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BA Athletics Club News Digest 4th January 2021

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

Events Calendar - online here


Unrestricted races are currently off so the club continues to operate with Solo and Shared runs as listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest.  As a new lockdown has just been announced we need to anticipate that shared runs are now off the agenda until probably March. We may also be restricted in the duration of exercises and the ability to travel to them. More details when they emerge.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

This week's Events

Please help me by sending me 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.

There is no specific midweek challenge this week, it is the mile next week. But you are welcome to get a head start on the new year with a mile, the Track-on-Field or even an early Ross Barkley. Personally, in the last five days having done the round LHR run, a double parkrun, the Ross Barkley and two GPS Art walks I'm not going to mind being locked up at home for a few days! Though I may need an extra supermarket trip to stock up on more chocolate and wine.

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

Roderick Hoffman

Looking Backwards [Editorial]

We are all glad to have got 2020 out of the way and we won't look back fondly on the year of the virus. But remember that we did achieve many great things in the year, of which the list below is just a selection. Well done all for being amongst the survivors.

Roderick Hoffman

Club Participation over 2020

The club would be nothing without its members and so looking back at 2020 I'm focusing on club participation.

The first aspect of that is the "Round-the-Block" points table. This records participation at the events that the club choses to focus on - our Cross Country and Track & Field matches (do you remember them?) the Run-of-the-Month, the Club In-house Event, our marshalling duties and so on. With so many events cancelled this last year, and movement constraints, this has been a struggle, but we have still managed to have 32 points scoring events [2019: 51] and 102 members and friends have recorded points at least once [275] and 58 two or more [100]. In December Chris Kelly became the 9th club member to score ten or more points - joining myself, Steve Hillier, Steve Newell, Stephen Taylor, Simon Turton, Gary Rushmer, Amanda Coombs and Neil Frediani on the top steps of the podium [24]. Three members fell short by just one point.

The full final Round-the-Block listing for 2020 is available here OneDrive Shared Excel File (read only).

The numbers in [brackets] above show the drop in participation numbers from 2019 but it isn't all bad news. I've been monitoring participation at a larger set of events over the year - so for instance including the weekend exercise achievement and midweek challenges. The graph below shows how well the club has been doing week by week. In the early days of lockdown we had fifty performance reports per week (note that some individuals may be involved more than once each week). Recently the numbers have been down to about 30 each week and this reduction probably reflects a number of points including that the role of the club's events are not as important for mental health now than at the start of lockdown. But it still demonstrates that we have a large number of willing club participants.

2020 Club Participation

The club will continue with the Weekend Exercise Achievement reports and with the various midweek challenges - and we are always open to suggestions for new challenges.

Roderick Hoffman

Looking Back positively

What activity related events can we look back at 2020 and say, "That was great!":

