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BA Athletics Club News Digest 29th June 2020

Events - see below:

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Solo Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Weekend Challenge Weekend Solo Run
22nd June "Local" run (results below) none Best weekend exercise achievement
29th June Solo Mile (July)
[shared run Harmondsworth 2nd July]
none Best weekend exercise achievement
6th July - Wed 10th 18:00 5k/10k Virtual Club Race (tbc) # none Best weekend exercise achievement
13th July Street Respelling (tbc) England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Champs # Best weekend exercise achievement
20th July Track-on-Field 1500/800/400/200/100
[shared run at Feltham tbc]
27th July tbd   tbd

All unrestricted races are off until at least the end of July, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. There are no positive changes to this this week - the maximum group size is still six and the social distancing gap is still an unwieldy 2metres and no change to this is expected. For instance England Athletics have not issued guidance on how runners could take advantage of the "1m+" announcement. Ed: The law is looking increasingly draconian in relation to outside exercise, not a frequent source of virus spread, but it is the law and breaking it would invalidate our insurance and could result in fixed penalties - which individuals would have to pay, it would not be covered by club funds.

We will return to some side-by-side training and events in July, "Shared" events, see below.

Roderick Hoffman

Solo and Shared Mile runs

This Week's Midweek Challenge will be the Solo Mile for July (which can be run from 30th June). A novel feature of next week's run is that it will feature a shared run (subject to restrictions).

The shared run will be on Thursday 2nd July at 12:45 on the mile course on Harmondsworth Moor (so exactly replacing Ian's cancelled monthly mile run). This WILL BE a Club organised in-person running event, the first since early March. I will be the event organiser and as such I have a risk assessment form to fill in which includes listing the participants. A maximum of six participants are permitted. I suspect that the event will be undersubscribed, so please consider joining me and let me know that you might - Interested in the mile run {}. If we do get more of us interested than permitted then I'll split us into two groups, with a second event organiser and a different course also on Harmondsworth Moor.

Hopefully enough individuals will volunteer for the shared run to validate our processes for such events. This will enable us to propose and organise further events including both training and internal races.

If you are unable to join us on Harmondsworth Moor then you are welcome to run a solo mile elsewhere at any time on Tuesday through Friday. The mile could be measured by GPS on your watch, or by your phone, and ideally should be a straight or circular route rather than an out and back (due to recording issues at the turnaround point). Run on tarmac unless you'd prefer a different surface, or live close enough to an underused track. Please submit your result to me by the end of Friday.

Participant Location Day Start Time Duration/Time  Comment

Roderick Hoffman

Pub Cricket Midweek Challenge (by Mike and Amanda Coombs) - Results and Report

Eighteen entries into the Pub Cricket midweek challenge - excellent considering the heatwave! A total of 285 pubs ‘visited’ and not a drop drunk, unless we include the gallons of water on returning home!

Pub Cricket - the sixesThe concept was simple. Run from home or work for 45 minutes (or walk for 75 minutes) incorporating as many drinking establishments as possible, each one scoring ‘runs’ according to the number of legs in the name of the drinking establishment. Zero legs scored a consolatory single run. A name indicating more than six legs would score the maximum of six - and most of those claimed are pictured here.

Careful route planning was required to maximise pubs and runs in the available time and, of course in a challenge such as this, the playing field is never level.

Good scores started to come in early on Tuesday morning, and I was pleased that I hadn’t won my own challenge. (In retrospect that was never a danger.) Later that day Janet Smith completed a walk from Datchet to Windsor to score 38 runs!! Surely this was unbeatable?

How wrong could I be. The following day Mike Dennison came in with a magnificent 52 points, closely followed by Steve Taylor with 51 (after losing a point and later gaining a different one after some lively Facebook discussion which didn’t even involve him!)

Unknown to the Facebook users, Steve Newell had submitted an entry by email for 53 points. I had to break the news to him that his Carpenters Arms was not worth 6 points, but only 1, because it referred to the ‘coat of arms’ of carpenters. The judges applied this controversial rule throughout the challenge and a good few points were lost to it.

