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BA Athletics Club News Digest 15th February 2021

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

Events Calendar - online here


Unrestricted races are currently off 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.  Due to the Tier 4 lockdown all shared runs are off the agenda until March or April.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

Editorial Trivia

My Monday evenings are choreographed to get the digest produced and published but it includes a gap for a meal during which I usually watch "Only Connect" on BBC2. This evening I got one of the answers before the teams did (rare) - clue, "singer crossed with footballer - DNRSSBRKLY". Clearly I was thinking of our challenges, and an old piano.

This Week's Events

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

This Week's Midweek Challenge - Streets A to Z

Streets A to Z logoThe objective is for each participant to run or walk and collect a set of letters from local street-signs as a sequence through the alphabet - the winners being judged on the number of letters collected and the time or distance covered.

The full details are on the web page: British Airways Athletics Club Street AtoZ Instructions (

Summary: The letters are to be collected during a single exercise activity. You need to start and finish at either an entrance to your property or place of work OR the nearest street-sign to that entrance. The duration of the activity and/or the distance covered are unconstrained but should be recorded and submitted with the letters collected. Letters are collected by visiting the street name signs of local streets. Bus stops that are named with a particular street are also permitted signs and you can also include a traffic light pedestrian crossing as an "X" and a zebra crossing as a "Z". You do not have to start with "A", nor with the letter of the street you start in. You can start with any letter and precede through the alphabet skipping letters as you wish. You do not have to finish with "Z". There are no letters beyond "Z" (e.g. the alphabet doesn't repeat). You need to include at least five letters.

So, you have until 5pm next Monday to do your activity and accumulate a set of letters. Email your entry to me including the activity type (run or walk), the distance covered, the time taken and the list of streets claimed.  I may ask for evidence such as the GPS map or photographs of the street name signs.  Towards the end of the period participants are encouraged to post on Facebook photographs, GPS maps of their route and comments on the letters collected. But please note that it is considered unsporting to post a good result early in the event period.

Any questions? Contact the organiser: Roderick Hoffman

February Mile Results

Club minthly mile results for February

This month it is Ben Cooper who came into the cold to finish ahead of Amanda at the front, after she had narrowly edged in front of Michael and Stephen. Towards the back of the pack most of our runners posted slower than normal times - a mile is a long way to run fast on a cold day. It'll probably be warmer come March so times should pick up.

Meet the Committee - Steve Hillier

This is the first in a series of spots enabling you to get more familiar with those of us who invest our time and effort in club organisation.

Steve Hillier – Profile of an Honorary Secretary

Photo of Steve Hillier with ASCA medalI've been a member of BAAC since the late eighties, having joined some of the club founders to run in the first Frankfurt Marathon as far back as 1981.  I retired from running marathons at the ripe old age of 26, but I’ve been involved in London Marathon marshalling and sector management since the nineties.

My current committee role is Hon Secretary.  The committee works very much as a team, so many tasks are shared between committee members and supporters. The primary tasks of the Hon Sec. include:

  • Acting as a link to England Athletics,
  • The Club scribe:  Minutes of meetings, letters to official bodies,
  • Contact to emergency organisations / local authorities for club events,
  • Sorting out entries for club members to The London Marathon: those gained through membership of England Athletics, and those awarded as a result of our marshalling efforts throughout the year.

...and outside of the Secretary role, I get involved in...

  • Club quizzes,
  • Prudential Ride London and Big Half marshalling,
  • First Aid at club events.

I’ve tried most distances and disciplines, but the timekeepers keep warmer when I’m involved in Track & Field.  I’m currently covering the T&F captain’s role, while we look for a new willing volunteer.  Let me know if you’re interested in taking on this enjoyable job.

My favourite discipline?  It has to be the 200m.  Favourite event?  The highlight was probably being part of the 4 x 100m squad, when BAAC won the ASCA (European Airlines) championships in Helsinki in 2010.

I look forward to seeing you at a club event or social, hopefully in 2021!


BAAC 2021 Virtual Relay London Marathon – 14th March – live running, start 8am

Joe tells me that he already has 83 entrants, and with the likely addition of over 100 more. However, at the moment only 13 of those are from or linked to BAAC - so only enough for a half marathon. Please let Joe know that you'll pledge to run a mile on the 14th March so that we can be confident of fielding a whole team => Whilst we expect you to take the mile run seriously and start it as the previous person finishes their leg and communicate that you have finished at the end of your mile - you can of course plan on doing a longer run from thereafter.

