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BA Athletics Club News Digest 12th March 2018


  • Wednesday 14th March - Bedfont Football Club test event - 18:00 Hatton Road* (see below)
  • Saturday 17th March - Club featured parkrun - Gunnersbury for Alan Anderson's 500th* (see below)
  • Wednesday 21st March - NOW (non-office workers) run - Rickmansworth Aquadrome* from 12:00

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: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Not for you, no longer interested?  remove me please. / Difficulty viewing this? Read it from the website:- Latest.shtml

Facebook: (formal "BARunner" page),  BA Runner Facebook Group (ask to join)

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Bedfont Football Club location mapTest event at Bedfont Football Club on Wednesday 14th March

Meet in the carpark of the Bedfont & Feltham Football & Social Club at 17:30 for a 18:00 run.  Changing rooms are available (with showers for afterwards) but since this is an informal arrangement I can't guarantee that the "away" changing room will be suitable for our lady members (they may be - but incase they are not, please bring a tracksuit for the bar afterwards).  The location of the club is marked on the club map and is in Hatton Road, between Hatton Cross and West Bedfont, and the carpark entrance is opposite the Duke of Wellington pub.  Note that further down the road is the "Bedfont Sports Club", but if you turn up there you'll be on your own!

I'll produce and print off some maps of the area showing pavements and footpaths and some orienteering style controls to run to and between so that you can explore the area in ones or twos. This isn't a formal event, since I've not got enough time to put a formal map together, but let me know if you are coming so that I can print off enough maps. If you arrive late - check my car "LR62KFK" since I may leave some maps under the wiper blades. It will still be dark when we are running so either bring a torch OR skip any controls I've set in dark areas. The aim is to run for around an hour and so cover from four to eight miles.

After the run we'll meet in the Bedfont & Feltham Football & Social Club bar and compare notes on the venue, facilities and local running routes (and we can talk about the controls you did and didn't find).  I don't know what food will be available - it could be just peanuts or crisps. 

Please try to make this evening since a favorable response could lead to a new venue decision for June onwards.

Roderick Hoffman

Dream Mile 8th March results

Held over by one week due to the "Beast from the East" the previous week, there was a first lunchtime appearance by the recently freed up Steve Hillier. Six runners ran into a strong headwind to record the following times:

Matthew Stratful 00:06:39
Jeremy Short 00:06:47
Ian Cunningham 00:07:18
Neil Frediani 00:07:41
Steve Taylor 00:08:10
Steve Hillier 00:09:33

Neil Frediani

The Big Half – BAAC volunteers once again!

Sunday 4th March saw the first running of The Vitality Big Half, a half marathon from Tower Bridge to Greenwich run the “wrong” way along the London Marathon course.  Designed to encourage interest in fitness amongst the residents of East and Southeast London, the race nearly came to grief courtesy of the “Beast from the East”.  Huge quantities of snow fell in London in the preceding week, and it was only a rapid thaw on the day before which allowed the race to go ahead.  Sadly, the “Little Half”, a fun run event to be held as part of the festival, had to be abandoned due to snowbound Southwark Park.

British Airways AC was asked to provide its expertise to run a crossing close to the finish by the Cutty Sark DLR station in Greenwich.  Twenty-one hardy souls set off at around 6am on Sunday morning to establish the crossing, staying on point until 13:30.  We worked closely with Trent Park AC, who manage a London Marathon crossing point around mile 18.  Ably led by Eddie Ketterick, we dealt with a narrow pen, huge crowds, a collapsed runner, the usual odd stroppy member of the public, changeable weather and the blur of Sir Mo passing us.

Let’s not forget our club members who took part in the race – well done!

Thanks to everyone who contributed on the day.  Have a rest, because we are only weeks away from the big one, London Marathon on April 22nd.

