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Ranelagh Harriers e-news #600

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Editor: Steve Rowland
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The final race in the Surrey Cross-Country League was due to be run on Saturday 19th February on Effingham Common. We haven’t run there for several years and we were curious to see whether Effingham lived up to its mud bath reputation. Well, we’ll have to wait for that. Storm Eunice passed by the day before and on Saturday afternoon conditions in the woodland were plainly unsafe or unnavigable. It seemed probable that that the League would have to be curtailed altogether after just three races. But no. Some hard work by the League and County officials found that Lloyd Park in Croydon was available this Saturday 5th March. That’s only this weekend but…away we go…

According to the Surrey League website the start times on Saturday are as follows:

11am        Under 13 Girls

11.20am   Under 13 Boys

11.40am   Under 15 & Under 17 Girls

12.05pm   Under 15 & Under 17 Boys  

12.30pm  Senior Women Division 2

1.45pm    Senior Women Division 1

3pm         Senior Men Division 1

Check the Surrey League website for times and maps etc. or   Men’s Captain Rich says: The short notice means the outcome of this race could now be less predictable than we thought. It’ll be interesting at the very least. We need you to race! Show your Ranelagh pride and turn out for your club in this most competitive of fixtures if you possibly can. We’re fortunate to be able to race this, given the last-minute cancellation. Register through Teamer or just turn up..

CLUTTON CUP 10 miles handicap Saturday 19th March in Richmond Park  2pm start

Our longest handicap. Entry is free but you MUST enter in advance to allow the handicapper time to do his job. Closing date for entries is 11pm on 14th March See

Owing to temporary restrictions in the Park we are obliged to use a new course for this year only. It will be three laps of 3 and a bit miles starting at the top of Queen’s Ride.  Exact route to be confirmed.


We have two remaining mob matches on the fixture list:

Sunday 13th March away to Blackheath and Bromley HAC at The Warren, Hayes  11am start.  All welcome and needed! There’s a map on our website:

Saturday 30th April at home in Richmond Park to Thames Hare and Hounds


The road league and our own road GP are in operation again this year after having been struck down by COVID in 2020 and 2021. The general format is unchanged but there are significant differences to the fixtures. In previous years the Wimbledon 5k has been the final race in the calendar, run in mid-August. The organising club Hercules Wimbledon have decided to bring it substantially forward – to Sunday 13thMarch. It will still be included in the League. The London Marathon is in October and so probably won’t be included. The current list is as follows, but for the GP we’ll hope to include one or two more, subject to confirmation:

Sunday 13th March  Wimbledon Dash 5km  *                  Details:

Sunday 8th May   Ranelagh Richmond Half Marathon  *   Details:

Sunday 15th May  Sutton 10km                                       Details:  Sutton 10K [event] (

Sunday 12th June  Dorking 10 miles  *                            Details:

Sunday 26th June   Richmond 10km  *                            Details:

Saturday  16th July   Elmore 7 miles                                Details:

Sunday  24th July   Elmbridge 10km                                Details:

Those marked with an asterisk are also Surrey championships, subject to confirmation.


This was due to take place on Saturday 12th March in Richmond Park. For a variety of reasons we had to postpone the event but we hope to reschedule it in November. We would like to include more local schools. If anyone knows of any who might be interested in taking part please let us know.


Martin Halvey writes:

I am running the Manchester marathon on the 3rd of April, and have decided to run on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society. As my running times seem to be slower I feel I need another reason to run. Running for a charity gives an impetus to continue to enjoy the delights the four seasons have to offer. However, I  still feel there is another decent race to be run. Self-deception may be useful!


I understand the cost of living is increasing so any amount would be gratefully received by the Alzheimer’s Society.


Michael Morris writes

We are currently looking for part-time staff to work with us in our Putney and Richmond stores.. We are looking for someone with an interest in sports who is available for one weekday shift and one weekend shift. We already have myself (full-time manager at Richmond), Vaughan Ramsay (part-time at Putney) and James Hall (full-time manager at Putney) from Ranelagh on the staff and thought it may be possible that someone else from Ranelagh may be interested in a part-time role.

We have a great reputation for our customer service levels, so we want people who can help us to continue to deliver a great experience. The one thing we definitely want are people who are passionate about sport. You may be a local student or just someone who would like to work in a great, local business for a couple of days per week. We offer a competitive standard hourly rate, rising dependent on age and experience. Or maybe you know someone who might be interested? Please email your CV to if you are interested in replying. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dom, Geoff and the Sporting Feet team:

3, Lacy Road, Putney, SW15 1NH, T: 020 8780 0558

9, King Street, Richmond, TW9 1ND, T: 020 8948 6059


HAROLD LEE CUP MOB MATCH v ORION HARRIERS  Saturday 12th February in Epping Forest

Pheidippides reports:

“Epic at Epping” encapsulates Saturday’s mob match against Orion, an away fixture with the HQ at Orion’s rather nice recently refurbished and extended clubhouse.  As 2.00 p.m. neared, off we scampered to the start, not in the usual place for the seven-mile course but elsewhere, so that Orion could combine the mob match with the ‘Mercury’, described on their website as “a tough ten-mile cross-country race”, and one which includes one of their own handicap events.  Chants were duly chanted (ours reportedly heard on the far side of a valley two miles away) and we began our odyssey through the wildest reaches of Epping Forest (passing places hitherto unknown even to Dave Wright).

