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BA Athletics Club News Digest 6th May 2013

This News Digest

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Forthcoming Events

Don't forget the following priority club events:

  • Wednesday 8th May - Speedbird Ladies (marshals and lady runners please) - start 19:00
  • ROM Sunday 12th May - Stockley Park 10k 10:30
  • CIE Wednesday 22nd May - "Ruffell Runaround" - Concorde Centre from 18:00

New members and non-members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at all of these events.

NEW DATE - The BA Fun Run, in aid of Cancer UK, will now be held on Thursday July 25th a week later than planned.  This will enable attendance by BA Board Members.  BAAC members are invited to marshal the event and manage the results.

The full events diary is on the club website at: Diary.shtml. Updated this week.

parkrun Results and Statistics

Club featured parkrun Bushy Park 27th April Result

We ran at Bushy Park primarily because it would be Ian Cunningham's 100th run.  Being the week after the London Marathon many other runners had dusted off their parkrun tags and showed up so the ten of us struggled to find each other amongst the total running crowd of exactly 1,000. But we all had an enjoyable run and the best came at the end when Janet produced a collection of fairy cakes promoting her husband's hundred.

parkrunner  Time  Cat  Grade  Gender  G.Pos  Club  Note  Runs (27Apr)
1 Paul LOWE 16:43 SM30-34 77.57% M 1   New PB! 55
62 Barry WALTERS 19:58 VM55-59 78.30% M 60 British Airways AC First Timer! 15
109 Ian CUNNINGHAM 21:06 VM50-54 69.91% M 106 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:20:31 100
Piers KEENLEYSIDE 23:33 VM55-59 65.82% M 236 Ealing Eagles Running Club PB stays at 00:23:24 44
Oliver MATHAI 24:33:00 VM55-59 64.77% M 297 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:22:15 16
407 Neil FREDIANI 25:20:00 VM55-59 61.18% M 353 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:24:50 72
462 Alan FRIAR 25:57:00 VM65-69 66.47% M 397 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:21:51 104
579 Roderick HOFFMAN 27:15:00 VM50-54 54.98% M 468 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:24:59 56
599 Alan ANDERSON 27:33:00 VM75-79 71.39% M 481 British Airways AC PB stays at 00:22:49 265
608 Janet CUNNINGHAM 27:43:00 VW50-54 61.21% F 121 Epsom Allsorts PB stays at 00:24:06 57
721 Steve NEWELL 29:16:00 VM65-69 59.57% M 543 British Airways AC First Timer! 88
Sally WILLIS 57:34:00 VW60-64 35.21% F 334   PB stays at 00:36:58 184

Roderick, Alan F, Alan A, Ian, Barry, Neil and Steve - with Janet taking the photograph and Piers and Oliver lost in the crowd.

The next Club Featured parkrun is due to be at Wormwood Scrubs on 1st June but given any excuse and a volunteer to promote the gathering and we'll throw in another one - contact Steve Newell, Neil Frediani and/or Roderick Hoffman to suggest.

Other parkrun updates

Steve's parkrun stats (currently updated to 27th April)


I noticed from Steve Newell's parkrun stats spreadsheet for this Saturday just gone that he correctly picked out my wife Marion as I ran Gunnersbury with her and finished a short stride behind as I wanted an easier run post marathon. What's notable is that for Marion this was a PB and the first time that she's made the 5K in under 30 minutes, sneaking in at 29:54.


Steve Taylor

Alamo Trophy Presentation

In the BAAC 2012 Awards write up in March we omitted to mention the Alamo trophy.  This is presented each year to the club member whose achievement at the World Airline Road Race is most notable.  The 2012 award was to Gareth Snook who not only had the furthest to travel to get to Qingdao (starting his journey in Cardiff) but was also the only one of the team who trusted Chinese public transport to get himself the 300 miles from Beijing to Qingdao and, having arrived, was the only one of the team to win an award (third place in his age category).  The club committee had debated sending one of us out to Cardiff to present the award on a live video link but the thought of South Wales in midwinter resulted in no one volunteering.  The snows and floods having now receded I managed to persuade Gareth to come all the way to Bedfont Lakes parkrun last Saturday whereupon I was able to present him with the award.  Luckily for Gareth he was able to justify the petrol by taking in a car show at Brooklands before heading home.

