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BA Athletics Club News Digest 26th April 2021

For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Events Calendar - online here


For Coronavirus related restrictions and advice see News_Coronavirus_Guidance_April_2021.shtml [no changes].

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

This Week's and Future Solo 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.

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

In-Person Events - please register in advance. Please provide suggestions and offer to organise.

There are two in-person events this week, on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. See the diary and below for details.

Please register your interest for these in-person events even if you are only a possible. Either by email or using the "Signup" option on the diary entry > Roderick Hoffman (register interest) .  Future In-Person events will be added to the diary as organisers put themselves forward.

Wednesday's Five Mile Handicap will be run so that all participants finish at around 7pm. Steve Newell will be manning the clock so I'll be running this time as well. This will be the last of the winter series and we have the opportunity to retire to a (outside but covered) table at the Duke of Wellington afterwards (in groups of up to six, but they don't accept reservations so we may not get a table). Please tell us that you are running. We expect the changing rooms to be available, but probably without hot showers.

Track-on-Field April Results

April Track-on-Field results
April's event included three of us, Michael, Stephen and I, running together at the track at Feltham. At the longer events Michael and Stephen were well matched. Michael went out fast but was then chased down by Stephen in each of the 1500m and 800m events. For the shorter events Michael was way out in front and it was the case of Stephen starting well and myself clawing him back on the finish straight. I didn't quite catch him - but we recorded our times in the 100m as 20.6 (Stephen) and 20.8 (Roderick) and it did feel that close. For the 200m event it is a pity that we didn't have Steve Hillier and Chris Kelly at Feltham as well. Perhaps in the May event. Perhaps...but we have the prospect of Track and Field matches returning soon and clogging up the diary! Hopefully so, anyway. The first Veterans Event is now penciled in for 7th June in Hillingdon (the hoped for 10th May event at Battersea has been cancelled due to the difficulties of getting sufficient volunteers to manage the complex operation required).

Roderick Hoffman

Cooper Test 21st April 2021 (NOW)

The plans to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the day some of the older members first ran together at the Kings College Track in Ruislip in 1976 had been on hold since January but finally became legal in mid month.  Two of the original trialists (Denis Foxley and Steve Hillier) were joined by Barry Walters and Roderick Hoffman while Steve Newell took on the roles of judge and timekeeper.

The test was designed by a Dr. Cooper to measure the VO2 Max of US Army recruits in the middle of the last century. Those taking the test run as far as they can in 12 minutes. Tables are available to provide a rating based on age, gender and distance achieved.
The original tests were conducted using a 440 yard track.  The Kings College track is a rare remaining example of such a track but obviously a 400m track works just as well.  Markers were placed on the inside kerb every 50m (c 55 yards).

The four runners started together (social distanced (no masks) a lane apart) and soon formed a file in lane 1.  The proprietor of the local cafe (outside tables only) soon latched on to event and started his own commentary for the benefit of his customers.  The possibility of Steve Hillier being lapped by Barry Walters became a commentators delight but it never quite happened as Barry was still about 25 yards short when the 12 minutes whistle sounded!

All runners successfully chose a sustainable pace and no overtaking took place.    Split times for each 440 yard lap were as follows: Barry Walters - 2:00, 1:59, 2:03, 2:01, 2:06; Denis Foxley - 2:05, 2:06. 2:09, 2:10, 2:13; Roderick Hoffman - 2:07, 2:11, 2:11, 2:13, 2:12; Steve Hillier - 2:17, 2:28, 2:29, 2:31.  The laps completed were Barry 5 7/8, Denis 5 5/8, Roderick 5 1/2 and Steve 4 15/16.

Two other members also tried the test remotely.  Eddie Giles ran an estimated 1.52 miles (equ 6 laps) round a hill fort circle in Wiltshire while Chris Kelly managed 1.74 miles (equivalent to almost 7 laps) up and down a stretch of canal in Berkshire (including locks!).

