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BA Athletics Club News Digest 26th May 2014

Forthcoming Events:

  • Monday 2nd June - Track&Field Grand Prix Uxbridge - 800m and Hammer from 18:00
  • Thursday 5th June - Bath Road - Magic Mile at 12:45
  • Wednesday 11th June - Parkway Mile 18:00 followed by Club AGM 20:00

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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Wednesday 21st May Club In-house Event Crane Park "freedom run" results

A warm & cloudy evening at Crane Park for our first of it’s kind on a Wednesday evening.

The race field were in 3 groups:

  • Eyeballs out all the way - Roy, Colin, Gary & Mark - Roy showed the others a good pair of trainer heels finishing in 19.19
  • Tactical - Neil, John & Roderick
  • Taking in the scenery - Steve & Steve

After the run some of us went to the White Hart in Whitton, maybe not the best pub in the area, food was a bit slow for some, but maybe if we have the event again a new game called ‘after the parkrun pub event’ should happen. So if you know of a pub that’s good , let’s go there next time. 

  • Roy Lilley – 19.19 (Gary Rushmer’s brother now a member of the club)
  • Colin Haylock – 19.52
  • Gary Rushmer – 20.07
  • Mark Taylor – 20.38
  • Neil Frediani – 24.14
  • John Coffey – 24.34
  • Roderick Hoffman – 25.40*
  • Steve Newell & Steve Hillier - Late starts - Around 33.00
  • Eddie Giles – Course Marker, Starter & Timekeeper
  • John & Gary’s wife scribing & carrying bags from the start to the finish!!

Eddie Giles

* I may have been tailing others but this was still faster than any of my other four runs at Crane Park.  Checking records it also looks like Colin and Neil also ran faster than their best Crane Park parkrun times.

PS The club's parkrunners have been invited to return to Crane Park on Saturday 7th June for the parkrun event's second anniversary where the event organisers are keen to smash their previous best attendance record. By chance I was at their first birthday last year and if the cake is as good this time around it's one not to miss!

Roderick Hoffman

Green Belt Relay May 17th/18th Write-up


More detailed results/records attached - Belt Relay Records 2014.xlsx .We set new records on the new stages, but otherwise, we seem to have slowed down. Fortunately everyone else has too, so we achieved our most improved position overall. We must console ourselves with pride in the management of our decline, as seems increasingly to be the case.

Otherwise, from me, thanks for joining us for the weekend. I really enjoy this event, especially the sense of progress, of travel. When I'm legging it across (or down) some beautiful countryside, or simple villages, with only a map, or some sawdust for comfort, its the closest I get to being "on an expedition". There are also the many other enjoyments - watching you set off, nervous with potential - cheering you in - hopefully flushed with success, or, cruelly, but often more interestingly, frustrated by the twists of fortune - and in between popping up in the middle of nowhere to offer a coolish cup of H2O to replenish and reassure of the way. That, and the involvement in Marshalling offers us a way to participate in the event, supporting other runners in the way we would want to be supported, which makes me feel as if it is, partly, our, event, too. And of course, there's the food, drink, and good company. 

Even the logistical jigsaw was in fact satisfying to complete, thanks to the sturdy foundations Brian created, and may be even better next time with the various suggestions incorporated. 

But - the main point - it cannot be done alone - without a willing team. So thanks to all of you for volunteering, giving up your time, supporting, and in reserve, doing your homework(!), and making it happen. Result!

Rgds, Chris Kelly

 Club parkrun results for Saturday 24th May

24th May Club Family parkrunner Time parkrun Comment WAVA
Joe Nolan 27:25 Black Park run #173 58%
Ian Cunningham 26:11 Bushy Park 57%
Janet Cunningham 26:10 Bushy Park run #88, Epsom Allsorts 66%
Jeremy Short 19:46 Crane Park 1st runner with barcode! 76%
Roderick Hoffman 24:28 Edinburgh club course rec, park #73 62%
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford
Alan Anderson 30:17 Gunnersbury 99th run at Gunnersbury 68%
Kerstin Luksch 25:26 Gunnersbury 100th run at Gunnersbury 59%
Gareth Hobby 24:14 Reading pb by 30 seconds 57%
Chris Kelly 20:47 Reading 70%
Piers Keenleyside 22:30 Richmond Park course pb 69%
Steve Newell 28:43 Southwark course pb, age cat rec* 61%

A bank holiday weekend - with rather wet conditions in the London area this week.

Gareth Hobby continues to improve at Reading.

