For you – any pace, any distance, any terrain

Ranelagh Strava Rundown #148

Due to a certain event around the Green Belt of London involving most of Rundown HQ last weekend, we’re picking this up after a 2-week hiatus. And goodness, what a couple of weeks it’s been – there’s been cracking runs close to home and further abroad, astonishing race results covering a variety of epic distances, PBs across the board, recces across the South Downs and a whole lot more.

As always, before we see what you’ve been up to, let’s take a ride into the history books of sport. Our time travelling pit-stop is the Summer Olympics in Paris, which happened (give or take a week or two) in:

🔶 1900: Known officially as the Games of the II Olympiad, these international multi-sport games lasted for SIX months! 1226 competitors competed in 19 different sports, with women also taking part for the first time. The marathon was the most contentious event here, featuring a poorly marked out course through Paris, in temperatures of 39 °C. Runners had to contend with cars, bicycles, pedestrians and animals, with many becoming lost and having to double back frequently 😟

13 athletes completed the 40.26km course, the winner being one Michel Théato, in 2:59:45. A native of Luxembourg living in Paris at the time, he was recorded as being French, and records were eventually updated to reflect his true nationality in 2021; making this Luxembourg’s first ever Olympic medal.

Back in the DeLorean we go, and fast forward to what caught our attention the week before; proving that even when we’re getting lost round the Green Belt of London, we were still keeping our eye on you!

🔷 Distance: Inspired by the Ranelagh Half on 8th May (doesn’t that seem like ages now?!), Verka Leaf started her Monday with a half, while Neil Rae, despite being ‘still hungover’, poo-pooed any idea of resting ahead of GBR with an 18km run; as did James Riley with his ’20 ponds, some hills and a hidden bench’ 22km effort. Meanwhile Bruce McLaren decided he’d throw down a gauntlet by way of a 42km marathon around ‘NDW, Leith, Holmbury and Pitch’ – although it reassured us mere mortals when he eventually admitted the ‘last few miles were a bit tough’.

But the inaugural ‘Madder Than a Box of Frogs’ accolade for crazy distances must surely go to the one and only James Graham, who decided to take on the Devon Coast to Coast, Two Moors Way. Not content with running the 181km, he further decided to win the darn thing AND set a course record of 22:51:59. Ouch. Here’s Jimmy in his own words:

‘Cor blimey guv’nor, what a day. Plan was to take it nice and steady and see how things panned out. Early sections of trail were gorgeous. Was looking forward to Dartmoor but with full sun, no shade or wind, it was tough going. Felt pretty rubbish so went into survival mode. Things picked up as it cooled, and we hit the mid Devon valleys. Felt good and found myself pulling away. Still nice and steady. Then the rain came – and stayed 8-4. Ok to start but got cold and started feeling weak and woozy and needed to pee all the time. Not sure if it was blood sugar (hyperglycaemia – eating too well?!), fluids, or sodium, but it was tough to manage, and the pace dropped. I was in the lead but not feeling great. Then the sun came up and RD Justin said if I could get to Lynmouth from Simonsbath in under 2.5hrs I could take the CR. God knows where it came from, but I found a second wind and had an absolute blast for the last 10 miles or so. That’s 2/2 now – I’m 100% retiring this time 😆 ‘

By the way, he hasn’t retired…

🔶 Races: Wednesday (11 May) saw Aoife Kilpatrick (another poo-pooing any idea of rest before GBR) and Rebecca Bissell took on the first instalment of the Wimbledon Common Trail Series. Organised by our own Andy Bickerstaff (under his Good Run Guide alter-ego), this is a 5 mile loop through scenic and sometimes challenging parts of Wimbledon Common, supported by more Ranelagh’s than those running! Rebecca came 4th in category (71 overall) in 0:39:21, while Aoife finished 28th in category (97 overall) in 0:42:02, with Aoife stating ‘Loved it! Can’t beat the hills ❤️🥴’ Great run guys and for those fancying a go, Races 2 & 3 are on 1st June and 6th July respectively.

On Thursday (12 May) Gareth William participated in the inaugural Tracksmith Amateur Mile, which saw 274 runners compete over 13 races, varying from 8-minute miles to an attempt at a sub 4-minute mile. With double Olympic 1500m medallist Nick Willis as pacemaker, our Gareth smashed out his mile in 0:4:55.87 – a truly amazing effort!

The Sutton 10k (15 May) is an annual race hosted by Sutton Runners. Part of the Surrey Road League series, it is run on a mix of road and paths in Nonsuch Park. 6 Ranelagh Harriers flew yellow and blue to make us proud: Stewart Stanton (0:39:55 | 76th overall & 34th in category), Paul Doyle (0:39:57 | 78th overall & 9th in category), Mick Lane (0:41:18 | 94th overall & 2nd in category), Carol Aikin (0:52:35 | 235th overall & 13th in category), Sally Bamford (0:53:59 | 253rd overall & 2nd in category) and Janet Turnes (1:06:19 | 374th overall & 12th in category). Well done everyone!

Now it’s clear that the race crown for the week before goes to our favourite over-achiever, James Graham but we must give a HUGE shout out to Kathy Allison Henry, Rebecca Bissell and Ciaran O’Donnell. They took on the Goring Gap Run – a 50km ultra starting at Mapledurham, running by the Thames at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. All powered through the distance brilliantly and crossed the line together in 6:14:42! Fabulous teamwork guys!

