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BA Athletics Club News Digest 19th April 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_April_2021.shtml [no changes].

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 26th April, 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

Monthly Solo Challenge

The Street-Sentence Challenge is also continuing until the end of next weekend. See last week's digest or read the full instructions at:  Event_Street_Sentence.shtml.


Results to > Roderick Hoffman

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

There are two in-person events this week, on Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes. See the diary for details. And then there will be two next week also - the Five Mile Handicap on Wednesday 28th April and the BA Cross Country Championships announced below for 2nd May.

For Wednesday's Cooper Test at the Kings College Track Steve Newell is planning on getting there early and measuring and marking the non-standard track. He'll also be overseeing the running using a whistle to alert us to the start and end of the 12 minutes.

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.

40 Years

Old club logo40 Years Strong - The British Airways Athletics Club

The British Airways Athletics Club was founded in April 1981 and therefore is 40 years strong this month!   Allan Hardy wrote an article in issue 58 (February 2001) of Round-the-Block from which I've sourced some information in this issue of the digest.

I don't have a list of the club's founder members but current members who were active at the formation date include Harry Wild, David Barnard, Alan Friar, John Williams and youngster Barry Walters. The club was founded around keen runners many of whom were already members of their local running clubs. That was why traditionally the BAAC's activities have been done on Wednesday and Monday evenings, local clubs traditionally meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Perhaps the first race entered after the club's formation was the Battersea Park 5 with finishers including Barry Walters (2nd overall in 25:21, on a slightly long five mile course) and Harry Wild (31:06). Checking below it is good to see that Barry is still doing about the same time for 5', though he has gone metric over the years.

The club will organise an event to celebrate our 40th anniversary.  This will be when we can hold the event with unconstrained numbers, under a roof and with a bar! Expect this to be sometime in the autumn.

1 John Williams

"40 years ago this month.  It’s hard to believe. Half my life, give or take a day or two.  The memories remain vivid .... London Marathons, Hood to Coasts, WARRs, to name but a few.  Memories too of fellow club members through the years, all good friends and serious competitors.  And memories too of the hard work put in by Committee members and volunteers.  Those 40 years would not have been the same without ‘the Club’.

Best wishes"

John W. (Club President)

BAAC Cross Country Championships - Sunday 2nd May Crane Park

Cranford park photoGood news!  We have been given permission to stage the annual BA Cross Country race next month in scenic Cranford Park.  You are very welcome to take part in this traditional feature of the BAAC Spring calendar.  The course involves two very flat laps of the park for ladies (just over 3 miles) and three laps for men (almost 5 miles).  Keen lady runners are welcome to complete the third lap!

The Sunday morning start time will be 10:30.

Please be aware that we have to abide by a number of COVID regulations, and all participants should register in advance to be able to take part - runners, volunteers and spectators.  The race is open to a maximum number of club members and friends, but we are unlikely to approach that number so please join us.

Please run if you can, but we would also welcome volunteers to help with the smooth running of the event.  If you can help, please contact me.

