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BA Athletics Club News Digest 22nd March 2021

 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.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

This Week's Events

Please help me by sending in 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, to be reported on following Monday (29th)):

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

Next Week's Events - in person! Please register in advance.

From next Monday restrictions are relaxed allowing us to organise club activities. The stay-at-home order is rescinded. Anyone is allowed to meet outdoors either as two households or in groups of six. Additionally, the club can organise events with manageable numbers provided that Covid-19 controls are applied.

We are planning two such events:

On Tuesday 30th at Bedfont Lakes we are organising a run around the parkrun course. We will not be running as a pack nor conducting a "race". Instead, Kelly Davis is organising a straightforward jog around the course and I am organising a simultaneous "Ross Barkley" sprints session around the course. Anyone (including Kelly and I) can do either event or even one lap of each! The "Ross Barkley" run will consist of splitting the course into short stretches of 200 to 400metre lengths and doing these as sprints. We'll then recover for one minute or more before starting the next sprint. So, we may restart as those doing the course at a constant speed reach us - perhaps giving the impression of a hare and tortoise race! We will meet one hour before the car parks close. Currently the car park closing time is 18:30 so we'd be meeting at 17:30 near the Clockhouse Lane entrance and car park. This may change to 18:30 for a 19:30 close after next weekend's clock change. Please stay tuned for better information on this. Register your interest either by mailing me or use Kelly's Facebook event: .

On Wednesday 31st we have the next run in our Five-Mile "Winter" Handicap series. Meet at the Bedfont Club from 18:00 to finish your five-mile run for 19:00. We expect the car park, changing rooms and showers to be available - the bar won't be. The course will be the simple two-lap course introduced at the start of this series. Please register your intention to come by replying to me or using the "Sign-up" option in the calendar entry. This will be a "#" club points scoring event.

It is important that we know how many people to expect at these events - please register your interest even if you are only a 'possible'.

>Roderick Hoffman (register interest)

Editorial - One year post parkrun post

Most of us who regularly participated at parkrun had their last opportunity on Saturday 14th March 2020 so this weekend marked the one year anniversary of parkrun being closed to us. How have we been coping in the meantime? In this week's digest, for all the 5k runs undertaken, I've made a comparison with each participant's most recent parkrun time, be it from 14th March 2020 or earlier. Some of us have improved!

parkrun is currently expected to return in England on 5th June. In my case perhaps I won't be seeing so many post boxes post that date!

Roderick Hoffman

Athletics Club Virtual Social Quiz Evening - This Wednesday

Make a date in your diary to attend the club lockdown quiz and social.  Here's a chance to catch up with your friends, and tackle a "Scattergories" quiz.  Lots of fun for all the family!  We look forward to seeing you this Wednesday evening.  

Here are the Zoom details:

...and if needed:

  • Meeting ID: 837 1107 9815
  • Passcode: 458385

Linda and Steve Hillier

Spring Equinox 5k - Results #

Position Time Name Category Cat. Position WhatsApp Time Course 2020 parkrun Relative
1 00:24:52 Jacqui Musselwhite FV45 1 00:25:34 Woking Park 00:24:05 103%
2 00:25:18 Steve Taylor MV50 1 n/a Northala Fields 00:29:52 85%
3 00:26:28 Amanda Coombs FV45 2 00:27:01 Shepperton Loop 00:31:00 85%
4 00:29:30 Denis Foxley MV70 1 00:30:03 Pinner Park 00:29:49 99%
5 00:29:57 Roderick Hoffman MV60 1 00:30:15 Rectory Farm 00:30:03 100%
6 00:30:44 Piers Keenleyside MV60 2 00:31:44 Ealing Common and parks 00:27:32 112%
7 00:33:00 John Scaife MV60 3 00:33:51 Maidenhead Parkrun 00:32:57 100%
8 00:33:00 Benita Scaife FV65 1 00:33:53 Maidenhead Parkrun 00:32:58 100%
9 00:33:16 Jain Read FV55 1 00:34:17 Richmond Park 00:27:32 121%
10 ~0:38:37 Melanie Miller FV45 3 00:39:07 Lower Sunbury 00:35:42 108%
11 00:46:24 Marion Taylor FV55 2 00:46:59 Bunny Park 00:31:35 147%
12 00:49:06 Steve Newell MV70 2 00:50:14 A very local course 00:40:41 121%

At 09:30 on Saturday Steve Taylor typed "GO" into WhatsApp and moments later each of us were off on our runs. Apart from Denis who was still tying his shoelaces and Piers who didn't have his eyes focused on his watch. We all had different courses to run other than the Scaifes who ran together at Maidenhead. My course overlapped with Steve Taylor's but he had done his run a day or two earlier so that he could monitor the rest of us on the day. The "Rectory Farm" course is similar to the Northala Fields parkrun course except it starts on the opposite side of the course and runs the other way. I noticed perhaps twenty "parkrunners" on my way and I suspect others running in parkrun locations saw the same. We had decided on the 9:30 Saturday start because at precisely 09:37, as we were finishing our first km and starting the second, the Earth shifts in its orbit around the sun switching the northern hemisphere from an astronomically defined "winter" to "summer". We weren't basking in sunshine at the end but it was dry throughout and most of us took pleasant photographs of our surroundings after we finished. Marion was unable to run due to a knee problem hence was able to take more photographs on the way round (below).