Steve Hillier

Club parkrun results for Saturday 10th March 2018

10th Mar 2018 family & friends time parkrun commentary grade
Andrew Wyeth 27:43 Basingstoke run #500, all at Basingstoke 55%
Steve Newell 38:17 Basingstoke run #303,1st run at Basingstoke 48%
Leslie Chamberlin 27:02 Bedfont Lakes run #168 70%
Neil Frediani 27:48 Bedfont Lakes run #189 58%
Caroline Cockram 28:27 Bedfont Lakes run #306 58%
Ian Cockram 28:27 Bedfont Lakes run #424 52%
David Duggan 29:34 Bedfont Lakes run #244, 166 at Bedfont 53%
Sarah Gordon 33:29 Braunstone run #185 58%
David Tyas 19:59 Bushy Park run #497, 440th at Bushy 76%
Jonathan Cox 23:26 Bushy Park run #348, 280th at Bushy 67%
Jeremy Short 22:05 Crane Park run #97, 66th at Crane 70%
Scott Davison 22:42 Crane Park run #244 63%
Trish McCabe 28:34 Crane Park run #227 54%
Julie Barclay 23:27 Frimley very slippery mud 75%
Paul Watt 24:25 Frimley running with caution 62%
Alastair Heslop 44:46 Guildford tailwalker, run #,5 all at Guildford 37%
Kerstin Luksch 22:24 Gunnersbury run #249 67%
Alan Anderson 38:23 Gunnersbury run #499 58%
Denis Foxley 01:02:28 Harrow tailwalker 28%
Chris Kelly 27:31 Henley on Thames 4th run at Henley, all this year 54%
Joe Nolan 31:34 Kingston run #299, 1st at Kingston 52%
Petra Otto 41:47 March run #43, 38th at March, Jog2/Walk1 pacer 49%
Steve Taylor 25:55 Northala Fields run #81, 51st at Northala 59%
Alice Banks 28:23 Richmond Park run #111, 1st at Richmond 68%
Tony Barnwell 38:33 Rickmansworth run #161, 12th at Ricky 49%
John Lennon 29:06 Rushmoor run #267, 1st at Rushmoor 54%
Eddie Giles 27:41 Salisbury run #98, 21st at Salisbury 63%
Benita Scaife volunteer Maidenhead timekeeper
John Scaife volunteer Maidenhead backup timer
Joan Foxley volunteer Harrow finish token support
Ben   Chaytow volunteer Crane Park run director

The snow and ice had long since departed but conditions were still a bit damp this weekend and many off road sections were very soft and slippery.

Several members visited parkruns where they had never run before.  Alice Banks (28:23) tried Richmond Park for the first time but couldn’t improve the female club record (27:27) held by Trish McCabe. ‘Big Half’ finisher John Lennon (29:06) tried Rushmoor for the first time.  Joe Nolan (31:34) was at Kingston which will be familiar to those who have been present at the end of the Green Belt Relay.  That was Joe’s 299th run with 275 having been at Black Park.

Armed with the knowledge that the incredibly loyal Andrew Wyeth was expected to complete his 500th run at Basingstoke, Steve Newell(38:15) was there was there to witness the occasion and hoped to pick up some pointers for any protocol ahead of Alan Anderson’s 500 run at Gunnersbury next week.

Club Featured parkrun - Gunnersbury on 17th March for Alan Anderson's 500th parkrun.

We hope as many members as possible will be able to join the celebrations.  The dress code will be a BA vest or, in recognition of St Patrick’s Day, something GREEN {Ed: or just turn up in your pyjamas - see latest parkrun promotional email. Now, I wonder if I can tailor some green pyjamas, with the BA logo on the front?}.  Up till this year, these 500 runs have not been as common as you might think – Alan will become only the 17th worldwide, ever.  From now on though we will start seeing maybe one every month and the next one locally will probably be former member David Tyas who is now up to 497 runs (440 of them at Bushy Park).

Those heading for Gunnersbury Park by car should try get there by 8.45 (carpark entrance off Popes Lane) postcode W5 4NB.  Those who have been to Gunnersbury previously need to be aware that the start/finish moved last November and is now very much on the middle of the park, down the hill from the carpark and by the old pavilion just below the children’s playground.  It is a two lap course and the third km is mostly uphill.  Hard surface throughout.

The café by the boating pond has been rebuilt and has just reopened.  The quality has improved and the prices raised to match.  There are toilets right by the café.

