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BA Athletics Club News Digest 21st December 2020

 For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Events Calendar - online here


Unrestricted races are currently off 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.  This weekend we had the announcement of a new variant of the virus that appears to be spreading faster despite the social distancing measures taken. Until this new virus variant is better understood please use extreme caution before meeting with others, including for exercise. Exercise is permitted, and is encouraged, and you should still be allowed to do so with your family or with one other person.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

This week's Events

Please help me by sending me 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 the last Friday of the month):

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

Roderick Hoffman

Club Christmas Social and Hillier Christmas Quiz

Christmas Zoom picture

The ZOOM snapshot shows the 17 of us who joined in the Christmas ZOOM and online Quiz last Wednesday, and that clearly we were into the spirits.

Linda and Steve hosted a quiz with 50 questions (worth a total of 67 points) and the winners on the night appeared to be a tie between Neil & Barbara, and John & Marion, who both scored 54 points, an excellent 81%. The quiz questions, and answers, are available here.

Thanks to Steve and Linda Hillier (Quiz Masters), and Steve Taylor (Zoom Master).

Christmas Collaboration Event - Letters #

Last week 29 members and friends used their run or walk to generate a letter which produced the following set. We then tried to make any sense of these letters.

Christmas LettersParticipants were: Alice Banks, Amanda Coombs, Benita Scaife, Charlotte Habgood, Chris Kelly, Chris Stockwell, Emma Moreton, Fran Stenham, Harjit Jhooti, Jain Reid, Jakob Stenham, Janet Smith, John Banks, John Scaife, Laura Stenham, Louise Cosby, Maarten Stenham, Maria Jovani, Melanie Miller, Mike Coombs, Mike Dennison, Piers Keenleyside, Roderick Hoffman, Sarah Gordon, Sarah Stovell, Simon Turton, Stephen Taylor, Steve Newell and Steve Thomas (all of whom get a club point).

Best entries for the anagram? I suspect that the best ones are still out there but these three are worthy of mention:

  • Piers Keenleyside: HIYA BAAC LET US MEET NEXT YEAR!

And two just in today:


But no one worked out the original message that I had in mind when I gave out the 28 letters (with an extra "L" added)

Roderick Hoffman


Round Heathrow Event - confirmed (but solo and virtual) #

Round Heathrow Airport course mapThe Tier 4 announcements mean that we can no longer organise groups to run or walk around Heathrow however that does not mean that we can't go ahead with this event! But it does mean that if you do it you'll have to do it solo, in your families or paired up with one other person.  To facilitate that I have put together a detailed guide of directions. This is based on a start at the Bedfont & Feltham Football & Social club in Bedfont Lane and undertaking the event clockwise. The directions will be much more difficult to follow if you do the event anti-clockwise. The directions file is a PDF with one page of directions with some photographs and then two pages of maps (with the directions repeated). The total distance is 12 miles or just over 19km. For the record, as a walk, this took me 4.5hours and I used the shops in Harmondsworth to buy lunch.  If you discover that to be too far you can get back to Hatton Cross from Harmondsworth (7miles, via 350 bus and tube) or Harlington (9miles, 90 bus). However note that we are being asked to minimise our use of public transport at this time so you shouldn't set off on a trip if it is likely you'd need to use public transport to complete it.

Directions and Map PDF

This is the last points scoring event of the year so please let me know if you do it. If you live too far away, or in a different tier, or for any other reason can't take on this particular course - then you may do it virtually instead by walking or running 12 miles or 19km and let me know how long it took you.

Roderick Hoffman

December should be Magic Art Challenge

Roderick's GPS AardvarkFollowing the success of the letters challenge it is high time this club had an art competition. So, between now and Monday 4th January see if you can use GPS or phone tracking to draw something that can be recognised from above. This could be a kid's scribble, a Picasso classic or perhaps some letters spelling out a word (your signature is a good one to try). Parks and other open spaces are good for free format drawings but it helps if there are football pitches and trees to help you keep track of where you are. Street Layouts can make surprising good pictures with a bit of thought beforehand...or a lot of imagination afterwards!

No, it isn't easy, but you will get better with practice. You'll note from my image here that it can be done - it is supposed to be an Aardvark though perhaps it is closer to a Kangaroo...but I did avoid it looking like a Mouse. I did this as a walk and this was the second attempt, and I took advantage of the layout of this particular park, as you can tell from the Satellite photo version.

