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BA Athletics Club News Digest 4th January 2016
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: http://www.barunner.org.uk/Event Diary.shtml (updated 24th Dec).
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Cross Country League Matches on Saturday 16th January - Ladies and Men...
Heathrow Round the Airport Run 29th December - Report
The second running of the RtA* run took place on 29th December in lovely dry and mild conditions. An intrepid group of six set off just after 12. The lead trio were all ultra-runners (Colin Haylock and Piers Keenleyside) or multi-marathon runners (Dave Bird) so it was a short little run for them. Neil Frediani and Toby Houghton followed and Roderick Hoffman, appearing slightly overdressed for the real temperatures but after a month Down Under maybe it was right for him, did his own thing at the back.
We took a slightly shorter, hillier but importantly drier route over the
moors to Stanwell Moor before heading up to Stanwell and onto Bedfont.
Occasional pauses by the lead group meant that we stayed together until we arrived at Cranford but then I was dropped as Toby fought to keep with the lead group who pressed on. That was a great run from Toby whose previous long run was 9 miles in the summer.
Piers was the only one who ran round Saxon Lake at Harmondsworth and came on exactly 13.1 miles. While myself and Colin Haylock looped back to Harmondsworth to get the distance. Dave and Toby werenít too bothered about the 13.1. We all came in 2 hours or under with Roderick running a shorter route having followed the perimeter road from Hatton Cross.
*Any suggestion for a good name for the run?? Maybe RtA will do?
Club parkrun results for New Year Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd January 2016
There were some good performances to be found in the results this weekend but the emphasis generally was more on welcoming in the new year in sociable parkrun style at a measured pace rather than setting pbs all over the place. Almost thirty of the runners we keep an eye on ran at least once and several ran three times over the two days [Ed: Challenging Steve and Roderick to keep track and display all performances].
Richard Ruffell made it a double celebration on New Year's Day with his 100th run worldwide at Bracknell (9 a.m. start) witnessed by Barry Walters and Chris Kelly. Richard and Chris then moved on to Woodley and ran a bit faster. For Richard it means 100 runs and 50 different parks in the UK (plus his run at Route 44 a couple of years ago). At Bracknell Barry, Chris and Richard finished in 12th, 13th and 16th place and only 17 seconds apart. One wonders if the finish was at a "sociable measured pace" or a competitive sprint for the line? One had to have been there.
We've had runners take in Bushy Park (9 a.m.) and a neighbouring run as well in previous years. With Crane Park not starting until 10.30 Ian Cunningham fitted in both venues and ran between the two as well. Scott Davison has never wandered too far from Bedfont in the past but tried combining Wimbledon Common and Fulham Palace, Geoff Miles took in Wormwood Scrubs and Gladstone and Roderick Hoffman guessed correctly that traffic volumes in southeast London would never be as benign again and visited Peckham Rye and Southwark (Surrey Quays) on Friday and Burgess Park in Camberwell on Saturday.
The 10.30 a.m. starts on Friday proved popular and our runners were included in record attendances at Upton Court (266) and Crane Park(249).
Piers Keenleyside started his retirement with a run at St Peters in Sydney, his first in Australia, we should expect to learn of a few more in the coming weeks.
Monica Alonso and Helen Smith started the year at Guildford on Saturday. It was Helen's first parkrun for 45 weeks! Alastair Heslop had been there the day before as timekeeper. Ships that pass in the night.
Alice Banks was one of those who ran three times and was part of that record breaking field at Upton Court. She is now on 48 runs and closing in on her red "50" shirt.
Spare a thought for Joan Foxley who was tail-runner at Harrow where the slowest gave up after two of the three laps. That meant chasing after the next runner/walker in front - by that time quite a distance ahead!
Ben Chaytow's Saturday run was his 100th at Crane Park.
Joe Nolan may be nursing a sore leg but when you are in charge of pacers of all speeds at Black Park you can choose who to mentor each month. He wisely started 2016 at 38 minutes and reached 249 runs. Janet Smith was also there (on Saturday) - part of a field of exactly 500.
Updated club parkrun stats: www.barunner.org.uk/results/ba_parkrun_park_totals.xls
Joe's 50th at Black Park on Saturday 9th January
Next week we hope Joe will be fit enough to celebrate running his 250th and keep up with Alan Anderson who has a chance of capturing the MV80 course record. Everyone is invited to join the party. Janet Smith is due to record our times.
