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BA Athletics Club News Digest 1st June 2020

Events - see below:

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Solo Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Weekend Challenge Weekend Solo Run
25th May Virtuality 5k none Best weekend exercise achievement
1st June Solo Mile none Best weekend exercise achievement
8th June Street Spelling # CIE none Best weekend exercise achievement
15th June Track-on-Field
I Spy # (tbc) Best weekend exercise achievement
22nd June Local run (tbc) none Best weekend exercise achievement
29th June tba * none Best weekend exercise achievement

All side-by-side races are off until at least the end of June, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - these ARE still permitted but see the updated Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest.

* Please suggest formats for runs with the "tba" in the above table.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenges

This week the challenge is simple - just run one mile and submit your time, for instance by filling in the table below and forwarding to, by the end of Friday. The mile could be measured by GPS on your watch or by your phone and ideally should be a straight or circular route rather than an out and back due to recording issues at the turnaround point. Run on tarmac unless you'd prefer a different surface, or live close enough to an underused track.

Participant Location Day Start Time Duration/Time  Comment

I raised a Facebook poll on these challenges ( and I was surprised to see that the Solo Mile is currently the joint most-popular event, with the virtual 5k race, both with 16 votes. "Your-Street-O" is in third place with 13 votes. The reason for this poll is to get a feel for what events we might want to repeat during this lockdown period but also what we might want to continue with after the lockdown finishes. The poll will remain active and you can change or add to your "votes".

Next week we have a "Street Spelling" event as the midweek challenge. Those active on the parkrun Facebook groups will know what to expect from this, but in short you will be given a word and your objective will be to visit local streets whose initial letters spell out the word you have been given.

This will be done as a competitive event. You will be able to choose when you do this during daylight hours on Tuesday 9th through to Thursday 11th. At that time you will be sent a selection of three eight letter words and you can choose any one of them to run. Reply within an hour with your chosen word and start running because the clock will be ticking from that moment on. Once you get back home text to say you have finished and the clock will stop. If possible you should be able to provide a GPS trace of your run and photographic evidence of each street sign but allowance will be made for those without smartphones. There will be two winners - the person who completed the task in the shortest time and the person whose route was shortest (which could be won by a walker). Anyone unable or unwilling to leave their house at this time are allowed to compete to be the "shortest route" winner by plotting the route they would have used.

We need you to pre-enter this event, this is so that we can assign you a starter (of myself, Simon Turton and Jain Reid). Please send me the following details this week.  I will allow late entries next Monday though perhaps with restricted start times:

Phone number:                                              (for SMS start and finish texts)
Which day:   (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Time to start:   (from when you'll be sent the words, so allow planning time and running time)
Activity:   (e.g. expecting to run, walk or staying at home)
Couples:   (if you represent two people say whether you'll be running together or running independently)

Send to me {}

I will send entrants full instructions over the weekend. If you are entering this (and I hope you do) then, obviously, it will be worth your while getting familiar with the various streets, roads and alleyways around you before your start time. I recommend a close examination of Google maps AND a non-virtual street survey.

Later this month Amanda Coombs has offered to organise a local run, more details nearer the time. I've moved my "I Spy" event to a weekend. In this you will be asked to spot various things as you run and I'll raise a poll in Facebook to ask for ideas on what we could be trying to spot.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge Virtuality 5k Run Report and Results

Wednesday 27th was only two days after the Vitality 10k was due to be run so BAAC instead created the Virtuality 5K run. Instead of having a midweek activity to complete this would be run as a race where we all start at the same time on the same day. The exception being for shift workers or key workers who could complete their run beforehand. The idea was that WhatsApp would be used to start the run and, as near as possible, time the finishers as they reached for their phones, post race, and messaged that they have finished.

We had 27 entries with three runners completing their runs before the event.

Steve Newell, who is not able to get outside for runs at the moment, rowed 5K on his indoor rowing machine and posted a PB time of 19:45 as a challenge for any runner to beat. 

Race day was hot with some people in the WhatsApp group questioning the sanity of running in the heat but in the end it cooled slightly but was still a hot run just the same. There was also talk of pre-race nerves as the time approached. First across the virtual finish line, according to WhatsApp, was Chris Kelly, very closely followed by Gary Rusher with Emma Moreton finishing first for the ladies. Timing using WhatsApp proved tricky as I was relying on the notification beep from WhatsApp web to press the timer button on my stopwatch app, when I discovered that messages that came in close together didn't always beep, which meant I had to pay more attention to the screen.

