The logo of the baRUNNER website. HOME NEWS DIARY

baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club

The logo of the baRUNNER website.

BA Athletics Club News Digest 18th April 2016


  • Sunday 24th April - London Marathon for runners and marshals (pre-event briefing on Thursday 21st from 19:00 at Heston Venue)
  • Wednesday 4th May - Speedbird Ladies, Harmondsworth Moor, 19:00*
  • Thursday 5th May - May Dream Mile, Bath Road from 12:45*.

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:

Watersplash 10km, 5km results, 13th April

The date could down in history as more significant than we could have ever expected.

  • Labour and Tory leaders both openly campaigned for UK to remain in the EU but their MPs may not toe the line.  In the end the public will decide in a June referendum.
  • The star studded Barcelona lost to Athletico Madrid and ended their Champions League challenge for the season.  Real Madrid or Manchester City could still win the trophy. BA is now owned by a Spanish registered company.
  • West Ham played and lost their last ever FA Cup match at Upton Park. Next season they will be at the adapted 2012 Olympic Stadium

We should say thank you to Hillingdon and Hounslow councils for allowing us to use Cranford Park (for no charge) and re-surfacing some of the route we used this week. Not all councils support their runners so well.

We had excellent conditions for the annual internal 10km race - mild, calm and dry. 

Our thanks to Paul Brandon and Brian Forester for timekeeping and to Paddy O'Shea and Harry Wild for marshalling in the park. The runners and officials enjoyed a fish pie at the Heston Venue after the event.

As usual, runners were trying to run 10km in a shorter time (minutes) than their age in years.  Most succeeded.

Alice Banks kept ahead of Denis Foxley is a closely fought 5m race.

Results: 10km Age Group Time Age - Time Comment
Chris Kelly MV50 41:37 9
Gary Rushmer MV55 43:57 12
Graham Taylor MV56 47:26 9
Neil Frediani MV59 54:01 5
Joe Nolan MV61 54:06 7
Alan Friar MV71 58:02 13 Best for his age
Roderick Hoffman MV55 1:01:56 error - underflow
Steve Hillier MV61 1:06:53 error - underflow
Steve Newell MV72 1:08:57 4
Alice Banks 26:16
Denis Foxley 26:29
Christine Munden 30:45
Alan Anderson 34:50
Tony Barnwell 34:50

Steve Newell

April Dream Mile results Correction

Neil Frediani's time wasn't the nightmare reported of 08:26 but the more respectable 07:26, so his fastest time of the year, but he was still 52 seconds below his best so perhaps daydreaming at his marathon pace. And Derek's surname is Baker.

Roderick Hoffman obo Paul Knechtl

London Marathon THIS Sunday

Although the London Marathon hasn't featured very heavily in this publication this year [Ed: Apart from what I make up I can only publish what I am sent] be aware that this event is a huge operation and the club is heavily involved both running and marshalling.  As usual we'll be providing 150 volunteers manning five pedestrian crossings in the last two miles of the course: 

  • Waterloo Bridge,
  • Parliament Square,
  • Storey's Gate,
  • Queen Anne's Gate,
  • Spur Road.

There is a Pre-London briefing this Thursday at the Heston Centre from 19:00.  All volunteers don't have to be at it but make sure that you have been in touch with Steve Hillier or the leader of your marshalling point.

The club also has at least twenty runners in the event - and there will be additional BA runners also:

James Glover, Graham Taylor, Colin Haylock, David Duggan, Jagjit Singh, Caroline Cockram, Mark Turner, Kimberley Turner, Joe Nolan, Marzia Coltelli, Scott Davison, Jas Modaher, Tracey Mills, Rachael O'Bryan, Keith Haylock, Rina Vyas, Janine Mullett, Ian Cockram, Gary Andrews, Darryl Meek, Gary Rushmer Snr, Neil Frediani, Piers Keenleyside, Chris Kelly, Gary Rushmer Jnr.

