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BA Athletics Club News Digest 10th May 2021

For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Events Calendar - online here


For Coronavirus related restrictions and advice see News_Coronavirus_Guidance_April_2021.shtml [no changes].

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

This Week's and Future Solo Events

Please help me by sending in your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to Some events, such as the weekend achievement, will have "Prompts" set up in Facebook. These allow the posting of a single image and some text and make it easy to flip through everyone's entries.

Solo Mile (submit before Monday 17th May):

Run one mile and send me your time or add the details to the Facebook prompt. I'll then produce a fancy graph showing your time this month compared to those of other people and previous runs over the last year. Alternately join in at Bushy Park on Wednesday.

Participant Location Date Start Time Duration/Time Comment

Weekend Achievement (by 5pm on the Monday) or use the Facebook prompt that will be added on Friday:

Participant Event Distance Location Day/Start Time or Duration Details or comment, and other achievements
e.g. Running

In-Person Events - please register in advance. Please provide suggestions and offer to organise.

There is a shared mile this week, in Bushy Park on Wednesday 12th May with a run start time of 12:30, meet near the Diana Fountain car park. There is also a NOW event at lunchtime on 19th May at Burnham Beeches. See the diary for details. I'm also doing the groundwork for an Orienteering event in Black Park, the permanent course is there and I've got access to the maps needed, so on Facebook I'll be asking what day and time will best suit.

Please register your interest for these in-person events even if you are only a possible. Either by email or using the "Signup" option on the diary entry > Roderick Hoffman (register interest) .  Future In-Person events will be added to the diary as organisers put themselves forward.

Speedbird Ladies Race Confirmation - 26th May #

We have been given permission by Hillingdon Council and Run Britain / UK Athletics to hold the Speedbird Ladies 5k race in Cranford Park on the evening of Wednesday 26th May.  The race will be over the two laps of the cross-country course (5k total). The car park closes at 20:00 so the race will start at 18:30 to enable slower runners or walkers to take part. There are no facilities in the park.

We are allowed 50 participants. We want club ladies to run so please ASAP let Steve Taylor know that you have put this evening aside for the event.  Non-members, including members of other clubs and previous Speedbird Ladies participants, will be invited up to the permitted limit of 50 participants. The invitations to non-members will be sent on Tuesday or Wednesday and we may need to have a ballet if over-subscribed. This is likely since the event will be free to enter, although a charity donation of £2 to £5 will be recommended. There will be no medals or other rewards.

Roderick Hoffman

Club-entries to Steve Taylor > . Also let Steve know if you want him to email you or others for non-member entries.

Expect a call for marshals next week - who would be welcome to check the course beforehand.

Monthly Solo Challenge for May - Green Belt Relay! #

Remember that this month's solo challenge is to run distance runs on each of Saturday 15th May and Sunday 16th May. See last week's digest for the full details but at minimum you need to run at least 7.5miles on Saturday and at least 6miles on Sunday (6miles).  I will be setting up a Facebook prompt so that you can share in advance what you are planning - you may be able to do your "solo" runs together.

> Roderick Hoffman

Digest Distribution - not spam

I produced the first weekly digest on Monday 6th August 2012. There have been 456 Mondays since then and I'm not aware of having missed an issue - some have gone out early, more have gone late. That includes the issue of the week of 30th April 2018 when instead of preparing to issue the digest I was having holes drilled through my skull - but I still managed to get the digest out on the Thursday! There have also been a few additional "specials", such as to celebrate London Marathon stories, extra parkruns and the arrival of babies.

The current process for distributing digests is as follows:

The digest is an emailed version of a webpage. I create the page using a free webpage editor. I then convert it into a Word document. The Word document is linked to a text distribution list for the digest. This currently has 263 email addresses on it, including some deliberate duplicates. This is a text list rather than a distribution list so that I cannot accidently send an email "To" or "CC" everyone on the list, thereby exposing all of you to emails from everyone else on the list. I use a "Mailing" capability from the Word document to send the digest as separate emails to each entry in the list (so 263 emails, with the added line "Sent to name at email-address). The emails are sent from my BArunner address . I also, obviously, load the digest page to the website and reference it from the club's Facebook page ( ).

