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BA Athletics Club News Digest 12th October 2020

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

Events Calendar - online here


Unrestricted races are still few and far between so the club continues to operate with Solo and Shared runs as listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. 

Roderick Hoffman

This Week's Events

Send me your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to

Mile Walk:

Walk one mile and send me your time. This is our record attempt to see how many of us, club members, friends and associates, are able and willing to join in and walk a mile for the club and submit a time before 5pm next Monday 19th. My target is 100 of us, which is well in excess of the most people we've had contribute to an event since March (about 80). On Facebook I may update a "church steeple fund" graphic to show how well we are doing. The speed of your mile doesn't matter - it could be fast, using the powerwalking techniques described last week, but a slow stroll down to the shops and back would be equally valid. Also if you know people who are, or were, associated with the club in any way - please encourage them to do a mile also. As an optional addition please include a few lines about the best mile you have undertaken or seen (walked or run). This could be a PB, it could be part of a longer run, it could be a mile you've witnessed.  

Miler Mile Location Walk Time Comment

Weekend Achievement:

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

Please note that we are NOT holding a cross-country run in Cranford Park next weekend, though we have been given permission to apply to hold such an event in November. We are however hosting a NOW event in Marlow on Wednesday (details below) and the first Five-Mile Handicap of the year at the Bedfont Club on Wednesday 21st October.

Roderick Hoffman

BAAC AGM - October 28th

You will have seen the recent note in this digest confirming that we plan to go ahead with this yearís AGM this month.  COVID regulations prevent us from gathering together inside at Bedfont, so we plan to hold the gathering as a Zoom meeting, with an 8pm start.  The committee need to update you on our successes this year, and we are looking to you to confirm the 2020/21 committee in post.  We are still looking for empty posts to be filled, so please speak to any member of the committee to ensure that we can continue to keep the club running successfully. Also let me know any questions or motions you would want to be raised at the AGM.

Please contact me to get details of the Zoom link, although we should be able to distribute it to all club members nearer the time.

Steve Hillier

Club Mile results for OctoberLast Week's Midweek Challenge - the Mile RUN

Eleven runners in last week's solo miles and you can see that there were some close results. Bob was first finisher but only by 7 seconds from Simon. Then there were only 8 seconds between Michael, Barry and Eddie and ten seconds between myself, Denis and Joe. The two Steves and Melanie would probably all benefit from a more competitive outing also.

The second graph shows that overall most of us are continuing to get faster over this distance.

Roderick Hoffman

Virtual Virgin London Marathon

In addition to those listed last week Davinder Bhambi completed the marathon in an impressive 4:28:28. Well down.

Simon Turton reached out to the London Marathon organisers obo the club and this is the reply he got:

"Hi Simon,

Thank you for reaching out and your kind message.  The last few months have been a huge challenge trying to bring the event together so last minute.  However it was incredible to be doing an event after 6 months and I feel absolutely proud to be part of it.

The BBC also did a great job of capturing the spirit of the event and bringing to life what the London Marathon means to people.

Fingers cross we go back to the old format for 2021.

Kind regards," Mark Griffith (LM Course Manager)

Some of the stories from our runners were submitted to Steve Hillier and others posted on Facebook. They can be read on the website here.

Roderick Hoffman

NOW - Higginson, Marlow - Wednesday 14th October from 12:00

We will meet in the Pound Lane carpark of Higginson Park, Marlow (SL7 2AE). The weather looks reasonable so our first act will be to have a (socially distanced) group photograph next to the Sir Steve Redgrave statue (if you arrive late - from the carpark enter the park by going to the right of the buildings, then facing the river go to your left and look for the 10ft giant). We'll then run the parkrun circuit by doing one and a bit loops of the park and then run south on the Thames path. Those not wanting to do the full 5k have the option of turning round early and returning to the park for the finish.

After the run we can split into groups of six and have coffee and cake at the Resolute Cafe in the park (near the corner of the park near the shops).

