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BA Athletics Club News Digest 3rd May 2021

For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Events Calendar - online here


For Coronavirus related restrictions and advice see News_Coronavirus_Guidance_April_2021.shtml [no changes].

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

This Week's and Future Solo Events

Please help me by sending in your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to Some events, such as the weekend achievement, will have "Prompts" set up in Facebook. These allow the posting of a single image and some text and make it easy to flip through everyone's entries.

Weekend Achievement (by 5pm on the Monday) or use the Facebook prompt that will be added on Friday:

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

In-Person Events - please register in advance. Please provide suggestions and offer to organise.

There are no club in-person events this week, but there will be a shared mile next week, in Bushy Park on Wednesday 12th May with a run start time of 12:30. There is also a NOW event proposed for the week. See the diary for details.

Please register your interest for these in-person events even if you are only a possible. Either by email or using the "Signup" option on the diary entry > Roderick Hoffman (register interest) .  Future In-Person events will be added to the diary as organisers put themselves forward.

Handicap runnersWinter Five Mile Handicap Series Final #

The fourth and final run of the Covid interrupted winter five mile handicap series was held on Wednesday 28th April.  The weather was fairly horrible, cold (7 deg C) and wet with an easterly breeze encouraging noisy aircraft to take-off over Hatton Road.  The conditions encouraged everyone to achieve their target times with at least a minute to spare and new course records were set by Paul Watt (32:12) and Julie Barclay (35:18).  The two lap course introduced with some haste at the start of the series to avoid negotiating road works has proved popular but may be a few yards short.  With runners now passing the Bedfont Club halfway through it is possible to log times and judge how everyone is managing to maintain an economical steady pace.  Steve Hillier who set off as the tortoise may have been encouraged to speed up initially to avoid being reeled in over the opening furlongs by the inconsistent Roderick Hoffman.  Everyone else was remarkably close to achieving even splits. Chris Kelly was nearest to target on the night but the series winner was Amanda Coombs who had built up a commanding lead during the early rounds and didn't really need the single point awarded for a token one lap appearance (but was also there to take the photo!).

28th April results (in finishing order):

Target 1 lap 2nd lap time + or - points
Roderick Hoffman 00:52:00 00:24:04 00:24:01 00:48:05 00:03:55 14
Paul Watt 00:34:30 00:16:02 00:16:10 00:32:12 00:02:18 15
Steve Hillier 00:55:00 00:25:59 00:27:06 00:53:05 00:01:55 16
Julie Barclay 00:36:45 00:17:43 00:17:35 00:35:18 00:01:27 18
Stephen  Taylor 00:42:00 00:20:11 00:20:27 00:40:38 00:01:22 21
Chris Kelly 00:37:30 00:18:03 00:18:19 00:36:22 00:01:08 25
Amanda Coombs 1 lap only 00:22:41 dnf 1

Points table after four runs:

October December March April =Total
Amanda Coombs 14 25 25 1 65
Steve Hillier 25 0 18 16 59
Roderick Hoffman 16 14 13 14 57
Stephen Taylor 0 21 15 21 57
Paul Watt 0 15 21 15 51
Julie Barclay 0 16 16 18 50
Chris Kelly 18 0 0 25 43
John Scaife 21 0 0 0 21
Maarten Stenham 0 18 0 0 18
Joe Nolan 15 0 0 0 15
Harjit Jhooti 0 0 14 1 15
Gary Rushmer 0 0 1 0 1

Steve Newell

BAAC Cross Country Championships - Sunday 2nd May Crane Park - Results #

Cross Country Championship runners

Our cross-country season started and finished on Sunday!  After many weeks of waiting for COVID infection rates to decline, we were able to stage our annual XC in Cranford Park.  Sadly, the whole season’s league matches had been cancelled, but 21 runners tackled the BAAC course before summer finally arrived.    After a month's dry weather, the paths were firm but rutted, and still challenging.

 Adrian Haines led the way, cruising around three laps of the “big field” and woods, being chased hard by Paul Watt and Angus Galton.  Meanwhile, Julie Barclay led a contingent of ladies around two laps.  She made sure to retain her trophy, before setting off again for a bonus third lap.

Thanks must go to a hard working group of marshals and supporters who kept the runners safe and cheered them on.  Tom Rowley provided us with an extra wide start line to ensure social distancing was achieved, while Kay Brandon, Steve Newell, John & Mark Taylor, Gary Rushmer and John Williams shared the marshalling and course setting duties.  Paul Brandon ensured accurate timings were kept, and took the photographs whilst the race was underway, and Roderick Hoffman managed the clock.  It was good to see so many friends and family members enjoying the sunshine, as they encouraged their loved ones to the line.

