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BA Athletics Club News Digest 28th September 2020

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

Events Calendar - online here

Unrestricted races are still few and far between so the club continues to operate with Solo and Shared runs as listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. 

Roderick Hoffman

Diary and Events

In the distributed version of the digest you may need to click on the diary heading to open up the full online version. You can also access the diary from our website at

Again I've added two events into the October diary, but this time in person events. These are a NOW event in Marlow for 14th October and a proposal for the first club Five Mile Handicap event of the winter series on the 21st.

Next week it is time for the monthly Solo Mile...or a shared mile if anyone would like to host this? Let me know before next Monday.

Any difficulties, questions or suggestions - please get in touch via .

This Week's Events

 Send me your results for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to

Ross Barkley 5k:

Your Name Date Run Location Total time for 5k distance Details or comments

Weekend Achievement: (vVLM for many)

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

Last Week's Midweek Challenge - Track-on-Field

Sept Track-on-Field SplitsEddie Giles joined us for this event for the first time and showed all of us youngsters a clean pair of heels. His only competition was Simon but only over the longer distances. Some of our curves are smoother than others but we all have different courses including different ways of measuring the distances. For instance I went back to the Spikes Bridge path which is a circuit of about 456m, though with 100m markers at 200m, 300m and 400m. I use the markers for the 200 and 100 but rely on my GPS watch for the longer distances. I can see, using Garmin and Google Earth, that my GPS 400m is 25m longer than the path 400m! Both could be wrong.

Month-on-month analysis (below) would suggest that for the regulars most of us have found our level...except for Stephen for whom the marathon distance training is doing well for his 200m sprinting! It is a pity that he won't be able to demonstrate that down the Mall at the weekend.

Sept Track-on-Field results

Participant 1500m 800m 400m 200m 100m Comment
Eddie Giles 00:06:58 00:03:16 00:01:23 00:00:38 00:00:18 Figsbury Ring, Grass surface, used Strava for distance and marked all the start & finishes with big white rocks ,so that I could see them!!
Simon Turton 00:06:39 00:03:15 00:01:29 00:00:41 00:00:19 So a steadier 1500m paid dividends as I was consistently faster on the 800m through 100m.
Stephen Taylor 00:06:56 00:03:35 00:01:46 00:00:45 00:00:23 Back to the old Drayton green track this time.
Michael Ball 00:07:38* 00:03:56 00:01:48 00:00:47 00:00:20 Bit windy and after 12 mile bike ride. *1500m time estimated from 1380m.
Roderick Hoffman 00:07:49 00:04:04 00:01:51 00:00:46 00:00:21 At Spikes Bridge old track, in the drizzle.
Denis Foxley 00:07:45 00:04:03 00:01:51 00:00:51 00:00:24 Not run all week due to persistent back ache.
Steve Hillier 00:08:28 00:04:31 00:02:03 00:00:43 00:00:23 Recent rain, pleasantly cool.  I must remember to start earlier, or modify my route to avoid tree roots in the woods on the 800m!
Barry Walters 00:07:58 00:04:07 00:02:10 00:00:58 00:00:25 Times were down on last month and did feel a bit heavy legged during the session.

All Track-on-Field performances will now contribute to October's report, which will be published in the digest of 2nd November.

Roderick Hoffman

Virtual London Marathon 2020 (April's "Run-of-the-Month" #)

On Sunday 4th October, an elite version of the 40th London Marathon will take place in a “secure biosphere” in St. James’s Park.  COVID regulations have stopped the running of the annual event from Greenwich to the Mall, and the majority of runners have been given the opportunity to defer to a later date.  Nevertheless, many runners will be pounding the streets on Sunday, completing 26.2 miles “Your Way”.  Up to 45,000 runners will decide where and how to run, walk or jog the distance during the day.

BAAC has its usual squad of runners entered for the race, and many are going to tackle the virtual event.  It looks like an app will be made available to track the runners, with more information due to be published in the coming days.  In the meantime, here are details of some of our squad, with their virtual running numbers, and the plans some of them have made.

Good luck to our team!  Please support them in any way you can.

