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BA Athletics Club News Digest 22nd June 2020

Events - see below:

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Solo Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Weekend Challenge Weekend Solo Run
15th June Track-on-Field 1500/800/400/200/100
I Spy # Best weekend exercise achievement
22nd June "Local" run (see below) none Best weekend exercise achievement
29th June Solo Mile (July)
[shared run Harmondsworth 2nd July]
none Best weekend exercise achievement
6th July 5k/10k Virtual Club Race (tbc) # none Best weekend exercise achievement
13th July Street Respelling (tbc) England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Champs # (tbc) Best weekend exercise achievement
20th July Track-on-Field 1500/800/400/200/100   tbd
27th July tbd   tbd

All side-by-side races are off until at least the end of June, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. There are no changes to this this week - the maximum group size is still six and the social distancing gap is still an unwieldy 2metres HOWEVER further announcements are expected from the Government on Tuesday 23rd so these details may change for the better. We are planning to return to some side-by-side training and events in July, see below.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge - Local Run Pub Cricket - organised by Mike and Amanda Coombs

This week’s challenge is entitled Pub Cricket, where the aim is to score as many ‘runs’ as possible within a fixed time. We have adapted this from an old car journey game, described in the 1966 AA Book of the Road, which waned due to the increase in motorway travel.

The idea is that you plan a local route taking in as many drinking establishments as possible. You score ‘runs’ by counting the number of legs in the name of any drinking establishment on the route you decide to take. If the name has no legs, you score one run. If it has more than six legs you score six runs.

As examples:

  • The Red Lion would score 4 ‘runs’ because a lion has four legs;
  • The Duke of Clarence would score 2 ‘runs’;
  • The Duke’s Head would score 1 ‘run’ (no legs), as would The Beehive and The Royal Oak;
  • The Coach and Horses would score 6 ‘runs’ (more than six legs);
  • Where there is an unspecified amount of legs, such as for The Anglers, we should assume there may be many of them and that pub would score the maximum of 6.

The rules are:

  • Drinking establishments which count are the ones the main purpose of which was to sell alcohol for immediate consumption and were open as such immediately before the lockdown,
  • You have 45 minutes to complete the task if you are running, 75 minutes if walking. No cycling or rowing or busing is permitted in this challenge,
  • You should start at your home or place of work, but you can finish at a different location (i.e. run or walk until your time is up),
  • A maximum of six ‘runs’ can be scored per drinking establishment,
  • The winner will be the person who scores the most ‘runs’.

Photographic evidence of pubs visited is encouraged. We hope this is an enjoyable challenge and look forward to seeing some varied routes!

If you are in doubt about how many ‘runs’ a drinking establishment scores, or what constitutes a drinking establishment, contact Amanda via Facebook or email .

Result Submission:

Your Name Event Day Time Start Distance Covered "runs" claimed List of pubs visited and other comments
run or walk max 45 or 75 home or work  

Mike and Amanda Coombs

Ed: HINT - Open Google Maps on your smart phone and do a search for "pubs near me".

Solo and Shared Mile runs

Next Week's Midweek Challenge will be the Solo Mile for July (which can be run from 30th June). A novel feature of next week's run is that it will feature a shared run (subject to restrictions).

The shared run will be on Thursday 2nd July at 12:45 on the mile course on Harmondsworth Moor (so exactly replacing Ian's cancelled monthly mile run). This WILL BE a Club organised in-person running event, the first since early March. I will be the event organiser and as such I have a risk assessment form to fill in which includes listing the participants. At the moment a maximum of six participants are permitted, though it is possible that by 2nd July this will have been increased. However, I suspect that the event will be undersubscribed, so please consider joining me and let me know that you might - Interested in the mile run {}. If we do get more of us interested than are currently permitted then I'll split us into two groups, with a second event organiser and a different course on Harmondsworth Moor.

The week after Steve Taylor will be organising another virtual 5k or similar and then I'll be repeating the Street Spelling event the following week.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge Track-on-Field Results and Report

Ten reported Track-on-Field results last week, including Adrian who reported late and only incorporated the Track-on-Field activities as a punishment for running so slowly over the first 3k of his 22k run. His times were still faster than any others of us.

The first graph shows how well we did - with most of us increasing our speed with each shorter event. But some of us did this smoother than others. I was impressed with my increasing improvement which contrasts for instance with that of Emma, we did the same time for the 100m but she was much faster than I at the 1500. So was I taking it easy over the 1500 or should Emma have been pushing herself harder over the shorter distances? What difference would it have made had I accepted Maria's offer to pace me? Perhaps some of us should start doing these together to answer some of these questions.

