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BA Athletics Club News Digest 22nd September 2014

Forthcoming Events:

  • Wednesday 24th September - Nine Lives Exercise - Concorde Centre (see below)
  • Sunday 28th September - Track & Field Championships and Family Fun Day at Eton track (see below)
  • Weekend 4th/5th October - World Airline Road Race 5k / 10k - Dublin (see below)

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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Nine Lives Exercise - Wednesday 24th September from 18:00 - Concorde Centre Field

Something new this year - Joe Nolan has agreed to lead a race fitness and training session which promises to take each of us to within an inch of our ninth life but no further, hopefully*. All are welcome and participation is optional. Start time 18:00 and will feature entertaining and beneficial exercises and running opportunities.

World Airline Road Race - 2nd to 5th October 2014 - Dublin

We'll soon be heading out to Dublin to take part in the 33rd World Airline Road Race hosted by members of the Aer Lingus running club.  The British Airways Road Running team have an event T Shirt and these can be collected from myself or Daniela as follows:

  • This Wednesday Evening at the Concorde Centre after Joe's event.
  • Any workday from Tuesday lunchtime onwards at Waterside in Asia GA team space "second gap on the left"
  • In Dublin from Thursday 2nd at the host hotels (but we'd really like to give them to you before we set off).

We have at least one shirt for all the entrants we know of and the first shirt for each club member will be priced at a bargain £2 and additional shirts at £5. We may have one or two spare but ask quickly.

I know that at least one of the team (Monica) will be arriving in Dublin after registration has closed at 13:00 on Saturday.  As team captain I can register on behalf of team members BUT I need an email from them granting me permission.  Email me on .

Finally - for anyone NOT doing the parkrun on Saturday morning could anyone stand in for me at the Team Captain's meeting in Dublin Castle from 10:30?  Please volunteer if you are able to.

Roderick Hoffman

Equinox 5km Wednesday 17th September 2014 Results

This event has often competed for a slot on the calendar with Brian Forrester's birthday relay (on or around 26th September), WARR (this year first weekend of October), the BA Clubs AGM (last year on Thursday 26th September) and the threatening impact of earlier sunsets on a  traditional all daylight/twilight event.

The runners enjoyed a mild calm evening and followed the same course as last year round an anticlockwise loop using the A312 cycle tracks, "Watersplash Meadows" as an alternative to Roseville Road, the subway, the cobbles, Cranford Park, Avenue Park and Cranford High Street. Some fly-tipping (over a week ago) in the Field of Hope was an eyesore but can't be blamed for any slow times. Runners were asked to estimate their time to the nearest minute for start wave allocation with the usual mix of the over modest and the optimists.  One over eager group started a minute early {"blame the timekeeper", Anon} resulting in more overtaking along the narrow pavement in Cranford High Street than ideal but everyone survived.

Results age time age grade 2013 time Comment
Chris Kelly 49 20:28 71.49% 19:50 a bit slower
Gary Rushmer 53 21:00 71.96%
Graham Taylor 54 21:56 69.48%
Roderick Hoffman 54 24:24 62.46% 24:28 about the same
Joe Nolan 59 24:31 64.86%
Denis Foxley 65 24:54 67.36%
Eddie Giles 65 25:09 66.69% 30:06 much better
Neil Frediani 57 25:42 60.81% 24:22 slower
Steve Hillier 60 29:36 54.19%
Steve Newell 70 29:51 59.05% 29:46 about the same
Alan Anderson 79 30:01 68.38% 28:38 slower
Tony Barnwell 72 30:01 60.24% 33:24 much better
average(12 runners) 61 25:38 64.75%   24:26 (all 14 runners)

Post race:

The runners and officials enjoyed sausages (average 3), chips and baked beans in the Washington room while the age-grading scores were calculated using a Hudl tablet using the club WiFi. Chris Kelly won a bottle of strong beer for the best agegrade% in the room. He was also the youngest. Gary Rushmer had left early to watch Champion(ship) football (Nottingham Forest 5, Fulham 3!)

On-the-night discussions:

Will you need a passport as well as a barcode for a parkrun in Scotland next week? Will we be joined by the Imperial College Cross Country squad next year?

Thanks to:

  •  Paul Brandon (timekeeper), Paddy O'Shea (marshal) and Harry Wild (marshal).
  • Acknowledgement; Howard Grubb - age grade calculator.
  • Best wishes to Brian Forrester - at home following his hip operation.
  • Apologies for absence: Ian Hudson, Helen Smith, Charles Hawkshaw-Burn

Steve Newell (18th September 2014)

Track&Field Championships and Family Fun Day - Eton track - THIS Sunday 28th September 12:00 to 17:00

Please put this date in your diary and plan to be there and bring your family, colleagues and friends.  The events will include most of those that you might like to try your hand at...and your legs too.  Free to enter but you must turn up to take part.