The first few miles followed the usual mob match course in reverse (so yes, down that long hill which usually comes at the end of all things).  Thereafter, I found it difficult to keep track of where we were; all I can say is that the scenery was breath-taking, especially with the dappled light from the late winter sun shining through the dense branches overhead, and that the variety of terrain was extraordinary.  There was the easy stuff: road (but not too much) and firm, level bridleways where it was possible to motor at speed; but there were also long lengths of soggy grassland, something that resembled practice trenches from a bygone military training exercise, and tricky, twisting tracks through trees (and sometimes over fallen trees: I didn’t know I could still hurdle).  There were also wild, steep, downhill plunges but, in cross country, what goes down must come up, so there was also a long, sapping hill after seven miles up which it was said, in pre-race chatter amongst Orion members, that it was impossible to keep running (almost true from my perspective).

Most absorbing, however, was the ground underfoot, with long tracts where considerable concentration was required to avoid disaster due to the loose mud pocked with puddles, and the treacherous truth that, just as confidence has been built up that the substrate is firm, a foot sinks into yet another surprise quagmire.  Even the mud came in multiple varieties which may be categorised by texture and smell, some of it fruitily pungent and with unmistakable signs that a good percentage had recently made a progress through the guts of a horse.  Some stretches are also festooned with stringy bramble ready to scratch or ensnare the unwary.

Therefore ,this was indeed, as billed, a tough course.  I offer as compelling proof not just the impressive spattering of mud attached to all finishers, or the number of falls during the race (fifty percent of the group sampled – O.K., I confess that means two out of four), but also the fact that many competitors had raw and bleeding wounds to display.  (By the way, if anyone came across the missing sections of skin from the back of my ankles, please post: my feet would like them back).

A more granular analysis of the day’s proceedings is difficult to supply.  Due to the trees, there are few sections which offer insights into the whereabouts of the pack, so visibility for most of the event was reduced to just two Marks (Herbert and Leyshon) plus one member from Orion.  For us, as a quartet, the course offered a great deal of opportunity for committee work and team-building at moments where the trail became obscure, and we clubbed together to formulate a working hypothesis about which way to go.  Marc Leyshon kindly stayed with us up until the fabled steep hill and then cruised away (that’s a kinder way of saying “left me to eat his dust”).

The first individual to cross the line won the race by a massive margin but, by all accounts, looked as if he had scarce broken into a sweat.  He was followed by quite a drift of white vests before a trio from Ranelagh finally added a splash of blue, Marc Leyshon leading us home, and then a lively Mark Herbert (who had been shoulder to shoulder with yours truly before finding a bit of extra power within sniffing distance of the end).

Looking back down the course, Suzy Whatmough hove into view as our leading lady and had an exciting finish as she fought off the immediate competition to finish as first lady overall.  This brought our only real success of the day: away matches often attract fewer participants than home matches, and perhaps the extra three miles was off-putting over this challenging ‘forest-scape’.  Whatever the reason, we had a hearty twenty-eight but this was never going to be enough to eclipse a mob of over seventy, and we were thrashed comprehensively.  We dutifully handed back the Harold Lee Cup (those who scrutinise the photographic record of the day may observe that the cup lacked a little polish.  I’m sure that the explanation must be that we wanted to reassure Orion that we had not substituted the silver original for a cheap imitation).

The last word has to go to the forest (this must be the most scenic of the four mob matches that we do) and the amazing team of marshals from Orion.  These dedicated individuals had marked out the course carefully, gave us excellent instructions at key points as we thundered past, and managed the traffic at the several road crossings.  The tea was fab too and, in sum, although we lost, this was a very friendly and good-natured meeting – everything, in fact, that a mob match should be.

Pos       Name           Club        Time     Cat.

1   James Stockings   Orion H      62.00    SM

6   Marc Leyshon      Ranelagh H   68.52    M40+

7   Mark Herbert                   69.15    M40+

8   Peter Haarer                   69.24    M50+

11   David Lawley                   71.20    M40+

15   Jonathan Smith                 72.34    SM

19   Ted Mockett                    75.49    M40+

20   Suzy Whatmough                 75.53    SL

21   James Whistler                 75.56    SM

31   James Adkins                   81.58

33   Neil Rae                       82.18    M50+

35   Richard Willoughby             82.43    M50+

38   Nicola Douglas                 83.10    L35+

44   Jessica Busen-Smith            84.35    L40+

45   Alex Ring                      85.23    M45+

46   John Cadogan                   85.44    M45+

48   Dave Wright                    87.10    M60+

50   Marcus Atkins                  87.58    M55+

53   Rebecca Bissell                89.43    L45+

54   Wiebke Kortum                  89.44    L50+

55   Tom Cameron                    91.22    SM

78   Stephen Logue                 100.26    M60+

79   Ann Kearey                    100.23    L50+

84   Stephen Aikin                 101.56    M55+

86   Andrew Kew                    107.51    M45+

87   Chris Read                    108.13    M55+

97   Ian Grange                    129.30    M60+

             TEAMS: (Scoring 25 a side)          

  1. Orion Harriers      460
  2. Ranelagh Harriers  1053


The “National” was back at its spiritual home this year, and Parliament Hill with its mixture of mud, fast running and hills did not disappoint. We were unfortunately one runner short of the required four to complete a team in the women’s championship, but the trio who ran all performed very well. Suzy Whatmough was our first finisher in 121st position and to her will go the Aotearoa Trophy for the first Ranelagh finisher. Cecily Day and Natalie Haarer were 198th and 248th respectively.

