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BA Athletics Club News Digest 1st December 2014

Forthcoming Events:

  • Thursday 4th December - Magic Mile - Bath Road 12:45
  • Wednesday 10th November - December 5 mile handicap 18:00 (see below)
  • Wednesday 17th December - Parkway Mile and Club Christmas Social at the Heston Clubhouse 18:00 / 20:00

New members and non-members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at all of these events.  The full diary of club featured events is on the club website at: Diary.shtml.

Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

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Nonsuch Cross-Country 6th Dec 2014

Hi Ladies,

Here are the details of Surrey Ladies League Cross Country on Dec 6th. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible next Saturday :)


Match Info

Since we're talking cross country, here's another to consider:

ASCA Cross Country Iceland, 28th February 2015

The ASCA cross country is being held next year in Iceland, Reykjavik, on the 28th February 2015. Only just got this information, so more details to follow, e.g. price, hotel, flights. If anybody is interested in going to this event please let me know. Hopefully we can put forward a ladies team!

Clara Halket

Marathon Places - final call for 2015

Are you still seeking a London Marathon place?  I have contacted everyone I know to be interested during the last week. The committee will select the lucky candidates this week.  If you haven't heard from me in recent days, and you still want a place, please contact me urgently.


Steve Hillier

5M Handicap Results 26th November 2014

26-Nov-14 handicap run time Time gap from handicap Rank this month Points this month Next Start time
Alan Anderson 50:00 48:17 01:43 3 9 48:00
Tony Barnwell 50:00 47:04 02:56 2 8 47:00
Scott Davidson 38:00 37:09 00:51 12 18 37:00
Dennis Foxley 41:00 42:01 01:01 11 17 42:00
Neil Frediani 43:00 41:48 01:12 10 16 41:30
Alan Friar 46:30 65:30 19:00 1 7 46:30
Steve Hillier 49:30 48:11 01:19 9 15 48:00
Roderick Hoffman 40:30 41:04 00:34 13 19 41:00
Steve Newell 50:00 49:33 00:27 14 20 49:30
Richard Ruffell 35:00 34:47 00:13 15 22 34:30
Gary Rushmer 32:00 33:23 01:23 8 14 33:30
John Scaife 38:00 38:00 00:00 16 25 38:00
Steve Taylor 39:00 37:31 01:29 5 11 37:30
Barry Walters 34:30 32:59 01:31 4 10 33:00
Harry Wild 43:00 41:35 01:25 7 13 41:30

The second of six winter series 5 mile handicaps took place on Wednesday 16th November with a total of 15 participants. Unfortunately the clock normally used for timing wasn't available so the timekeepers reverted to the backup plan, the club stopwatches. Tony Barnwell is obviously running well coming in first over a minute before the next runner and almost 3 minutes ahead of his handicap. A steady procession of runners arrived to be timed, most were a minute or so faster than their handicaps but John Scaife proved that it was possible to be spot on.

But then 10 minutes after the expected finish time (19:00 or 7:00 PM) there is still no sign of Alan Friar?  He had been seen on the course, but no one reported having overtaking him!  Time to send out the search party.  Neil sets off on foot, rather concerned...perhaps because he'd left his clothes in Alan's car, and Graham who was helping the timekeepers, set out in his car.  At approx. 19:19, more than 17 minutes after the 14th to be timed, Alan returned having taken a wrong turn (how many times have you run this course?) and run a tad further than the rest of the runners. At least he's safe, but has to suffer much banter in the clubhouse afterwards. I suspect if you come along on Dec 10th for the 3rd 5M handicap you'll hear a few examples.