Gareth was delighted to win the award and to see his name alongside those of his heros such as Paul Knechtl, Adrian Haines, the Taylor Family and Simon Ashford.  He was also very pleased to be taking one of the BAAC awards across the Severn Bridge and into Wales.  He was also very modest about his achievement "I only had to beat a bunch of geriatrics" he said {"Thanks Gareth" says the editor who came fourth in the same age category as Gareth}.  The truth is that you can only beat the opposition who line up against you but Gareth is looking forward to a tougher race in Capetown in October.  Perhaps next year the Alamo trophy will be coming back across the Severn Bridge and returning to its more normal home at Gatwick.

The inaugural Ridge Off Roader 10k (at Bledlow Ridge,Bucks)

This event is one of the many throughout the year that the BAAC hire out our clock to:

Just to say a big thank you for allowing us to us the Clock at our event yesterday.

The race yesterday went well, fortunately the weather was kind to us !!  I met Neil Frediani at the event, who has very kindly offered to take the clock back for me. I hope you will get some feedback from our event from Neil soon (hopefully positive!!) and would love to have some more of the BAAC runners at our race in the future.

Best wishes

Jameel {BA 777 pilot}

and like clockwork...

Originally I had pencilled this run in my diary due to knowing the route well from living in the area up to 10 years ago. I then had to change my mind due to the rescheduling of boys football matches for which I provide a taxi service but lo and behold on Saturday after the parkrun at Bushy and the bike ride there and back I got the news that Sundays game was cancelled. Feeling tired I printed off the entry form just in case I wanted to enter on the day. On Sunday I awoke feeling good (that is a rarity) and prepared to run.

Bledlow Ridge is a very linear village reached via West Wycombe and then a right turn round the back of the Golden Ball. Once in the village you drive past the school (race HQ), village hall (changing facility) and then at the far end of the village is a big field (car park). Realising that I couldn't keep going to and fro between the car and the start I put a few things into a small bag and headed to the start hoping that I could just leave the bag in the corner somewhere.

After a short queue I registered for 15 (it would have been 11 for affiliated people in advance, very good value) and then used the secure baggage drop in one of the classrooms for free so I wouldn't even need to carry my car key on the run.

The run itself had 3 big hills in it which I planned to walk and with the fact that it was mostly off road I put on my X-country shoes and joined the other 300ish runners in the school playing field for the start. With Red Kites whirling overhead obviously expecting a few tailenders to provide them with lunch, we set off. The first 1k was on roads followed by a steep downhill with one or two pinch points and ground hazards to avoid. Then it was on to a lane to begin the visible uphill and then off left to continue up the unseen uphill ( a lot steeper than I remembered), thankfully this was followed by some downhill and fairly level terrain towards Lodge hill which appeared to be a gentle hill in the distance. We passed the point where a lady told us we were at halfway ( I nearly said move 1 metre further on and you can tell us we are past halfway which sounds a lot better), then, a 100 metres or so further on we passed the 5k mark!! We had been rising for a while so I thought maybe we had taken the worst out of the second hill but no, we turned left past some bushes and then the path went straight up "Arrgh!!".  After another spell of walking I had my best spell of the run, a steep downhill took me past some cautious runners followed by a beautiful section heading gently downhill back towards the village, which of course was high up on the ridge. We turned a corner and the hill started gently but strangely I couldn't even run this bit and all the runners I had passed on the previous section came straight past me.
Then instead of continuing up there was a big dip before starting the final hill for real. Inexplicably, I powered up this for a good bit before walking with the others. Then it was onto the last 1k all flat and mostly on roads, time to get my wind back and then finish strongly. A little surprise was the fact that we had to run all the way around the edge of the school playing field before finishing on a gentle uphill slope.

My time was 1:01:24 , just outside my 1hr. target but considering the hills and walking I was quite pleased with it. Results and other info. can be found at: 

I would recommend this race but be warned of the hills and if it rains heavily then it could be dodgy in places. On this occasion the ground was so firm that I wished I had worn road running shoes.  The organisation and website were excellent , there were bacon sandwiches, cakes ,tea, coffee etc at the end and activities for kids to do including a 1k run. If it is warm and sunny take a picnic lunch for afterwards and enjoy the lovely views or enjoy the local country pubs.

Neil Frediani

Track & Field Grand Prix Results

The results of the 1st Grand Prix of the season, Monday 29th April at Uxbridge track, had a double win for Gary Rushmer (senior), with Gary Rushmer (junior) close behind.

