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BA Athletics Club News Digest 21st April 2014

Forthcoming Events:

  • Track&Field: Monday 28th April Grand Prix - 1000m and Triple Jump @ Uxbridge Track & Wednesday 30th Rosenheim League
  • Thursday 1st May - Magic Mile - Bath Road 12:45
  • Wednesday 14th May - Speedbird Ladies 5k @ Waterside - 19:00 - pass the message on to all ladies you know or wish you knew

New members and non-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.

Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

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WARR Registration Open

WARR 2014 Dublin Logo

Registration is now possible at:

There will also be a newsletter distributed this week to everyone on the International WARR mailing list and I'll make it available to everyone on the baRunner list.  The newsletter includes a feature on the race venue St Anne's park.  The park made news headlines this week in Dublin for a pitched battle between locals and a Viking army. A repeat has not been ruled out for the WARR weekend!

Roderick Hoffman

 Club 100 venue achievement on Saturday 19th April

The club 100 parkrun target has been reached on time and on budget!  We were at 99 and three venues were added on Saturday.  All started at around 09:00 so the achievement of the 100th run is held jointly by Richard Ruffell (at Harrow Lodge), Roderick Hoffman (at Chelmsford - though his result was only added in after an appeal) and Steve Newell (at Lloyd Park).

So the club has nailed 100 parkrun venues - Can anyone remember who ran the 100th country back in the 1990's ?

Take fresh guard and press on for the double century, only 98 more required!  In the meantime we all have our personal challenges - Richard has now run at 19 venues (18 UK) and has eleven more to go to appear on the international "most events" list and two UK events to appear on the UK list.  Steve with 33 venues (32 UK) is already on both lists but has a target of running parkruns in every London Borough that has them.  Roderick with 70 venues (65 UK) is already dreaming of getting to 100 venues (known in parkrun circles as "achieving a Cowell").  But the achievement of 100 venues hasn't just been down to the three of us - the following have run at parkruns that no one else in the club has run at:

  • Roderick Hoffman (32 - too many to list),
  • Richard Ruffell (sometimes with Natalie) - Brockwell Park, Hanley, Harrow Lodge, Princes (Liverpool), Southwick, Walsall Arboretum, Wolverhampton
  • Steve Newell - Burgess, Edinburgh, Lloyd Park, Southwark
  • Daniala Mayova - Ashton Court (Bristol)
  • Ray Hampton - Bramhall, Delamere, Lyme Park, Wythenshawe
  • Chris Kelly - Brueton, Burnage, Leamington
  • Ian Cunningham - Canterbury, Colwick (Notts)
  • Neil Frediani - Colchester Castle, Marple, Wimpole Estate
  • Brian Bennett - Killerton (near Exeter)
  • John Coffey - Poole
  • Gareth Snook - Porthcawl
  • Eddie Giles - Yeovil Montacute 

Steve: "Lloyd Park parkrun takes in most of the features of the cross-country courses - just the mud was missing.  With a tram stop and a free car park right by the start it is well worth a visit in the summertime."

Richard: "My run today at Harrow Lodge is run mainly across fields, so quite uneven under foot, with small amount on paths. Could certainly feel last Sunday in my legs over the second half of the run, but one more added to my target of 20."

Roderick: "Chelmsford Central has a flat and fast scenic one lap course. Popular with over 400 finishers but the course includes a loop at the far end which avoids large number meeting on the same path on the way back. There is also a loop just before the finish which can catch you out if you start your sprint too early...but on the other hand my Garmin reported that the course wasn't long."

Elsewhere at Gunnersbury club runners "finished" first and last - Kerstin as lead bike and Piers as tail runner - meanwhile in the middle Alan Anderson had his best run for about six months, now mother-of-three Melanie Holman ran at Woodley for the second week in a row.  Barry Walters made a rare and fast appearance at Reading - course best and his best time since September 2012.  Alice Banks was also at Reading and knocked another 11 seconds off her parkrun best.  John Coffey was in action again at Bushy Park.  Tony Barnwell avoided the crowds at Black Park by visited Wycombe Rye for his first run there.

Updated parkrun stats:  

Roderick Hoffman / Steve Newell

Less than 50 years ago...

Last week's radio 4 0930 program Witness was a 15-minute interview with Kathrine Switzer, the woman who broke into the news when she ran the Boston Marathon on 1967, scandalising the race director & the world of officialdom. The race director had her disqualified by the American athletic union on four grounds: She had raced with men; She had entered fraudulently (by giving her name with initials for forenames); She had run a race longer than 1 and 1/2 miles; She had run without a male chaperone! It turned her into a campaigner for women's rights in general, I think, & certainly in running. click on <show available episodes>, click on <Kathrine Switzer>

The BBC radio iPlayer may only allow access for a few more days. The iPlayer site shows the photo of the race director trying to drag her out of the race at 2 miles.