> Steve Hillier (

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 16th to 19th April 2021

This week 24 results are listed for members and friends.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Amanda Coombs Running 9.32km To Kempton Park racecourse Sat pm 00:53:26 Outbound for my Street Sentence entry. Then ran home.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 00:49:30 Also on Thursday - quicker at 48:50.
Barry Walters Running 10km Martins Heron Sun am 00:51:43  Time trial. Started well and got into a good pace reaching halfway in 26:15. Kept attacking on the second half which was more uphill and completed in 25:28.
Ben Cooper Running 5.12km Cardiff Sat lunch 00:26:33 During which I set PB for flying km (3.58) and flying mile (6.29) so very happy indeed.
Benita Scaife Running 7.68miles Flackwell Heath via Cookham and Bourne End. 01:34:53 We were both feeling a bit sluggish and sorely tempted to call it a day outside Bourne End Costa but battled up Blind Lane to the finish.
Clara Halket Running 11km Local trails Sat pm 00:56:44 Sunny Saturday afternoon
Denis Foxley Running Ruislip Woods Sun am 01:04:00 Taking in horse tracks, Lido and Haste Hill.
Emma Moreton Running 5k Isle of Wight (Not)parkrun
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 5km Woking parkrun Sat am 00:24:09 With Kay, Julie and Paul and Tom as timekeeper. Also ran in Devon this week, Tarka Trail from Bideford (pictured). Wonderful to get to the coast at last!
Jain Reid Running 28.58km Richmond Park and back Sun 03:32:00 What a fabulous day for being outside. Over MAF HR but I was enjoying it.
Joan Foxley Running Ruislip Woods Sun am 00:59:00 All in the woods and horse tracks – and, for a change, felt really good.
John Scaife Running 7.68miles Flackwell Heath via Cookham and Bourne End. 01:34:53 Also last week a long walk with the BA mountain walking & trekking group in the Surrey Hills (pictured).
Julie Barclay Running 5km Dorney Lake Sun 00:21:31 Officially timed race - fastest in over a year & 83.12% age grade.
Keith Johnson Running 10.2km St Albans area Sat 00:50:36 Also cycling on Sunday - 41.8km in 1:33.
Kelly Davis Running 2k New Milton Junior parkrun Sun am 00:14:37 We've been away all week near the New Forest walking miles, Chloe still managed to sprint parts of New Milton junior parkrun, leaving me behind a couple of times. We did finish together though.
Melanie Miller Walking 20.54km Brush, Whiteleaf & Coombe Hill Sun 04:56:00 Doing 3 super hills in the heat in The Chilterns was 13 miles 565m of hiking but the views more than made up for it!
Michael Ball Sprints Brooklands Sun am Early morning sprint work
Mike Dennison Running 21.2km Sunbury & Bushy Park Fri am 01:42:23 To Walton Bridge, avoiding roads, then over the river and on the towpath to Hampton Court, finishing through Bushy Park. It was really nice for running, and a pretty quiet route too.
Paul Watt Running 5km Dorney Lake Sun 00:19:32 Officially timed race - lifetime PB
Piers Keenleyside Running 11miles Celandine Path, from Pinner Sat 02:38:19 From Pinner to West Drayton mostly along the river Pinn. [Ed: And downhill all the way!]
Roderick Hoffman Running 5km Brookside, Yeading Sat pm 00:28:50 Fastest non-"Ross Barkley" 5k since July. Also 9.5km Henley Street-O on Friday (pictured).
Simon Turton Walking 10.8km Thames to Maidenhead Sat am 01:45:00 Taking in Bray & Monkey Island.  Including looking at the additional steel work put in to support the M4 road widening over the Thames (it’s the engineer in me). Lovely morning.
Stephen Taylor Running 12miles Richmond and back Sun am 02:02:01 I completely ran out of "go" in my legs at 12 miles having spent the previous three days building a shed.
Steve Hillier Cycling 19.8miles Uxbridge/Grand Union Canal/Horsenden Hill Sun 01:45:00 I stuck to cycling today.  The boats are out on the canal, with the smaller the boat, the greater the engine noise.  The towpath was busy, but manageable.  Car boot sales are back!


Weekend Achievements

The Scafe's picture includes one Tony Cooper, who ran with club members many times in the 80s - but not the "Cooper" of the "Cooper Test".

Roderick Hoffman

Meet the Committee - Roderick Hoffman

Roderick Hoffman - Chairman & Communications

Roderick Hoffman at Crissy FieldI've been the Communications Officer for nearly ten years now and as well as producing the weekly digests I also maintain the club website and Facebook accounts.  I've also been Chairman for most of the last six years. Being Chairman means I have to be prepared to be the public face of the club, internally and externally.

A running confession - I easily get bored and therefore I try to run on lots of different routes. My favourite running at the moment is Street-Orienteering where not only is the course different each time but you have to make real time decisions as to where you are going to be running next.

I joined BA, in the OR department, in 1982 and Dave Barnard in the next office encouraged me to get into running. A year and a week after joining BA I was on my first ever flight, travelling first to Orlando for the 1983 WARR and then up to New York for the Marathon.  I have attended most WARR events since and was the Project Manager for the London WARR in 2010. I'm now retired and able to spend more time running or involved in running. In truth I don't do much else!

My greatest running achievement is probably in parkrun. I was slow to get into parkrun, not being keen to get up for 9am on a Saturday only for a 5k distance run. But in an effort to attract new members I set up a club initiative to visit different "club-featured" parkruns. Having visited Bedfont Lakes, Bushy Park, Black Park and Gunnersbury I kept going doing different parkruns, and eventually did 52 different parkruns before returning to Bedfont.  I was the first "parkrun tourist" to do "50 in 50" and the feat is now known as a "Hoffman" (the "Hoffman club" now has about 100 members). To date I've done parkrun at 301 different parkrun venues including Crissy Field in San Francisco, on the finish line of which this photo was taken.

Roderick Hoffman

5 Chairs

Organisationally Allan Hardy was significant in the early days of the club but the club's first chairman was Dave Blackett. Within a few years Brian Forrester stepped into the role of Chairman and held it for most of the first thirty years of the club. He didn't hold it continuously - Chris Stockwell had one year in charge and John Williams was elected five times and served four (but that is another story).

