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BA Athletics Club News Digest 28th December 2020

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

Events Calendar - online here


Unrestricted races are currently off 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.  Most of us are now in "Tier 4" and that prevents the club from organising any shared runs. But exercise is permitted and encouraged, and you are allowed to do so with your family or with one other person, and if necessary travel to and/or from the location of your exercise.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

This week's Events

Please help me by sending me 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.

Ross Barkley 5k (by the end of the month):

Your Name Date Run Location 5km Cumulative Time Total Time Taken Recent 5k Time Details or Comments
    for comparison e.g. how you split up the 5km

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

Roderick Hoffman

Looking Forward [Editorial]

Nobody had 20:20 vision when it came to this year but what about 2021? The following are my predictions, based on some knowledge of the science.

I am an optimist but I can't see it getting much better before March or April. Sorry, but it will continue to be a bleak winter with tight restrictions, large numbers of infections and many deaths, including possibly of people you know.

But in March, parallel to the start of Spring, there will be signs of improvement and I think that freedoms will very quickly become reestablished. By then most of the particularly vulnerable people will have been vaccinated and with over 90% of them protected the number of hospitalisations and deaths will fall. In April there will be significant conflict as people who have been cooped up and kept apart for over a year decide that they have had enough. There will still be constraints, but increasingly these will be ignored and not enforced. There will still be deaths due to coronavirus, including amongst those who were unable to take the vaccine, but the hospitals will no longer be under the pressure withstood throughout the winter.

Come the summer constraints will be rescinded and the country will open up and return to a normal, albeit one with changes such as voluntary working from home and online shopping established as more the norm. Travel within the country will be encouraged. Foreign travel will still be problematical - it will be difficult to prove that you have had a vaccination (and note that you may be able to carry the virus, even if you are yourself protected from it) and the countries you may want to visit may be less progressed with vaccinating their vulnerable groups.

Club runs should be back from March onwards, major sporting events should be held from late spring although large crowds of spectators might not be allowed until late summer, and all local races will run as normal from early summer. It is unlikely that parkrun will return to the UK mainland before the summer - the issue being that before allowing quiet parkruns to restart, parkrun HQ want to be able to allow over a thousand unannounced strangers to crowd together in Bushy Park and exchange tokens, and that will be considered unacceptable until the summer.

Next winter there will be a further wave of the virus but it should only have a minor impact due to the rollout of a booster for the original vaccines that also covers the new variants identified over the summer.

Those are my thoughts for the new year...but I don't advise you to plan your wedding dates based on them.

Roderick Hoffman

Looking Back positively

Next week we'll be in 2021 and we won't have many good memories of 2020. But I'd like us to take with us one positive from that year - so look back over the year and let me know your best exercise achievement of the year. It may be total mileage over the year, or the number of occasions that you were active, or perhaps a particular distance or time on one occasion. Or perhaps your best achievement was raising some money for a cause or getting someone else to do something. Whatever, let me know and we'll see some of the positives we can look back at 2020 for.
Email me or respond on Facebook: BA Runner | Facebook Prompt

Roderick Hoffman


December Track-on-Field results

Track-on-Field AveragesJust three competitors this month for the ninth and last Track-on-Field of 2020. Steve Hillier continuing his 100% record for the event and Michael and I our seventh and eighth respectively. All three of us had a slow month - we were all carrying the Christmas turkey rather than chasing it.  My run felt particularly messy, I started with the 800m but 250m round I realised I'd set off too fast and decided to make it the 400! Then I did the actual 800 followed by the 200, then the 100 which was the only run I felt I'd done myself justice, and then finally the 1500. My speeds don't say the same thing though - a better 200m than I normally do albeit after a slightly slow 400. Steve Hillier shows once more that he is a fine 200m sprinter but he has a problem getting up to speed on the 100m, and this month Michael was a bit the same.

The third graph this month shows each persons' average speed for each event, for those of us who have done Track-on-Field at least four times. This is interesting, though I'll leave it to each individual to mull over what their line says about their running. Let's hope that in the late Spring or early Summer we can all get together at a track and see how well we can perform when we are racing or pacing each other! The 150m event looks particularly interesting - I'll be one of those running it so I'll be glad not to offer to be timekeeper.

