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BA Athletics Club News Digest 20th February 2017


  • Wednesday 22nd February - Winter 5 Mile Handicap followed by BAAC 2016 Awards Evening (food provided) at the Heston Venue from 20:00* (see below)
  • Thursday 2nd March - Dream Mile Bath Road from 12:45*
  • Sunday 5th March - Berkhamsted Half & 5M Fun Run*

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: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

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 Page "BARunner"

Five Mile Handicap and Awards Evening, Heston Venue, Wednesday 22nd

Club TrophiesHere's a simple check list to help you plan your Wednesday evening:

  1. 1) Run 5 miles
  2. 2) Cheer prize winners
  3. 3) Eat free food

If you bring a note from a loved one, you're excused item 1.  The second and third items are compulsory, though may occur in any or all orders.

See you Wednesday,

Steve Hillier

Pizza DeliveryEd: Steve has arranged the food order of Pizza so if you are arriving around 8pm please take care as you approach the Heston Venue.

The next Digest or three

From this Saturday I'm away in the States for two weeks.  I expect to publish the next three digests more or less to schedule BUT I will struggle to have the time or Wi-Fi capability to do much research for them.  SO please send me your results and stories in as complete a state as possible - by 9pm UK time each Monday.  If next Tuesday morning your in-tray has a blank email in it then don't blame other people.

Roderick Hoffman (

Heartthrob Hash CIE 15th February 2017 Results

In the past the Heartthrob Hash fixture has usually been followed by some food at the club to attract the ever hungry membership but with the February feast having been arranged for the following week this year the numbers were disappointingly low [Ed: it was also half term for many with children and young adults].  Joe Nolan's planned coaching session was postponed as he was suffering from very sore feet and we hope he is more comfortable soon [Ed: Joe expects to be with us on Wednesday].

Pairs of runners were set the task of completing a continuous relay round a 520m circuit at the heart of the Brabazon Road estate, for the most part each participant running half a circuit and repositioning by jogging/walking across the 115m diameter.

The format works best with teams of similar ability and so Roderick Hoffman and Christine Munden formed Team 1 with Steve Hillier and Alan Anderson forming team 2.  Odd numbers left Trish McCabe in a team of one and she set herself the challenge of keeping ahead for as long as possible!

Trish McCabe completed the first two circuits (rather more than 1km) in 4:38 with gaps then opening up to team 1 on 5:00 (2:30 per circuit) and team 2 on 5:23 (2:42 per circuit).

Team 1 slowed only slightly finishing ten circuits in 26:04 (so average 2:36 or approx. 5 min per km).

Team 2 fell further behind probably because by the latter stages Alan Anderson had switched to the slightly longer part of the circuit and after a 25 mile bike ride in the middle of the day began to tire.  Team 2 was lapped but continued to complete all ten circuits in 29:15 (so average 2:56 per circuit).

Participants Trish McCabe, Roderick Hoffman, Christine Munden, Alan Anderson, Steve Hillier. 

Timekeeper Steve Newell

Steve Newell

Coaching Tips - Taking Stiches in your Stride

Few things are worse than getting a side stitch during a run.

When running, there is increased abdominal pressure pushing up on the diaphragm. At the same time, rapid breathing causes the lungs to expand and this presses down on the diaphragm, a muscle that if “pinched” from above and below, gets less blood flow and spasms, resulting in painful side stitches.

Here are three ways to prevent the problem occurring:

  •  Eat mindfully pre-run - foods that are higher in fat and fibre take longer to digest so try not to eat them within one to two hours before a run.
  •  Invest in a solid warm-up – begin two to three minutes of brisk walking, gradually work into an easy running effort, and then into your planned running workout pace.
  •  Regulate your breathing by matching to strides—inhaling for two to four strides and exhaling for the same. The faster the pace, the shorter the sequence (fast pace = one or two strides per breath, slower = three or four strides per breath).

One strategy for stopping a stitch in its tracks:

  •  Slow down and exhale as the foot on the opposite side of the stitch strikes the ground. This doesn’t mean every time that foot hits the ground, but as you exhale, do so in sync with that opposite side. When you exhale, you use the muscles of your diaphragm. When this happens in unison with your foot striking the ground, the impact forces travel up the body and through your core and exacerbate the muscles in spasm creating that stitch, and hopefully then you’ll be running without swearing once again !

