baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
BA Athletics Club News Digest 21st September 2020
For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at email@example.com.
Events Calendar - online here
Unrestricted races are still few and far between 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.
In the distributed version of the digest you may need to click on the diary heading to open up the full online version. You can also access the diary from our website at http://www.barunner.org.uk/Event_Diary.shtml.
Use the diary to understand and plan which club events you will be participating in. Using the icon towards the top right you can swap between "List", "4 weeks" and other views. More detail is provided by clicking on the diary entries and for some you can even "Sign up" to indicate an intention to attend the event. You can also add your own events - these will under the calendar heading "Colleague Run". Please do this if you are planning a run later in the week or beyond and you'd be quite happy for others to join you.
Remember during this period that runs with more than six participants have to be properly authorised. If you are joining in a club or colleague run please ensure that you have told them and also, for non-BAAC members, that you have provided them with your contact details. And remember that there have still been no confirmed reports of coronavirus being passed on outside between runners. We may be heading for another lockdown but the reason for that isn't because of runs in parks.
If you look at October's runs you'll note that I've put in two external virtual events - the Vitality London 10,000 (as our Run-of-the-Month) and the Marlow Striders virtual half and seven mile runs. Details including how to enter are in the diary items. If you want other races to feature...you know what you've got to do.
Any difficulties, questions or suggestions - please get in touch via Events@barunner.org.uk .
This Week's Events
You could be very busy with club runs this week! Kelly Davis is organising a run around the Bedfont Lakes parkrun course from 18:30 tomorrow, Tuesday. Please tell Kelly or me if you intend to attend. Then on Friday starting at 11:00am I'm celebrating the ten-year anniversary of BA hosting the World Airline Road Race by running 5k on the same course at Victoria Docks in East London. At the moment it is only Steve Newell and myself expected but let me know if you can also make it.
This week the midweek challenge is the Track-on-Field event and next week it is the Ross Barkley 5k challenge. Both of these can be undertaken on any day during each month although I'll group together the month's results after the last Friday of the month (Track-on-Field) and after the last day of the month (Ross Barkley).
As usual we have the "best weekend achievement" over next weekend although I'm expecting distances to be short and paces to be controlled just one week ahead of many people doing the virtual London Marathon the following weekend.
The Kings Cross Street-O is also available every day up until the end of the month. Simon Turton has already done his run and I know that others are planned.
So, a busy week. And I wonder whose name will feature the most in next week's digest? Send me your results for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to News@barunner.org.uk:
News from BA Clubs - Bedfont
We've been notified that we can now use the refurbished changing rooms at Bedfont (at the Bedfont & Feltham Football and Social Club in Hatton Road). The club committee will discuss this at our next meeting and decide whether and how to return to club runs.
Last Week's Midweek Challenge - 5k Pacing
Seven of us attempted the paced run challenge. This was to state what pace we would run a 5k in and then try to run that pace throughout, without looking at our watches though with those watches recording the kms or miles to see how well we did.
So, this presented us with three challenges:
The table below and the graph above shows the results for the seven of us that attempted this. The first point displayed is the pace we said we would run at, the second point is the pace we averaged throughout the five km and the remaining points are the paces over each km (or mile in Scott's case).
I failed on the first challenge - assessing my own fitness. Returning from injury I turned out to be much fitter than I thought I was by finishing 2.5 minutes faster than my target. I had chosen a flat course (even missing out the 100m long downhill section of the Northala Fields course!) and I coped admirably with the different wind speeds running slightly slow in the first km but then almost identically in the last four (indeed, the 2 seconds slower in the fourth km can be put down to me having to retrieve my cap that had blown off).
Amanda discovered that she wasn't as fit as she thought - still recovering from her Triathlon efforts documented later. Everyone else were quite good on their fitness judgment, spot on in Stephen's case and almost so from Scott. Mike and Scott got steadily faster during the run, most of the others had their ups and downs. This proved an interesting exercise and I'll repeat this later on in the year where hopefully a few more of us will have a go and sticking to a constant pace.
