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BA Athletics Club News Digest 8th June 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
1st June Solo Mile none Best weekend exercise achievement
8th June Street Spelling # CIE none Best weekend exercise achievement
15th June Track-on-Field
I Spy # (tbc) Best weekend exercise achievement
22nd June Local run (tbc) none Best weekend exercise achievement
29th June Solo Mile (July) none Best weekend exercise achievement

All side-by-side races are off until at least the end of June, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - these ARE still permitted but see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. There are no updates to this - the maximum group size is still six and the club would have no insurance cover were we to organise a face-to-face event. Hopefully we can start to return to side-by-side training and events in July.

Roderick Hoffman

BAAC Committee Meeting 3rd June

It is perhaps a sad reflection on the current situation that our committee meeting makes the headlines! But the discussions we had in last week's ZOOM meeting (plus written submissions from other committee members) are relevant to positive changes.

Decision on our AGM (due on 22nd July): We agreed not to hold the AGM in July but instead to generate the annual reports for that date and make them available to members. We would then plan on having the AGM in October to be held either at a venue if restrictions have been sufficiently relaxed or as an electronic meeting.

We do want YOU to provide the following for 22nd July:

Firstly, any questions you would like brought up at the AGM,

June Committee Meeting via ZoomSecondly, any nominations for committee members including yourselves. There are three current members who would like to take a step back and we could accommodate anyone who felt they had a little bit of time to further the club. We would particularly welcome ladies on the committee - we do have two currently, though they both gave their apologies for not appearing in the Zoom call hence not being in the photo either.

Please communicate with Steve Hillier (club secretary) on either of these.

We then discussed how we could return to side-by-side training and racing. The current limitation on a maximum group size of six means that any event currently would have to have a booking process to avoid seven or more turning up. But as soon as the group size is increased beyond about ten we should be fine and we considered that time trials and orienteering might be events that would work well with social distancing rules.

We also discussed what we would do with virtual activities following the ending of lockdown. Some of these have been very successful at pulling the club together including with members who we would never expect to see at regular club evenings. The thought going forward is that we might decide to meet at the Bedfont Club every other week throughout the year and use the alternate weeks for virtual midweek challenges. Note though that this would be dependent on organisers stepping forward for some of them.

Roderick Hoffman (obo the whole committee)


We are now well into the new membership year, yet many of last year's members have not yet renewed their membership of the club. We are not putting people under pressure to do so, but we do appreciate any members who are able to rejoin as encouragement for what we are trying to do for members and their friends at this time. And it only costs £9 for the whole year.

Details of membership is 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). We recommend England Athletics enrollment since this helps support England's athletes through these difficult times.

For additional details (including checking to see if you have paid) contact either the membership secretary Alan Friar (, or the treasurer Chris Kelly (

From our parent BA Clubs

I don't think that the Clubhouse at Bedfont will be open again for quite some time and I think the bar may only open for 3 or 4 days per week instead of 7. [Ed: If one of those days isn't Wednesdays we should still be able to use the changing rooms (from when we are allowed to) and we can gather afterwards at the Duke of Wellington]

Administratively we are working as normal and are busy with member enquiries.  Julian and Lanre are furloughed as the gyms are closed until further notice and Kasia from the membership team has also been furloughed so we can take full advantage of the Government support on offer.  Vanessa, Lisa and myself are still working part time.

Sending best wishes to you and your members and I hope that some kind of normality returns for us all sometime soon.

Alison Hartigan General Manager BA Clubs

A reminder that BA Clubs remains open to membership enquiries and still offers various membership benefits. Details can be seen at which this week's features a profile of Vanessa (who keeps promising to run with us one day).

Midweek Challenges

This week we have a "Street Spelling" event as the midweek challenge. In short you will be given a word and your objective will be to visit local streets whose initial letters spell out the word you have been given.

This is being held as a competitive event. 13 people have pre-entered. More are welcome and can select start times from 8am to 8pm on Wednesday or Thursday but please do so ASAP. At that time you will be sent a selection of three eight letter words and you can choose any one of them to run. Reply within an hour with your chosen word and start running because the clock will be ticking from that moment on. Once you get back home text to say you have finished and the clock will stop. If possible, you should be able to provide a GPS trace of your run and photographic evidence of each street sign but allowance will be made for those without smartphones. There will be two winners - the person who completed the task in the shortest time and the person whose route was shortest (which could be won by a walker). Anyone unable or unwilling to leave their house at this time are allowed to compete to be the "shortest route" winner by plotting the route they would have used. Detailed instructions are here.

