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BA Athletics Club News Digest 12th April 2021

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

Events Calendar - online here


Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

This Week's and Future Solo Events

As life opens back up the need for solo events should reduce, but we will continue with some of them for a while yet:

  • We will continue to collate the Weekend Exercise Achievement each week.
  • We will include solo miles and solo track-on-field performances in the monthly challenges (in conjunction with in-person events). I'll no longer promote a monthly "Ross Barkley" though you are welcome to do this as one of your weekend efforts.
  • I will try to have a monthly "Solo Challenge", April's being the Street Sentence Challenge launched below.

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.

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

Roderick Hoffman

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

No one is organising an in-person event this week so there isn't one. Next week on Wednesday, from midday, we'll be meeting at the Kings College Track just off Kings College Road in Ruislip for an in-person Cooper Test (how far can you run in 12 minutes). This is likely to be followed by a gentle but longer warm down run in the local area and then refreshments from the cafe next to the track - please register your interest even if you are only a 'possible'. >Roderick Hoffman (register interest)

Future In-Person events will be added to the diary as organisers put themselves forward. Expect there to be a in-person track-on-field organised for the week of 26th April.

Street Sentence Challenge - between today and 25th April

Street Sentence exampleYour solo challenge 'sentence' for April will be to use the street-signs near you to construct a sentence that could be from a book. For instance [pictured] "Will, the Norman king of Britannia, saw the Dane in his Viking longboat approach over the North Sea". You are allowed to add in punctuation and small words and use any consecutive letters from the local street signs collected within 40 minutes running or 60 minutes walking and I'll forgive small errors such as spelling or tenses. But note that anyone who submits a list of places, animals, objects or even road names will be sent to the back of the class.

Please read the full instructions before attempting this:  Event_Street_Sentence.shtml. This challenge will run for two weeks from today until the end of Sunday 25th April. All submissions must be in by the end of that Sunday so that judging can take place on the Monday. I'll be happy to allow two entries per person.

Any queries? >Roderick Hoffman

April Mile Result

April Mile Results graphEleven results for the April mile including five run together at Feltham last Thursday. Or at least we started together - Paul lapped me just after I'd completed my second lap so he had finished a long time before I did. Had Ben and Bob been at Feltham with Julie then social distancing measures would have had a greater challenge!

Paul Watt was our fastest runner this month and his time has only been beaten in the last year by Mike Dennison (5:40) and Paul Prescott (5:43). But perhaps Paul would have been quicker had he not just taken the Vaporflys out of the box? Adrian Haines has announced he'll be racing over the mile distance next weekend - his best for us over the last year has been 5:51 but his target this weekend will be sub 5!