What other remedies do you have ? Let us know !

Joe Nolan

Roderick responds: "I was told that when you were hit with a stitch then what was important was to change your pace - and speeding up could be as successful as slowing down."

Club parkrun results for Saturday 18th February

18th February family & friends time parkrun commentary grade
Adrian Haines 18:55 Horsham run #33, 6th at Horsham 77%
Gary Rushmer 20:01 Osterley M-4, club record 77%
Andrew Jordan 20:59 Bushy Park run #127 71%
James Shoulder 21:14 Bedfont Lakes run #9 61%
Jane Davies 22:25 Bushy Park run #174 96%
Jeremy Short 23:01 Osterley run #78, 7th at Osterley 67% 
Lesley Chamberlin 23:31 Bushy Park another pb 79%
Piers  Keenleyside 23:43 Osterley run #157, 3rd at Osterley 67% 
Kerstin Luksch 23:46 Homewood F-3, run #213, 1st at Homewood 63%
Ian Cunningham 24:00 Bushy Park 24' pacer 64%
John Scaife 25:15 Maidenhead run #75, 31st at Maidenhead 65%
Colin Russell 25:46 Oak Hill run #38, 37th at Oak Hill 53%
Denis Foxley 26:04 Harrow run #66 66%
John Coffey 26:33 Bushy Park 196th run at Bushy 71%
Roderick Hoffman 26:41 Belfast Victoria park #186, BA park #321 58%
Neil Frediani 29:01 Bedfont Lakes run #163 55%
Alan Anderson 30:51 Gunnersbury run #445 70%
Tony Barnwell 33:35 Wycombe Rye 60th run at Wycombe 55%
Sarah Gordon 36:52 Braunstone run #162, 41st at Braunstone 52%
Janet Smith 37:26 Homewood run #60, 1st at Homewood, park #17 46%
Steve Newell 37:30 Gunnersbury run #253 48%
Jonathan Cox volunteer Crane Park marshal
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford timekeeper
Tom Rowley volunteer Woking marshal

Gary Rushmer (20:02) made his first visit to the nearest parkrun to the old Speedbird Club and established a new club course record.
Osterley parkrun started in August 2013 and BA runners were involved in the test run held earlier that month but it has never become a favourite of any of our members.  That could be about to change as work on the paths by the National Trust has necessitated the establishment of a temporary MORE ATTRACTIVE 2-LAP COURSE wholly within the park including going into the normally closed areas behind the house.  For those resident in the LHR area it is one to consider visiting over the next couple of months.  The car park is free to parkrun barcode holders and the café right by the finish is one of the best.  

Adrian Haines is facing the prospect of a significant birthday very positively and some new age category records will become a possibility in just a few weeks time.  Meanwhile he put in a good performance at Horsham parkrun (18:55).  His main target is a sub 2 minute 800m, so good luck to him.

Lesley Chamberlin (23:31, pb) had yet another good run at Bushy Park.  Ian Cunningham (24:00) was a very disciplined 24 minute pacer. Andrew Jordan (20:59) and John Coffey (26:33) and former member Jane Davies (22:25) were also there - Jane getting the very impressive age grade of 96%, the next highest from the other 1162 runners being 84.5%.

Janet Smith (37:26) tried out the new Homewood course at Ottershaw.  The original course ran foul of restrictive covenants governing the frequency of events on the land.  Every week turned out to be way too often. Shame. 

[Ed: On Facebook Janet describes the new course "It was a tough one...with mud and hills 3 times! I liked it though".  Janet has now run at 17 different parkruns - another three and she'll be able to call herself a parkrun Tourist.  Gunnersbury regular Kerstin Luksch was also a first timer at Homewood and managed 23:46, two to three minutes slower than her recent Gunnersbury times.  That was only Kerstin's fifth non-Gunnersbury run in 213 runs and follows a sequence of 59.]

Roderick Hoffman (26:41) was our only tourist breaking new ground for the club this week.  He chose Victoria Park in Belfast.  Even closure to George Best airport than Bedfont Lakes is to LHR T4 {see below}.