The next NOW will probably be towards the end of May, possible Wednesday lunchtimes 19th or 26th.  The exact date will be dependent on some clarification of the post Covid track & field calendars and also organisers' availabilities. The possibilities and organisers are Burnham Beeches (John Scaife) and Osterley (Roderick Hoffman).

Steve Newell

Ed: In terms of the grading used in January most of us remain in the same grades despite some small improvements. Barry however moves from "Average" to "Excellent" and Denis from "Average" to "Good".

BAAC Cross Country Championships - Sunday 2nd May Crane Park - Reminder

Cross Country Start LocationThe Sunday is the annual BA Cross Country race in scenic Cranford Park.  We want members and friends to take part in this traditional feature of the BAAC Spring calendar.  The two winners get awarded the prestigious BAAC Cross Country trophy.  The course involves two very flat laps of the park for ladies (just over 3 miles) and three laps for men (almost 5 miles).  Keen lady runners are welcome to complete the third lap! The Sunday morning start time will be 10:30.

Please be aware that we have to abide by a number of COVID regulations, and all participants should register in advance to be able to take part - runners, volunteers and spectators.  The race has a maximum entry limit for members and friends, but we are unlikely to approach that limit so please join us.

Please run if you can, but we would also welcome volunteers to help with the smooth running of the event.  If you can help, please contact me:

> Steve Hillier (

You can park in Cranford Park car park off the A312/M4 roundabout.  That car park may get busy so if you arrive slightly early you might like to consider parking in Roseville Road and use the underpass to get to the start/finish area. Note that for those coming from Cranford that the underpass from Church Road is completely blocked by a flood so you are strongly advised to use the footbridge and footpath on the Parkway instead.

Paul "New Shoes" Watt and Julie Barclay have confirmed that they expect to join us on Sunday as has Adrian Haines, fresh from his sub-five minute mile. Will the Cranford Park course act as a leveler for the rest of us? Probably not, I ran two laps around it last week and the grass and paths were already firming up throughout and there is very little rain forecast for the rest of the week. I've made it clear that "I don't do cross-country" but I will be jogging round towards the back of the field on Sunday (provided I'm not needed for finish duties) and will challenge myself to do the third lap. I may even nominate myself to be an official tail runner.

Roderick Hoffman

Monthly Solo Challenge - Street Sentence

Perhaps I should be thankful that I didn't get more entries for this! These are the ones I got:

Participant Detail Streets Entry
Piers Keenleyside Run, 3.06miles, 0:38:05. The entry is perhaps from the Master Chef Recipe book. DEVONSHIRE ROAD, GREEN AVENUE, ORION PARK, BRAMLEY ROAD, OLIVE ROAD, MAPLE GROVE, CHERRY CLOSE, VILLAGE PARK RECREATION GROUND, ROSE GARDENS, ALMOND AVENUE, CHESTNUT GROVE, LIMES WALK, PALM GROVE, ELDERBERRY ROAD, WALNUT COURT, WATERMANS MEWS Mix GREEN BRAMLEYs with ELDERBERRYs and CHERRYs, add a cup of ROSE WATER then a dash of LIME juice, make pastry with GROUND ALMOND and CHESTNUT flour, grease tin with OLIVE OR PALM oil and make a pie; top with WALNUTs and bake for 50 minutes before serving with MAPLE syrup and DEVONSHIRE cream.
Amanda Coombs Run, 5.25km <40mins. The Crofts, Blacksmith’s Close, Forge Lane, Freeman Close, Kingsmead Avenue, Anvil Road, Bridle Close, Upper Halliford Road, Old Orchard, Sunna Gardens, Willow Way, Cumberland Place, Loudwater Road, Kempton Avenue, Halliford Road, The Chase “THE BLACKSMITH’S FORGE is FREE! ‘AVE the ANVIL! BRIDLE UP! The OLD NAG WILL BE AT KEMPTON FOR the CHASE!” 
Melanie Miller (1) The entry included a photograph of the Great Dane. Mr Napier of Norman Avenue had hoped that the dashing Mr Heathcroft might fall for his daughter in law the illustrious Alexandra. However Mr Heathcroft had designs only for the clever Catherine (the great). So what did Mr Napier say when his beloved daughter-in-law eloped with the notorious Eddie Goff whom nobody liked and what were they ‘up to’ in The Drive...I guess poor Mr Napier could always draw comfort on the charming Doris of Saxony Road who often walked her dog a Great Dane along Tudor Road Chertsey Road and passing The Drive.
Melanie Miller (2) Lake Road, Monmouth Drive, Sandy Lane, Aspen Drive, Noon Hill Road, Sherwood Drive, Black Hill, St Stephens Lane, Potters Place, Burnbake Road, Owls Road, Paddocks Grove, Newtown Lane, Badger Way The Potters from Black Hill wud frequent trips to Aspen Colorado. Not this year during Covid-19 as they had to stay local so trips would include Sherwood the forest or more often the lake, where friends from Owls Road told them about a body swept up on a sandy part of the waters but only around noon the next day. Tragically it turned out to be poor old Badger so of the Stephens or grandson to The Potters - naturally the wake would take place at Burnbake
Simon Turton Run 2.95km, 15:30 LINCOLN gdns, CREST cl, HILLtop, HERON dr, stanLAKE la, southVIEW cl, PINE grove, SYCAMORE dr, walnut TREE cl, NORTHbury la, WESTview dr, PENNFIELDS LINCOLN CRESTed the HILL by HERON LAKE and VIEWed the PINE & SYCAMORE TREEs NORTH-WEST of PENNFIELDS.
Roderick Hoffman Walk, 59 minutes WILLow tree lane, stratFORd rd, REYNOLDS Road, DOUGLAS Crescent, FREEMANs Lane, JUDGE heath lane, Church WALK, SWIFT close, Childs COURT, HOMEfield close JUDGE DOUGLAS REYNOLDS was SWIFT, "My WILL is FOR you to WALK HOME from COURT as a FREEMAN".

I said I'd declare a winner but how can I judge any of these to be better, or worse, than any of the others? But I will judge Amanda's to be the best for being quite close to what I had intended for the entries and for her inventive use of " 'Ave" from "Avenue" and "Nag" from "Sunna Gardens".

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 23rd to 26th April 2021

Two more from last week and then 28 from this week - and I've probably missed one or two but it is getting late!