Not SPAM imageA small number of you report not receiving emails or having the emails redirected into SPAM folders. For some reason for some of you this started happening about a month ago. I have investigated, but I can find no reason at my end for this happening or a change having occurred. Specifically "" is not listed as a spam source by any of the major email servers.  I have not identified anything I can do to make such redirection less likely [there are lots of things I could do to make it more likely!]. I could spend club money on a redirection service...but that would not guarantee that digests were not sent to spam (look in your spam folder and see how many emails are there from legitimate sources!).

There are actions that you can take to reduce the likelihood of digests ending in your Spam folder or not arriving at all.  The tool you use for viewing emails should have a method for you to say that an email in your spam or junk folder isn't spam/junk. You should also be able to add "" to a "safe senders" list. If you check your emails on different devices (including phones) you may need to take such action on each device - e.g. your phone could be hiding emails from you before you get to view them on your home PC. If this is ineffective then you should contact your email service provider and ask them why individually addressed emails from are not being delivered to you.

It is also worth checking with me that your name and current email addresses are still in my distribution list - if you move addresses then redirection may work for a while, causing you to later on lose the emails. You can also notify me of a different or duplicate email address for yourself.

I'm always happy to add new names to the distribution list - there is no cost and the additional effort for each is negligible.

> Roderick Hoffman

PS: I check my spam folders for non-spam emails at least once everyday and there are some sources where I've tried but failed to get my email tool to redirect sound emails to my "To" folder.

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 7th to 10th May 2021

27 recorded below, including a new activity - "falling to the ground", and a candidate for poshest activity location.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Sprints 1.61km Sat pm 00:04:25 2 speed sessions a week now. Getting ready for 800m races. [4:25 is a very good time for the mile! But obviously 50second risks between sprints have been excluded]
Amanda Coombs Skydiving Indoor Indoor skydiving! (A present from Christmas 2019 that I finally managed to use). Good fun, but I think Iíll stick to running.
Andy Rayner Cycling 10miles Sat 00:51:20 In the wind and rain. Also 3mile jog on Wed in 43:50.
Barry Walters Running 14km Swinley Forest Fri am 01:17:34 Passed by 3 ladies early on who I chased for 3k, going through my checkpoint 2 minutes quicker than normal. Then slowed. Still enjoyed the run in the sunshine.
Ben Cooper Hill Sprints 5.2km Cardiff Sat pm 00:32:31 Horrible hill repeats on Saturday at CWL. miserable weather too!
Benita Scaife Walking 6.53km Wycombe Rye to Little Marlow Fri lunch 01:05:07 Route-proving walk. Maps suggested that a route could be made by linking public footpaths and this proved to be the case. From the Rye we went up through Dean Garden Wood to Abbey BarnÖ
Clara Halket Hill Sprints 12.81km Blackdown Hills Sun am 01:31:12 Today's workout, hill repeats at Blackdown Hills. Not done hills for a while, 5x30m-ish, not pretty, needed long recovery jog after. At least it's done
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun am 01:05:00
Eddie Giles Running 5km Gym Sat pm 00:30:00 1 hour gym session: 10mins warm up exercises, 5k run in 30mins, 10 mins warm down , 10 mins swim.
Emma Moreton Running 5k Bedfont Lakes (not)parkrun 00:23:52 First run after Covid jab
Emma Parkes Running 21.1km Hillingdon Half (equivalent) Sat am 01:58:53 Would usually run the Hillingdon Half but obviously it didnít happen this year. Instead I ran a similar route on my own. My first sub 2hr half in quite some time. Tired, but satisfied I gave it my all!
Harjit Jhooti  Race 5miles Bovingdon Race Circuit Sun 00:51:08 Did the Hatfield 5 which was moved to Bovingdon around the motor circuit. Ran with Jas and saw a few other BA members [photos below]. The weather was slightly windy but nice and warm.
Jain Reid Walking 3.21km Buckingham Palace Gardens Sat pm 01:11:00 Guided tour!
Joan Foxley Running 4.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun am 01:00:00
John Scaife Walking 6.53km Wycombe Rye to Little Marlow Fri lunch 01:05:07 ...under the M40 before descending through Bluebell-rich woods, crossing the Chiltern Way and finally reaching open fields before emerging onto Marlow Road just east of Winchbottom Lane.
Julie Barclay  Race 5miles Bovingdon Race Circuit Sun 00:36:40 Hatfield 5 (see below) - Looks like a 17 seconds improvement on her own club record?
Keith Johnson Running 7.25km St Albans area Sun 00:34:35 Also same course in the rain on Saturday - slower at 34:51.
Kelly Davis Running 1.3miles Sun 00:16:47 With a weird headache for a week now running alongside this little one [photo] was about as much as I could handle .
Michael Ball Cycling 12miles No running this weekend did 12 mile bike ride and gym.
Mike Dennison Running 1mile Bushy Park Fri am 00:05:20 Did my mile on the path/road from Hampton Hill towards Chestnut Avenue. It was mostly a tail wind, and is slightly downhill, but I was pleased to do it in 5:30.
Neil Frediani Running 16.3miles Tyne between Prudhoe and Corbridge 00:02:56 South of the river on the way to Corbridge and North of the river on the way back.
Paul Watt  Race 5miles Bovingdon Race Circuit Sun 00:33:12 Hatfield 5 (see below)
Petra Otto Walking 13.1miles Thorney Sun 03:58:32 Managed to complete VRís Spring Half Marathon distance, which took me 3:58:32 hrs to complete. I walked it all in Thorney, in almost total solitude.
Piers Keenleyside Running 10miles Ealing to Richmond Lock and back Sun 01:43:17 My usual Sunday 10 at an average pace of 10:18 m/m - my fastest pace on this route since 31st March 2019 - over 2 years ago!
Roderick Hoffman Running 12.92km North Hillingdon and back Sun 01:31:09 Plus 11.59km run Monday - both as practice for GBR next weekend. Photo shows me earlier on Sunday for Junior parkrun marshalling.
Stephen Taylor Running 14.01miles Go West young man Sat lunch 02:18:51 I wimped out on the early start, waited for the rain to stop and then headed out West so that the run would be easier on the way back, with the wind behind me.
Steve Hillier Running 5.2km Roxbourne Park, Eastcote 00:34:34 Windy

