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BA Athletics Club News Digest 6th July 2020

Events - see below:

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Solo Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Weekend Challenge Weekend Solo Run
29th June Solo Mile (July)
[shared run Harmondsworth 2nd July] (results below)
none Best weekend exercise achievement
6th July - Wed 10th 18:00 5k Virtual Club Race / Shared runs at Northala Fields or elsewhere (see below) # England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Champs # Best weekend exercise achievement
13th July Street Respelling none Best weekend exercise achievement
20th July Track-on-Field 1500/800/400/200/100
[shared run at Feltham tbc]
none Best weekend exercise achievement
27th July Special shared runs (see below)   tbd

All unrestricted races are off until at least the end of July, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. The previous law has been replaced with a new law and the new law now allows groups up to 30 in size. However the guidance we are operating under has not yet been updated to reflect the new law. Therefore for this week we should continue to work with the maximum group size of six and the social distancing gap of an unwieldy 2metres. If England Athletics update their guidance this will be communicated initially through Facebook.

We have returned to some side-by-side training and events in July, "Shared" events, see below.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge - Virtual Race and Shared 5k Runs #

Date – 8th July / Time – 6pm / Course – a 5k course near you or join others at Northala Fields or elsewhere

This is a virtual race and most runners should be prepared to start at 6pm on the 8th July and use the WhatsApp group to communicate your finish BUT exceptions will be allowed - contact Steve Taylor and tell him what time you can do it.

You will need to plan a 5k route near to where you live. The route needs to be as close to 5k as you can make it so use a GPS watch or route mapping website to create your 5k route and be familiar with your route and where the start and finish point is. Or use your GPS watch as you run so that you know when you have covered 5k.

Send Steve Taylor the following details by 9pm Tuesday 7th July:

  • Name
  • Age (on 8th July)
  • Gender
  • Mobile number
  • Day/Time you can do the event if you can't do 6pm on Wednesday

For the 6pm runners Steve will create a WhatsApp group of all the runners specifically for this race and the start of the race will be announced on this group.  You will be given a runner number by Steve to use in the WhatsApp group. Remember your runner number, you will need it to announce when you finish the race, there won’t be any bibs.  On race day the start will be announced with a GO message at exactly 6pm. There will be countdown messages from an hour leading up to the start so that you’re prepared and can check that you’re receiving messages.  Start running as soon as the GO message is received and not before.  Once you have finished your 5k run, message the WhatsApp group with just your runner number, e.g. "22" (no times, no pictures, just your number).

The order that the runner numbers appear in the group will be the provisional finish order of the race so once you have completed your distance and stopped your watch you need to grab your phone and message your number as quickly as possible.

After all runners have finished the race Steve will message that the race is ended and runners can then message him with their number and finish time for him to crosscheck with and include in the results, e.g. "Runner 22 – Time 25:45 - at Bedfont Lakes". Don’t message your time until the race is ended to avoid any congestion on the messaging group. Steve will merge the times with times from any key workers and message back the full results.

Those running at other agreed times should submit their times to Steve using email or other means.

The winner and/or gender age group winners will receive top bragging rights and a place in the BAAC digest. Since this event is the Club In-house Event for July all participants will get a club round-the-block point.

The WhatsApp group will be deleted within two weeks of the end of the race.

Steve Taylor (

Shared Run Options for this event

Roderick is organising a shared run at Northala Fields (meet where the parkrun does by 17:50). This will have a simpler course to the parkrun and avoid the more popular paths in the park. Currently up to five participants can join in BUT each must be pre-booked to enable the filling in of the risk-assessment form. To pre-book contact Roderick. You will also need to advise Steve of your entry into the race.

Anyone else can organise a similar shared run, for instance at Bedfont Lakes. The organiser is recommended to action the Club Risk Assessment form which is available here.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenges - Respelling

Firstly last week I forgot to thank Amanda Coombs for the Pub Cricket run, so thank you (and to other-half Mike).