David Barnard

London Marathon Sunday 13th April 2014 Reports

Dear All,

A big thank you from all of us for your help on Sunday.  The general feeling here is that it was one of the smoothest ever Marathonís, hopefully you feel the same way!  We had 35,820 finishers.  Not a record (thatís 36,705 from 2012), but still well up there.

The warm weather tested St John and the drinks stations Ė they were stretched but didnít break.  A larger than usual number of casualties were transported to hospital and St Johnís initial figure is 7,000 contacts (most of these are very minor.)

For me, the standout observation was the HUGE number of spectators who were more or less everywhere.  Itís a fantastic validation of the popularity of the event, but does give some challenges for us to manage, especially later in the day when many people have perhaps had one drink too many.

Best wishes,


Lisa Thompson | Assistant Race Director / Operations  | Virgin London Marathon

I'm sure most readers know my 2013 LM was a disaster,  thought to be caused by taking an excessive amount of ibuprofen for a knee injury, which intern accelerated dehydration. (Ibuprofen just crumbles and sits in the kidney for days). I thought I had failed, but then realised that failure would be 'not trying again', and as Master PO would say "this was just a stepping stone to success".

Approximately 3 weeks later I  was surprised to receive an email from VLM stating that I had made 5 consecutive applications and therefore qualified for an automatic entry into the LM2014.

Now this was time for unfinished business, I re- evaluated everything, hydration, training, pace,  simulated heat by running in a bin bag while on the tread mill :). I cut my weekly mileage from approximately 45 miles to 33 miles per week and quickly started to see an improvement in my times, notably the 5K and half marathon disciplines.  I recorded a 1:31 for the Hampton Court half and used this time combined with a 20 mile and 2 * 21 mile  training runs to carefully analyse the pace I would attempt London.   On the morning of the marathon while on the train into London all I could think about was last year's disaster, and even had thoughts about not turning up for the event, despite all the training, I had demons in my head.  Fortunately, I bumped into some of my training buddies and listen to their positive conversations about running a marathon, this soon gave me the confidence I had from the months leading up to the race.  The race started and I had a slight stitch at mile 3  so thought just back off the fluid intake and continually monitor at each mile hydration, pace, gels etc. .   I wanted the first 17 miles to be out the way so I could focus on the true part of a marathon, the business end.   At mile 18 I felt really good and for the first time enjoyed the crowds and actually seeing the sights rather than head down and praying for the misery to end. Mile 20 soon arrived and still felt fine.   'OK marathon, you don't control me, as you have for the last year, I control you', this is what was going on in my head.   I then mumbled to myself, 'I'm now putting on my £"!££$% Kenyan legs, it's time to go to work.  My splits shows I increased my pace over the last 6.25K and the race report shows I overtook 1521 runners and 0 overtook me in the last 7.25K, with a 5 minute difference on negative splits.  Initially I felt I should have run harder but, you know what 'no' I had achieved a time of 3:38:02 and most importantly finished having left that demon behind.   If I'm unfortunate not to run another marathon again, then at least I left the Ďdisciplineí on my terms.  My 5 year goal is to achieve a sub 3:30, this may happen in Berlin later this year, but either way I'm happy.

Two things I'll focus on next time is post marathon, put warm clothes on, eat within 20 minutes and fewer beers, oh and don't cry when crossing the finish line.   Whatever, your experiences, I hope they were good but if they weren't then don't give up, as I can honestly say they really weren't as bad as mine last year!

Finally, If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future J

Colin Haylock (half: 01:51:35 full: 03:38:02)

Dear all

Well done to everybody for completing the London marathon on Sunday and I hope you are not aching too much or at least not aching as much as I do....still I haven't been able to wipe this grin off my face yet.......I'm still buzzzzzziiiiinnnnnnnnn like a bumble bee and struggling to get rid of all the adrenaline and caffeine in my body I guess...really been struggling to sleep in the last two would think, I should be tired...

It was my first marathon and once again I wish to thank BAAC for this fantastic opportunity.

I was very nervous at the start....made few mistakes, such as drinking too much...and losing 10-15 minutes for a loo stop which I was never able to recoup...first because there was no space to run, then when I had the space, not sure I had any strength left....still this is a mistake I shall not repeat to my next one.....did I really say next?!?

The fact is I loved every single minute of it.....every single one! The atmosphere, the crowds, the cheering, the music, the sites, the glorious blue sky.

A massive thank you to all the BA marshals that cheered me on...even if Sir Mike Thorn would have never seen me had I not mugged him, shamelessly in front of all his family...but he made up by cheering loudly my name on the megaphone...thanks to Nicola Protasiuk for spotting me...sorry I couldn't stop!!! queeny was just round the corner...thanks to Phil were a vision!!! When I saw you I KNEW I really was nearly there!!! Hence the biggest hug....I did do lots of hugging in my 26.2 miles, if I am able stop it at the next marathon I might even be able to shave off around 10 minutes ...still....I don't think I would have passed my mental wall between mile 21 and mile 24 had it not been for the biggest hug from my friends from Sussex came to London just for the occasion....I was struggling, really struggling, it wasn't so much the pain in the legs, hips and arms...but that fact that after all those hours of running the Shard was still so distant in the background....that's when I understood how important is to have your friends around and what a boost that can be.....after that massive was all to speak....up to my personal triumph at the finish line where I was crying like a baby. 

