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BA Athletics Club News Digest 28th January 2013

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Forthcoming Events

Don't forget the following priority club events:

  • Wednesday 30th January - Five Mile Handicap - Concorde Centre from 18:00 (see below)
  • Saturday 2nd February - Club parkrun - Woodley near Reading at 09:00 (details next week)
  • NEW DATE - Tuesday 5th February - Round-the-Block - Concorde Centre 12:30

New members and non-members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at all of these events.

The full events diary is on the club website at: Diary.shtml.

Winter Five Mile Handicap - This Wednesday from the Concorde Centre from 18:00

Over the winter months there are a series of "handicap" runs from the Concorde Centre. The course is that of the "Concorde Five" (actually about 4.8 miles or 7.7 km) run clockwise.  Each run your target is based on the time that you achieved at your previous run. Finishers are ranked by how close they finished to their target time and each finisher scores one point plus one point for everyone "behind" them. The season winner is the runner with the most points. The format rewards runners who are consistent - both in turning up but also in their finishing time. Watches can be worn but the use of watches to optimise points would be considered unsporting.

On Wednesday it'll be the January run.  Start times from 18:00 to finish at around 19:00. It doesn't matter if you haven't run any of the previous runs - you can still set yourself a marker for next time.

Paul Brandon

Club parkrun Saturday 2nd February Woodley near Reading start 09:00

This Saturday, for about the 11th time, the club will descend upon a local parkrun.  This time we are going to Woodley near Reading.  This is very convenient for some (especially with the nearby Reading parkrun having been waterlogged for the last month) but less so for others.  I'm happy to offer anyone a lift to Woodley from the Concorde Centre - to leave at the dot of 08:00.  Please reserve your place by contacting me.

If you need a lift but can't make it to the Concorde Centre then let me know also.

Roderick Hoffman

 For those making there own way to Woodley by car note that the postcode to head for (if using SatNav) is RG5 4JZ . There are directions on the parkrun website but there is a shorter way:

  • Leave the A329(M) at the first junction after the M4 and follow signs to Winnersh Triangle railway station,
  • from there head west, then south, under the railway,
  • at the next roundabout take A329 towards Reading,
  • cross over the river (Loddon Bridge),
  • turn right into Loddon Bridge Road - back under the railway (and the A3290),
  • after about 1 mile turn left into Headley Road

  • After 0.25 miles Oakwood Centre on the right, pay and display car park at the shopping centre on the left.

That car park is 70 pence for 1 hour and £1.20 for 2 hours - a small price to pay for an otherwise free time trial parkrun. There is a car park off Haddon Drive which is free but it does get quite full.

Try to get to the course at least ten minutes early so that we can take a team photo.  Also plan to stay around afterwards and have a coffee and a chat at the Park Cafe at the Oakwood Centre.

Roderick Hoffman

More Cross Country Runs

Dear BAAC members & non-members.

We have two British Airways cross country events coming up.

The first is the men's cross country at Wimbledon on the 9th February at 3.00pm. Start is at the usual place about 100 yards from the war memorial on Wimbledon common. At the moment we are in 3rd place with small chance of getting 2nd. You never know. So a good turn-out would be nice.

Also we have the British Airways cross country championships being held on the 17th of February in Cranford park at 10.30am. We also need some volunteers to help with some marshalling & to record times at the finish line. The course is 3 laps for the men, and 2 laps the ladies. If you could help please contact me at 

Don't forget new members & non-members of all fitness levels are all welcome at this event.

Many thanks Gary Rushmer.

Ed adds - not all cross country running is like this: (Ian Cunningham enjoying himself at Nonsuch on Sunday).

London Marathon Volunteers Newsletter January 2013

Attached is the latest newsletter from the LM. It's got some useful information in about the marathon:

Simon Turton

British Athletics (unnamed) Newsletter

UK Athletics appear to be branding themselves as British Athletics and have issued this newsletter:

Steve Hillier

Recent parkrun Results

Ian Cunningham 22:34 Bushy
Scott Davison 23:04 Bedfont
Brian Bennett 23:12 Gunsbury
Eddie Giles 25:08 Upton Ct
Melanie Holman 25:15 Woodley
Alan Friar 26:10 Woodley
Monica Alonso 26:19 Guildford
Kerstin Luksch 27:04 Gunsbury
Alan Anderson 27:19 Gunsbury
Joe Nolan 28:16 Black Pk
Steve Newell 29:21 Gunsbury
Roderick Hoffman 31:52 WlmStow

So a PW from me at Walthamstow although it also counts as a BAAC best since this was the inaugural parkrun and I was the only BA competitor.  The Walthamstow locals quickly got into the parkrun culture - with ten minutes to go to the start the runners were still outnumbered by the marshals but then suddenly they arrived as if from nowhere and eventually numbered 63 finishers (including many parkrun tourists like me but at least nine were doing their first ever parkrun).

Club members have now run at 53 different parkruns with me recently adding Pymmes to the list as well as Walthamstow.  But I'm not the only club tourist - Chris Kelly has now run two of the parkruns around Manchester and in total has done five parkruns that I haven't.

Alan Friar has now done 98 parkruns so Woodley on Saturday will almost be his hundredth.

Steve Newell's BAAC parkrun stats (updated):

Roderick Hoffman

London Marathon Training

BAAC will have 20 plus runners pounding the London streets in three months time.  Here are a couple of early reports on how the training is going.

