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BA Athletics Club News Digest 17th May 2021

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

Events Calendar - online here


For Coronavirus related restrictions and advice see News_Coronavirus_Guidance_May_2021.shtml [updated to reflect step 3 of the road map].

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

This Week's and Future Solo 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.

Track-on-Field (by 5pm on Monday 31st May, to be reported on that evening):

Name Date 1500m time 800m time 400m time 200m time 100m time Comment:
              e.g. Location

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

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

There is a NOW event at lunchtime on 19th May at Burnham Beeches, see below. There will be a Track-on-Field at Feltham on Tuesday 25th May from 12:30. See the diary for details. I'm also doing the groundwork for an Orienteering event in Black Park, the permanent course is there and I've got access to the maps needed, on Facebook I'm asking what day and time will best suit - please respond (new options added).

Please register your interest for these in-person events even if you are only a possible. Either by email or using the "Signup" option on the diary entry > Roderick Hoffman (register interest) .  Future In-Person events will be added to the diary as organisers put themselves forward.

NOW Run Burnham Beeches Wednesday 19th May from 12:00

Start/finish will be at the Beeches Eco Cafe which is at one end of the main car park off Beeches Road, Farnham Common, nearest postcode SL2 3PS or W3W "". Parking is pay & display, the cost is £3 for all day and the machines are card only. Meet there around 12:00, although we will not set off on the dot.

The undulating single lap route is a mix of woodland paths with some stretches on sealed drives (traffic free apart from the odd Rangers' vehicle). We will bring a couple of printed copies of the route for the benefit of any walkers and/or fast runners. Apart from which I assume we will go round together. It is probably around 5k.

The cafe offers (or at least did this morning) a good range of savoury items as well as pastries and hot/cold drinks. There is outdoor seating, some of which is covered. The covered area was not in use today but should be available if we need it on 19th. There are toilets next to the cafe.

John Scaife

Let us know to expect you - but please just turn up if you become available at the last minute > Roderick Hoffman . The forecast looks OK - a risk of light showers, so we might need that covered area at the cafe!

Speedbird Ladies Race Confirmation - 26th May # Runners and Helpers needed

We have permission to hold the Speedbird Ladies 5k race in Cranford Park on the evening of Wednesday 26th May.  The race will be over the two laps of the cross-country course (5k total). The car park closes at 20:00 so the race will start at 18:30 to enable slower runners or walkers to take part. There are no facilities in the park.

We are allowed 50 participants. As of yesterday we had 32 entered so there is still space for a few more.  Club entries or requests for non-club member invitations to Steve Taylor > Entrants to Please include runner name, age band, email address, running club (if any), emergency contact details and relevant medical conditions.  The event is free to enter, although a charity donation of £2 to £5 is recommended. There will be no medals or other rewards.

We also need helpers on the night. As well as the usual committee members we already have Paul Watt, John Scaife and Denis Foxley. We would like a few more. On request, male marshals will be invited to check out the course from 17:30.

Roderick Hoffman > Marshals to

Track and Field Veterans League Match - Hillingdon Athletics Stadium, Uxbridge, Monday 7th June

This event is ON!

After a long period of lockdown, we should be competing again next month.  Careful precautions are being taken to allow our first Veterans League match to take place at Hillingdon Athletics Stadium (Uxbridge track), on the evening of Monday 7th June.  Men and ladies are invited to compete in a range of events and in three age groups V35, V50 and V60.  Six events have so far been confirmed: 200m, 800m, 3000m, Shot, Long Jump and Javelin.   We have also been asked to provide some helpers with timing, pit raking or implement collecting.

Please let me know by May 30th if you are interested in competing and in which event(s) and age group, or if you think you can help on the night. We need to declare our athletes on the 31st.

> Steve Hillier

May Mile Results

May Mile Results
Ten participants and some good times. Ian's presence at my planned event in Bushy pulled me to my best time of the series - and I'm sure I'd have been at least two seconds quicker had Michael been there as well! Ben was pleased with his time and Mike also did a PB, also on the same Bushy course as Ian and me but on a different day. Adrian's record for this event doesn't show up on the lower graph (pink columns), I had to look closely to find out why but decided not to adjust the graph, so that you could spot the reason also.