Roderick Hoffman obo Steve Hillier/Simon Turton

Club parkrun results for Saturday 16th April 2016

16th April family & friends time parkrun commentary grade
Chris Kelly 20:24 Bicester BApark #=250, park #31 72%
Steve Dodsworth 23:18 Hartlepool BApark #=250, park #15 65%
Linda Dodsworth 28:03 Hartlepool BApark #=250, park #15 56%
Steve Newell 33:26 Shorne Woods BA park #=250, park #70 54%
Roderick Hoffman 32:50 Mandavit M-1, BApark #=250, park #149 47%

The week began with some disturbing news about parish councillors at Little Stoke insisting that parkrun as an organisation should pay to use the park there. The spokesman was at pains to point out on BBC Breakfast television that the runners themselves could of course continue to run in the park on Saturdays or any other day for free.  Indeed he even offered to arrange a grant for parkrun so the result would be revenue neutral.  Confused?  Well so am I.  Anyway the run there was cancelled last Saturday and the future is still far from certain.  I'm glad to learn that Ealing Council (Northala Fields and Gunnersbury) at least has a much "healthier" attitude and they will be assisting with the set-up of another junior parkrun shortly.

The club completed the mission to run at 250 different parks with a sprint for the line reminiscent of the Saturday in April (only two years ago) when we rounded off the first 100.  That means 150 extra parks in only 104 weeks, so an average of approximately 1.5 parks per week.  The next parkrun style target will be 500 parks which may seem quite improbable right now but let's not rule anything out.  There will be other matters to focus on in the meantime.

As we did when we reached the 100 mark, all qualifying runs are included this week with no splitting of hairs or scrutinising time zones.  The heroes are:

  •  Chris Kelly (20:24) at the inaugural at Bicester.  He established an age group record. 
  • Roderick Hoffman (32:50) was at Mandavit in Bordeaux and recorded his first "first place" in a parkrun anywhere in the world.  Every dog has his day. 
  • Steve (23:18, parkrun pb) and Linda (28:03) Dodsworth based in Newcastle studied the map of County Durham and finally found a park Barry Walters had not run at and set off for Hartlepool in uncertain weather. 
  • Steve Newell (33:26) trundled down the Old Kent Road to Shorne Woods (Gravesend) and back in his electric car and still had 24 miles left in the battery when he got back home. 

We are now up to 252 with a dozen more where new members ran before they joined (and may return to some time).

Moving on from the travellers the majority of club parkrunners supported regular parkruns:
Caroline Cockram 47:41 Bedfont Lakes 34%
David Duggan 30:05 Bedfont Lakes run #144 52%
John Lennon 47:46 Bedfont Lakes trail runner 32%
Janet Smith 33:05 Black Park run #48, 30th at Black Park 51%
Joe Nolan 24:25 Black Park run #264, 248th at Black Park 66%
Tony Barnwell 34:47 Black Park run #102, 45th at Black Park 53%
David Tyas 20:16 Bushy Park run #399 73%
Ian Cunningham 26:13 Bushy Park run #240 58%
John Hanscombe 49:55 Bushy Park run #489 42%
Scott Davison 23:27 Bushy Park run #158, 5th run at Bushy 60%
Sharon Kassemzadeh 23:55 Cassiobury run #24, 23rd at Cassiobury 81%
Jonathan Cox 22:23 Crane Park 69%
Bob Winning 37:53 Frimley Lodge run #108 54%
Linda Winning 37:35 Frimley Lodge run #99 58%
James Glover 24:30 Guildford run #17, 14th at Guildford 60%
Alan Anderson 31:10 Gunnersbury run #406 67%
Benita Scaife 29:32 Gunnersbury first run at Gunnersbury 65%
John Scaife 29:32 Gunnersbury first run at Gunnersbury 55%
Piers Keenleyside 24:41 Gunnersbury run #130, 96th at Gunnersbury 64%
Denis Foxley 25:47 Harrow run #35, 32nd at Harrow 66%
Sarah Gordon 33:11 Leicester Victoria course pb 57%
Colin Russell 24:04 Oak Hill run #19, 18th at Oak Hill 56%
Julie Barclay 22:25 Rushmoor F-7, 3rd run at Rushmoor 77%
Paul Watt 22:41 Rushmoor run #11, parkrun pb 66%
Sreeram Sethuraman 28:39 Upton Court run #75, 68th at Upton Court 46%
Alan Friar 28:49 Woodley run #194, 52nd at Woodley 62%
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford Funnel manager
Ben Chaytow volunteer Crane Park results processor
Ben Chaytow volunteer Crane Park run director
Joan Foxley volunteer Harrow finish tokens
Kerstin Luksch volunteer Gunnersbury lead bike and token sorting

