The logo of the baRUNNER website. HOME NEWS DIARY

baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club

The logo of the baRUNNER website.

BA Athletics Club News Digest 8th February 2016


  • Wednesday 10th February - "Heartthob Hash"* - Heston venue from 18:00
  • Saturday 13th February - Ladies and Men's Cross Country Matches - Richmond Park 11:30 and Lloyd Park 14:00.
  • Wednesday 24th February - 5 Mile Handicap* Heston Venue from 18:00 and Club Awards evening (with food) from 20:00

New members and potential 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.

*Club Event Map:

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

Difficulty viewing this email?  Read it off the website instead - Latest.shtml. Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

Ladies Cross Country Richmond Park this Saturday 13th February for 11:30

Dear Ladies,

Here is the information for the last match of the season: Fixture 4 Information.docx

Please note that for this match, the start time is 11.30 am (not 12.00noon).  The host club informed that this is a special request by the park authorities.  As usual, hope to see many of you there. I get back from Cape Town that morning so unlikely to run but will be there so can do baby sitting duties if required :) .

Any questions or transport requirement please let me know.

Clara Halket

And then the men are at Lloyd Park for 14:00.

Reminder Run of the Month for March - Berkhamsted Half Marathon (10:00) and 5 Mile Fun Run (10:30) - Sunday 6th March

Sunday 6th March sees the annual running of the Berkhamsted Half and Berkhamsted 5 Mile "Fun" Runs. I've put the "Fun" in quotes since the course takes you up the hill and back down again and the Half Marathon has an extra hill thrown in half way. 

Traditionally Richard and Bridget Ruffell have made club runners and supporters welcome at their house which is a short walk from the start and finish area.  This has included showers and Sunday lunch for a fee to be donated to charity.  They need to decide if there are enough runners entered for the event this year to make this worthwhile so please inform Richard if you have or intend to enter either of the two races.

It is always great to have a good turn out of BA runners at this well organised event.

More information and entry:

Tell Richard - email:

Dream Mile Results - 4th February

Previous Best Time Last recorded time 8-Jan-15 Difference 4-Feb-16 Difference Best Time
Sharon Kassemzadeh 0:06:47 0:06:51 0:08:12 +81 seconds 0:07:26 -46 seconds 0:06:47
Paul Knechtl 0:04:56 0:05:29 0:06:19 +50 seconds 0:05:35 -44 seconds 0:04:56
Chris Kelly 0:05:42 0:06:12 0:06:54 +42 seconds 0:06:18 -36 seconds 0:05:42
Colin Russell 0:07:07 0:07:07 0:07:05 -02 seconds 0:06:35 -30 seconds 0:06:35
Toby Houghton 0:06:16 0:06:16 0:06:45 +29 seconds 0:06:34 -11 seconds 0:06:16
Neil Frediani 0:06:34 0:06:55 0:07:45 +50 seconds 0:07:53 +08 seconds 0:06:34

Hi All,

Thursday saw another blustery day, but not in the same league as January. So this meant faster times all round compared to last month. Colin Russell the only person to get a PB this week, knocked off another 30 seconds off, to record a time of 6:35! A couple more weeks and we should see him running sub 6 minutes.  His excellent time was partly down to Toby Houghton, who just finished in front him of the day, but pulled him along. Could be another good battle in a few weeks’ time…

Next event will be 3rd March 2016.

Paul Knechtl

BA Track&Field Championships booked for Sunday 15th May

Hi there,

The BA championships & fun day is now booked for Sunday 15th May at Eton, 12.00noon to 17.00.  The 1000m & Triple jump, previously scheduled for Monday 16th May at Uxbridge, will be combined into the Sunday event so on the Monday we'll revert back to the regular "light" training session at Uxbridge.


Eddie Giles

The exact format of the Championship event has yet to be announced but for now if you have any interest in running from 100m up to 3,000m, throwing or jumping or if you have kids who might fancy some family orientated events - please write the date 15th May on the wall. 