Track-on-Field results for June

The second graph shows improvements from month to month for those who ran this month or two of the three months we've been doing this. For this I've averaged the five different speeds (had I presented total times, then this would have given greater prominence to the speeds in the longer distances). Most of us have been getting faster month by month though for some June has been an exception.

Track-on-field Improvement

Roderick Hoffman

July Run-of-the-Month Proposal #

It would be good to have an external run-of-the-month for July. The following is a possibility and is free to enter but is only available for those who are affiliated members of England Athletics (via this club or another). Please let me know quickly if you know of an event that we could all enter (preferably free, and with the possibility of a team results section) and I'll announce in next week's digest what we have decided.

Virtual 5k Road Running Championships - entries open!

Entries to the England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championships (11-13 July) are now open! With the original event cancelled due to Covid-19, we’ve launched a free-to-enter virtual running version of the race for 2020 (following government guidelines). The Virtual 5k Championships provides a platform for performance-focused runners to challenge for the national title and, with no minimum entry standard, also gives runners a chance to gain their first experience in national competition! The Championships offer plenty of chances for glory – with medals awarded to runners finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in both women’s and men’s categories plus further possibilities to grab a podium spot in a Club competition and winning medals in the Age Category competitions.

Enter online

Roderick Hoffman

I-Spy Weekend Challenge # (run-of-the-month) - Results and Report

Ref Item to be seen Count
U08 A Rainbow Flag 11
U13 A Builder's Skip 11
U14 A house "Sold" sign (outside a house, not an estate agents) 11
EXTRA Something unusual for which you must take a photograph 10
U01 A Yellow Car 10
U02 Passenger or Cargo Aeroplane in flight 10
R05 Five or more Ducks 9
U10 Two or more "ISO-Teddy Bears" in a Window 8
R01 Two or more Swans 7
R06 Four or more Horses 7
R02 Two or more Magpies (not "one for sorrow") 6
R13 A Scarecrow 4
U15 Two or more cats (NOT on your own property) 4
R03 A Heron 3
R04 Raptor (bird of prey) in flight 3
U06 A Postbox in use 3
R12 "Three men in a boat" (or more, any gender, should be a rowing boat) 3
U04 Ambulance with lights flashing 3
R07 A Fox 2
R10 A canal or river Lock in use (Boat going up or down) 2
U09 Knitted Street Art 2
U16 Three or more Ring Necked Parakeets 2
R08 Two or more Squirrels 1
R09 A Rodent other than a squirrel 1
R11 A moving Tractor 1
U03 Fire Engine 1
U11 A double pram or pushchair - with two occupants 1
U12 Tandem Bicycle 1
U05 Police Car with lights flashing 0
U07 A Public Phone Box in use (by someone not in your party) 0

15 colleagues reported having seen one or more items from the i-spy list hence score one club point for this month's run-of-the-month. Between us we spotted a total of 137 items including 28 of the 30 items on the list.

Some were caught out by the wording I had used in the item list. For instance, I couldn't count Harjit's tractor because the list included the word "moving" BUT I was able to count her "Fire Engine" even though it was behind the fire station doors. I had to disallow Neil's two separate magpies since the example quoted in the instructions was for magpies but I was able to count "Two Cats" and "A Heron" even though they were drawn - the instructions didn't say they had to be real.

The only items with nil points were "A Public Phone Box in use" and "Police Car with lights flashing". {Ed: perhaps I should have mugged someone for their mobile phone, next to the call box near me}.

Six items had only one spot whereas three items were spotted by as many as 11 of the 15 of us.

As it happens Piers and I both spotted the most, 16 items, and Harjit next with 15 but this was a non-competitive event so I'm not making much of that - the event was really just an excuse for a good long walk.

Amongst the unusual items were Socially Distanced Morris Dancers (pictured), a horse and trap, and a naked mannequin (all on Facebook).

Morris Dancers

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO activity achievement weekend 19th to 22nd June 2020