Good luck...and have some fun.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 18th to 21st December 2020

This week 21 members and friends reported activities.  Please try to make future submissions by Monday 5pm, or 6pm at the latest, either by email to me or using the "Prompt" in Facebook.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Alexandra Foster Running 10k Dorney Lake 10k Run the previous week but missed out
Amanda Coombs Running 12miles Phoenix P12 Sat 01:46:02 12x one mile - one every hour on the hour from 8am to 7pm.  It was a tough one, mentally as well as physically; far more challenging than running 12 miles straight.
Andy Rayner Running 2.2miles Sun 00:31:30 One minute faster on Wednesday at 30:30.
Benita Scaife Running 4miles Shoppenhangers route Sat 00:43:19 Our favoured cross-country routes are just too swampy. The route crosses Oaken Grove park in Maidenhead in which there is a formal garden named for local Sir Nicholas Winton, known as Britainís Schindler...
Chris Stockwell Walking 10.3miles Fifield and Holyport Sat am 03:04:00 Plenty of mud, flooded footpaths, sudden downpours, sunny periods and rainbows.
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 01:02:00 With Joan.
Eddie Giles Running 5k Treadmill Sat pm 00:27:45 At gym
Emma Moreton Running HalfM v Great Welsh Half Sat am Ran from Shepperton to Hampton and back
Jain Reid Running 11km Richmond Park Sun 01:33:46 MAF run followed by walk down Richmond Hill to see the Jupiter & Saturn 'great conjunction'
Janet Smith Walking 4.5miles Tilehurst, Reading Sun So happy to see the sun after getting caught in torrential rain on Saturday ☔
John Scaife Running 4miles Shoppenhangers route Sat 00:43:19 ...If you alight from a train at Maidenhead you can see a statue of Sir Nicholas Winton sitting on a bench reading his paper.
Kelly Davis Running 3miles Stanwell Mon 00:38:00 First mile running with my girl, second two she pushed me on her scooter. We had a real laugh and my foot didn't hurt at all. I'm so so happy to be able to run again.
Michael Ball Sprints 300 250 200 150 120 100 mtrs 4 min between runs
Mike Dennison Running 13miles Bushy and surrounds Sat am 01:45:17 With Maria Jovani. Keeping to the tarmac due to the amount of overnight rain. Alternate mailes being faster (7:20 to 7:30). We managed to get it all done and avoid any rain, which was a bonus!
Neil Frediani Running 10k 01:03:00 Virtual race - with 740ft of climb.
Petra Otto Running 6.44miles Sat 01:47:52 Best effort this week
Piers Keenleyside Running 10miles Ealing & Thames Sun 02:10:27 MAF run
Roderick Hoffman Walking 19.3km Round Heathrow Airport Sat lunch 04:28:00 Proving walk to collate guidance notes for next week's club event. Wet in places but not over my boots.
Simon Turton Walking 4.15km Maidenhead Thicket Sun pm 01:02:00 Tier 4 walk by the Turton bubble.
Stephen Taylor Running 9miles Ealing parks Sat 01:35:43 A jaunt around Ealings parks, mainly the ones that weren't going to be muddy, with a quick stop while it tipped it down with rain.
Steve Hillier Running 5km Eastcote and South Ruislip Sun 00:32:50 I had a rare run in daylight, which was very enjoyable.

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun News

303 events recorded results last Saturday, a modest increase on the week before due to up to 40 New South Wales parkruns restarting.  More New South Wales parkruns may start this week (including on Christmas Day, such as Caroline Yarnell's local parkrun Curl Curl). Victoria is now expected to start all of its parkruns on Saturday 17th January - their reward for a five month lockdown far stronger than ours has ever been.

Roderick Hoffman

Christmas Greetings

From Facebook:

  • Wishing you all a very happy Christmas. Michael Ball
  • Wishing all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year! Benita Scaife
  • Me, and the whole of BAAC, WISHES YOU A BETTER NEXT YEAR

Submit your message for Christmas or the New Year

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 provided social distancing advice is kept to. The switch of London from Tier 3 to Tier 4 means we are no longer able to organise club runs. Everyone in Tier 4 is also subject to a "Stay at Home" order so unnecessary travelling should be minimised. It is still permitted to travel for your exercise but you should be avoiding public transport where you can.

  • Do not exercise outside the house if you have been asked to isolate or 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, or if you consider yourself 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 to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction),
  • When published it is likely that Tier 4 rules will only allow you to exercise on your own, with people in your linked household (bubble), as part of child care or with one other person.
  • As you exercise, 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, or to meet with fewer people, 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.

For club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. Club activities are probably not permitted in Tier 4. In other tiers any club member can organise a shared activity. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:

  • The chairman (Roderick) or the secretary (Steve Hillier) must be notified in advance that the event is taking place,
  • One of the participants must be a paid-up member of the BA Athletics Club and must be prepared to perform the duties of a "Covid-19 Coordinator", if more than six attend we recommend that that member wears a BAAC top or distinctive clothing,
  • Participants, and the activity, should not cross the "Tier 3" boundary or the "Tier 4" boundary (in either directions).
  • A risk assessment has to be raised based on this template,
  • The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
  • After the run perform a review of the risk assessment and log and pass on any issues or lessons learned.

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

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