Goodness what an eventful week it’s been in Ranelagh Strava-Land. Weather wise, it’s certainly not been as warm or as clement as the week before – we’ve had rain, wind and even snow. Events wise, there’s been a fabulous plethora of epic runs, races, events and achievements, not just locally but nationally, and even internationally! However, before we see what you’ve all been up to, let’s take a pause to remember that (give or take a day or so):
🔶 87 years ago: Japanese athlete Yasuo Ikenaka (b. 25 March 1915) ran a world record marathon time of 2:26:44 at the Berlin Olympic trials. Less than 7 months later, Korean athlete Sohn Kee-chung set a new world record of 2:26:42, which remained unbroken until 1947. Sadly, as Korea was under Japanese occupation at the time, Japan was officially credited with Sohn’s gold. In 2011, the IOC recognised Sohn’s Korean nationality but ruled out changing the official records to prevent historical distortions. Read about Sohn’s inspirational legacy @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sohn_Kee-chung
While we’re in spirit of looking back on things, let’s have a quick throwback to some recent Ranelagh escapades:
🔷 Grindleford Gallop 12 March
Covering approx. 21 miles with over 3000ft of ascent, this fixed course, starting and ending in Grindleford, goes through several villages via the paths, tracks and open moorland of the Peak District. Organised by the Grindleford PTA, all monies raised is in aid of Grindleford Primary School, with the entire village coming out to support the 500+ participants. Our very own Suzy Whatmough, Vaughan Ramsey, Mark Herbert & Michael Morris went waaaaaay beyond the M25 to take on this infamous Peaks challenge. Flying Ranelagh blue & yellow, Herbie placed 23rd overall in 2:57:01, followed by Suzy in 3:05:30 (3rd lady & 38th overall), Vaughan in 3:30:41 (113th overall) and Mike in 3:57:03 (195th overall). Well done guys – fabulous effort all round!
🔶 Crick Run 27 March
Acknowledged as the oldest organised cross-country (that thing we all love to hate) event, the Crick Run has been held since 1838. From its original 14 miles, the modern route now covers 10 miles, run by girls and boys, as well as parents, staff and Old Rugbeians. Our former Honorary Secretary, Gordon Whitson, had the pleasure (pain?) of participating in his 50th anniversary run (delayed by a year) to place 30th overall (Staff, Parents & Old Rugbeians) and 6th in category. With an admirable time of 1:27:52, Gordon summed it up best in his own words,
‘Absolute shocker but didn’t expect anything better. I am sure they have added extra stiles since I last ran it. At least now, I won’t feel obliged to do the wretched thing ever again. Excellent course marking and marshalling. Thanks very much for inviting us very old ORs back to torture ourselves again!’
🔷 Kingston Spring Race Day 27 March
Now in its fourth year, the Kingston Spring Raceday offers a ‘selection’ of 8 mile, 16 mile or 20 mile races. 8 mile runners complete a lap of the famous “Kingston Loop”, while 16 and 20 milers complete it twice.
Shout out to following in the 8 mile event: Robert Tinsley (00:48:04 | 2nd overall & 1st in category), Martin Halevy (00:55:51 | 14th overall & 1st in category), Alex Ring (00:59:49 | 28th overall & 4th in category), Daniel Chiechi (01:01:06 | 33rd overall & 7th in category), Claire Warner (01:08:57 | 81st overall & 5th in category), Carol Aikin (01:14:46 | 143rd overall & 15th in category), Rebecca Bissell (01:14:46 | 144th overall & 14th in category), Ann Keary (01:14:47 | 146th overall & 16th in category), Prelini Chiechi (01:15:45 | 152nd overall & 15th in category), Kirsty Steel (01:18:14 | 173rd overall & 14th in category), Margie Harrison (01:22:11 | 206th overall & 5th in category), Michele Hillhouse (01:25:10 | 223rd overall & 25th in category) and Alan Meaden (01:33:03 | 285th overall & 5th in category).
For the 16 mile event, kudos to: Alun Thomas (02:00:14 | 14th overall & 5th in category), Melanie Thomas (02:13:00 | 37th overall & 1st in category) and Janet Turnes (02:50:02 | 106th overall & 2nd in category). In the 20 mile event, well done to: Phil Lester (02:22:07 | 24th overall & 3rd in category) and Neha Rani (02:58:37 | 93rd overall & 4th in category). And the sole commiseration to Andy Starr who missed it by one hour cause he’d forgotten the clocks had gone forwards!