Entries continued to come in, but none looked like threatening Mike’s top spot. Until Friday afternoon that is, when Jain Reid returned from her walk around Chiswick and Hammersmith with a massive 83 points!! Well done Jain – our winner. A lot of work went into planning that route and taking many photographs.

We are awarding the wooden spoon to Roderick Hoffman for his 15 runs. (He later ran an unofficial route that he could have taken 20-or-so years ago - before the demise of many local pubs - ten ex-pubs achieving 24 points ALL nearer than the nearest of the six from his scoring run.)

The final accolade goes to Simon Turton for the highest average runs per pub at 3.75. Only 8 pubs, but 30 points. Efficient! Scott Davison was next with 3.0.

Name Pubs Runs Area Avge runs/pub
Jain Reid 36 83 Chiswick, Hammersmith 2.31
Mike Dennison 26 52 Hampton, Hampton Hill, Twickenham 2.00
Stephen Taylor 28 51 Hanwell, Ealing 1.82
Steve Newell 19 49 Chiswick, Hammersmith 2.58
Piers Keenleyside 25 45 Hanwell, Ealing 1.80
Janet Smith 18 38 Datchet, Windsor 2.11
Denis Foxley 16 33 Pinner, Eastcote, Ruislip, Ickenham 2.06
Steve Hillier 15 31 Eastcote, Ruislip, Ickenham 2.07
Simon Turton 8 30 Wargrave, Twyford 3.75
Scott Davison 10 30 Sunbury 3.00
Maarten Stenham 17 28 Ashford, Staines 1.65
Neil Frediani 17 27 Ashford, Staines 1.59
Melanie Miller 9 26 Sunbury 2.89
Amanda Coombs 8 20 Sunbury 2.50
Sarah Gordon 7 18 Leicester 2.57
Emma Moreton 8 17 Shepperton 2.13
John and Benita Scaife 12 17 Maidenhead 1.42
Roderick Hoffman 6 15 Greenford 2.50
TOTALS 285 610
Averages 16 34 2.14
In the event of a tie, the member who visited the least number of pubs takes the win

When my husband Mike and I set the challenge we knew it would be difficult to define a ‘drinking establishment’ and it certainly was, but we hope all that took part enjoyed it. We certainly did.

A quote from Jain: “BAAC pub cricket – happy memories of playing this in the car as kids”.

Amanda Coombs

July Run-of-the-Month - confirmed as England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championships (11-13 July) #

I had no other suggestions so I'm confirming the following as our club external run-of-the-month for July, as a virtual event. This is FREE to enter for anyone who has affiliated to England Athletics either via our club or another (minimum age 16). If your affiliation is via another club you should officially run with that "first claim" club so PLEASE tell me that you have entered so that I can look up your result after the run. Please contact the membership secretary (Alan) to check or change your EA affiliation for this year (it costs £15).

The instructions for the event say "open exclusively to runners registered with England Athletics" but it looks like it is possible to enter and select the BA Club (use the code "BAW") even if you are not affiliated. However, if you regularly do well in age classification results, please initiate joining England Athletics before the run!  If you don't want to fill in the online entry form then I should be able to do the entry for you - I will need your first name, last name, nationality (if not UK), gender and date of birth.

Virtual 5k Road Running Championships - entries open!

Entries to the England Athletics Virtual 5k Road Running Championships (11-13 July) are now open! With the original event cancelled due to Covid-19, we’ve launched a free-to-enter virtual running version of the race for 2020 (following government guidelines). The Virtual 5k Championships provides a platform for performance-focused runners to challenge for the national title and, with no minimum entry standard, also gives runners a chance to gain their first experience in national competition! The Championships offer plenty of chances for glory – with medals awarded to runners finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in both women’s and men’s categories plus further possibilities to grab a podium spot in a Club competition and winning medals in the Age Category competitions.