We will have another Track-on-Field next month which will be reported on in the digest of Monday 1st February.

Roderick Hoffman

Round Heathrow Event - Solo and Virtual #

You are all welcome to attempt the round Heathrow run or walk as mapped in the attachment Directions and Map PDF with the proviso that you can start and finish anywhere and you can do the run anti-clockwise provided you don't expect the directions to be useful. The event is this month's Run-of-the-Month so make sure that you let me know that you have done it. If you are unable to make this course you are welcome to do an alternative 12mile or 19km circuit and advise me accordingly. See last week's digest for more details.

Roderick Hoffman

December should be Magic GPS Art Challenge

Michael's Swan run We have some entries for our art exhibition. I particularly like Michael Ball's entry of a Swan. Especially since he didn't run this shape deliberately. It goes to prove that you don't have to be an artist or put a great deal of thought into it beforehand to draw something worth looking at. Indeed I put a lot of effort into planning a dinosaur that involved a nine mile walk over (and in) soggy ground and having shared it with my sisters (only) they remarked that it looked more like a wolf in kangaroo's clothing. I'm intent on doing it better before next week's digest.
Pier's 2021
Maarten's Rat Piers has used his local street layout to update his calendar, hopefully to a better year that this one was.
Maarten is still in this year - which he reminds us is the year of the Rat. Amanda is still on Christmas and comes baring gifts - showing the advantage that sports pitches can offer to this type of challenge (provided they are not in use!).
Amanda's three presents
Steve's Slalom run Steve Newell's artwork is more abstract - he calls it "Slalom Run" (whereas I see a pool table). He used the row of newly planted trees to assist his design.
Sarah Gordon reports that "The squirrel is a lucky layout of local streets which makes GPS Street art a fairly simple challenge so I added to it with a bit of free art in the local park. I had a plan but the resulting animal was not quite what I intended to draw!"
Sarah's Squirrel
  Hopefully these examples will inspire you to have a go. Remember, you don't need to sign your name against them. Roderick's signature

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 25th to 28th December 2020

This week 26 members and friends reported activities.  Please try to make future submissions by Monday 5pm, or 6pm at the latest, either by email to me or using the "Prompt" in Facebook.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Duration Comments
Adrian Haines Track session 4.92km Local track Wed 00:14:53 12x400m each in 75 seconds or less [Not quite a "Ross Barkley", you must have been taking it seriously!]. Also 13.19km in 52:51 on Sunday to burn off the Christmas fat.
Amanda Coombs Running 7km London Irish Sun 00:38:00 For GPS Art (see above)
Barry Walters Running 3km Coral Reef, Bracknell Sat am 00:20:18 Ran easily over the Coral Reef bridge and back in cool conditions.
Ben Cooper Running 8.1km Local Mon 00:57:00 With my 7y/o on his bike we managed 4.5km in 36 minutes. When I got home I still felt good so went out for a second jog this time only 3.6km in 21 minutes.
Benita Scaife Running 4miles St Marks Hospital Sun am 00:42:54 From Pinkneys Green to St Marks hospital in Maidenhead via the Thicket, to visit the café opposite (take-away).
David Duggan Mixed Run/Walk 10.1miles Staines-upon-Thames Thur 02:12:18  In the winter sun, and discovered the path between the reservoirs in Stanwell.
Denis Foxley Running 6miles Pinner Park Sun 01:07:00 Including going up a very steep and muddy hill to the top of Pinner Hill by the golf course.
Emma Moreton Running 6.2miles 1,000 miles Sun 00:52:08 Completion of 1,000 miles for the year.
Harjit Jhooti Running 5km Osterly parkrun course Fri 00:34:19
Jain Reid Running 14km Thames run Sun lunch 01:54:55 Including crossing Barnes Bridge.
Joe Nolan Running 2.09km Sunnymeads Sun am 00:13:38 My latest comeback... first trot since November, kept moving at least, no walks !
John Scaife Running 4miles St Marks Hospital Sun am 00:42:54 One of its few claims to fame of Pinkneys Green is that the first Girl Guide troop in the world was started here in 1910 by Agnes Baden-Powell.
Keith Johnson Running 10.65km Markyate, St Albans Sat am 00:54:40 Also 8.45km in the same area on Sunday in 0:42:25.
Kelly Davis Running 1mile Stanwell Mon 00:11:54 First mile of 35?
Maarten Stenham Running 8.11km Brooklands Sun am 00:40:00 GPS Art exercise (see above)
Melanie Miller Walking 10.2km New Forest Sat 00:01:44 Lovely woodland return where we saw many deer, a few horses, a pig and a couple of baby goats.
Michael Ball Running 2miles Elmbridge (Brooklands) 00:17:36 Including a 17 second 100m.
Mike Dennison Running 16miles General Roy's Baseline Sat 02:11:13 To and then between the two cannon markers for General Roy's measurement baseline for the first triangulation of Britain (see also
Neil Frediani Running 11miles Up north somewhere Mon 02:20:00 Dark, foggy, then dark, muddy and of course hilly. Just finished, having planned on 8 miles.
Paul Watt Running 5k Frimley Lodge freedom run Sat 00:21:29
Petra Otto Running 9.77km Local Sat 01:33:20 It felt quite good, for a change.
Piers Keenleyside Running 10miles Ealing parks Sat 02:04:47
Roderick Hoffman Running 5km Rectory Park (alternative Northala Fields parkrun) Fri am 00:29:56 Running from the other side of the parkrun, and in the opposite direction, I probably passed about 100 Northala Fields parkrun regulars.
Sarah Gordon Running Cosby Mon For GPS Art (see above)
Stephen Taylor Running 10.01miles Ealing parks Sun am 01:43:37 Busy parks [same description but different route to Piers]
Steve Hillier Running 3km Local Track-on-Field run (see above)


