BA Athletics Club News Digest 1st February 2021
For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at email@example.com.
Unrestricted races are currently off so the club continues to
operate with Solo and Shared runs as listed above - for restrictions and advice see
Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest.
Due to the Tier 4 lockdown all shared runs are off the agenda until March or
Club Event Map:
[Clickable link to Google Maps]
This Week's Events
Please help me by sending in your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and
News@barunner.org.uk. Some events, such as the
weekend achievement, will have "Prompts" set up in
These allow the posting of a single image and some text and make it easy to flip
through everyone's entries. The Ross Barkley exercise will be reported on next
Monday. This week's bonus extra midweek challenge is to Kayak or Canoe on a
course that you would normally run. I don't expect many entries despite the
opportunities that the weather will present us with.
Ross Barkley 5k:
||5km Cumulative Time
||Total Time Taken
||Recent 5k Time
||Details or Comments
||e.g. how you split up the 5km
Weekend Achievement (by 5pm on the Monday) or use the Facebook prompt that
will be added on Friday:
||Time or Duration
||Details or comment, and other achievements
Last Week's Midweek Challenge - Track-on-Field
Just four of us managed Track-on-Field in January. Best individual
performance was clearly Steve Hillier in the 200m although I was nearly as fast
in the 100. Stephen was fastest at the longer distances but is perhaps yet to
get all of his breath back over the shorter sprints.
BAAC 2021 Virtual Relay London Marathon – 14th March – live running, start
Further to recent communications, here is the Event Outline and Entry
Invitation - please can you distribute within your club/groups/friends. We would
like to invite other nearby clubs/groups so if you can let me know some who may
be interested either let us know or forward to them (please give us a heads-up
on any !). First thoughts include TVXC league clubs, Hillingdon, Metros. Ealing/Southall/Middx,
Shepperton etc. and of course any interested individuals (non-attached).
Hopefully we will get a good number of 'International entries' again as this was
really enjoyed. We will make up teams as requested, or help to mix'n'match as
last time. We will not be publicly advertising however.
Any questions please just ask - there is an email address dedicated to the
event for all entrants:
or use other emails or phone numbers for Joe
Hope all is clear, let's hope for an even greater event than last year.
We shall start recruiting/confirming 'Team Managers' during next week.
The info is in full in the script below, and also attached in both
.docx format and
.pdf format for whichever suits you best to distribute.
Thanks again for all your interest and let's hope it exceeds last year's
event and everyone gets a well needed boost at this time - fortunately we have
some expert excel spreadsheet and entry/result processing this time to make the
Best Regards and keep safe all
The whole running community, along with everyone, have suffered the
effects and lockdowns on our fitness & health so we are all needing
encouragement to get out there again, get fit and inspired for hopefully
a return to ‘normal life’ again in the not-too-distant future.
Following the success of the 2020 event, we are repeating the event
this year. This will comprise a 1-mile leg locally for each
runner, against a backdrop of the LM course. Teams of 26 will be
formed with a schedule of ‘live handovers’. Last year we had 208
runners, with participants in Canada, USA, France, Germany, Iraq and the
UK - a team from ‘Datchet Dashers’ took first place honours, but only by
a few minutes – who might beat them this time ? No restriction on
age by the way – last year ages ranged from 4 to 80. Entry is
free, and must be submitted before the close date of 28th February. If
any particular group wishes to support a charity please organise that
separately but do let us know.
Runners can request an approximate start time after 8am, each
start/finish time will be managed within a live WhatsApp group, or
otherwise means if you do not have that facility. You will be able to
monitor the progress of your team throughout, which was so much fun last
Following current COVID-19 guidelines, your runs should be
local to you (suggest an ‘out & back’ loop) or could even be on a
treadmill. Walk/run legs are also fine.
We will assist making up teams, and can accommodate Key Workers/those
with other constraints who cannot run on the actual Sunday morning –
just let us know if this may be you.
Results will be published afterwards and there will be a special
‘medal certificate’ issued to all competing, and we will be able to look
back in the happier times to come that we ‘proudly, but safely, ran
London 2021 despite the bug !).
Please answer all 10 questions on the quiz/entry form below and
submit to the email address shown. If there are any queries just ask
(same email address).
2021 Virtual Relay London Marathon Entry Form/Details required
(please answer all questions):
- 1-NAME ?
- 2-LOCATION ? (England/Other/Region/County)
- 3-EMAIL ADDRESS ?
- 4-MOBILE PHONE NUMBER ?
- 5-DO YOU USE WHATSAPP ? (or would you prefer TEXT messages ?)
- 6-CLUB/GROUP/INDIVIDUAL ?