Club parkrun results for Saturday 6th February 2016

6th Feb parkrun family & friends time parkrun commentry grade
Chris Kelly 20:43 Reading run #276 71%
Kerstin Luksch 21:18 Gunnersbury F-4 70%
Jonathan Cox 22:11 Crane Park run #262 69%
Scott Davison 22:48 Bedfont Lakes run #150 62%
Ian Cunningham 23:51 Guildford run #230, 7th at Guildford 63%
Piers Keenleyside 23:51 Gunnersbury run #124 66%
John Coffey 25:46 Bushy Park run #202, 184th at Bushy 71%
Eddie Giles 26:41 Upton Court run #66, 19th at Upton Court 64%
Joe Nolan 27:01 Black Park 27' pacer 59%
John Lennon 27:22 Bedfont Lakes run #194 56%
Roderick Hoffman 27:35 Bois de Boulogne park #142, BApark #226 56%
Neil Frediani 27:50 Bedfont Lakes 57%
Linda Dodsworth 28:29 Sunderland run #51, 20th at Sunderland 55%
Alan Friar 28:59 Woodley run #188 62%
Benita Scaife 30:41 Maidenhead run #25 62%
Kevin Holland 30:41 Guildford run #38, 4th at Guildford 56%
John Scaife 30:42 Maidenhead run #32 53%
Sreeram Sethuraman 31:20 Upton Court run #79, 70th at Upton Court 42%
Tony Barnwell 32:53 Northala Fields run #98, 6th at Northala Fields 56%
Alan Anderson 34:20 Gunnersbury run #397 61%
Alice Banks 34:58 Maidenhead run #50, 25th at Maidenhead 54%
Caroline Cockram 49:02 Bedfont Lakes tailrunner 33%
David Duggan 16:48 Crane Park run #135, 8th at Crane Park 58%

It is good to be able to report that Alice Banks has now officially completed her 50th run and qualifies for her red T-shirt.  Exactly half (i.e. 25 for those who struggled with 'O' level maths) have been at Maidenhead which has been going for less than a year and where Alice regularly volunteers to help with course set-up.

Another to notch up 50 (last week) was new member Linda Dodsworth who can often be found on a Saturday morning at Harrogate or Sunderland.

Roderick Hoffman travelled to Paris where all those Italian rugby fans might have been fighting for parkrun glory before the main event in the afternoon.  Anyway Roderick (27:35) scored a rare top 10 finish.  Not quite a French pb but he is top equal in the French parkrun most events table. If only Henry V had lived as long as Roderick. [Roderick adds - "If I wasn't protecting an injury and had done a French PB at 26:29 I'd been 4th].

At Tooting Common, now the London parkrun missing from Steve Newell's collection the run attracted a bumper attendance of 372 in week #2.  Part of the course is quite narrow so it may be best to stay away for a week or two yet! 

Others nearing a milestone include Tony Barnwell on 98 runs and Bill Byrne on 99.  Alan Anderson is up to 397 and could reach 400 by the end of the month.  David Tyas (389) is still tracking him closely.  The real race is to 500 which will require another two years of dedication from both of them.

Steve Newell

parkrun Tourism - new events

Of last week's reported new parkruns Paris had a dip in attendance down to just 16 but on the positive side six of those had also run the previous week (so weren't day trippers) plus one of the "Inconnu" runners who had forgotten their barcode. Also five of the others were doing their first ever parkrun. So the 16 probably included eleven locals who could become regulars.  The non-regulars included myself and two other UK tourists. We are familiar with the tag #dfyb (don't forget your barcode) but for tourist parkrunners it is important to remember that if you are travelling to a far flung parkrun, especially one in a foreign country and in its early days, that it is the responsibility of the tourist to find the parkrun not the parkrun to find the tourist. I say that because whilst I did meet the other UK tourists at the finish that was in fact the first time they had found the course! They did go on to run round the course but the time given in the results is more to record their attendance than their running capability.

The picture below shows you what you could see from the parkrun cafe - the top of the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower pictured from the parkrun cafe

Meanwhile at Tooting Common, with the news blackout broken, 372 runners turned up, nearly double the number at the inaugural. Analysis shows that many of those were tourists or visitors disregarding the call to stay away (including Danny Norman though he had been invited by the local team).  But 77 of the runners got their first ever parkrun result and they and most of the 39 without barcodes can be assumed to be locals.  Then there were another 79 who were doing their fifth or less parkrun and 22 of those had also run the previous week. And another 41 were running at Tooting for the second time. So this would suggest that the 372 runners included over 200 who were local to the area and for whom Tooting would become their local parkrun.  One hopes that Wandsworth Council realise that this large number of runners represents the pent-up demand for events of this healthy nature amongst their voting populous. 

There is also a big battle going on currently for Little Stoke parkrun near Bristol, the two combative sides being the Parish Council wanting to charge parkrunners for their free use of the amenity and parkrun with its "events must be free" stance. Saturday's skirmish had to be cancelled due to the battleground, sorry park, being waterlogged. 