Weekend Achievements 

Roderick Hoffman

Hatfield 5 @ Bovingdon results

Pos Race No Name Net Time Category Cat Pos Gender Gen Pos Club Finish
85 430 Paul WATT 00:33:12 Ages 50 - 59 11 Male 72 BRITISH AIRWAYS AC 00:33:12
127 29 Julie BARCLAY 00:36:40 Ages 50 - 59 4 Female 24 BRITISH AIRWAYS AC 00:36:40
295 470 Harjit JHOOTI 00:51:08 Ages 50 - 59 30 Female 106   00:51:08
296 294 Jasvir Singh MODAHER 00:51:44 Ages 60 - 69 25 Male 190 BRITISH AIRWAYS AC 00:51:44

324 finishers, the fastest in 25:11.

Measurement of the "Ten point three"

Last Wednesday I ran the traditional club 10.3 course from the old Concorde Centre, anticlockwise via Gillette Corner and back via Heston, even taking the Wentworth Road option rather than the more recently preferred Convent Way. I wasn't able to start or finish within the now Imperial College Sports Club so I ran an additional stretch towards the Queens Head to make up the distance. BUT, what distance was I making it up to? The name of the course "10.3" was rumoured to be based on the reading on a car's mileage gauge. Other attempts to measure the course had produced distances ranging from 9.8 miles to well above 10.3.

Edition 70 (June 2004) of the club's Round-the-Block newsletter (edited by Paul Goldsmith) contains an uncredited item on a new measurement of the "Gillette 10.3mile run". But it is safe to assume that its author was none other than Paul Goldsmith. He had taken a surveyor's wheel around the whole course to try to answer definitively how long the run was, and he wrote up the distances against local landmarks. In Wednesday's run I had a satellite receiver strapped to my wrist (aka a Garmin watch) so that I was able to compare its distances with Paul's, and I also made observations on the landmarks used. I've written the key points on the map here.

Ten point three map

So, three pub landmarks have gone (along with others that weren't noted in 2004). Kershaw House, the old BA Pensions Office, has been rebuilt as a hotel and the Master Robert has been flattened and replaced with a brand new, unslept-in, IBIS hotel. But the majority of the course is unchanged, apart from the street furniture and a doubling of the cars parked outside front doors.

Paul's total distance was 16,107.45m. My watch measured 15,820m. But GPS measurements are notoriously off. My watch usually measures short - the average parkrun is recorded as 4.95km, so for it to measure 290m short in 16k is believable.