Fraser Cameron 10112
David Duggan 25436
Stephen Taylor 30072
Piers Keenleyside 27511
Steve Barrington 20694
Emma Moreton 21861
Sarah Freeman Smith 18410
Murray Hogge 13190
Frankie Hogge 13191
SJ Roberts 40987
David Roberts 27593

SJ and husband David plan to run Ham to Hampton Court Palace and back along the tow path (10 miles) probably Sunday morning and then Sunday afternoon and perhaps another 6 miles later in the evening! 

Fraser plans to go out very early and do it all in one hit so that he can hopefully spend the remainder of the day lying on the couch scoffing treats from around noon onwards. 

"I'm aiming to run around the surrounding heathland near where I live. It will certainly be a very tough run (probably the hardest route, marathon wise, I've ever done) as the terrain is arduous (mainly trail) and the elevation gain is monstrous in places (eek!). However, it is a highly diverse route and very picturesque, so I hope this (plus a good audio book) will be a huge motivator and really help me mentally in the absence of awesome, race day support.

I plan to run this trail-based route for probably the first 20 miles or so and then I will swing back and finish up the last 10k by pounding the pavements near my home in a closed loop - just in case I have any issues."

Emma will be running 13 x 2mile loops of the towpath in Shepperton (start/end at the Ferry Cafe) then a swift 0.2miles to the Thames Court pub!  For every lap she has people signed up to run with her. 

David is planning on doing 13 x 2mile 'laps' along Chestnut Ave in Bushy Park - "Teddington Gate to Hampton Court Gate is one mile, therefore going up and down 13 times, and back to the car park should do it, plus there's much less traffic now you only drive to the car parks! I've friends joining me for the last six miles which is when I'll need the motivation!"

News from Stephen:  "One week to go to the Virtual London Marathon. I've done all the training, twice, so now it's time to 'taper' (run a bit less), carb load (eat a bit more) and count down to the big day. Apart from the elite runners who will be running in Central London the 'virtual' event means that I can run the 26.2 miles on any course so I'll be running, to, through and around 13 parks in Ealing on Sunday 4th October. If you're local then you could give me a wave as I run past or even run a stretch with me. You can also support me by supporting Five Talents UK, they are a microfinance charity that provides savings schemes and business training for those in need, mostly in rural eastern Africa. The link is below, thanks very much:

Frankie and Murray are planning a point to point on Sunday morning along the Kennet and Avon canal from Kintbury to Sonning. "We'll get dropped at the start, then we'll have a friend coming out from Reading on a mountain bike to shepherd us home from about halfway. We're going to be wearing ultra-vests with water and supplies, and it'll be gravel path underfoot, but that's how we've been training, so hopefully we'll survive, yikes!

If the weather is really bad we might default to route 2, which is around the streets of Reading."

Steve Hillier

Anyone else we've missed please get in touch. Remember that as Run-of-the-Month you'll get club points for having run this one!

Kelly's Run - a tale of multiple accidents

Kellys Run ParticipantsKelly Davis organised a run around Bedfont Lakes last Tuesday but the whole event turned out to be accident prone.

The first accident happened well before the start time with Kelly getting exposed to excess fumes - an occupational hazard in her role as a lab technician. I don't think there have been any lasting impacts (see weekend achievements) but as a precaution she kept away. Having recently watched Spiderman that was probably a wise precaution - you never know what these chemicals can do to you.

The second accident was on the bridge between Ashford and Bedfont Lakes and whilst none of us were directly involved this meant that "always late" Danijela, who was going to be on time, was late. She joined us just after I launched the group of six (those pictured plus Christine, who was adjusting her make-up when the photo was taken). Danijela and I started once she had got herself warmed up (we hadn't wanted another accident).

The third accident happened shortly afterwards. This didn't involve Danijela but did involve Amanda Coombs. Amanda was new to the parkrun course at Bedfont so hadn't know where to park and congregate (and by another accident that detail had been left off the invite). Not knowing where we were she set off on her own but came upon me and ran with me for a lap before tripping over on the second downhill stretch of the course and badly grazed her knee (the photo showing the blood is available on Facebook). Amanda picked herself up and ran on for about 400m before she returned to her car to clean herself up. She was able to then return to the run and in total must have done at least the 5k the rest of us did.

