HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Nim See Sengís first mini-marathon raises funds for AIDS patients

Runners at Doi Suthep Marathon face 12 km route

Farangutans take on special forces

Chiang Mai Pool League:Elated Happy Bar break duck

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Nim See Sengís first mini-marathon raises funds for AIDS patients

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Jeerasak Suntreechat, male winner

A mini-marathon run for the benefit of AIDS patients and with a trophy sponsored by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was organized by Nim See Seng Leasing Co Ltd on November 20.

Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the start of the race, in which local residents and company staff took part. Revenue after expenses will be presented to the Defense Wivesí Association, of which the governorís wife Ornadda is president, to support Chiang Mai AIDS patients. Some revenue will also be presented to ACCESS Foundation, an organization taking care of AIDS victims.

This mini-marathon was for a distance of 11 kilometers. Runners began from the Nim See Seng Transport 1998 Co., Ltd. offices and went along Khajao Market Road to Baan Thalook, Baan Tha Dua, passing the ring road to Ruam Choke Market and Rama 2 Hospital, and ending at the starting point.

The competition was separated into male and female categories. Winner of the male section was Jeerasak Suntreechat with a time of 40.05 minutes, while the female winner was Saifone Piawong at 50.34 minutes. Both received the PMís trophies and gold necklaces.

This was the first time the company had organized the marathon, and there are plans to run it again next year.

Runners at Doi Suthep Marathon face 12 km route

Nopniwat Krailerg

Runners are being invited to participate in the 3rd Doi Suthep Mini Marathon and compete for a trophy sponsored by Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization.

Surasak Sangthabthim of the Chiang Mai Running for Health Club said the 12-kilometer marathon, organized jointly by the club and the PAO, will take place on December 4.

Competitors will be grouped into various categories. Males will be classified into those under 19 years old, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and more than 60 years old. Females will be the under 19s, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and more than 50 years old. The winning male and female runners will receive trophies from Thawatwong na Chiang Mai, president of Chiang Mai PAO.

To apply and for more information contact tel 0 1883 7111. The application fee is 200 baht per person. You can also apply at the competition on December 3, at 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. and on December 4 at 4.30 - 5.45 a.m. at Ang Kaew Pavilion, Chiang Mai University. The competition will start at 6 a.m.

Farangutans take on special forces

James Farrell

Donít let the blighters drag you down - or something to that effect, is the phrase that comes to mind after playing two back to back games over the weekend. Those formulaic prison movies where the guards stuff the inmates incorporating every unjust and flagrantly corrupt tactic in the book, often end up with the inmates victorious and the guards culpable. That is the movies. The Chiang Mai league has itís own set of very realistic rules, protean in character and always dressed in a friendly smile.

Having won the first of their games in the Chiang Mai version of the Champions League, the boys needed one more victory over Fawg Kaew to take the top spot in the four team group, incidentally made up of the leagueís best teams. No subs, no coach, no sense of direction, the Farangutans took the lead in the first half with a great run from the new Polish star, Arik, who then found James at the edge of the box who planted it in the back of the net.

The first half remained 1-0, but in the second there was to be a goal frenzy. Another new recruit, Miguel, took on three players and blasted it past the keeper. It was then all down hill for Fawg Kaew as their hit man midfielder was sent off for numerous lunges, dives and acrobatic fouls. James got his second after he received a pass from Miguel outside the box and half volleyed home the third. The fourth came from Ross Brockie, even though contaminated with flu and side line vitriol, came on and popped the ball in the net from close distance. The ref was unusually judicious and the Farangs left the field jubilant knowing they would only require a draw against Mae Rim (League Champions) to qualify for the knock out stage.

Sunday morning saw the Farangutans weighed down by hangovers and the apparent confusion at actually seeing the sun rise sober. Mae Rim came out guns blazing, and the excellent defending of Tim, Albert, Lee and Rory could not stop an early goal. The Mae Rim attacker blasted the ball at Goalkeeper Markís face. Dejectedly he asked Tim if the ball had gone in as we were taking the center kick.

