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BA Athletics Club News Digest 17th August 2020

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Club Challenge Weekend Solo Run
10th August Dodge the thunderstorms Street-O Norbiton (see below) Best weekend exercise achievement
17th August Track x5 or Ross Barkley 5k Street-O Norbiton (cont.)
19th Aug: NOW run Osterley (see below)
Best weekend exercise achievement
24th August Scrabble Rescramble (see below)  Best weekend exercise achievement
31st August   2nd Sept: Speedbird Ladies (CIE)Best weekend exercise achievement
7th September Solo Mile Shared Mile - Bushy (tbc)Best weekend exercise achievement

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

Speedbird Ladies Race planned for 18:30 on 2nd September

The club is trying to get our lives closer to normality by hosting this year's delayed Speedbird Ladies race on Wednesday 2nd September on Harmondsworth Moor. We would like all members to get behind this if they can. Ladies should sign-up to run, Gents should sign-up to help or marshal.

The event needs to follow Covid secure processes and for that reason will be unlike the Speedbird Ladies races we've held in the past, but it should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience nevertheless. The format will be like the time-trial pilot we ran on 29th July. The course will be a single loop of just over 4k and runners will be set off at twenty second intervals with the first runner starting at 18:30 and the last by about 18:50. There won't be the usual medals and prizes at an awards ceremony afterwards, but there won't be a race entry fee either (though we will recommend a charity donation instead).

From today Steve Taylor will accept entries from club members and all ladies who have run with us since the lockdown started. Later on in the week we'll invite runners from previous years to enter. There will be a maximum field size of 60. All entrants, marshals and spectators must be registered in advance with contact details that will be passed on to "Test and Trace" if required.

Runners and spectators contact Steve Taylor - and include contact details and a representative 5k time for seeding purposes.

Marshals please contact Roderick Hoffman.

Note that the event has not yet been approved by all relevant parties and won't be held if it isn't, and that even if permission is given the event could be cancelled at short notice.

BAAC Membership may be due

We will shortly release the report that represents the club's status as at the end of last year, i.e. to the end of March 2020. Financially the club was doing well but the Coronavirus situation since will have a major impact on finances. The treasure's report shows that each year the club gets twice as much income from our London Marathon event marshalling than we do from membership fees. This year, to be reported on in 2021, no London Marathon events requiring our efforts have been held. Now, our bank balance remains healthy, in part because we have had fewer outgoings this year. But we would appreciate it if the people who run with us, or benefit from the club in other ways (such as through this digest), do pay a club membership fee. The basic fee for April through to March is only £9 so it has to be seen as good value compared to other calls on your money.

If you weren't previously a member but want to join, or if you are or were a member and know that you need to rejoin or you are unsure as to whether or not you have renewed then please get in touch with either or both of...

Alan Friar (membership secretary at

Chris Kelly (Treasurer as

More details on membership can be found on this page.

This week's events

The Street-O Norbiton continues. All of the details were in last week's digest. So far only Amanda Coombs and myself have successfully loaded the App and run the course but hopefully a few more will try it this week.

On Wednesday we have our first NOW event for a long while with a visit to Osterley. I know of twelve of us who may be there (AC, BB, BS, BW, DF, JN, JSc, JSm, MB, PK, RH, SN). I need to know of others for the risk assessment (else if we see you in the park we'll have to send you to Coventry). If you want to use the National Trust carpark then you must book an arrival slot via Steve Newell and I are looking forward to meeting you all and whilst I don't want to put people off I probably should warn you that it could be wet. The cafe has tables behind the stable block and although these are outside they probably have umbrellas. I hope so anyway! In the cafe, whilst ordering your food and drinks, you do need to wear face coverings. But the good news is that the cafe is participating in the chancellor's "eat out to help out" incentive so a lunchtime snack could be quite cheap.

Steve Newell says "One option for the run is to try the Ross Barkley 5km in 10 unequal stages (averaging 500m) going round the 2-lap parkrun circuit.  A GPS watch is not essential but a watch displaying seconds will add to the enjoyment.  Covid19 is still in the area so the format will encourage social distancing.  All runners (walkers) to attempt to rest for exactly 60 seconds at each of the five designated landmarks so 5km active time will be elapsed time minus nine minutes.  There'll be the option to walk rather than run and just do one lap - 2.5km time minus four minutes. Meet by the steps at Osterley House for a 12:15 start."

This week's "normal" midweek challenge is the "Track on Field" 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200m and 100m set or alternately the Ross Barkley 5k. In case there are too many other attractions I'll be allowing you to catch up on that next week - though next week the Scrabble Scramble is the priority (see below).

Midweek Challenge - Scrabble Rescramble (week of 24th August)

Next week’s midweek challenge returns to an event staged in April, which kept the legs, arms and brains of 24 competitors busy.