The fourth, and hopefully final, accident happened on the M1 near Leicester on Friday evening as Neil made his way back home to Newcastle after his week in London. Again this didn't directly involve him - but did mean that his drive home which should have taken about five hours actually took nine and a half...and included driving the wrong way down part of the motorway.

However, don't get the wrong impression; this was a nice run on a good weather evening. Perhaps the last one before it gets dark - not that running in the dark could be worse for accidents.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 25th to 28th September 2020

This week 24 members and friends reported activities, down on most weeks but some colleagues were taking it easy before next Sunday's virtual London Marathon. And then there is Piers.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Amanda Coombs Open water swim 1500m Shepperton Sat 00:26:23 Water temperature 17 °C; outside air temperature 14°C !
Andy Rayner Running 3miles XC Sun 00:38:44
Barry Walters Running 11km Swinley Forest Sat am 01:06:20 Including 5x5minute kms with 1min recovery each
Ben Cooper Running 3.79km BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff) Mon 00:17:23 Also 18:09 on Sat and 17:38 on Sunday. Average for year to date is 0:17:53.
Benita Scaife Running 5km Wycombe Rye freedom parkrun Sat 00:33:55
Chris Stockwell Walking 12miles Around Fifield, Holyport and beyond. Sat am 03:45:00 My woolly hat and gloves given their first airing for a while due to the cold wind.
Christine Munden Running 10km Sun 00:54:04 Good time but finishing with a bad knee
Clara Halket Running 10.10km World Run Day 10km run Sat 01:05:41
David Duggan Running 16.2miles Bushy Park 03:13:45 8 times up & down Chestnut Avenue as preparation for the virtual marathon. Much better with the traffic restrictions.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 13.38km Porthgwarra to Land’s End Fri 03:18:10 Blustery day, almost got blown off the cliff.
Joe Nolan Running 5k Black Park freedom parkrun 00:31:14 With several pacing squad friends, nice steady canter in the chilly but sunny breeze.
John Scaife Running 5km Wycombe Rye freedom parkrun Sat 00:33:55
Kelly Davis Walking 20.50miles Tessas Road To Recovery Funder Wander Sun all day 08:16:43 My legs ache and I think I killed a toe but it was 100% worth it. See 
Maria Jovani Running 9.34miles Bushy Park and Barge Walk Sun am 01:14:00 As Mike Dennison…though in miles.
Melanie Miller Cycling 57.49km Cuckcoo Trail Sat am 03:17:51 A lovely ride where we trail-blazed the Cuckoo Trail and then tanked the short distance to Hastings.
Michael Ball Running Sprint training Sun 6x100mtrs then gym
Mike Dennison Running 15.07km Bushy Park and Barge Walk Sun am 01:14:20 In rather blustery conditions this morning, the last longish run before next weekend's vLM, with Maria Jovani.
Paul Watt Running 5k Sandhurst parkrun freedom run Sat 00:21:12
Petra Otto Running 3.1miles ‘Berlin Break The Wall Run’ 00:43:19 Better than hitting the wall.
Piers Keenleyside Running 13.1miles vEaling Half Marathon Sun 03:06:14 Probably my slowest 13.1 miles ever! Never a good idea to run a half marathon with no training to speak of for 5 months.
Roderick Hoffman Running 11.63km Home to Glaxo site and back Sat pm 01:20:25 One of my regular canal runs. I also did the Track-on-Field on Friday and the Street-O on Sunday.
Scott Davison Running 5k Crane Park freedom parkrun 00:24:24 Also, midweek, on the treadmill, challenged by his son, Scott managed 5k in 22:13.
Simon Turton Walking 10.3km Streetspace Challenge Sun 02:00:00 Around Battersea in an initiative between TFL and British Orienteering.
Steve Hillier Running 3.8miles Harrow, Hillingdon and Ealing Sun pm 00:40:18 Three boroughs challenge.

Amanda reports that her latest injuries are healing nicely. Just sporting a large scab on my left knee now! Stiff neck 80% better. I am declaring October an injury-free zone, and I am looking forward to joining Emma for a couple of laps of her VLM on Sunday.

