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49th* Annual Mob Match v Thames Hare & Hounds: Race Report & Results

A trawl through ‘tinterweb’ reveals that 4 November was National Waiting For The Barbarians Day; a quirky annual observation in South Africa and the US to commemorate author JM Coetzee’s eponymous novel. And with Storm Ciarán raging through the week, one would certainly not be blamed for imaging Viking hordes landing on the banks of the Thames; or barbarians descending from the Surrey Hills to plunder & pillage.

So, to see clearer skies by Saturday lunchtime was therefore somewhat of a relief.

Thankfully too, there were neither Vikings hordes nor threatening barbarians; rather the worst hazard came in the form of our friendly monochromatic rivals Thames Hare & Hounds, as they crossed the A3 to take part in the 49th (or 50th, depending on who’s to be believed) running of the Ranelagh Harriers vs Thames Hare & Hounds Mob Match.

And perhaps the blue skies might herald a positive outcome for our runners as they trickled into the clubhouse to register? So far, so good omens.

By 2pm, the entire rabble were assembled at the traditional start by the tree. Despite numbers still being assigned right down to the last minute as the Saltires sauntered in; timekeeping clearly something some of their members needed to work on.

Finally, 71 runners toed the line, 42 in blue & gold and 29 in black & white. We certainly had the numbers, but it would be foolish to underestimate Thames’ strength. The terrain was soft underfoot, with mud and standing water in places; while the conditions fair, with a chilly breeze wafting. Perfect cross-country conditions.

After a long preamble, our very own Mike Peace, without pausing to draw breath, led the Ranelagh cheer; and as a loud ‘RAH, RAH, RAH’ echoed through the trees, THH’s Andy Weir responded with a rather more succinct, ‘Right, let’s have ‘em’. Thus, the battle lines were drawn; and with 21 Ranelagh wins against 27 Thames, club honour was at stake to prevent that gap from increasing.

The course starts deceptively with the blessed downhill of Queen’s Ride, before grinding upwards behind the ballet school, down the side of Pen Ponds, into the bracken at Pat’s Mound, and then once again painfully up and round Sidmouth Woods. A sobering technical route; made even more challenging by it being a two-lapper.

As the first runners came through to start their 2nd lap; it wasn’t clear-cut which club had the upper hand. Where Ranelagh seemed to be leading, there was always a Saltire shadowing and when 4 of our likely lads were forced to pull out after 1 lap, it became harder yet to call. Eventually all the runners had crossed to begin that dreaded 2nd lap.

Following a cold wait for the timekeepers, a great cheer ensued as the call ‘RUNNER’ was accompanied by the vision of young Peter Cook and young(ish) Jonny Smith; crossing the line to take a convincing 1-2 for Ranelagh. Thames’ James Chettle and Richard Ollington then responded with a 3-4 to reset the score board. Thereafter the next 5 pairs of runners – reminiscent of the animals going in two-by-two – alternated evenly between the two clubs.

Then a wave of 6 Ranelagh’s led by Lord Admiral Peter Haarer and Women’s Captain Suzy Whatmough crashed through; surely this would secure the victory for us? But Thames were not giving up that easily; 4 of their athletes responded in kind. And so on and so forth; where Ranelagh laid down the gauntlet, our friendly rivals met the charge. Meaning any victory would not be so easily called; even at the end, after all the runners had come through.

So it was back to the clubhouse, where warmed by Carol’s lovely tea and the camaraderie of old friends; the results were compiled by Pete Vox. Revealing that despite the valiant efforts of Thames, it was a resounding Ranelagh victory with a final score of 553 against 742 for Thames! Well done to all the competitors and huge thanks to all the volunteers and marshals.

Fastest 3 ladies were our lovely duo of Suzy Whatmough (49:51) and Cecily Day (50:20), while Thames’ Katy Hedgethorne (51:01) took 3rd place. Fastest 3 open places went to our rapid duo of Peter Cook (44:34) and Jonny Smith (45:01), with Thames’ James Chettle (45:27) placing 3rd.

In Ranelagh related awards, the Hastings Cup (V40), the McDowell Slaver (V50) and the Maslin Mug (V60) returned to the previous year’s winners; Marc Leyshon (45:44), Professor Peter Haarer (49:40) and Mick Lane (56:22).