Once all the runners had finished I collected their actual times to refine the results. I'm sure that Chris Kelly would be disappointed to find that Gary had actually recorded a faster time than him and jumped into first place.

First overall was Gary Rushmer for the men and Emma Moreton for the ladies.

Other changes in finish order saw the Scaife's move ahead of Sarah Gordon, and Kelly Davis move ahead of Petra Otto. Other than that the order was unchanged. There were some close times too, with only 8 seconds between Simon in third and Emma in fourth and a further 5 seconds to Bob Bannister in 5th. Only 6 seconds between Steve Taylor in 7th and Trish McCabe in 8th. Only 3 seconds between Amanda Coombs in 14th and Alice Banks in 15th and also 3 seconds between Roderick Hoffman in 18th and Harjit Jhooti in 19th. John and Benita Scaife finished their usual 1 second apart. Good runs at the back of the field meant that nobody took more than twice as long as the first place finisher, with the exception of Piers Keenleyside, who walked the event in 'full wiggle bum mode'.

Shift workers may have had the advantage of being able run in cooler temperatures, maybe helping Trish to a good time. Christine Munden may also have gained an advantage by running with, or chasing after a fellow co-worker and young Polish lorry driver who accompanied her run.
After the hot run a cool beer or even a 'Jaffa cake gin' seemed to be the order of the day for many.

The Steve Newell challenge, to beat his rowing time, was narrowly missed by Gary, being just 7 seconds outside Steve's time, but notably inside Steve's previous 5K rowing PB as he had not been sub 20mins before this event.

Fastest finger award for the shortest time between their actual finish time and the finish message appearing on WhatsApp goes to Roderick, who only took 8 seconds to send in his message (too much time spent on his phone in lockdown?).

Slowest finger award to Piers Keenleyside, who took 3mins 4secs to message in his finish as he miscalculated the distance and had to walk a further 200m back to his car to get his phone. Gary took over 2mins also.

Hopefully an enjoyable event in the absence of many other races to take part in.

See the full results below:

Entrant # Position Time Name Category Category Pos WhatsApp time
1 1 00:19:52 Gary Rushmer MV50 1 00:21:53
33 2 00:21:09 Chris Kelly MV50 2 00:21:28
24 3 00:23:21 Simon Turton MV50 3 00:23:00
19 4 00:23:29 Emma Moreton FV35 1 00:23:50
26 5 00:23:34 Bob Bannister MV60 1 00:24:15
27 6 00:24:44 Kaz Be FV35 2 00:24:57
7 7 00:25:04 Steve Taylor MV50 4 00:25:04
3 8 00:25:10 Trish McCabe FV35 3 00:25:10
11 9 00:25:42 Jakob Stenham M Junior 1 00:25:55
10 10 00:26:05 Maarten Stenham MV40 1 00:26:16
20 11 00:26:11 Michael Ball MV50 5 00:26:42
28 12 00:26:35 Jain Reid FV45 1 00:27:10
22 13 00:27:29 Clara Halket FV55 1 00:27:42
18 14 00:27:54 Amanda Coombs FV45 2 00:28:22
29 15 00:27:57 Alice Banks FV55 2 00:28:43
32 16 00:29:25 Denis Foxley MV70 1 00:30:06
4 17 00:30:07 Christine Munden FV45 3 00:30:07
13 18 00:30:41 Roderick Hoffman MV50 6 00:30:49
30 19 00:30:44 Harjit Jhooti FV45 4 00:31:17
25 20 00:31:45 Marion Taylor FV55 3 00:32:15
17 21 00:33:09 Benita Scaife FV65 1 00:34:49
16 22 00:33:10 John Scaife MV60 2 00:34:59
21 23 00:34:24 Sarah Gordon FV55 4 00:34:46
15 24 00:35:10 Janet Smith FV55 5 00:35:40
23 25 00:36:28 Kelly Davis FV35 4 00:37:02
12 26 00:37:43 Petra Otto FV65 2 00:36:21
14 27 00:41:42 Piers Keenleyside MV60 3 00:44:46

Steve Taylor

SOLO activity achievement weekend 29th to 1st June 2020

31 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements which is par for the course, despite a couple of regulars missing this week. In total, over the last 11 weeks 53 different colleagues have submitted 315 achievements (excluding the two weekend special challenges).