We need you to pre-enter this event, this is so that we can assign you a starter (of myself, Simon Turton and Jain Reid). Please send me the following details NOW!  The later you enter, the more restrictive I may have to be on start times:

Phone number:                                              (for SMS start and finish texts)
Which day:   (Wednesday, Thursday)
Time to start:   (8am to 8pm, from when you'll be sent the words, so allow planning time and running time)
Activity:   (e.g. expecting to run, walk or staying at home)
Couples:   (if you represent two people say whether you'll be running together or running independently)

Send to me {}

Next week we have another Track-on-Field event. The week after Amanda Coombs has offered to organise a local run, more details nearer the time. I've moved my "I Spy" event to a weekend. In this you will be asked to spot various things as you run and I've raised a poll in Facebook to ask for ideas on what we could be trying to spot ( ).

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge Solo Mile Results and Graphs

Participant Course Time Comment
Alan Friar University of Reading playing fields 00:09:13 8am, only a few other runners around.
Amanda Coombs Halliford Road 00:07:49 Refreshing in light rain this afternoon
Barry Walters South Hill Park, Bracknell 00:08:04 Attempted to break 8 minutes but didn't quite make it!
Bob Bannister Bushy Park 00:06:28 Blustery headwind made the final 400m quite tough!
Christine Munden 00:08:18
Denis Foxley Kings College track, Ruislip 00:08:22 I think the same as previously despite my having run there on that occasion.
Gary Rushmer Duke of Northumberland's River 00:06:07 Bit slower this week, fighting against the wind.
Harjit Jhooti Great South-West Road 00:08:59 Perfect weather a few drops of rain
Janet Smith Dutchman's Field 00:10:15
Jnr Gary Rushmer Duke of Northumberland's River 00:10:34 Gary's grandson.
Kelly Davis Stanwell 00:10:35
Melanie Miller Bray Lake 00:13:13 1 mile (or more) run after swim
Michael Ball Byfleet 00:07:46 Round the local football pitches
Roderick Hoffman Spikes Bridge Tarmac Track 00:08:15 One second slower than last month.
Simon Turton Wargrave 00:06:59 Just dipped under 7 mins.... and then the heavens opened.
Stephen Taylor Lammas Park 00:07:30 Using the Ealing mile course. 2 miles there and 2 miles back makes it a nice midweek session.
Steve Hillier 00:09:40 Including letter posting challenge.
Steve Newell Chiswick 00:20:00 Walk

Solo Mile April to JuneThe results are above and the comparison with previous runs is shown in the graph.

The graph shows that most of us are keeping our fitness and some of us are improving...but, sorry, Melanie isn't. We should arrange to meet at your door to give you some pacing support and encouragement.

Most of us are being remarkably consistent with our last two runs. Christine has slipped by just two seconds, I've slipped by one second, Harjit and Kelly have run exactly the same pace, Simon has improved by one second and Stephen by two.

But had we been running together it might have been a different story - Kelly had Gary Rushmer (jnr) one second in front of her, Christine would have had Denis breathing down her neck but would have had me just in front and Amanda would have had Michael just three seconds in front of her.

We should soon have the option to run together...though that doesn't mean that we will! There will be a mile next month, virtual and/or real, focused on Thursday 2nd July.

Roderick Hoffman

Late Result: Joe Nolan 0:10:26, 15 seconds slower than last month.

