nevertheless held on for second place in the club championship with
 Sonia Rowland running well for third. More importantly Sonia became the
 appropriate first holder of Trish's Trophy, recently donated for the club
 women's vets championship in memory of Sonia's sister Trish Mac who sadly
 died last year.  
 Eliete and Louise closed in our scoring five but we were unable to prevent
 Serpentine walking off with the Dysart Cup team trophy (actually we were, as
 the trophy - which we held - failed to materialise on the day!). Julie
 Naismith won the sealed handicap. 
 The turn-out was surprisingly poor: after seeing nearly 20 Ranelagh starters
 in the first two Surrey League races, to have only 8 on the starting line
 for the club championship was disappointing. 

 The men's race for the Ellis Cup was well supported with 135 finishers from
 some 15 clubs, though half a dozen of these failed even to muster the
 requisite number to feature in the subsidiary 6-to-score event. The Ellis
 trophy itself is for 10-a-side and Serpentine comfortably secured the second
 half of their double, more than 40 points clear of Stragglers with ourselves
 in third place. As usual the Ranelagh team for this was something of a
 hotch-potch, led by the Captain and his Vice (though not necessarily in that
 order). Argentinian Francisco Baratta made an impressive debut as our third
 man home and there was another new face well up in the scoring team in Doug
 Compson. Back in 115th place was a chap who was out for an innocent bike
 ride in the Park, enquired about the race and the club and before he knew
 where he was found himself lining up with a number on his shirt!  
 Race winner by an even clearer margin than Sarah managed in the women's race
 was an Ethiopian in the colours of Hercules.   

 Later, in the Rose of York, many of us celebrated - only a few weeks late -
 CO's 50th birthday. Cheers Chris! 

 Mike Peace reminds me that I omitted to report on another very convivial
 evening with our guests at the Rose of York: "Hearty food and many drinks
 were consumed in celebration of the event and the Thames boys went home
 suitably chastened (and fairly inebriated too)."  Marcus adds: "We flooded
 the Thames with our numbers and their challange ebbed away! Well done to all
 who took part, and commiserations to those who missed it. Never mind,
 there's South London on the 14th, and looking ahead, BLACKHEATH in January".
 And from the States, Angus Cater: "Wonderful news - sorry I wasn't there. I
 shall be in America again for the next one as well. Next season will be
 different! Many congrats to everyone". 

 Anna McLaughlin writes:
 "I finished the Great Barford Half Marathon yesterday in a time of 1:35:37
 which I am totally over the moon about as I took 5 mins off my previous PB!
 All that recent hill training has certainly paid off as the course was
 'undulating' for the majority of the time with a nice Ham Gate style hill
 thrown in at 10.5 miles for good measure!!".
 1 C Mutwa (Kenya) 78.50
 13 Anna McLaughlin 95.37 

 Alex Hook was our highest finisher amongst the Surrey teams contesting the
 Southern Inter-Counties championship at Banbury on December 7th. Estelle
 Damant ran in the senior race as a non-scorer rather than in the Under 20
 event for some reason.
 Under 13
 1 S Simpson (Beds) 11.10
 22 Alex Hook 12.30
 Under 17
 1 N Sykes (Beds) 19.29
 44 Jessica Harvey 23.09
 1 D Sullivan (Essex) 23.16
 55 Estelle Damant 27.13 

 Fuller results from the Serpentine 5km on November 29th:
 1 A Greenway (Serp) 16.17
 56 Sara Grosvenor 19.17
 62 Alan Davidson 19.30
 72 Niels Andersen 19.52
 73 Pete Warren 19.53
 173 Mike Rowland 24.04
 180 Teresa Segovia 24.47
 181 John Hanscomb 24.58
 182 Wally Garrod 25.03

 ...the club's second-fastest ever marathon runner behind the Jones boy, is
 visiting the UK from his home in the States and hopes to make it on Saturday
 for a run in the SLH mob match. He'll be staying in Feltham - can anyone
 oblige him with a lift to and from Richmond? Contact me asap if you can