Details for the Streetspace Challenge that Simon did can be found here. Entries for this free competition close at the end of October.

Roderick Hoffman

2010 WARR Anniversary Event 25th Sept

Steve Newell and I met last Friday at Victoria Dock to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the club hosting WARR there on 25th September 2010. On that day I had been able to run the 10k so last week I chose to do the 5k. We had debated whether to do the actual WARR course or to do the Victoria Docks parkrun course. They differ in their start position but also how they get the distance from about 4.8k up to 5k. I decided to start where the parkrun course starts but try to run the WARR course. As it turns out neither course was possible - in the picture below, where the two dockside cranes are under maintenance the dockside was closed and I had to find a way behind the houses. However, I was able to run 5k and recorded a time of 29:53. My WARR 10k time had been 55:27, though that was better than my then fitness due to the spirit of the event, and didn't have Friday's strong headwind!  Whilst I ran the 5k Steve walked about 4k of the course and we returned across the bridge to the top floor of The Fox (now a Starbucks) for a warming coffee.

For more photographs and commentary see my Facebook album.

Victoria Dock in 2020

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun report 26th September 2020

parkrun resumed in New Zealand at short notice, having started up in July and then being suspended again in early August.  The five runs in Auckland have not been allowed to start again yet as Covid19 restrictions still apply locally.

The runs in Australia (Northern Territory) continued but the rest of Australia is still suspended.  The Cape Pembroke Lighthouse (Falkland Islands) where the dedicated group of volunteers continue to perform two/three roles each and the attendance increased to 42 from 31 last week.  The fastest runner was David Parrish in18:08.  He has done most of his previous runs at Highbury Fields and Finsbury Park.  The attendance record at Cape Pembroke (by some margin) was 170 at the inaugural almost a year ago.  The figure represents a significant % of the total civilian population {Ed: About 5% of the approx. 3500 locals - although there would then be an additional 1,000 or so uniformed personnel, who probably did their fair share of attendance at the inaugural. On average, in the UK, I've calculated that about 0.36% of people would attend a parkrun if there was one nearby}.

parkruns in Poland are expected to restart on 17th October.  At the time of writing travel to and from Poland is possible by air or coach (24hrs from London) without the need to self-isolate at either end.  Mask wearing is still the norm and 1.5m social distancing required when outside so it will be interesting to see how this works out at a parkrun. {Ed: The largest parkruns in Poland normally have up to 250 attendees}

The rise of the “R” rate in UK in recent days and several regional lockdowns has put paid to the hopes of parkruns here restarting by the end of October (as previously forecast).  The belief remains that the transmission of the virus while outside in the fresh air is very unlikely even when people are breathing heavily when exercising vigorously but for the time being the risk of potentially attracting a bad reputation with long term consequences is driving a cautious approach for a bit longer.

Steve Newell

Next Week's reports

Will include that for the Kings Cross Street-O and the Ross Barkley 5k both of which can be run up until the end of the month. And perhaps there will be some quickly written reports from people's vVLM efforts.

Roderick Hoffman

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through] (no changes)

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 provided social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England says that people can meet in groups of up to 6 or, in COVID secure circumstances, up to 30 or more:

  • Do not exercise outside the house if you have been asked to isolate or 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, or if you consider yourself 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. Advice is still to avoid public transport and shared car journeys,
  • In England you may normally meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home. Club organised events, in COVID secure circumstances, can include more. 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 exercise, keep 2m away from all others including those you run with as well as those you meet on the run, by default diverting around those you meet (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, or to meet with fewer people, 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.

For club shared activities we recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. Any club member can organise a shared activity. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:

  • The chairman (Roderick) or the secretary (Steve Hillier) must be notified in advance that the event is taking place,
  • One of the participants must be a paid-up member of the BA Athletics Club and must be prepared to perform the duties of a "Covid-19 Coordinator", if more than six attend we recommend that that member wears a BAAC top or distinctive clothing,
  • A risk assessment has to be raised based on this template (updated),
  • The considerations within the risk assessment must be followed,
  • After the run perform a review of the risk assessment and log and pass on any issues or lessons learned.

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

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