I had little club organisational involvement prior to my WARR 2010 role, I'd never been on the committee.  But in 2011, after taking a year off to recharge my batteries, I took on the role of Communications and Deputy Chairman. Due to Brian's declining health I took over from him from 2016 and have held the role of Chairman since.

Roderick Hoffman

BA Athletics Club Records - 400m

400 The 400m event is the middle run of the "Track-on-Field" challenge. So how will our times this week compare to BA's club records?

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 run in a BA vest and claim the record (so the same performance cannot be claimed by two different clubs).

TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) 400m Anne Hurn 64.7 LBH Hendon Jun-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV35) 400m Jane Harbert  71.7 Jan-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV45) 400m Jacqui Musselwhite 71.9 Rosenheim Walton May-18 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV50) 400m Jacqui Musselwhite 73.0 Vets League Battersea May-19 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV50) 400m Jacqui Musselwhite* 70.8 World Vets Malaga Sep-18 GB Vest
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV55) 400m Julie Barclay 77.7 Vets League Battersea Jun-19 NEW
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) 400m John Coe 49.1 ASCA Helsinki Jan-85 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV40) 400m John Coe 53.3 Jan-98 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV45 & MV50) 400m Malcolm Field 61.2 ASCA Dublin Aug-05 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV55) 400m Eddie Giles 65.5 Rosenheim Eton Jun-08 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV60) 400m Eddie Giles 66.9 Grand Prix Eton Aug-09 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV65) 400m Brian Bennett 73.9 Grand Prix Eton Aug-07 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV70) 400m David Barnard 93.7 BA Champs Eton Sep-09 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV75) 400m Alan Anderson 104.9 Rosenheim Eton Jul-12 NEW


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

* Note that Jacqui managed to run faster representing Great Britain at the World Veterans event in Sept 2018 than she had done earlier in a BA vest. The BA vest performance counts as the club record.

82 Round-the-Blocks from 9 Editors

I will specifically cover how club communication has changed over the forty years of the club.

In the early days it was important who you knew as details of club events would be passed on by word of mouth, or by notices stuck on a noticeboard of a club house miles from where anyone actually lived or worked. Anyone who wasn't close to a committee member didn't have much chance of keeping up with the club. Allan Hardy produced a few newsletters and Dave Barnard started producing the "Green Peril" which was a list of future events and key results.  These were distributed by the BA offices postal service.

The club needed a regular newsletter and so in July 1983 Mike Barnett produced the first "Round-the-Block" newsletter. Named after the ten mile run we (all!) often did on a Wednesday evening and pictured on the cover [see photo below]. Mike only produced the first issue with George Tychowski editing issues 2 through 7. In April 1987 John Williams edited issue number 8 and John continued editing for 35 issues until issue number 42 in February 1996. Then Nick Edge took over and produced 8 issues. Steve Hillier produced one issue followed by Sue Wells with six, including a massive multi-coloured issue to mark the Millennium. Judy Connaghton (now Turton) produced five issues in 2001 and 2002, and then Paul Goldsmith took over for at least 14 issues before handing over to Natalie Lang for up to 6 issues, the last being issue 82 in November 2011. I'm not quite sure when Paul handed over to Natalie because I don't have copies of those - they were distributed electronically.

Round-the-Block Cover

Overall there were 82 Round-the-Block issues over 30 years so the original plan of having these quarterly had obviously faltered. There was a general problem that issues required a great deal of work to produce, get printed and distribute (including by external post to retired members) so the work got put off which was counterproductive because there was then more content to be included in each issue. I've got paper copies of about 57 of the 82 and I'm currently producing an index into them. Once I've completed those I've got, I'll be going in search of the gaps.

We have had a website from sometime in the '00s. Initially set-up and maintained by Paul Knechtl. Having delivered a website for the WARR 2010 event I then produced the baRUNNER site from October 2011. Prior to that Paul Brandon had been manually forwarding all club related emails to all members but with over a dozen of these each week we had to produce a more sustainable process.  Initially this consisted of each "email" being posted in a list on baRUNNER but from August 2012 I started producing the weekly Digest - available online but also emailed to all club members. Nearly nine years on, so about 450 issues later, that remains the current process. Facebook is used, and increasingly so, but it is still as a back-up process to the digest.

So, whereas in the early days it was who you knew that determined whether you knew what the club was planning, now it is how well you are connected - and I do acknowledge that we will have lost several members because they are not connected to the Internet or email services. We will make efforts to reconnect for our 40th anniversary celebration.
Roderick Hoffman

Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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