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BA Athletics Club News Digest 20th July 2020

Events - see below:

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Solo Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Weekend Challenge Weekend Solo Run
13th July Street Respelling (results below) none Best weekend exercise achievement
20th July Track-on-Field 1500/800/400/200/100
[shared run at Feltham tbc]
none Best weekend exercise achievement
27th July Wed 29th Neil Roderick Celebratory run evening (tbc)   Best weekend exercise achievement
3rd August Heathrow Mile and Solo Mile   tbd
August Events Any suggestions or requests? Suggestions for an August Run of the Month?

All unrestricted races are off until at least the end of July, but 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.  For the shared activities we need to continue to work with the social distancing gap of 2metres (see next section). Following their guidance enables us to operate activities with their insurance. Any member can organise a shared activity by following the guidance, filling in the risk assessment form and notifying myself or Steve Hillier that you have done so in advance of the event.

Roderick Hoffman

Update on Return to Shared Activities / Shared runs plans including Wednesday 29th July

England Athletics has now issued guidance allowing a return to restricted activities at grassroots level by affiliated clubs. On the positive side this allows the club to be in control of allowing events with unlimited numbers participating and on any venue - there are admin activities to be carried out and obligations on club officials and participants but this should open the door to many shared activities. But on the bad news side England Athletics is still insisting that there are no measures that can be adopted to enable the 1m+ social distancing rule as opposed to the 2m standard. So for instance in their Track and Field guidance they insist that lanes are used throughout every race and with every other lane left empty. This limits races to a maximum length of 800m and just 4 competitors on a large track, on a four lane track you could only have two. This is in contrast to the stance taken by the regulators and this is shown by the Football Association having had its grassroots proposals agreed by the government with no social distancing gaps whilst the ball is in play. I have complained to English Athletics, as I'm sure others have also, but so far there has been no justification given as to why EA is taking a far more cautious line than the government allows. The government stance is driven by the science taking into consideration the level of virus in the community.

The club wants to continue to follow the guidance of English Athletics but clearly needs to examine if this is appropriate given the 2m constraint.  On Harmondsworth Moor, for instance, rarely is the path wide enough to allow overtaking so in a race the leader into the first corner would become the winner - all those having overtaken having been disqualified and banned from future events.

However, we would still like to go ahead with plans that include holding a Speedbird Ladies "race" around the end of August. The format that could work for this would be a time-trial. This would involve setting up a single lap course and setting runners off with gaps between them. There could be the occasional need to overtake in this, which we would have to turn a blind eye to (!), but there would be no need for competitive runners to bunch or run side-by-side.

Next week's run, on Harmondsworth Moor, probably from 6:30pm, would be an ideal opportunity to trial that format so I would like as many of you as possible to try to make that event - remember that it is a celebratory event for my 60th birthday and for Neil Frediani leaving the airline. You do need to register in advance that you will probably be there. I need to work out a suitable loop course but a length of about 3k is likely. Let me know ASAP and I'll email you to tell you more about the specific event and our requirements from you on the day. Hopefully it will be a nice evening and we can retire afterwards to the garden of one of the Harmondsworth Pubs where the agreed safe social distancing requirement is less than that of England Athletics.

Roderick Hoffman / Neil Frediani Let us know please

Midweek Challenge - Track on Field (or "Ross Barkley 5k")

This week's "Midweek Challenge" is another "Track-on-Field".  In one exercise session see how many of the five events 1,500m, 800m, 400m, 200m, and 100m you can do, at speed and with the objective of running faster in each shorter event. You don't have to do all of the events, you can do those you do in any order and you can do them on any day up to and including Friday BUT all the ones recorded need to be done in the same exercise session (you can't do some one day, and the rest the next). You will need a watch and you may be able to visit a quiet but open stadium (like Feltham's) or use a park with a path with 100m posts or you will need to have a GPS watch measuring in meters. Treadmills are allowed, but you must be running or walking. Send me the results, for instance by filling in the table below and forwarding to

Name Date 1500m time 800m time 400m time 200m time 100m time Comment:
Submit by the end of FRIDAY please, so that I can tabulate the results over the weekend.

I will be doing this event at Feltham, probably late Thursday morning. Please let me know if you would like to join me (I would need to fill in the risk assessment form, so you do need to tell me).

If you don't want to do the fixed distances as above then I'm giving you a second option this week - the "Ross Barkley 5k". You may recall that Adrian Haines did one of these a couple of months ago. During the early days of lockdown the Chelsea footballer had posted a surprisingly fast 5k time. Investigation followed and he admitted that it had been a series of sprints covering 5k though interspaced with recovery. So to do a "Ross Barkley 5k" that is what you need to do - for instance, on a known 5k course such as a parkrun course, set off fast and as you approach your limit note a tree or lamp post alongside the course and pause your watch. Then get your breath back (take as long as you need) then jog back round and up to the marker and start the watch again for another fast section. I did one of these last Friday with 17 sections and delivered a "5k" time of 24:06 (compared with my previous weekend's virtual race time of 28:30 on the same course). But I need to give you a warning - this is not an easy option - you'll get a 5k time to boast about afterwards but don't plan on being up to much for the rest of the day!

