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BA Athletics Club News Digest 6th April 2020


  • Midweek Run - Track on Field @ your course, your time [see below]
  • Weekend 11th April - Weekend Solo run [see below]
  • Sunday 26th April - Virtual Relay Marathon [see below]

All face-to-face events are off for the time being, but the club continues to operate with Solo runs - these ARE still permitted but see the Coronavirus footnote at end (updated).

New members and potential members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at these events. The full diary of club featured events is on the club website at: Diary.shtml. Last updated: 10th March/30th March but further cancellations expected.

* Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps] (parkrun details updated 1st April 2020) / # Club Points event.

Facebook: (formal "front window" club page), BA Runner Facebook Group (informal "back office", ask to join).

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Report of the April BAAC Committee Meeting

The club's committee members had a committee meeting last week, not in person I'll add, not even on video but via emails, but we concluded some items you might want to hear about.

Firstly, we confirmed the inevitable decision that we cannot hold the Speedbird Ladies race as planned on 6th May, and we are refunding in full those who had pre-entered. We are currently postponing rather than cancelling this year's event. If the restrictions are relaxed so that we can hold a limited event on a Wednesday evening before the end of August we will do so. We will look to have a shortlist of invitees for the event (covering runners, spectators and marshals) so that we can keep within any limits imposed.  The event will be low key, with no prizes or medals, and with no entry fee, just a recommended charity donation.

Secondly, we discussed our membership fee, currently 9, and whether the current lack of face-to-face events warrantied a discount. We decided that the 9 fee was a very low amount for what the club tries to do for its members hence agreed to leave it as it is. The club will be having a lean year, because of the reduction in income from the London Marathon related events we provide marshalling teams for, but our bank account is healthy so will carry us through. Indeed, because we'll not have the usual catering orders to pay for we decided that we will be able to make our usual charity donations - we usually give 100 plus loose change at this time of year to charities including the British Heart Foundation and White Lodge and this year may add a local charity assisting those with issues due to Coronavirus.

Membership for 2020 to 2021 is now due. Details of membership has been updated on this page: Club_Membership.shtml and payment can be made by "contactless" electronic transfer of 9 (BAAC membership only) or 24 (covering BAAC and English Athletics enrollment, reduced by 1 from previous announcement). The club continues to support membership of BA Clubs and The Bedfont Club. Each of these has major challenges due to the current situation and would appreciate your support to enable them to maintain their businesses.

Roderick Hoffman - Acting Chair and obo the Club Committee

Midweek SOLO Track on Field! (see footnote for Coronavirus restrictions)

April would normally mark the start of the Track & Field season but obviously that start has to be delayed for the time being. However, we should all be initiating our short-distance, speed-work training to ensure that we are ready for when it does launch. So, for that reason this week's "midweek" challenge is the shorter distances - 1,500m, 800m, 400m, 200m, and 100m runs. And notice the use of the word "and" in that sentence, not the word "or". In one exercise session see how many of these five events you can do, at speed and with the objective of better than halving your time from one to the next (so if you run an 8 minute 1,500m, try to do under 4 minutes for the 800m, well under 2 minutes for the 400m, perhaps 50s for the 200m, and 20s or less for the 100m).  You don't have to do all of the events, you can do those you do in any order and you can do them on any day up to next Sunday BUT all the ones recorded need to be done in the same exercise session (you can't do some one day, and the rest the next). This event is called "Track on Field" because it may be that your local parks and paths are too busy to contemplate doing short sprints hence you may have to find a quieter field for them. Obviously you will need a watch and unless you live by a quiet track stadium the watch will need to record GPS distances in meters - and perhaps it would help if you set the auto-lap distance to 100m. Treadmills are allowed, but you must be running or walking.

Send me the results, for instance by filling in this table and forwarding to
Name Date 1500m time 800m time 400m time 200m time 100m time

  Submit by the end of Sunday.