This week 26 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements (including those who did the i-spy challenge, and Adrian's long track-on-field run). The compilation of this table does involve quite a bit of searching through Facebook so if I've missed your achievement consider whether you've provided it to me in an easily "digestible" format.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Adrian Haines Running 22k Local Mixed running including track-on-field
Alice Banks i-Spy run 5miles Maidenhead Thicket Sun am 00:51:38
Amanda Coombs i-Spy run 21.2k Hampton Sat pm 02:21:29 Nine items spotted
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 00:49:54 Very muddy (faster on Tuesday 0:49:12)
Barry Walters Running 10k Swinley Forest and back Sat am 00:53:06 Steady run
Benita Scaife i-Spy run or walk Windsor Great Park With John
Clara Halket Running 22.37k Sat am 02:53:58
Eddie Giles Running 6.6k to/from small hamlet of Hurdcott Sat noon 00:40:27 A dozen houses, 4 farms & a pub (how many legs?). Circuit of 4 wheat fields, endless swing gates & 3 different fords.
Emma Moreton Running 5k Sun am 00:24:30 (not)parkrun
Harjit Jhooti i-spy walk 13.7k Recorded 15 items
Jain Reid i-spy run Richmond Park and back Eight items spotted
Joe Nolan Running 5k Wraysbury/Sunnymeads Mon am 00:32:10
John Scaife i-spy run or walk Windsor Great Park Recorded 10 items
Keith Johnson Running 10k Markyate Sun 00:47:59 Virtual Summer Solstice 10k
Kelly Davis Running 5k Bedfont Lakes parkrun Sat 00:37:22
Melanie Miller i-spy walk 9miles Taplow Sat noon Four items spotted.
Michael Ball i-spy run or walk Nine items spotted
Neil Frediani i-spy run 8miles Stanwell Moor Sun
Paul Watt Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:20:45
Petra Otto i-spy walk 9miles Walk around Grafham Water Sat 03:15:00 Spotted two on the list
Piers Keenleyside i-spy walk 9.1miles Ealing Parks Sat 03:00:20 Recorded 16 items
Roderick Hoffman i-spy walk 13miles To and from Osterley Sat Hours Recorded 16 items
Sarah Gordon i-spy run or walk Round the village Sun   Recorded 11 items including socially distanced Morris Dancers
Simon Turton i-spy walk 10miles North of Henley Sat Recorded 12 items
Steve Hillier i-spy run 5.1k Usual course Sat 00:32:02 Spotted two on the list
Steve Newell i-spy run or walk 1mile Local Four items spotted.

Again submit your best exercise achievement of the weekend by filling in the following form and sending it to me OR replying to the message on Facebook (or any other messaging format to me):

Your Name Event Distance Location Day/Start Time or Duration Details or comment, and other achievements
e.g. Running  

Roderick Hoffman {submit by 5pm on Monday}

parkrun Update

parkrun is still suspended in every country until the end of this month but a restart in New Zealand has been announced for Saturday 4th July. New Zealand have had NO confirmed locally transmitted virus cases since 22nd May and only a handful of instances of imported cases (one of which featured two persons from the UK). Whilst one can understand the two week quarantine for any UK nationals entering New Zealand it is more difficult to understand the two week quarantine that would be required upon their return!

parkrun HQ has launched (not)parkrun enabling you to record a 5k time each week which is logged against your home parkrun. Many parkrun tourists have already started changing their home parkrun each week to flag different events (not)attended. I can't see it ending well!

Roderick Hoffman

This week Banstead Woods parkrun should have been celebrating its thirteenth anniversary.  Banstead Woods was the third parkrun to start following Bushy Park and Wimbledon Common and the course records (men 15:25 - 7 June 2008, women 17:01 - 30 Jul 2011) have stood for a very long time.  Exactly 500 different people have volunteered over the years.  It is quite a testing and hilly course but the finish is on the level at a slightly lower altitude than the uphill start.  Paul Watt (21:45) and Julie Barclay (21:50) hold the club records.

In the autumn of 2007 parkrun expansion started to accelerate and spread beyond the London area with the run in the Hyde Park area of Leeds staging the inaugural on 6th October.  This is now known as Woodhouse Moor parkrun (660 runs) and is just two weeks older than Richmond Park (659 runs) which started on 20th October 2007.

We'll look at the next five oldest parkruns in a later article.

Steve Newell

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through (none)]

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 if social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England has been updated (1st June 2020) and now says what you can't do, rather than only allowing you do do a limited number of things. The sections that refer to the activities of the club are "Restrictions on movement" and "Restrictions on gatherings". In short you can't stay overnight anywhere other than at home and you can't meet with more than one other person indoors or more than five other persons outdoors. Taking into account the law and official guidance we advise you as follows:

  • Do not conduct a solo run if 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you 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. We should still be avoiding public transport except for essential journeys, and do not share cars with people outside your household. You are not allowed to stay away for the night - except for elite athletes who are allowed to overnight in a hotel (if they can find one open),
  • In England you may now meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home - e.g. other runners and coaches. But do not share athletics equipment and continue to maintain the social distancing with anyone you do meet up with. You are recommended to minimise the total number of different people you meet with over the days and weeks,
  • As you run, keep 2m away from all others, by default diverting around them (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 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.

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

Not for you, no longer interested? remove me please.

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