- 7-DO YOU WISH TO RUN CONSECUTIVE or IN ORDER WITH ANY PARTICULAR
- 8-PREDICTED APPROX ONE-MILE TIME ? (Needed for rough scheduling
of start times)
- 9-SPECIAL REQUESTS ? (preferred start time, order with others,
but only if really needed please !)
- 10-ANY QUERIES ! ?
Please submit to:
All emails/entries will be replied to/confirmed within 48 hours – you
will receive a first information pack with further details of the event
- if you do not hear anything please check your SPAM folders and/or make
contact again ! All data collected, complying with data protection
will not be used for any other purpose. All contact information will be
deleted soon after the event and not used for any other purposes.
Best regards, good luck and stay safe all
Remembering the Round-the-Block Race
Traditionally the BAAC Heston Round-the-Block Race has been held on the last Tuesday of
January. When we held it last year we announced that it would be the last held
on that circuit. Obviously there was no option this year other than to keep to
our word. However on Wednesday (a day late due to the safety hazard on Tuesday
of too much ice on the pavement) I did run round the circuit as a solo run. I
also then walked round the circuit and took some photographs. The photographs
were to mirror and contrast with a selection I took in about 1992 for an
observation competition held at one of the club's socials - a competition I can
remember that John Williams won. I've loaded some of the "then and now" photos
on Facebook - see:
although, to be frank, photographs of buildings that used to be pubs and
changing designs of street furniture probably aren't particularly interesting.
But let us take a moment to remember what
the event was:
- In 1979 several runners in the BA OR group moved from Ruislip to Comet
House on the BA Hatton Cross site, near the Market Research Department who
were their customers. OR decided to challenge Market Research to a race
around the block of the BA Sports Club - based at the Concorde Centre in
Heston. The course was 3.5 miles in length so considered a bit of a
challenge (and a good excuse for a long lunch with a pint at the club bar).
OR's Steve Fletcher led the field home in just over 21 minutes followed by
Bryan Wilson and Dave Carrington. David Barnard and Alan Friar were also in
- In 1980 the event was repeated but opened up to anyone working for
British Airways. Finishing first was a youngster from the Finance department
called Barry Walters. Ladies competed for the first time with Sue Adams
being the first lady finisher.
- In 1981 Barry was also first finisher. And in 1982. And '83. And so on
until 1990 when Tim Brennan managed to finish first.
- The 1992 race had 217 finishers representing 41 different teams! The
policeman in attendance asked us to move the start on grounds of safety. Tim
was first finisher. The BAAC "Round-the-Block" magazine only listed the top
30! Slightly more than that are shown in the photograph above.
- Being first finisher hasn't always been so hotly contested - in 2012
there were only three participants and I managed to finish ahead of Steve
Newell and a pregnant lady - but perhaps I've told you that story before.
- The necessary one day's delay this week was not unusual for the month of
January - in 2014 the event had to be delayed by two whole weeks.
- The original organiser of the event was Dave Barnard. Bill Byrne took
over in the late '80s, then Paul Knechtl in the late '90s. Recently Neil
Frediani and I have been sharing the arrangements.
- It was decided that last year's 2020 race would be the last. There were
nine participants with Jeremy Short last first man and Harjit Jhooti last
first lady. However, honours went to Dave Barnard as tail walker hence being
the last competitor at the event he had been on the start line of 42 years
Roderick Hoffman - with some information provided from a BAAC Round-the-Block
newsletter article from 1992 written by Bill Byrne.
Additional Cooper Test results
Three more members submitted the results of their personal attempts at the
Cooper Test during the week:
||" standard "
|Denis Foxley (M71)
|Kelly Davis (F38)
|Jeremy Short (M59)
The ExRx calculator also gives a "score" for each try as well as a rating.
The test is about cardiovascular fitness rather than speed. The system may
appear rather harsh - possibly gender equality gone mad and sprinters do not
score well. Jeremy Short has been awarded 98 points.
Last week's scores
Chris Kelly (100), Maarten Stenham (92), Steve Taylor (88), Roderick Hoffman
(76), Barry Walters (50), Michael Ball (49), Steve Hillier (37).
Hillier has observed that there may be as much as 30kg more of him than the
Steve Newell (M76) has been back on the rowing machine recently and done
2000m in 8:08. Using a different calculator which uses weight as well as
age he has a VO2 max of 39.77 which would be "good" for a 69 year old.
SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 29th January to 1st February 2021
30 members and friends reported activities for this week. Please try
to make future submissions by Monday 5pm, or 6pm at the latest, either by email
to me or using the "Prompt" in Facebook, and I'll try to include them all.
||Late entry from last weekend.
||Another scavenger hunt. 31 items found.
||Also 3miles on Thursday in 44min and a fast 2.2mile walk on Tuesday.
||Similar run to last week to Lilyhill Park and back in wet and pretty
||Miserable rain ensured a reasonable pace on my 5k from/to home route
as per local lockdown rules.
||Bourne End via Cookham Bridge
||An all road route, as our preferred cross country route is in places
||Past Loddon Brewery.
||Courtney Black HIIT Workout
||Army training grounds
||Cold and wet
||Monday morning hill sprints after 30 days of yoga - I got a Strava
segment crown and Local Legend .
||Richmond Park and back
||Taking me to 97km for the week and 325km for the month, probably a
record. I ran today to avoid the rain yesterday but consequently it was
pretty wet in the park and getting harder to dodge the crowds.
||On Dillon Lake
||Yes - that was "on" the lake.
||"Staying dry today". Janet's photo reveals that she was also
watching the TV - though I guess whatever they were cooking ended up
||Bourne End via Cookham Bridge
||Before walking home we found our favourite spot Dinnies Waterside
park almost completely under water as the Thames had breached its banks
at that point.
||Final part of canal journey, with Paul, see below.
||St Albans area
||Also slightly longer but slower pace on the Sunday - 8.7km in
||Stanwell and Bedfont Lakes
||Did 7 miles just to make sure I got my 10k badge as every time I did
10k strava wouldn't give it to me so I went a little over. 35th day
||Soggy swampy Sunday saunter thru the trenches...lol...nice walk just
very muddy full of puddles "Aquathon" wudda been more appropriate.
||No Berkley or Track-on-Field for me this month, went to Feltham with
Kenny and did 2x100 and 3x60.
||More Hampton Streets
||A bit more awkward for route finding as the 1980s housing estates
are mazes of roads and paths with lots of choices. I didn't expect the
mileage to be quite so high, either.
||Up north somewhere
||With an interesting experiment to see which of two sets of running
shoes gave the better grip on the frozen ground.
||Rushmoor Freedom Run
||Cold, wet & windy.
||Ealing and Thames
||Strava tracks only show 9.5 miles in 2:05:17 - I had trouble
switching the watch on!
||Yeading to Hillingdon
||Taking the dry routes including on a windy A40.
||Getting out of the house felt like an achievement. Did my ‘not a
Parkrun’ 5k in cold wet windy sleet and then happily ‘Stay at Home’ for
the rest of the day.
||A drizzly run around most of the Ealing half marathon route, I'll
probably attempt the whole thing in February.
||Same course as my Ross Barkley (see next week).
(left) neglected to say which shoe proved the better performer - did he turn to the
left or the right?
Clara (right) enjoying the scenery on the army range in January.
Last year, for various reasons, we set ourselves some running challenges. We
wanted to explore new places by running new routes to increase our knowledge of
our area and to dig into the rich history around here. Obviously, we also wanted
to improve our cardiovascular performance, lengthen our runs and increase leg
strength in readiness for what we all hope will be a long and successful
One such adventure has been completed, namely the Basingstoke canal, running
from the junction with the River Wey in Woodham to Greywell Tunnel covering
between 50 and 55 kilometers. The official website states the navigable stretch
of water being 49.98km, the final distance marker stating 49.5km, county and
rambling websites stating 53.5km and our own navigation aids showing it to be
55.7km....and for the purposes here, I will use our measurements and timings.
We decided to break the challenge into four stages with one stage being run
Stage One - Woodham to Brookwood - 14.6km in 1hr 09.
This was the busiest leg with many people walking and running the canal:
understandable as the most urban part of the route. Apart from having to cross
the canal in Woking adjacent to the Peacocks Centre, there was very little clue
as to where we actually were, which is rather difficult to explain. We were
running through areas that we know very well but the perspective from the canal
is completely different. The towpath is very flat and wide but we noticed that
the further from town we got, the narrower, wetter and bumpier the path became.
Three times the towpath crosses over the canal during this section with
St.John’s and Brookwood being the other two where we had to cross the road over
a bridge to the other side of the water.
Stage Two - Brookwood to Ash Lock - 14.9km in 1:14.
This stage becomes more rural but we soon discovered that we might be running
this canal in the wrong direction...there are 17 locks in the first 8km and
there was a 30-40m run up to each one! A very green run through the Army ranges,
along part of the Frimley Lodge parkrun course and through Ash Vale and the
Stage Three - Ash Lock to Crookham Village - 11km in 0:58.
is where we left the path and gravel towpath onto the mud. This leg touches the
Rushmoor parkrun and past Farnborough airfield, through Fleet and along to
Crookham village. After Fleet, we were in an area never explored and we both
thought the area to be lovely.