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge - Street Respelling Results

Participant Chase-Word Value Time Distance kms Adj Time Time Pos Adj Distance Dist Pos
Roderick Hoffman* Majestic 26 00:15:26 2.52 -00:10:34 - -2.68 -
Alastair and Maddie Heslop Javelins 33 00:22:56 3.4 -00:10:04 4 -3.2 2
Emma Moreton Gamblers 15 00:12:04 2.4 -00:02:56 -0.6
Amanda Coombs Quotable 32 00:28:18 5.19 -00:03:42 -1.21
Sarah Gordon* Networks 23 00:18:00 2.84 -00:05:00 -1.76
Stephen Taylor Yourself 29 00:17:59 3.17 -00:11:01 3 -2.63 5
Steve Hillier Networks 23 00:15:59 2.42 -00:07:01 5 -2.18
John and Benita Scaife Backmost 18 00:19:32 2.92 +00:01:32 -0.68
Steve Newell* Quotable 32 00:34:23 3.13 +00:02:23 -3.27 1st
Simon Turton Zealotry 33/28* 00:31:26 4.15 +00:03:26 -1.45
Michael Ball Quotable 32 00:18:56 3.54 -00:13:04 2 -2.86 4
Melanie Miller Javelins 33 00:43:45 5.85 +00:10:45 -0.75
Denis Foxley Javelins 33 00:36:32 6.19 +00:03:32 -0.41
Piers Keenleyside Quotable 32 00:27:22 3.51 -00:04:38 -2.89 3
Mike Dennison Quotable 32 00:17:35 3.89 -00:14:25 1st -2.51

* notes:

  • As setter and adjudicator Roderick's times are only included for comparison purposes,
  • Sarah started and finished at her front gate and would perhaps have been faster had she not had a succession of encounters with dog walkers (and their dogs) at stiles. I dropped her a hint that she would be permitted to start at the local library where she works (and is a key holder for) and had she done so I suspect she could of troubled the top threes,
  • Steve Newell's time excludes the one minute he spent buying beer. Had this been included he would have still finished seconds ahead of Simon Turton and Denis Foxley and would have had the beer to celebrate with,
  • As permitted by the rules Simon found "Zappers" hairdressers for his "Z" which scored 5 points rather than the normal 10 for a street name "Z".

Another successful event with the top threes on time and distance being shared by six different participants! And everybody got negative distances. Well done to first placers Mike and Steve Newell, especially Steve for including the beer purchase on his travel. The popular words were clearly Javelins and Quotable. I wonder if participants challenged themselves to get the "J" and "i" or the "Qu" rather than go for an easier word?

Roderick Hoffman

PS I also did a street spelling run on Thursday in which I visited the entire AtoZ of streets (including two different Zebra Crossings for "Z" and "X"). This took me 0:43:23 and 6.48km. It is good to see that only one of us took longer than this and no one had to travel further to get their eight letters.