I need to raise the risk assessment for our run hence I would like to know all those who are, or may, attend. I've currently got listed myself, AliceB, Benita & John, MichaelB, SteveN, TonyB and a rarely seen surprise addition. Others please let me know. 

Roderick Hoffman

Surrey League Cross Country Ė Latest News

Last week I received a further update on the 2020/21 season. Unfortunately the second fixture (7th November) has now been cancelled.

On 18th September England Athletics published guidance on the limited return to competition. The processes make it impossible for the November fixture to go ahead, and indeed many leagues have now cancelled the entire season. However, Surrey League is pursuing several opportunities and hasnít given up hope yet! If a race were to take place, it would likely be in a private location with no public access; limiting the chances of last-minute cancellation which we have seen so much of recently.

Please keep the remaining dates of 16th January and 13th February in the diary. These dates may change, and we may even get a fixture later in 2020.

Amanda Coombs

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 9th to 12th October 2020

This week 23 members and friends reported activities. There were others - some people have jumped the gun, or perhaps "stepped" the gun, in submitting a one-mile walk already. And I think Clara did another marathon but details are too sketchy to include.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Amanda Coombs Ironman 180km Kona Challenge (cycle)   06:43:26 Swim 3.86km (midweek), Cycle 180km (weekend), Run 42.2km (midweek). (see below)
Andy Rayner Cycling 10miles Sun 00:49:00
Barry Walters Running 13km Swinley Forest and heathland Sun am 01:06:02 This was a steady run on an undulating course in pleasant conditions.
Benita Scaife Running 4miles Maidenhead Thicket Mon 00:42:32 a wooded common which features "Robin Hood's Arbour", an Iron Age enclosure constructed as a cattle pen.
Charles Hawkshaw-Burn Running 7.5miles 01:23:38 365 day perfect score on my Apple Watch (see below).
Chris Kelly Running 12.7miles Sun 02:00:37 Including 3x mile intervals - with a hill the first was 9:24, second 7:48, third 7:38 - getting into a routine for a Dec. Marathon.
Christine Munden Running 7.8km Wormwood Scrubs Sat 2km warm-up, 3x1,200m, 2x600m, 1km cool down.
Denis Foxley Mixed Run/Walk Ruislip Woods and Lido Sun 01:04:00 My back is still troublesome, I think it might be sciatica as the pain travels down my legs as well.
Eddie Giles Running 5k Treadmill Sat pm 00:28:30 Also 30minutes swimming (200m).
Eddie Ketterick Cycling 51miles Staines / Dinton Pastures Sun am 03:30:00 To the coffee shop and return
Emma Moreton Running 5k (not)parkrun 00:24:31
Janet Smith Throwing 42.65m Woodfood Green Sat Hammer Circle competition new W55 age best (see below).
Joe Nolan Running 5k Upton Court Freedom parkrun Sat am 00:30:23 Plenty morning dew !
John Scaife Running 4miles Maidenhead Thicket Sun 00:42:32 The nickname stems from later use by highwaymen who used it as a hideout.
Keith Johnson Running 8km Minehead, Sommerset Sat am 00:39:26 Very blustery
Melanie Miller Running 5k Easy run as a leg s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r.
Michael Ball Sprints Woking 150 120 150 120 mtrs x2 with 3min rest between sprints and 8 minutes rest between sets then 2x 40 mtre sprints.
Mike Dennison Running 5k Crane Park freedom parkrun Sat am 00:23:59 With Maria Jovani. I did carry on and run another 5k around Hounslow Heath.
Petra Otto Running 6.77miles 01:46:18 Painful - probably my last 10km. Also a 5km with no pain in fastest recent time of 37.01.
Roderick Hoffman Running 9.87km Fitzrovia Street-O Sun Lunch 01:01:36 The fastest pace I've ever done at any of these one-hour Street-O events.
Scott Davison Running 5k Bedfont Lakes (not)parkrun 00:23:30
Simon Turton Walking 5km Harpsden, w. of Henley. Sun pm 01:00:00 Walking off a rather large pub lunch.
Steve Hillier Walking 15km Upper reaches of the Thames Sat Walking with Linda. Also 15miles cycling near A40 in Greenford/Perivale.