Stage Four - Crookham Village to Greywell Tunnel - 15.7km in 1:21.
What we thought was to be the shortest section was in fact the longest. Not a
disappointment though as through the countryside, past old waterside pubs and
very few people: we only passed 6 other people in 15km until we reached Odiham
Castle where some were visiting the old ruins. Very remote and green and best to
run it accompanied as if injured there may not be anybody around to help. The
path was very muddy and very narrow and because of all the rain, the water level
was very high leaving us just a foot from the water in places.
The canal originally continued on to Basingstoke but now stops 8km short at
Greywell Tunnel. The canal travelled for 1km through a tunnel but in 1932 it
collapsed and was left in disrepair with the canal beyond the tunnel drying up
and disappearing. The tunnel is now a protected area as it houses one of
Europe’s largest bat roosts that includes five different species.
We recommend this run to anybody who wants to explore new areas. It starts in
a busy town with concrete towpath and ends near a ruined castle at a remote
protected tunnel. There are some beautiful areas, wonderful views with abundant
wildlife, it is multi-terrain and quite tough but very much worth it.
Paul Watt and Julie Barcley
It may still be some time before anyone associated with the club, other than
Caroline Yarnell, posts a parkrun result but if after one year of non-use you
wanted to check that you can still remember your parkrun ID and password then
you can update your
parkrun profile with the different groups that you belong to. You can
now be a member of up to five different groups, with one of them highlighted as
your primary group. "First Claim" members of British Airways Athletics Club may
like to make "British Airways AC" your primary group whereas those whose first
claim club is another club could have BA as one of the other groups. Those of us
who like to visit different parkruns might have "UK parkrun tourists" as another
group joined and those who remain loyal to just one parkrun might have a parkrun
linked group as one of their groups. Doing this should enable organisers and
interested parties to check weekly participation - both for parkruns and also
for (not)parkruns. However, having said that, with no events taking place it is
difficult to prove that such reports will be useful. But you will have
remembered your password.
In the UK exercise outside is permitted because it will boost physical and
mental health and because the risk of catching Coronavirus outdoors is very low
provided social distancing advice is kept to.
- Do not exercise outside the house if you have
been asked to isolate or you are unwell, particularly if you have
symptoms of the coronavirus such as a fever, or if you share a house with
someone who has these symptoms, or if you consider yourself to be vulnerable, such as being elderly
or with pre-existing
- You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces
but you are advised to stay 'local' (defined as "in
the village, town, or part of the city where you live."), you are also
advised to minimise the amount of time spent outside your home and
you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are out. Further
advice is to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and do not
cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction).
- Tier 4 rules only allow you
to exercise on your own, with people in your linked household (bubble), as
part of child-care or with one other person. You
are advised to exercise just once per day and to minimise the variety of
people you meet over the weeks of lockdown. Exercising your pet is allowed
in addition, but only on your own.
- As you exercise, keep 2m away from all others
including those you run with as well as those you meet on the run, by default diverting around
those you meet (don't leave it up to them to avoid you),
- Do not push yourself too far, this may weaken your defences against the
virus and/or increase the probability of requiring assistance. We all have
different limits so you need to judge what would be too far for you,
- If government instructions are updated to limit or prevent exercising
outside your homes, or to meet with fewer people, please respect such instructions - we should be fighting
the virus, not authority.
If you are unwell yourself, especially if you have symptoms of the virus:
- Put your needs first...
- but please let me (Roderick
Steve Hillier know of your condition/status, but we will keep it to
ourselves unless you ask us to pass information on.
Shared club activities are not permitted in Tier 4.
For when the situation changes any club member may be permitted to organise
a shared activity. We recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although
"1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:
chairman (Roderick) or the
(Steve Hillier) must be notified in advance that the event is taking
- One of the participants must be a paid-up member of the BA Athletics
Club and must be prepared to perform the duties of a "Covid-19 Coordinator",
if more than six attend we recommend that that member wears a BAAC top or distinctive clothing,
- Participants, and the activity, should not
cross the "Tier 3" boundary or the "Tier 4"
boundary (in either directions).
- A risk assessment has to be raised based on
- The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
- After the activity perform a review of the risk assessment and log and pass
on any issues or lessons learned.
Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes,
stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at
Not for you, no longer interested? remove me please.
Difficulty viewing this? Read it from the website:- http://www.barunner.org.uk/News Latest.shtml. Club website: www.barunner.org.uk.