The Rio and Kau­nas Marathons

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

‘My run­ning club, Ranelagh, in­tro­duced me to the con­cept of mob matches. They hosted the first ever such event in 1907, against the Black­heath Har­ri­ers. Mobs are in­for­mal head-to head-meet­ings be­tween clubs that take place within an or­gan­ised cross-coun­try fix­ture, so as well as the nor­mal race the two clubs have their own pri­vate com­pe­ti­tion go­ing on. Ev­ery run­ner scores points based on their fin­ish­ing po­si­tion (1st gets one point, 15th place gets 15 points, and so on). The team that ac­cu­mu­lates the low­est points to­tal wins the match

My fel­low Ranelagh run­ner David Wright, who has done 168 of th­ese things since 1974, sums up the spirit per­fectly. He says: ‘Mob Matches en­cap­su­late all that is good in sport: hard com­pe­ti­tion with­out it be­ing taken too se­ri­ously, good ban­ter, team spirit in what is gen­er­ally an in­di­vid­ual sport, a scor­ing sys­tem that means every­body counts, tea and cake and, most im­por­tantly, a few beers in the evening, with every­one talk­ing about the race.’ I to­tally agree with him. Noth­ing stirs the in­ner beast more than a call to arms from the club cap­tain for the next mob match, where men and women, young and old, fast and slow make a dif­fer­ence for the team.’ - MICHAEL MOR­RIS, 47, RANELAGH RUN­NING CLUB

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