Next week Street Spelling returns as the midweek challenge. This time it will have a slightly looser format. On Monday I will post a large number of eight letter words. Each word will consist of eight different letters, including letters across the whole alphabet. Each word will be worth a number of points depending on the scarcity of the letters as the start letter of street names. So for example a "B" will be worth one point but a "Q" will be worth ten points. You can choose which word to take on, and when to do your run, up until the end of Friday. The points you achieve will be deducted as minutes from your time. So if you took 24 minutes to complete a word worth 27 points you would score -3. The lowest score (highest negative) wins! (and again there will also be a shortest distance winner). Whilst you can do this on any day and at any time it might be more fun to agree to do it at the same time as anyone living near you - and see if you see them on the way around!

Roderick Hoffman

Solo and Shared Mile Run Results for July

July 2020 Course Measured Time Comment
Steve Newell parkland Mile 1mile 00:13:02 Pretty steady 3 min quarter miles except the third quarter so happy with my first serious go at a mile since early March.  Will be looking to improve!
Melanie Miller 1.62km 00:11:29 Nowhere near as fast as you guys tho but quicker than the last time
Steve Hillier parkland Mile 1mile 00:09:31
Eddie Giles Boscombe Beach 1mile 00:09:07 Against the gale 05:33 1/2 mile and back in 03:34
Harjit Jhooti Southern Perimeter Road 1.61k 00:08:57 Solo mile after the rain stopped
Roderick Hoffman parkland Mile 1mile 00:08:36 Slower than 08:11 on tarmac previous day but course best by 12 seconds.
Barry Walters South Hill Park, Bracknell 1mile 00:08:20 Slightly disappointed with the run. It was not flowing.
Denis Foxley Kings College track, Ruislip 1mile 00:08:19 Slightly faster than last time.
Neil Frediani parkland Mile 1mile 00:07:50 Despite not much running recently. Was he pulled by SteveT or pushed by Roderick?
Michael Ball Brooklands 1mile 00:07:41 My best so far
Amanda Coombs Halliford Road 1.61km 00:07:41 8 second improvement on last month (wind assisted!)
Scott Davison Southern Perimeter Road 1mile 00:07:41 Midweek mile abit windy near Cargo
Stephen Taylor parkland Mile 1mile 00:07:26
Simon Turton Wargrave to Twyford 1mile 00:07:00 Not a good start; heavens opened on my warm up and I was wringing the water out of my singlet before I started. I have to cross the road on my route and the traffic seemed extra heavy today, coupled with large puddles and dodging traffic pulling out of a side road.... therefore very happy to get 7 mins on the dot!
Jeremy Short Crane Park 1mile 00:06:57 In the rain.
Emma Moreton Thames Side 1mile 00:06:55 Not a PB … need to get back to the track!
Matthew Stratful Crane Park 1mile 00:06:50 Socially distanced from Jeremy
Bob Bannister Virtual Arethusa Mile 1mile 00:06:22 Bushy Park
Mike Dennison Virtual Arethusa Mile 1mile 00:05:40 Bushy Park. I didn't expect to be as fast as this…

19 participants in this month's Mile event. Five of us ran together on Harmondsworth Moor and two at Crane Park. Had everyone run together there would have been some tight finishes - with Michael, Amanda and Scott all recording the same time 07:41! Looking at our performances over the four months we have been doing these solo (and now shared) miles there have been clear improvements (I hope it isn't that the courses have been getting shorter, or the tail winds stronger!) Both Stephen Taylor and Bob Bannister have improved every month of four, and Neil, Michael and Mike for the three that they have done. But then you have to admire Harjit and Simon for consistency!  There will be another mile next month, focused on Thursday 6th August, and hopefully more of us will be running together.

April to July Solo Mile results

Roderick Hoffman

July Run-of-the-Month - reminder England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championships (11-13 July) #

This is FREE to enter for anyone who has affiliated to England Athletics either via our club or another (minimum age 16). If your affiliation is via another club you should officially run with that "first claim" club so PLEASE tell me that you have entered so that I can look up your result after the run. Please contact the membership secretary (Alan) to check or change your EA affiliation for this year (it costs £15).