The equivalent trophy  for our first finisher in the men’s championship goes to Ben Anderson, 282nd and nearly 500 places ahead of our second finisher Dave Lawley. Jonathan Smith, Chris Lepine, Neil Rae and Richard Willoughby completed the scoring six with James Ritchie backing up. Our team position was 77th out of 133 closing in.


 Pos       Name              Club         Time     Cat.

1   Jessica Gibbon   Reading AC        29.00    SL

121   Suzy Whatmough   Ranelagh H        35.02    SL

198   Cecily Day                         36.41    SL

248   Natalie Haarer                     37.41    SL


 Pos       Name             Club          Time     Cat.

1  Mahamed Mahamed   Southampton AC    40.52    SM

282  Ben Anderson      Ranelagh H        49.26    SM

747  David Lawley                        55.56    M40+

813  Jonathan Smith                      56.54    SM

965  Chris Lepine                        59.01    M50+

1044  Neil Rae                            60.03    M50+

1282  Richard Willoughby                  63.32    M50+

1287  James Ritchie                       63.35    M45+

SEVILLE MARATHON  Sunday 20th February

Gill Sanders ran a fine first Marathon in Seville and ducked well inside the 3 hours barrier. She was placed 7th in the W40 category and her time of 2:54.36 moves her into 4th place in Ranelagh’s all-time women’s ranking list.


Martin Halvey was the second over 60 home and his 92.33 clocking catapults him into 5th place in our all-time list for that age group.

25   James Riley        1:18.25

105  William Joyce      1:25.40

193  Nic Douglas        1:30.02

216  Sam Slater         1:31.59

229  Martin Halvey      1:32.33

426  John Reece         1:41.41

831  Neha Rani          1:55.22

1172 Colette Doran      2:09.57

WOKINGHAM  HALF MARATHON  Sunday 27th February

Nick Impey ran a great race to record 69.17 for 14th overall and 5th over 40. As a new vet a whole new world is opening up for Nick as he polishes off vets prizes and picks up the odd club M40 record along the way. Principal target and consigned to history this time was the great Hugh Jones’s 69.43 back in March 1997.

14   Nick Impey           69.17

74   Nick Twomey          74.38

300  Mark Herbert         83.04

403  Shaun Griffith       85.53

507  Alex Ring            88.34

543  Mick Lane            89.52

626  Michael Thomas       91.26

639  Ed Smith             91.48

1196 Karen Campbell      104.39

VALENTINE’S DAY 10k  at Chessington on 17th February

141  Mick Lane          40.09

180  Alex Ring          42,05

252  Becky Curtis-Hall  45.07

337  Claire Warner      49.17

360  Rob Curtis         50.57

390  Dave Kew           53.16

485  Tom Reay           60.18

486  Janet Turnes       60.51

506  Jackie Dunkley     62.33

559  Alan Meaden        69.43

DARTMOOR IN A DAY WINTER TRAVERSE  50k South Brent to Meldon  Saturday 26th February

“A fully supported 50 km journey from South to North, through some of the most remote parts of the moors” says the race details. Thomas Lahille literally took it all in his stride and set a new course record  of 4:55 in winning by 2 minutes. Paul Murphy was 16th in 6:32.


In action at the Brighton Half Marathon on 27th February were: Jarryd Hillhouse 1:24.28, Phil Leicester 1:30.29, Alun Thomas 1:31.19, Mel Thomas 1:49.18, Dick Johnson 2:09.10 and Ally Salisbury 2:16.08…Roger Wallace recorded 60.33 in the Chase the Moon 10k  in Battersea Park on 16th February…Jon Lear ran 3:51.38 for the Goodwood GP Marathon…in the Victoria Park Half Marathon Richard Gurd  recorded 1:40.57 and Jarryd Hillhouse 1:42,40…Bill Neely was 2nd over 60 in the London Winter 10k in 43.21…Jeremy Conway ran 1:45.30 in the Run Richmond Park Half Marathon on January 23rd.

THURSDAY NIGHT TRACK TRAINING at Osterley is now in operation again. All welcome, no need to book. See the website for more info.


If you haven’t yet looked at our new web site, please do so: it’s here: All comments and suggestions welcome.


Teamer is the app we use to confirm attendance at races. It’s pretty self-explanatory once you sign up. Join the group and see what it’s all about.

Men:  Men’s Teamer Group  Women: Women’s Teamer group.


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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