Newsdesk 2003

 Web site: www.ranelagh-harriers.com  
 NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS  Saturday 22nd February at Parliament
 For once, it was our men's team instead of the women that stole the day's
 thunder, though meteorologically speaking there was no thunder to steal - it
 was as fine a day as has been seen at a National in many a year, sunny and
 almost warm. Much of the going was fast though there were some muddy
 man-traps around the course to catch the unwary. Clerk of the Course Hugh
 Jones devised some additional loops in order to squeeze the advertised 12km
 distance (probably a bit further than this, judging by the times) into two
 testing laps which met with our captain's approval: "...in my opinion the
 best National course I've ever run on, and I've run the last thirteen.
 Fantastic course, no let up and no chance of it getting tedious. Nice one
 If there was spring in the air it was in Peter Haarer's legs too. He was
 behind Do-or-Die Darryl for the first mile or so but then worked his way
 into the top 100 and held on for an outstanding 88th, his best National ever
 and collecting some notable scalps along the way. Darryl battled on grimly
 for 187th with Andy B also showing up well at 274th. Then came the real
 revelation of the day, Grant Lemke. A relaxed approach to the event - he
 didn't even know it was the National until he got to Parliament Hill! -
 carried over into the race itself as he cruised round to a place in the top
 350. Paul Doyle and Kevin Jacques were not far behind to close in our
 scoring team at 374th place and Mick Lane gave them excellent backup also
 inside the top 400. Our team position was a highly respectable 24th out of
 100 teams closing in. 
 Further back Marcus ran a steady race following recent illness and it was
 good to see some new faces turning out plus one very old face: that of John
 Hanscomb, 49 years after running his first National and warming up for the
 50th anniversary next year!
 The women's team was not at full strength but nevertheless did well to
 finish only two places lower than the men albeit in a much smaller race. If
 Sarah Seal - suffering with a cold and a niggling hamstring - was
 disappointed with her 128th, it is a measure of her improvement over the
 past year that this was exactly 50 places higher than 12 months ago. Kathy
 Mallett was gradually closing her down without really getting close and then
 came Clare Nicholson and Eliete Nascimento to close in the team, with Jenni
 Kruse and Louise Piears having their own private battle behind.    
 Peter and Sarah, as the leading Ranelagh finishers, earned themselves
 respectively the Roffey Salver and the Aotearoa Trophy for their afternoon's
 Frances Ratchford reports on the junior events:
 "The Nationals this year were exceptional not only because they took place
 in sunny conditions with minimum of mud available to the competitors but
 because we had boys in some of the races for the first time for over 10
 The U15 boys was the first race of the day.  Richard Simm was our
 representative.  His comment as he stood on the start line was 'There are
 lots of good runners here', nearly 300 to be exact and they all wanted to
 win.  The opening sprint up the hill was exhilirating to watch.  Richard,
 coming back from a knee injury, ran a strong race and finished in a
 creditable 25.18.
 Anair Beverley and Estelle Damant ran in the U17s and U20s, run as one race
 but with separate results. Both finished strongly in 59th and 45th places.
 Anair took 25.11 to cover the course and Estelle 24.36.
 Alex Hook was next and looking calm and controlled even at the start ran a
 very mature race coming 49th in a very good time of 15.13.
 Last but not least Ben Gately in his first Cross Country season followed his
 success in the Surrey League (where he came 3rd overall) to finish in 15.53,

 Under 15
 1 M Burgess (Wood G) 17.50
 261 Richard Simm 25.18
 Under 13
 1 C Booker (Halesowen) 12.22 
 209 Ben Gateley 15.53 

 Under 20
 1 L Damen (Bourne) 19.55
 45 Estelle Damant 24.36
 Under 17
 1 K Hawitt (Warrington) 20.36
 59 Anair Beverly 25.11
 Under 13
 1 S Simpson (Luton) 13.34
 49 Alex Hook 15.13 

 Meanwhile Allison O'Neill was in Londonderry...
 "Here's a piece of nostalgia for the Ranelagh News as I know Darryl McDonald
 likes this sort of thing. Last Saturday I did something I haven't done for
 19 years - ran a race in my home country of Northern Ireland. Since getting
 injured at 19, I never again dared show my face at a race in Ireland.  I
 couldn't bear the embarrassment of my transformation from thin, fit and
 really quite fast (9:31 for 3000m at 18) to somewhat heavier, injury-ridden
 and a whole lot slower!  But in my new guise as a Ranelagh runner, I've put
 together some injury-free training, run some Surrey Leagues and recovered
 enough confidence to do the unthinkable - run the N.Ireland X-Country
 Championships. The sense of time passing hit home at the start when the
 announcer said: "Welcome back to Allison O'Neill, the champion here in 1982
 and 1983" and I noticed that the girl next to me probably wasn't born then!
 But what the hell, I had a good run, came through from 7th to 4th and
 finished not far behind Ann Paul - 43rd in the Inter-counties earlier this
 month. But, most of all, it was a huge psychological boost to have finally
 dared to go back - and my dad loved it!"
 1 S McCormick (Finn V) 20.50
 4 Allison O'Neill 21.23
 INTER-CLUB at Roehampton Gate, Richmond Park  Saturday February 15th
 We had fifteen starters who first had to see some unusual bits of Richmond
 Park before they could sample the sumptuous comforts of the Bank of England
 clubhouse. Paul Doyle writes: "I was pretty tired going in to the race, but
 when I found myself in second I decided to try to hold on to it. Mission
 acomplished but the winner was a youngster way ahead". 