Roderick Hoffman

BAAC 2020 Virtual Relay Marathon rearranged for Sunday 26th April ("London Marathon" Day)

We originally thought we would do this last Sunday but with such short notice insufficient people leapt forward. Not too surprising really. But it is a good idea and it is now rescheduled for April 26th, which most of you will realise would have been the day of the London Marathon. The actual format is still a little in the air because it will depend on how many of us put our names forward. But the principle is that we would alternately run distances that together complete the Marathon distance. We would do this as a team, and we'd use WhatsApp and other tools to know when to start each runners leg. The runners will be free to do their leg on any course and as the start of their regular exercise - so you would not be constrained by distance that day. Note that we had 33 Solo runners over last weekend and between them they covered 245km, nearly six marathons worth. So, we should certainly be able to muster a couple of teams.

I wonder if we can also have a marshalling team? A different person cheering on throughout the time we are running the marathon?

Let Joe Nolan know that you are in (or probably so) by emailing him at:

April Solo Mile Results - 1st to 3rd April 2020

Solo Mile Run CoursesThe most runners we ever had for the Dream Mile on the Bath Road was 14, at the very first run on 5th September 2013, and equaled on 8th January 2015. Only twice since September 2016 did the event achieve double figures. The inaugural Parkland Mile attracted 7 runners.

The inaugural Solo Mile was attended by 20, yes Twenty runners. There were some close finishers - who knows what would have happened if they had been alongside each other (besides being arrested for contravening social distancing). For the fastest time of the event Paul edged it from Mike by just 4 seconds, further back Simon beat Bob by 2 seconds, Steve Hillier, imagining Joe panting behind him, beat Joe's time by 2 seconds. But the closest was Kelly using her reserve at the reservoir to finish one second ahead of a dashing Janet at Datchet. Perhaps when this is over we can have side-by-side reruns of these! 

The maps are roughly to the same scale and (very) roughly positioned relative to each other. Note that some courses used were multi-loops, others out and back and several straight miles.  Piers and Steve Taylor used largely the same course (it is used for a regular mile event in Ealing) but ran on different days.

Participant Location Distance Time Comment
Paul Prescott Offenders Field 1mile 05:43 Avoiding dog walker and cyclist on a narrow stretch
Mike Dennison Bushy Park 1mile 05:47  
Adrian Haines Cherry Lane 1mile 06:05 Fastest of four on grass. Slowest was 06:10
Gary Rushmer Staines Road 1mile 06:28  
Chris Kelly Play Hatch 1mile 06:34 Main road with no pavement incentive to get it over with as quick as poss!
Simon Turton Twyford / Wargrave border 1mile 07:09 Only passed one pedestrian on the 1 mile run.
Bob Bannister Staines Riverside 1mile 07:11 very quiet on this stretch of the river this morning
Jacqui Musselwhite Goldsworth Lake 1mile 07:41 Pushed hard and aiming for under 8 mins while Im still recovering from a cold
Steve Taylor Lammas Park 1mile 07:55 Achy legs from doing Joe Wickes yesterday.
Roderick Hoffman RAF Northolt 1mile 08:34 Exactly one second faster than December Dream Mile despite headwind the whole way. One other runner, 2 cyclists, no dogs.
Neil Frediani Staines Bypass 1mile 09:03 After pushing it for 0.4mile I discovered that in my haste to avoid a pedestrian at the start I had not started my watch. Then started again and got a stitch at halfway (4mins) so walked for a minute or so then had a road to cross and ended with a U turn due to a family on the path.
Steve Hillier Local 1mile 09:48 I think it's pretty accurate, so I've suffered for the lack of chasing Roderick and Joe!
Joe Nolan Wraysbury backroads 1mile 09:50 previously unexplored neighbourhood !
Maarten Stenham Ashford 1mile 10:25 With Jakob and Francesca, using family exercise slot
Kelly Davis Reservoir 1mile 10:35 Excluding time lost due to swallowing fly
Janet Smith Datchet 1mile 10:36 Nice Temperature for running (early Friday morning)
Melanie Miller The Avenue, Sunbury 1mile 10:56 Had to dodge a few runners
Sarah Gordon Cosby 1.05mile 11:12 Forgot to change units and got my km to miles conversion wrong.
Piers Keenleyside Lammas Park 1mile 13:23 Could not have gone worse - bad groin pain at top of left leg after about 50m - had to walk a lot and jog slowly!
Barry Walters The Lookout, Bracknell Forest 1mile 13:54 Did an out and back brisk walk and recorded a quicker than expected time. I used a flat section of the forest where I normally do my reps.