Paul Brandon

Club parkrun results for Saturday 29th November

29th Nov parkrunner time parkrun comment Grade
Dave Tyas 19:27 Bushy run #325 75%
Colin Haylock 19:28 Bushy run #53 73%
Jeremy Short 19:41 Crane Park 10th/129 77%
Chris Kelly 20:50 Reading run #213 70%
Richard Ruffell 21:13 St Albans 48th/291 71%
Ian Cunningham 21:20 Bushy run #172 70%
Kerstin Luksch 22:36 Gunnersbury club course record (F), pb 66%
Scott Davison 22:47 Bedfont Lakes run #98 61%
Julie Barclay 22:42 Woking run #36 74%
Piers Keenletside 23:11 Finsbury Park see below 67%
Tony Hird 24:12 Gunpowder 40th/94 61%
Roderick Hoffman 25:06 Amager Strandpark park #98, BA park #145 and another country (see below) 61%
Geoff Miles 25:49 Osterley 25th/62 64%
Joe Nolan 26:01 Black Park You guessed it: 26' pacer 61%
Becky Thurtell 28:04 Bath Skyline park #100 62%
Alan Anderson 28:21 Gunnersbury 72%
Monica Alonso 28:40 Woking 56%
Helen Smith 29:03 Woking course pb 64%
Tony Barnwell 29:42 Wycombe Rye 135th/184 61%
Steve Newell 29:46 Gunnersbury 59%
Sreeram Sethuraman 29:48 Upton Court 40th/56 44%
Marion Taylor 30:19 Northala Fields 55%
Steve Taylor volunteer Northala Fields marshal
Tom Rowley volunteer Woking marshal
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford timekeeper

We'd have had some tight finishes had we all been running in the same park - Richard and Ian might have kept up with Chris; Kerstin could have been pushed harder by Scott and Julie; and Tony, Steve and Sreeram would have been neck and neck all the way.  Perhaps it's time we all got together for a club featured parkrun?

Some good runs by our ladies this week with Kerstin Luksch achieving yet another pb at (a rather muddy) Gunnersbury.  Over at Woking, Julie Barclay, Monica Alonso and Helen Smith (course pb) were running under the watchful eye of marshal Tom Roley.  Helen ran three times in November in sharp contrast to her previous frequency record.  Her first parkrun was a few weeks before Alan Anderson became addicted to the 5km format at Bushy Park but it took her six years to reach double figures and has now done 18 whereas Alan is now on 338.  One of Alan's rivals back in those early days was Becky Thurtell (283 runs).  Becky ran at Bath Skyline this week, her hundredth different parkrun. She finished 100th.

That's just two more parkruns than Roderick Hoffman who flew to Copenhagen this weekend to run at Amager Strandpark, close to the Baltic coastline.  His passion for skiing will delay his "Cowell" for a couple of weeks.

Scott Davison was in action at Bedfont Lakes and is now just two runs away from his black '100' shirt.

Runners at Gunnersbury were asked before the run this last weekend to vote for or against a switch to the winter all tarmac course used during the wet spell last February/March.  It appeared that a majority favoured a cleaner and less squelchy course for this week's upcoming "Santa" run.

Updated parkrun stats: 

Steve Newell (mainly)

Amager Strand - tourist parkrun number 98

My 98th tourist parkrun and my first Danish parkrun. 

I used a hotline ticket to guarantee to get to Copenhagen on the last flight so that I could do a full days work - and stayed at the airport Hilton - a bit expensive but convenient for that evening and the next day. But I really don't like expensive hotels that then charge you extra to use the Intranet in your room (I didn't - I used it for free in the lobby).  Next morning took the metro from the airport for four stops and walked 800m to where the Amager Strand parkrun start had been labelled on the map.  This was on a completely deserted pier at the end of a stretch of sand dunes.  And with a bitterly cold wind coming straight across from Sweden. I was thirty minutes early so I didn't despair - and exploring the area I came across a group of twenty Danes who were skinny dipping in the sea. Suddenly it didn't feel so cold after all!