Enter online (Entries close Friday 10th July)

Extract from the event details page:

  • Race 5K – run to take place between 00:01 on Saturday 11th July and 11:59 (am) on Monday 13th July – following the race rules and government guidance
  • Upload your GPS proof of activity via OpenTrack manually or by using the Strava integration button
  • Strict closing time for results upload is 23:59 on Monday 13th July
  • 'Point to point' and 'out and back' courses permissable, no more than 3 complete laps, track runs are not allowed
  • Times must be based on running “time elapsed”
  • No more than 10m overall elevation loss

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO activity achievement weekend 26th to 29th June 2020

This week only 24 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements - a couple of regulars either took the weekend off or failed to inform me of their achievements. The compilation of this table does involve quite a bit of searching through Facebook so if I've missed your achievement consider whether you've provided it to me in an easily "digestible" format.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Amanda Coombs Open water swim 2.13k Shepperton Sun am 00:38:44 Henley Classic virtual swim (with sociable start time - see below)
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sun 01:00:00 PW with strong wind and mud making it 'interesting' (48:42 on Thursday)
Barry Walters Running 8k Swinley Forest and back Sun am 00:48:34 Easy run in breezy conditions
Benita Scaife Running 5k Hill work to Wycombe Rye Sun am 00:52:18 With John
Bob Bannister Running 10k Bushy Park Sun am 00:46:58 Blustery conditions but still managed to lower my 10k PB by more than half a minute
Clara Halket Running 22.86k Neighbouring villages and woods Sun am Aerobic workout for me on roads and trails.
Eddie Giles Running 6.2km Fields & lanes to Hurdcott & back Sun noon 00:37:33
Emma Moreton Running 5k 00:24:13 24min parkrun pacemaker practice
Gary Rushmer Running 3.57m Bedfont Lakes Sun am Little run to test calf out, felt good after 2 weeks of resting it.
Harjit Jhooti Cycling 40.40km Essex Coast Fri pm 03:19:32
Jain Reid Running 16.01k River run to Richmond and back Sat am 01:30:58 A lovely run:walk along the river this weekend
Joe Nolan Running 5k Wraysbury/Datchet route Sat am 00:33:03 Keeping the cobwebs off my running shoes !
John Scaife Running 5k Hill work to Wycombe Rye Sun am 00:52:19 From Little Marlow to Wycombe Rye, perhaps 5k by crow but crows don't have hills to climb.
Keith Johnson Running 10.15k Around Markyate, near St Albans Sat am 00:50:00 Also 5k on the Sunday in 24:48
Kelly Davis Running 10k Bacon run Sat am 01:14:45 Round the reservoirs but including popping into a shop to buy the bacon for breakfast!
Melanie Miller Cycling 83km Roundtrip to Cookham via Bray Sat
Michael Ball Cycling 12miles To Olympic Park and back Sun Included a walk around the Olympic Cycle Tracks
Mike Dennison Running 22.7k Long run via Walton Bridge Sun am 01:51:14 Incident packed run!
Neil Frediani Cycling 60.5miles Greenwich and back Sun am
Piers Keenleyside Walking 10miles Ealing parks Sun In all this week (see below) Piers walked 117miles!
Roderick Hoffman Running 17.7k Grand Union Canal and Brent River loop Sat pm 02:02:34 Also Black Park parkrun freedom run on Sun pm in 0:30:42
Scott Davison Running 5k Crane Park Sat am 00:24:24 Not at parkrun time but in heavy rain lovely!
Stephen Taylor Running 15.06m Harrow-on-the-Hill and back Sun 02:41:21 Still in the hope that the VMLM will go ahead on October.
Steve Hillier Mixed Walk/Cycle 17.4miles Northolt <=> Elstree Aerodromes Fri am 00:02:00 29C, no aircraft seen.

Amanda's Open water swim was a virtual event - the open water swim was real but it wasn't at Henley, with the bilk competition and was at a sensible hour of the day. Amanda reports "Weekend activity. Another open water swim, but this time with a purpose. I have always fancied doing the Henley Classic swim, which takes place on the Sunday before the Regatta. But it starts at 5am, you have to register 90 minutes before.... working back it all starts to get a bit silly. This year it went virtual. 2.1km in my local lake. The attended event is upstream, so I got off lightly!"