There were a couple of errors in the original text. The measurement wasn't started at the Concorde Centre Pavilion Plaque but at the "Pavilion Plague". Also the distance measured of 16,107.45metres was converted to 10.0184528miles or "10 miles 19 yards and 3 1/4 inches (approx.)". The actual conversion should be to 10.00870541miles and to "10 miles 15 yards 11 1/2 inches (approx.)". The writer of that article is sure to blame the editor for those errors. The editor would blame the type-setter (it was in those days) and the type-setter would blame the proof-reader (no automatic context spell checkers in those days). The proof-reader would, no doubt, complain about the quality of the handwriting of the writer (it was those days).

So, what is the length of the 10.3? It is impossible to answer that question - though I note in passing that my "Running" Excel Spreadsheet, used since September 1994, tells me that my "Concorde Ten" run on Wednesday counts as a 10.0185mile run.

Roderick Hoffman

Letters to the Editor

It's been a lonely week since no one has written to me. However, I did have a phone call from Jasvir Singh, to discuss the missing digest problem discussed above. We talked about his Wimbledon half-marathon reported on last week. That had been his first long race for about 18 months. But his diary was now rapidly filling up with other events - including the Hatfield Five, listed above.

> To the Editor

BA Athletics Club Records - Ten Mile races

Perhaps a big challenge with getting a ten mile record is to find and enter a race over that distance. We used to have the Cabbage Patch and Woking Ten events.  The Cabbage Patch is still being held and is our run-of-the-month for October, on the 17th (Welcome to the Cabbage Patch 10). 

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and accurately measured and the participant has to be a paid-up member of the club and wearing a club vest (or in an in-house organised event). Members for whom BA is a second claim club may need permission from their first claim club for them to run in a BA vest and claim the record (so the same performance cannot be claimed by two different clubs).

ROAD - LADIES (OPEN) 10 Mile Melody Collman * 01:04:03 Cabbage Patch Teddington Jan-88 Current
ROAD - LADIES (FV40 and above) 10 Mile Unset
ROAD - MEN (OPEN) 10 Mile Barry Walters** 51:43:00 Hamburg Sep-86 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV40) 10 Mile Phil Sharp 55:20:00 Cabbage Patch Teddington Oct-85 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV45) 10 Mile John Williams 57:25:00 Dorking 10 Dorking Jun-89 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV50) 10 Mile John Coffey 59:14:00 Woking 10 Woking 1992 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV55) 10 Mile John Coffey 01:03:11 Woking 10 Woking 1997 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV60) 10 Mile John Coffey 01:05:00 Woking 10 Woking Mar-02 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV65) 10 Mile Brian Bennett 01:14:27 Cabbage Patch Teddington Oct-07 Current


If you know better please send us your claim - we want to get these in the best shape possible. New records or questions:

Roderick Hoffman obo Paul Brandon

* That is the only record held by Melody...but it has lasted 33 years so far.

** Barry holds four of the five "Open" longer distance road records: 5 Mile, 10k, 10 Mile and Marathon.  Andrew Eynon holds the half-marathon record.  Barry also holds the 5k MV55 record.

Reunion 5k # (copied from parkrun's email)

The government's Events Research Programme is a crucial step in ensuring the safe return of running events. Included within this government programme is the Reunion 5K by our friends at London Marathon Events.

Taking place on Saturday 15 May at Kempton Park, the event, which is open to spectators, walkers, joggers and runners, will enable crucial data to be collected. Data that will support parkrun's return and also allow larger events to take place later this year in towns and cities across the UK.

Entry is £15, to cover the cost of the event, and friends and family are encouraged to spectate. Every participant and spectator will be required to take a home lateral flow test prior to the event and two further PCR tests before and after the event. Youíll receive more details on the testing when you sign up.

Whilst this may seem like a big ask, taking part in an event such as the Reunion 5K which will host not only walkers, joggers and runners, but also spectators, will in turn be helping parkrun return.

If the future of running events are important to you, I urge you to please consider entering. The deadline to enter is 16:00 on Wednesday 12 May.

The plan for parkrun is still to return in England from 5th June. 134 venues already have landowner permission to return. However both Bushy Park and the National Trust have indicated that they would not be willing until "Roadmap Step 4", due at the earliest on 21st June, which would probably mean the return of all parkruns being pushed back to 26th June. A positive demonstration of safe running of running events can only help with parkrun's case. The Reunion 5k is also a club points scoring run (as well at the Green Belt Relay).

Roderick Hoffman

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