 Others runners started arriving at the parkrun point including Brian who was today's Run Director. I also met a couple of parkrun tourists from Yorkshire and that was before I then met as planned Gregory Bailey, the Yorkshire parkrun tourist who broke my initial consecutive tourist parkruns record and was now about to do his 69th parkrun and his 69th tourist parkrun, and his partner Michelle (currently living in Berlin and talking to people about the possibility of there being a parkrun there).  Brian opened up a hidden Aladdin's cave. There was no treasure held within but it was out of the wind and large enough for the whole field to hear his run briefing. Then off to the start - on the furthest point of the pier - and he didn't hang about before setting the run in motion almost as soon as we'd got there.

It was a two lap course around the sand dunes but it was more interesting than that implies - the lap consisted of a winding zigzag path through the dunes (on a solid path - not sand) and then a return leg along the side of the coast - with two bridges to cross between the sand bar and the coast. The bridges also meant that it wasn't totally flat - and when you took into account the strong wind it was as if it were a properly undulating course.  And then the other interesting thing is that the first lap was done counter-clockwise and the second lap clockwise. I don't think that any others of my 98 parkruns have two laps like that - as I say, "all parkruns are the same and all parkruns are different". 

All of us ran good times (and for once my Garmin watch recorded the distance as 5.0k - it normally records parkruns as 4.7 or less).  Gregory recorded 23:12 - just slightly lower than his PB on the fast Edinburgh parkrun course from the previous week. The other Yorkshireman finished his 50th run in 30th place with 24:56.  I was two places behind in 25:06 (compare with last week's 28:24 at the contrasting Tring parkrun) and Michelle two places behind me with 25:21 - a parkrun PB by over a minute. They don't do a post parkrun café in winter so we bid our farewells and walked back via Gregory's hotel and then to mine with time for paid for breakfasts, showers and 12:00 checkout.  We met up again in town for coffee and chats before doing some obligatory sightseeing (the Little Mermaid) and then back to the airport for a standby flight home. 

Yes, with the hotel, it works out an expensive parkrun but, once in a while, why not?  I've now run parkruns in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. My target next year is to add Russia, New Zealand, the USA and the Czech Republic to that list - plus any new countries that get added to the parkrun map.

Roderick Hoffman

Updated BA parkrun map: {some parkruns may have been missed}.

Woking Park 5k parkrun Nov.29th:

I was blessed and (cuddled) with Monica and Helens presence this being their second attempt over the course.  The week's rainfall made the wooded area slippery and obviously got muddier by the lap - but no moans, just smiles. I did take note of their split times. Around the first two laps they ran side by side (Helen talking, Monica listening) whether this was planned??? but both enjoying their Saturday morning run.  On the final lap Monica went ahead.   

Monica placed 81st in 28.40      Helen 83rd in 29.03 course PB

Each lap is 1600m plus the 200m finish straight

Split times   1600m              3200m            4800 m             Last 200m      5K {final times are corrected, they were originally one place slower}

Monica         9.53             19.24 (9.31)       27.55 (8.31)          .47            28.40

Helen           9.53             19.24 (9.31)       28.42 (9.14)           .51            29.03 PB

Julie            7.15             14.36 (7.21)       22.02 (7.26)           .53            22.42

Like all of the runners Julie runs the slippery area with special caution, especially on the sharp turns, but all was satisfactory today 

That's it folks, hope to see you at Nonsuch this coming Sat.  

Tom Rowley

Capital Ring Relay (Ealing Eagles fun event)

Yesterday I went up to Finsbury Park to do the parkrun there. I was there to fill in a bit of time prior to starting my first leg in an Ealing Eagles social (i.e. just for fun not really a race) relay event of the full Capital Ring route - 78 miles (if no one got lost!). So I did a fairly steady parkrun in just over 23 minutes as I had another 26 miles to run that day!