The instructions for the event say "open exclusively to runners registered with England Athletics" but it looks like it is possible to enter and select the BA Club (use the code "BAW") even if you are not affiliated. However, if you regularly do well in age classification results, please initiate joining England Athletics before the run!  If you don't want to fill in the online entry form then I should be able to do the entry for you - I will need your first name, last name, nationality (if not UK), gender and date of birth.

Virtual 5k Road Running Championships - entries open!

Entries to the England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championships (11-13 July) are now open! With the original event cancelled due to Covid-19, we’ve launched a free-to-enter virtual running version of the race for 2020 (following government guidelines). The Virtual 5k Championships provides a platform for performance-focused runners to challenge for the national title and, with no minimum entry standard, also gives runners a chance to gain their first experience in national competition! The Championships offer plenty of chances for glory – with medals awarded to runners finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in both women’s and men’s categories plus further possibilities to grab a podium spot in a Club competition and winning medals in the Age Category competitions.

Enter online (Entries close Friday 10th July)

Extract from the event details page:

  • Race 5K – run to take place between 00:01 on Saturday 11th July and 11:59 (am) on Monday 13th July – following the race rules and government guidance
  • Upload your GPS proof of activity via OpenTrack manually or by using the Strava integration button
  • Strict closing time for results upload is 23:59 on Monday 13th July
  • 'Point to point' and 'out and back' courses permissable, no more than 3 complete laps, track runs are not allowed
  • Times must be based on running “time elapsed”
  • No more than 10m overall elevation loss

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO activity achievement weekend 3rd to 6th July 2020

This week only 21 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements - perhaps others were queuing to get into their local pubs. But between us we did run and walk 250km, not quite our record but not far off (on 9th May, 33 of us covered 264km).

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Steve Newell Indoor Rowing 5000m 00:20:18 Age grade 88%
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Usual course Sun am 00:32:04 Temperature fine, but windy!
Stephen Taylor Running 16.1miles Reverse Ealing half marathon plus Sat 02:53:24 Long run again as the VMLM ever hopeful runner continues his training.
Simon Turton Running 6.1miles Chilterns NW of Henley Fri Evening 00:56:44 Yes it was raining and a bit windy but it was good to get out.
Scott Davison Running 5k Bedfont Lake parkrun Sat 00:26:39 Reverse direction
Roderick Hoffman Walking 60 post boxes Northolt, Harrow, Southall Sat 08:30:00 Covered 24.5 miles (see below)
Mike Dennison Running 16.14km Bushy and Kingston Sun am 01:18:33 Fine when I left the house, then drizzle for most of the first 10k, but ended with nice sunshine!
Michael Ball Running Woking Sun Weekend activity 6x 80 mtre hill sprint and circuits
Maarten Stenham Running 5k Ashford Sat am 00:21:27 Fastest 5km this year - so I could get to the newly opened pubs quicker?
Keith Johnson Running 12.52 Around Markyate, near St Albans Sat 01:01:00 Also 5.15km on the Sunday in 25:50
John Scaife Running 4.5miles Pinkneys Green to Marlow Sun 00:51:52
Joe Nolan Mixed Walk/Run 10k? Wraysbury / Datchet Sat am 01:12:28 "Yately Race 2" - Slowest ever … at least I got out there !
Jain Reid Running 23.62km Thames Hammersmith to Kingston Sun 02:48:14 Including low tide walk around Chiswick Eyot
Emma Moreton Running 5k Sat 00:22:57 New "(not) parkrun" PB
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Ruislip Woods and the Lido Sun am 01:33:00 A relaxing Sunday morning run
Clara Halket Running 42.42km UltraScotland Virtual Marathon Sat 00:06:13 See below
Benita Scaife Running 4.5miles Pinkneys Green to Marlow Mon 00:51:51
Ben Cooper Running 3.79km BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff) Fri lunch 00:17:20 I've been running this route for 3 years yet PB'd every day this week so took my phone to validate today's run.
Barry Walters Running 8k Swinley Forect and back Sun am 00:44:36 Steady run in pleasant conditions.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 00:49:22 Wind again! Earlier in the week faster with 48:00.
Amanda Coombs Running 8.12 Sat evening 00:44:24

Thames Chiswick Eyot at low tideNo one reported an achievement this week of cycling. Last week it had looked like we'd have to have an interesting discussion about cycling at our next running club committee meeting.