Roderick Hoffman

Virtual Green Belt Relay! # Report

Green Belt Relay photosFor the second year, a virtual relay has been the only option - it simplified logistics, but missed some of the joy of the real relay, with individual runs becoming subsumed within the overall - directly influencing it, but also quickly overtaken by the next part of it - whether getting to the next start, or marshal point, in advance, or in time, or late... and the communal pleasures of drinks/food/society.

Nevertheless, the BA team did not want to miss the chance of "competing" as usual, since 2004, and a team was mustered. There is no need to dwell on the trials of getting 11 runners to the line for the 2021 vGBR, as although we did lose prospective team members Neil Frediani and Ian Cunningham to travel/jobs/injuries (recovering) along the way, we were pleased to also know that Piers Keenleyside and A.N. Other, were in reserve. When we lost Dave Dixon within four miles of the start of his leg to calf injury, it was unfortunately too late to bring in a replacement, and so we did take a couple of cut-off times (that normally Dave would be quite a long way ahead of...).

Despite this, the rest of the team put in the usual sterling shifts over the considerable distances required - averaging 19+ miles each over the two days - with the fastest legs coming from two of our M60s - Duncan Wright and Mike Dennison !! Some runners had more moisture to contend with than others - Tim Bellars, Vicky McFarlin and Roderick Hoffman - despite running "actual" legs in the event - Tatsfield, West Hangar and Walton Bridge (and assurances that it never rains on the 'real' GBR * ). And the rest of us - Barry "Negative Split" Walters, Steve "Little Marlow" Taylor, Amanda "Reunion 5K too" Coombs, and Josie "not Murray" Hogge have some achey legs to remember.

All told, we finished in a decent 32:33:09, for the 216 miles - so an average pace of 9:03 min/miles - which would get us an excellent 8:17 at Comrades = not bad!

* there is a footnote about this somewhere...

Chris Kelly (also see below)

See the weekend achievement report for actual distances run by each team member. And thanks to Amanda for the picture montage. And yes, that is the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct, near Nīmes, close to where Duncan Wright did his "round London" run. Although not in the team, Piers Keenleyside also met the criteria to score a club point by doing stage length runs on both Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps of higher value and usefulness the GBR organisers have offered me a "Stage Winners" shirt for being the first (and only) finisher of the 2021 final stage 22.

Roderick Hoffman

Reunion 5k # Results

I only know of Amanda Coombs racing in the Reunion 5k.  Melanie Miller would have done but the only one of the three races she could attend was cancelled.  Amanda finished in 27:45 - as a warm-up for her GBR stages later that day and on Sunday! Note that the club points rules only allow her to get one club point even though she ran in both qualifying events.

I have the results for the Reunion 5k, but with just under 2,000 finishers across the two races and without "club" in the data I could have missed other members and friends - please let me know.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 14th to 17th May 2021