My leg was the third of the day. The first started at Boston Manor by the wooden bridge behind Glaxo'SK and went to South Kenton. The second then took us up to Finsbury Park where I was to be found in the Café finishing a Full English breakfast to set me up for the day! My leg, of about 15 miles, was set to take me to Woolwich. I set off from Finsbury Park with a set of directions I had prepared a couple of days before but no map - this turned out not to be a good idea. Within a mile I came to a section of the route that was closed for heavy duty maintenance - closed off with JCBs etc. tearing up the ground! Making my way round this without a map was not easy and I'm still not sure where I went! I ended up approaching Stoke Newington Town Hall from the opposite direction as specified in my instructions! Soon I was on familiar ground when I picked up the Lea Valley Way - I've done most of this a few times before, from Harpenden to Lime House (40 miles), for ultra training. Just after the Olympic Stadium I turned east to follow the Green Way - an old railway track now turned into a brilliant path for walking, cycling and jogging - they should make more of these! [Ed: Not a disused railway line - anyone doing this as a leisurely walk will get just the occasional whiff that reveals that the Green Way is run over one of the original Victorian Sewers that helped make Britain Great - and it is still in use].  Soon after starting out on this I found the way blocked for yet more maintenance. The detour this time was far easier as I could keep the course of the Green Way within sight and after 10 minutes or so re-joined it. I was enjoying the Green Way so much I forgot to check my instructions which said I should turn off at Roman Road Primary School and find my way into Beckton District Park! I realised this when the Green Way finished. I was at a big road junction where the A13 crosses Woolwich Manor. I decided I'd gone too far off track to go back so headed south towards the Woolwich Ferry which was showing on some of the road signs. As I passed Gallions Reach station I spotted the familiar Capital Ring markers and was back on track and so followed the correct route, now shared with the Thames Path, round to the ferry terminal area where I looked out for the distinctive round tower of the stairway down to the Woolwich foot tunnel. As luck would have it the lift was working and just about to leave so I took the easy option to save my aching legs! Having reached halfway and with the tunnel now sloping slightly up hill I could see some familiar faces ahead - the Ealing Eagles cheer squad and the two runners for the next leg had come down to greet me! The lift wasn't working on the south side so we had to use the spiral staircase to get out. At the top we completed the official handover of the relay baton in front of the Ealing Half Marathon race clock (thanks Kelvin).

The next leg of about 10 miles took the two runners up to Grove Park followed by another of about 8 to Crystal Palace railway station - an amazing building built on a bridge about 50 feet above the track. From Crystal Palace the penultimate leg of 9 miles took a pair of runners to Wimbledon Park underground station where I was due to start my final run of the day to do the 11 miles back to Boston Manor and the bridge behind GSK. Due to a combination of bonus miles (added when people got lost) and a slightly optimistic planned pace throughout the day, by the time our runners arrived at Wimbledon Park station we were nearly 2 hours behind schedule. This meant that the actual Wimbledon Park had closed about 10 minutes before Jennifer and I set off. This meant we had to refer to our maps and plot a route round the park and get us back on track. The detour round the park was easy enough but actually finding the Capital Ring route again proved very difficult! The maps I had were OK to read in broad daylight but even with fairly bright torches we could not read the small print of the road names - being the wrong side of 40 we needed reading glasses with us! After a detour around the All England Tennis Club we found the road which skirts the edge of Wimbledon Common - however we ran out of road having not found a Capital Ring marker pointing the correct way on to the common. We turned round and went back for another look. The second turning into the woods that we tried turned out to be the right way as we spotted a way-mark about 50m in - there was nothing to mark the route from the road. I'd been quite worried about navigation across Wimbledon Common in the dark but it turned out to be very well marked and we sailed through. The only problem was the actual trails which were very wet and muddy. Emerging from the Common we spotted the Eagle cheer squad waiting for us at the Robin Hood gate into Richmond Park. Paul gave us his smartphone with an app which would hopefully navigate us across the park without adding any bonus miles. This worked well for the first 10 or 15 minutes but then Jen found the app had disappeared from the screen and as the phone had so many apps loaded and we did not know what it was called it could not be found again! We plodded on and trusted to instinct and after a while spotted some lights that we hoped were from Pembroke Lodge. However we had gone too far south-west and the lights were from Richmond Gate. We turned north west and picked up the fence around the grounds of the Lodge and followed it past the car park and down the hill towards the gate we needed at Petersham. From here on it was plain sailing as we both knew the route back to Brentford much of it being the second half of a regular EE training run. The one worry we had was Syon Park - would it still be open? I thought that since they had built a Hilton Hotel in the grounds then we should be able to get in but was not 100% sure about the pedestrian-only gate the other side onto Brentford High Street. All was OK and it wasn't long before we picked up the Grand Union Canal besides the Holiday Inn for the final half-mile back to GSK. As we emerged from under the A4 bridge over the canal we spotted the bright lights of the race clock up on the pedestrian bridge and soon heard the cheers of the large group of Eagles who had braved the cold to cheer us home.