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 9th to 12th April 2021

This week 24 results are listed for members and friends.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Simon Turton Running 14km Twyford/Ruscombe Sat 01:20:00 PREVIOUS WEEK: Final check of a Street-O Simon is setting up for his Orienteering Club. 
Stephen Taylor Running 10.14miles Thames and back Sat am 01:49:14 A more gentle run down to the river and back with my running buddies.
Simon Turton Running 11.52km Bucklebury Common Sat 01:21:33 First proper orienteering event for a year and made a right royal mess of it. Basics all went out the window in place of running like a headless chicken ... BUT it was nice to be back in the forest.
Roderick Hoffman Running 7.9km Bushy Park Fri lunch 00:58:44 Orienteering event (due to have been run in February but too far away for me to have justified travelling to). Oh deer - had to miss control 12.
Piers Keenleyside Running 5km Blondin Park Sat 00:28:55 5K time trial with Ealing Eagles - my quickest 5K since 7th March 2020 (my last parkrun at Gunnersbury).
Paul Watt Running 5km Crane Park freedom parkrun Sat 00:19:37 Lifetime PB but nothing to do with the new Vaporfly shoes!
Neil Frediani Running 12.18miles County Durham Sun pm 02:21:38 Starting in cloud, then glorious sunshine then blizzards.
Mike Dennison Running 15.1km River and Bushy Park Sun am 01:15:00 Good weather for running.
Melanie Miller Walking 16.1km Great Missenden Circular via Speen Sun 03:43:43 Lovely walk in the Chilterns, sunny one moment, snowy the next. Bit of Jack 'n' Jill too up and down but through nice woodland places enhanced by magnificent scenery.
Keith Johnson Running 8.2km St Albans area Sat pm 00:41:11 Hoping for more running chances next weekend!
Julie Barclay Running 5km Crane Park freedom parkrun Sat 00:22:10
John Scaife Running 5km Wycombe Rye freedom parkrun 00:32:19
Joan Foxley mixed Run/Walk 4.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 01:00:00 Just an occasional damp patch – a complete change from the recent swamps.
Jain Reid Running 23.81km Riverside/Richmond Loop Sat am 02:50:56 Not entirely MAF but still mostly aerobic.
Emma Moreton Running 5km 00:34:46 Taking Emily for her first 5k on her birthday weekend.
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 01:04:00 The paths have changed from mudbaths to baked clay in just a week! [Ed: "baked" or "frozen"?]
Clara Halket Running 42.81km Paris virtual marathon Sun am 04:18:06 Completed the Paris Virtual Marathon this lovely Sunday morning on a mix of trails and roads around local towns and villages - Now waiting for the medal .
Chris Kelly Running 15.4miles Henley and back Sat 02:17:49 Along the river to Henley then back over the tops - lots of people out - especially golfers - pent up demand I guess....
Bob Bannister Running 5km Bedfont Lakes Sat am 00:22:50 A cold and breezy morning.
Benita Scaife Running 5km Wycombe Rye freedom parkrun 00:32:19
Ben Cooper Running 13km Cardiff Sun am 01:08:47 "Garmin coach" planned "run walk run" again but I don't enjoy having to focus on my watch so much, decided to "run run run".
Barry Walters Running 13km Swinley Forest Sat am 01:15:04 Felt quite strong during this effort. Conditions were good with hardly any wind.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC route Sun 00:49:18 Carrying the Union Flag in honour of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (God Save The Queen). Also one minute slower on Friday in good conditions and without the flag.
Amanda Coombs Running 10km Shepperton/Sunbury Sun pm 01:00:00 Easy run
Adrian Haines Sprints 2.82km Horsham Sun 2x 500/1min/400/1min/300/30s/200 - Getting ready for a track mile next week.

Weekend Achievement photographs

Roderick Hoffman

Meet The Committee - Amanda Coombs

Amanda Coombs photographAmanda Coombs - Ladies Captain

I was first introduced to BAAC some years ago by Neil Frediani, and I was honoured to take over the role of Ladies Captain from Clara Halket in 2020. My main focus within the club is to manage the winter cross-country league matches. I am also involved with the Ladies Speedbird 5K which we host at Harmondsworth Moor, and other club in-house and external events.

My background is in gymnastics and later swimming. I competed in the pool for many years, but it wasn’t until I had retired from swimming, established a career, married and had children that I took up running as it is such a wonderful sport to fit around a busy life. Before long, I decided that as I could run and swim, I’d try triathlon. Triathlon has been part of my life for over 20 years. I don’t excel at any of the individual disciplines, but within the sport I have had several age-group wins. My greatest achievement (to date) is when I completed Ironman UK for my 50th birthday. I can think of easier ways to celebrate that milestone!

I particularly enjoy trail and cross-country running, and I volunteer as a guide runner for British Blind Sport. Here at BAAC I hope to grow the women’s cross-country team and increase involvement in all of our activities.


BA Athletics Club Records - Pole Vault

As thoughts turn to summer months and a return to Track & Field competitions let us start looking at the club's track and field records. The table below shows the club records held for the pole vault. I'm sure that several of you will have been practicing this event during the winter lockdown so upon the resumption of serious events we can hope to quickly smash some of these marks. There is currently capacity in NHS hospitals.

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and accurately measured and the jumper has to be a paid-up member of the club and wearing a club vest (or in an in-house organised event - though I suspect that we have never held an in-house pole vault). Members for whom BA is a second claim club may need permission from their first claim club for them to jump in a BA vest and claim the record (so the same performance cannot be claimed by two different clubs).

TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) Pole Vault Kay Trinder* 2.10 Rosenheim Walton Jul-18 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV50) Pole Vault Kay Trinder* 2.10 Rosenheim Walton Jul-18 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) Pole Vault Mike Pryce 2.50m Rosenheim Woking Jul-00 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV40) Pole Vault Ian Monk** 2.00m Rosenheim Kingston Jul-00 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV45) Pole Vault Paul Goldsmith 2.00m Rosenheim Kingston May-07 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV50) Pole Vault Paul Goldsmith 2.00m Rosenheim Kingston May-07 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV55) Pole Vault Paul Goldsmith 2.00m Rosenheim Kingston May-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

* Whilst the listing of this event is part tongue-in-cheek this is a serious event included in the occasional track & field match and some of our members have been prepared to give it a go. In July 2018 we had a large ten-strong turnout at Walton for the last Rosenheim match of the season including Kay who doubled up at the 3,000m and the pole vault. Her mark, of 2:10, beats all of the club's men other than Mike Pryce, from back in July 2000 [although we have also have the open men's high jump record at 2.11 set by Mark Roach - but he wasn't handicapped by having to run up with a pole].