1 Gary Rusher senior 3:21
2 Gary Rushmer junior 3:47
3 Eddie Giles very old 3:49
4 Roderick Hoffman not so old 4:37
5 Steve Hillier getting there 5:00
Triple Jump      
1 Gary Rushmer senior 7.37m
2 Eddie Giles   7.22m
3 Gary Rushmer junior 6.93m
4 Steve Hillier   6.65m

The 2nd Grand Prix is at Uxbridge track, Monday 20th May - 6pm, when the 1500m & Shot Putt are our chosen subjects.

Hope to see you there.

Eddie Giles

Resenheim League Match Kingsmeadow Wednesday 1st May results

Just 3 BA competitors for the 1st Rosenheim league match at Kingsmeadow.

Steve Hillier Shot Putt 7.36m & Discus 26.60m
Gary Rushmer 800m 2:34.8 , 3000m 11:10.2 & Triple Jump 6.81m
Eddie Giles 200m 30:4 & 400m 1:10.0

The next Rosenheim Match is at Walton ,Wednesday 15th May , 6.45pm, hope to see you there.

Eddie Giles


Steve Hiller adds the following observation:

At last night's Rosenheim League fixture, two of the male throwers were Cliff and Sam.

Cliff has recently turned 80, but still sprints to a high standard. He is around 6'3" tall. To give himself a bit of variety, in recent years he has taken up throwing. He was pretty useful last year with the 4kg hammer and shot, but this year has graduated to the 3kg implements. He is also a gentleman.

Sam is aged 12, and has been taking up different throws over the last year. His progress is rapid, so although he's still small, his grasp of the various throwing techniques is excellent. At 12, he is still able to throw the 3kg, a very unusual weight for male competition. Sam is pleasant, polite, and not in the least precocious.

There may have been a league match going on, but this was the real competition. The two of them cheered each other on, compared notes and generally proved to be a credit to the sport. Sam eventually came out on top, with successive PBs up to 41 metres in the hammer, but sport was the victor!

Steve Hillier

Sarsen & Neolithic Marathon - Sunday, 5 May 2013

This is the second year I run this event. It started in Avebury and finished on the fields at Stonehenge (car park side). Last year I was suffering from really bad cramps in the calves I had to stop at the half marathon point and got bus back to the finished, so I was determined to finish it this year even though I was still having issues with the right hip. My plan was to walk it as it's also a walkers' event.

Those of us who parked our cars at Stonehenge were bus to Avebury where we collected our race packs. It was a chilly morning with a fairly brisk wind blowing across the Salisbury Plains. There were staged starts - walkers (0930), regardless of the distance they'd entered, started an hour before the marathon runners (1030). The half marathon runners (1130) then started an hour after the marathon runners at exactly the half way point of the marathon course, which in my opinion was tougher than the 1st half because of the surface which was mostly loose gravels! There were cyclists too and they took a different course as I didn't see any cyclists until a mile to the finish.

I didn't seem to remember there were so many hills on this course! I did jog from the start until I started to get the warning signs of cramps in the legs at around mile 8, and slowed to a brisk walk from then on, interjected with some short spells of jogging when I thought the cramps were disappearing. It started to get really hot in the sun. Luckily the breeze helped to cool things down a little. At the water station at mile 22 I was feeling great and started jogging again, crossing the road and following the Sarsen signs. It was a deserted road with lots of ups and down. At first I was concern that there wasn't anyone in front of me or behind me until I saw a walker in front powering up the hill. Half way up I saw him coming back down towards me. We were about 1.5 miles from the junction of the water station. He said we might have made a wrong turn as he couldn't see anyone down the road when he got to the top of that hill. We checked his map and decided to turn back to the water station. I was cursing inside because it meant I'd done an extra 3 miles!

It appeared we'd followed the cyclists' signs, which were pointing the opposite direction to the walkers/runners. Trying to make up some time I started jogging again despite my hip protesting at the effort, and finally made it to the finish line in 6:47.

Clara Halket

Richmond Park Marathon

I ran the Richmond Park Marathon today and despite the hills (there were 2 quite steep ones on each of the 3 laps) I still managed to do another sub 3:30 time! I am not sure of the official chip-time, as the results have not been published yet, but the race clock was showing 3:29:10 as I finished {ED: and Piers provided a photograph of himself (in normal running gear), the finish line and the clock but there are already enough photographs of Piers in this edition}.

