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Ranelagh Strava Rundown #136

As we reach the culmination of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, we’ve once again been privileged to witness the dedication and commitment that all elite athletes bring to their sport. From the herculean efforts required in cross country skiing and the biathlon, to the bravery and heroism necessary in the luge, slopestyle and ski jumping, to the precision and accuracy of curling and figure skating, it has been an inspirational fortnight of sport – full of elation and anguish in equal measure. It’s a thrill to be able to celebrate the medal-winning efforts of our British men and women’s curling team, but let’s also pause to salute the following:

💙 Erin Jackson (USA) who became the first Black woman from any country to win an individual gold (500m speed skating) in a Winter Olympics event
💛 Zoi Sadowski-Synnott & Nico Porteous who respectively scored gold in snowboard slopestyle and free ski halfpipe, giving New Zealand their first two gold medals EVER in the Winter Games
💙 Eileen Gu (China) who, at 18 years, became the youngest person to win 3 individual skiing medals in the history of the Winter Olympics (freestyle big air, slopestyle and free ski halfpipe)

But as with everything in sport, not all goes to plan, and never was this more evident than with Mikaela Shiffrin, who sadly, has been subject to cruel criticism and censure following her performance at these games. I’m sure we can all relate to her heartbreak and consequently, draw inspiration from her words, “Things you don’t expect come up, and you have to adapt. You can’t let it throw you off. You have to cope. Those are all really valuable skills, in life and racing.”

Never more truer words said. And so, onto our own efforts over the past week. It has certainly been a whirlwind – of weather mainly – requiring many of us to adapt and cope with the unexpected. Yet with a respectable total of 6533 club kms over 720 activities, it’s clear that we haven’t let it throw us off, so well done everyone! Anyway, ahead of the ACTUAL rundown (yeah, this is gonna be a long read), let’s take a quick time machine ride back to the week before for a mini Strava throwback – also known as ‘someone at Rundown HQ forgot it was their turn to do the write up’ – to give kudos & shout outs to:

🔹 Jon Lear who raced a cracking 3:51:38 at Goodwood Running GP marathon to nab a 5 min PB!
🔸 Richard Gurd who finished 99th and 4th in category (1:40:57) at the Victoria Park half marathon
🔹 Jarryd Hillhouse (he who has stolen the ‘I’m on fire’ mantle from Amrut and Hadi) who preceded his Victoria Park half marathon attempt (1:42:40) with a 7k tempo run.
🔸 Bill Neely who completed the London Winter 10k in a brilliant 0:43:21, finishing 382nd overall and 2nd in category.
🔹 Mick Lane (0:40:09), Alex Ring (0:42:05), Rebecca Curtis-Hall (0:42:05), Claire Warner (0:49:17 – 10 secs off her PB!), Robert Curtis (0:50:57), David Kew (0:53:16), Tom Reay (1:00:19), Janet Turnes (1:00:59), Jackie Dunkley (1:02:33) and Alan Meaden (1:09:45), all of whom made Ranelagh proud at the Valentine’s 10k in Chessington
🔸 Rebecca Bissell who did what good running friends do for your birthday – run a half marathon with Kathy Allison Henry (belated birthday wishes to follow).
🔹 Shaun Griffith who’s upped his training ante with a cracking 33km long run round Southall, Heathrow & Feltham. Watch out guys, Shaun’s coming for you.
🔸 And last but not last, a HUGE shout out to everyone who braved the terrain, weather and commute to compete at the Orion v Ranelagh Mob Match in Epping Forest. By all accounts it was tough going but in true cross-country spirit, on they all went (with or without shoes) through 10 miles of mud, mud and more mud, culminating in a hill finish which simply put, added yet more insult to even more injury. First Ranelagh was Marc Leyshon (68:52), followed by Mark Herbert (69:15) and Peter Haarer (69:24) respectively, to place 6th, 7th & 8th overall. Dave Lawley (71:20) valiantly took 4th Ranelagh, followed by Jonny Smith (72:34) and Ted Mockett (75:49). Suzy Whatmough (75:53) showed the rest of the boys how it’s done by bagging 7th Ranelagh overall (& 1st female), with James Whistler (75:56), James Adkins (81:58) and Neil Rae (82:18) making our Ranelagh top 10. Well done everyone!


🔷 Given the storming efforts at the mob match, it was not surprising that the start of the week was somewhat quieter than usual. Neil Rae stated, ‘I left my legs in Epping Forest’ and he was not the only one; Dave Lawley was ‘still broken’ and Ted Mockett’s legs were ‘still smashed’. Yet somehow Mark Herbert missed that memo – he finished his week off with a cracking 35 km run round Swinley Forest!!

Monday was also Valentine’s Day but it seems that not many, asides from James Graham with his ‘date run’ around Guilford, were in the mood for love. More were in the mood for holidays though, this being the start of half term for many. Gillian Sanders enjoyed slightly warmer conditions in Portugal while others made do with less clement weather: Henry & Daragh Fagan in Poole, Aoife Kilpatrick in Ireland, Anne Kearey in North Yorkshire and James Ritchie in Somerset.