Steve Hillier Virtual London Marathon relay team, leg 26 (the long one) (Sunday 26th April) Thanks to Roderick, Steve Newell and Joe Nolan for making it happen.
Roderick Hoffman "Your Street-O" challenge (Midweek Challenge, late April) I enjoy Street-O and I was very pleased that I was able to bring it to the club and had 25 members and friends taking part - running from their homes to their nearest dozen or so postboxes.
Richard Ruffell Annual Activity 357 days active, 643 hours, 6,967miles covered. [I guess that much of that was on the bike]
Emma Moreton Virtual London Marathon (4th October) 13 laps with friends, on the wettest day ever!
Piers Keenleyside Finishing the Doha Marathon in January after things went horribly wrong. First BA lost my bag so the evening before I had to go out and buy running shoes, socks and shorts.  We had gone there expecting winter sun but the start of the marathon was marked by a huge thunder storm with buckets of rain. This left the course flooded with huge puddles 6 inches deep. The course was 4 out and backs along the 5k sea front - the 'Corniche'. After 2 hours my cheap sopping wet running shoes started to rub my heals and for the last 6 miles I was in agony with them now red-raw. I finished in a shade under 5 hours!
Stephen Taylor The London Classics, almost. The Marathon went virtual as did Ride London and the Serpentine swim was cancelled completely leaving me to do my own 2 mile open water swim at Marlow.
Ian Cunningham Red Rock Canyon marathon just outside Las Vegas Toughest and proudest event though a personal worst marathon time on a beautiful but brutal course in the midst of a torrential downpour! Beyond that I maintained my position as 3rd fastest old bloke in our village in our (virtual) 5 mile race and took part in one of the very few races that actually happened in September - a very pleasant local 10k. I finished the year running a virtual ultra over 3 weeks managing over 230km so there is life in the legs yet!
Janet Smith W55 Hammer PB I managed to break my W55 Hammer PB throwing 42.65m in October. I only had 4 competitions this summer so was happy to throw my furthest since 2018.
Adrian Haines 800m It has to be my favoured 800m track race in August at Worthing. Bearing in mind that training was like extended winter training due to COVID. I did one speed session a few days before in Chartres, France. I would have been pleased with 2:15 ,but on the night ran 2:08 as a 53 year old.
Michael Ball London indoor Championships at Lee Valley (Jan) I really enjoyed competing in the London championships indoor at Lee valley back in January BC (before Covid).
Neil Frediani Cross Country double Two consecutive days in January running my last two real races, both cross country with two different teams, were probably my best moments. Made even better by flying to Cape Town shortly after the second. Also of note were my two longest runs of the year in 6days at the start of March, I guess that was before everything got cancelled.
Amanda Coombs Blenheim Palace Triathlons on 12th September Four back-to-back triathlons at Blenheim Palace on 12th September. My photo suggests I was the last to leave, and I probably was!
John & Benita Scaife December Daily Dash Our achievement was the December Daily Dash. Minimum 5k run or walk every day in December to raise funds for Sue Ryder palliative care and bereavement support. We are in the Maidenhead AC team on Justgiving.
Alexandra Foster Surrey Mercer Half Marathon March 2020 1st ever half marathon in under 2hrs 30mins. The medal took two weeks longer since it had got stuck on a slow boat from China.
Mike Dennison Big Half half marathon in March Achieved my half marathon PB of 1:31:02 at the Big Half with Maria Jovani back in March, although the virtual London Marathon was also memorable, particularly for the weather. Also managing to run 1751 miles in the year (over 400 more than I'd run in 2019) - up until now I've run more each year than the previous one, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do that this year!
Ben Cooper Local run improvement Well, 2020 was meant to be the year I took running seriously again. I signed up to WARR, joined this group and found motivation to put in 2-3 times my usual mileage on a regular basis (a big achievement in itself). My most proud achievement is setting my PB on my lunch break run getting down to low 17minutes. Last year I thought it would be nigh on impossible to crack 18! At the height of summer my average time for the year dropped to 17:59, its crept back up now though I've lost some speed since August.
Jain Reid SVP 50k trail run (August) I managed a 5k, 10k and half marathon PB before lockdown hit and was excited for the marathons ahead as I felt on a roll. Then came lockdown. I will be honest, I struggled even to leave the house, let alone run. Motivation without the prospect of events was at an all time low.  Living on my own and not working since July made me feel very isolated. So probably my favourite moment was my first actual event following lockdown (August) - the SVP 50k trail run. With staggered starts every 6 mins it was still thrilling to be part of an organised event again. It was also my furthest run to date (50k) and my 50th marathon, through stunning Suffolk scenery (surprisingly hilly in places). I took it easy with a lot of stops and walk breaks which meant it was a lot more enjoyable than racing it - the smile on my face said it all. I'm grateful for the New Year opportunity to reset and excited for whatever 2021 brings.
Jagjit Singh * PPE Fund Raising Challenge 2020 was a really challenging year, although I managed to run 34 full marathons. What I'm most proud of is when I ran 800 kilometres over May and raised £4000 for PPE for NHS staff in 3 local hospitals. I feel proud to be a member of British Airways running club. I wish you and your families a very happy New Year and I hope I can see you soon.
There are some great photos on Facebook for some of these achievements but sadly the latest Covid-19 announcements have bitten into the time available to me to prepare the digest this evening.

Roderick Hoffman

* We don't hear often from Jagjit but he is always there when we need marshals. He has also sent me some photos showing how he has also been involved with delivering medicines for elderly people and shopping for them from April through to August. There are also others amongst us who have done considerable support work over the last nine months - such as Clara who has been working shifts in a local hospital, Christine who has been helping to ensure that all of us (or at least those in West London) can rely on the postal service and Kelly trying to ensure that education continues as much as possible. Well done to everyone, including the quiet ones.

