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BA Athletics Club News Digest 18th January 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

This week's Events

Please help me by sending me 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.

This week's Midweek challenge is the Cooper Test, see later. But I'll also open up for entries in the Track-on-Field and Ross Barkley exercises both due at the end of next week:

Track-on-Field (by 5pm on the last Friday of the month):

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

Ross Barkley 5k (by the end of the month):

Your Name Date Run Location 5km Cumulative Time Total Time Taken Recent 5k Time Details or Comments
    for comparison e.g. how you split up the 5km

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 - The Cooper Test (12 minutes) reminder

Basically the test is very simple;  See how far you can run in 12 minutes (to the nearest 10 metres or 11 yards).  The time, along with gender and age, can then be used to calculate VO2max and a general rating (e.g. good, average, poor).  VO2max stands for maximal oxygen uptake and refers to the amount of oxygen your body is capable of utilizing in one minute. It is a measure of your capacity for aerobic work and can be a predictor of your potential as an endurance athlete. Although there are many factors that affect your VO2max, it is a commonly accepted measure of cardio respiratory fitness.

Ideally the test is carried out at a 400m/440yd running track with markers on the inside of lane 1 every 10m.  Athletes should warm-up for at least 10 minutes and be advised not to start too fast as those who maintain a good but sustainable pace will obtain the best results.  Please act responsibly, don't set off too fast and send your result to Steve Newell (time, gender and age).

Steve Newell

Ed: Please take this seriously with a good ten minute warm-up, recover, then a standing start for an intense 12minute run over a flat course on which you can measure the distance covered.

January Monthly Mile Results

January Mile ResultsEight runners this month and for most of the week it was Amanda who was edging out the boys at the front but then first Adrian posted his time and then Caroline joined in for the first time from Australia. There was a big contrast in the conditions between Caroline's run and Neil's in the Northumberland snow.

In terms of all time records for this event, going back to last April, Maria Jovani remains our fastest woman with 6:15 in Bushy Park last August. Caroline secures second place and then follows Julie Barclay (6:51), Emma Moreton (6:55) and Christine Munden (6:59) all with times under 7minutes.

Mike Dennison has our fastest male time with 5:40 in Bushy (and three other times under 5:50) followed by Paul Prescott (5:43) and surprisingly back in third place Adrian with his 5:51. Perhaps worth pointing out though that Adrian's run this month was part of a single session of five separate miles which he averaged at 5:59. Gary Rushmer (5:58) and Chris Kelly (6:02) are our only other male runner to have beaten Maria's time.

Roderick Hoffman

Cross-Country Update

It came as no surprise to receive an email on Saturday confirming the cancellation of the Surrey League cross-country season, following the latest national lockdown. “The feedback from England Athletics is that cross-country nationally has been pretty much a ‘write-off’ with only 4 licenced races having taken place across the whole of England in 2020/21.”

Here’s to brighter days ahead, and hopefully a return to a full cross-country programme this coming autumn.

You may be aware of the UK Athletics consultation on equal opportunities and the equalisation of race distances for men and women in cross-country running. Already 7,500 people have taken the survey. If you haven’t done so and would like to have your say, the survey takes 5 minutes to complete and closes on 29th January.

Amanda Coombs

Five Mile Handicap Series Dilemma

We are unable to meet this month for our Five Mile Handicap event, and it is unlikely that we will be permitted to meet on next month's scheduled date. We have been able to do two of the winter series events - in October and December. So we have had to decide what to do for the series.

We have decided to continue with the aim of completing the 'winter' series with at least two more in-person events or more if they can be fitted in (perhaps this will be known as the "Covid winter series", particularly if it ends in August). We are assuming that there will be a two-month period whereby the club will be permitted to organise Covid-safe internal events but before open events start up. Whether that will be March and April, or June and July, we can't tell yet so we won't schedule anything but we will review this each month.

It will be good to be able to meet up with club runners of all abilities for the handicap events - to include the thrill of the chase (or being chased), pace judgment from beginning to end, psyching out your nearest rival, the final chase up Hatton Road and then wondering if you had arrived back at the car park too soon.  Although probably running on your own most of the way round you will be aware that you were also part of a race against other runners and also your own limitations (admitted and acknowledged).

So...coming soon.

On the same principle we could also try to fit in a BA Club Cross-Country Championship in that two month bridging period - but obviously it would be pointless to propose a date for that now.

Roderick Hoffman obo the Club Committee

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 15th to 18th January 2021

This week we've got four entries from last week that didn't make the cut last digest (at least one of which, from Melanie, was sent on time).

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Harjit Jhooti Walking 15.3km Heathrow Airport Mon 03:56:50 With Melanie Miller
Jain Reid Running 18.34km Richmond Park 02:39:12 A lovely run avoiding crowds by discovering new trails through lesser run areas. Beautiful in setting sun.
Melanie Miller Walking 15.3km Heathrow Airport Mon 03:56:50 Airport Perimeter, you see places you wouldn’t ordinarily see including the express Covid Testing Centre only a month and a week old!!!
Petra Otto mixed Run/Walk 18.88miles Fenlands Weekend 06:16:00 Felt good, the last five miles were a walk across the Fens, as it was too cold for me to run.