🔷 Snapshots: In other news, Sally Michella had a ‘solo SDW mini adventure’ of 38km, featuring ‘experimental super fueling’; Sergio Stillacci discovered that maybe the secret to a better pace was some insomnia, with his run at 5.55am; Tom Cameron cycled 90km to Brighton (but never said how he got back); Sarah Palmer enjoyed a decidedly tropical feel with her holiday runs (not those type of runs) in Dominica, Ed Perry explored Harrogate in the rain, Jo Marshall embarked on the long road to recovery, while Shaun Griffith ran 5km – and donated £5 for Mental Health Awareness Week. Well done all.

Just enough fuel in the DeLorean (have you seen the prices?!) to take us back to the present, and with a respectable club total of 6,293km over 705 activities, let’s see what you been up to this week:


🔷 Truth be told, not much 😆 but that’s understandable especially after the efforts of the weekend before. There were some complaints of broken and tried legs but nonetheless many turned up for the obligatory Tuesday training. By midweek though, Cecily Day proved things were getting back to normal by taking gold (for another club, but we’ll gloss over that) in the 800m at the Rosenheim League season opener in Battersea. Her time was 2:25.7 which was a 0.3s PB!

On Wednesday James Riley completed 63km doing loops of Box Hill, going all out Forrest Gump until he ‘ran out of water and motivation so walked it home’. On Friday Sally Michella did a 55km recce of the South Down Way in pretty soggy weather (supported part way by James Riley – yes, we know, the man is a machine). Her one consolation? The next time she came this way again, it would be in the dark 😟 Astonishing effort all – don’t you ever get tired?

🔶 Then Saturday came round, and this is of course Parkrun day. Over in Richmond, the focus was on cake rather than times as many gathered to help Aoife Kilpatrick celebrate her 200th Parkrun. In Kingston however, Marc Leyshon came 1st (17:27), Joe Gomes placed 3rd (16:44) in Bushy, while Melanie Thomas took 1st lady (17th overall) at Crane in 23:26. At old Deer Park, Ed Forbes showed off his form nabbing 3rd in 18:55, followed closely by Jonny Smith in 19:03; while at Osterley, Ted Mockett placed 2nd in 17:33, Dave Lawley 3rd in 18:00 as Neha Rani claimed her 24:22 PB! Great running all.

🔷 So you remember Jimmy Graham’s monster effort earlier on? Anyway, not to be outdone, a group of Ranelaghs (all equally as mad as a box of frogs) made the journey west to tackle the Classic Quarter, a relentless ultra along the Cornish coast. The task is brutally simple: to run non-stop from the southernmost point (Lizard Point), to the western most tip (Land’s End) – this translates to running 90 degrees of the compass, hence the name, Classic Quarter.

Mark Herbert, Ed Smith, Suzy Whatmough, Mike Thomas, James Ritchie and Vaughan Ramsey took on the 44 mile course & 5500 ft of elevation. Mark & Ed placed 2nd in the Relay Pair event in 7:45:00, while in the Solo event, Suzy Whatmough placed 18th overall (5th woman) in 8:26:00, Mike Thomas came 42nd overall (1st in category) in 9:24:00, James Ritchie finished 70th overall in 10:08:00 and Vaughan Ramsay placing 182nd overall in 12:24:00. Amazing work guys.

In closing (yup, we’re done!), here are a few shout outs to:

💙 Liam Joyce running 25km on Saturday for his birthday today – Happy Birthday Liam 🥳 oh to be 25 again.
💛 Wiebke Kortum being the good Samaritan, detouring on her run to help someone get to the start of his first marathon 🥰
💙 Rebecca Bissell cooling off in this heat in the Wimbledon Dash for the Splash, with Carol Aikin and Aoife Kilpatrick cheering her on 🥳
💛 Tristian Thornhill doing 30 (yup, you read that right) x Nightingale Lane 😮 leading us to ask WHY?
💙 Amanda Munro completing 81km of the NDW50 in 12 hours and 34 mins 💪
💛 Henry Fagan for his amazing achievements at the Harrow Athletics meet, taking gold in the 4 x 400m, and bronze in the 1500m & 800m 💪 and he’s still only 17!
💙 Neil Kitching, Eric Fat and Andy Griffin who ran in the Hackney Half in 1:26:35, 1:45:29 and 1:54:42 respectively (note: not official times) 👍
💛 Adrienne Baddeley who placed 2nd lady (1st in category, 22nd overall) in 00:39:34 at the Hampton Court 10k



📢 There’s still time to sign up for the 2022 Ranelagh Harriers 10k which will take place on 26 June @ 9am. Part of the Surrey Road League and Surrey Championships, it’s ideal for those looking for a PB. Ranelagh Harriers can also compete for the Don “Flash” Gardner Trophy and the Sonia Rowland Trophy 💙 Full details & entry @ 👈

📢 And if you’re not running, we also need volunteers for the Ranelagh 10k – as many 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:

The Leaderboards

Distance: (previous week’s leader: James Graham 204.8km)

🔹 Tom Middleton 122.3km
🔸 Ryan Fisher 133.7km
🥇 James Riley 130.1km
🔹Joji Mori 108.9km
🥈 Mike Thomas 94.0km
🥉 Adrian Kerr 88.7km

🥇 Amanda Munro 125.1km
🥈 Sally Minchella 82.8km
🥉 Suzy Whatmough 79.7km

Climbers: (previous week’s leader: James Graham 5,102m)

🥇 James Riley 2,774m
🥈 Mike Thomas 2,207m
🥉 James Ritchie 2,199m

🥇 Suzy Whatmough 2,246m
🥈 Amanda Munro 1,910m
🥉 Sally Minchella 1,484m

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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