SOLO activity achievement weekend 5th to 8th June 2020

Only 27 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements this week which is the first time since the 21st March we've been under 30. I know of a couple of injuries stopping runners but the low number could also be because some of us have been called back to work from the start of June. "Do you remember those good old days, when we were in lockdown?". There is also a new activity recorded this week - Amanda's Open Water Swim.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Adrian Haines Running 3k West Green park Sun 00:10:18 3k world team challenge. [Ed: Several of us ran slower miles this week!]
Amanda Coombs Open water swim 1.23km Shepperton Sun am 00:18:48 Only short, but good to be back in the water. ☀
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sat 00:48:08 On Wednesday: 47:53
Barry Walters Running 5k The Lookout, Bracknell Sat am 00:26:01 Breezy conditions but felt ok during this effort.
Benita Scaife Running 4.75miles Thames Sonning to Caversham Sat am 00:51:01 Crossing the elegant Christchurch footbridge…
Bob Bannister Running 10k Bushy Park Sat am 00:48:32 A 10k PB for me!
Chris Stockwell Walking 11miles Windsor Park Sun am 03:19:00 A stroll
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Celandine Trail Sat am 50mins
Harjit Jhooti Running 5km Home Treadmill Sat 00:30:52 The heavens opened when I was about to leave the house ☔ [Ed: Perhaps the Open Water Swim would have been a better option?]
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 5.61km Bisley Sun 00:33:16 Currently injured so interval session with run 4 mins and walk 3 mins session for 30 to 45 mins.
Jain Reid Running 21.11km To and around Richmond Park Sun 02:10:17 Making the most of the Richmond Park roads before they let the cars back in.
Janet Smith Walking 4.11miles Datchet to Windsor return Sun 01:15:27 I walked today as knees were a bit swollen. [ED: That's what golf does to you ]
Joe Nolan Running 5k Wraysbury/Datchet Sun am 00:33:52 Joe also did a virtual 10k earlier on in the week in 1:10:03.
John Scaife Running 4.75miles Thames Sonning to Caversham Sat am 00:51:02 …then enjoyed the Costa takeaway surrounded by several hundred Canada Geese
Keith Johnson Running 5k Markyate near St Albans Sat am 00:24:59 Part of total 7.7k run in 37:36.
Maarten Stenham Running 10k Ashford - Laleham 10k Sat am 00:47:07 Fastest 10k for 3 months
Maria Jovani Running 12.01miles Lightwater CP & Swinley Forest Sat 02:12:00 12 easy but hilly miles - interrupted by a cadet in full army camouflage crawling out of the undergrowth...with guns and all!
Melanie Miller Walking 10miles Maidenhead Sat 5hrs Fun day out along the river, missing the rain. Then 30mile cycle on Sunday to Thorpe Lake.
Michael Ball Running Local Sun 10 x 200 mtrs and core circuit
Neil Frediani Cycling 29miles To Richmond Park and back Fri 02:20:09 I ended up only getting out on Friday for a 28mile bike ride.
Petra Otto Duathlon 8.7k run Cycle/sprints/parkrun/cycle Thur Includes first speed session in years! Well, I won’t do a better total session this week!!!
Piers Keenleyside Walking 10miles Ealing parks Sun 02:41:29
Roderick Hoffman Running 5k Osterley parkrun course Sat am 00:29:23 National Trust Grounds now open. Good conditions and weather for running, apart from the wind.
Simon Turton Running 7.5miles Around Charvil, Sonning & Wargrave Sat am 01:05:00 Head wind going out, tail wind coming back, nice
Stephen Taylor Running 13.13miles Greenford and beyond Sun 02:13:55 Did have to take a shortcut back via home again to visit the loo. Enough said.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Roxbourne Park and Eastcote. Sat 00:32:26 Slower than the last two weeks, but I probably can't blame the rain.
Steve Newell Indoor Rowing 2000m Sat am 00:07:36 PB, age grade 90%

 Again, submit your best exercise achievement 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}

parkrun Update

A fellow parkrun StatsGeek reported "I've just had a quick look at the stats (as you do) and noticed something a bit strange.

I was expecting the total number of runs by named parkrunners to have crept up since the last time I looked (23 March), as people emailed event teams to have 'Unknowns' replaced, but in fact the number's gone down.

23 March: 4,161,443 unique parkrunners with 53,153,062 runs between them.

6 June: 4,161,421 unique parkrunners with 53,152,518 runs between them.

Net loss: 22 parkrunners and 544 runs."

We concluded that the reduction is people being so ashamed of their parkrun record (or for some other reason) that they have made a data request to parkrun HQ to have their name and data removed from the parkrun database. They will have been replaced in the results with additional "Unknowns" so your place and time will not have been impacted (though your gender place may have improved).

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 updated (1st June 2020) and now says what you can't do, rather than only allowing you do do a limited number of things. The sections that refer to the activities of the club are "Restrictions on movement" and "Restrictions on gatherings". In short you can't stay overnight anywhere other than at home and you can't meet with more than one other person indoors or more than five other persons outdoors. Taking into account the law and official guidance 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,
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but 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 - except for elite athletes who are allowed to overnight in a hotel (if they can find one open),
  • In England you may now 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, 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 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. For club solo events we have not included running distances of more than 15mile length (25km),
  • 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

Not for you, no longer interested? remove me please.

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