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 9th March 2015


  • Sunday 15th March - BAAC Cross Country Championships - Cranford Park 10:30
  • Wednesday 18th March - Club In-house Event and Social "Mad March Twister" Heston clubhouse from 18:00
  • Wednesday 25th March - Final Five Mile Handicap of the winter series. Heston clubhouse from 18:00

New members and non-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. Updated 20th February.

Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

This news digest is being sent to you because you are on the BA Athletics Club email list.  To be removed please email us at Difficulty viewing this email? Read it off the website instead - Latest.shtml

2014 Club Annual Awards - the photos

BAAC 2014 Awards Winners

Not just seven photographs of our president John Williams but also most of the winners from last month's awards evening and most of the trophies they won. Individual photographs can be seen and downloaded from Facebook:

Roderick Hoffman


Hi All,

just a quick reminder we have the BA cross country championships in Cranford park this Sunday 15th March, 10.30 start.

If anybody is interested in running or being a marshal at this event, can they please be in Cranford park by 10am so I can give numbers out to runners and details to marshals.

We also have a team turning up from Milocarian, so it would nice to get a team to compete against them.

After it's back to the club for the presentation, with tea, coffee & biscuits.

Cheers, Gary Rushmer

ASCA Cross Country, Iceland

BAAC sent a small team to this year’s ASCA cross country event in Iceland.  Due to severe weather conditions during the previous week, the course had to be changed from the usual hill climb loop to an undulating out and back course, alongside Reykjavik airport and a sea inlet.  The surface was covered in frozen snow, clear ice and a sprinkling of volcanic lava.

The ladies completed the 4.3 km course in rapid time.  Daniella Mayerova joined with two SAS ladies to take 3rd place in the ASCA competition.  BA guests Lindsey Carr and Kerry Phillips ran well against the strong Icelandair team, taking first and second in the non-airline race, with Lindsey finishing 4th overall.

The men ran two laps of the same course, with Steve Hillier sliding in close behind Paul Beck of LH at the back of the field.  The team were cheered on by Linda Hillier.

We were thoroughly spoilt by Icelandair throughout the weekend, and took the chance to see the Northern Lights after the presentation dinner.  Next year’s event will be in Hamburg – see you there!

Steve Hillier

Finchley 20 Results 8th March 2015

Pos Name No Time Club

The "regulars" were out today at the "longest running 20 mile race in the UK" enjoying some early spring mildness, dry conditions, and four undulating laps of Ruislip manor. Ben Chaytow completed three laps, having Half-Marathoned last week, I managed four steady laps, Lissa, Steve and Joe stayed compact, and Jas brought us home.

Chris Kelly

Harry Wild was doing a great job marshalling.  Steve's strategy was to run 'how it felt comfortable'.  I was out to break 3h but after Lissa went ahead just after 5miles I foolishly tried to keep up with her and burnt out (that'll teach me to still try chasing young ladies !).  Jas had a 'symmetrical finishing time !  Good course and organisation and the weather was just right.

Joe Nolan

Club parkrun results for Saturday 7th March 2015

7Feb2015 Family & Friends Time parkrun Comment Grade
Jeremy Short 19:14 Crane Park 7th 79%
Bill Byrne 21:09 Richmond Park run #80 72%
Ian Cunningham 21:10 Bushy 109th 71%
Chris Kelly 21:18 Reading and volunteer credit too 69%
Natalie Ruffell 21:21 Fulham Palace run #33 69%
Kerstin Luksch 21:43 Gunnersbury pb 69%
Richard Ruffell 21:46 Cassiobury club course record 69%
Scott Davison 22:14 Bedfont Lakes run #111 63%
Oliver Mathai 23:52 Gunnersbury course pb 68%
Roderick Hoffman 24:13 Cassiobury park #105 63%
Tony Hird 24:46 Gunpowder run #91 60%
Alice Banks 24:59 Woodley course pb, run #20 74%
Ben Chaytow 25:01 Crane Park run #96 54%
Ian White 26:14 Bedfont Lakes first parkrun of 2015 56%
Tony Barnwell 29:36 Northala Fields course pb, run #72 61%
Alan Anderson 29:55 Gunnersbury and volunteer credit too 69%
Joe Nolan 33:00 Black Park 33' pacer mentor 48%
Linda Winning 34:47 Llyn Llech Owain run #61 62%
Bob Winning 36:51 Llyn Llech Owain run #60 55%
Neil Frediani 43:22 Bushy 1002nd, pw at Bushy 36%
Sreeram Sethuraman volunteer Upton Court