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 17th to 20th July 2020

This week 28 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Alastair Heslop Running 5km Guildford Sat 00:34:31 Slow improvement reversed by 1s
Amanda Coombs Duathlon 3/40/10km Run/Cycle/Run Sat 02:37:00 Nearly finished me off
Andy Rayner Cycling 10miles Cox Green to Knowle Hill Sat 00:50:00 Recovering from tendonitis
Barry Walters Running 13km Swinley Forest and back Sat am 01:11:44 Steady undulating run almost reaching Saddleback Hill before heading back. Conditions were good.
Ben Cooper Running 3.79km BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff) Sun 00:17:17 Shaved another second off the PB this weekend.
Benita Scaife Running 5miles Bourne End via Cookham Sat 00:57:40 Home to Bourne End via Cookham and Winter Hill golf course
Bob Bannister Running 10km Bushy Park Sun am 00:46:54 Plenty of runners and walkers out in the park despite the rain
Christine Munden Running   Hyde Park Mon eve 00:25:00 Adidas Runners "Progressive Run" group session (plus warm-up / warm-down).
Clara Halket Running 22.72km First run workout in a few days, 3km warm up walk 17km run, nearly 3km warm down walk.
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Celandine Way Sun am 00:52:00 Along part of the Pinner to Hillingdon Celandine Way.
Eddie Giles Running 7.1km Old Sarum and back Sat pm 00:48:48 New trail shoes. Around wheat fields & Stoney horse trails to
Old Sarum & back.
Emma Moreton Cycling 14km Thames towpath Sun Ended with beer again.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 28.15km Chiswick and back Sat am 05:42:02 Walking as I had done about 42K running during the week!
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 10k Knaphill Sat 00:54:55 Virtual 10k run for Petals charity - for free councelling for parents who lose a baby. Also 51km cycle on Saturday
Jain Reid Running 22.21km Capital Ring sections 6 & 7 Sun 02:30:26 Taking in a bit of Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park and The Grand Union Canal
Janet Smith Walking 5km Wendover Woods parkrun course Sun 00:59:04 Lots of up hills
Joe Nolan Running 5km Sunnymeads Sat am 00:31:55 I need to start speeding up as we may be getting together again soon !
John Scaife Running 5miles Bourne End via Cookham Sat 00:57:41 Home to Bourne End via Cookham and Winter Hill golf course
Keith Johnson Running 10.7km Markyate, St Albans Sat am 00:52:56
Maarten Stenham Walking 4.61km 3rd Ashford Walking Photo Quiz Sat 01:05:00 Like our i-Spy event; Maartin, Fran and Jakob found 36 of the 40 objects.
Michael Ball Running Track Thur pm Track sprinting session - 100m to 200m at 4:20/4:30 mile pace
Mike Dennison Cycling 17.42km Bushy Park Sun am 00:52:13 my calf is still uncomfortable for running, so did a cycle round some of the surfaced tracks and roads in Bushy Park
Petra Otto Running 5.5km Sunrise City 5km (Virtual) Sat 00:40:24 Over-distance run on March parkrun course in lieu of the cancelled event in June, in Peterborough.
Roderick Hoffman Running 11.52miles Paddington to Yeading via canal Sun 02:07:52 A repeat of a run I did on 16th March, just before the lockdown. My first use of public transport since.
Scott Davison Running 5km Hanworth parkrun course 00:26:43 A bit windy in parts
Simon Turton Walking 4km Fawley Hill Sun pm 01:30:00 The public footpaths afford great views of antelope, deer, wallabies and llamas, hence taking so long for such a short distance!
Stephen Taylor Running 10miles Shorter than usual, hampered only slightly by a tree that had fallen down overnight by the viaduct.
Steve Hillier Running 7.2km Three Parks Sun am 00:47:25 Newton Farm, Roxbourne and Bessingby Fields. Not as pretty but much less exhausting than the Three Peaks.

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}

parkrun Update

New Zealand continues to be the only country where parkruns are operating. Attendances were slightly down for resumption week 3, partly due to one cancellation (Whangarei) caused by flooding (thunderstorm). Boris Johnson has broadcast a vague promise/hope that UK will be back to normal by Christmas (nb his constituency doesn't actually have a parkrun so …..).

Thinking ahead a bit - the Track & Trace team will have it easy if somebody runs at Bushy one Saturday and tests positive for the virus the next day. Just check the results and call up (text or email) 1000+ people from the parkrun database and instruct them to self isolate for two weeks (i.e. miss the next two parkrun Saturdays). What about unknown runners? Procedures may need to change with runners without a barcode not being allowed into the start area. Suggest you arrive at least ten minutes earlier than usual. Ed adds - this is a difficult area because what you don't want to achieve with any new processes is an increase in interaction either before or after the run and arriving early and having checks for non-barcoded runners would do this. But in any case England Athletics rules currently say that the 1,000+ Bushy runners have to be spread over 2+ km with no overtaking allowed (or, thinking out of the box, across a 2+ km front thereby needing a large field 2km by 5km).

Steve Newell

Ian winner at Claygate 5Claygate 5 (virtual)

Last week we had a virtual 5 mile race in our village on the same course as the traditional Claygate 5. I was very pleased to finish as 3rd fastest Super Vet (over 50), matching my place from last year, finishing in 35:40. The race managed to make a significant contribution to local charities – one bonus of a virtual race is no costs for timing / chips / medical support etc.!

Ian Cunningham


HI, hope this finds you well.

Attached is a quiz which the club might like to try – particularly good if they are retail junkies.

40 cryptic clues to shops, emporiums and the like on the High Street in the UK.

Shop Around Quiz

Linda Hillier

Ed: I'll get this set up in Facebook to check if between us we know all the shops but for now please get a head start.

EA Virtual 5k - Club Team Results

The club got team results in the EA Virtual 5k last weekend. Our top three men (for team BAW) were Maarten Stenham, Keith Johnson and Scott Davison and finished 228th team out of at least 256 teams [I'm always suspicious when the last row in a table has the magic number "256"] and our Ladies Amanda Coombs, Harjit Jhooti and Sarah Gordon finished 114th of perhaps 120 teams.

Well done all.

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through]

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 if social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England has been replaced (3rd July 2020) and now says that people can meet in groups of up to 30. However England Athletics has not yet updated their guidance hence our advise remains largely as it was (but should shortly change):

  • Do not conduct a solo run 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you 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, We should still be avoiding public transport except for essential journeys, and do not share cars with people outside your household,
  • In England you may meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home other than for club organised events. But 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 run, 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 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.

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

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