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BA Athletics Club News Digest 4th January 2016


  • Thursday 7th January - Magic Mile, Bath Road from 13:15 [NOTE updated time - see below]*
  • Saturday 16th January - Cross Country League matches for men and women [details below]*
  • Wednesday 20th January - Forrester "4-way folly" from Heston Venue at 18:00*

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 (updated 24th Dec).

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

*Club Event Map:

No longer interested?  To be removed from the BA Athletics Club mailing list please email us at
Difficulty viewing this email?  Read it off the website instead - Latest.shtml

Cross Country League Matches on Saturday 16th January - Ladies and Men...

Dear All,

Happy New Year, Everyone :) , Hope you have had a great festive break and now ready for some action!

The 3rd Surrey League Ladies match is on Saturday, 16 January 2016 at Priory Park in Reigate, Surrey, start time 12:00. Linked here are details sent by the host organiser. If you have any query or need a lift, please let me know in advance so I can make some arrangements.  For those of you who have yet to run a match this is a good one to get into, so I hope to see you there on the day. As usual my little blue picnic table will be on display and there will be some light snacks and drinks after the run.  I have race numbers for those of you who are running your first XC race this season.  If you can drop me a line to let me know if you are coming, it will be great :)

Looking forward to seeing most of you there.

Clara Halket

The next Surrey League Mens Cross Country fixture takes place at Oxshott (between Esher and Leatherhead) on the 16th January at the slightly earlier time of 14:30. The venue is just behind the station car park (it gets very crowded in the car park so arrive early if you want a space); off Warren Lane at Station Approach, Oxshott, Surrey, KT22 0TA .  If you are late then Goldrings Road a short distance away (10mins walk??) should have room.

All men are welcome to take part and if you havenít already provided me with your name and date of birth (or England athletics registration number) and you might turn up then please email me at before the day just in case and I can add you to the pool of runners in the online registration system.

Refreshments will probably be provided afterwards although not guaranteed!  Those who have run in the league already this season then please bring your race number with you.

If you canít make it the next run then Lloyd Park (near Croydon) provides you with another chance on February 13th at 14:00.

Neil Frediani

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.
Thanks to a heads-up from James Glover, I knew that after Hatton Cross we could not run from the Eastern Perimeter Road over the river and through the park towards the A4 so we detoured up the A30 to the A312 junction and then round the houses to the A4.

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.

Neil Frediani

*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

club family 1st (1)parkrun time  grade 1st (2) parkrun time grade 2nd parkrun time grade comments
Monica Alonso Guildford 33:14 49% run #61, 54th at Guildford
Alan Anderson Bushy Park 30:32 69% Gunnersbury 31:34 67% run #391, #392
Alice Banks Black Park 26:02 72% Upton Court 26:58 70% Maidenhead 26:37 71% plus Maidenhead pre-event set up
Ben Chaytow Bushy Park 24:41 55% Crane Park 24:33 55% Crane Park 21:30 63% run #121, 100th run at Crane
Caroline Cockram Bushy Park 28:34 56% Crane Park 30:27 53% Bedfont Lakes 39:50 40% run #211
John Coffey Bushy Park 25:20 72% Bushy Park 25:47 71% run #198, 180th at Bushy
Jonathan Cox Bushy Park 21:53 70% Bushy Park 22:13 69% run #259
Ian Cunningham Bushy Park 24:44 61% Crane Park 23:28 64% Bushy Park 23:49 63% 197th at Bushy, first run at Crane, run #225
Scott Davison Wimbledon Com 23:55 59% Fulham Palace 22:50 62% Bedfont Lakes 23:49 60% run #146, 132nd at Bedfont
David Duggan Cassiobury 27:01 57% Crane Park 30:27 50% Bedfont Lakes 39:47 39% first run at Cassiobury, 89th at Bedfont
Denis Foxley Harrow volunteer timekeeper
Joan Foxley Harrow 45:42 47% tailrunner
Neil (+ dog) Frediani Cassiobury 29:15 54% Crane Park spectator first run at Cassiobury
Alastair Heslop Guildford volunteer timekeeper
Roderick Hoffman Peckham Rye 25:55 59% Southwark 27:08 57% Burgess Park 25:36 60% club record x2, parkruns #136, #137, #138.
Piers Keenleyside St Peters (SYD) 24:11 65% 1st parkrun in Australia, club record
Chris Kelly Bracknell 21:46 68% Woodley 20:15 73% Reading 22:16 66% run #271, 217th at Reading
John Lennon Bushy Park 29:41 51% Crane Park 30:12 50% Bedfont Lakes 39:40 38% first run at Bushy. run #189, 176th at Bedfont
Kerstin Luksch Gunnersbury 21:16 70% run #167
Geoff Miles Wormwood Scrubs 28:41 58% Gladstone Park 26:50 62% Osterley Park 28:04 59% run #259, 66th at Osterley
Steve Newell Crane Park 31:27 57% Gunnersbury 32:26 55% run #204
Joe Nolan Black Park 38:00 42% 38' pacer, run #249
Richard Ruffell Bracknell 21:53 70% Woodley 21:11 72% run #100, 50th park w/w then 100th UK run, 50th UK park
Benita Scaife Black Park 30:47 62% first run at Black Park
John Scaife Black Park 30:48 53% first run at Black Park
Sreeram Sethuraman Black Park 31:34 42% Upton Court 31:52 42% run #67
Helen Smith Guildford 35:05 54% run #21, 10th at Guildford
Janet Smith Black Park 33:54 50% run #42, 11th run at Black Park
Mark Turner Chichester 27:23 55% run #6
David Tyas Bushy Park 20:09 73% Crane Park 20:04 74% Bushy Park 20:58 70% run #384
Barry Walters Bracknell 21:36 74% run #40