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Alice Banks Running 3.53miles Sat am 34:20:00 Only run of the weekend.
Amanda Coombs Duathlon 5/21/2.5km   Sat 01:20:41 Virtual bike ride (nice and flat) and I managed to find some rare running speed!
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sat 00:48:28 But quicker earlier in the week with 47:57
Barry Walters Running 5K The Lookout, Bracknell Sat. 7.30am 00:26:52 Not as quick as last week but pushed the pace along.    
Benita Scaife Running 5miles Windsor Great Park 0:53:30
Chris Stockwell Walking 9.3miles Holyport & Fifield Sat am 02:52:00 Not much wildlife, the Red Kites proved elusive
Clara Halket Running 27.75k Lightwater/Camberley etc. Sun 03:28:59 To meet May target of 225km [ED: This is longer than I'd said I'd allow during lockdown…I wonder if anyone will notice?]
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Ruislip Woods and the lido Sun am 1hour Before it got crowded (as featured on BBC)
Gary Rushmer Running 1mile Sun 10:16 With the Grandson, social distancing of course
Harjit Jhooti Walking 7.44k Brooklands Sun pm 01:53:46 Weekend walk around Brooklands, parkrun signs are {still} up.
Jain Reid Running 21.1km To and round Richmond Park Sun am 02:16:52
Janet Smith Running 5.01miles Datchet Sun am 00:56:52
Joe Nolan Running 5k Local Sat am 00:34:14 After a setback got going again, sluggishly, with Friday 1mile run, Saturday 5k run, Sunday 4.5mile bike ride and Monday 1mile run. Done at 7/8am when a bit cooler and hardly anyone else about.
John Scaife Running 5miles Windsor Great Park 0:53:31 The easing of lockdown has seen us varying it a bit this week, including a 6 miler in Windsor Great Park on Tue from/to Queen Anne's Gate.
Julie Barclay  Freedom Run 5k Frimley Lodge  Sat 30 00:22:27
Keith Johnson Running 5k Markyate near St Albans Sat am 00:24:22 An alternative course to my previous one
Kelly Davis Running 3k Stanwell Sun 25:59:00 I was pretty proud of my daughter who is like me and not a natural runner, she hasn't run a lot recently so it was just lovely to be out with her.
Maarten Stenham Ashford-Laleham 10k 10k Ashford Sun pm 00:50:37 This run took me to 186km for the month of May, the most I've ever run in a 4 week block. Thanks to the BAAC for making some great events to keep it interesting!
Maria Jovani Running 9.54miles GBR Stage 2 Sun am 01:12:31 Beautiful day for it. Plenty of shade and a refreshing breeze by the river and free protein snacks as a bonus. We spotted a red kite near Windsor Castle too.
Michael Ball mix 36 mile bike ride 6x 80 mtre hill sprints 4x100 mtre hill sprints core circuit.
Mike Dennison Running 12k Bushy Park Sat am 00:55:36 To and round the old Bushy Course (in 0:20:57).
Neil Frediani Cycling 38miles To and from London Sun 3hours
Paul Watt Freedom Run  5k Frimley Lodge  Sat 30 00:21:11
Petra Otto Running 5km Whittlesey parkrun Sun am 00:38:03
Piers Keenleyside Walking 10miles Ealing parks Sat/Sun/Mon 02:43:26 10 miles each day, 71 in the week.
Roderick Hoffman Running 5k Brookside, Yeading Sat am 29:51:00 Three laps of Brookside - 50 seconds faster than Wednesday's 5k.
Scott Davison Running 4miles From Cargo Centre Sun 00:34:04 Bit warm !!!
Simon Turton Walking Swinley Forest and Caesar's Camp Sun 1hour With the family around Swinley Forest and Caesar's Camp nr Bracknell
Stephen Taylor Running 11.5miles Grand Union Canal Sun 2hours A trip along the canal, getting a bit warm as the morning went on and a fair few cyclists out and about.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Roxbourne Park and Eastcote. Sat am 00:31:38 Before 8am, to try and avoid the heat.  It was getting warm by the end.  So that's 5 attempts at this course, each one an improvement.  I'll keep on with this route until I don't manage a PB, then try something different!
Steve Newell Indoor Rowing 6800m Home Sat am 27:39.6 Personal best - estimated age grade approx. 85%

Several of us ran with family members or relatives. From this week we can run with family members AND relatives - or with friends. It'll be interesting to see how the pattern will change next weekend.  Again, submit your best exercise achievement of the weekend by filling in the following form and sending it to me OR replying to the message on Facebook (or any other messaging format to me).

