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BA Athletics Club News Digest 23rd March 2020


  • Wednesday 25th March - SOLO 5 Mile Handicap @ your course at your time # [see below]
  • Weekend 28th/29th March - Second SOLO park run @ your time and course [see below]
  • Thursday 2nd April Local Mile @ your course, your time [tbc]

All face-to-face events are off for the time being but the club continues to operate with Solo runs - these ARE still permitted but see the Coronavirus footnote at end.

New members and potential members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at these events. The full diary of club featured events is on the club website at: Diary.shtml. Last updated: 10th March/19th March but further cancellations expected.

* Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps] (parkrun details updated 12th February 2020) / # Club Points event.

Facebook: (formal "front window" club page), BA Runner Facebook Group (informal "back office", ask to join).

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Sad News

It is sad to report the passing of a former member of the club, Martin Cook, on 19th March 2020. Martin has not been in good health since July of last year and although the cause of death is recorded as Aspiration Pneumonia the full story is much longer. It is not linked to Coronavirus. In passing on this news Dorothy Cook writes "As Bible believing Christians we believe in eternity with God so knowing Martin has gone on before me to a better place I have no need to look back only forward." and wishes us all well (and please continue to wash your hands and socially isolate!)

I do have Dorothy's email address should anyone wish to contact her at this time, or I could pass a message on.

Roderick Hoffman - Acting Chair obo the Club Committee

SOLO Five Mile Handicap this Wednesday! # (see footnote for Coronavirus restrictions))

We are running the final leg of this year's Winter Five Mile Handicap on Wednesday, albeit as a solo run. This will still be a club points scoring event #.

So on Wednesday, at a convenient time for yourself and on a course where you should be able to distance yourself from anyone else, push yourself round a course of length between 4 and 6miles (6.5 to 10km). Your speed will be judged alongside the speeds with which you have done the other handicap runs. Please reply to this email, or forward it to, and fill in the following table before pressing send - by close of Thursday 26th (or use the Handicap post in the Facebook group).


Location of course:

Distance (must be between 4 and 6 miles):

Run time (must be recorded):

[NO dead-heats allowed]

Pick a card:

Select a card numbered from 1 to 20 (see below)
Apologies for those without watches - submissions MUST include both time and distance measurements. You are allowed to look at your watch during the run BUT for that reason we are not publishing target speeds. Treadmills are allowed. Running/walking only.

Social distance rules - NO dead-heats allowed, runners on the same course must finish at least 1s apart. John and Benita take note.

Pick a card - Steve Newell has a pack of twenty "hazard" cards. Many are blank. Others contain hazards such as "Held up at the traffic lights for 30 seconds". Each competitor must choose a card numbered from 1 to 20 and take any hazard they are dealt! You will learn your fate when the full results are published, hopefully next Monday.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO park run review Weekend 21st/22nd March 2020