Spring Equinox pictures

Jacqui, supported and encouraged by Tom, was first finisher and upon finishing messaged everyone that she had done so. As each of us approached the line we could feel our phones vibrating with every finisher before us so had the incentive to push hard to the line to avoid there being another one. The closest finish appeared to be Denis just edging me by 12 seconds but once the final, self-timed, times were added to the results Denis was seen to be 27 seconds faster (those shoelaces at the start!). Steve Taylor awarded me the fastest finger prize for having the shortest time between the actual time and the WhatsApp time.

Looking back to March 2020 three of us achieved near enough the same time on Saturday as our last parkrun time (myself and the Scaifes). Three of us had improved (Amanda, Steve Taylor and narrowly Denis, though that assumes that the parkrun starter would have waited for him to do up his shoelaces). The rest of us were slower - Jain was doing a MAF run so her slower time over a relatively short distance wasn't a surprise. Marion of course was walking on Saturday.

Thanks to Steve Taylor for manning the WhatsApp.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 12th to 15th March 2021

21 results listed this week for members and friends, and some regulars only did the Equinox 5k run.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Running 13.21km Horsham Sat pm 00:50:53 Late result from last weekend.
Amanda Coombs Running 5miles Shepperton Sun pm 00:45:00 Approximate time. Getting ready for next week's handicap run.
Andy Rayner Running 3miles Local Thurs 18th March 00:44:00 Wearing the Brian Forrester red T-shirt in his honour.  Also Sunday 4mile XC in 52:30.
Barry Walters Running 16km Whitegrove Copse Sat am 01:35:50 Conditions were good with hardly any wind and I managed to pick up the pace in the last 3k.
Ben Cooper Running 4.25km Vale of Glamorgan Sun lunch 00:21:35  Including a 1 mile segment at 7.03.
Benita Scaife Running 5.5miles Bourne End Route Sun 01:04:25 This crosses the Thames via the railway bridge that carries the Marlow branch line…
Clara Halket Walking 12.5km Local Fri To/from hospital for shift work.
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Ruislip Woods and Common Sun 01:00:00 With Joan
Emma Moreton Running 5km (not)parkrun Sat 00:23:05 Pleased with the time with a gentle start and fast finish! [see also below]
Harjit Jhooti Walking 14.02km Staines Reservoirs Sat pm 03:26:07
Jain Reid Running 11.71km Riverside Loop Sun 01:26:50 MAF run. Using roads rather than Thames side path to avoid the crowds on such a sunny day.
Jane Harbert Snowshoeing 4miles Lake Dillon (frozen) Sat 01:02:00
John Scaife Running 5.5miles Bourne End Route Sun 01:04:25 ...Brunel built the original wooden bridge in 1854 but this was replaced by the current steel bridge in 1895. The cantilevered footbridge was added in 1992.
Keith Johnson Running 5.2km St Albans area Sun 00:25:30 Also 10km on Saturday in 54:36
Melanie Miller Walking 7k Barnes via Putney Sat pm 02:10:15 In addition to the Equinox run in the morning.
Michael Ball Sprints Grass 11 short sprints on grass.
Mike Thorn Walking 2.64miles Centenary Wood Sun 01:20:41 From Epsom Downs. Forgot to "start" at start so probably 3 miles or more.
Paul Watt Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:20:01 [slightly slower than the PB last time - see below]
Petra Otto mixed Run/Walk 6.25miles Circumnavigating home town Sun 01:54:16 5 miles jogged, 1.25miles walked.
Piers Keenleyside Running 11.3miles Dormers Wells midweek 02:22:07 To complete Roderick's Dormers Wells post box challenge that he posted about a couple of months ago.
Roderick Hoffman Running 19.62km North Ealing Sun lunch 02:35:01 51 post boxes visited in my latest orienteering run. Including confirmation that North Ealing is not flat!
Stephen Taylor Running 13.41miles Ealing Sat lunch 02:14:36

Weekend Achievement Photographs

Roderick Hoffman

Recent weekend achievement 5km runs vs 2020 parkrun times

Recent Date Runner Course Time 2020 parkrun Relative
20-Mar-21 Emma Moreton (not)parkrun 00:23:05 00:22:50 (Bedfont Lakes) 101%
06-Mar-21 Julie Barclay Rushmoor Freedom Run 00:21:55 00:21:44 (Northala Fields) 101%
13-Mar-21 Mike Dennison Hampton Streets 00:19:56 00:19:51 (Bushy) 100%
06-Mar-21 Paul Watt Rushmoor Freedom Run 00:19:51 00:21:15 (Northala Fields) 93%

Again, comparing recent 5k times with parkrun times from March 2020 we are doing all right, or in Paul's case, very well indeed.