Steve Newell

Updated parkrun stats - club parkrun stats

new parkruns

Three new parkruns of interest to some members of the club are starting next week.  Please note though that on March 17th the club would like all club members to join us at Gunnersbury for Alan Anderson's 500th parkrun AND if not, that you only consider attending one of these three inaugural events if that event will be the nearest parkrun to where you live (or if you are on the volunteer list). Once bedded in tourist visits will be encouraged and the club may arrange some team visits (email Roderick or Steve Newell if you would like to join us at one or more of these three).

The three new events are:

  • Mole Valley (Denbies) - a popular venue for Surrey cross country runners with a course that skirts the vineyard. Don't expect free samples afterwards but a new carpark has been built just for parkrun to make access manageable.
  • Hazelwood (Sunbury Cross) - only a few miles from Heathrow at the London Irish Rugby Ground. It may sound "Irish" but this is not "London" - the parkrun is well within the M25, but outside the boundary of "Greater London", so like Mile Valley this is a "South East England" parkrun.
  • Victoria Dock - The course to be used is very similar to the 5k/10k course we set-up for the 2010 WARR races. The turnround points are the same and most of the course is the same although they have to avoid the cable car station and the start/finish is to the west of the dock. Very much a London parkrun for those who use the tight definition for "LonDone" parkrun status.

Roderick Hoffman

A very long run on the world's longest pleasure pier

Southend Pier extends 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary and is considered the longest pleasure pier in the world. It sounds an ideal location for a Dream Mile event...until you consider the likelihood of crosswinds and cold temperatures. But instead of a Dream Mile...howsabout a whole marathon?...

A marathon on the world’s longest pier in March – what a wonderful / crazy / stupid idea? From the same company that brought you the multi-story carpark marathon. The idea was 11 laps of the pier – (probably) the first marathon run entirely over water. 91 runners {of an entry of 99} gathered at 9:30 on Sunday morning to run up and down Southend Pier for a few hours. The winner managed a highly respectable 2:47. My lack of training meant I ground out 9 minute miles to finish in 3:55. The good news was the rain stopped before we started running, but the wind did build up and had a substantial chilling effect. An experience I suspect I won’t be repeating! Entries for next year opening in the autumn.

Ian Cunningham

Southend Pier

As you might expect "Piers" Keenleyside has already expressed interest in this event for next year.

Running route suggestion...

I ran the full length of Regent’s canal today {last Monday}, from Limehouse to Paddington. 15km/9.3 miles. The start is very close to Limehouse DLR station and the path runs through the heart of London before finishing at Paddington station. There are two bypasses at points where the canal runs through tunnels where there is no path. The Islington tunnel bypass is significant at 1km and the street route is not obvious even though there are markers (blue with wavy lines) buried at intervals in the pavement. The second bypass at Maida Vale is much shorter and the route is pretty obvious. For those unwilling/unable to do the whole 15km there are plenty of opportunities to come off the path and jump on the tube e.g. Hoxton, Angel, Kings Cross and Camden Town, all of which are close to the canal.

Hayden Shearman’s book “Runner’s guide to London” has full details of the route along with more than 100 other routes in central and suburban London (including Cranford Park!). Sadly I believe it’s now out of print, but you might pick up a secondhand copy on eBay or Abebooks, or you can borrow mine and photocopy the routes you’re interested in. Also Shearman has put some of the routes on-line while the 2nd edition of the book is in preparation.

John Scaife

Teddy Hall Relays, 8th March 2018

A cheeky mid-weeky day off last Wednesday for my second year at the Teddy Hall Relays in Oxford. After a lift from my better half, I free-wheeled down Headington Hill on my trusty Brompton, for a sneaky peek at the shrunken heads in the Pitt Rivers Museum. Then a gentle pootle along Museum Road past the Lamb and Flag, down St. Giles to the shops, and back along the High St to the usual venue at the Iffley Road sports ground. Shortly before the race began, there was a respectful minute's silence for Sir Roger Bannister, the globally renowned neurologist who cemented his place in history on 6 May 1954. The finish line post is on display in the new cafe area, and one of the three stopwatches used, still showing 3:59.4.

Our route was going to take a little longer, as it heads out of the stadium, down the Iffley Road (past Harry Wild), over Donnington Bridge and back up the Thames Path to the Head of the River, then into Christ Church Meadow, this year taking a right turn to do an additional 0.7 mile loop, past the college Boathouses, along the Cherwell, around the Botanic Garden, and onto the High Street, over Magdalen Bridge, back down the Iffley Road, into the Sports Ground and 200m round the track, to the handover point. 

