This week we collectively ran 7,602km across 883 activities. But even more impressive was how we collectively rallied to persuade The Royal Parks to reverse their stance on banning all cross country in Richmond Park. It was great to see The Royal Parks effectively change their minds (even though I suspect there is much work to be done to agree future races and routes).
Thanks to everyone who helped with this, from Ted Mockett liaising with The Royal Parks, Tom Cameron carrying out his one man strike and protest run, and everyone signing the petition (now standing at more than 1700 signatures – do please sign here – https://www.change.org/p/allow-cross-country-events-at-richmond-park – just to help ensure Richmond Park’s authorities see the strength of feeling there is in support of this).
And on the theme of collective action and preserving what we love…
As runners, I think almost all of us enjoy (or mostly enjoy) spending time outdoors, and we are pretty well attuned to the seasons and the weather. I think that explains why so many of us are interested in protecting our environment, or at the very least, doing what we can to contribute to a bit of damage control.
The Green Runners was started last year by a bunch of runners also keen to do something in the face of all the scary statistics about the climate emergency. (I can reel some of these off, but I don’t want to be too doom and gloom in the rundown). Some of you may already be aware of the Green Runners, and may have already made pledges. So apologies if this is old news to you. But for those that haven’t heard of them, or haven’t looked into it yet, do check them out – https://thegreenrunners.com/
Their mission is simple – they’re seeking to inform and encourage runners to think about the practical things you can pledge to do in your everyday lives:
- How You Move
- How You Kit-up
- How You Eat
- How You Speak Out
Sometimes it feels like the problem is so massive, nothing I do will make a difference. And the more I look into it, the more hypocritical I feel. But I think that even if I make just small changes, and gradually build on these where possible, at least I’m doing something positive.
I’ll be sharing my pledges on Strava soon (which makes me cringe slightly, but if I make them public then I’m more likely to own them, and I think it’s helpful to share ideas). It would be great to see others do the same (partly so I can steal your ideas!), but pledges can be made quietly too, and no pledge is too small. I’d also welcome any ideas about what we could do as a club – please do come and chat to me if anyone has any thoughts.
And in celebration of efforts to be greener, I’ve included the most beautiful photos taken by you all this week, plus photos of our brilliant Surrey League teams enjoying the great outdoors this weekend (who moved pretty swiftly through it, more below!)
So finally, onto the subject of actual running, starting with our brilliant teams racing the final Surrey League matches.
James Riley reports on the men’s race:
“A somewhat depleted men’s team and an anxious Captain descended on Morden Park for the final race of the Surrey League season. A 240 point advantage over Epsom & Ewell in 3rd was surely enough despite missing A team stalwarts like Dave Lawley and Ross MacDonald? Wasn’t it?
It was fair to say that there was some skepticism about the quality of the venue. However, the course was a pleasant surprise, someone had even gone to the trouble of dragging some logs across the path. When it came to the race it was fair to say that Clapham Chasers and Epsom had had their Weetabix. Pat Wright led Ranelagh home in 13th followed by Henry Fagan and VC Jonathan Smith. Stand out performances saw a returning Graham Brook home as 6th Ranelagh, Ed Perry’s first Surrey League score and Mark Herbert claim the Ron Burgundy trophy as A team anchorman.”
The men’s team finished 3rd in the final fixture, which was enough for them to be promoted into division 1 behind Clapham 🎉 💙
Ranelagh were heavily featured in the individual age group leaderboards for division 2 this season. Well done to Chris Lepine (1st v50), Mike Thomas (3rd v50), Marc Leyshon (2nd v40), Ted Mockett (4th v40), and Henry Fagan (2nd U20).
The women ran their final fixture in Lloyd Park, finishing 5th in the race, and 7th overall for the league. This means we safely remain in division 1 for next season 🎉💛. In yesterday’s race, I was first Ranelagh home (16th), followed by Sarah Palmer (27th), Cecily Day (32nd), Natalie Haarer (43rd), Liz Kipling (45th), Clare Fowler (101st), Clare Day (181st), Ruth Gledhill (185th), and Sally Bamford (192nd). Thanks to Rebecca Bissell and Maisy Fowler for cheering us all round. It was a welcome addition to the enthusiastic Kent and Herne Hill supporters. I think Kent probably had the loudest cheers, but it was Herne Hill who narrowly won the league title in the end.
In the individual leaderboards, Ruth Gledhill was 4th v60 overall in division 1. And for the Ranelagh trophies (best performances over the league, with 3 races to count) well done to Clare Fowler who wins Trish’s Trophy in the v40 category, and Clare Day who retains Petersham Trophy in the v50 category. I just managed to hold onto the Hugh Jones Salver in the senior category.
In other racing / running news:
🔷 Jonathan Moore ran a brilliant race in the RunThrough Dorney Half Marathon, finishing 1st v50 in a speedy time of 1:19:40.
🔶 Nic Douglas ran a superb PB of 1:26:59 in the Goodwood Half Marathon, finishing third overall.
🔷 Dave Kew ran 26.2’s Valentine’s 10k in 56:08.
🔶 Eirin McDaid had a double race weekend including coming 1st at the hilly Cardinham Woods Half Marathon in a time of 1:32:11 on the Saturday, followed by cross country on Sunday (although it’s not on Strava yet, so further evidence needed)
🔷 Maisy Fowler ran her 50th parkrun at Old Deer Park parkrun and finished in an impressive PB time of 26:58.
🔷 Sally Minchella was 1st at Old Deer Park parkrun (22:17), and Ben Anderson was 1st at Cornwall Parkrun (17:11).
🔶 A throwback to last weekend to shout out Imogen Parker Elm’s fantastic 37:20 10k PB at the London Winter Run.
Well done everyone! 👏
Don’t forget to sign yourself up to ‘Let’s Get Quizzical!’ – the Ranelagh Quiz Night.
We’ll be taking the trainers off (for the night), getting our thinking caps on and gathering at the clubhouse on 18 February @ 7pm. It’s £10/person + pizza, salads & drink 🍕 🥳, and free for kids.
To join, all you need to do is fill in this simple Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf6HFr2EFdBBbYe1GTsnl3A1m6_6FLn4o5tkSxEmWpG_-_4Sw/viewform?usp=sf_link
Then make your £10/adult payment to the following account by 16 February:
Reference: Your Name + QUIZ
🔷 Carl Selya-Hammer 120.8km
🥇 Jonathan Moore 112.7km
🥈 James Riley 109.1km
🔶 Simon Wolnizer 108.7km
🥉 Michael Morris 101.3km
🥇 Ruth Gledhill 93.1km
🥈 Cordy Parker 82.0km
🥉 Suzy Whatmough 80.0km
🥇 Ria Woodfield 1,425m
🥈 Kate Gadd 1,358m
🥉 Suzy Whatmough 909m
🔷 Ryan Fisher 1,396m
🔶 Simon Wolnizer 1,184m
🥇 Euan Sinclair 1,117m
🥈 Bruce McLaren 987m
🥉 Ben Anderson 889m
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