Provisional list of events:

Track Field Family and Fun
800m Discus Balloon and Egg and Spoon Race
200m Long Jump Wellie Wangling
400m High Jump Age 7 and under 50m sprint
3000m Shot Age 8-10 80m sprint
100m Javelin 100m backwards
1500m Hammer 3 legged race

[participants take part entirely at their own risk. Some advice may be given before each event]

More details - email Eddie Giles

Club parkrun results for Saturday 20th September

20th Sept runner time parkrun comment grade
Chris Kelly 19:55 Reading 73%
Richard Ruffell 21:19 Burgess park #26 71%
Simon Ashford 23:33 Chichester run #10, BA park #130 59%
Kerstin Luksch 24:10 Gunnersbury 61%
Roderick Hoffman 24:38 Horsham park #88, BA park #131 62%
Alice Banks 24:39 Black Park parkrun pb 75%
Joe Nolan 25:00 Black Park 25' pacer 64%
Piers Keenleyside 25:34 Gunnersbury injured, worn out! 61%
Monica Alonso 26:38 Woking club course record (F) 61%
Ray Hampton 27:14 Woodbank run #10, course pb 66%
Alan Anderson 27:53 Gunnersbury 74%
Janet Cunningham 27:59 Guildford run #101 61%
Sreeram  Sethuraman 28:22 Upton Court another minute better 46%
Helen Smith 29:22 Woking 63%
Marion Taylor 29:22 Gunnersbury 57%
Steve Newell 29:25 Gunnersbury 60%
Ian Cunningham 29:59 Bushy 30' pacer 50%

A remarkable performance by Jane Davies (former BA member now with Epsom & Ewell Harriers) who celebrated moving into a new age group with a WAVA score of 99.6% at Bushy Park.  That is the best score ever achieved by a parkrunner. 

Elsewhere Richard Ruffell returned to action after a couple of months out at Burgess Park (Camberwell) and Simon Ashford was out warming up for WARR at Chichester.  With Roderick Hoffman trying the new run at Horsham that takes the BA parks total to 130. There were very close finishes between Roderick and Alice (pb), AlanA and Janet and Helen and MarionT.  Each pair at different parks.

Ray Hampton ran a pb at his local Woodbank course (Stockport) and is now just seven seconds behind marathon legend Ron Hill in the MV70-74 table there.

Dublin bound Monica Alonso and Helen Smith were spotted by Tom Rowley at Woking. Tom reported "...each time Monica came up the hill she still had that big friendly smile, ...every time Helen came up the hill she was still talking".

Joe Nolan needs to give Ian Cunningham a lesson in pace judgement.

No one from the club ran at Bedfont Lakes last Saturday but anticipate that run featuring on the TV soon since Mike Bushall, the Breakfast TV sports presenter, ran his first parkrun finishing in 32:13 - one pace ahead of parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt.

Steve Newell [ with politically incorrect additions from Roderick Hoffman]

Updated parkrun stats: 

Updated BA parkrun map: Parkruns 2014.jpg {some parkruns may have been missed}

Running Shorts

How's Charles Hawkshaw-Burn these days?

"I still get the newsletter, tis good to see how folks are doing. There are some very good juniors about and Harrogate Harriers, my brother-in-law is chairman, have a very promising & popular juniors section. I'm still running regularly but the distances are getting shorter and it's now 9 minute miles if I'm lucky!  Give my best to those that know me. I have many happy memories of BAAC & our exploits at WARR, the Green Belt Relay, Hood to Coast, Round Norfolk Relay etc. Oh & of course the London & NYC marathons. Hope to see some of you marshalling the London Marathon in 2015.  Cheers, Charles"

Who wants to run a short race in Singapore?

If you watched the Grand Prix on Sunday and wondered what it would be like to start a race from the F1 Pits Building then you have that opportunity on 2nd November with the Singapore Airlines Charity Run (10k and 5k options). The website is but don't enter until you've spoken to me because I've got an entry code that will probably reduce the cost for those prepared to travel from the UK.  Also as a double treat there is the Singapore parkrun on Saturday morning so you need not miss out on your regular time trial.  I intend to get to Singapore on the Thursday and do both runs.

Roderick Hoffman

* Joe's Training session is called "Nine Lives" because he is planning it on Monday evening whilst at the vets with his cat.  Quite what will be involved, and how the cat got on, we'll all have to discover on Wednesday!