Wimbledon Windmill Wander Write-up
I had described this in advance as a "Wander" simply to be an alliterative headline, but it can be used to describe the course we ran. We had attempted to run the Wimbledon parkrun course. But none of us knew it. And it was not marked. And Steve's map didn't show part of the course. And data phone signals failed within the woods. And the map on the parkrun website is impossible*.
But the seven of us managed to have a delightful run with six of us doing a shortened form of the parkrun course in two and a bit laps whilst Steve did a reverse walk of one lap.
And we had a nice lunch stop at the cafe afterwards.
* I revisited Wimbledon Common on Saturday and with more technology on board I attempted to walk around the parkrun website drawn course and I can confirm that it is impossible to get from the start to the finish using the woodland paths. By that I mean the stretch you do three times in the two and a bit laps. The drawn course links two points with a straight line that doesn't correspond to a real path. Either the map is wrong or there has been some remarkable growth since lockdown started!
SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 18th to 21st September 2020
This week 27 members and friends reported activities.
Blenheim Palace Triathlon – Race Report
This event was originally scheduled for May but was postponed to mid-September. For many months I didn’t believe that the UK’s second-largest triathlon could take place in these extraordinary times. However, the Palace granted permission, and with extensive planning and a Covid-secure race licence issued by British Triathlon, it went ahead.
Blenheim Palace is the most stunning of venues. The huge transition area is laid out in front of the palace, and the lake and extensive grounds are perfect for triathlon. 7,000 competitors usually take part – many first-timers – although numbers were reduced this year.
I had entered the ‘Weekend Warrior’: complete as many sprint triathlons as you can during the racing hours of the weekend. I was only able to compete on Saturday because I was taking my son back to university on Sunday, but nevertheless I had a place rolled over and decided to give it a go.
The Warriors had their own transition area, with portaloos, water dispensers and plenty of hand sanitiser. There was no on-course nutrition this year, no changing facilities or post-race massage. Each participant was allowed one spectator only (pre-booked). We had been sent a YouTube race briefing, and were given an extra briefing at the start… and then we were off!
Each triathlon consists of a 750m swim in the lake (wetsuit compulsory), followed by a 0.4km uphill run in the wetsuit to transition, which certainly saps the legs! No mass start this year; competitors were pulsed out from the pontoon in 5-second intervals. Onto the bike for a 19.8km scenic but hilly course in the palace grounds, then back to transition for a ‘quick’ change into running shoes for a 5.4km run, which wasn’t flat either! Once through the finishing gantry, the chip timing stops, you collect a medal and then run/walk/crawl the 1.1km back to the swim start where hopefully your assistant is waiting with your wetsuit, cap and goggles. My husband had agreed to help for the day, and did a grand job between swims drying out the wetsuit as much as possible (we were lucky with the weather) and generally helping me with logistics. Most Warriors had assistants, but the few that didn’t had the extra detour via transition after each finish.
Back at the lake - over the timing mat and into the water, the fun begins again!
I was happy to complete four triathlons in the time available on Saturday; a total of 3km swimming, 79.2km cycling and 21.6km running (not counting the extra 5.3km covered). The format is exhausting. Continuous swim-bike-runs are mentally taxing as well as physically challenging. By the fourth triathlon I could barely remove my wetsuit as I had nothing left in my legs, but somehow I managed to get going again.
It was a fabulous event, but on my way home I said “Never again”! However, as I write this, and having viewed the results, I see that I was the only female in my age group to complete four triathlons on Saturday. There is unfinished business, and I have registered my interest for next year!
The eventual winner completed a phenomenal six triathlons on Saturday and five on Sunday, a new event record.
Huge thanks to the organisers and to the hundreds of volunteers who staged such a fantastic weekend.