So fast forward to the present, and with a respectable club total of 6,509km over 660 activities, let’s see what you been up to this week:
🔷 It started as it’d been the week before: warm, sunny and wonderful. Nothing much to report per se, yet somehow you all managed to keep yourself amused: Natalie Haarer went ‘looking for baby sheep’ (they were very cute indeed), Jarryd Hillhouse & Suzy Whatmough ran to collect ‘flat keys from the estate agents 🏠🔑🏃🏻♂️ (congrats on the move), Jackson Creegan rewarded his ‘Steady + Hills’ with ‘🍔 for dinner🕺🏻(we’re all guilty of this!), Eirin Mc Daid had ‘another amazing Dartmoor Ringroad run, but this time with my little Champion Clover 🍀🐕🏃🏼♂️, he is now the fastest ever dog to do it 🐶🔥⚡️’, (well done Clover!), Sally Michella went in search in search of her ‘lost running mojo 👀’ where it was ‘usually hiding in the hills’, and sticking with hills, Ed Forbes attempted ‘3 X 10min Kenyan Hills’, although he admitted, ‘the third one was probably more English’. Well done anyway Ed 👏
🔶 Typically, the weather soon turned: Sue Lear and Clare Fowler both reported ‘SNOW!!!!’ , Marianne Malam, ‘started in the snow, finished in the sunshine’, Clare Day ’set out for Hammersmith’ which was swiftly, ‘curtailed by high tide’, Sally Bamford had a ‘chatty half in the cold 🥶’, while Nic Douglas played ‘spot the weather ❄️🌧🌦🌞’.
🔷 Towards the end of the week though, it all went a bit quiet. Shout out to those tapering for the weekend’s events with their minimal, yet effective efforts: Cordy Parker had ‘Little bit of snow, lil bit of sun’ in her ‘final run before Manchester 😬😬’, Alex Ring had a ‘not quite 5k run’ as his ‘last leg stretch before 🇫🇷’, while Rebecca Bissell had a ‘teeny tiny run’ before her monster efforts in Paris (more about that further below).
🔶 The weekend then arrived with sub-zero temperatures tempered by glorious sunshine. There was a slight shiver of antici- ………………………………………………………………………… pation (those of you who know, know!) in the air as everyone prepared for the weekend’s racing events.
First off, in Parkrun-Land, there were some outstanding efforts: Nick Wright placed 4th (18:04) at Kingston, Alun Thomas placed 5th (20:56) at Crane Park, Thomas Cameron was 7th (course PB 18: 39) at Gunnersbury, Natalie Haarer finished 8th overall (20:49 | 1st female) at Bedfont Lakes and Nicola Douglas claimed 2nd female (20:58) at Brighton & Hove. Over at Richmond, Amrut Sharma clocked a course PB (21:53 – slightly shy of his 21:13 PB at Osterley!). Also joining him in claiming a PB at Richmond was Ruth Gledhill (32:22). Amazing stuff guys!
Across the Channel, our likely lads and ladies – James Ritchie, Hadi Khatamizadeh, Ed Smith, Michael Thomas, Rachel Revett, Claire Warner & Alex Ring – flew blue and yellow at Parkrun du Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Well done to all of you and a very special très bien to Phil Andrews who placed 9th (20:22) overall 👏
🔷 Saturday afternoon and Richmond Park was the time and setting for the Inter-Club match between Ranelagh, Milocarian AC and The Stragglers. It was a lovely day, bitingly cold but with glorious sunshine throughout, giving rise to perfect running conditions. Due to the ongoing works in Richmond Park, a new course was marked out, incorporating some of the new elements present at last week’s Clutton Cup. This course is proving immensely popular with our athletes, managing to be both picturesque and challenging in equal measure.
The number of runners fielded were small: Milocarian fielded 8 (6 men & 2 women), Ranelagh fielded 10 (6 men & 4 women) while Stragglers fielded 18 (12 men & 6 women) making a total of 36 competitors. As the first 6 were needed to score for the men and 4 for the women, it was decided by Race Director Andy Bickerstaff that Milocarian’s 2 women could score for the men. The course consisted of one short lap out from the top of Queen’s Ride, then coming back to the start before heading out for the final, longer lap round behind the Ballet School, and then back to the finish.
Milocarian started out strongly, with our own Dave Lawley, Suzy Whatmough, Ed Forbes and Mark Herbert giving chase. By the end of the shorter lap, the runners were spreading out, the ascent before really taking a toll on quickly tiring legs. It was a swift, sharp race and Milocarian finished as they’d started, placing 1st and 2nd respectively. Our Dave Lawley was pipped by 6 seconds to 4th (26:38) by Tim Jenns of the Stragglers, and when Milocarian took 5th place, along with their Jessie Ludwyche placing 8th overall (1st woman), the team scores swung well and truly in Milocarian’s favour.
Our own Suzy Whatmough was close behind, coming in 11th overall (28:14 | 2nd woman) but ran out of course to take her. Oh, but for another lap! A fabulous effort though from the rest of the Ranelagh men to take 6th (Ed Forbes | 27:31) and 7th (Mark Herbert | 27:36), but with Stragglers splitting the top 13 positions, the men’s team scores saw Milocarian place 1st with 51, Ranelagh 2nd with 57 and Stragglers 3rd with 66 points.