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Running 5miles Worthing Track Sun 00:04:57 Last week, one mile race. A little windy.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 15.04km Boxhill Sat 04:08:34 Late entry for last week.
Adrian Haines Cycling 15.44km Heathrow Perimeter Road Sat pm 00:30:56 This weekend's achievement was cycling around Heathrow in my lunch break. Sunny but a blowy easterly wind. Also a 3,000m race on Thursday in Harrow in 9:59.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 00:51:30 Very cold wind and slightly injured half way round - nearly 2min faster in Thursday.
Barry Walters Running 8km Swinley Forest Sat am 00:45:06 Just a steady run today over the forest in the pleasant sunshine.
Ben Cooper Running 6.23km Cardiff Sat lunch 00:33:43 Furthest I've ever run in my lunch break, 8x 400m intervals with 1m rests.
Benita Scaife mixed Run/Walk 8miles Reading Mon am 01:50:44 From Reading Audi (car service) just off junction 11 of the M4. We ran on a sunken path alongside a stream by the A33 towards Reading to its junction with the Kennet and Avon Canal…
Clara Halket mixed Run/Walk 21.17km Local Sat 02:43:32 Saturday morning workout on a 2km loop in the village...10x1km walk/1km run, warm down walk after.
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 00:55:00
Di Smith Walking Stride for Stroke Challenge (JustGiving site) Everyday 30 days in and I’ve done 357,884 steps, so slightly ahead of schedule. The good weather has helped and I’ve been able to get out every day so with some leeway with 90 days to go.
Eddie Giles Running 5km Winterbourne Gunner Sat 00:29:20 2x2.5 k circuit - pavement & grass.
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:24:41 With Julie and Paul and my daughter Vicki. Went off too fast 4.33 for first 1k and so slowed for the other 4K but managed a 24.41. Gradually getting fitter.
Jain Reid Running 11.36km To Syon Park Sun 01:15:04 After cutting back rambling rose in my back garden so I could get out of my back door I took the longer riverside route to a garden centre in Syon Park.
Jane Harbert XC Skiing 3miles Colorado 00:52:00 A lot of portage due to mud patches.
Joan Foxley Running 4.5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 00:53:00
Joe Nolan Running 1.66km Sunnymeads Sun am 00:11:01 First run for a few months, the latest comeback has begun ! A stone overweight to be sorted. Made the broken fingers feel a bit better too ! {Joe recently admitted to having broken two fingers with a hammer}
John Scaife mixed Run/Walk 8miles Reading Mon am 01:50:44 which point we dropped onto the tow path into Reading itself, picking up the Thames Path at Reading Bridge. We then ran west along the Thames to Tilehurst where we finished in Arthur Newbery park (pictured).
Julie Barclay Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:21:54
Keith Johnson Running 7.15km Markyate near St Albans Sun 00:34:36
Melanie Miller Walking 21.7km Ivinghoe Circular Sun pm 05:31:41 Another epic hike (following 18km on Saturday) seeing the lovely Docky Woods carpeted with bluebells and the wonderful garlic fields.
Michael Ball Sprints Track Track session 100 200 100 and gym
Mike Dennison Running 17.1km Bushy and the river Sun am 01:21:38 Lovely conditions (apart from the wind).
Neil Frediani Running 12.5miles Whickham - Newcastle 'Circular' Sat am 02:06:35 Country to city, riverside and country again. Mostly flat for a change.
Paul Watt Running 5km Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat 00:19:28 Should have bought these shoes months ago.
Petra Otto mixed Run/Walk 26.44miles Local Fri 08:36:55 This afternoon saw me finish VR’s ‘Marathon Week’, which I completed in just 4 days. My biggest physical challenge so far this year. Felt absolutely great!
Piers Keenleyside Running 27+miles Ealing "Queen of the Suburbs" challenge Sat 06:00:00 I completed the challenge of visiting 13 nominated Ealing parks during April, in one activity. I tried to keep a low heart rate and made sure I was not troubling my injuries.
Roderick Hoffman Running 9km Twyford & Ruscombe Fri 01:01:56 See below
Simon Turton Walking 8.3km Bray and Dorney Reach Sun pm 01:45:00 With Charlotte. Nice and quiet as the M4 was closed between jct 6-8 this weekend.
Stephen Taylor Running 10.08miles Round Ealing Sat am 01:48:45 Shorter than usual loop around Ealing, taking in a few parks and running with some local friends.
Steve Hillier Walking 5miles Runnymede to Staines and back Sun Linda and I completed another section of our River Thames "Source to Thames Barrier" walk.  A beautiful day, really peaceful.

Weekend Achievements 

The Orienteering course for my run has been set by Simon Turton and made available through the resources of his Orienteering Club, Berkshire Orienteers. Simon can make the map available to any club member/friend and the orienteering event works through the MapRunF app on smartphones or in my case my Garmin watch. Currently I'm top of the leaderboard for this event! Yes, that's right, nobody else has run it yet.

Roderick Hoffman

Meet the Committee - Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor at WARR AmsterdamStephen Taylor (without portfolio)

I get involved with managing the entry lists and producing the results for BAAC organised races such as the Speedbird Ladies 5k and Concorde 5M, which has been a rather quiet of late due to the restrictions in place.