Running Longs

Steve Newell thought you might like to read a report he found recently (when clearing out the attic) of Ron Hopcroft’s World Record 100 miles:

"I had always regarded 5 am as the most unearthly hour and swore that, once I left the army, nothing would ever get me up at this time, but, there I was at Hyde Park Corner all ready to run a 100 miles to the little village of Box in Wiltshire, which is a short distance from Bath.

A foggy morning, but not too cold, and at 5am precisely we were away. We being three John Legge, Bill Wortley and myself) hoping to run all the way, and half a dozen others including Percy Cerutty, the Australian coach, to see us on our journey.

First incident of note was that of Hammersmith Broadway, three club members turned out - Jackie King (who first started me on this long distance lark) Terry Stacey with a full day's growth distinctly showing even before the light of dawn, and Maurice Keating to run a couple of miles and wish us luck.

At Turnham Green (5 miles - 35m26s) I changed into a singlet for the rest of the way, parted company with the other two runners and faced up to the rest of the journey alone - the battle now being against the clock. At Hounslow (9.5 miles) I passed the office a 6.05am but I don't think they will ever believe me. Onto Cranford - how could I ever have thought that four laps for the 10 miles Cross Country was a never ending run? Here was Bob Chard out for a training spin, having been at work till 10 pm the night before. He kept me company until Slough (20.5 miles in 2hr 22m 51s) and then turned back for home - all this on a breakfast of one biscuit!

Maidenhead soon came in sight - the first marathon done in 3hr 2 min.

Out of Maidenhead and my first bit of trouble - chased by a dog for a couple of hundred yards and no one in sight to help me.
30 miles in 3hr 28m through a very busy Reading and now the hills were starting. 40 miles in 4hr 36min and well into the open country and my first bad patch lasting 4 or 5 miles. 50 miles (5hr 46m 37s) the next objective being Newbury (55.75 miles) before it became crowded with race-goers. Newbury cleared and I had a quick wash and a good drink. 60 miles (6hr 59m 55s) 5 seconds inside the 7 min mile average I had aimed for.

Between 60 & 70 miles I had my first feed - a cup of tomato soup and a very thin savoury sandwich of wholemeal bread dipped the soup (gobbled down as quickly as poss. whilst half trotting)

70 miles (8hr 19m10s) - the countryside really looking its autumn best. A very steep downhill into Marlborough (74.5miles) which was almost taken at walking pace (or so it seemed) then through this sleepy old town only to find a terrifying hill out of it.

80 miles (9hr 36m26s) and I was really in trouble. For the first time I had two or three little walks – 20 yards or so. Another wash, with my attendants pulling the bucket away from me just as I was enjoying it. Another meal as before, and I was away to a really good spell of eight miles at a speed just inside 7 minute miles. This good spell fortunately took me over some pretty formidable hills.

90 miles (11hr 0m 10s) Chippenham – the last town, with quite a crows to cheer us on. ‘All down hill’ we were told, but just around the corner was a shocker – up and up we went. ‘The last hill’ a young local cyclist told me ‘Yes’ I thought ‘it lasts all the way’

Downhill & uphill and still going well. 95 miles in 11hr 32m 28s. Exactly 48 mins left to beat the record – a ‘cert.’ everyone thought, and by now we has a terrific following of motorists, motor and pedal cyclists and pedestrians running etc. Percy Cerutty was also in running kit dashing up to groups of spectators ‘A world record is being broken here – give him a cheer, come on – a big one’

Only three miles left now. But what is this? Another hill – and this proved to be the last straw. I just couldn’t run up it. Pleadings and exhortations almost turned to threats in an effort to keep me running. Upon the scene came Harry Dennis who had gone onto Box to park his car and then run back. Fortunately, he had brought our last bottle of ‘pop’ which I quickly downed, and the welcome news that past the next big copse of trees it was definitely all downhill. Eventually. After what seemed ages, we passed the trees and a mad run downhill began as time was very short.

It was dusk now and what a joy to see the lights in the village of Box, but where was the Bear Inn? Just around the corner….just around the corner….just around the corner … and all I could see was a straight road. At last we were round the corner – not another hill – but dismay quickly gave way to relief when I saw a big banner across the road with the wonderful word ‘FINISH’.

Time 12hours 18min 16sec which I did not find out until the Sunday.

What a reception there was! Almost the whole village had turned out (population of Box - 2,100).  A garland of flowers round my neck and females queuing to congratulate me in the traditional manner. But, enough of that or we’ll have some of the juniors attempting this run.
What a wonderful team of attendants I had and what a marvellous job they did. The village of Box had never seen our club crest ‘vTh’ before, but we were very soon let them know it stood for ‘Very Tired Hopcroft’
If you click on the link below then click on the 1956 London to Brighton you can see Ron winning that race
"If you want to be a runner, run a 100 metres: if you want to experience another life, run a marathon" Emil Zatopek

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