 RICHMOND MINI-MARATHON TRIAL in Richmond Park  Sunday 16th February 
 As usual, the trial for the Richmond team for the London Mini-Marathon was
 held on a two-lap course around Sidmouth Wood. Anair Beverly and Alex Hook
 both won their races and Ranelagh should be well represented in the
 Mini-Marathon itself.
 Girls 13 - 17
 1 Anair Beverly 18.58
 2 Jessica Harvey 20.04
 5 Emily Ball 20.24
 16 Laura Ball 26.23
 Girls 11 - 12
 1 Alex Hook 19.44
 3 Clare O'Neill 20.58
 16 Alice Keohane 27.49
 Boys 13 - 17
 3 Dan Jermy 17.10
 6 Richard Simm 17.22
 7 Jordan Mungovan 17.31
 14 Matt Hirschler 18.50 

 26.2 RRC WINTER 10km at Hook Arena  Sunday 16th February
 1 E Prickett (Notts U) 30.17
 228 Brian Chard 47.23
 247 Simon Burrell 48.44
 259 Wally Garrod 49.14
 286 Brian Coles 50.27
 287 John Hanscomb 50.30
 415 David Meaden 58.09
 428 Alan Meaden 59.34 

 Allan Lang was second over 60 home in the Chichester Priory 10km on February
 9th in 40.38.
 Alice Beverly ran 3rd stage for the Oxford University team that finished 2nd
 in the prestigious Hyde Park Relays on February 15th.
 John Hanscomb was the leading over 65 in 31.48 in the Vets AC 6km event on
 Wimbledon Common on February 15th.
 Mick Lane was runner-up in the Met Police championships on February 19th,
 recording 31.01 on the familiar country of Richmond Park. Seventh in the
 women's race was former Ranelagh junior Claire McKenna. 

 Don't forget to book your place for the Baker Cup Super and Prize Giving to
 be held at the Hawker Centre in Ham on Saturday April 6th. All are welcome
 and there should be plenty of room. Prize winners especially should please
 make every effort to attend. Tickets are 16 from Carol Barnshaw - 020 8898
 9285 (home), 020 8547 6600 (work) or c_barnshaw@yahoo.com.
 ...sends a farewell greeting:
 "I am now writing this from my new home in Geneva!  As some of you will know
 my job was moving to Geneva so Dave and I thought - ummmm skiing in the
 winter and summers on the lake - OK let's go!!  So thank you all for some
 really good Tuesday night sessions and races.  No doubt I will be back in
 London from time to time so I may well see you.  Hopefully I will be able to
 join a running club out here so if there are any good races then I will let
 you know - but be warned they will be hilly!" 

 Paul Doyle points out that the British Milers Club has produced in depth
 national track rankings for 2002 (they should get out more), from which we
 may glean the following:
 5000 metres men 
 230 15:21.8 Peter Haarer 8 June
 296 15:31.8 Hugh Jones   4 May
 446 15:55.2 Paul Doyle 4 May
 3000 metres women
 223 10:31.88 Liz Kipling 12 May 
 Margaret Auerback writes:
 "Just bought a new pair of running shoes? Please don't throw your old ones
 away-- the Sweatshop is collecting used running shoes to send to Ethiopia
 where they will be distributed to young athletes. You can take your old
 shoes to the Sweatshop and they will give you 15% off a pair of Puma shoes
 or you can leave your shoes - preferably clean or at least with the mud
 brushed off - in the box provided in the clubhouse. 
 Any sort of running shoes - men's, women's, trainers, racers or spikes -
 would be very gratefully received. I met a lot of young Kenyan athletes when
 I was training out there and they find it really difficult to get any sort
 of kit. The lucky ones were all using kit that had been given to them by
 other athletes. Your old shoes could just spark off a glittering
 international career for somebody". 

 ...to the details of two upcoming fixtures listed in the last e-news: the
 inter-club race in Richmond Park on March 1st will not incorporate the Hec
 Petersen Trophy as our opponents in that competition, Ealing, Southall and
 Middlesex AC, are now unable to attend on that date. The trophy will for
 this year only be awarded to the club with the higher finishing position in
 last Saturday's National Championships. This turns out to be Ranelagh, our
 24th being ten places ahead of Ealing. 
 The South of the Thames Senior Championship on March 8th is to be held on
 the South London Harriers course at Coulsdon and not at Brighton. Apologies
 for any confusion! 

 The first event will be the Thames Towpath 10 miles at Chiswick on Sunday
 30th March. There doesn't seem to be an entry form available on the web, but
 there are some in the clubhouse or if you send me an e-mail I'll forward one
 to you. Alternatively just send in your details to the race organiser at
 Flat 3, 15 Grosvenor Road, Chiswick, London W4 4EQ. Entry fee is 7 payable
 to West 4 Harriers. Entry on the day is 10.   

 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 March 1st       Inter-club  3.9 miles in Richmond Park
 starting at 3.00pm. A nice low-key event and all are welcome.
 Saturday March 8th South of the Thames Senior Championship at Coulsdon.

 Saturday March 15th Clutton Cup 10 miles handicap in Richmond Park
 starting at 2.30pm.

 Sunday March 23rd Worthing 20 miles road race incl Spendlove Cup club
 20 miles championship

 Sunday March 30th Thames Towpath 10 miles road race at Chiswick. Race
 1 in the Ranelagh Grand Prix series 2003. 

 Do badly-shod runners suffer the agony of defeat?  

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