Ross Barkley

Reminder - the Ross Barkley is where you cover the 5km distance in a single session but split it down into short lengths or sprints with good recoveries between each section. You should still run a net flat course and shouldn't use the prevailing wind for your advantage!

Date Runner Location Running Time Total Time Recent 5k Performance Comment
30-Dec-20 Eddie Giles Salisbury Gym 00:22:30 00:27:45 123% Treadmill at the (still open here) gym - 10x500m with 2m jogs between each
30-Dec-20 Steve Hillier 00:24:58 00:32:50 132%
03-Jan-21 Roderick Hoffman Hanworth 00:25:19 00:45:19 00:29:54 118% parkrun course, with some soft sections. 20x250m with 1m recoveries.

Three results this month with Steve being the participant most improved compared to a recent normal 5k time.

Roderick Hoffman

Round Heathrow Event - Solo and Virtual # Results

Participant Date Run Distance Time Course and comment
Piers Keenleyside 29-Dec-20 12.5miles (20.1km) 02:49:02 Starting and finishing at Hatton Cross. Managed to keep my feet dry with the one detour on Harmondsworth Moor when the path ahead was flooded. Slightly longer route in Stanwell via The Rising Sun pub & Oaks Road.
Roderick Hoffman 30-Dec-20 18.98km 02:16:34 Anti-clockwise from Cranford. Witnessed by Gary Rushmer at half-way!
Stephen Taylor 30-Dec-20 18.98km 02:16:34 With Roderick
Adrian Haines 02-Jan-21 14.39km 00:59:41 Minimal loop from BA TBC - just fitted in within a lunch "hour"!
Jain Reid 03-Jan-21 21.5km 02:54:00 Alternative course - to and around Richmond Park, at MAF pace.

Covid restrictions prevented this from being the usual group run but five of us still recorded a finish to earn valuable club points.

Roderick Hoffman

December GPS Art Challenge

All of the artworks from last week this are now available for viewing in the Facebook photo album at Facebook BARunner Page photo album . This should be viewable by anyone so you are free to pass on the link to friends and families. Those shown below are entries received this week.

GPS Art Christmas Tree
John and Benita produced a fine Christmas Tree though sadly Storm Bella had taken out one of the limbs.
GPS Art Snail
Michael has produced a simple snail though he suggests that like last week's Swan this was unintended.
GPS Art Shoe
Ben's depiction of a shoe was the only thing that jumped out at him when he considered what to draw within streets local to himself.
GPS Art Hammer
Janet has drawn a hammer to mark the event that has given her so much success over her athletics career. I'll hazard a guess that this is her largest ever hammer throw.
Finally a couple more from me, both done as walks.
GPS Art Wolf
The Wolf above is drawn on a particularly large canvas, 11 miles in length. The fishing lakes in Northala Fields are ideal to shape ears and the nearby bend in the canal form the front of the face - and that sets the scale for the rest of the figure.
GPS Art Uffington Horse
The final exhibit is not an original piece but was originally paced out and cut into the chalk hillside near Uffington (now near Swindon). This was originally created 3,000 years ago and without the aid of GPS and without having an image traced in Google Maps. 