27 recorded below, including those that did, or at least started, the Green Belt Relay.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Michael Ball Tyre Dragging Track Sun Track session starts and tyre dragging
Eddie Giles Treadmill Pacework Sun pm 0.25 mile x 4 @ 6.45 mins pace with 2 mins jog @ 10 mins pace in between.
Adrian Haines Sprints 1.53km Brighton Sat 00:03:54 Spikes are back on today and Achilles was fine.
Dylan Banks Running 2k Ockwells Park Junior parkrun Sun 00:13:50 Alice Bank's grandson doing his first Junior parkrun at age 5.
Andy Rayner Walking 2miles Local Owing to a back injury (sac: joint) will be resting this week. However, am walking 2M a session to keep loose.
Ben Cooper Running 4.97km Cardiff Sun 00:32:08 Hill repeats - Hot and humid.
Melanie Miller Running 5k Dorney Lake Sat 00:36:55
Steve Hillier Running 5k Roxbourne Park Sun am 00:33:43 Before the rain came.
Dave Dixon Running 4miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday (retired injured on the first day)
Benita Scaife Running 4.5miles Sonning to Caversham Sun 00:50:48 Along the river, passing Reading and then through Christchurch meadows into Caversham.
John Scaife Running 4.5miles Sonning to Caversham Sun 00:50:48 Along the river, passing Reading and then through Christchurch meadows into Caversham.
Emma Parkes  Race 10km Kew 10k Sun am 00:53:10 First non virtual race since last March and really enjoyed it. (with Craig Lunnon)
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 10km Canal towpath Sat am 00:52:40 Charity 10k for Petals for me. It was a virtual one so ran solo on the canal in my bouncy new shoes. Zoomx Invincibles! Made the run a lot easier!
Jain Reid  Race 10km Kew 10k Sun am 00:55:05 Richmond Runfest 10k in a sunny Kew Gardens. Fantastic organisation with a rolling start and lots of friendly volunteers cheering on. I got a 10k PB.
Emma Moreton Running 10km Virtual Staines 10k Sat Not a PB for me but my sister got one!
Vicky McFarlin Running 15.42miles GBR Stage 20 course Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Roderick Hoffman Running 16.65miles GBR Stage 22 course Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Amanda Coombs Running 16.9miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday (and the Reunion 5k)
Duncan Wright Running 17.2miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Neil Frediani Running 17.5miles Whickham Sun am 02:53:03 After a truly awful attempt to run on Thursday evening, I set off unsure how it would go. Well it turned out to be my best run of the year.
Mike Dennison Running 18.6miles Bushy Park & Thames towpath Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday (after marshalling at the Kew 10k).
Barry Walters Running 19.3miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Josie Hogge Running 20.05miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Piers Keenleyside Running 20.6miles Ealing parks Sat+Sun Non-team Virtual GBR stages 9 and 17 through Ealing parks.
Stephen Taylor Running 21.2miles Ealing Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday's run was tougher with tired legs but wasn't as slow as it felt.
Tim Bellars Running 22.1miles GBR Stage 17 course Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday
Chris Kelly Running 24.3miles Sat+Sun Virtual GBR on Saturday and Sunday

Weekend Achievement photosChris reports on his two GBR stage runs:

vGBR #3 - Boveney Church to Little Marlow - 11.2miles - Bolney Lasso

Neither runs on the course due to car troubles, so instead opting for my regular standby "Bolney Lasso" - warm-up walk along the Thames to Sonning, then started by crossing the Sonning Bridge into Oxfordshire (as Dick Turpin would do to escape the Berkshire Highway Patrol, after robbing travellers on the A4 Bath Road - perhaps coming from Waterside...) Along the smeary Thames Path to Shiplake and out the back of Lower Shiplake onto the Bolney Road, and up Bolney Lane. Past the Black Bears Polo Club, where there was a hive of horse-borne activity ahead of an event - possibly the Oxfordshire Cup - then the climb up to Binfield Heath, and over the tops to Dunsden - where Wilfrid Owen lived from Sep 1911 to Feb 1913, experiencing a crisis of faith, enlisting in 1915, and dying in France, leading his men on an ill-fated mission, on 4 November, 1918, a week before the end of the war... For me, Dunsden heralds an enjoyable descent back to Sonning and home along the river.

vGBR #16 - Lullingstone Park -> Tatsfield    13.1 - Bolney Lasso v2

A similar extended route in reverse, with revised footwear - mudclaws - enabling a more direct attack on the trails - so heading straight up Dunsden from Sonning and towards Sonning Common, then turning towards Crowsley Park, which, due to the particular absence of electrical noise, has been the site of the BBC Monitoring station, since the Second World War - coincidentally taking over from the BBC site at Tatsfield (really!) in 1974...  From there up through bluebell woods to the Bottle and Glass - Oxons newest rave venue - and onto High Wood to Upper Bolney, then down to rejoin Bolney Lane and come back through Shiplake and Sonning. The legs really starting to seize up along the river home.