Mike's incident packed run included losing his wallet on the way round. Fortunately the person who found it used the enclosed parkrun barcode ICE to contact Mike so that he could collect it and its contents. The time I lost my wallet on a run it was handed into a police station - all of the UK cash and the (already cancelled) credit card were missing...but the large quantity of South African Rand was still in the Wallet!

Stephen's run took him up Grove Hill, a very steep hill leading up Harrow-on-the-Hill. At the bottom of the hill is a plaque that reports the country's first fatal road accident - on 25th February 1899. The Daimler Wagonette was unable to take the corner at the bottom as its brakes were struggling to control its speed.

Again submit your best exercise achievement of next weekend by filling in the following form and sending it to me OR replying to the message on Facebook (or any other messaging format to me):

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

Roderick Hoffman {submit by 5pm on Monday}

parkrun Update

parkrun alphabeteers short of an "I" will find life just a little bit easier after the resumption as Itchen Valley Country Park started up on 29th February.  This new parkrun is just North of the M27 and probably within earshot of Southampton Airport when the wind is from the West.
Other longer established "I" parkruns in UK are Ifield Mill Pond (Sussex), Inverness, Ipswich, Irchester (Northants) and Isabel Trail (Staffs).

Steve Newell

Ed: I had an invitation to the test event at Itchen Valley Country Park, but on the day it was too windy for the park to be open.  I was unavailable for the rearranged date and the event did launch on 29th February. I have visited the park and can confirm it has a good cafe - though it is currently closed else I would also have been at it last Thursday.

19 of us did the New Year's Day double on 1st January 2020 (plus others who may have run one and volunteered at another). Sadly that will be the last time we will be allowed to run two parkruns in the same day because parkrun HQ has decided that the events were proving too popular and have cancelled future doubles. They have confirmed that they will still allow parkruns to host extra events on New Year's Day.

Capital Ring in One Day

Piers on the Capital RingI’ve always wanted to complete the Capital Ring in one go and this was my 3rd attempt.  I’ve run on sections of this 78 mile round London route many times over the years.  I did about 25 miles of it when the Ealing Eagles tackled the whole route as a relay in 2014 with one or two of us running sections of 7 to 10 miles.  We were a bit short of runners so I ended up running 3 sections over the day – we finished in 14:08:53.

In 2017 I split it into 3 chunks of roughly 26 miles and did it over 3 days as part of my preparations for the Marathon des Sables. It gave me an idea about what I was letting myself in for in terms of many marathons on consecutive days but not really much prep for the weather as it was mid-January - cold and wet!

I ran the 30-mile London Ultra a couple of times about 10 years ago.  It was over a route that used the Capital Ring from near Streatham Common to finish at the Perivale Athletics track in Ealing quite close to where I live.

This time, as with my two previous solo attempts, I was going to start from Osterley Lock in Elthorne Park, Ealing and proceed in a clockwise direction.  Unlike the previous attempts I’d be walking as I am trying to clear up an injury and have avoided running for about the last eight weeks.  At best I thought I might finish in close to 24 hours.

After getting up at 4am,... [continued on-line]

...It had been a long day.  I will have another go next June.

Piers Keenleyside

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through]

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 if social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England has been updated (1st June 2020) and now says what you can't do, rather than only allowing you do do a limited number of things. The sections that refer to the activities of the club are "Restrictions on movement" and "Restrictions on gatherings". In short you can't stay overnight anywhere other than at home and you can't meet with more than one other person indoors or more than five other persons outdoors. Taking into account the law and official guidance we advise you as follows:

  • Do not conduct a solo run if 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you 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. We should still be avoiding public transport except for essential journeys, and do not share cars with people outside your household. You are not allowed to stay away for the night - except for elite athletes who are allowed to overnight in a hotel (if they can find one open),
  • In England you may now meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home - e.g. other runners and coaches. But 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 run, 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 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.

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

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