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BA Athletics Club News Digest 14th March 2016


  • Wed 16th March - "Mad March Twister" from 18:00 +Social at 20:00 at Heston Venue* (see below)
  • Sun 20th March - British Airways Cross-Country Championships - Cranford Park from 10:30* (see below)
  • Wed 30th March - Final Five Mile Handicap of the season - "the decider" - Heston Venue from 18:00*

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:

Not for you, no longer interested?  remove me please.

Difficulty viewing this email?  Read it off the website instead - Latest.shtml. Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

Mad March Twister - Wednesday 16th March from 18:00

Recently this event has involved pairs running the 4 mile "Round-the-Block" circuit. The two runners in each pair set off one in each direction. When they get to the other side of the course and meet they turn and each returns back the way they came.  If each runner judges their pace correctly then the two runners will get back to the start at the same time. The pair's time is that of the second one back.

But then again this year there might be a twist on this...

Roderick Hoffman obo Brian Forrester

BA Cross Country Championships  - Cranford Park: 10:30 start

Hi all,

BAAC are holding their annual cross country championships in Cranford park on 20th March with a 10.30am start. The distance is about 4.5 miles, or 7.5 km, and run on a mixture of grass and wooded paths.  The course is flat.  Anybody can run, members & non-members, just turn up on the day either in the Cranford Park car park or at the Heston Venue/Concorde club where there are plenty of car parking spaces. We then return to the Concorde Club after the race where we have tea & biscuits and the presentation.

I'm also looking for some marshals & timekeepers for a short time, if anybody would like to marshal can they let please me know at my e-mail address below.

Many thanks, Gary.

Virgin Money London Marathon (24 April 2016) - first call for volunteers!

Once again the BAAC will be operating multiple course crossing points to enable the safe running of this year's Virgin Money London Marathon.

No your eyes are not deceiving you, this is the first call for volunteers. Why, I hear you cry, haven't you asked earlier with only 6 weeks to run to race day? The reason is because I've already got over 100 helpers, mainly from the runners who have secured guaranteed entries (thank you), but this is no time to sit back as I've got kit for 150 helpers and need stalwarts like yourself to volunteer.

There's a couple of team-leadership changes this year:

  • Natalie is taking a break and Mike Thorn is kindly picking up team leading the Parliament Square crossing.
  • Barry has also decided to take a break after countless years at the helm of the Storey's Gate / Birdcage Walk crossing point (thank you).
  • Brian Forrester is also taking a break from the Waterloo Bridge crossing.
  • Paul Brandon is team leading the Spur Rd crossing but would like to take the opportunity to handover next year.

Thank you to Stuart Glover, Eddie Ketterick, Alan Friar, Steve Hillier and Melanie Holman who'll be team leading the Waterloo Bridge and St James / Birdcage Walk crossings and the sector managers for sectors 6 east and 7.

So, a couple of opportunities to team lead the crossings. What does this entail? There's no prior commitments to race day other than, ideally, being able to make the briefing on Thursday 21st April at Imperial College, Heston (formerly the Concorde Club) to co-ordinate kit pick up for your team. The main requirement on race day is to manage and oversee the crossing and ensure the team are looked after (i.e. co-ordinate breaks, rotate helpers around the crossing during the day, liaise with the VMLM stewards etc.). Each team's got a wealth of knowledge and you'll be supported by the sector managers; it's a real team effort. If interested, please drop me a line at .

That's all for now, I'll update you nearer race day,

Simon Turton (

BAAC VMLM co-ordinator

So - let Simon know if you'd like to help out on the day AND if you are willing to consider one of the team leader roles - or to shadow a team leader to prepare for next year. If you are a regular helper please confirm to Simon that you are available again.

ASCA Cross Country in Hamburg 2nd April 2016 - final reminder

If anyone else is interested in this event (see last week's digest) please let Clara know immediately.