Steve Hillier

Number Gender Runner   2 lap (5k) time 3 lap (7.5k) time
137 F Julie Barclay 23:52 36:10
146 F Jain Reid 28:02
145 F Fiona Bishop 28:30
149 F Amanda Coombes 28:31
142 F Olivia Jones 28:34
143 F Vera Simms 28:58
141 F Janice Jones 29:54
139 F Monica Alonso 31:18
138 F Tamara Alonso 31:38
130 F Benita Scaife 33:34
147 F Joan Foxley 38:55
151 M Adrian Haines 29:55
150 M Angus Galton 32:57
136 M Paul Watt 33:15
144 M Maarten Stenham 35:33
134 M Steve Taylor 39:28
148 M Denis Foxley 44:15
133 M John Scaife 46:26
130 M Graham Taylor 47:12
140 M Roderick Hoffman 48:34
135 M Marcos Siqueira 52:00

Adrian Haines was running in a long work gap - jogging over from the Engineering base, doing a warm-up lap, doing the race (including lapping me), then jogged back to the base to complete his shift. Jain had MAF run/walked from Chiswick, did the event and then MAF ran/walked back. The 21 finishers is more than the total from the equivalent event last year (10) and the year before (9). Julie, Paul and Graham have done the event for three years in a row. Julie and Graham were each about a minute faster than two years ago though Graham had run faster last year, Paul was nine minutes faster than two years ago and two and a half minutes faster than last year.

Roderick Hoffman

Speedbird Ladies Race Proposal

As a consequence of the Cross Country event having been successful we are seeing if we can organise our annual Speedbird Ladies Race on the same course and format for the evening of Wednesday 26th May. We need first to get permission from Hillingdon Council and Run Britain but in the meantime please put this date in your diaries - ladies to run, men to marshal. We are hoping to be permitted to have fifty runners so there will be space for ladies from local clubs and friends of friends.

Monthly Solo Challenge for May - Green Belt Relay! #

This month's solo challenge is to run distance runs on each of Saturday 15th May and Sunday 16th May. This is to be the equivalent of joining in the Green Belt Relay team event which would have been held that weekend. Chris Kelly is organising a semi-official non-official team to ensure that between us we "do" each of the relay stages at the correct time on each of the two days. If you are willing to do the longer runs then let Chris know and he'll incorporate you in the team and if there are enough of us we'll setup a WhatsApp group to share how the team is doing. But others only need to do a minimum of the shortest run on the Saturday (7.5miles) and the shortest run on the Sunday (6miles).  I'll also set up a Facebook prompt so that you can share in advance what you are planning - you may be able to 2021 Green Belt Relay coursedo your "solo" runs together.

Saturday Stage Stage Name Miles Start Time
1 Hampton Court Palace 12.7 8:30am
2 Staines 9.42 9:42am
3 Boveney Church 11.2 10:37am
4 Little Marlow 11.5 11:40am
5 Great Kingshill 13.5 12:53pm
6 Chipperfield 8.5 2:08pm
7 St. Albans 11.6 2:56pm
8 Letty Green 10.7 4:03pm
9 Dobbs Weir 10.2 5:02pm
10 High Beach 9 6:02pm
11 Toot Hill 7.5 6:48pm
Sunday Stage Stage Name Miles Start Time
12 Blackmore 10.75 8:00am
13 Thorndon Park 6.6 9:04am
14 Cranham 8.5 9:41am
15 Stone Lodge 9.4 10:40am
16 Lullingstone Park 13.1 11:34am
17 Tatsfield 10.5 12:54pm
18 Merstham 9.6 1:53pm
19 Burford Bridge 8.4 2:49pm
20 West Hanger 6 3:43pm
21 Ripley 8.4 4:17pm
22 Walton Bridge 9.15 5:04pm

For added kudos you can do your "Stage" run starting at the time in the table above and relate it in some way to the location mentioned - even doing part of the official course - details of which can be viewed from this page on the Green Belt Relay site or click on the map above for route details, though note that some paths may turn out to be closed and there will be no specific GBR signage.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 30th April to 3rd May 2021

