Over the last seven days we’ve clocked 6,374 kms across 678 runs. Well done all 🙌
This week’s Strava feed has been flooded with racing, with Ranelaghs taking part in events on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday AND Sunday. Hopefully some of you have left enough in the tank for the Coad Cup Handicap, taking place tomorrow evening.
Race start is @ 7pm and you can collect your numbers from 6.30pm at the top of Queen’s Ride. Please note our clubhouse will not be open but you can leave any stuff/kit at the start point.
If you’re not running, why not consider volunteering? We still need some help with marshalling, numbers and timings so if you can help out, please come to the top of Queen’s Ride by 6.30pm 💙 It’ll be hot, so don’t forget the sun cream and also water/hydration 🥵 and everyone of course is welcome to join us at The Roebuck after for drinks 🥳 See you all tomorrow 💛
What’s been happening this week:
🔸 Tuesday evening was the Tamsin Trail Handicap, which was held in place of training for the Advanced 1 and 2 groups. It starts at Petersham Gate and takes runners on a big loop of the park, covering nearly 13kms. Neil Kitching overtook 11 people to finish first 🥇. He was followed home by Thomas Lahille and Chris Lepine. The fastest male overall was Thomas Lahille and the fastest female was Lizzie Broughton. In speed order we had:
Thomas Lahille – 48:20
Gareth Williams – 49:16
David Ready – 49:45
Chris Lepine – 49:48
Mark Herbert – 50:13
Andy Starr – 51:00
Neil Kitching – 51:24
Dave Lawley – 51:29
Rich Kimber – 52:57
Tris Thornhill – 53:18
Shaun Griffith – 55:05
Ed Smith – 55:22
Lizzie Broughton – 55:44
Nic Douglas – 56:02
Vaughan Ramsey – 56:02
Phil Beausang – 57:51
Michael Everard – 58:14
Tom Williams – 60:09
Liam Griffin – 62:27
Sandy Kelly – 63:54
🔹 Wednesday evening saw Alex Ring run the Arethusa mile in 6:39, taking it easy ahead of the weekend’s racing. Meanwhile over in Wimbledon Common, we had a few of us out for Andy Bickerstaff’s fantastic Wimbledon Trail Series finale. In the 7.8 mile race, I was 7th female in 56:23, Ben Shore was 3rd MV40 in 1:00:09, and Sally Bamford was 1st LV60 in 1:12:36 🥇. In the 4.3 mile race, Ed Forbes was 3rd overall and 1st MV40 in 30:34, and Peter Fordham was 4th MV60 in 50:08.
🔸 Thursday evening was the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park, with James Ritchie earning himself a course PB in a time of 22:49.
🔹 On Saturday, Jonathan Moore won the Fix Events Half Marathon 1:18:31 🥇 Meanwhile in Cornwall, Keeley Phillips ran the 5k and Eirin McDaid ran the 10k at the Purple Gecko event around Siblyback Lake.
🔸 Earlier today, Henry Fagan came 1st in category 🥇 and fourth overall in the Henley Tri, setting a course record on the 5km run leg. We also had a few of you out running the ASICS London 10k – well done to Paul Doyle who was 1st MV55-59 🥇(39:23), Hadi Khatamizadeh who ran a PB 🥳 (40:54), Eric Fat (44:24), Neha Rani (50:10), and Ed Perry (39:40) who ran as the official 40 minute pacer.
🔹 Last but by no means least was Race to the Stones. It offers three different ultra options- 50km, 100km over two days, or 100km continuous from Watlington to the Avebury Stone circle.
In the 50km race, Sarah Palmer took on her first ever ultra and ran superbly to finish as 1st female and 2nd overall in a time of 4:11:47 🥇. She was followed by Michael Morris and Jarryd Hillhouse, both taking it intentionally steady, in 5:55:11 and 5:56:50 respectively. Alex Ring also completed the 50k, reaching 60k of the 100k race before reluctantly stopping due to injury. We hope you’re better soon Alex 🙏
Sam Rhodes completed the 100k over 2 days option, running 50km on Saturday and 50km on Sunday in a total time of 13:03:26. In the 100km continuous race, Kathy Henry, Rebecca Bissell and Ciaran O’Donnell all finished together in a time of 13:41:46. Kathy writes:
In July 2021 I was due to complete RTTS 100km, but after my husband Nick was diagnosed with Stage 4 Gall Bladder Cancer I deferred to focus on the time we had together as a family. Nick knew I would need a challenge after he was gone and made me promise to complete it in 2022.