Anticipate another Solo Mile in the week of May 7th.

Roderick Hoffman

Surrey League Season Results

These have been announced, outside of the delayed AGM. We had a winner - Mike Dennison, Div4 V60 1st. Barry Walters was 4th in the same category. Paul Knechtl was very narrowly edged out of 1st place in the V40 category.

Neil Frediani

SOLO activity achievement Weekend 4th/5th April 2020

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Adrian Haines Running 5k Hawth Woods Sat am 00:18:30 Also long Sunday run - 20k in 1:33:27
Alice Banks Running 7.9km Maidenhead Thicket Sat 00:49:03
Andy Rayner Running 2.6m XC Cross Country route Sun am 00:34:05 Faster again than last week and Wednesday (which was 34:45)
Barry Walters Mixed Walk/Cycle/Exercise 10k The Lookout, Bracknell Sat am 01:53:17 Views hidden in the mist.
Benita Scaife Running 5m Bisham Woods / Cookham Dean Common Sat am 00:52:50
Chris Kelly Running 5k Reading <=> Sonning Sat am 00:38:51 New PB!
Clara Halket Running 11.06k On the ranges and woods Sat am 01:24:03 Fog and cold. Included a few 50mish backwards running reps.
Craig Lunnon Running 13.33km Stockley Park (2k circuits) Sat am 01:00:00 "Adidas 1hr City Run", virtualised
Eddie Giles Running 6k Figsbury Hill Sat Noon 00:35:00 A steep slog up to 500ft above sea level to the top (an old Iron Age site). Spectacular views of Old Sarum and Salisbury from the top. 1mph going up, 30mph tumbling down!
Emma Parkes Running 10.64Km Stockley Park (2k circuits) Sat am 01:00:00 "Adidas 1hr City Run", virtualised
Gary Rushmer Running 7.42m To. Around and from Bedfont Lakes Sat am 00:44:11
Ian Cunningham Running 6.01m Princes Covert Sat am 00:49:18 Very disappointed the volunteer ducks marking the start waddles off before I finished!
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 10k Around Knaphill Sun 01:00:00 Can't avoid the hills in Knaphill!
Jain Reid Running 22.02km Richmond Park loop from Chiswick Sun 02:11:02 Remarkably quiet with plenty of room and everyone I saw on best social distancing behaviour.
Janet Smith Running 5.1m Datchet Sat am 00:54:17 Quite misty
Joe Nolan Running 2.78m Datchet and back Sun am 00:29:14 Lesson of day ...make sure you put your proper running socks on a blister !
John Scaife Running 5m Bisham Woods / Cookham Dean Common Sat am 00:52:51 We are getting quicker as the muddy areas in the woods continue to dry out.
Julie Barclay Running 5k Frimley Lodge Sun 00:22:26
Keith Johnson Running 6.5k Around Highfield in St Albans Sat 10am 00:32:06 5k time noted at 24:59
Maria Jovani Running 6.66m To, around and from Hanworth Park Sat am 00:50:21 Including freedom parkrun Hanworth Park 21:32
Michael Ball Running 1.68 (km?) local Sun am 00:09:28 Followed up with 5x100m hill sprints
Mike Dennison Running 12.68km To, round and from Hanworth parkrun Sat am 01:00:40 Hanworth parkrun course in 0:20:56
Paul Brandon Cycling 11m My Garage Sun pm 00:41:00 Including 8*1 minute hard with suitable recovery.
Paul Watt  Running 5k Frimley Lodge Sun 00:22:04 Like many places the carpark is closed.
Petra Otto Running 4.75m Fenlands Sat 01:19:00 Monor Field, Whittlesea parkrun plus. Also 20mile cycle on Sunday.
Richard Ruffell Biathlon 56m & 13.1m Home / local 3k loop Sun 02:21:00 & 01:39:39 Replacement for Greek Half Ironman (no swim possible)
Roderick Hoffman Running 5k Rectory Park non-parkrun (big overlap with Northala Fields parkrun course) Sat am 00:28:38 Faster than last week (but still slower than a recent Northala Fields parkrun). Plus 3k warm-up/warm-down/positioning
Sarah Gordon Walking 2m local Sun am untimed Including frequent stretching exercises (aka litter picking).
Scott Davison Running 4m Local Sat 9am 00:40:00 Sat 10am, parkrun done, coffee time
Simon Turton Running 7m Ruscombe Sat Noon 01:01:12 Nice weather too.
Steve Hillier Running 4.15m Roxbourne, Cavendish and Bessingby parks Sat eve 00:43:29 I suffered one slight delay, trying to get through the street party in Eastcote.  A group of neighbours were all out drinking wine, distancing from each other, but making it difficult to find a broom's length to pick my way through.
Steve Newell Rowing 5000meters Home Sat am 00:23:08 Better than last week.
Steve Taylor Running 13.12m Ealing parks Sat am 02:15:14 More running around parks, which were starting to get busy by late morning.