The team (and by that I mean the runners AND all the support and cheer crew) had completed the 78 mile route in 14:05:53. Although we had the clock ticking and displayed at every changeover it wasn't really about the time - it was about running with friends and exploring the great city of London! Any interest at BA for doing this as a social event sometime?

Piers Keenleyside

Ed: What do people think?  Could we do this as a training run next year?  Perhaps as a warm-up for the Green Belt Relay a week or two earlier? I've walked the route and can provide maps that even Alan Friar might be able to follow.

Running Shorts

Retired Runners Lunch

The retired runners lunch will be at The Depot, a riverside bar/restaurant near Barnes Bridge.  The table is booked for 1 p.m.  High tide is around 12.30 so best not to be late.  Contact Steve Newell if you haven't booked already.  You don't really need to be a runner or retired.  Partners always welcome as well.  If not coming by train, car parking is probably easier on the Chiswick side (Dukes Meadows) with a walk over Barnes (Railway) Bridge.  Parking restrictions in Barnes are generally only applicable on weekday mornings but spaces are hard to find close to the Depot.

Steve Newell

We're approaching the time of the year when the BAAC "Oscars" are decided.  One important award is the Brian Forrester 10K trophy.  Please would all club members let me know how you have performed in 10K races during the last year - your times, the circumstances of the race, and anything unusual which might have happened.  Then sit back, spend Christmas preparing your acceptance speech and tears, and relax!


Steve Hillier

Beddington Park 10k Nov. 23rd

Julie Barclay improved her 10k time by over 3 minutes slowly returning from injury so quite pleased to finish with no reaction from Achilles problem. In pouring rain with hundreds of puddles on the tarmac paths finished 3rd lady 1st 0/50 in 45.28.  A recommended 4 lap event plus a good for spectators able to see over a 1/3 of the action plus able to time each lap as they pass. The winning lady was Julie's training partner.

Tom Rowley

Good morning,

Thanks again for the BA newsletter – always a delight to read and see what everyone has been up to.

I noticed that there will be quite a number of BA runners at the Perivale 5. I too have entered so it will be great to see you all again. It will only be a jog for me, as I have a condition called Raynaud’s Syndrome, which means that I really suffer when it’s cold & wet. Let’s hope for a dry and warm-ish day.

See you soon!

Best wishes, Petra Otto

Good Morning,

My name is Denise Godbolt and I am the Race Director of the Rugged Radnage 10K.  Every year we have borrowed so much of your race equipment, signs, gazebos, hi-viz jackets and the race clock including for the 16th November this year.

I wanted to send you my thanks, this has saved us so much money over the years and enabled us to borrow rather than hire or buy.

The Rugged Radnage 10K was set up in by a few parents and our first race was in 2010.  We have almost doubled the number of runners in these few years and raised over £25,000 of much needed funds for our local village school.  Radnage Church of England Primary School is the heart of a small village and the support we receive from the villagers is amazing.

All money we raise goes directly to the school and this year it will be spent on updating the IT Equipment.

We cannot do this without the support of so many people and companies. 

Once again thank you.

Kind Regards,

Denise Godbolt

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