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BA Athletics Club News Digest 14th September 2020

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

Events Calendar

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

New Diary

The new diary is conspicuous by its presence above. In the distributed version of the digest you may need to click on the diary to open up the full online version. You can also access the diary from our website at

Use the diary to understand and plan which club events you will be participating in. Using the icon towards the top right you can swap between "List", "4 weeks" and other views.  More detail is provided by clicking on the diary entries and for some you can even "Sign up" to indicate an intention to attend the event. You can also add your own events - these will under the calendar heading "Colleague Run". Please do this if you are planning a run later in the week or beyond and you'd be quite happy for others to join you.

Any difficulties, questions or suggestions - please get in touch via .

New Covid-19 Restrictions

Kew 10k Start ProcedureIt won't have escaped anyone's notice that new restrictions are coming into force in England today, Monday 14th September.  In short, the maximum number of people you can normally meet with is six, including yourself. Thus, if seven of you decide to do the same activity in the same place then you would risk the embarrassment of being invited to disperse or, even though unlikely, each individual being fined and a substantial fine for the organiser. But organised sporting events can be an exception provided we follow the rules. That makes most of what we do possible, the photo (stolen from Facebook) is of the weekend's Kew Gardens 10k which had over 3,000 runners over the two days of the event. Social distancing measures considered necessary for that size event included the wearing of face coverings up until the start, and from the finish line onwards. That generated my caption competition winning entry of "Off-your-masks, Get Set, Go!".

To legitimize a club 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", we also 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.

Whilst that sounds rather bureaucratic for just a run in a park, in practice the risk assessment is little more than a list of participants. Following these steps makes the location count as "COVID secure".

Roderick Hoffman

News from the Committee - Annual Report for AGM

We trust you are enjoying the virtual events programme this summer.  It looks as though we can now start to do some activities in the same location.  The committee met via a Zoom link last month to discuss plans for the coming weeks.

You will be aware that our Annual General Meeting has been postponed until October.  This important get-together gives the club officers the chance to talk about our successes of the past year, and members can query what comes next.  This October meeting will take place, we hope at Bedfont, but failing that we will offer a Zoom meeting, with all club members invited.

The officers and captains have written their reports for 2019/20, and these are available in a Word Doc from this link.  Clara Halket is standing down as Ladies Captain, with Amanda Coombs kindly volunteering to take on the role.  Neil Frediani is moving away from the area, leaving the Track & Field role uncovered.  Our chairman and deputy chairman are “acting” in their current roles, and new candidates need to come forward for these jobs.

At the AGM the BA Club's members need to vote in all members of the 2020/1 committee.  If you are interested in taking on any committee role and you need further information, please come and talk to us.  We are a supportive bunch, and no-one will be left high and dry by expressing an interest.  Come and help make a difference!

The AGM is also your chance to ask questions or put forward suggestions. Please read the report and think of a question to ask at the AGM or a suggestion to make. Submit that to me now and we'll ensure that a response is available (and know that you, at least, have read the report!).

Steve Hillier        Hon Sec

April through September mile resultsLast Week's Midweek Challenge - The Mile Results

Twelve mile runners this month with Simon Turton posting the fastest time. Third fastest was Jacqui despite a layoff due to an injured heel.

Next month's mile will be in the week of Monday 5th October and I've scheduled all subsequent monthly mile runs to be in the week of the second Thursday of each month.