In the second half the Farangutans played with more enthusiasm, and again Arek took the ball around half the Mae Rim defense then unselfishly laid it off to Leandro who scored a nice tap in. After that the Farangs defended their goal with the same fervor that ants protect their colony. Mark made some great saves and French rugby player, Olivier, was ubiquitous, taking Mae Rim players out of the game on every attack. Final score 1-1, the Farangutans limped off the pitch happy with the result. Two wins and one draw would settle a place in the quarter finals with seven points. Unfortunately this was no prison movie.

According to the Thai teams, draws must be settled with a penalty shoot out, regardless of it being a group match. In our minds we had won on points and goal difference!!! We lost the shoot out and then found out that goal difference didnít make a difference. Nervously we waited as the Chiang Mai officials whispered their machinations. As there were three teams from four on six points, now that the new penalty shoot out rule had been invoked, we would have to pick a number from the refís magic hat in the hope we would pull a one or a two. Lucky Lee, renowned for his disappearing rabbit act and penchant for exploiting the vertically challenge, pulled a one. We were top. And after that it was back to the U.N Irish pub for celebratory drinks. Only whilst drinking the first pint, a phone call came and informed us that we didnít actually win and the new rules had been suddenly abrogated. We are not yet sure what the newest, alloyed rules are, and we are not yet sure what the hell we can do to win. One thing we are pretty much certain about is that we wonít be qualifying for the next round. One thing we all learned this weekend: modern oppression shakes your hand, and it can grind you down.

Chiang Mai Pool League:Elated Happy Bar break duck

Pat Black

After coming close on previous occasions, Happy Bar chalked up their first ever win last week in the Chiang Mai Pool League by seeing off Rock Hard Bistro, 5-4. It may have taken them 15 matches to achieve the feat, but that made victory seem all the sweeter.

At 2-2, the match was up for grabs until Happy took the initiative and landed the last two singles. A win in the first doubles game saw them home and Rock Hard took the remaining frames as consolation amid wild jubilations.

It was a night that favoured the foot of the ladder where December Bar edged Enjoy Place to take their 4th point and move closer to the mid table positions.

My prediction that Blue Sky Garden and Number 1 Pub (formally No.1 Bar) would create upsets during the second half of the season proved correct, when the former secured all their doubles games to win comfortably against La Villa.

Meanwhile, The Wall crumbled badly at Number 1, where the home side overran their second placed opposition with an impressive 7-2 score line.

At the top of the league, Half Moon Pub extended their lead by clean sweeping all the second half games to run out 6-3 winners against main contenders Blue Sky Bar, which meant Chiangers and Bangers moved into 3rd spot after their 6-3 success over Friendís Corner.

Elsewhere, The Local ended a miserable losing run at the expense of Out Back. A one-sided first half saw the champions lead 5-1, but perhaps their rather sabai approach to the doubles allowed Out Back in, with a final score of 5-4.

There has been some discussion lately in the Chiang Mai Pool League about snooker tactics creeping into pool.

Small pool tables with buckets for bags are conducive to direct potting and accomplished participants often possess a dazzling repertoire of amusing trick shots.

However, snooker players contend that pool relies on a significant degree of luck, which is impossible on a much larger snooker table with tiny pockets.

Consequently, where a pool rack should take roughly 10 minutes, a snooker frame, with all its safety, positional play and snookers can last an hour.

Interestingly, no professional pool player that I know of has crossed over to snooker, but a number of renowned snooker stars are into pool. Six times World Snooker Champion, Steve Davis is one and Jimmy White another, but neither has been able to stamp their name on the eight or nine ball game as they did with 15 reds and six colours.

However, Maltaís Tony Drago might have made the right move. He has become a world pool champion, which is something he probably wonít achieve at snooker.

And at only 29 years old, the worldís current number one snooker champion Ronnie ďRocketĒ OíSullivan has promised to take up the faster game.

So, who are the pool and snooker teams in the Chiang Mai Pool League? Well, judge for yourself. Pure pool matches should be over before 22.30 on a Friday night, whereas The Local tends to grind away towards midnight. But they donít care - see picture.