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: 

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.

Steve Newell

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. 

 Steve Newell

Fancy a long run or two in May?

Avenue of the Giants run picture

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

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: . 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

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.

Meet the Committee - Paul Knechtl (co-opted committee member)

Paul Knechtl at WARR 2015 Dubai

My not so fondest memories of running, was taking part in the school cross country, coming second to last and hating it. I always loved playing football, but my years at college and start of employment put this on the back burner. To cut a long story short I loved playing football, but found my fitness lacking, so took up running with a colleague at work to get fit.

I started running in about 1993 and my first recorded run was the Parkway Mile on the 22nd December 1993 in a time of 05:25. I canít really remember much about it, but I think I enjoyed it! The first cross country however was a different story, Lloyd park on the 8th January 1994. I can remember that one very well and want to forget it, finishing in 131st place in just over 40 minutes and last place BA runner. How things have changed!

In 1995, I attempted my first 2 marathons, London in April and Slough in September. London was a bit of a disaster as I did not train enough and struggled to get round. Slough was a bit different, training went really well and if it wasnít for the Hood to Coast race 7 days earlier I may have had a fantastic time, but calf strains in the last 6 miles put pay to that. Learning Ė donít try and do anything a week after Hood!

Soon after that I joined the Athletics committee and spent 6 years on the committee as Communications & Fixture Secretary and Treasurer. During this time I organised a few events - WARR (coordinating the 50 odd paper entries), Hood To Coast, Welsh Castles, Concorde 10K, Round the Block, Round the Park to name a few.

In 2001, we then started a family and I stepped down from the committee, maybe one day I will return. I tend to do all my training at work now, with a fantastic group of friends. I still continue to run for the Athletic club, but my appearance at events has been a bit limited. Now the boys are a bit older and if I can avoid injury, I might start turning up to a few more events.

My highlight, has to be WARR 2013 Ė Cape Town, 1st place, beating the favoured runner from United, who is faster and younger than me. It was a perfectly executed race, letting him get a way in the first 5K, but staying within touching distance. Then over the sand at 6.5K kicking and pulling away, was in dream land!

Remaining challenge, would still love to break the 3 hour barrier for a marathon. I was so close 4 years ago, but it wasnít to beÖ

Paul Knechtl

Paul still has some club duties such as being responsible for club kit. He also organises various events from work including the monthly "Dream Mile" event on the Bath Road. Note that this months event is this Thursday with a slightly later formal time of 13:15 though if you know the start and end point you can self time anytime over the lunchtime.

Running Shorts

Harrow Hill Race Sunday, 14th February 2016, 10.30am

ďone of the capitalís toughest short distance racesĒ The race starts on the playing fields of the famous Harrow School and continues through some of the old streets of Harrow on the Hill.

  • UKA Licence 2016-23021 / Certified course No. 13/321
  • £10.00 attached/ £12.00 unattached
  • £15.00 on the day (subject to race limit)
  • Fully marshalled road race/parking, toilets, showers
  • Run under UK Athletics rules
  • First three men, plus first Senior, M40, M50, M60. First three women, plus first Senior, W35, W45, W55. One prize per person. Additionally - King and Queen of the Hill Awards.
  • Organised by Metros Running Club

download application form
enter on-line Race Best
enter on-line Runners World

PS This is a race that Petra Otto traditionally meets club members at. This is unlikely this year as she reports that she is still in recovery from her fibula injury which needs another four months recovery with only gentle jogs to slowly build up muscle and fitness. She says "All in all I am pretty happy with the outcome of that meeting [with a surgeon], and I am feeling a lot more positive now, despite having seen a rather weird looking bottom tip of fibula, quite fascinating that was... "

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