Your Name Event Distance Location Day/Start Time or Duration Details or comment, and other achievements
e.g. Running

Roderick Hoffman {submit by 5pm on Monday}

Surrey League Ladies Cross Country

This communication is from Surrey League Ladies Cross Country. I picked out the relevant information relating to the coming season (2020-2021). If you are interested in running this season, please do drop me ( an email and pencil the dates in your diaries.

"One change we are going to make is that the Surrey League as a whole will be ‘more joined up’, partly as a response to COVID19. So by agreement with Ron, the Ladies, the Division 1 men and the Juniors will share venues next season.

The races themselves will remain separate and it is anticipated generally work on the same timetable i.e. ladies at 11 AM and 1PM, Men at 3PM, with the junior races also at their usual times. In the context of current uncertainties the decision has also been made to try to get permissions at ‘tried and trusted’ venues that we have used before, rather than go for anything completely new next season.

So putting all this together we have the following dates and provisional venues:

  • 10 Oct Richmond Park
  • 7 Nov Wimbledon Common
  • 16 Jan Mitcham Common
  • 13 Feb Effingham Common "

Clara Halket

parkrun Update

parkrun won't be happening anywhere in June but amazingly an average of 500 people are still signing up to get a barcode every week during the lockdown.  (Worldwide, of course). 

Hackney Marshes and Crystal Palace have silently passed their tenth anniversaries.  Hackney Marshes has always been flat and fast - Male record (Pail Martelletti) 14:40, female (Naomi Taschimowitz) 16:35, overall average 26:03; Crystal Palace is hilly and you need to be able to run freely down a steep slope to get a good time - male record (Nicholas Torry) 15:26, female (Justina Heslop) 17:23, overall average 27:20.  The Hackney Marshes event has been run 507 times and Crystal Palace 478.

Meanwhile has reported a fire in the cafe which, from the pictures, looks like it could take months to fix.

Steve Newell

PS Cycling is allowed in Richmond Park again from Tuesday 2nd June but with restrictions. Only before 10am or after 4 pm (Mon - Fri) and only on some of the roads.  Key workers at any time for commuting.

Standard Chartered Great City Race 2020

Hot off the press, Standard Chartered Great City Race:

We are getting in touch to let you know that sadly the 2020 Standard Chartered Great City Race will not take place as usual in the capital on Tuesday 21 July. As I am sure you will understand, the Covid-19 pandemic means it is not possible to stage this year’s event on its traditional City of London course.

Instead, London Marathon Events is working with its sponsor Standard Chartered to create a Run From Home challenge that entrants can take part in wherever they are.

We know how disappointing this news will be for you, our amazing Volunteers, as well as all those who have planned and prepared to run. We are truly grateful to you for supporting the event and we hope you’ll be keen to volunteer again.

In the meantime, thank you for your understanding and please look after yourself.

Hugh Brasher (Event Director)

Simon Turton

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes underlined]

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 if social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England has been updated (1st June 2020) and now says what you can't do, rather than only allowing you do do a limited number of things. The sections that refer to the activities of the club are "Restrictions on movement" and "Restrictions on gatherings". In short you can't stay overnight anywhere other than at home and you can't meet with more than one other person indoors or more than five other persons outdoors. Taking into account the law and official guidance we advise you as follows:

  • Do not conduct a solo run if 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you to be, vulnerable, such as being elderly OR with pre-existing health conditions,
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. We should still be avoiding public transport except for essential journeys, and do not share cars with people outside your household. You are not allowed to stay away for the night - except for elite athletes who are allowed to overnight in a hotel (if they can find one open),
  • In England you may now meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home - e.g. other runners and coaches. But do not share athletics equipment and continue to maintain the social distancing with anyone you do meet up with. You are recommended to minimise the total number of different people you meet with over the days and weeks,
  • As you run, keep 2m away from all others, by default diverting around them (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. For club solo events we have not included running distances of more than 15mile length (25km) but we will now relax that,
  • If government instructions are updated to limit or prevent exercising outside your homes 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 Hoffman) or Steve Hillier know of your condition/status, BUT we will keep it to ourselves UNLESS you ask us to pass information on.

Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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