Jain included an interested walk on the river bed at Chiswick Eyot including the photo included here.

Ben Cooper is a new member and added the BA Maintenance Base at Cardiff to the locations run at.

I've also been noticing that Andy Rayner usually sends me two times each week for his XC course and the midweek time is almost always better than the weekend time. Since this is the weekend achievement table I feel obliged to post the slower time of the two!

Next weekend we have the England Athletics Virtual 5k as the Run of the Month (see above). But for those not doing that please submit your best exercise achievement of next 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}

parkrun Update

This weekend took me back to my youth before the national lottery or even premium bonds when in the summer months with no football was being played in UK people used to spend their hard earned wages gambling on the outcome of Australian football matches.  A typical perm of any 8 from 10 matches (45 pennies) cost about the same as three pints of beer and the post office took commission on the postal orders for both stakes and winnings.  In the winter months a winning line containing the only eight drawn games on a Saturday afternoon would win a jackpot prize of £75,000.  Workplace syndicates were common with stake money being collected on a Thursday afternoon.

parkrun resumed in New Zealand this Saturday with 29 of 30 parkruns operating.  Attendances were generally lower than on 14th March but there were exceptions and it is worth bearing in mind that it is now mid-winter in New Zealand.  Whanganui Riverside parkrun was able to finally hold the inaugural run originally pencilled in for 4th April. parkruns in New Zealand typically operate with about a dozen volunteers and numbers held up well.

New Zealand parkruns event attendance 14th March 2020
4th July 2020 number runners volunteers runners volunteers
Anderson parkrun #200 118 10 123 9
Balclutha parkrun #103 33 8 42 8
Barry Curtis parkrun #357 127 11 171 15
Blenheim parkrun #189 45 9 57 6
Cambridge NZ parkrun #163 60 17 70 7
Cornwall parkrun #405 297 10 357 13
Dunedin parkrun #328 165 10 165 9
East End parkrun, New Plymouth #81 100 8 119 9
Flaxmere parkrun #43 56 10 85 11
Foster parkrun #77 63 8 87 8
Gisborne parkrun #99 79 6 80 8
Greytown Woodside Trail parkrun #74 39 8 60 6
Hagley parkrun #290 296 16 384 21
Hamilton Lake parkrun #341 199 10 243 13
Hobsonville Point parkrun CANX "Remediation taking place" (including asbestos removal, not to mention making
safe the odd shell on this former army base).
Invercargill parkrun #113 159 21 170 14
Kapiti Coast parkrun #269 110 14 117 13
Lower Hutt parkrun #420 227 12 301 14
Millwater parkrun #288 256 12 234 16
Palmerston North parkrun #128 169 12 202 10
Pegasus parkrun #204 94 10 122 10
Porirua parkrun #356 165 10 192 12
Puarenga parkrun #192 100 13 133 10
Queenstown parkrun #91 82 10 72 11
Taupo parkrun #164 35 11 59 8
Tauranga parkrun #101 148 11 198 10
Wanaka parkrun #106 56 12 96 4
Western Springs parkrun #222 187 12 203 14
Whanganui Riverbank parkrun #1 76 13 * Delayed inaugural !
Whangarei parkrun #219 142 14 113 13

Steve Newell

Ed: Currently you are unlikely to be allowed into New Zealand and if you are you will be subject to a strict two-week quarantine. But on your return to the UK you won't be expected to quarantine again (provided you came straight back). 

Celebratory Shared Runs - Wednesday July 29th

I will be organising a shared run to celebrate my 60th birthday later this month. This will be held on Wednesday July 29th, the exact format is yet to be decided although the venue is likely to be on Harmondsworth Moor, with the option of a Harmondsworth Pub visit afterwards. Neil Frediani leaves BA that week and will also be participating in a shared run. This could either be the same run or, if numbers are too high for the current legislation, could be a totally separate arrangement, but set-up so that we can wave at each other!