As well as running I also enjoy cycling, swimming and a bit of tennis in the summer months. Last year my sporting target was to complete the London Marathon, Ride London 100 and Serpentine 2-mile swim, however two of those went virtual and the swim was cancelled. My best athletic achievement was going sub 4 hours in the London Marathon in 2015, it took seven goes to get there, including the previous year where I was just 27 seconds over the time.

Outside of running I enjoy music and regularly play guitar or piano with a band at my local church.

I left BA a few years ago now and am picking up occasional contracting jobs which leaves plenty of time for running and long cycle rides although strangely never quite enough time for DIY and decorating.

The picture was taken at WARR 2019 Amsterdam.

Stephen Taylor

Ed: In the digest I usually change Steve's name to "Stephen" so that there is just a little bit of differentiation between him and each of Steve Hillier and Steve Newell. Fortunately for me he uses "Stephen" in his Facebook name, since I have another "Steve Taylor" as a Facebook friend as well.

WARR date - 23rd October 2021, yes 2021!

A venue and date has been selected for this year's World Airline Road Race. This is Saturday 23rd October at Waikiki in Hawaii, USA. Obviously, for this to become a reality and for BAAC to send a significant team we would need:

  • The UK to be opened up post COVID - due from June 21st,
  • The USA to be opened up post COVID - Hawaii but also intermediate locations,
  • A travel corridor to be opened up between the UK and the USA,
  • No significant reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccines against newer mutations of the virus,
  • Enough team members able and willing to make the trip.

Whilst personally I consider this unlikely to be the case, it is certainly not impossible and I'll be making arrangements for myself in the hope that it happens. Please let me know your hopes and intentions.

> Roderick Hoffman

Or, Closer to home, The Cabbage Patch 10

Those with less hope are welcome to register for the Cabbage Patch 10 which is planned for the streets of Twickenham on 17th October, the previous Sunday. Piers Keenleyside has offered to champion that event as a club Run-of-the-Month. For details and entries see: Welcome to the Cabbage Patch 10

Correction - Round-the-Blocks from 9 , or perhaps 10? Editors

This section last week said that there had been nine editors of Round-the-Block but I now think that there had been 10. I have issue 56, and it was clearly edited by Sue Wells. Issue 57 is one of my gaps and I'd assumed that Sue also edited it. Paul Goldsmith has a copy of 57 (and other issues where I have gaps) and is probably already reaching for it as he reads this. The editor of issue 58 is the mystery. I have the issue and it has an unsigned editorial. Text in the editorial says "We would like to thank Sue Wells for her sterling efforts over the past 2 years..." and "...we would like to introduce our new Round the Block editor, Judy Connaghton...". I now note that in issue 59 Judy signed the editorial but made it clear that this was her first issue. So who was the editor of issue 58? The only other clue in issue 58 is at the foot of the letters page: "Any more letters on Club issues to : Editor RtB, c/o Anne Hurn..." so I suspect that the editor of that issue (and possibly 57 also) was Anne. Anne was also the organiser that year of the 20th year of BAAC celebration. Not that one can believe anything in issue 58 - Simon Ashford included an item with photographs of himself and also Trevor Plows to enable other members to distinguish between them. The photographs were printed the wrong way round. Deliberately, I'm sure.

Roderick Hoffman

BA Athletics Club Records - Hurdles

Anne Hurn had many hurdles put in front of her in her time at the club, including those for the 100m that she cleared with some ease, equaling Janet's previously set record. This is one of six records she still holds at the club (also including the 400m record listed last week).

To qualify as a record the event has to be competitive and accurately measured and the participant has to be a paid-up member of the club and wearing a club vest (or in an in-house organised event). 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).

TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) 100m H Anne Hurn 22.4 Rosenheim Walton Jun-00 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) 100m H Janet Smith * 22.4 Rosenheim Woking Jul-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV35) 100m H Caroline Yarnell 25.2 Rosenheim Walton Jun-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) 110m H Manolo Bello-Cano 16.2 Rosenheim Walton Jun-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV50) 110m H Paul Goldsmith 21.16 Rosenheim Ewell Aug-03 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV55) 110m H Paul Goldsmith 21.16 Rosenheim Ewell Aug-03 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (OPEN) 400m H Caroline Yarnell 89.7 Rosenheim Kingston Jul-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - LADIES (FV35) 400m H Caroline Yarnell 89.7 Rosenheim Kingston Jul-99 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (OPEN) 400m H Manolo Bello-Cano 59 Rosenheim Final Tooting Bec Aug-01 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV40) 400m H Adrian Haines 65.2 Rosenheim Kingston May-10 Current
TRACK & FIELD - MEN (MV45) 400m H Steve Hillier ** 79.4 Rosenheim Kingston May-00 Current


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

* The record that Anne equaled was set by Janet Smith who is much better known as a thrower of heavy objects rather than a runner. Janet holds four discus records, five hammer records, two javelin records and four shot put records (and five "GB Vest" mentions). But she is always willing to help out the team so as well as this hurdles record she is also the holder of a high jump record and a 2km walk record.

** Similar to Janet, Steve Hillier is more commonly thought of as a thrower of heavy objects but he holds this record for the 400m hurdles and also a 2km walk record. At the Rosenheim event in May 2000 Steve was busy, also taking part in the 100m, 800m, 4x200m relay, the Triple Jump and the Hammer - but the only record set that day was in the 400m hurdles.

parkrun Update

parkrun was come a step closer to a return in the UK mainland on June 5th with the publication of a report into the anticipated relative safety of undertaking the parkrun activity even given low levels of Coronavirus infection. This should be seen as aiming to convince landowners of the safety so that most events will be given permission to restart on that date. Meanwhile Jersey parkrun was held last Saturday for the first time for over the year and had 429 participants - a large number but fewer than ran there on two weekends in January 2020.

Meanwhile on the mainland more Junior parkruns are returning. Those club runners wanting to combine under 11s childcare with Sunday's Club Cross Country Championships can chose to take the kids to Osterley first or, on its first week back, Northala Fields Junior parkrun.

Letters to the Editor

Dorothy Cook village photo"BA Runner was a great read, It brought a few good memory tears. Good news re the 40th anniversary.

Thirteen months post Martin and I feel I could well be on the home straight. I know where Martin is and, at last, I believe I know where I am.

I am staying local for the remainder of 2021.  Maybe I can find a race which includes walkers in 2022. My knees object to running, despite doing all the well advised exercises.

Is anyone in contact with anyone in the Manchester BA running club?  I have some of Martin's running vests, in good condition, which I would like to pass on.

I have a lovely apartment, great location in the village centre and lovely view as attached.

God bless and keep safe

Dorothy Cook"


"I occasionally find it frustrating and I imagine other members do too that the membership at large does not get a regular (annual) list of members and contact details.  The Communications Officer role should not be reduced to message forwarding boy.  The BA Golf Section website has a members' section which is only accessible using an individual password which enables members to get in touch with one another to arrange casual or competitive rounds without bothering a committee member.  Members who prefer to keep such information private are catered for but even that liberal policy triggers the question of why people would join a club in the first place.  My sailing club issues an annual calendar along with a list of members and contact details. This is essential as everyone is volunteered to help out two or three times a year to crew the safety boat, etc. and individual plans can change during a long season so being able to arrange a swap at short notice has to be simple and possible.  I believe both these examples are legal.

Steve Newell"


The Communications Officer responds, in the style of most big organisations,: "The membership functionality requested is provided through our social media account on Facebook. Members and friends of the club are welcome to join this private group and exchange ideas and arrangements. Any agreed events can also be entered in the club diary as 'Colleague Run" events."

However the Editor would welcome other correspondence on the subject since it is known that Steve isn't the only member to be low key when it comes to Facebook and other social media networks.

> To the Editor

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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