Newsdesk 2003

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  

 SURREY LEAGUE DIVISION ONE  Saturday 1st February, women at Lloyd Park,
 Croydon, men at Farthing Downs, Coulsdon. These are the final Surrey League
 races of the season. It's a pity the men and women are not at the same venue
 but Coulsdon is only a few miles down the road from Lloyd Park, making it
 quite possible for the men to give our women's team some support at 12.30pm
 before travelling on to their race at 3pm - and vice-versa of course. 
 The women currently stand second overall and with a 46 point gap to leaders
 SLH it's unlikely they'll be able to catch up. But retaining second place
 would equal our best ever. Our 'B' and 'C' teams also stand second to SLH so
 they'll have their own targets! In the junior races our under 20 and under
 13 teams both lead the league by 34 and 9 points respectively and
 individually Alex Hook will be aiming for her third straight win in the
 under 13 age group. Others with a chance of individual medals include Anair
 Beverly and Estelle Damant.
 The men lie in 5th place with little realistic prospect of gaining any
 places and with Aldershot on their shoulders ready to push them back to 6th.
 But they are safely out of relegation danger and will live to fight another
 first division day. The Under 17s are in 4th place and the under 13s 3rd.
 Individually Ben Gateley may be within reach of a medal in the under 13 age
 Start times are - women: 12.30pm (senior), 1.15pm (U20/U17), 1.45pm (U13);
 men: 2.30pm (U17 & U13), 3pm (senior).

 at Hayes (Kent). 
 The season's last mob match, on a tough but scenic COUNTRY course. 7.5
 miles, starting at 2.30pm.  Try to be there! The Blackheath HQ is in Bourne
 Way, close to the junction of the A2022 and A232 and near Hayes station. The
 start is a 10 min jog away, off the A2022 near the church. This should take
 you to a map: Street Map

 SOUTHERN CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS at Exmouth   Saturday 25th January
 Louise Piears reports:
 "Having been on other week-ends away with Ranelagh (Durham Nationals &
 Bristol Nationals), I was expecting the usual freezing conditions, dubious
 accomodation and urban surroundings. However, this proved to be a much
 different type of week-end.The course, although with one nasty hill, was not
 a great stuggle and suprisingly short, and the weather was just amazing for
 The men's event was 3 equal laps and in the Ranelagh race Pete soon shot
 into the lead, followed by Andy, Mick and Kevin. Everyone seemed to be
 having a good to reasonable race, except for Julian who was obviously not
 well and it showed. Halfway round Andy was spurred on when someone was heard
 to shout to a runner close behind 'Surely you can overtake that guy with the
 blonde wig'. Not surprisingly Pete held onto a good place for Ranelagh
 (60th) followed by Andy, Mick, Kevin, Julian, Rob, Niels and Clive.
 Afterwards, we all made our way to Branscombe where we were staying which
 turned out to be a lovely Devon village by the sea. The food at the Mason's
 Arms (Devon's dining pub of the year 2002 no less) was impressive
 (especially the size of my duck), and then we moved onto the Fountain Inn to
 join up with T.H.H. and Herne Hill Harriers for the rest of the boozy
 The next morning there were two running groups with slightly different
 mentalities who set off to run along the very scenic coastal path starting
 only 1/2 mile from the village - number one leaving at 7.30 before breakfast
 and number two stuffing full English breakfast down first and leaving at
 11.30 am! Unfortunately John and I didn't manage either - having to get back
 for the kids (it's a good excuse sometimes) but we did manage a quick stroll
 to the beach and very nice it was too". 


 I've not received an account of the proceedings in the women's race, but the
 team finished in a respectable 15th place, headed by Sarah who like Julian
 was feeling a bit under the weather. Funny, that. Clare followed at a
 respectable distance and it looks as if Bridget and Margaret had a good
 sprint finish together to close in the team, with Louise not too far behind.
 Anair and Alex were our only competitors in the junior events and both
 achieved excellent results in the 20s.    


 MILOCARIANS TERRY LEWINS TROPHY  6 miles at Sandhurst    Saturday 18th
 Bob Beatson reports:
 "After many years of meaning to run the Sandhurst race, I finally made it
 this year, and was very glad I did. The weather was kind, and apart from
 some wet & muddy tracks in the early stages, I thought the well drained
 sandy soil gave us pretty good running conditions. In races, my first mile
 is usually a bit quicker than the rest, but that's nothing compared to the
 way many of the cadets set off. I'm used to getting overtaken by a few
 people after a brisk start, but in this race I seemed to be overtaking
 cadets all the way. I'm sure that helped my time. After the race, we enjoyed
 the impressive free tea generously provided by our Milocarian hosts, and I
 hung around to try to capture the results. After emptying my usual litre
 bottle of cold dilute Ribena, I was getting a bit chilly, so I started on
 the free tea and coffee, which I don't normally drink. That was a decision I
 regretted later. 
 The results were slow to appear, and the times weren't merged with the
 finishing order on the day. I'm rather dubious about the time I ended up
 with. I didn't stop my watch until a few seconds after I finished, but I
 reckon my time was about 44:50, and certainly not as fast as the 44:05 in
 the results. Also, I finished just ahead of the first lady, after passing
 her on the final run in, so the gap given of 38 seconds doesn't seem right.
 I suspect the times have got out of step with the finishing order, but
 that's not going to spoil my enjoyment of the race. The most uncomfortable
 part of the day for me was driving back to Putney. I got stuck in a traffic
 jam on the South Circular, and all that Ribena, tea and coffee were having a
 predictable effect. Fortunately, I had that empty litre bottle to hand, but
 perhaps the less said about that the better!"
 Elly Grant adds: "After the race I could not walk properly for three days. I
 had to go down steps sideways! Still, it was great fun and I would do it
 I think we can take it that the course was as tough as usual. I seem to
 remember vertical hills...
 Mick Lane made a rare appearance in Met Police colours and trounced the boys
 in blue, as it were.