Running Colleague Course Distance Start Time Run Time Comments
Maarten Stenham Ashford - Saint Dunstan's Meadow - Raleigh Park - Bedfont Lakes - Clockhouse Lane - A30 - Ashford 15km 12noon Friday 20th 1hr 16mins No zombies sighted in Bedfont.
Kelly Davis Staines 3.1m 00:36:51
Maria Jovani Osterley parkrun course 5k Sat 07:30 00:21:08
Barry Walters South Hill Park, Bracknell 3K/2 miles 7.45am 31-37 Currently nursing a hamstring injury so this was a walk. I followed up with a 30 minute static bicycle ride and 15 minutes exercises before enjoying my favourite meal of the day (breakfast)! 
Piers Keenleyside Laps of Lammas and Walpole, Ealing 3.2m 21-Mar 00:42:11 Elevation 66ft
Roderick Hoffman Rectory Park non-parkrun (big overlap with Northala Fields parkrun course) 3.12m Sat 12:04 00:30:14 Nice route but too many people in Northala Fields for my liking.
Ian Cunningham Claygate & Hinchley Wood 4 miles 11:20 00:35:00
Petra Otto March ‘Parkrun’ 5.5km 10:18 am - 10:58 am 40 minutes  Distance recorded with iPhone, slightly overrun, as I didn’t know the exact location of the finish line. Better to do more than less!!! 
Mike Dennison Hampton 13:51, Sat 21 March 20:40 A new course, one lap starting and ending near home. A few roads to cross, though...
Alice Banks To and from the National Trust Brick & Tile works nature reserve at Pinkneys Green. Somewhere around 5k 21-Mar I don't run with a watch.
Richard Ruffell A loop from home (Berkhamstead), along the canal and then back on main road, finishing off round the park to get to distance/time. 5.9 miles, but basically 4*2k hard with 1 min walk recoveries, plus 1k cool down Sat. from 11.52 46 mins Comments... a punchy brick session, a brick is a run directly after coming off the bike as you would in a triathlon. Had done 2.5hrs on the bike (on my indoor turbo not outside), so timewise close to equivalent of a half ironman, so was nicely warmed up ready for the run!!  Managed to hit close to 7 min miles for the 2k intervals.
Scott Davison Walton Bridge to Hampton Court 00:26:31 Lovely relaxed run with the sun out, a few parkrun t-shirts seen.
Sarah Gordon Shuttleworth Lane out and back, Cosby, Leicestershire 5.32k Sat from 09:08 00:36:46 Only saw one horse rider, one runner and two small spread out strings of cyclists. Was surprisingly uplifting to shout ‘morning’ greetings across the road a few times. Greatest risk was golf balls from the adjoining golf club. Came across 6 on the verges during my run!
Paul Watt  Crane Park 5k 17:15 21:28 Course best for me
Julie Barclay Crane Park 5K 17.15 22.27 Not a course best for me!
Gary Rushmer Stanwell / West Bedfont 4.51m Sat 11:57 00:35:55 Nice jog in the sun.
Michael Ball 5.15k 00:31:57
Adrian Haines West Green Playing Fields, Crawley 5.00k Sat. 09:39 00:18:42
Jain Reid Chiswick Mall & Riverside 09:30 0:30:25 A few people out walking, running, cycling along the river but managing to keep our distance.
Clara Halket Hotel Gym Treadmill 5.6k Sat.
Alexandra Foster Bedfont Lakes 5.66k Sat. 08:16 00:40:39 Keeping a safe distance from others.
Joe Nolan Home Treadmill 5k 38m Puffing & blowing but job done yesterday... set up an inaugural parkrun (have to keep these locations quiet y’know), put on my golden (mara) boots as only ones not muddy and last used in Chicago 2015, set off Early before everyone else (one of young Tom’s best ever tips) and albeit slow but still first over line in approx 38 mins . Missed my usual buddies on the run, no one to chat to ....except myself and gosh I was boring .
Stephen Taylor Seven Ealing Parks 13.12m 2:15:30 approx More of a parks run than a parkrun, via 7 parks in Ealing and a bit longer than 5k.
Simon Turton Loop from home in Twyford 5k Sun. 08:32 00:24:34 Still a bit breezy (and cool) from that easterly wind but it looks like it'll brighten up later. Happy Mother's Day!
Janet Smith Datchet 5k Sun. am Got out for a run this morning. Lovely day though a bit windy.
Andy Rayner Cross Country route 2.6m Sun. 11am 00:37:16 As you can imagine it was tres muddy but fun.
Oliver Mathai Great West Road/Vicarage Farm Rd to Gillette Corner and back 5 miles 10:12 Sunday 22nd March 00:49:53
Eddie Giles Winterbourne Gunner - Wiltshire 5m Sun. 12noon 00:44:46 Managed to do the first training run outside this year without the rain. A figure of 8 course x 2. Country roads, 4 grass fields, 6 kissing gates and a steep but small bridge over the main railway. Felt good.
Keith Johnson Non-ParkRun course around Highfield In St Albans 6.2Km total Sun. 09:00H at home address 31m 20s 5K time was noted as 25m25s. Will use this course again over the coming weeks for consistency on a Saturday, restrictions permitting.
John & Benita Scaife We walked cross country from Pinkneys Green to Cookham across Hindhay farm and the Alfred Major recreation ground. 5k Monday untimed Able to get a last takeaway from Costa before they close this evening for the duration.
Chris Kelly Reading <-> Sonning (parkrun variation) 5k Sat? 10am 0:41:05  

Solo Run imageLots of uptake and variety in our weekend's SOLO runs. The list above is in rough order of submission and, obviously, we are all winners in this. Distances varied from 3k to 13miles.

Please submit your best exercise performance of next weekend and keep this list going. You can use the same route or a better one - up to you. If your best exercise performance is on a bike or a rowing machine or up a flight of stairs...then please submit to inspire us all.

PS: Can you get a better "SOLO" run image than my attempt in the picture? Send them in.