Several on tour this week -

  • Roderick Hoffman in Edinburgh, dry but breezy - Roderick suggests his fast time was wind assisted;
  • Steve Newell at Southwark Park (Surrey Quays), flat and damp;
  • Piers Keenleyside at Richmond Park - hilly and wet.
  • Ian Cunningham having a sociable family jog at Bushy Park and has finally drawn level with John Coffey on 148 runs.

Updated parkrun stats:  

Steve Newell

* Steve also reports that for nine seconds he simultaneously held the MV65-69 and MV70-74 records at Southwark - but only for nine seconds.

I recently volunteered to help at Pymmes and was timekeeper on the day - not much of a challenge given their usual attendance (just 30 that day).  Ian sometimes helps out at Bushy and has done so on a day when they have had over 1,000 finishers.  Feel for the guys who volunteered to help at Modderfontein Reserve parkrun in South Africa the other week (10th May).  The attendance was 1,803!, yes really - start photo below:

Modderfontein Reserve parkrun 10May2014

So parkrun goes from strength to strength - now over 400 parkruns worldwide including a fourth Moscow starting soon, Singapore now given a start date of June 21st and strong rumours that parkrun USA will soon have four more events in New York, Boston, Denver and Washington!

Updated club parkrun map:

Roderick Hoffman

London Marathon Reports...

I found the training this year to be particularly hard, I had nine weeks of doing nothing at the end of last year due to illness so was rather sluggish getting started. The weather was also a contributing factor to my slow progress as it was for everyone else but I plodded on. I didn't do, in my opinion, nearly enough training to better my time from last year so I decided to just go out and enjoy the day and try to raise as much as I could for my chosen charity Cancer Research. I had also decided this was to be my last marathon because of the hard time I had training.

I felt pretty good on the day and met up with a friend from work to run with, she hadn't done a marathon before so thought I'd help her through as it was my third. Was very comfortable with the pace we set even though was a little slow for me and at 12 miles my friend had to stop and insisted I went on without her. Usually I run with music but decided to soak up the atmosphere instead and it was pretty amazing. When I got to Mudchute in the isle of dogs I had to stop for a minute myself to just have a breather then once I'd passed through the 17 mile marker was back on my way. I remember my feet screaming pain but on I went feeling more elated as I passed each mile marker then seeing the Tower of London and the embankment you know it's not long now. The crowds down there are fantastic and they lift you all the way to the finish.

Birdcage Walk has to be my favourite part as my family and friends are down there waiting to cheer me on and also some are marshalling at the 400 metre mark. I managed to get to see my Dad this time as he had just opened the crossing so he was on the course. I still remember the proud look on his face when he sees me.

Once I rounded the corner to the final 200 metres, the best sight is the finish line it makes you want to burst with joy, I crossed the line with another girl I'd just met at the point and we had a hug once we both finished. It just amazing how friendly people are even after running 26.2 miles. I managed it in a time of 5:18:03 this year which was 22 mins slower than last year!

Just crossing that finish line is the greatest feeling in the world and all that was on my mind after that was when does the ballot open for next year!! Will I ever be cured of my addiction for the big race?

I am eternally grateful once again to BA Athletics club for giving me opportunity to be part of this most amazing race.

Thanks again Steve and will hopefully see you in August for the bike ride marshalling. Can't do the London 10k as am going on holiday tomorrow but me dad and a couple of others are covering it for me.

Best regards,

Tracey Mills

Piers Ks Training Update #4 – 19th May 2014:  

It is now 5 weeks since the London Marathon and I really should have written this up by now! In mid-March my training was not going that well as I had a painful right knee which I thought was getting better after not running for a week. It did seem OK and my final 'long run' before London was the Paris Marathon on 6th April.

I'd entered Paris last year before I knew I had a place in the London Marathon. Not really ideal to do two marathons so close together. My plan was to do just enough to go sub 3:30 and then try to go 10 or 15 minutes faster in London the following weekend. However this was not to be – the weather in Paris was ideal for running and I started well and got to halfway in around 1:38 but then coming up to mile 14 my right hip started to feel quite painful (my knee by contrast seemed fairly OK) After a couple more miles I knew I was slowing and decided not to try too hard to maintain a good pace so that I had a chance of being reasonably fit for London. I finished in 3:40:19 – at least it was a PB for the course – I ran it 3:41:18 in 2002!

I took it very easy over the next few days leading up to Sunday 13th and just hoped my hip would not give me the same sort of trouble as in Paris. The weather forecasts in the days leading up to the race were not promising but in the end it was a good day for running – even a bit on the warm side for some runners.

