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Race Report & Results : 2024 Parkland Relays

The ever popular Parkland Relays, organised by Thames Hare & Hounds our friendly rivals from across the way (the A3 that is), returned to Richmond Park once again on Wednesday 5th June. Devised in 1993 to celebrate the 125th birthday of THH, it continues to draw many teams from clubs across Surrey and the South West.

In total 36 women’s teams and 55 men’s & mixed teams met at 7pm by the start at Spankers Hill Woods, a sizeable increase from the original 44 teams who’d gathered 31 years ago. The event’s format is simple: 3 runners for the women’s team and 4 for men’s/mixed teams; each running one lap (approx. 2.8 miles) of the course.

Runners could be seen heading down from Pen Ponds in a variety of ways: jogging, cycling or walk. The conditions were prefect for spectating, blue sunny skies – not too hot, not to cool, just right. Probably a wee bit too warm for our runners, the dry conditions heralding a fast and rapid race.

Ranelagh’s charge came in the form of 4 men’s teams, and 3 women’s teams; rather (un)imaginatively named (by the organisers we presume) Ranelagh Harriers Men A to D, and Ranelagh Harriers Women A to C.

Now if you’ve ever been present to run or spectate at the Parkland Relays, you’ll notice that there is some element of organised chaos on show. Actually, when one pauses to think about it, rather a lot of organised chaos.

In the fullness of (their own) time, the officials will amble up to stake out the start area. There will be some dicussion about the handover pen, how that would work, how long the run off should be etc.

In and around all of this activity will be runners in all manner and colour of club kit, arriving on time (or late), faffing with numbers and pins, warming up, chatting, taking photos etc. There will be equal number, if not more, of spectators & supporters also adding to the general hubbub.

Then appropro of nothing, the officials will shout out and everything just stops. The 1st leg runners of each team are called to the start line, instructions given as to how the handover will be done and all of sudden the race is on!

The start always features a horde of runners going full pelt around the blind corner of Spankers Hill Woods – woe betide any unassuming dog walker/park user unprepared for this thundering charge.

There’s then short lull as the 1st leg runners negotiate the course; essentially the reverse of the first part of our Coad/Page/Clutton route all the way to the top of Queen’s Ride (yes, you have to run UP Queen’s Ride!) before turning back down through Pen Ponds and then handing over to the 2nd leg runner.

At the point where the changeover happens, that theory of organised chaos emerges once again, this time coloured with intense competition and sheer exhilaration. Fast and Furious the movie franchises has nothing on the Parkland Relays when it’s going at full pelt.

In the Men’s race, Thames dominated, taking 1st place in a total aggregate time of 59:55. Full On Tri took 2nd place, with a total aggregate time of 1:01:49, followed closely by West 4 Harriers a mere 12 seconds behind (1:02:01). Ranelagh’s Senior A team of Dave Lawley, Gareth Williams, Jonathan Smith & Ted Mockett gave it their all to take 4th place in 1:02:48.

In the Women’s race, Thames also took 1st place in 51:19 BUT after exceptional performances from Suzy Whatmough, Molly Riglin & Cecily Day, our women’s A team took silver a mere SIX SECONDS later (51:25), with Cecily running a blistering leg. A fabulous performance by our women’s team.

Well done to all the competitors and a huge thank you to the organisers and supporters; and especially to our team manager Peter Fordham for getting the teams registered.

Race report by Hadi Khatamizadeh & Narissa Vox
Image by Hadi Khatamizadeh & Paul Scullion

Parkland Relays 2024

  • Men Sen A: Dave Lawley, Gareth Williams, Jonathan Smith & Ted Mockett
  • Men Sen B: Rich Kimber, Rick Jenner, Matt Hirschler & Andy Starr
  • Men Sen C: Shaun Griffith, Hadi Khatamizadeh, Gordon Whitson & Tom Cameron
  • Men Vets A: Marcus Atkins, Neil Rae, Vaughan Ramsay & James Ritchie
  • Women A: Suzy Whatmough, Molly Riglin & Cecily Day
  • Women B: Sarah Palmer, Agnes Nagy & Lucy Urbas
  • Women Vet: Edel Mckeever, Ellie Lawley & Ruth Gledhill
  • Results: https://ranelagh-harriers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/2024-ParklandRelays-Results-05Jun24.pdf

 

june, 2024

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In this section:

Surrey cross country league standings

LeagueTeam PositionFull details
Ladies Div 17/15league table
Men Div 18/9league table
Ladies Div U159/16league table
Men Div U15/U1716/18league table

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