One of the marshals came rushing towards me looking very concerned and asked - "are you ok?" Me, sobbing - "y e a h", Him: "just a bit emotional?" Me, still sobbing: "y e a h" ...Him : "is it your first one, love?" Me, sobbing really loudly now: "y e a h"...he gave me the biggest smile and a pat on my shoulder and said: "go and get your photo, love...."..

I will remember that for the rest of my life.....

I will finish again with my usual quote:

"At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill."

Once again, well done everybody

Enjoy your rest!

Marzia Coltelli :0) (Half: 02:30:51 Full: 04:57:47 )

Well done everyone who completed the marathon yesterday, and hopefully in a good time, but most importantly safely and 'fit and planning a next one' now !  Certainly was lovely weather for it, even though a few degrees less may of been useful.

Like Mo said afterwards, "I had a bit of a bad day in the office" ! ....all going well until mile 9 when recent hamstring problem came back so had to dauntingly and sadly jog/walk from thereon, quite surprised then to reach halfway just under 2hrs but hope the manic MarathonPhotos company didn't catch me being sick and throwing up twice at 20 and 22 and near to collapse at end - having done a few of these before at least just resigned myself to getting back reasonably intact with no further damage albeit sadly way off my target - hey ho - will try again ...another planned for November this year. Lesson learnt ...when the physio tells you to do exercises/stretching three times a day that I actually make time to do them (funny how you pay a lot for their service but don't then do what they tell you - hmmm !) Few beers last night helped the recovery but cramps came back and forth in the night !  Having a restful day off now as legs are a bit stiff and achy.

Couldn't find any other BA runners before the start although met Richard R in the start pen and shared some 'go faster' sun-cream.  Lovely BA girl in pink top (not sure name !) came past me at 23 cheering up my spirits and got me moving again - nice chat with Steve T and family afterwards (he was robbed by at least 28seconds I believe, as ever my Garmin measured an extra 0.8miles this time !!!) before Paul K came and said a nice hello whilst I had been queuing over 15mins to get a recovery ice-cream.

All the BA marshalling teams looked extremely busy and I had to stop and 'prod' a few to say hello and it was a great surprise 'out of the blue' to come across Roderick and Steve N at the much earlier experimental crossing, and was that Mike T (not running ?) on the loudspeaker blasting my name - many thanks and much appreciated uplift to my spirits !

I must thank BAAC again for the privileged opportunity to take part in the prestigious London Marathon, which continues to be the best in the world, particularly in it's organisation, marshalling and support, had so many shouts for 'British Airways' as well as my name on my running vest - it'll be quite a number of days before the atmosphere of yesterday wears off but the experience and memory will remain forever.

Cheers all,

Joe Nolan (04:42:29)

Hi Everyone

I hope those of you who were running had a good day yesterday.

It was a fabulous day with clear blue skies all the way round. I even have sunburn on the back of my arms to prove it, I didnít think of putting sun cream on there.  I didnít see many other BA runners at the start but bumped in to Piers on the way to the pen. The crowds were great, I loved the spectator with the vintage horn on a pole and the message Ďfree honksí and there were a couple of posters with a red circle in the middle and the message Ďtouch here for more powerí. Maybe I should have diverted and touched for an extra boost. I was through the half in 1:55 as planned, I knew it was going to be warm later in the race so wanted to make sure I didnít drop any time early on. As the distance ticked by it got warmer and harder, at 20 miles I was still on target to get under 4 hours and really pushed hard for the last three miles, I was puffing like I was running a parkrun, just not achieving anywhere near the same pace. Even in the last mile I still wasnít sure if Iíd get there or not, as I turned the corner in front of the palace though the finish seemed so far away and I crossed the line in 4hours and 27 seconds. Just one second a mile off the pace. I gave it everything I had in the last few miles and donít think I could have done anything better on the day. Itís still a PB for me, taking 4 minutes off my time last year so Iím really pleased with that. Thanks to the marshals for their support at miles 17 and the last mile and a bit, it was great to see you all.

I have the day off today and am putting my feet and sore toes up with a visit for a sports massage this afternoon, my calfs and quads are pretty sore.

All the best

Steve Taylor (04:00:27)

Morning all

Hope it's not just my legs that ache!

Great day, beautiful weather and the public support throughout helped keep me motivated!

3h46mins so pretty happy with how it went. Most importantly over £1200 raised for a charity supporting research into childhood leukemia.

Thank you again to BA for the opportunity to run. This will be my last marathon for definite!

Best wishes

Francis Mussai (03:46:13)

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