baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
BA Athletics Club News Digest 2nd April 2018
New members and potential 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: http://www.barunner.org.uk/Event Diary.shtml.
*Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]
Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For personal reasons this week's digest is being issued one day early, on April Fool's Day. Note that due to the potential penalties referenced in the recently passed UK legislation relating to "Fake News" in social media I can categorically guarantee that all content this week is 100% genuine and true. Except perhaps this item.
Five Mile Handicap Wednesday 28th March - results and series conclusions
The final run round the "new" five mile course starting and finishing in Cranford High Street was run in daylight throughout for the first time. A day of heavy rain had left the course with many puddles, some quite large and deep.
Unable to run, Roderick Hoffman offered to man the stopwatch thereby allowing Steve Newell to have a competitive run round "his" course for the first time. As he and Alan Anderson approached the junction of North Hyde Road and Thorncliffe Road (North Star Tesco) they had to tackle a series of water jumps. Alan misjudged one particularly complex puddle/curb combination and tumbled, hitting the back of his head against a brick wall and was momentarily stunned. A crowd of early evening shoppers soon gathered and offered to call for an ambulance but Alan defiantly declared himself fit to carry on and after a short walk and then a jog was soon back up to full speed over the final mile.
The honours for the evening and the series went to Trish McCabe (45:08) who continued her steady improvement which has always been the aim of this series. Chris Kelly (runner-up) showed some encouraging form and set a new course record.
Club parkrun results for Saturday 31st March 2018
The chilly weather continued for yet another week and some parkruns (including Maidenhead) were cancelled due to flooding. The Scaifes were amongst those who discovered the Maidenhead cancellation too late to plan to parkrun anywhere else.
Former member David Tyas (Amadeus) duly completed his run at Bushy Park to become just the 18th member of the 500 club. Membership is not about to become commonplace either, only ten more are likely to join over the next six months. The candidates are all people who took up parkrunning on a regular basis over ten years ago and have just kept it going.
The Easter weekend prompted more groundbreaking tourism amongst club members with two new venues in the West Country and one close to the Greenwich Meridian. Ben Chaytow (22:59) went to Minehead in Somerset, Richard Ruffell (23:33) to Melksham in Wiltshire and Roderick Hoffman (29:47) and Steve Newell (35:08) visited Victoria Dock to which the nearest public transport service is the Emirates Airline (cable car) from North Greenwich. Something London Marathon runners going to register at Excel might like to consider. That little lot brought the club total up to 400 (not counting the runs people did before becoming members which I will go into some other time).
Ian Cunningham (25:26) improved the club record at Mole Valley, Caroline Cunningham (29:00) the female record at Pomphrey Hill and John Coffey (28:26) chopped half a minute off his MV75 age category record on the grass at Hazelwood where better times should be possible if we ever get a dry spell.
We have now reached the end of the first quarter of 2018 and David Duggan with 15* runs is the only member who hasn’t missed a single opportunity this year. He is homing in on his 250 vest.
* 13 Saturdays plus two on New Year’s Day
Updated parkrun stats - club parkrun stats
Both Steve and I were curious to see how similar the Victoria Dock parkrun course would be to the 5k course that we had used for the World Airline Road Race back in September 2010. The satellite pictures reveal that the two courses are almost identical. The two courses have the start and finish in different areas and with the parkrun course they use this to add a few extra metres that in 2010 were added with length alongside the grass at the front of the ExCeL building.
Surprisingly the area has changed little in the last seven years. The Hotel construction to the east has been completed and there are two new residential blocks to the west and a third under construction. The cable car station has been added and provides the opportunities to study the course as you arrive (photo below). Also the "Crystal" building near the parkrun finish is new and includes the cafe which was open from 10:00. The course though is the same - including the flattened cobbles and running between the legs of the dockside cranes. Well worth a repeat visit.
We also met Fiona Jane Bishop, one of Tom's Woking ladies. She was taking her Marathon training very seriously - whilst I was drinking my second cup of coffee she was running the course a second time, ahead of her 10k race today.
I am in need of help
On-line parkrun Utilities
If it's raining too hard to go out for a run then you can spend some time looking at parkrun results. Here are some on-line utilities that you can use:
I've previously raved about the parkrun tourist tool - a map which will show you the nearest 10, 30 or 50 parkruns to any location in the world excluding, if you wish, any that you have already run. https://touristtool.mybluemix.net/#gcptp5jxdmgk
I'll mention here "UK parkruns by shape" - useful if you are prepared to travel and only want to run a single lapper, or an out & back…or perhaps you want to run one of the two five lap parkrun courses in the UK? https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1VQVkTk0cjb4N1ykUi5JgOG0uNwE&ll=53.63556786421261%2C-2.9469340000000556&z=6
If you want your parkrun to be hilly, or dead flat, then there is a UK parkrun elevations table: https://jegmar.com/stats-hq/fastest-races/parkrun/. This currently reports Hackney Marshes as the second flattest with just 8ft of elevation over the 5k and Whinlatter Forest as the toughest with 674ft. Nearer to here, Tring has 346ft.
A collection of collections - the most relevant to us perhaps being the number of parkrunners who have currently run at each of the 51 parkruns in the parkrun "Greater London" region - currently just one, and with 22 on "50" including Steve Newell. You can also see a graph showing how many have had the status over time - 48 had this status prior to the Victoria Dock and Clapham Common inaugurals. http://www.strideandtested.com/
And then another one for me to rave about BUT one that requires you to be
using the Chrome browser on a PC or laptop and to load an add-on for it.
This utility adds information to the standard parkrun lists so that you can see
what "badges" you and others have earned for parkruns run to date. For
instance my badges are currently as pictured. From left to right - I'm a tourist
(20+ different parkruns), I'm a Cowell Club member (100+ different parkruns),
I'm a pirate (I've run at seven "C" parkruns and at least one "R" parkrun) and
so on. The purple badges are for volunteer efforts - and the star
indicates "five time" so for instance I've been timer five or more times. The
country badges are for the countries I've run parkruns in. Below these badges
there are additional lists showing you how close you are to achieving other
badges - for instance I'm one result away from getting the "Stopwatch Bingo"
badge - to earn this all I need to do is finish a parkrun in any number of
minutes and 07 seconds!
And now for something completely different - the Middlesex County 10k track walk
If you think that your walking can be faster than your running these days...
Ware Festival of Running - Sunday 8th July 10k and 10mile races
Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at email@example.com.