The event is open to runners, walkers, rowers and cyclists (outdoors and static).  You will be allocated into teams of two.  Your team aim will be to of collect as many Scrabble tiles as possible, then turn them into the highest scoring word or set of words.  Here’s the plan:

  • Tuesday 25th:  Let me know you want to enter, by 1700 at the latest:  By midnight I will have let you know who your partner is going to be.
  • Wednesday 26th:  Each of you should run for 40 minutes, walk for an hour, row for 30 minutes or cycle for 20 minutes.  As soon as you have finished your exercise, email me your distance covered in kilometres.  I will send each team one Scrabble tile for each combined kilometre completed, together with a template board to fill in. 
  • Thursday 27th:  As a team, fill in the Scrabble board with the highest scoring combination of words you can think of, and return to me by midnight.  Maximum individual word length is seven letters. 

I hope that makes sense! 

Steve Hillier

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 14th to 17th August 2020

This week 26 colleagues reported activities, slightly more than recently and, thanks largely to two marathons / ultraruns, this week we had our highest recorded running/walking distance to date with 267.6km (so beating the 264.4km achieved by 33 of us over the 9th May weekend).

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Adrian Haines Running 1mile Sat pm 00:04:47 In the week did a competitive 800m in 2:08
Amanda Coombs Duathlon 30.42km To/around/from Norbiton Fri 01:48:00 Cycle to Norbiton, the Street-O circuit (8.71km in 0:57:18) then cycle back
Andy Rayner Cycling 16miles Cox Green and Twyford Sun 01:01:48 Plus midweek XC in 49:45
Barry Walters Running 10k Swinley Forest Sat am 00:53:30 Quicker than Friday's identical run by over 2 minutes.
Ben Cooper Running 3.66km Pontprennau 00:27:36 Took my boy on his bike still gaining his confidence,  pretty good exercise especially having to push him up the last few hundred yards of the incline!
Benita Scaife Running 4.5miles Pinkneys Green to Maidenhead 00:48:55
Clara Halket Running 42.22km Windsor Great Park Sat 05:41:48 Snowdon Ultra (Virtual): Marathon 56. Ran into, almost!, Graham and Mark Taylor outside the Savill Garden Visitor Centre.
David Duggan Running 5k Felixstowe Promenade 00:33:43 After finding a downhill 5km last week, I avoided going up any hills again on a very flat course. "Elevation Gain: 0 m"
Eddie Giles Running 5k Treadmill Sat pm 00:23:29 Ross Barkley with 10x500m with 30sec recovery
Emma Moreton Running 11.1miles Sun am 01:39:00 Upping the mileage.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 2.95k Trencrom Hill (Cornwall) Sat 00:54:21 Walking the Cornish coastal paths.
Jain Reid Running 51.91km SVP50 Sat 07:29:00 Covid compliant ultra trail marathon through beautiful Suffolk countryside. Humid and hilly with one refreshing downpour towards the end.
Janet Smith Throwing 40.09metres Throwing competition Sun Hammer distance 40.09 is new age personal best.
Joe Nolan Running 5k Black Park Sat am 00:30:47 Nostalgic 5k run round Black Park on Saturday morning with 2 of my pacing squad !
John Scaife Running 4.5miles Pinkneys Green to Maidenhead 00:48:55
Kelly Davis Running 12km Stanwell Sun 01:32:00
Maarten Stenham Running 10k Ashford/Laleham Sat am 00:48:46 Was meant to run Hawley Lake Brutal 10k, but that cancelled late, so had a 'conventional' 10k instead.
Michael Ball Hill Sprints Woking 6x80m hill sprints and gym
Mike Dennison Running 12.08km Bushy Park Sat am 01:04:00
Neil Frediani Cycling 19.59miles up north somewhere Sat am 01:42:00 Wet cycle ride. It was scarey going down the big hill but I survived and found a route back which meant that I didn't need to walk at all.
Paul Watt Running 10k Ash Midweek 00:44:14 All time 10k pb on accurately measured course by Tom Rowley’s wheel
Petra Otto Walking 8.7km Stamford and Easton-on-the-Hill Sat Hot walk plus six hour long gym sessions over the week
Roderick Hoffman Walking 20.56km Capital Ring 11 & 12 Sat 03:44:00 Resting a tweaked hamstring.
Simon Turton Walking 8.6k Whitmore Common Sun 02:15:00 GPS-Orienteering with youngest. The vegetation was very high which meant trying to find a 'control' without a flag was very tricky.
Stephen Taylor Running 19.02miles Ealing Sat am 03:18:18 Instead of cycling in thunderstorms.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Eastcote Sun pm 00:33:26 Not hot but humid.

As well as the ultra-runners others of our members have returned to competitive events this week. Janet's 40.09metres didn't contribute to the total distance run last weekend but was an age graded hammer throw record for her. Adrian's mile time (in training) was nearly a minute faster than we've seen from anyone in the solo miles this year and his 2:08 800m race time would have seen him nearly lapping me based on my July Track-on-Field performance (but wouldn't qualify as a club record since he was running in the shirt of his first claim club).

And a late update - Denis Foxley ran for 1hour and 5 minutes in Ruislip words yesterday.

Some photos below, from Facebook for those without access - Janet, Jain, Simon, Clara and Neil.

Facebook photos

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}

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 30:

  • Do not exercise outside the house if 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 meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home, and in some situations up to 30. Club organised events 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 need to continue to work with the social distancing gap of 2metres. Any 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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