Roderick Hoffman

Participant Location Distance Time Comment
Simon Turton Wargrave to Twyford 1mile 00:07:05 Bit slower than I wanted but I put that down to the hill tng. I did last night.
Scott Davison   1mile 00:07:10  
Jacqui Musselwhite Goldsworth Park 1.61km 00:07:27 Quite pleased with this given I've been injured with my heel. Will enjoy the challenge to improve this.
Stephen Taylor Ealing mile course 1mile 00:07:40 On the Ealing mile route which is a handy 2 mile jog from home.
Barry Walters Swinley Forest 1mile 00:07:41 Did this as part of a speed session.
Eddie Giles treadmill 1mile 00:07:52
Denis Foxley Kings College track, Ruislip 1mile 00:08:02 Hoped to get under 8 minutes as under 4 minutes after two laps, but slowed down on the 3rd.
Joe Nolan Wraysbury backroads 1mile 00:08:37 Pleased with that!
Michael Ball 1.82km 00:08:55 Overdistance
Roderick Hoffman Brookside 1mile 00:09:31 Powerwalk (and see my weekend achievement below)
Steve Hillier local 1mile 00:09:38
Steve Newell 1mile 00:12:40

This Week's Midweek Challenge - Pacing!

This week's "midweek challenge" will be a Joe Nolan inspired pacer challenge. It will be to undertake a 5k or 3mile distance at a predetermined pace. Decide beforehand what time you will do on a course that you know. Then run the course without looking at your watch. After the run send me your prediction, your actual time and, if possible, your km or 1/2 mile splits. I'll then produce some stats to see how we all did - who was faster, who was slower, who speeded up, who slowed down. It could make some interesting graphs. But remember, don't look at your watch!

 Name Distance Location Target Time Actual Time Splits (1km or 1/2mile or laps
depending on the course)

NOW Wimbledon Windmill wander reminder for 16th September

Non-Office Workers event next week - meet at the Windmill carpark for 12 noon.  Car parking charges are by donation using £1 or £2 coins.  A good excuse for those who have given up using old fashioned money to clear out their purses.  Suggestion is £1 per car per hour. Toilets are open, outdoor cafe is open.

Steve Newell

Due to the new restrictions please tell me in advance that you may be attending. We are not going to exceed 30 participants but it'd be nice to know in advance whether we'll be 7 or more. Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 11th to 14th September 2020

This week 26 colleagues reported activities.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Amanda Coombs Triathlon 21.6km Blenheim Palace Triathlon Sat/Sun Full report in next week's digest.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 00:50:30 Plus a ten mile cycle earlier on in the week in 48minutes. Also celebrating successfully reaching 78.
Barry Walters Running 13km Swinley Forest and Heathland Sun am 01:05:45 A steady run with a nasty hill just over halfway round.
Ben Cooper Running 3.79km BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff) Sat 00:17:23 9 seconds slower than PB was very pleasing considering its been a tough week mentally and physically. Also ran 17.34 Sunday and 18.06 on Friday.
Benita Scaife Running 6miles Hurley to Henley-on-Thames Sun 01:04:55 Mostly along the Thames Path but leaving the river to cross Remenham hill before descending into Henley.
Clara Halket Running 16km To Farnham Sun A DNF for the distance planned for but 16km on a hot day is nothing to be sniffed at.
Denis Foxley Running 5k Harrow parkrun course Sat 00:28:13 Plus a slow run for an hour in Ruislip Woods on Sunday morning.
Eddie Ketterick Cycling 61miles Staines to Dinton Pastures via Henley Sun am 04:00:00
Harjit Jhooti Cycling 48.01km Cuckoo Line railway trail Fri 04:07:52 Picturesque trail stretches from Heathfield to Shinewater park via Horam, Hailsham and Polegate.
Jain Reid Running 1/2m'th Farnham Pilgrims half-marathon Sun 02:22:08 Fab event on lovely (hot) day. (see note below)
Joe Nolan Running 5k Black Park freedom parkrun Sat 00:29:40 6s slower this week - Will do some speed training this coming week !
John Scaife Running 6miles Hurley to Henley-on-Thames Sat 01:04:55 Mostly along the Thames Path but leaving the river to cross Remenham hill before descending into Henley.
Julie Barclay Running 5k Osterley Freedom Run Wed 00:22:31 Ninth of ten freedom runs in ten days. Negative split over two laps.
Kelly Davis Running 4miles Over and round Staines Reservoir. Sat early 00:45:01 Sunrise run across the reservoir was not how I envisioned my Saturday but boy was it worth it.
Maria Jovani Running 42.22km vBoston Marathon Sun am 04:28:54 I didn’t get the time I was hoping but glad I covered the distance. “Luckily” I’ll get to do it all over again in 3 weeks.
Mike Dennison Running 31.29km To Shepperton then back to Rickmond. Sun am 03:22:21 Joining the virtual Boston runners for the second half of their run, having run to that point from home. Rather warm for running by the end.
Neil Frediani Running 15.8miles vGreat North Run Sun 03:22:16 I started with a view of the sea at the finish (8miles away) and ran on at least 3 disused railways, up and down hills.
Paul Watt Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Thur 00:20:44 Tenth freedom run in ten days was the quickest.
Petra Otto Running 5.1km Also ‘HIT’ session on rower: (15 secs flat out, 45 secs recovery) = 3x15 sets over 3 days, plus ‘HIT’ session in gym = 20 reps on high weights over 5 days.
Piers Keenleyside Walking 22.1miles Queen of the suburbs challenge Wed 06:36:13 Event instead of Ealing Half-Marathon.
Roderick Hoffman Running 1mile Brookside, Yeading Sun pm 00:10:39 Yes, over a minute slower than this week's power-walk time on the same course!
Scott Davison Running 5k Out from Cargo towards M25 and back Sat 00:24:33 Nice and Sunny.
Simon Turton Running 9.83km Wendover GPS-O 00:52:47 Not a score event so just a case of navigating between the controls in number order. Tad warm.
Stephen Taylor Running 20miles Queen of the suburbs challenge Sat am 03:46:00 Last 20 miler before tapering for VLM. This time I ran with friends at a slightly slower pace than usual.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1km Eastcote Sun pm 00:33:48 It was still warm but nice and still.
Steve Newell Running 5k Gunnersbury Park freedom parkrun 00:46:21 Still rather slow but a minute faster than last week!