 Answering Peter Saw's question about whether race walking may once have
 enjoyed a higher profile than it does today, Mike Rowland writes:
 "There is a quite extraordinary photograph in this month's Race Walking
 Record. Paul Warburton has written a piece about Tommy Green, Belgrave's
 only Olympic gold-medallist (he won the 50k walk in Los Angeles, 1932). And
 there's a picture of him walking through Brighton near (not at) the finish
 of the 1933 London to Brighton, which he won. The crowd scenes are amazing,
 they're at least six deep on the pavements, spilling over on to the road. A
 mounted policeman is alongside and a host of guys (in civvies) are trotting
 Geoff Jones reports on his trip to Mexico for the World Triathlon
 "Had a great trip to Cancun to compete in the World Triathlon Champs in the
 40 to 44 age group, but unfortunately the race didn't go to plan. The swim
 was OK, but a strong current and lack of wetsuit (which tends to help us
 runners more than it helps true swimmers - something to do with buoyancy)
 meant I was a bit down on where I would have liked to be. 5km into the bike
 section I got a puncture, my first in nearly 2 years! Fortunately (or not as
 it latter turned out) it was right next to a bike mechanic (only 2 on the
 whole course!) and 4 minutes later I was off again and had a very good ride
 after that. The run proved to be a nightmare for everyone as the temperature
 was 34C in the shade (there wasn't any!) and 41C on the road, not to
 mention the high humidity. After 5km and having seen 3 people collapsed on
 the side of the road I called it quits rather than join the hospital list.
 At the time I was probably on for a 50min plus 10km. As it was there was a
 tent full of people on drips at the finish and 3 of the GB team ended up in
 hospital, so although I was gutted I felt I made the right choice.
 Still it certainly beat a mob match in Epping Forest (I did think of you
 all) and I did get to mix with a few stars, Andrea Whitcomb and new World
 Champion Leanda Cave. Next year the race is in Queenstown, New Zealand and
 I've decided to try and qualify again and hopefully do a bit better (at
 least finish!). I don't plan to do any real training until the New Year, and
 hope to get a couple of races in for Ranelagh before the end of the
 x-country season and hope to see some of you there".  

 Tim Woolmer has some spare Marathon entries on behalf of the charity he used
 to manage.  If anyone is interested (you have to guarantee a minimum amount
 of sponsorship) contact Tim by e-mail at  tim.woolmer@virgin.net or by phone
 on 020 8878 1259.

 Stephen Instone's report on research into the correlation between
 monosyllabic names and running prowess seems to have sparked some interest,
 not least from those now forming a queue at the deed poll office. Indeed I
 myself had been considering becoming Steve Row in a last desperate bid to
 regain credibility as an "athlete", but I seem to have been pre-empted by
 the afore-mentioned bloke on a bike (see the Ellis Cup report above).
 Simon Collingridge writes: "Interesting to see Steve Instone's research. I
 always knew the man was sound ( despite substantial evidence to the
 contrary). For years I assumed it was my Mars Bar enhanced midriff which had
 been holding me back. It is comforting in a way to know that it was actually
 my three syllabled surname. An answer too, perhaps, to Tim Woods's drift
 from the front of the pack when he started being known as T.B.C.H. A to Z
 Woods. Intriguing stuff, although Rob Wise may need to look elsewhere for
 his excuses".
 Marcus Gohar, aka Marc Go, adds: "Mike Boit, Jon Brown, Ron Clarke, Paul
 Doyle(?) would seem to confirm his hypothesis. Gordon Pirie is straying into
 bisyllabic territory, and when we get onto Emil Zatopek and Ingrid
 Kristiansen, positively polysyllabic, but with no loss of speed. The theory
 really falls apart with Jarmilla Kratochvilova, Haile Gebreselassie, and of
 course Pheidippides. Still, try dropping the 'Inst' from your name, Steve,
 and see what happens. By the way, watch out ladies, the wife's looking for a
 shorter alternative to Eliete Moreira do Nascimento!"
 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 ). 

 Saturday December 14th  Stubbs Cup mob match v South London Harriers in
 Richmond Park. 7.5 miles starting at 2.30pm.   

 Thursday December 26th    Social run in Richmond Park starting from the
 clubhouse at 11am.

 Saturday December 28th     Henty Relay in Richmond Park. A not-too-serious
 relay for all ages and speeds. Teams of three (one "fast", one "medium" and
 one "slow") are drawn on the day. Be at the clubhouse by 2pm.   

 Saturday January 4th     Surrey Cross-Country Championships at Banstead.

 As if 24 hour races on the track were not sufficiently mind blowing, the
 Orkney Islander William Sichel has just set a new world record of 112.46
 miles for 24 hours on a treadmill.... 

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