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 1st to 4th January 2021

This week 24 members and friends reported activities.  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.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Running 14.39km Heathrow Loop Sat lunch 00:59:41 Short Heathrow Loop over lunchtime from TBC - see above.
Amanda Coombs Running 12km Sun 01:10:38 Back on the Ironman challenges
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Fri 00:57:57 Tres muddy. Also 2.2miles on Tuesday in 30:50 and on Sun in 30:40.
Barry Walters Running 5km Coral Reef and beyond Sat am Ran over the Coral Reef bridge and on before turning round. No time taken as watch requires new battery.
Ben Cooper Running 5km BAMC - CWL route 00:23:56 New year, new route. GPS verified 5k, much faster than I thought I was capable of!
Benita Scaife Running 6.5miles To Bourne End Sun 01:17:28 Unplanned to Bourne End. We left bound for Marlow but after a 1/4mile the mire was over the top of our trail shoes and we diverted to BE via Cookham.  As we descended Winter Hill we saw that Cock Marsh ahead of us was inundated…
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Roxbourne Park and Nature Reserve 00:57:20 With some very muddy bits.
Eddie Giles Running 10km Gym Treadmill Sat pm 00:58:30 Salisbury Gym
Emma Moreton Running 5km Laleham Sun 00:23:32 First (not)parkrun of 2021.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 15.3km Waterloo to Putney Mon 00:03:20 Too cold today to do the original plan of the 16 bridges walk that I did in the summer.
Jain Reid Mixed Run/Walk 12.43km Chiswick to Battersea Sun 01:41:18 I was expecting rain/snow so was pleasantly surprised with a gloriously sunny winter day and enjoyed seeing a few Xmas trees on some of the boats.
Janet Smith Walking 0.16miles GPS Art Sun am 00:02:53 See above
John Scaife Running 6.5miles To Bourne End Sun 01:17:28 ...We crossed the boardwalk that spans the seasonal lake, leading us to the railway bridge over the Thames with a footpath linking the Cookham and Bourne End banks.
Julie Barclay Running 14.5 Basingstoke Canal Sun 01:09:00 With Paul, the stretch from the River Wey to Brookwood (more on this in a future issue)
Melanie Miller Walking 14.55km Windsor / Datchet Sun 03:53:24 Wandering round Windsor to Datchet along the river then back thru Xmassy Eton a nice crisp sunny Sunday
Michael Ball Hill Sprints Woking Sun 10x25sec hill sprints
Mike Dennison Running 17.84km Bushy Park Sat am 01:28:52 A standard 11 miles for me, round Bushy Park and the riverside - not as busy as I expected it to be, maybe the dampness earlier put some people off…
Neil Frediani Running 12miles Derwent Sat am In the snow and ice. 2 falls, loads of scratches, -5c windchill. Loved it.
Paul Watt Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:20:35
Petra Otto Mixed Run/Walk 8.38miles Local Sat 02:45:20 Includes a 2.54 mile walk to the town centre for shopping. My slow run (first one this year) was a full circle around the edge of our town. Saw the first daffodils in full bloom.
Piers Keenleyside Running 10.3miles Ealing to Richmond and back Sun 02:07:11  It brought my weekly mileage to over 50 for the first since September 2019 - over 15 months ago.
Roderick Hoffman Running 10km Osterly and Northala Fields Fri 01:05:52 1st January freedom parkrun double. Start times of 12:03 and 13:02.
Stephen Taylor Running 9miles Northala Fields Sat lunch 01:32:04 A parkrun sandwich - to, round and back from Northala Fields parkrun course.
Steve Hillier Cycling 13miles Hillingdon (mostly) Sat Exploring secluded paths and streams mostly in Hillingdon, including Lime Tree Park in Northolt.


Roderick Hoffman

Street-O Series Update

There have been four events in this year's winter series and in the series table I am currently sitting at the dizzy heights of ninth place. However, top of the tree is currently Simon Turton. Yes, if the series had to be suspended with immediate effect then Simon would be the champion. There is a next event planned, within Richmond Park for anytime in January, but with the latest lockdown just announced we can expect the situation to change - I doubt if the South London Street-O series counts as an "Elite Sport". And do I hear calls from the Turton household of "Stop the count!".

Results table

Next Event Details 

Roderick Hoffman

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through]

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. The switch of London from Tier 3 to Tier 4 means we are no longer able to organise club runs. Everyone in Tier 4 is also subject to a "Stay at Home" order so unnecessary travelling should be minimised. It is still permitted to travel for your exercise but you should be avoiding public transport where you can.  [to be updated once the latest lockdown rules are published]

  • 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 health conditions,
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. Advice is to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction), [to be updated once the latest lockdown rules are published]
  • 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.
  • 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 Hoffman) or Steve Hillier know of your condition/status, but we will keep it to ourselves unless you ask us to pass information on.

For club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. Club activities are not permitted in Tier 4 or during full lockdown. In other tiers any club member can organise a shared activity. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:

  • The chairman (Roderick) or the secretary (Steve Hillier) must be notified in advance that the event is taking place,
  • 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 this template,
  • The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
  • After the run 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

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