 Bermuda International 10km   Saturday 18th January
 Sonia and Steve both got into the prize list in this surprisingly hilly
 event, 2nd over 40 and 3rd over 50 respectively.
 1 D Maximov (Russia) 29.59
 42 Steve Rowland 41.17
 70 Sonia Rowland 45.29  

 Raheny 5miles in Dublin   Sunday 26th January
 Paul Doyle reports:
 "In Ireland 5 mile road races are the norm. I was a late entry to this high
 profile event, sponsored by the post office. A nice finisher's plaque and a
 goodie bag were worth more than the entry fee. There were prizes for the
 first 10 seniors, prizes also for vets in 5 year groups up to over 75s. The
 race was reported in the national papers. The day kicked off with a kiddies
 1 mile race and children as young as 5 put on a good show. For the rest of
 us, a reasonably fast one lap course with a stretch along Dublin Bay
 beckoned.  The men's course record of 22.39 (Gerry Curtis 1987), was never
 in danger, though the women's winner Maria McCambridge's 26.36 was a great
 run in windy conditions. A highly recommended 5 miler".
 1   M Keneally (Ireland)         24.14
 31 Paul  Doyle 27.42 

 As some of you will already know only too well, we suffered some more thefts
 from the clubhouse last Tuesday night. Frances Ratchford writes:
 "We have now had two thefts at the clubhouse both causing the maximum of
 inconvenience and upset to everyone so we have decided to be fairly strict
 about security.  We have changed the locks and only a limited number of
 people will have keys:  Clive Naish, Chris Owens, Wally Garrod, Frances
 Ratchford, Sarah Seal, Julian Smith and Alan Craig.  We have also changed
 the code on the door and again we have limited that information to a few
 We are also going to buy a safe, which will hold people's valuables when
 they are out running".

 Chris Spink writes:
 "I have set up a triathlon course at Holmes Place in Fulham (Lillie Road).
 It is a 5 week course run once weekly, it costs 40.00 for the whole thing
 and there are 3 BTA coaches including myself & Bill Black - responsible for
 Spencer Smith's Olympic gold medal in triathlon!
 It's Thursday nights (so we don't clash!!) 1930-2100 and you need to bring
 gym kit (no vests-men), swimming kit & a water bottle".
 For more information contact Chris at chris.spink@holmesplace.com. 

 Regrettably we have no guaranteed club places this year as our application,
 though posted in time, apparently arrived a day late. We appealed for some
 flexibility but to no avail.  

 Correction! The e-mail address for anyone wanting to contact Ian Webster
 regarding the Bath Half is ian@jmrsoftware.co.uk.
 Details are forthcoming sessions can now be found on our web site via About
 Us/Training Sessions. Brief details of the next few:
 Tuesday 4th Feb: 3 x 5 mins effort + 3 x 3 mins. 
 Tuesday 11th Feb: 3 x Nightingale Lane hill (lower part), 4 x top part, 3 x
 lower part
 Tuesday 18th Feb: Efforts of 7 mins, 5 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins and 3 x 1 min
 Tuesday 25th Feb: Surprise paarlauf! 
 Thursdays are steady runs of 5-6 miles with some shorter efforts or strides
 All are welcome, starting from the clubhouse at 7pm.
 Wednesday night training continues as usual of course, with steady runs
 starting at about 6.30pm. 

 ...is looming on the horizon! It takes place over the weekend of May 10th
 and 11th and we'll try to accommodate all club members who would like to
 take part. Last year we had five teams of ten in the race and topped and
 tailed the result sheet. I won't go into a lot of detail here about the race
 - full details, including lots of photos of jolly Ranelagh Harriers, are
 available on the web site at www.greenbeltrelay.org.uk
  . Suffice to say that it's a very enjoyable and
 challenging weekend. I know it seems a long way away but I'd better start
 asking now for interested parties to drop me an e-mail at your earliest.  

 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 February 1st   Final Surrey League fixtures - men at Coulsdon,
 women at Lloyd Park. See above.  

 Sunday February 2nd   Richmond Mini Marathon Trial in Richmond Park
 starting at 9.30am. Anyone who can spare an hour or two to help with the
 organisation of this, please come along (go straight to Sidmouth Wood).
 Saturday February 8th      Pelling-Ratcliff Cup mob match v Blackheath
 Harriers at Hayes (Kent) starting at 2.30pm. See above. 

 Saturday February 15th    v Bank of England, Hercules Wimbledon etc at
 Roehampton (Richmond Park) starting at 2.45pm.

 "If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend
 the rest of your life wondering if you can do it". Priscilla Welch. 

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