Only 18 recorded below but this excludes most of those who did the Cross Country yesterday.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Running BA Cross Country Champs Sun am [Plus the warm-up lap and the run there and back from the Engineering base]
Andy Rayner Cycling 10miles Sun 00:48:30 Quite pleased with time as I could not jog.
Barry Walters Running 10.5km Swinley Forest Sat am 00:59:18 Struggled in the early stages of this run but eventually started to run better and quickened towards the end.
Ben Cooper Running 9.07k Cardiff Fri am 00:53:05 Including 12x 400m intervals at a flat rec Park in Cardiff, fastest 1.30 (#1), slowest 1.47 (#9)
Benita Scaife Running 7miles Windsor Great Park Fri 01:20:55 From Queen Anne’s Gate, passing the Windsor FC ground at Stag Meadow we entered the park proper at the Ranger’s Gate and ran through “the village”…
Chris Kelly Running 42miles Country to Capital Ultra Sat 07:22:22 Wendover to Paddington including local section West Drayton to Bulls Bridge along the canal. Very pleased…but not ready to do the Club XC! [97th of 197 finishers]
Christine Munden Gym Sessions Gym session / HIIT class / Blaze class Sun Also a Battlebox Hybrid Athlete class outdoors on Monday evening and I was the only person there! Dreadful outside. Just walked back and branches were breaking off the trees on Horsenden Hill.
Clara Halket Walking 10.26km Lightwater Hike Sun am 01:38:18 After 2 consecutive long runs, Sunday's workout was a short weighted brisk walk on MOD trails followed by an hour's stretching session.
Jain Reid Walking 16.17km Cranford Park to Chiswick Sun Lunch 02:09:51 A lovely walk back from the cross country via the Grand Union Canal and Thames Path. [plus the walk there and the cross country run itself]
Janet Smith Walking 3miles As part of Bob's C25K. Found a lovely bluebell wood.
John Scaife Running 7miles Windsor Great Park Fri 01:20:55 ...eventually reaching the Copper Horse statue of George III before running the whole length of the Long Walk to the back of the castle. Perfect conditions.
Keith Johnson Running 8.35km Local Sat 00:42:30 Also Mon run 7.1km in 34:45 and Sunday cycle 55.45km in 2hr8.
Michael Ball Running 100metres Worthing Sun am   In a race, around (or along) a track.
Mike Dennison Running 5k Crane Park freedom parkrun Sat am 00:20:04 On the parkrun course but not at 9am, with friends... Good conditions for running, and coffee and cake afterwards, too!
Neil Frediani mixed Run/Walk 9miles Cheviot Hills 02:40:00 My achievement was surviving with no twisted knees or ankles.  It was very difficult terrain with 3000' elevation, lots not on paths. Recce for a 20miler in July.
Roderick Hoffman Running 15km Pymmes/Gunpowder/Rickmansworth treble Fri 01:37:52 Three freedom parkruns for the price of none.
Stephen Taylor Running 13.15miles Richmond and back Fri am 02:12:04 On Friday to give me a rest day before the cross country.
Steve Hillier Walking Mad Bess Woods (Ruislip) Mon Firm underfoot, with some huge ruts.  We stayed away from the fierce winds, but listened to the trees creaking as they were blown about.

Weekend Achievements

Roderick Hoffman

Jas in the Wimbledon HalfFrom Facebook

Harjit Jhooti spotted Jasvir Singh running the Wimbledon Common Half Marathon on Sunday. Jas finished in 2:34:11 with about 405 others, marshalled by wombles.

And I suppose on a similar theme, today I joined a small team from the Hillingdon Litter Pickers Facebook group and we collected 30 bags of litter and other rubbish from the M4/Parkway roundabout next to Cranford Park. The leader of the team lives locally and ran the Concorde Ten several times, so we had plenty to talk about.

Roderick Hoffman

Letters to the Editor

Some may remember Caroline Akazou who was running with us a few years ago. I met her last week - when I was half way round Simon's Orienteering event in Twyford. We just had time for me to apologies because I was doing a timed event and for her to remind me that she was "Caroline".  Fortunately Simon was able to add the "Akazou" and I've exchanged emails with Caroline since. She said that she is still employed by BA and currently doing a run 2021 challenge. "I thought 2021km in 1 year was probably a stretch, so I opted to do 1021km instead. Currently ahead of target as I have clocked 160/140/130 (approx.) for the first 3 months, and on track for 120-125km this month. I’m not doing any particular events, just getting out when the time and inclination hit me and to fit around the family. I do enjoy the digests and at some point hope to get back to doing slightly more sociable running when I am not being a taxi service to the kids!"