I was in pen 3 for the start and once the tapes came down 5 minutes before the off I managed to weave my way a bit nearer the front. The gun went and I was across the start line in around a minute. My plan (as usual) was to go out fast and try to get to half-way in about 1:35 or less if possible and then just try to hang on in the second half and maintain a pace above 8 minute/mile. In several places I found that overtaking runners to do the initial pace I wanted (7 m/m) difficult – the course was just too congested. At one point I tried leaving the road and running behind the crowds lined up against the barriers on the pavement. This worked up to a point but when the pavements narrowed it was back to square one and I was forced to go slower than I wanted.

It wasn't long before we rounded Cutty Sark and I was glad to note that my hip, which had caused me a lot of problems in Paris, seemed OK. The next landmark I remember was Surrey Quays shopping complex where a few weeks earlier I'd got myself a bit lost when doing a recce training run over the first half of the course. Although there were crowds of people lining the course all the way round I did miss the special attention and reactions I had in recent years when running the marathon in a mankini! This year I was just another runner in shorts and vest.

A mile over Tower Bridge and I had reached half-way in just over 1:37 – quite close to what I was looking for but I began to suspect sub-3:20 would not be on as my hip had started to hurt a little and I knew I was now running at about 7:30 m/m.

And so on to Docklands where at points the course narrowed at points and again I was sometimes boxed-in by other runners and had to slow my pace. At some point (around 20 miles) whilst battling my way through the melee of runners a button on my watch was knocked and it stopped recording my time and distance. It was quite a few minutes before I knew what had happened and the first time I looked at my watch and just noticed the time I thought things had picked up and I was on for a 3:20 finish. A few minutes later I looked again and saw the time had not changed and realised what had happened! From then on I had to try and judge my pace and projected finish by using the clocks that were at most/all mile markers and subtracting a minute to allow for my start – all very frustrating.

As mile 23 approached I looked forward to being greeted by the Ealing Eagles Cheer Squad who were camped out in great numbers on the Embankment at the end of Fish Street. They had gone down early to stake out a good viewing spot equipped with several straw bales to use as comfy seats for the day! They didn't disappoint and I managed to mount the high kerb to exchange several 'high-fives' with my screaming club mates.

Next up were the crossing points over the last couple of miles of the course where the BA marshals were all had at work getting the public safely across the roads. I found my 3 marshals at Parliament Square and stopped to greet my wife. As I set off again I saw that a fellow Ealing Eagle lady had just overtaken me! Not wanting to be 'chicked' I tried to quicken my pace but alas felt a twinge of cramp in my right calf and had to slow again or risk falling in a heap with full cramp crippling me!

I kept a steady pace over the last mile and did manage a little sprint for the line which meant that I finished with a sub 3:25 chip time (3:24:31). Not quite what I wanted but on the day, considering Paris was only a week before and the hip injury I had, probably the best I could have done. It was also my best London Marathon time since 1998 – so not bad for an old man!

Thanks to BA for my place and thanks to my regular marshals, Kathryn, Dorothy, Carole and Melanie who have helped at the crossing points on and off over the last 10 years or so. I won't need to call on BA for a place again or the ladies for marshaling duty as I ran 3:15 in the Marrakech Marathon in January and will be able to use that to get a good-for-age place in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 I turn 60 and my GFA time goes up to 3:45 which I'm sure I will easily be capable of. So another BA place will be going spare over the next few years - I hope it gives someone the chance to run their first London!

Piers Keenleyside

Quickies from a wet weekend...

Vote for a supporting hero (Mother Taylor)...


Basically we'd like to encourage readers to vote for our mother (Sheila Taylor) in the Period Living Community Hero competition. There are various categories and the top ten go into a final where judges will decide the winner of a new kitchen.

The link below should get you to the voting page:

Many thanks,

Mark Taylor

Former Club member sets British Mile Record!

Adrian Haines, BA Engineering, set the British m45 mile record at British milers club in Brighton with a time of 4:34.  This was on 14th May 2014 - the 60 year anniversary of the first four minute mile (view outside BA).

Adrian Haines

And in case you think that Piers runs too much...

I met a guy in the Richmond Marathon who is trying to break the world record for the number of marathons run in a year. He has been doing it for just over a month and has run 39 in 35 days! He needs to beat 366 to get the record. When he can't find an organised race to run he does the Richmond Park Marathon course as he lives locally. As he has a full time job as well this means getting up at 4am to run a marathon before going to work! Total nutter! In the race on Sunday we often found ourselves running together and at the end I beat him in a sprint finish.

Piers Keenleyside

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