In the week when the global number of registered parkrunners passed the 1,500,000 mark and the UK Saturday/Sunday numbers exceed 60,000 our members (and former members) were out and about at at least a dozen different parkruns.

There were some cracking-ly close finishers even though our members may have been miles apart - Bill and Ian, Chris and Natalie, Kerstin and Richard, Alice and Ben, Neil and ... well ... see below for Neil.

Roderick Hoffman thought he could set a club best at his 105th parkrun venue Cassiobury Park in Watford by setting his best time for a while (24:13) but he was foiled by Richard Ruffell returning for the second week to post a more representative time for himself of 21:46 - a ten minute improvement on last week!  Cassiobury is the same driving time from Berkhamstead as St Albans so Richard is likely to be a semi-regular there. Tony Barnwell returned to Northala Fields for a second consecutive week and improved his pb there to 29:36 and his best time at a parkrun so far in 2015.

Alice Banks on her 20th parkrun achieved a course pb (24:59) at Woodley.

Natalie Ruffell was our fastest woman this week with 21:21 at the flat and fast Fulham Palace circuit in Bishops Park.  The still-improving Kerstin Luksch shaved another few seconds off to set a new pb of 21:43 at Gunnersbury.

Joe Nolan ran a satisfactorily spot-on 33 minute pacer's time at Black Park - more details below.

There are only a few weeks left to run the established classic course at Bushy Park.  Negotiations with the park authorities have been concluded and a new flat single lap course will be introduced in April.  It will finish very close to the tree by the finish for the last few (ten?) years. 

Next Saturday is the nearest this year to St Patrick's Day so no doubt there will be a mass of green T-shirts being worn.  There is a cracking Rugby match at the Millennium Stadium in prospect on Saturday afternoon (BBC1). Rest up ahead of the club cross-country in Cranford Park on Sunday morning!

Updated club parkrun stats: 

Steve Newell (mainly)

Neil's performance - Neil reports that he did his first ever twenty mile training run on Saturday finishing in 3:13:40 and managed to incorporate Bushy parkrun into the run.  He got to the start just as the leader was finishing but started to overtake slower runners at about half distance - overtaking eleven by the time he finished. His parkrun time though is slower than that of Dave Dixon at Finsbury Park in September 2010 (36:45) when Dave was late for the start. In fact the club has a slower time still recorded at Bushy, by Robert Flemming in May 2011 (45:44) though that time is over 14 minutes faster than a time logged against Richard Ruffell at St Albans on an occasion when the entire field was given a finish time of 59:59. Most important though - each of those runs count as one parkrun.

Announcement of Maidenhead Club Featured parkrun for March 28th and a note on tourists at parkrun inaugurals

The growth in parkrun tourism means that there is a dilemma over attendance at inaugural parkrun events.

 Consider the event team setting up a new parkrun.  They have argued with the local authorities and other groups that the parkrun will be a valuable addition enabling locals to get fitter whilst fitting in with existing local park users.  Then come the inaugural two hundred tourists arrive filling up the car park and local streets with their cars, trampling the flower beds, blocking the way of the old ladies walking their dogs, leaving shoe bags and running jackets all over the children's playground, trampling mud and taking up all of the seats in the park café and generally acting as if they are a silent "rave".  The volunteers carefully coerced into helping out at the inaugural are thrown in at the deep end with hundreds of runners to direct and record. 