"Hello everybody, today I want to write a few lines because I am absolutely delighted of having the opportunity to run the Marathon in London. As a runner it was and is my dream to run in London. Thanks for that! I am a new club member since December 2012 and I have heard about the BA club through Alan Anderson. during my weekly parkruns on Saturday. On the 13th of January I had a lovely 8 miles run at Windsor park with pleasant weather conditions. I enjoyed it and I am thankful that Helen informed me about that event. Otherwise I have every week my 1 hour runs on two evenings with pace varieties. Every Saturday I enjoy the parkrun (5K) at Gunnersbury park and on Sunday morning I have my long runs (Gunnersbury park or along the Thames) or some official races. For the upcoming weeks I have entered a couple of 10K races, Half marathon in Richmond and Silverstone, 16 miles run and I really want to run a 20 miles race but I couldn't find any races. Does somebody know anything about a 20 miles race? That would be great... I am looking forward to the great day in April. Good luck to everybody with the training and the runs!

All the best, Kerstin Luksch"

Joe Nolan's 2013 London Marathon preparations

"Firstly, a big thank-you again to the club for awarding me a London marathon place – it will be my 5th marathon now after my first pounding of the London streets in 2011.

Well, I think I finally started my training last Saturday morning with a 1mile canter in the snow taking about 10 minutes ! A terribly late start compared to others in the BA team who have already reported being well up on their mileages in their inspiring reports ! Some explanation is necessary of my ‘here it goes again/injuries’ (later) but to start with to clear my conscience of not giving a final report on my 2012 campaign I’d better start with a quick summary of last years’ event and what followed.

Last years’ marathon was going steady up to about half way point at Tower Bridge where I began running out of steam. Up to that stage I was being uplifted by friends spectating on route and also knowing that I was being monitored on-line by a dozen others by the result tracking system every time I crossed a 5k mat (who all saw that I started to drop off…). I had learnt a lot by my first London the year before and slogged on more carefully towards the end until I suffered terrible hamstring cramping at the top of Birdcage Walk and had to stop for a few minutes. I’ll never forget Kat, who was marshalling, so kindly offering twice to help carry me the last kilometre but after some stretching advice I limped on despite suffering 2 more bad attacks on the final run in. Got there again but still not managing my ultimate sub-4 target.

My summer was troubled by repeated calf muscle injuries and I had to take a few months off from running. I had long before booked to do the Loch Ness marathon in September but with no preparation went up just for the holiday….but on the day boldly decided to make a ‘comeback run’ with a gentle ‘walk up the hills’ and ‘slow jogging down’ strategy which miraculously got me there in 4h45m (not too bad considering) although another massive hamstring cramp just 400m from the end muddled things. A very scenic marathon course but alas no sign of the monster !

I plodded some more races to the end of the year but on a Boxing day parkrun the calf gave up big time again so I had to take a rest and sign back up with a (new) physio. This is where we came in above here, as after a few torture sessions I was advised to do the 10 minute test run last Saturday which went well, and after another treatment session this evening have been advised to try a 20 minute jog tomorrow – all looking promising now so let’s hope it’s full speed ahead ….

I seem to have put on quite a few pounds since Christmas so another objective before marathon day is to lose a stone – I seem to be carrying a couple of rucksacks of potatoes compared to the club ‘built-for-speed machines’ such as Gary R, Barry W, Eddie G et al, so it’s got to help.

I’m hoping to step up my training carefully now, which will include the following events, as well as my own separate plodding, which I can recommend to others:

Gade Valley Harriers marathon trainers :
24 Feb – 17miles; 24 Mar – 20miles) £5 registrations on day, marshalled/water + lots of delicious free cakes at end !)

10 Feb – Wokingham half marathon (entries full now)

3 Mar – Thames Riverside 20miler (entries open, marshalled/water/pacers + free cakes at end !)

17 Mar – Reading half marathon

24 Mar – Datchet Dashers 20mile marathon trainer in Windsor Park (clashes with Gade Valley 20miler but am more likely to do this one – just turn up on day, no fee, marshalled/water)

29 Mar – Maidenhead Easter 10miler

…until next time !

Joe Nolan (21 January 2013)"

Joe also mentions a few other long distance runs that may appeal to those training for London - "there are also the Bramley 20 (17 Feb I think) and also the Cranleigh and also I think the Finchley (actually in Ruislip !) 20ish - Google to find. Also, the Datchet Dashers one from their clubhouse in Windsor and through the park is free and great (just turn up on day), and the Thames Riverside 20 (3 March, need to enter quickly) is extremely useful as there are pacers. Either Google the above or I am happy to advise direct." Joe Nolan

Further contributions welcome - to Steve Hillier.

Concorde Centre Drinking

Please note that the Concorde Club are revising the conditions by which drinks are sold:

  • The bad news is that from Feb 1st all prices are going up by 20%  :-<
  • The good news is that members will be able to have a discount card that will knock the 20% off  :-)
  • The slightly difficult to understand news is that you will need to apply for a separate "Reward" card to show your entitlement to the discount - your BA Club Card will not do :-$

Forms are available from the Concorde Centre and the Reward card will be used for other promotions. Any queries about this? Please talk directly to the Concorde Centre staff (but then let a club committee member know your query and their reply).

News for the next BAAC News Digest?

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