> To the Editor

Meet the Committee - Simon Turton

Simon Turton photographSimon Turton (London Marathon Coordinator)

I started running with the club in 1990, when we were based at the Concorde Centre in Heston. I ran most World Airline Road Races (WARR) during the nineties as well as XC and road races, achieving some pretty respectable times. I also met my wife, Judy through the club and we married back in 2002. My fondest memories are from the team relay runs, specifically Welsh Castles and in the infamous Hood-to-Coast 200 mile relay in the State of Oregon; awesome! The London Marathon (LM) has always featured high on the priority list for BAAC and I stepped in one year to help out when our then Chairman, Brian was a bit under the weather, and have been involved ever since. As well as the London Marathon, its organisers have hosted various events over the years (Great City Race, Hyde Park Womens Race etc.) and usually their first port of call for support has been BAAC. I've been privileged to facilitate this work with the great support of members, families and friends. It was also this relationship with LM that gave me and many club members the opportunity to be Games Makers at both the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

In 2010 BAAC hosted WARR in London around the Royal Victoria Dock. I relished the opportunity of being race director for the 5 & 10km runs, ably supported by a great team. Despite the hurdles, we put on a wonderful event and the clear blue sky that greeted us on race day was the icing on the cake.

I'm one of the few members of the club that still works at BA in Engineering Technical at the Hatton Cross base. My main sport is orienteering and I run for Berkshire Orienteers, something I've enjoyed since my teens. The appeal of orienteering is as well as running, you have to use your brain and you learn you'll never have the perfect run; there's always improvements that could be made. I also like the fact that orienteering has evolved with the times and provides challenges to suit all abilities from trial-o for less-able bodied competitors through to the recent use of GPS for street-o events.

The picture was taken during 'lock-down 1' having completed my 1 mile run in support of the BAAC LM relay run, which I thought was quite appropriate given my aforementioned involvement with the marathon.

Simon Turton

Reunion 5k #

London Marathon Events have been asked to organise the Reunion 5k as a mass participation running event as part of the government's Events Research Programme. This is to assist the return to safe operation of all mass participation events (so, for instance, including parkrun). The chosen venue is Kempton Park in Surrey and the date is Saturday 15th May with various start times. For details and entry please visit the website.

# Although this event clashes with the club's Green Belt Relay run we are happy to support participants hence will credit entrants in our round-the-block participation competition (provided someone tells us!).

BA Athletics Club Records - Steeple Chase

Hurdles again this week, and largely as an excuse to print again the picture of Caroline Yarnell. 

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and accurately measured and the participant has to be a paid-up member of the club and wearing a club vest (or in an in-house organised event). Members for whom BA is a second claim club may need permission from their first claim club for them to run in a BA vest and claim the record (so the same performance cannot be claimed by two different clubs).

TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) 2000m S/C Caroline Yarnell * 09:27.0 Rosenheim Kingston Jun-00 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV40) 2000m S/C Caroline Yarnell 09:27.0 Rosenheim Kingston Jun-00 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) 2000m S/C Andrew Eynon ** 06:54.4 Rosenheim Woking 15-Jul-98 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV50) 2000m S/C Malcolm Field 07:25.0 Rosenheim  Eton Jun-05 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV55) 2000m S/C Paul Goldsmith 09:09.2 Rosenheim Eton 2004 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV60) 2000m S/C Paul Goldsmith 09:35.3 Rosenheim Walton May-08 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) 3000m S/C Paul Hilling 10:19.0 Lufthansa Hamburg May-93 Current

Caroline Yarnel Stepple Chasing

If you know better please send us your claim - we want to get these in the best shape possible. New records or questions:

Roderick Hoffman

* Since leaving these shores for the country with the biggest jumpers, Caroline has continued to compete in the steeple chase event - the photograph shows her at the World Masters Championships in Perth in 2016 where she'd be a match for any kangaroo.

** Andrew Eynon's performance at Woking on 15 July 1998 was described as "lonely" in the Round-the-Block. Presumably that was because he was well out in front, rather than the only runner of the event. The team won both the men's and ladies competitions that evening. 

Paul and Julie on the pathBlackwater Valley Path

Another watery run completed....

Following on from running the Basingstoke Canal in four chunks, we have now run the length of the Blackwater Valley Path in three legs of approximately 8 miles each spread over three consecutive Sunday mornings.

The river/trickle starts in the Rowhill nature reserve in Farnham and the path continues 23 miles to Swallowfield although the river does continue on.

Similar in many ways to the canal it has a variety of surfaces, an urban/rural route and stunning scenery. It starts in a small nature reserve and follows the river through Aldershot, North Camp, Frimley, Sandhurst (along part of the parkrun course) and then through the countryside along fields and past lakes to Swallowfield where we counted twelve hawks circling the field that we were in.

This run does undulate and can get very muddy in places but running in these current dry conditions is ideal.

The various sections are listed at:

If stuck for a run one day, try one or some of these sections,

Paul Watt & Julie Barclay

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