** Ian Monk will probably be surprised to see that he holds a club record but he does, though only this one, and with the use of a pole. His partner, Jane Harbert, still holds eight, but not including the pole. They are both well and were last seen on Facebook in a Mexican resort...though earlier in the week they had been on the Colorado ski slopes, with poles.

BA Clubs feature

Those who get the BA Clubs newsletter will have seen that our Handicap run the other week has been featured. For those who don't get it...

Your BA Clubs APRIL update

parkrun Return

Davis kids at Surbiton Junior parkrunJunior parkrun returned in the UK last weekend with 49 results having been published. More events will return in future weeks. Many events posted record numbers, despite participants being restricted to under 11s. About 1 in 4 were doing their first ever junior parkrun. There were no "silly" attendance numbers (high or low) with the largest (160) being at Surbiton where marshals included previous club members Ian and Caroline Cockram. Amongst the finishers were [pictured] Oscar Davis doing his first ever parkrun and sister Chloe celebrating her birthday with her 72nd.

Over at Osterley, David Duggan got the club's first marshalling credit for over a year and others amongst the volunteers were familiar names including Kirsty Bingham, Arlene Gallagher, Geoff Miles and Joanne & Paul Sinton-Hewitt.

In Ealing, Pitshanger Juniors was the third to be held in West London. Hopefully more will soon follow.

Roderick Hoffman

Courses for Officials 

BAAC are prepared to financially support members who wish to train to be an official or coach.  Here is a new invitation to take part in an Officials training course. 

As we are now able to plan T&F meetings for the coming 2021 Track and Field season, the need for technical officials will return!!

Because of the difficulties in arranging face-to-face courses, England Athletics have now introduced “Level 1 virtual classroom” courses for most disciplines which are run over Zoom.

Details of these courses can be found on the England Athletics website Athletics Hub.  

The cost is £20 per candidate and places are limited.  

Please encourage any interested adults from your club to keep checking the website as new courses are being added at frequent intervals.  

If you have any queries, please contact me.  

Margaret Nelson – County Officials’ Education secretary –  


Yours sincerely, Wendy Letheby, Surrey Club Liaison 

Please contact the BAAC committee if you are interested in getting involved.

>Steve Hillier

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through] (no changes)

The government has confirmed that we will enter stage two of the roadmap out of lockdown on 12th April. This stage makes no difference to what we can do exercising outside, although it is more likely that we will be able to get a drink or a meal after we exercise - albeit only in groups of up to six (or two households) - outside, but we will be able to sit down!

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 provided social distancing advice is kept to.

  • Do not exercise outside the house if you have been asked to isolate or 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, or if you consider yourself to be vulnerable, such as being elderly or with pre-existing health conditions,
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces but you are advised to stay 'local' (defined as "in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."), you are also advised to minimise the amount of time spent outside your home and you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are out. Further advice is to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and if reinstated do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction).
  • Current rules allow informal groups of up to six (or two households) to meet outside and exercise together.
  • As you exercise, keep 2m away from all others including those you run with as well as those you meet on the run, by default diverting around those you meet (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,
  • If government instructions are updated to limit or prevent exercising outside your homes, or to meet with fewer people, 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.

Shared club activities are permitted.  Any club member is permitted to organise a shared activity. We recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself.  Until everyone has had the opportunity to be protected by the vaccine all participants should continue to follow the social distancing rules. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:

  • The chairman (Roderick) or the secretary (Steve Hillier) must be notified in advance that the event is taking place,
  • One of the participants must be a paid-up member of the BA Athletics Club and must be prepared to perform the duties of a "Covid-19 Coordinator", if more than six attend we recommend that that member wears a BAAC top or distinctive clothing,
  • If the tiers are reintroduced then participants, and the activity, should not cross the "Tier 3" boundary or the "Tier 4" boundary (in either directions).
  • A risk assessment has to be raised based on this template,
  • The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
  • After the activity perform a review of the risk assessment and log and pass on any issues or lessons learned.

Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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