Slightly odd statistic to begin with. The 11 of us who reported to me via emails provided distances averaging 5.57km each, mostly reporting parkrun distances. However, the 12 who reported via Facebook averaged 20.24km each with many doing full marathons or long halves.  Must mean something. That doesn't include Amanda's emailed report of her event which I could have included in this issue but I felt it was long enough already.

Maria's virtual Boston Marathon course was mainly along the River Thames Windsor to Richmond. I thought at first she'd done it the other way and would now need to slum it for three weeks at the castle until she could run back home in the virtual London Marathon.

Jain's weekend activity "was a real trail event (mix of marathon & half mara) organised with military precision by the Farnham Rotary Club. Hundreds of participants but only 10 starting every 5 mins and not allowed into start area until just before your allocated 5 min slot. Barely saw more than a handful of runners. Superb organisation & super friendly. Sadly my slot covered the hottest part of the day so struggled a bit but loved the scenic route. Highly recommend for trail fans."

Yes, it is true, I managed to power-walk a mile course one minute quicker than I was able to run it, given that during the running motion I was careful not to re-strain my hamstring. I should be back to normal next month and hopefully able to run a minute faster than I can walk. But this has given me an idea for a future midweek challenge! Well, why not.

Please submit your best exercise achievement of next weekend by filling in the following form and sending it to me OR replying to the message on Facebook (or any other messaging format to me):

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

Roderick Hoffman {submit by 5pm on Monday}

Ten in Ten Freedom parkruns

Ten parkruns in ten days photosWith our new post-retirement freedom and whilst the weather is still good, Julie and I looked for a challenge to set ourselves. We miss parkrun and enjoy freedom runs and so we decided on doing ten different parkrun courses in ten days. We decided on ten as we were certain of ten courses - we had to be sure of the exact start and finish points so that we could register accurate times. We were assisted by Brooklands who have painted the start and finish lines and added arrows around where the cones are placed....very good of them.