Please let one or each of us know that you could be up for this.

Roderick Hoffman / Neil Fredianii

Ultra-Scotland Surrey, Saturday 4th July

Clara at Ultra ScotlandI had entered the Marathon under the Ultra Scotland banner. As the name implies, the event is normally held in Scotland, however with lockdown cancelling most races all over the country, this year it had gone virtual.

Over a week prior to the GB Ultras' virtual Ultra Scotland races, two of the regular ultra-community runners sadly passed away, a couple of days from each other. Causes unknown although not thought to be related to the current pandemic. GB Ultras dedicated Ultra Scotland in memory of Jon and Paul, and all proceeds donated to their young families.

I opted for the marathon distance as part of the training for the Windsor Ultra in August (although this is now postponed as of yesterday). The gun went off at 0800 hours for all distances. Started from home in rather blustery winds and cloudy skies, I made my way along the hilly Chobham Ridges following the army training trails and onto the neighbourhood streets in Frimley and Camberley, through the woods at Frith Hill and Brentwood Heath. My pace was slow, trying to keep within my aerobic training zone. I have been experimenting with the Maffetone training method for couple of weeks now. The idea is that one should not feel too tired at the end of a workout and should feel able to repeat the same workout again immediately. Although I felt quite comfortable at the end of my slow run, I did not have the desire to repeat that!

The distance of 42.42km in 6 hours 13 minutes was completed with only a 250ml bottle of diluted cranberry juice and a small pocket sized bag of pretzels for fuel. No bonking, no blisters, no cramps, no DOMS.

Stay safe, stay fit, keep running!

Clara Halket

Thank You

White Lodge ThanksI am writing to you with a very special thank you and your team for the amazing effort you've put in to become an exceptional Stay at Home Hero for White Lodge.

There are lots of heros out there right now. People helping us all get through this unprecedented emergency. Our public service heros are working tirelessly on the front-line to save lives, scientists and medics are advising us on how this virus can be beaten, politicians and law makers are trying to govern society to ensure as many of us are as safe as possible. It sure has been a lot to take in!

Here at White Lodge we've been working hard to continue to support people in any way we can, whilst observing the social distancing guidance. It's at times like this when our disabled community young and old need support more than ever but with so many fundraising events being cancelled our critical fundraising has taken a massive hit.

However, the response that you and so many other amazing people have made to our appeal has been extraordinary. The E465.27 that you have raised through your incredible BAAC Virtual Relay London Marathon challenge has been vital and in total you have helped raise over £30,OOO to help us continue our lifeline services.

Thanks again, your continued support means the world to us but for now please stay safe and stay positive.

Warmest regards

Mike Hey

Head of Fundraising and Marketing

White Lodge Centre

60 Post Boxes Achievement

60 Post BoxesMy weekend achievement was a long walk. My objective wasn't a specific mileage, I simply wanted to register "60" of something to celebrate my birthday later this month and decided that "post boxes" would provide a suitable memento for this year. The image shows that I was successful, indeed I also visited an extra box incase one of the photos failed. My mileage for the day was 24.5 and the activity duration was 8.5 hours so that means that I achieved just under 2.5 post boxes per mile and just over 7 post boxes per hour. In truth I could have done it more efficiently but had wanted to take in some other locations upon the way.

On my 50th birthday I had walked past 50 locks (I drove to Warwickshire to achieve that in a manageable 21 mile walk). I've now got ten years to decide what to walk past on my 70th birthday. My aim for my 80th is likely to be 80 doors, or perhaps simply 80 steps.

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 if social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England has been replaced (3rd July 2020) and now says that people can meet in groups of up to 30. However England Athletics has not yet updated their guidance hence our advise remains largely as it was (but should shortly change):

  • 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,
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. We should still be avoiding public transport except for essential journeys, and do not share cars with people outside your household. You are not allowed to stay away for the night,
  • In England you may meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home - e.g. other runners and coaches. But do not share athletics equipment and continue to maintain the social distancing with anyone you do meet up with. You are recommended to minimise the total number of different people you meet with over the days and weeks,
  • As you run, 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 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.

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

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