Those staying on decamped to The Lass O’Richmond Hill for the annual post-mob supper, brilliantly coordinated (with a little help from friends), by our Social Secretary Hadi Khatamizadeh. The supper marked a convivial and perfect ending to the day’s racing; with old friends reuniting and new connections made; and with both clubs staunchly affirming their commitment to continuing our wonderful mob match traditions.

And so, to next year when it’s our turn to make the arduous journey across the A3 into ‘enemy’ territory. Can we make it 23 victories? YES WE CAN!

💙 Results: https://ranelagh-harriers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/RanelaghVSTHH.MobMatch.4Nov2023.RESULTS.pdf
💛 Times: hhttps://ranelagh-harriers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/RanelaghVSTHH.MobMatch.4Nov2023.TIMES_.pdf

Ranelagh vs THH Mob: Results

SCORES
Ranelagh Harriers553
Thames Hare & Hounds742
Total # runners71
# Finishers for RAN37
# Finishers for THH28
# DNFs6
# Scoring runners p/team25
Fastest 5 LadiesNameRace TimeClub
1Suzy Whatmough49:51RAN
2Cecily Day50:20RAN
3Katy Hedgethorne51:01THH
4Claire Altmann54:44THH
5Wiebke Kortum60:20RAN
Fastest 5 OpenNameRace TimeClub
1Peter Cook44:34RAN
2Jonny Smith45:01RAN
3James Chettle45:27THH
4Richard Ollington45:36THH
5Marc Leyshon45:44RAN

Ranelagh vs THH Mob: Individual Times

PositionNameClubRace TimePositionNameClubRace Time
1Peter CookRAN44:3437Trevor MaguireRAN57:28
2Jonny SmithRAN45:0138Andy RobinsonTHH57:41
3James ChettleTHH45:2739Ben ShoreRAN57:53
4Richard OllingtonTHH45:3640Elliot WellsRAN58:23
5Marc LeyshonRAN45:4441Hadi KhatamizadehRAN59:16
6David ReadyRAN46:2242Andrew McloughlinRAN59:34
7Ben ReynoldsTHH46:3543John LewbridgeTHH60:14
8Alistair McMasterTHH46:5544Wiebke KortumRAN60:20
9Dave LawleyRAN47:3345Ian ButlerTHH60:29
10Mark HerbertRAN48:2746Natalie SacreTHH60:40
11Ashley MiddlewickTHH48:3547Vikki FilsellTHH61:39
12Oliver GarnerTHH48:3848Aoife KilpatrickRAN62:33
13Ed PerryRAN48:4849Andrea StehlikovaTHH63:34
14Ted MockettRAN49:0550Claire WarnerRAN63:51
15Simon BarrettTHH49:0851Stephen LogueRAN63:52
16Peter HaarerRAN49:4052Andrew CollinsTHH64:54
17Suzy WhatmoughRAN49:5153Phil RobertsRAN64:57
18Ed ForbesRAN50:0454Rhodri DaviesTHH65:03
19Andy StarrRAN50:1255Amrut SharmaRAN65:29
20Tom CameronRAN50:1456Mike FarmeryTHH66:02
21Cecily DayRAN50:2057Chris ReadRAN69:00
22Will ScottTHH50:2558Clare DayRAN69:29
23Matt JonesTHH50:4059Jeff ArmitageTHH70:48
24Anisse IsmailiTHH50:5160Sally BamfordRAN70:58
25Katy HedgethorneTHH51:0161Ian GrangeRAN71:53
26Tristan ThornhillRAN51:0862Paula MaguireRAN77:27
27Jonathan MooreRAN51:3063Mike PeaceRAN77:28
28Chris FinillTHH51:4964Paul NewbyTHH78:49
29Mike MorrisRAN52:4565David JenkinsTHH82:28
30Nigel FullerRAN53:08
31Peter WoodburnTHH53:40Alex RingRANDNF
32Chris DanielsTHH54:38Alex SmithRANDNF
33Claire AltmannTHH54:44Jarryd HillhouseRANDNF
34Andy WeirTHH55:55Nick ImpeyRANDNF
35Lukas AppenzellerRAN56:17Aley GaskellTHHDNF
36Mick LaneRAN56:22Marilyn NelsonRANDNF

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Surrey cross country league standings

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Ladies Div 17/15league table
Men Div 18/9league table
Ladies Div U159/16league table
Men Div U15/U1716/18league table

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