Chris Kelly

And my Sunday stage - Stage 22 from Half Mile Tree to the Hawker Centre 400m away but via Bushy Park, Hampton Court and beyond:

The forecast said 70% wet and it was true - including most of the second half of the run.

I was able to push it until 12km and my only incident of note was at the pelican crossing at Hampton Court where the lights turned in my favour so quickly I wasn't able to take the expected extra breath and I nearly turned the wrong way - back towards Bushy Park, the way I had come, rather than taking the Thames path.

But from 12km, with 3km to go, the puddles on the towpath lower path started to wear me out (I probably should have gone on the higher, better, road from Hampton Court). And the rise up Kingston Bridge was sapping on the legs.

The last 400m was particularly difficult - my throat dried up and I probably swallowed some midges and had a bad cough I couldn't clear. I couldn't see too well because of the rain and being on the lower path I didn't see that I had passed the Hawker Centre before my watch told me I'd reached distance (I was then about 100m beyond).

After finishing I walked on expecting to find the Hawker Centre. I needed to send a "Finished" message but the phone wouldn't work because there was too much moisture on the screen. My eyes sweated up so I had to remove my hat & glasses and put these down with my phone and map so that I could mop my eyes with my headband. I walked on and managed to send the finished message, and then realised that I was beyond the Hawker Centre so I doubled back on the upper path until I got to it. I then took some selfies before heading for the car. By now the rain had diminished and I even saw some blue sky! I took another couple of photos of the river and then realised that I no longer had my glasses on. I worked out I'd lost them between finishing and taking the selfies, so I retraced my steps and fortunately found where I'd put them down in the grass. 

I made it back to the car and my return drive home was uneventful other than being very wet.

Roderick Hoffman

Letters to the Editor

No space this week to squeeze in any of the correspondence received since last week. Not that there has been much.

> To the Editor

BA Athletics Club Records - The Long Jump

On 7th June some of these records could be under threat - but only if you tell Steve that you'd like to compete at the Veterans match at Uxbridge.

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and accurately measured and the participant has to be a paid-up member of the club and wearing a club vest (or in an in-house organised event). 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) Long Jump Anne Hurn 4.84m Rosenheim Roehampton Aug-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV35) Long Jump Jane Harbert  3.92m Jan-97 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV40 and above) Long Jump Unset
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) Long Jump Mark Roach 6.03m ASCA Lisbon Jan-94 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV40) Long Jump Adrian Haines 5.29m Rosenheim Eton Jun-08 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV45) Long Jump Paul Goldsmith 4.43m BA Champs Eton Sep-02 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV50) Long Jump Paul Goldsmith * 4.43m BA Champs Eton Sep-02 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV55) Long Jump Brian Bennett 4.33m BA Champs Eton Aug-03 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV60) Long Jump Brian Bennett 4.33m BA Champs Eton Aug-03 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV65) Long Jump Brian Bennett 3.77m Grand Prix Eton Aug-08 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV70) Long Jump Eddie Giles 2.83m Grand Prix Uxbridge May-19 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV75) Long Jump Alan Anderson 2.36m Vets League Perivale Jul-14 NEW
Paul Goldsmith Long Jump

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 obo Paul Brandon

* The picture shows Paul Goldsmith jumping at the BA Championships in 2002, This wasn't his record breaking jump, but it certainly reveals his unique style. An issue with the data is that the record jump was said to be at the BA Championships in September - my photograph was taken on 10th August and the Round-the-Block confirms that as the date of those championships. Paul Goldsmith's performance was actually at the Grand Prix event at Eton on 30th September.  Paul "have-a-go" Goldsmith holds records across eight different disciplines and only recently lost records from two others.

parkrun update

There was a 12-month record number of 5k parkuns last Saturday with 530. The five largest were all in Australia but the sixth largest was a "UK" parkrun, Jersey with 338 participants. There were also 163 junior events held in the UK (and 5 in Australia) and the largest was Eaton juniors with 212 under 11s. Nearer to home Aldershot and Woodley had the next two biggest Junior parkruns. Dylan Banks was one of 1271 participants recording their first UK Junior parkrun.

Roderick Hoffman

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