Roderick Hoffman

parkrun News

304 5k parkruns were held last Saturday, the same number as the previous week. Some New South Wales events didn't restart as planned due to a small Covid-19 outbreak. But there were an additional 82 events that had been held the previous day, on Christmas Day itself. There is no doubt that parkrun is properly back across New Zealand and Australia (other than Victoria and some areas in NSW). There will be New Year's Day parkruns this Friday but inline with the decision taken by parkrun HQ last June participants will only be allowed to register one result. 

Roderick Hoffman

Training Camp Idea - respond please

We will soon be able to plan running with others and even visiting foreign locations for running opportunities.  Let us be optimistic and think of a time perhaps in early summer when we can do that. Adrian Haines has a suggestion - a group of us could fly together to Bordeaux (nb: nearest parkrun Les Dougnes), hire a car and stay at his mansion at Dordogne (near Bergerac). This could be for a "running training camp" though I'm sure that sampling from the local wineries would also prove a priority and the location is probably equally good for walking or cycling. Flights would either use BA concessions or cheap "Hotline" specials designed to get the world flying again. When I say "mansion", there are a total of five bedrooms and a potential capacity for 12 (with sharing). And I probably should mention the swimming pool. Adrian has sent me photos but this issue is already picture heavy, so perhaps next week.

If you might be interested let me know, it would be useful at this point just to test the temperature.

Roderick Hoffman

Christmas Greetings

  •  Take care and enjoy the Christmas break. Joe Nolan

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 switch of London from Tier 3 to Tier 4 means we are no longer able to organise club runs. Everyone in Tier 4 is also subject to a "Stay at Home" order so unnecessary travelling should be minimised. It is still permitted to travel for your exercise but you should be avoiding public transport where you can.

  • 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 to reduce public transport and shared car journeys and do not cross the "Tier 3" boundary (in either direction),
  • Tier 4 rules only allow you to exercise on your own, with people in your linked household (bubble), as part of child care or with one other person.
  • 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. Club activities are not permitted in Tier 4. In other tiers 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,
  • Participants, and the activity, should not cross the "Tier 3" boundary or the "Tier 4" boundary (in either directions).
  • A risk assessment has to be raised based on this template,
  • 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

Not for you, no longer interested? remove me please.

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