Roderick Hoffman {submit by end of Sunday}

parkrun update

I have been tidying up the East Midlands Region section of the "Runners" sheet recently and those members who have run at one or more parkruns there are encouraged just to check that their records are correct.

"East Midlands" includes the counties of Northampton, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  For an area 100+ miles north of Heathrow we have a very well spread attendance record mainly due to the fact that Sarah Gordon lives in the area and is a prolific tourist.

If parkrun returns before foreign travel is encouraged again the Skegness Boating Lake is a newish event which no member has run at so far.  Another new run is Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, the venue chosen for the recent National Cross Country Championship races which can get incredibly muddy after wet weather but probably well worth a visit at the end of a dry summer.  Ask Christine Munden to tell you all about it.

Steve Newell

Steve's parkrun stats - club parkrun stats

Three Times Unlucky

Two storms and now a virus! Yes, this week was to be attempt number three at Yeovil.

The Premier Inn in Yeovil being perfectly placed next to the new course - not being run at Montecute during the winter - has again received a cancellation notice from us. I am not sure that they will even honour our booking next time for fear of an inevitable cancellation again. Some things you can plan around when formulating a running plan such as changing shifts, shopping and ‘moving’ birthdays yet there are other things that are in the laps of the gods! From a selfish point or view, we needed just one more week for our elusive "Y", just one hour....but sadly not.
It is no major surprise that parkruns around the country have been called off and although it may not be a popular decision, it is probably the correct one.

There is talk of unofficial runs taking place on Saturday morning but the parkrun request to avoid congregating at regular venues should be respected; why would we risk annoying local authorities and park keepers? However, we intend to carry on running and enjoying the stress relief and satisfaction that it brings.

Let us hope that this virus disappears soon and that we all come out of this fit and well.

Looking forward to parkrun’s restart,

Paul Watt and Julie Barclay.

Stuck at home with nothing to do?

Apart from that DIY task you've been putting off...well you still don't need to find the spanner...

Confinement Quiz

As many of you know, we have for many years written quizzes to raise money for charity.

Attached is a quiz for which we don’t want any money, but which might provide a bit of fun for you, your friends and family, and which using technology you can enjoy remotely with others.


If you want to pass it on please do, and if you want to return your answers to me please do and I will sort of publish a list of top scores.

In a month or so we will send out the answers, but for now just a little something which we hope will keep the boredom from the door and give you an excuse to ‘Phone a Friend’.


Linda and Steve Hillier

There are 30 questions, numbered 1 to 30, and I've just had a quick look and I know the answer to question 4 and perhaps a couple of others. I'll set up a Facebook post in the club group to see if between us we can provide answers to all thirty (without giving those answers away).

Teddy Hall Relays - 11 March 2020

On Wednesday 11th March two members of the British Airways Athletics Club, accompanied by friends, participated in the annual Teddy Hall Relays – a 4 x 4.35 mile relay event organised by the Oxford University Cross Country Club. This large event sees teams from Oxford University sports clubs, departments and colleges compete alongside other universities and athletics clubs.  The standard was varied ranging from first-class athletes to runners enjoying a leisurely jog/walk.

The relays start and finish on the Iffley Road track, the venue where Sir Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile record in 1954. The route heads towards Donnington Bridge, crosses it and takes runners along the Thames Path crossing the river again to lead runners to Christ Church Meadow where the circuit passes near the Oxford University Botanical Garden. The final stretch takes in the High Street, and Magdalen Bridge before returning to the track along Iffley Road.


The quickest leg was completed by Will Gardener of the RAF A team in 21.44.

BA and Friends:

  • Steve Norris 26.05
  • Chris Kelly 28.21
  • David Brazier 36.15
  • Christine Munden 42.58

Christine Munden

Coronavirus Warning Footnote

Exercise outside is still permitted and will boost health, well-being and sanity. "One form of exercise a day, alone or with members of your household", "Parks will remain open for exercise" Boris Johnson, 20:30, 23rd March.

1. With respect to solo runs there have to be some "do nots":

  • 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 vulnerable, such as being elderly OR with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Do not travel unnecessarily far to a location for a run - use a local or nearby park or leisure route. Your judgment is needed on this point, for instance it could be that your nearest park is busy with other people, but you live a short drive away from empty open countryside.
  • Do not meet up with others to conduct a solo run.
  • 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.

2. If you are unwell yourself, potentially with 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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