SOLO Activity Achievements, Valentine's Weekend 12th to 15th February 2021

25 members and friends reported activities for this week, slightly down on the recent average but this might be because of the cold and because of Valentine's Day - though at least two colleagues were accompanied by their partners in what they did do.  Please try to make future submissions by Monday 5pm, or 6pm at the latest, either by email to me or using the "Prompt" in Facebook, and I'll try to include them all.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Amanda Coombs Turbo Cycling 40.07km "Sanremo cycleway" from San Lorenzo Sat am 01:31:14 Easy ride on the turbo trainer this morning. Nice to be too warm!
Andy Rayner Running 3miles Local Sun 00:45:00 Late Groundhog Day performance - same course and time as Thursday's run - and still no card from Andie MacDowell (or other).
Barry Walters Running 12km Lilyhill Park Sat am 01:16:38 This run was really hard due to having had the Covid-19 jab yesterday and the sub-zero temperature. I probably should have opted for a shorter distance.
Ben Cooper Running 4.34km Cardiff Fri 00:20:43 Total run around mile run (see above). Super cold and windy.
Benita Scaife Running 4miles “Shoppenhangers” route 00:42:48 Finishes outside Maidenhead’s Odeon cinema. We ran through a steady fine drizzle.
Chris Kelly Walking 5.4miles Stonor, Oxon Sun pm 01:40:20 With Sarah. 612ft of ups (and downs) on mainly frozen mud etc. - nice, rolling valleys and a small stone circle. Back to the car before the rain arrived.
Clara Halket Running 42km Short run in the Blackdown Hills Sat 04:59:17 Managed to trip over twice, at the same spot and hit the same left knee , limped the last 4 km home. I consider the virtual Rome Marathon completed!
David Duggan Running 5k Bedfont Lakes freedom parkrun Sat am 00:32:46 On the morning which would have been the 600th Bedfont Lakes parkrun - if no cancellations had happened since last March . It was finger tingling cold out there!
Denis Foxley mixed Run/Walk 5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 01:10:00 With Joan
Emma Moreton Running 5km Sun 00:23:35 Very cold. Aiming for sub 24 so was happy.
Jane Harbert Swim 2.4km Silverthorne Recreation Centre (Colorado). 00:52:00
John Scaife Running 4miles “Shoppenhangers” route 00:42:48 John's "Running for Bloomin' Miles" fame perhaps earmarks him to take over as editor of this digest!
Julie Barclay Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:22:21
Keith Johnson Running 8.15km Markyate, St Albans Sat 00:41:26 And 7.15km in 35:45 on Sunday.
Melanie Miller Walking 18.75km Chilterns Way Sun pm 04:41:59 Lovely varied terrain, mainly undulating, few people around but quite a few horses and also many red kites.
Michael Ball Hill Sprints 3x5 hill sprints with 5min recovery between sets. Exhausting just watching the video posted.
Mike Dennison Running 22.5km Hampton Streets 01:56:14 The fifth (and final!) one of my runs round all the streets of Hampton {see below}. It was rather cold (feels like -5, so Strava says).
Neil Frediani mixed Run/Walk 7miles Up in the frozen north Sun In -8c wind-chill.
Paul Watt Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:20:17
Piers Keenleyside Running 10.5miles Ealing to Kew and back Sun 01:55:54 My quickest and longest run of the weekend. Via Gunnersbury Park, Brentford's new football stadium, Richmond Lock, Syon Park, etc. Ended another 55 mile week of RED.
Roderick Hoffman Running 11.89km Canal to Greenford and back Sun 01:22:27 Including "Hill Rise" which I'd been avoiding recently.
Simon Turton Running 11.46km Crazies Hill and back Sun 01:02:54 Repeat the loop I did last Sunday but opposite direction. Cool and crisp with some ice in the sheltered parts of the country roads. Another good run and pleased with how I tackled the hills.
Stephen Taylor Running 12miles To the Thames and back Sun pm 02:04:39 I originally thought I'd do a HM distance but struggled a bit so cut it down to 12m. The forecast rain was only a shower which was a plus in the cold.
Steve Hillier Running 5km Rayners Lane/South Harrow loop Sun 00:34:24 Leisurely. Also on Sat. a meandering 18mile cycle ride in 1:50 taking in Kingsbury, Wembley stadium and Harrow-on-the-Hill. The Easterly wind made the journey home much easier.
Steve Newell Walking Chiswick Finding most of the plaques in the local area {I had given him a map showing 28 locations, Steve has visited all 28 over the last week, though some were blank}.

This is what Mike has been up to over five runs:

Mike's Hampton StreetsThe fifth (and final!) one of my runs round all the streets of Hampton. Somewhat easier route finding on this section, south of the railway.

I did find during the week that I'd missed three small cul-de-sacs on previous runs, so I did an extra 5k-ish loop back to the north to pick these up, which made it up to the half marathon distance, too.

The total (over the five runs) was nearly 96km (almost 60 miles).