Steve Newell

Updated club parkrun stats

Titanic Visit MapDaytripper

My trip to Belfast Victoria was a day trip.  I left Heathrow on the 7am departure, arriving at Belfast City slightly early at 20:15.  That gave me 75 minutes which was ample to amble to the adjacent Victoria Park and prepare for the parkrun.  After the parkrun I was held up in the Bowls Club cafe and forcefed cake for an hour but I eventually escaped and walked on to the Titanic Museum next to the slipway where the Titanic was built. I found it easy to spend four hours there before walking back to the airport for the 18:10 flight home. 

If anyone wants to follow me and tip their toe into visiting Northern Ireland then note that I used a commercial ticket which gave me more than enough change from £100 to afford an M&S sandwich.  The Museum trip cost me about £25 including $7 for the walking tour which you could do yourself.  Just watch out for Icebergs.

Roderick Hoffman

Street-O Sheen - 7 Feb 2017

Sheen Street-O coursesSimon and I both took part in the recent Street-O event and as it happens we both ran very similar circuits as shown on the map.  My track is shown in red (clockwise from the start arrow) and where different Simon's track is shown in green.  The controls we both scored are shown in brown and some that we both ignored are shown in blue.  There were also half as many controls again to the west that we both chose to ignore. 

My biggest error was to fail to correctly get the 50 point control in the bottom right hand corner of the map - I confused the number of the clue and the house number in the clue - an odd mistake to make but remember that the brain doesn't function well when deprived of oxygen!  My biggest success was to cope with losing my pen soon after that 50 point control.  At the next control I was able to think on my feet and from then on used my smartphone to photograph the answers at each control visited.  I also managed to finish the event with a pen because the last control I visited, the 20 point control on the Thames, was right by where I'd parked my car.  Simon's run was less eventful but he did admit that his early route wasn't optimal, including crossing the railway five times, two more than necessary, and most of the crossings were the steps up and over kind. 

Simon ran 5.96 miles in 58:09. I ran significantly less, 5.21 miles in 59:47.  In the results Simon came 13th of 82 competitors with 410 points.  I came 33rd with 340. Had I got the 50 pointer as well I'd have been 16th.

The next event in the series will be on 14th March at Whitechapel.  Further details from this page:

Roderick Hoffman

Another day, another Marathon   


I hope you are well; I trained for the London Marathon last week, as I completed my challenge to complete 7 marathons, in 7 days, on all 7 continents in 6 days, 23 hours, 38 minutes and 6 seconds. The details are below.

  • 25/01/2017. Australia, Perth.
  • 26/01/2017. Singapore, Asia.
  • 27/01/2017. Egypt, Cairo, in Africa.
  • 28/01/2017. Holland, Amsterdam, in Europe.
  • 29/01/2017. New York, the U.S.A., in North America.
  • 30/01/2017. Punta Arenas, Chile, in South America.
  • 31/01/2017. Antarctica.

It was a really hard challenge, but I did it; I feel proud as a British Airways running club member, and  I'd like to thank the BA running club to give me with the opportunity to run London marathon. With this, I've completed 247 full marathons.

Kind regards,

Jagjit Singh. 

If your weekly challenge is a parkrun and your annual challenge is to do 50 parkruns over the year then just imagine doing a year's worth of parkruns over six days and then running a marathon the next day - and doing that marathon in Antarctica (and that is not to mention the travelling over those same seven days).  And Jagjit hopes that WE are well!

I think that the event Jagjit took part in was organised under the name "Triple 7 Quest".  There is also a "World Marathon Challenge" that also does this.  Personally I'm sticking to parkrun.

Oh and nobody mention "Zealandia" to Jagjit or anyone else who did this challenge.


Borrowed from Facebook

Adrian Haines"First 800 of the season. 2:08 in the South of England old gits race. Front ran and won . It's ok as I had no idea what I could run. My target is 2:00 by the summer. Very little speed work done as it has been pretty cold wet and dull. Roll on April as a 50 year old."

Adrian Haines

Ed: We may not see much of Adrian because of his Gatwick and France location, and because he devotes much of his running to his first claim club and to England BUT he knows that he'll score extra points with Brian Forrester for wearing this particular shirt in the photograph!

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