Milton Keynes 10k Saturday 19th Sept
Last year I enjoyed my run in Milton Keynes so much that I signed up to do a 5k and 10k early in 2020. Covid came and changes were made to the arrangements. I did the 5k Run virtually, that is I ran a 5k race locally, uploaded the details and was sent my medal. Other races were deferred until this autumn but the failure of lockdown to eradicate Covid meant another plan was made. Bit of a mouthful but they ‘re-imagined’ the concept of a mass run by setting up a measured route, enveloping an app based route guidance and recording system, plastered the route with tiny direction labels and gave competitors a 3 week window to do the run.
So early this morning I got up and drove down to Willen Lake. I found the start - there were no local indications of the start at all, I used the centre of the what3words point.
I then ran twice round the lake on my own, occasionally I had passing interactions with dog walkers, cyclists and morning joggers. But it was nothing like the social running events I enjoyed last year. Lovely morning though as I ran past the pagoda, the stone circles, through a lovely plantation of poplar trees and spotted a heron looking for breakfast.
The end was particularly anticlimactic. There seemed a mismatch between my understanding of the event length and the app. It didn’t give me a countdown to the end, told me I had run 10k but only when I carried on moving forward to take another photo decided to suggest I ran to the next lamppost and finished as I passed it.
Instead of enthusiastic volunteers putting a medal round my neck and paying me with water and other healthy goodies I had to drive to the other side of the city, put on my mask and go into a running shop to collect my tee shirt and medals. I enjoyed my run but I don’t think it’s going to catch on.
parkrun report 19th September 2020 (!)
parkrun events in New Zealand sprung back into life in July but were suspended again after the runs on 8th August. Outside Auckland, Covid19 seems to be on the retreat again and parkrun could start again as early as next Saturday. The original policy declared by parkrun HQ for parkruns to be restarted whole countries at a time has been abandoned.
Over in Australia, Melbourne has been badly infected by the coronavirus but Western Australia and the Northern Territory far less so. This weekend the three parkruns in and around Darwin restarted at 7 a.m. on Saturday with 185 runners at Nightcliff (pre-lockdown 229), 97 at Darwin (104) and 95 at Palmerston (101).
Many time zones to the West, the parkrun at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse in the Falkland Islands burst back into life at 9 a.m. The weather was extremely bracing and everyone must feel for the four volunteers plus the tailwalker who managed to fend off frostbitten fingers long enough to record the times and positions for the thirty finishers and clear up the out and back course afterwards. There were 31 finishers (39 pre-lockdown). Ed: It was about time "parkrun Limited" allowed Cape Pembroke Lighthouse to restart. After all, although there have been 13 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Falklands, the most recent one was on 25th April.
There is now some optimism regarding a parkrun restart in UK by the end of October but there still some hurdles to be overcome. Not all landowners may give permission right away and the devolved nations may not all want to (or have to) start at the same time. If your borough is locked down and your local parkrun is cancelled then you will probably miss out that week. Boris Johnson, now under orders to lose some weight and get fit, will be able to choose between Westminster (no parkrun), constituency Uxbridge (no parkrun) and Chequers (Wendover Woods – quite a tough one! Ed: There will also shortly be Church Mead at Amersham, halfway between Uxbridge and Chequers which looks like being even tougher!). There is reason to believe that Hillingdon Borough may one day get a nice flat one he can attend from time to time – maybe pushing a baby buggy! Ed: Anyone interested in being involved in planning for a Hillingdon parkrun please drop me a line.
Kilian Jornet’s: "Above the clouds, how I carved my own path to the top of the world".
Highly recommended. He seems to be the world’s top mountain & trail runner at present, breaking records for things like the Pennine Way, the Bob Graham round, and Everest without oxygen. A refreshing personal account of his way of life and attitudes to mountains, and to training and competing.
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. The relevant law in England says that people can meet in groups of up to 6 or, in COVID secure circumstances, 30 or more:
If you are unwell yourself, especially if you have symptoms of the virus:
For club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. Any club member can organise a shared activity. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:
Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not for you, no longer interested? remove me please.