Note that the car park charge is "only" £2.50 to parkrunners arriving before 9 a.m.
Club parkruns and runners over 2015
I've been looking back at 2015 to see who the most prolific parkrunner was.
There were 52 Saturdays plus opportunities to do two extra runs on 1st January and one extra run on Christmas Day so a maximum possible score of 55.
Ian Cunningham is very loyal to Bushy Park and hardly ever seems to miss a week. He ran 45 times.
Evergreen ever-present Alan Anderson seems to be at Gunnersbury every week setting up the course and picking up the marks afterwards as well as running. They never have extra runs at Christmas and New Year and miss one week for the London Mela in September. He ran 47 times.
Joe Nolan has created a niche role as pacing mentor at Black Park and scores well on the volunteer front as well as arriving at the finish to claim a token. He ran 48 times.
Roderick Hoffman is not averse to taking a holiday and travelling the world. He always seems to be somewhere that has a parkrun! He ran 49 times. He may have a home run but he is almost always somewhere else! [Roderick adds "My home is Pymmes where my only appearances last year was once with Steve in February, once as a volunteer on their birthday and once as a freedom run after an east London parkrun"].
Chris Kelly doesn't miss many weeks, ever, and he passed the 250 mark this summer having only started in late 2009 so he has averaged over 40 runs a years since he started. In 2015 he ran 50 times.
Former member David Tyas (one of several of our number now with Amadeus) has notched up an almost incredible 53. His last was at Barnsley on Boxing Day having not run on Christmas Day. Most of the others were at Bushy Park. He started the year 15 behind Alan Anderson but has cut the deficit to just 9. With Alan Anderson now on 390 and probably two years away from his 500 vest it will be interesting to watch the chase.
parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt encourages volunteering quite a lot and suggests runners should volunteer three times a year. That shouldn't really apply to very occasional runners but Alastair Heslop has only run once ever and volunteered over 30 times in 2015. There are ways of recording a finish and volunteering as well. Chris Kelly sometimes zooms round at Reading and then becomes a barcode scanner for the slower ones. Tail-runners get a slow time and a volunteer credit while lead cyclists just count as volunteers even with the fastest time. Alice Banks often sets up the course at Maidenhead and then runs round at a good pace.
There is now a purple(ish) parkrun T-shirt and volunteers become eligible after their 25th recorded mention in dispatches. If we take that as the equivalent of 250 runs then maybe volunteering once for every ten runs should give us all a clear conscience. That would be rather harsh on Alastair who would now face a lifetime of just running which he clearly does not want.
Fancy a long run or two in May?
Avenue of the Giants Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K Run - 1st May 2016, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
I challenge anyone, other than a Hylophobic*, to look at the picture above and not want to take part in The Avenue of the Giants run. This has been promoted each year by one of the regulars at the Concorde Five. Previously it has clashed with the Wings for Life World Run but not this year so I've entered the Half and have a loose plan of flying to San Francisco for Friday 29th April, acclimatise by jogging Crissy Field parkrun on the Saturday and then drive up to do the Half on the Sunday. I've yet to consider accommodation so if you've a mind to join me then let me know. The event website for more details and entry is http://www.theave.org/index.html.
This is one week after the London Marathon - but I know that some of you will see that as a challenge! It could be quite a contrast to go from running between tower blocks to running amongst giant redwoods.
*Hylophobia - An irrational fear of trees. Sufferers would probably prefer to be running amongst tower blocks or being chased by cars.
Wings for Life World Run 8th May
One week after The Avenue of the Giants run is this year's Wings For Life World Run. This is the event where instead of having a fixed distance or time you are running to keep ahead of a catcher car and the faster, fitter runners don't get caught for hours. This year's event is on May 8th and the UK venue is Cambridge (previously Silverstone). I've entered this also so I'll need to get back from California and in good shape. 33 other venues are available worldwide - and one in particular caught my eye which is at Niagara (Canadian side) where you'll run past the Falls twice before the catcher car will get you. All runs are simultaneous - on the same date and at the same universal time (and therefore different local times, some during the night). Visit the website for details, the list of venues and entry: http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/gb/en/ . This is an expensive event to enter but 100% of your entry fee goes to a foundation researching into finding a cure for spinal cord injury.
Roderick Hoffman (mail me at email@example.com)
PS: And then of course there is the Green Belt Relay on May 21st/22nd. Following sufficient feedback Chris Kelly is in the process of entering our team into this year's competition. But more runners and supporters would be welcome.
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