We started on 01Sep by joining Roderick and the running group at Bedfont Lakes and then followed with trips to Frimley Lodge, Banstead Woods, Portsmouth Lakeside, Woking, Crane Park, Sandhurst, Brooklands, Osterley and finally Rushmoor.

It would be quite easy to amble around enjoying the scenery but we set ourselves what we thought were tough targets of 23:00 for Julie and 22:30 for me. I was a little uncertain as I have not done anything like this before but between us, we managed to be below target times in 19 of 20 combined runs....delighted and slightly surprised. I have always wanted a rest day before saturday’s parkrun but Tom Rowley has always told us that you will recover for a 5k in 24hours and how right he is. Not only did we manage ten in ten days but we were getting quicker as the days went by and my quickest was run number 10. I thought that tiredness would undoubtedly kick-in and the mental will to continue would erode but is it confidence, strength or anything else that keeps us going?....I am not sure. Anyway, a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

We would like to mention and thank Roderick, Jan and Olivia Jones, Kay Trinder, Jackie Musselwhite and Tom Rowley who managed to join us for a run or two.

Our next mission is to run the Blackwater Valley path from Aldershot to Swallowfield...not in one go but in manageable chunks.

Paul Watt and Julie Barclay

Ironman Triathlon Achievement

With several triathlon races booked for 2020 then finding all races postponed or cancelled since March I needed something else to focus on. Ironman, whose own world-wide event schedule was decimated, decided to organise weekly VR races. Overtime they became more sophisticated and regulated, ending with a 4 race series, over 4 consecutive weekends with the winners getting slots at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Utah in 2021. With these slots on offer the regulation was very tight, with runs having to be outside and to exact distances, with no net height loss allowed.  Starting and ending at the same place worked well. With no swimming then possible the swim leg was replaced with a run, 3k for the shorter race and 5k for the half ironman distance. The bike had to be done on approved turbo trainers, on a specified app on a specified course, meaning the bike was made equal. Ironman check your heart rate and power output for the race and compare this to data they have from real races you have done before, so making it very hard to cheat.

The series was made up of 3 Olympic distance races, (3k run, 40k bike, 10k run) and one half ironman (5k run, 90k bike, 21k run), of which your best 2 Olympics and the half ironman results counted for the series table. Oh, and you had to complete the activities in the right order and within a fixed time of 12 hours.

Now the best bit....the races were free to enter.

So I gave this a go during August. The first race was over the weekend of our summer, you may remember we had a short period of hot days, so it was racing in about 30 degree temperatures. Being VR races competitors came from all over the world, so most would be racing elsewhere in perhaps cooler temperatures. It was certainly hot and I had my support crew (aka Bridget) out on my run course with drinks and sponges to try and cool me down.  End of the race and I was 4th in my Age Group (AG), not bad but room for improvement.

I did not do race 2, resting for week 3 when it was the longer distance race. Summer was over so it was back to more standard temperatures which was good news, especially for the 21k run at the end. The rest paid off, gaining 1st in my AG, which was good news as this race counted for double points. Within this I managed a sub 21 min 5k and a 95 min 21k. So going into the last race it was all to play for. Summer long gone it was now cold! Leaving nothing on the table I managed a sub 12 min 3k, a 40k bike averaging over 23mph and a sub 43 min 10k. End result another 1st in AG, and winning the series by one point over a guy from the USA.

So if things improve and we have real races next year I should be off to the US for the 70.3 Worlds.  If you follow triathlon at all you may have heard of Kona, the full ironman world championships, well this is the half ironman equivalent.

Not the same as normal racing, but feels very real and just as hard!

Richard Ruffell

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through]

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 a COVID secure circumstances, 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, and in some situations up to 30. 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 the club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the run itself. Any club member can organise a shared activity by following the England Athletics guidance, filling in the risk assessment form and notifying myself or Steve Hillier that you have done so in advance of the event.

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

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