Ranelagh’s women stole the limelight to place 1st in the women’s team, scoring 17 points over Stragglers’ 27. A huge shout out to Suzy Whatmough, Sarah Palmer, Lizzie Broughton and Cecily Day for their fabulous efforts. This means the Dysart Cup stayed at home, but the Ellis Cup has gone to Milocarian – to be contested a year hence. A wonderfully mixed crowd then traipsed back to the (warm) clubhouse for a jovial prize giving and well-deserved tea, prepared as always, to wonderfully comforting standards by our very own dear Carol. A great inter-club race day indeed and as always, a huge thank you to all participants, marshals and supporters.
🔶 On Sunday there was HUGE marathon action. Locally, a huge shout out to Eric Fat (1:40:28) Andy Griffin (1:45:56) and Amanda Munro (2:14:22) who ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Slightly further west, Andy Starr took on the Reading Half and nailed a PB (1:19:13), while over to the east, Marco Perinelli placed 9th overall (3:05:38) in the Essex marathon with a 10min PB!
Further up north, in Manchester, James Riley led the charge with a brilliant 2:39:31, Cordy Parker ran a cracking 2:55:34, Jarryd Hillhouse nabbed a 16 min PB to finish 2:58:38, Anthony Taylor followed suit with a 14 min PB to clock 3:20:21, as Arben Canolli brought it home for Ranelagh in 3:27:09 (also a PB we think). Fabulous work everyone!
Not content with our own shores, several Ranelights crossed international waters to compete in the Paris Marathon, with an incroyable slew of PBs all round. Kudos to David Ready (2:51:27), Neil Kitching (2:53:30 PB), Michael Thomas (3:12:39), Ed Smith (3:12:54), Alex Ring (3:15:32 PB), James Ritchie (3:28:06), Rebecca Bissell (3:35:46 PB), Neil Rae (3:38:22), Aoife Kilpatrick (3:48:06 PB), Hadi Khatamizadeh (3:53:13 PB) and Claire Warner (4:13:22 PB) for their sterling efforts!
In closing, here are a few snapshots:
💙 Shout to those working through injuries, illness and pain: V Leaf, Sue Lear, Clare Fowler, Charlie Hyde, Julian Sampson, Simon Martin and many others. Jordon Mungovan surmised it perfectly by saying, ‘It doesn’t get any easier with age… ‘ Sadly, it really doesn’t.
💛 Kudos to those doing big runs: James Graham clocking 39.47km in the Mole Valley, Gareth Williams with his cracking progressive 22km in the park (with splits that were more like constant hard effort than progressive!), Michael Morris with his 3 laps of Richmond Park to nail 35km and Wiebke Kortum covering 41km in the Chilterns Trail Marathon.
💙 Special mention to Bruce McLaren (everyone’s favourite handicapper) and Kris Davidson who made us proud in The Fox Ultra, a circular 62km ultramarathon around the Surrey Hills. Bruce ran an impressive 5:57:13 to place 17th overall (2nd in category) while Kris brought it home in 6:23:07 to place 31st overall (15th in category). Astonishing work guys!
📢 Reminder: volunteers needed! 💙
A reminder that we still need volunteers for Sunday 8 May 2022 @ the Ranelagh Half Marathon. No experience necessary, just your support and commitment. The event is HUGE so whatever time you can give will be immensely deeply appreciated. To sign up, get in touch with Trevor Maguire: email@example.com
We also need volunteers for Sunday 26 June 2022 @ the Ranelagh Richmond 10k. Again, we need AS MANY VOLUNTEERS AS POSSIBLE for a variety of marshalling & course duties from 8am onwards. It’s a fab day out & a wonderful atmosphere all round, so please email Ed Perry: firstname.lastname@example.org
And lastly, a special request from Simon Martin. He’s still on the lookout for volunteers to help out on the morning of Sunday 10 April at Kew The Run Half Marathon. In return for helping, you will get a free race place at the RUNFEST Kew 10k (Saturday 9 April) OR the RUNFEST 10k (Saturday 10 September). With the race place, you will also get a goody bag + technical t-shirt, plus you, another adult & 2 kids will get free entry into Kew Gardens for the day of whichever 10k you run. If you can help on Sunday 10 April, please email Simon ASAP: RanelaghHalfMarathon@hotmail.co.uk
🥇 Amelia Churnside 171.5km
🥈 Rebecca Bissell 69.7km
🥉 Aoife Kilpatrick 67.5km
🔹 Tom Middleton 122.3km
🥇 Jackson Creegan 120.0km
🥈 Ralph Street 114.9km
🥉 Carl Selya-Hammer 101.5km
🥇 Amelia Churnside 5,378m
🥈 Sally Minchella 1,123m
🥉 Suzy Whatmough 765m
🥇 Ralph Street 2,391m
🥈 James Graham 1,875m
🥉 Neil Kitching 1,462m
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