The following week, if the event hasn't been cancelled, just twenty locals turn up to run and the event director wanders what they've done wrong.  And the café owner, having put on extra staff and extra stock for the second week, loses more than they'd earned the previous week.

 Now that is painting a worst case picture but inaugurals were heading that way last year. Osterley had 261 runners at the inaugural and just 62 the second week and only 26 in week six. The course at Aylesbury struggled with 286 runners in the first week and then had only 96 turned up the following week.

The message went out last year asking Tourists not to go to inaugurals. It isn't a rule, parkrun is fully inclusive and anyone is welcome at any event they turn up at, but tourists have been encouraged to visit new parkruns AFTER the inaugural. You'll also note that the parkrun top brass have stopped visiting inaugurals also - I wasn't surprised therefore, visiting Cassiobury on run number two, to see Danny Norman there also.  The message is generally getting through - Cassiobury had 157 in week one and 133 in week two.

Maidenhead has its inaugural run on 21st March and I'd encourage any and all of us who might call Maidenhead "home" to go to the inaugural and talk to the other local runners and organisers - the organisers in particular will be keen to talk to locals to increase their volunteer pool.  But I won't be there because I am not a local. But it will be good to visit Maidenhead and run at the new parkrun so I'm organising a "Club Featured parkrun" for the second run at Maidenhead on 28th March.  Local or not - please put that Saturday in your running diary. 

Roderick Hoffman

Black Park parkrun pacers

Black Park is getting quicker and quicker !

Saturday 7 March, excellent conditions – parkrun pacer squad 20-33mins hit rate increasing – 481runners minus 21pacers=460 minus 39 fist timers= 421 existing runners and 112 new PBs, not to mention so many saying that the pacers helped them to near misses/quickest time in a while.  I paced a steady 33 in gentle preparation for the next day's Finchley 20.

If this rate of PBs and improvement continues at Black Park then I reckon that within a few years we'll have over half the runners there quicker than Mo F !  Next pacer day is Saturday 4 April (first Saturdays of month) there…we will have a 19min pacer that day as well !

Black Park parkrun pacers

Joe Nolan (photo: George Mardall)

Surrey 1/2 Marathon

The weather was near perfect, no sun but dry.  But Julie Barclay said very/very windy. This was the 2nd running of the event   Last year it started in Guildford (Stoke Park). This year Woking Park, alternating yearly.  Today 4,000 had entered. Very well organised and all on closed roads, 11 miles of the route along lovely country lanes with 1/2 dozen up-hills sections.   Julie's best 1/2 marathon time was at last year's event with 1:38:56 but with I think with more hills this year Julie knocked nearly 3 minutes of her best and ran 1:36:00 spot on.  Although very pleased with her time  she suffered with cramp at 10 mile so wisely backed of slightly, but finished OK and able to start early shift a 4:00am Monday.

A recommended event although as a pensioner I think £40 expensive.

Tom Rowley

Pos Race No Name Time Net Time Category Cat Pos Gender Gen Pos Team Pace 10k Split G/Pos TOD
460 1132 Julie Barclay 01:36:24.7 01:36:00.5 V45 8 Female 45 Woking 8.2 m/hr 00:44:38.7 44 10:36:27.1

Piers' 96th Marathon plus!

I finished the Imber Ultra (a 33 mile loop around one of the army firing ranges on the west side of Salisbury Plain) this afternoon - Sunday 8th March. It was a struggle as my torn calf muscle is not yet 100% and then half way round the intermittent groin strain I've had on and off for the last few years chose to make an appearance! 

An interesting route had us running round the embankment and ditch fortifications of at least 2 Iron Age hill forts, running along military tank roads and then passing close to a deserted 'German' village that I assume was originally built during World War 2 for army training exercises. 

My finish time was 6:39:07.

Piers Keenleyside

News for the next BAAC News Digest?

Please send items for inclusion in the next Digest.  Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to us at

Club website:



Full Index