Benita and John Scaife(29:32) joined Alan Anderson (31:10) and Piers Keenleyside (24:41) at Gunnersbury.  The run at Maidenhead had been cancelled as non-parkrun travellers had invaded Braywick Park earlier in the week.  Paul Watt(22:41) ran his best ever parkrun at Rushmoor but couldn't quite keep up with Julie Barclay (22:25).

Former members I check up on from time to time included Linda Winning (37:35), now based in West Wales, who was at Frimley for a second week for her 99th parkun.  The black vest beckons.  David Tyas (20:16, run #399) is still tracking Alan Anderson (#406) as they head for a lifetime target of 500.  A former sparring partner of Chris Brasher, John Hanscombe, ran his 489th run at Bushy Park.  There is a possibility that he could reach 500 the same week as Ian Cunningham celebrates his 250.  It could be quite a party.

Good luck to all parkrunners taking on the London Marathon this coming weekend.  parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt will be making a rare appearance in the event and aiming to raise loads of money for Alzheimer's Research. 

Steve Newell (

Updated parkrun stats:

Parkrun Tourism - First First - parkrun de Mandavit (near Bordeaux, France)

I'd had my eye on this parkrun for a few weeks. For a start for the second time this year it would get me back to being 100% French parkrun done...just two weeks before the start of Toulouse parkrun. But it also meant that because I'd be an hour ahead of the UK I could claim the club's 249th parkrun venue so that I could allow others to fight over the 250th run status - not realising that Steve would decide that achieving the 250 should be celebrated as a club event.

But I was also aware that only in its sixth week the parkrun was struggling to attract many participants and there was only one local whose times are faster than what I should be capable of and he had only run it twice. So even if that guy was there, and another tourist turned up as well, I'd still be on for a top three finish to go with my second place I'd got at the nearby Des Dougnes parkrun last year.  When I arrived at the start line I could tell that I could do better than that - the faster local wasn't there and only two others were - and they clearly intended to run together at the pace of the slower.

HOWEVER, there was still one eventuality that could prevent me achieving a first finish.  I could get lost.  And that was a distinct possibility.  It is a two lap course through a wood and the course turns onto different paths with a number of sharp lefts and rights and although there were some parkrun ribbon hung from trees I already knew from an early reconnaissance that the ribbons could not be relied upon.  My smartphone showed me the start of the course during the start of that reconnaissance but soon failed "no data signal".

Now in retrospect I should have jogged round with the other two for the first lap, learning the way, and then stretched out over the second. It is so easy to be wise in retrospect.  Instead I went off at a pace that would quickly put some air between me and them. Consequently one km in I lost the course and about 300m further on realised from the SatNav on my phone that I was at the wrong end of the wood.  I therefore had to retrace my steps and this time find the correct course.  This meant that by the end of the first lap I was in serious danger of coming last. I didn't despair but kept on and one km into the second lap I caught up with the others. "Bad navigation" I explained as I overtook them. I now knew the course so was able to put a couple of minutes on them and therefore finished as first parkrun finisher for my first and perhaps last time. 

My time was awful (32:50) - indeed I've only once run a parkrun slower and that was at the challenging Alice Holt parkrun in poor conditions on a day I was seriously unfit. But achieving a first finish was a first for me - parkrun isn't a race, I didn't beat the other runners, but I beat myself by achieving my highest ever finish. Chuffed I am. But I'll also have to go back to improve upon that awful time!