BA Athletics Club Records - Five Mile Road Races

The table below shows the club records held for each age group for the Five Mile distance. Next week we return to racing together over five miles and whilst the Handicap course probably won't count as accurately measured for record purposes this will still present an opportunity to see how we each measure up against the best the club has had.

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and timed and the runner has to be a paid-up member of the club and running in a club vest (or in an in-house organised event - but on an accurately measured course). Members for whom BA is a second claim club may need permission from their first claim club for them to run in a BA vest and claim the record (so the same performance cannot be claimed by two different clubs).

ROAD - LADIES (OPEN) 5 Mile Colette O'Neil 31:13:00 Pednor 5  Chesham May-03 Current
ROAD - LADIES (FV40) 5 Mile Unset
ROAD - LADIES (FV45) 5 Mile Helen Smith 45:30:00 Berkhamsted Berkhamsted Mar-06 Current
ROAD - LADIES (FV50) 5 Mile Helen Smith 45:30:00* Berkhamsted Berkhamsted Mar-06 Current
ROAD - MEN (OPEN) 5 Mile Barry Walters 24:30:00 Sunbury Sep-85 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV40) 5 Mile Paul Toms 26:50:00 Hillingdon Hillingdon Feb-95 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV45) 5 Mile Paul Toms 26:50:00 Hillingdon Hillingdon Feb-95 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV50) 5 Mile John Coffey 28:47:00 Hillingdon 5 Hillingdon 1992 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV55) 5 Mile John Coffey 30:18:00 Marlow 5 Marlow Jun-05 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV60) 5 Mile John Coffey 31:32:00 Hillingdon Hillingdon Mar-02 Current
ROAD - MEN (MV65) 5 Mile John Coffey 35:38:00 Perivale 5 Perivale Dec-09 Current

The men's records appear to have been well contested but the ladies less so. If you know better please send us your claim - we want to get these in the best shape possible. New records or questions: .

Roderick Hoffman

*Helen Smith's record was set on the Berkhamsted course which many of us will remember consisted of a steep climb up the side of the hill followed by a steep drop into the finish. Those doing the Half Marathon on the same day did have a flatter bit in the middle. As a club incentive to enter the event and finish well, Richard and Bridget Ruffell offered us showers and a Sunday lunch afterwards. Ten of us took advantage of the Ruffell's generosity that year. For those who remember those lunches well and are thinking of dropping by once the stay-at-home order is rescinded please note that the Ruffells have recently moved.

Crossword solutionClub Crossword from 1991 - Solution

 Amanda submitted a correct solution - just one answer differed from that provided back in 1991. Neither John Scafe who set this crossword, nor Steve Newell who was adjudged the winner in 1991, submitted an entry this year. Perhaps we'll try again in 2051.

Books on parkrun

I have the following three books relating to parkrun on my shelves. Each is recommended though for different reasons:

  • "parkrun / much more than just a run in the park" Debra Bourne - published in 2014 so now showing its age but a detailed examination of the history of parkrun and every aspect of parkrun up to then. Also the only one of the three to mention me and my parkrun exploits!
  • "PARKRUN / A CELEBRATION" Paul Duke and others - a book specially designed to sit on your coffee table.
  • "how parkrun changed our lives" Eileen Jones - published last month and covering all aspects of parkrun including those that have developed since Debra Bourne's book was published - for instance chapter 11 is on "not parkrun" written since the March 2020 lockdown. 

Roderick Hoffman

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through] (no changes)

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.

  • 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 but you are advised to stay 'local' (defined as "in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."), you are also advised to minimise the amount of time spent outside your home and you should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are out. Further advice is to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and if reinstated do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction).
  • Current rules 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. You are advised to exercise just once per day and to minimise the variety of people you meet over the weeks of lockdown. Exercising your pet is allowed in addition, but only on your own. The "Rule of Six" will be reinstated on 29th March so from then on informal groups of up to six (or two households) are allowed to meet outside and exercise together.
  • 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.

Shared club activities are not permitted until 29th March.  From then any club member may be permitted to organise a shared activity. We recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself.  Until everyone has had the opportunity to be protected by the vaccine all participants should continue to follow the social distancing rules. 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,
  • If the tiers are reintroduced then 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 activity 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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