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun Passionista

That is an adopted term for parkrunners who are the opposite of tourists - runners who run and volunteer at the same parkrun week after week. You could think of them as loyal to one parkrun although that could imply that tourist parkunners were disloyal which wouldn't be right.

First some big Passionista numbers from our club family stats:

  • 196 of Ian Cunningham's 230 have been at Bushy (85%).
  • 184 of John Coffey's 202 parkruns have been at Bushy (91%).
  • 252 of Jonathon Cox's 262 parkruns have been at Bushy (96%).
  • Alan Anderson was loyal to Bushy running there 207 times and has since switched to Gunnersbury where he has now run 175. He also runs elsewhere occasionally (96%).
  • John Lennon has run 179 out of 194 parkruns at Bedfont Lakes (92%) where Scott Davison has run 134 of his 150 (89%).
  • Former member Tony Hird clocked up over 100 runs at Gunpowder without going anywhere else.  I persuaded him to join me at Barclay (in Hoddesdon where he lives) but since then he has returned to only running at Gunpowder - so now 117 out of 118 (99.2%).
  • Chris Kelly 219 at Reading out of 276 (79%),
  • Kerstin Luksch 168 out of 172 at Gunnersbury (98%).
  • Joe Nolan has run 238 out of 254 at Black Park (94%).

But then the records outside the club family:

  • John HANSCOMBE has run 476 times at Bushy Park out of his total of 480 parkruns (99.2%).
  • John P Woods has run all 434 of his parkruns at Bushy (100%).
  • Away from Bushy Colin Harris has run 393 of 422 at Wimbledon Common (93%).
  • and Andrew Wyeth has run all of his 386 parkruns at Basingstoke (100%).

We know that Darren Wood has run more parkruns than anyone else with 546.  He originally stuck to Bushy parkrun where he has now done 256 runs but more recently he has been a regular at Frimley Lodge where he is now up to 252 (so he deserves a 250 shirt from each venue!) (93%). But he has also run at 27 other parkruns and his parkrun last Saturday demonstrates his loyalty to parkrun rather than any particular parkrun. He was on a business trip to Atlanta Georgia so come Friday evening he drove the six hours necessary to get to North Carolina so that he could run at Durham parkrun.  And then drove back. He also succeeded in finding his way around the Durham parkrun course since he led the field home.

Roderick Hoffman

Running Shorts

Coaching and Officials Courses

There are another batch of coaching and officials courses being offered by England Athletics with a wide range of topics including things such as Timekeeping and Starters.  Details can be found here: . The club is keen that its members develop these skills and is usually able to make a financial contribution towards the cost of such courses.

Contact Steve Hillier if this appeals to you.

Watford Half - Sunday 7th February

I bumped into Richard Ruffell at the start of the Watford Half. We ran the first couple of miles together and then I dropped back after we reached the first of many hills and undulations! It has been over 10 years since I ran this race and I had forgotten how hilly it was!

BA results:

  • Richard Ruffell - 1:38:18
  • Kerstin Luksch - 1:38:31
  • Piers Keenleyside - 1:40:53
  • Jas Modaher - 2:17:11

Regards Piers

Ed: I wonder if Richard knew he had Kerstin breathing down his neck at the finish?

The First Round the Block race - was it 1982 perhaps?

I don't remember the year, but the first race consisted of 3 teams: Operational Research Bealine House (at Ruislip, old BEA head office), Operational Research Comet House, & Market Research Comet House. I cannot tell you either who won, but the runners included Peter Ash (MR), David Carrington (ORC), Bryan Wilson (ORB or C), Steve Fletcher (ditto), Alan Friar (ditto), & myself for either ORB or C.

At its peak the event had well over 100 runners.

David Barnard

Marrakech Marathon - 31st January

Marrakech Marathon done for 4th year in a row. Not seen the official results yet but I think I just avoided doing my worst time of the 4 visits. My Garmin was showing 3:36:43 and the slowest of 3 previous was 3:37:59. Had a great run for the first 20 miles when the wheels came off and I was doing 9,10 and 11 minute miles or worse! Got to 5K in 22 minutes and 10 in 45 and 13 miles in around 1:40. At 20 miles I was looking at going sub 3:30 but that will have to wait until Manchester and/or London in April.

It was so hot that I was taken ill at the end - dehydrated and then drank too much water and was sick - I was then put in an ambulance with an oxygen mask on! Managed to escape after about 5 minutes!


Next Digest?

 Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to us at

Club website:



Full Index