Clara (

Club parkrun results for Saturday 12th March 2016

12th March family & friends time parkrun commentary grade
Alan Anderson 30:10 Gunnersbury run #402 70%
Ben Chaytow 21:52 Crane Park run #126, 105th at Crane Park 62%
Caroline Cockram 40:15 Bushy Park run #220, 21st run at Bushy 51%
Jonathan Cox 21:47 Crane Park course pb 71%
Ian Cunningham 27:15 Bushy Park run #235 55%
Scott Davison 28:14 Bognor Regis run #154, first ever at Bognor 50%
Michelle Dillon 17:59 Bushy Park F -1, 86%
Linda Dodsworth 26:43 York first run at York 59%
Steve Dodsworth 24:05 York first run at York 63%
Laura Weightman 12:00 York F - 1, parkrun pb 91%
Denis Foxley 25:52 Harrow 30th run at Harrow 65%
Neil Frediani 33:23 Bedfont Lakes run #138, 90th run at Bedfont 48%
Alan Friar 27:15 Woodley run #192, 50th at Woodley 66%
Stuart Hayes 17:22 Crane Park M -1 77%
Kevin Holland 29:00 Guildford run #43 59%
Chris Kelly 26:54 Moors Valley BA park #239 55%
Eloise Lennon 45:59 Bedfont Lakes junior, run #8 34%
John Lennon 46:01 Bedfont Lakes escort runner 33%
Kerstin Luksch 19:55 Gunnersbury run #176, parkrun pb 75%
Steve Newell 32:01 St Albans park #68 56%
Joe Nolan 29:15 Black Park run #259, 243rd at Black Park 55%
Natalie Ruffell 22:12 Tooting Common club course record, run #40 67%
Colin Russell 22:59 Oak Hill parkrun pb 59%
Benita Scaife 30:54 Mosman BA park #237 62%
John Scaife 30:56 Mosman park #25 53%
Emily Warburton-Brown 25:26 Peckham Rye course pb, club record 58%
David Duggan volunteer Bedfont Lakes volunteer coordinator
Tom Rowley volunteer Woking

The thirst for parkrun tourism continued this week with our members at three hitherto unvisited spots around the world.  Benita (30:54) and John Scaife (30:56) were back in the city and by the coast at Mosman in Sydney only a few miles from Curl Curl where Caroline Yarnell (pb 22:13) still runs occasionally.  That took the club total on 237. I'm curious that John Scaife, ever the gentleman, paces his wife round countless courses and yet still fails to match her finishing sprint for the line trailing in a second, or this week two seconds, behind.  He should seek guidance from Joe Nolan the next time they visit Black Park.

Chris Kelly (26:54) was at Moors Valley in the Ringwood Forest but was a couple of minutes slower than Steve Dodsworth (24:05) at York. So York is rung 238 and Moors Valley is 239 in our ladder leading to 250 different parkruns.

Steve Dodsworth writes: "This week Linda and I decided to run at York parkrun.  The course is a tarmac'ed 1.5 laps around the inside of the racecourse. It is known as a fast course and has an infamous 'puddle' you need to contend with twice, where you can shower your shoes and those around you.

We didn't managed to beat our PB's but were rewarded by meeting a real-life Olympic athlete (and park runner) Laura Weightman who was a finalist at the 2012 Olympics and won the Silver Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Here's hoping she gets to Rio."

york parkrun picture 

Steve Newell continues...

The record at York was set almost four years ago by a certain Jonathan Brownlee who went on to gain a bronze medal in Triathlon at the London 2012 Olympics and will be trying to improve on that in Rio.  I spotted another couple of former Olympians doing well at parkruns involving our members this week.  Stuart Hayes (17:22), the talented domestique for the Brownlees during the bike phase in Hyde Park was first across the line at Crane Park where Jonathan Cox (21:47) recorded a course pb and finished just ahead of Ben Chaytow (21:52), running at Crane Park for the 105th time.  Over at Bushy Park where Ian Cunningham (27:15) completed his 235th parkrun, Michelle Dillon (17:59, 86.19%) who just happens to be the life and business partner of Stuart Hayes was the first female to finish.  Michelle competed for Great Britain in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic triathlons (finished 6th) after competing for Australia as a runner in the Commonwealth Games as long ago as 1994.