Roderick Hoffman (

Steve and I are discussing what the club's objectives should be towards parkrun now that we have achieved the "250" target. We could carry on ticking off the different parkruns but we must also find ways of joining together and using each other to get more out of the parkruns that we do. I also think that those of us who are able to tour have a duty towards parkrun to help support the smaller parkruns - like Pymmes and the French parkruns but also the two near Watford, South Oxhey and Aldenham parkruns.  Your views invited.

PS Thanks to the Little Stoke publicity 89,356 runners finished a UK parkrun last Saturday, supported by 8,868 volunteers. Worldwide almost 14,000 people ran their first ever parkrun (2,000 more than the previous week). Little Stoke was cancelled on safety grounds (but the junior parkrun there was held yesterday).  Many Little Stoke regulars ran at Ashton Court and were perhaps stunned, or otherwise exhausted, to discover that not all parkruns are three flat laps around a field - Ashton Court is out and back with a 100m climb up followed by the same 100m descent.  Incidentally the parish of Stoke Gifford include Little Stoke park. Most of the parishes around it don't have parks so Stoke Gifford provide the lungs for more than just their own parishioners. Those parishes are within South Gloucestershire and the Council there has a published strategy for Physical Activity which includes "Supporting community barriers", and "Promoting...local parkruns". The first battle of Little Stoke is over - but the war isn't finished. 

PPS Ron Hill will be doing his 50th parkrun at Woodbank this coming Saturday. Expect large crowds.

Feltham Street-O Orienteering Event - Tuesday 12th April 2016

Now, where do I start?  Well, for the Street-O event you start at the pub, which is also where you finish, so that is two good points already!  In between those two points I managed to accumulate a net total of 219 points which had me finishing the event in 36th place out of 47 runners, or more correctly perhaps "Orienteerers", if there is such a word.  Simon Turton would have taken part also but he was nursing a strain from his previous orienteering event the previous weekend.

"But what did the event entail?" you ask.  As advised in this digest a couple of weeks earlier I had registered for the event simply by liking a post on Facebook. That meant they would be expecting me at the pub and would have a map printed for me and a "dipper" to lend me. I could then turn up at any time from about 18:30 to 19:30 - but I think that they actually started people off earlier and had some setting off later. I timed my arrival to take advantage of free parking from 18:30.  I handed over 2 and they told me where to go and how to dip my dipper.  Dipping the dipper starts the clock for me and that gave me exactly sixty minutes to run around the Feltham streets visiting as many control points as I could, in any order, and writing down a simple piece of information from each point.  So for instance the Cafe at the Ten Pin Bowling Alley is the "Beach" cafe.  Most checkpoints involved writing down numbers from fire hydrants or lampposts. What makes the event tricky is that you are given the map then and there and on it are marked the checkpoints and you have to work out the best route to take to navigate to as many checkpoints as you can "on the run". Reading a map, planning a route and running at the same time isn't as easy as it sounds - the body isn't used to prioritising oxygen for the brain as well as the legs. Checkpoints have different points values, generally the further away or the further down deadends the greater the points. Being a Street-O event also means that you have cars, pedestrians, inquisitive children and runners heading into you at blind turns.  I was pleased with my performance - I wasn't expecting to make the top half but afterwards I could see how a slightly better route with slightly better map reading would have earned me another 100 points and 320 points would have had me in about 20th place.  I was pleased that I made it all the way out to the front door of Feltham Young Offenders where the checkpoint answer was "do not ADVANCE until gate is fully open". That was the maximum earning 50 point checkpoint and the only reason I ended up with 21 time penalties is because I deviated on the run back to get a twenty point check, including an unnecessary delay whilst my brain tried to remember which way was right and which way left.  The winner, incidentally, ended up with 500 points - in a different league though with 750 points available they still failed to reach 1/3 of them!

The next Street-O event is on Wednesday 11th May at Notting Hill - check for details.

Roderick Hoffman

Running Shorts

Thames Towpath Ten Sunday 17th April 2016

  • Piers Keenleyside - 1:17:29
  • Neil Frediani - 1:28:04
  • Jas Modaher - 1:34:39

Now to taper for London and recover from a thigh injury - very tender spot in the middle like I was given a 'dead leg'. 

Piers Keenleyside

Next Digest?

Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to us at

Club website:



Full Index