 Then 22 members and friends reported activities for this week.  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
Adrian Haines Sprints 10x300m Worthing Sun pm Each completed in 50 or 53 seconds. These intervals are the shortest  I have done since Sept., so a bit of a shock on the lungs. Oh, and 20miles over the weekend.
Amanda Coombs Turbo Cycling 40km Home Sat am 01:26:19
Andy Rayner Running 3.5miles Fri 00:44:40 Also 2.75 fast walk on Wednesday and 2.2mile run on Sunday in 30:20.
Barry Walters Running 8km Martins Heron Sun am 00:47:22 Ran over to Martins Heron railway bridge and back in pleasant conditions. 
Ben Cooper Running 5km BAMC / Cardiff Airport Sun 00:23:10 I think this might take some beating! I just checked and I beat my one and only parkrun time from April 2010 (23:43)
Benita Scaife Running 5.19miles Saints via Highfield Fri am 00:58:26 A variation on the Maidenhead Thicket/St Marks hospital route that we posted recently, lengthened by widening the loop to take in the Thatched Cottage pub in the Cox Green ward…
Chris Kelly Running 11miles Reading/Sonning circuit Sun 01:35:04 Local loop - with Sarah on bike to be able to swap and head home if necessary.
Clara Halket Running 6.5km Local Sun am A short workout after a long night shift at the hospital, the lovely sunrise was worth the effort  .
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Pinner 00:50:00
Jain Reid Running 26.43km West London Sun 03:39:36 Lovely riverside run to Trafalgar Square and back via Hyde Park.
Janet Smith Running 4.06miles Datchet / Eton Sun 01:02:43 I am on week 3 of Couch to 5k and this was run 2. My knee was sore yesterday but better this morning ‍♀️
John Scaife Running 5.19miles Saints via Highfield Fri am 00:58:26 ...First mile or so on grass, then pavement the rest of the way.
Kelly Davis Running 6miles Staines Reservoir circuit Fri 01:12:00 Perhaps further - my GPS didn't start and I hadn't realised. Then I lost a glove and had to backtrack a mile but couldn't find it! So it was going to be 4 miles but turned into 6.
Melanie Miller Tough Mudder Walk 16.04km To Ewell Sun 04:25:56 We did stay upright, saw 3 herons in Ewell Court Park and a chorus of Parakeets walking back along the Hogsmill river final s-t-r-e-t-c-h
Michael Ball Sprints Woking Sun 100m and 200m repetitions. Bit wet underfoot.
Mike Dennison Running 21.2km Hampton 01:51:31 First part of a plan to run all of the streets of Hampton.  It took me to some streets I'd never been along before, and a very muddy path, which I had to walk.
Neil Frediani Ice Skating 16.5miles Consett Sun am 03:24:01 The first 14miles on solid ice, mixed surfaces for the last 2.5miles. [Ed: I've listed this as "Ice Skating" but obviously skating would have been easier and quicker]
Petra Otto Running 5.17miles Whittlesey 01:26:46 Ran to our parkrun course, did 3 laps there, and back home again. Total solitude, and I felt good.
Roderick Hoffman Running 17.5km Brent Valley Loop Sun 02:06:39 Heavy legs throughout, muddy on some canal stretches but managed to run all the way.
Stephen Taylor Running 10.01miles West Ealing local parks Sun am 01:44:18 Stay local, says the guidelines, so yet another run around some local parks.
Steve Hillier Running 5k Local Fri 00:33:48 Also 6.5mile cycle with Linda on Saturday and other exercises.
Tony Barnwell Running 5km Hazlemere Fri 00:36:22 Circular run Grange Fields, Widmer End, Hazlemere.  Conditions Dry but very muddy after 2days of rain.

Newsflash: Kelly's glove has been found, it is soggy but expected to make a full recovery.

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun Progress

There was a UK inaugural last Saturday! Mount Pleasant parkrun on the RAF base in the Falklands become the second parkrun on the islands. It is logged as a restricted access parkrun since there are restrictions on who is allowed to enter the base though I'm informed that most islanders can apply for access. But if you are a tourist then Cape Pembroke Lighthouse remains the better bet. Oddly Mount Pleasant also has an unusual start time of 12:00. There were definitely some who ran both parkruns on Saturday including driving or being driven the 80km between them. However only one result will be allowed to stand.

parkrun return graphMost parkruns in the Australian State of Victoria restarted last Saturday meaning that almost all Australian parkruns have now restarted - 361 versus the record 380 on 29th February last year. That includes a number of new parkruns including S.S. Koopa Trail parkrun near Brisbane which attracted 391 runners to its inaugural on Saturday.

Meanwhile at Curl Curl parkrun in Sydney one of our number, Caroline Yarnell, earned a volunteer credit.

Overall there were 428 events held on Saturday (and three Australian Junior parkruns on Sunday) with 53,405 participants and 4,594 volunteers. It may now be a while until there is a further significant increase but parkrun will be back in other countries before too long, including here.

Roderick Hoffman

Training Camp in Dordogne/Bergerac

A reminder that I asked for any interest in a trip later on this year with running training as the excuse for a stay in the Bordeaux area.

There is space for some photographs this week...

Adrian Haines' French Property

The property is regularly rented out and includes 5 bedrooms. Adrian can let you know relevant costs and details.

Contact me in the first instance if you are interested in the training camp idea or for a family for a whole property hire.

Roderick Hoffman

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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