Same again next weekend? Submit your best performance of the weekend by filling in the following form and sending it to me OR replying to the message on Facebook (or any other messaging format to me).

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

Roderick Hoffman {submit by 5pm on Monday}

Gunnersbury Park Development

Steve Newell has been watching developments at the venue of the Gunnersbury parkrun.

The Love Box outdoor summer pop festival attracts attendances of 60,000 over three days in Gunnersbury Park.  In 2018 parkrun was suspended for two weeks to allow for venue construction and the event itself.  Last year the parkrun team came up with a workaround and designed an innovative "off road" route and managed to keep going without a break.

Some tickets for Love Box2020 have already been sold but the organisers have announced the cancellation of this year's event due to Covid19. They hope to be back over the weekend of 11-13 June 2021.

parkruns all round the world are currently suspended until at least end of April.  Weekly bulletins are issued every Tuesday on

Gunnersbury Park is still open for dog walkers etc and the (enlarged) car park is still free at the moment.  Going forward, charging for carparking is seen as a way of generating revenue to keep the park and some of the buildings maintained.  A community sports hub is being developed and some activities supported by Brentford FC have been introduced during the current season.

Steve Newell

Numbers Quiz progress - We Did It!

The group of us working on Facebook managed to get all 30 of Linda's hideously difficult clues. For those not on Facebook I've filled the answers in a document here.

Linda is busy working on another quiz!

Coronavirus Warning Footnote

In the UK exercise outside is still permitted because it will boost physical and mental health. The relevant law in England states, "No person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse...a reasonable excuse includes the take exercise either alone or with other members of their household". The word "need" is not defined, and you could be challenged on your interpretation. In line with government guidance; whose purpose is your health, the health of those around you and reducing demand on NHS and other services; we advise you as follows:

  • Do not conduct a solo run if 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you to be, vulnerable, such as being elderly OR with pre-existing health conditions,
  • Do not travel unnecessarily far to a location for a run - use a local or nearby park or leisure route. Your judgment is needed on this point, for instance it could be that your nearest park is busy with other people, but you live a short drive away from empty open countryside,
  • Do not meet up with others to conduct a solo run,
  • As you run keep 2m away from all others - by default diverting around them (don't leave it up to them to avoid you),
  • Do not push yourself too far, this may weaken your defenses 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. For club solo relays events we will not include distances of more than half marathon length (21km),
  • If government instructions are updated to limit or prevent exercising outside your homes please respect such instructions - we should be fighting the virus, not authority.

If you are unwell yourself, potentially with 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.

Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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