The Northwood Striders, a select group of athletes with links to St Edmund Hall, have been running the relays for a good many years, and are composed of elite, veteran, runners who train together, including our friends, Steve Norris and Christine Munden, and certain, honoured, guests (such as your intrepid reporter) who have been invited along. We had three teams of four, and came 23rd, 47th, and 67th of the 73 "Men's" teams, at an average of 31:42 for the 4.3M laps.

Results: Teddy Hall Relay 

Chris Kelly

Budapest Runway Run 1st September 2018

I’d like to personally invite you and the British Airways Athletics Club to join this year’s Budapest Runway Run 6.0 – the air transport industry’s premier charity-sportive event, taking place at 11:00 on Saturday 1 September 2018 on Budapest Airport’s Runway 13R-31L.

It’s not just about running, it’s about getting the air transport industry together in an alternative way rather than your usual networking conferences we all come together at! Every airline and airport has a group of fitness enthusiasts so please do include them in this invitation and you could still come along as a supporter and enjoy a superb BBQ at the after-run party held on the terrace of Budapest Airport’s historic Terminal 1.

We’ve also been doing some great charity work through the Runway Run over the years:

Since its beginnings the Budapest Runway Run has raised an incredible €110,000 for charity. Last year alone, the run, which was held again in aid of the bone marrow transplant charity, Anthony Nolan, and Hungary’s Suhanj! Foundation, a charity which supports the inclusion of disabled people in sport, raised a record €39,500 and all entry fees are still donated to our chosen charities - just €35 before July 2018.

Our registration site is now live! 

Before your diaries start to get booked up for the year ahead, make sure the Budapest Runway Run is written down – Saturday 1 September!

I hope we’ll be seeing you and your airline represented on the runway later this year.

Best wishes

Kerry Parks

The above event is the same day as the ASCA Cross Country in Copenhagen which is our preferred event for that date, but if you fancy a race on an airport runway then this could be for you.

If you don't like paying €35 to enter an event don't forget that we can get free entry for the 10mile Hamburg Airport race (around the airport, not on a runway) on 16th September. So far Petra Otto and myself have entered. To enter send Ralph Behrens ( your: name, first name, gender, date and year of birth, club/airline, nationality, address, email, phone number. For more details contact me or see the digest from 15Jan2018.

Running Shorts

  • My time over my XC/road at Cox Green was 31.24 so I am improving (from 34:28) - Andy Rayner.
  • Adrian Haines on Facebook - "Chuffed to bits with today’s performance in the British Masters M50 800m . Tough opposition and nailed it in 2:05.04. World lead!!! "

Tom's Diary

A little useless info from Frimley...

Maybe you noticed the 10year old who finished first at the Frimley 5k parkrun in the snow covered course last week (3rd March), who ran 94% plus (World Class)? The organisers started checking and the lad's normal time was in the 30s so they concluded that he only ran 1 lap of the two.

Both Julie and Paul ran at Frimley in atrocious muddy conditions it seemed more slippery than running on a ice rink but both survived without problems.  Julie was 1st 0/50 (55th o/a) in 23.27. Paul was 80th in 24.25 - he is returning slowly but runs with caution until he seeks advice from a specialist next week.Paul Watt recieiving his "Most Improved" athlete award

I will be at the Surrey ½ in morning so any BA members running I will keep a check for. In fact 2 or 3 years ago Paul Brandon rode tail cyclist, and said it was the hardest thing he had ever rode - it is so hard cycling slowly.    His cycle club supplied all the front and rear lads.

Well done to Alistair running Guildford parkrun this morning.

Julie/Paul worked a night shift last Thurs. and Helen found them before leaving her shift and presented Paul with his Award - he was well pleased.

That’s it  from the south.

Tom Rowley

Paul Watt adds...

I received my trophy from Helen Smith yesterday and would like to thank you and the committee for the award. I was pleased with the progress made after the hard work and training. This year is a different story thanks to my calf but early days yet. Hope you are well and running fit.

Ed: In some previous years the "Most Improved" trophy has seemed a curse with the recipient spending much of the following year out with injury - but we don't believe in superstitions, do we?

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Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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