🔶 The mizzle-rableness continued through the week, leaving James Graham (on another date run – guys, please take note) to comment, ‘not many others about today for some reason 🤔🌧️ 🌧️ 🌧️’. Shout out though to Bruce McLaren who knocked out a 34km run that he was ‘glad… was upwind out’, Sally Michella and James Riley for their 24km ‘trail run in the rain’ for Mr Riley’s birthday (again, birthday wishes to follow) and Vaughan Ramsey, who had to be creative to ensure a safe evening exit from Richmond Park. And finally, Jarryd Hillhouse (yup, him again) somewhat disconcertingly asking, ‘Is it normal to taste blood after a track session? 🩸☠️🔥’ The answer, Jarryd, quite obviously is….. NO!

🔷 After the rain, we had wind. Lots of wind. Alex Ring was ‘blown along by the 💨’, Neil Rae noted ‘a spicy headwind’ while Aoife Kilpatrick suffered ‘hailstones in the face 🌨’. Nick Impey summed it up best with a succinct ‘winday’. Then if we thought it was windy, along came Storm Eunice which blew everything out of the water, resulting in the closure of the Royal Parks, and the cancellation of local parkruns, as well as the Surrey Leagues Cross Country Champs in Effingham Forest (which Dave Lawley remains infinitely grateful for).

Despite this, you still got out there: Verka Leaf overcame ‘obstacles (and) a very swollen Thames’, Kelly Thomas negotiated ‘fallen trees and obstacles’, while Neil Kitching took ‘advantage of the tailwind’ to run 38 km into London. Elsewhere Neil Rae had great fun with ‘a spot of tree hurdling’, Ross Mac enjoyed ‘a good sesh in knee-deep water 👍’, leaving Daniel Chiechi to ‘navigate through a couple of fallen trees and power lines’. Careful how you go there guys.

🔶 Over in Parkrun-Land, the lack of local events didn’t thwart the Pinnacle crew. After a flurry of late night and early morning WhatsApp messages, the majority settled on Tilgate parkrun, where Suzy Whatmough placed 20th overall. Others opted for Hazelwood, where Marc Leyshon and Jonathan Smith placed 3rd & 5th respectively. And best of all, the cake that was meant for the Surrey League Champs didn’t go to waste either.

🔷 So we ended the week pretty much as it had started: wet, windy and miserable. Not that it’d stopped any of you! Racing was in the air and Jeremy Conway took on the Richmond Half Marathon in a speedy 1:45:30, a fantastic effort considering the elements. Over at the Hampton Court Half, James Riley led the pack to finish in 1:18:50, Liam Joyce brought it home (despite the horrendous headwind) in 1:25:42, Nicola Douglas nabbed a PB of 1:27:33, while Sam Slater shook off any Covid aftereffects to nab his PB of 1:31:48. Finally, Martin Halvey, John Reece, Neha Rani and Collette Doran completed the Ranelagh wave in 1:32:33, 1:41:41, 1:55:22 and 2:09:57 respectively. Great stuff everyone!

Others opted for long runs on a variety of routes to accommodate the closure of the Royal Parks and the aftermath of Storm Eunice: Simon Martin, Natalie Haarer, Cordy Parker, Rebecca Bissell, Aoife Kilpatrick, Hadi Khatamizadeh, Chris Lepine, Bruce McLaren, Dick Johnson, Sally Minchella, David Ready and a few others. Special mention must go to Ed Forbes who creatively tackled ‘Richmond Hill 15 different ways’ and Tristian Thornhill who did ‘25x Nightingale’! Well done for getting out there!

In closing, here are a few snapshots:

💙 Shout out to those who are injured, unwell or working on their recovery: Marianne Malam, Ann Kearey, Carol Aikin (Mob Match casualty), Ed Perry, Anthony Taylor and a few others. Get well soon!
💛 Big wave to those coming back: Jo Marshall, Sam Slater, Viviana Uyaban Leon and Andy Bickerstaff (welcome to Strava, mate!). And hello to those coming back to Blightly from their time abroad: Gordon Whitson and Nick Impey.
💙 Happy birthday to Nick Impey, Kathy Allison Henry & James Riley. Belated birthday wishes to Suzy Whatmough and Kelly Thomas, and if we’re going that far back, belated wishes too to Ed Smith and James Russell!


📢 Part-time opportunities @ Sporting Feet 💙

A quick shout-out on behalf of our friends @ Sporting Feet – they’ve got some amazing opportunities for part-time positions. Ideal for anyone passionate about sport & with a few days in the week to spare 👍 It’s also a great chance to earn a bit extra while working in a friendly and established customer-service oriented local company 😍 If you’re interested, or know anyone who might be, why not email with your CV?

Alternatively, go to 👈 for further details.

The Leaderboards:


🥇 Neil Rae 116.5km
🥈 Neil Kitching 112.6km
🔹 Ryan Fisher 111.8km
🔸 David Criniti 110.9km
🥉 Nick impey 103.9km

🥇 Cordy Parker 115.0km (2nd overall)
🥈 Suzy Whatmough 86.9km
🥉 Amelia Churnside 80.8km


🥇 James Graham 1,519m
🔸 David Criniti 1,510m
🔹 Ryan Fisher 1,490m
🔸 Joji Mori 1,297m
🔹 Simon Wolnizer 1,257m
🥈 Ian Kenton 1,209m
🥉 James Ritchie 1,101m

🥇 Suzy Whatmough 1,495m (2nd overall)
🥈 Amelia Churnside 956m
🥉 Ann Kearey 939m

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july, 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