From the outset this has been a team effort with both Ranelagh Harriers and Old Deer Park parkrun at the heart of it. It never felt like something I was tackling alone. If I list everyone here who has supported along the way it will be a LONG list! THANK YOU everyone.
Saturday 9th July arrived hot and humid, and after all the pub meetings, WhatsApp chats, kit dilemmas and advice from Ranelagh’s more experienced ultra runners, we arrived ready to start at 6:30am.
Setting off full of smiles the early miles ticked by and we were grateful for the cloud cover and shade on the first section of the course. We breezed through the ‘field of dreams’ and made sure we smiled for the photographers.
Threshold events have a well deserved reputation for being organised, friendly and with well stocked pit stops and it didn’t disappoint. Although we were lucky enough to have our very own ‘formula one’ style pitstops from the back of Sally’s car which made a huge difference.
The highlight of our first 50k was celebrating the fact that Ranelagh Harriers most modest runner, Sarah Palmer was first lady and second overall in the 50k with an unbelievable performance. Congrats Sarah!
Leaving base camp where the 50k finishes and with the most exposed sections of the ridgeway ahead, I began to struggle in the heat. My fingers were really swollen by this point and needed plunging in a bucket of icy water at a pit stop (it was being used to keep the Freddo bars cool but I don’t think anyone minded!)
We focussed on nutrition and hydration and our crew [Sally Minchella, Maria Jovani, Mike Dennison, Claire Warner, James Ritchie, and Suzy Whatmough] kept us cool, pain free and moving. I can’t emphasise enough what a difference that, and seeing my daughter made.
The route along the ridgeway isn’t particularly hilly – let’s call it undulating! But it is fair to say I have a low tolerance for running up hill although I can go fairly rapidly downhill. It’s entirely possible I was a bit grumpy and quiet at this point…
We adopted a run/walk strategy and with a rotating crew of runners joining us we kept on moving forwards. One foot in front of the other and despite the heat we continued to make good time. The route is quite varied underfoot and has some road/tarmac sections but also a lot of flinty, hard pathway and rutted fields although we were grateful to be coming through in daylight as many 100k participants (you can walk the route too) have to tackle it in darkness.
Sally read out some of the messages of support from the Ladies WhatsApp group which really did give us a much needed boost when our legs and lungs were ready for a rest.
At 95km Becs and I managed some airplane arms on a lovely downhill section (Sally’s idea of course!) and before we knew it we were heading on the out and back to the stone circle at Avebury before heading across a field to the final stretch.
We turned the corner, found some energy for a final push and Becs, Ciaran and I crossed the line together, finishing well ahead of my estimated time in 13hrs 41. Medals collected, hugs and high fives given, it was time for a cold beverage and celebrating our achievements with the whole crew.
This was a very special day for me and I think it will take a few days of reflection to process it all. I’m not sure yet if I will do another one, but I suspect in a week or so when I can walk again and the blisters are healing I’ll be ready to think about a new big challenge!
An awesome day with awesome people.
🥇 James Ritchie 144.6km
🔹 Joji Mori 116.0km
🥈 Ciaran O’Donnell 111.7km
🥉 Nick Impey 111.2km
🥇 Rebecca Bissell 114.6km (and 🥉 overall)
🥈 Kathy Henry 112.7km
🥉 Suzy Whatmough 110.0km
🥇 James Ritchie 6,034m
🔹 Joji Mori 1,733m
🥈 Nick Impey 1,583m
🥉 Ralph Street 1,464m
🥇 Suzy Whatmough 4,918m (and 🥈 overall)
🥈 Rebecca Bissell 1,377m
🥉 Kathy Henry 1,350m
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