Charles Hawkshaw-Burns writes: "Iím feeling quite chuffed with myself because Iíve just achieved a 365 day perfect score on my Apple Watch. That means that Iíve run at least 5 Miles every day, but on average around 10 miles a day. I struggle to get under 10 minute miles but having just passed my 75th birthday. Iím comfortable with that ! Keep safe, best wishes to all," Charles

And Janet Smith: "I threw the hammer on Saturday at the Hammer Circle competition at Woodford Green.  We usually have an annual reunion but because of Covid this couldnít happen.  Instead, competitions were organised in Hull and Woodford Green. I managed to throw a new W55 age best of 42.65m.  Based on the 2019 World Masters Rankings that would have put me 7th in the world so happy with that. See you soon," Janet

Amanda Coombs writes: "This weekend would have been the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As Steve Newell reported in the digest, the 2020 championships were postponed to February 2021 and later cancelled.

So as a Ďcelebrationí we were invited to complete the distance at home in 7 days! I managed to get the bulk of the swimming and running done in the week, leaving the virtual cycle in Hawaii for the weekend.

Quite good fun, but hard work - as evidenced by the high DNF rate {4,700 participants, 1,891 finishers}, and my state at the finish." Amanda


Roderick Hoffman

Club "Round-the-Block" points update #

After a lull since June I've now updated the Club's Round-the-Block table. I've adjusted the points scoring to take into account our lockdown activities. It is still 1 point to take part in a club key event (monthly CIE & ROM and other featured competitive runs), 2 points for marshalling and support of a key in-house event and 4 points for organising a key in-house event. I've introduced an additional 2 point score for organising one of the lockdown events, for those that require a level of admin - so the Street Spelling, Monopoly and Pub Cricket required this but the i-Spy and things like the Track-on-Field don't.

Previously five of us had achieved the ten point recognition level - myself, Steve Hillier, Gary Rushmer, Simon Turton and Steve Newell. Not surprisingly I've now got a good lead at the top, though I'm not a million miles ahead of Steve Hillier. Two more have joined the ten point club - Stephen Taylor, in part due to the Virtual 5k runs he has organised, and Neil Frediani, getting to ten points on the Time Trial run just prior to his move up 't north. Well done and thank you both Stephen and Neil.

All seven listed above are male but we do have two ladies sitting on nine points (but nameless until they reach ten!). Then there are seven club members on 8 or 7 points. Each of them could make it up to ten shortly since there are three points scoring events coming up (more details in the Diary entries for each of these):

  • The 39th World Airline Road Race - Virtual run 2020 [please let me know if you have done this, including having a photo of yourself in a WARR shirt loaded to Facebook (or sent to me and I'll load it for you)]
  • The First Five Mile Handicap run next week (CIE).
  • The Virtual Vitality London 10,000 for the 24th through to 1st November (ROM). Note however that since this clashes with the Marlow Striders vHalf and v7mile events I will also add points for you if you do one of the Marlow events instead (but not points for both).

The "Round-the-Block" year ends on 31st December and don't forget that you can exchange points earned for free internal club runs [joke - all internal club runs are free].

Roderick Hoffman

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

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. The relevant law in England says that people can meet in groups of up to 6 or, in COVID secure circumstances, up to 30 or more:

  • 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 irrespective of distance, but you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. Advice is still to avoid public transport and shared car journeys,
  • In England you may normally meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home. Club organised events, in COVID secure circumstances, can include more. Do not share athletics equipment and continue to maintain the social distancing with anyone you do meet up with. You are recommended to minimise the total number of different people you meet with over the days and weeks,
  • 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.

For club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. Any club member can organise a shared activity. 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,
  • A risk assessment has to be raised based on this template (updated),
  • The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
  • After the run 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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