Piers Keenleyside

London Marathon final {?} reflections...

The last 3 to 4 weeks run into Marathon day produced some very mixed results as tapering started earlier than planned and was more tapered than I would have hoped !! This was a combination of work commitments including a week in Madrid and some particularly busy weekends for other reasons.

As for the day itself it got off to a very emotionally charged start for the 30 seconds remembering the events of Boston the previous weekend. You could hear a pin drop and at the end of that 30 seconds there was such a roar of real emotion from the runners it gave me goosebumps, and does even now thinking back on it. Something I will never forget

As for the run itself some highlights:

  • Never trust a weather forecast - it was supposed to be chilly and windy throughout the day. It was glorious sunshine with not a breeze. Great for spectators but not for runners especially this runner
  • They do not tell you if you are starting from the Greenwich Park that you have to walk about a mile to get to the park AND then climb up to the observatory. Next time I'll also train for getting to the start
  • Having trained on very cold days in snow or freezing temperatures it was quite hard to adapt to the heat. My back and neck can testify as they were sunburnt.
  • The crowds were absolutely fantastic and never less than 2-3 deep throughout and in some places much deeper. I had to stop giving "high fives" to the children lining the route as my hands got sore after a couple of hours....
  • I was running nice and steady for the first 13 miles at a 9 min/ mile pace and got there in 2:02 including overtaking the 8 foot high bottle of London Pride and then the temperature started to rise and I began to struggle following which I was overtaken by a large tomato, Batman, several Marvel characters and most noticeably a bride in full wedding dress including veil together with the groom also dressed in a wedding dress and veil !!
  • The showers around the course were very refreshing, the same cannot be said for when the London Fire Brigade turned a hose onto the runners without warning including myself. I did not realise surfing was a freebee during the run
  • It was really good to see the all the BA Marshals from two miles to the end and especially to my Revenue Management colleagues at Waterloo Bridge. Well done to all and thanks for the final words of encouragement
  • The final mile passed in a blur and the Mall was indeed a welcome sight for a final sprint to the finish. Please note a certain amount of poetic licence has been used in the word sprint
  • My time was 4:37 and although this was much slower than I have done before or had hoped to achieve - this was more than compensated for by my enjoying the experience

The really good news is I managed to raise 600 for the British Heart Foundation in the process so all in all it was indeed a fantastic day and my thanks for being accepted through the ballot .


Michael O'Hagan

Firstly a big thank you to BA running club for my Marathon place, this was my 10th London so a nice milestone to reach !!.

Having not run London for 3 years I realised on the week before just how well it was organised and anticipated a steady run having done training run to 21m but I knew I needed 4 times 20+ training runs before marathon day ..oh I only managed 1 due to work and family commitments.

Decided to enjoy the day so took no watch or wristband timing table had a really good 1st 13m with 5km splits only seconds apart but like others was surprised to see so much sun. At 16ish started to feel effects so slowed to 10min pace as in training I'd set the treadmill to this and done up to 1hr runs at this pace knowing what was likely to happen in the last 6m.

After 21miles adapted sort of 400m walk 1200m run/shuffle.....

Crowds were great and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at this stage, no pressure on myself as in previous marathons had always wanted sub 4hrs now know not always possible dependent on training

Slowed to a finish time of 4:23.... 1ST half 1:54...

Thanks to all the marshals on those last 5 crossings, already put in for 2014


Scott Davison

next run Staines 10k 19th May..... might see some of you there.

Marathon Photo Caption Competition Result

RB: "I thought I was the master of vergin' on the ridiculous".  (Alastair Heslop)

Im looking for new uniforms for our flight crew, can you come in and model next Tuesday?   (Eddie Giles)

Sir Richard: 'A Little Red?' Piers: 'No Dick!'   (Piers Keenleyside)

Guy behind Richard "Twenty seconds more then it'll be safe to open your eyes"    (Roderick Hoffman)

Caption Competition

News for the next BAAC News Digest? Please send material to the news@... address.  You can copy Paul Brandon and Roderick Hoffman in BUT the news address is the one that we use when the digest is compiled.

Please let us have your ideas for how club communications can be improved and please send us items for inclusion in the next Digest.  Results, news, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to us at,uk.

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