Natalie Ruffell (22:12) ran her first parkrun since Christmas Day at Tooting Common and set a new club record.  Not far away, Emily Warburton-Brown (25:26) recorded a course pb and set a new club record at Peckham Rye.  Kerstin Luksch (19:55) went under 20 minutes for the first time at Gunnersbury.  Colin Russell (22:59) improved his pb at Oak Hill where he is now only 17 seconds slower than Richard Ruffell's course record.

Alan Friar (27:15) ran at Woodley for the 50th time, Denis Foxley (25:52) at Harrow for the 30th and Scott Davison (28:14) at Bognor Regis for the first time in his life.

Steve Newell (

Updated parkrun stats:

parkrun Tourism

The club achieved 100 different parkruns on 19th April 2014 so, with 250 now almost in reach, we will have added another 150 in less than two years.  The club map has been updated to show the latest parkrun data. Red trees show parkruns that have been run by the club, Green trees are those yet to be done. Click on a tree for details of each parkrun.

For the second time this year I have lost my 100% French parkrun done status.  The second Bordeaux parkrun started on Saturday ( with 13 attendees including the founders of the first Bordeaux parkrun (Les Dougnes). Les Dougnes had a low turnout of just four runners - its recent average has been 8 and over 41 weeks a total of 125 different parkrunners have been recorded. The Paris parkrun (Bois de Boulogne) had 19 runners at its 7th run and in total 130 different people have run this parkrun.

parkrun may not yet have taken off in France but they are giving it a good try - the fourth French parkrun at Toulouse is expected to start on Saturday 30th April.

Roderick Hoffman

Coaching Corner - Running Better, From Head To Toe (part 1)

Head Tilt

How you hold your head is key to overall posture, which determines how efficiently you run. Let your gaze guide you. Look ahead naturally, not down at your feet, and scan the horizon. This will straighten your neck and back, and bring them into alignment. Don't allow your chin to jut out.


Shoulders play an important role in keeping your upper body relaxed while you run, which is critical to maintaining efficient running posture. For optimum performance, your shoulders should be low and loose, not high and tight. As you tire on a run, don't let them creep up toward your ears. If they do, shake them out to release the tension. Your shoulders also need to remain level and shouldn't dip from side to side with each stride.


Even though running is primarily a lower-body activity, your arms aren't just along for the ride. Your hands control the tension in your upper body, while your arm swing works in conjunction with your leg stride to drive you forward. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers lightly touching your palms. Imagine yourself trying to carry a potato chip in each hand without crushing it. Your arms should swing mostly forward and back, not across your body, between waist and lower-chest level. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. When you feel your fists clenching or your forearms tensing, drop your arms to your sides and shake them out for a few seconds to release the tension.

Good Luck & don't forget to smile...

Joe Nolan

Running Shorts

Spotted above the Alps

Following on from Dave Barnard's 888 step ascent of the Heron Tower (see this month's BA inflight Highlife magazine contains an article on Skyscraper Sprinting featuring the Hong Kong ICC Vertical World Circuit challenge. This is 100 stories, 484m and over 2,000 steps up Hong Kong's ICC building. In case you are interested the event package cost 550 and includes two massages. This year's winner, Darren Wilson, (of 1,000 participants) managed it in 11 minutes and 52 seconds. The article describes London training opportunities but doesn't mention BA's own TBC at Hatton Cross which has (and thanks to Simon Turton for doing a quick count for me!) 208 steps up its generous 10 floors. Check out the article ( and also if you are that, err, inclined.

Roderick Hoffman

Ealing Eagles 10k:

The Ealing Eagles will be hosting its annual Eagle Eagles 10k on Sunday 8th May in Gunnersbury Park, West London. 
We would love to have some of your runners there. We have had fantastic reviews for the event on Runner's World the last few years and we hope this year's event will be another sell-out.

Please get in touch if you'd like any further information. 

Many thanks, 

Charlotte, Ealing Eagles Running Club (

Thames Meander Marathon - Saturday 12th March - Result

Piers Keenleyside    3:50:53

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