I don't think I'll be repeating this, but I may extend the road coverage outwards a bit more, towards Sunbury and Hampton Hill.

Mike Dennison

Roderick Hoffman

Local Quiz Question Answers

Thank you to the six of you that had a go at this. Kelly also suggested a couple of answers but not the complete set.

Question RtB Answer Chris Kelly Jane Harbert Amanda Coombs Steve Hillier Steve Newell Simon Turton
1: Shortly after six o'clock, as we ran down the Great West Road on our evening runs, we'd look out for, and listen out for, Concorde coming into land from the other direction. It was from New York, but what was its flight number? BA002 BA002 BA002 BA002 BA004 BA 2 BA002
2: The M4 was built across the area in the 1960s, in part to take traffic off from the Great West Road. In which decade was the Great West Road built? 1925 1920s 1920s 1920s 1920s 1920's 1920s
3: Over one hundred years earlier - in which decade was the Grand Junction Canal opened? 1801 1896 1800s 1800s 1800s 1800's 1980s
4: In what year was the first 20mph zone introduced in Hounslow - covering the Heston area? 1993 1990 1973 2018 2015 2017 2005
5: What was the original name for Heston? Clue - "Heston" is a shortened form. Hegeston Heston Blumental Hegeston Hestune Hestune Haes-tun,  Heston & Isleworth until 1270 Hes - Brushwood, Tun - Enclosure
6: What was the population of Cranford in 1931? 200 1500 762 765 765 Unknown - census data destroyed in a fire 765
7: In which year did British Airways (as it was then) adopt Heston Aerodrome as its main London Terminus? 1936 BA started after Heston closed 1929 1936 1936 1936 1936
8: And, over at Wraysbury rather than Heston, in which year did we first report seeing "Green Parrots" in the trees? 1995 1995 1996 1986 1995 1988 1978
Score (each question: 4pts for a correct answer, 3pts if "one year out", 2pts for close, 1pt for having a go)   17 23 21 22 20 21

I said that you could use Google to get your answers, but that I'd take the "Round-the-Block" answer as definitive. I have done that in the marking of the answers above. If you want to challenge any of the Round-the-Block answers then please address a complaint to the editor, Mr. John Williams.

So the best set of answers was by the one of us currently furthest away - Jane. But I'd like to also credit Amanda since she is the only one of the six not to have experienced that era of the club and also Chris because I detected that he used Google the least.

I did do some Google analysis myself. Don't believe everything you read on the internet - one source of Concorde flight numbers and departure times I found would suggest that Concorde landed at Heathrow at 3am - unlikely even in those noisy days. BA001 was the main flight to New York and this returned as the BA002 and was the one reported in Round-the-Block as landing at around 18:00, although I can't find schedule information to confirm this. '003 and '004 also did a round trip to New York in busier seasons, timed later in the day. Where and when '007 flew is still subject to the official secrets act. 

20mph zones had been permitted from December 1990 although the Secretary of State had to consent. The one in Heston was introduced in 1993 including the signs, now gone, showing the area's aircraft building heritage.

British Airways PLC was established in 1974. The British Airways in question 7 was a predecessor to the current company. 

The "Green Parrots" were spotted during a club hash run. I'm impressed that two people got this spot on and a third just one year out - I would have guessed that the parakeets arrived up to a decade later.

Roderick Hoffman

BA Athletics Club Records

I'm holding over starting this until next week. Some of our records have been standing for over thirty years so they can wait a little longer before being further promoted.

Roderick Hoffman

Stolen from Facebook - Caroline in Australia

Caroline Yarnell has demonstrated that there will be life after the worst of this pandemic is over...

"An 'interesting' time was had by all the masters competitors in the state steeplechase championships yesterday. Lessons were probably learnt - like carry your own steeple chase jump spare parts and don't warm up for two hours. I got a new over-60s state record.  The race was delayed by 75 minutes in cold drizzle, and by then I'd warmed up about 6 times and worn myself out - couldn't hurdle. Really nice to see everyone - well done to one and all!"


"after yesterday's steeplechase, today was the Branch Surf Carnival hosted by the best surf club in NSW: North Steyne. I ran the 2k open soft sand run and came 5th. I still ran the 1k 60-64 sand run (quite well actually), but was told that as I was the only competitor, there would be no medal and no points for the club."

Caroline Yarnell

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.

  • 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 do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction).
  • Tier 4 rules only allow you to exercise on your own, with people in your linked household (bubble), as part of child-care or with one other person. You are advised to exercise just once per day and to minimise the variety of people you meet over the weeks of lockdown. Exercising your pet is allowed in addition, but only on your own.
  • 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 not permitted in Tier 4.  For when the situation changes any club member may be permitted to organise a shared activity. We recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself.  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,
  • 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

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

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