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BA Athletics Club News Digest 29th April 2013

This News Digest

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Forthcoming Events

Don't forget the following priority club events:

  • Wednesday 8th May - Speedbird Ladies (marshals and lady runners please) - start 19:00
  • ROM Sunday 12th May - Stockley Park 10k 10:30
  • CIE Wednesday 22nd May - "Ruffell Runaround" - Concorde Centre from 18:00

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. Updated this week.

London Marathon Update follows but first some other news...

Concorde Five Mile Test Run 24th April Results

A big thank you from me to everyone who helped with or ran on the day for the test event for the new Concorde Five Mile course.  With your feedback I've been able to write a 1,560 word report of findings and observations.

The results of the race:

Position Name Time Comment
1 Mark Taylor 32:03 New Course Record
2 John Taylor 33:27  
3 Barry Walters 35:11  
4 Simon Turton 36:44  
5 Eddie Giles 39:31  
6 Dennis Foxley 41:14  
7 Alan Friar 44:30  
8 Clara Halket 46:56 New Ladies Course Record
9 Alan Anderson 48:21  
10 Marion Woodhouse 49:34  
11 Steve Newell 50:26  
dnf Steve Hillier 00:00 Proving that we need bigger arrows

The helpers were:

  • Paul Knechtl who helped me mark the course,
  • Brian Forrester and Paddy O'Shea who managed the start, finish and timekeeping,
  • Pears Keenleyside, Gary Rushmer and Neil Frediani who acted as marshals and observers on a number of points on the course,
  • And Simon Turton who helped me collect up the arrows and markers afterwards.

Roderick Hoffman

Speedbird Ladies - running partner needed

A registered blind runner has asked if anyone would be able to act as her running guide for the Speedbird Ladies event - this could be an interesting and rewarding experience for someone. Louise says "The person doesn't need to have guided before I would just hold their right arm. I run 5k in around half an hour".  The runner could be male and, from watching the Paralympics, needs to be prepared to cross the finishing line just after Louise.  Please let Alastair know if you can help out.

Alastair Heslop

Reminder - BAAC Membership Subs are now due

Please send a cheque made out to BA Clubs (Athletics Section) for £9 or £19 depending on England Athletics affiliation to:

Alan Friar, BAAC Membership Secretary, 2 Hartsbourne Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 5PY


Alan Friar, Athletics Section, BA Clubs, Crane Lodge Road, Cranford, Middlesex


alternatively fill in the Direct Debit form linked below and send it to me.

Direct Debit Instructions

Direct Debit Sample


Many thanks to those who have already paid.

Alan Friar

What do you get for being a member?

New Running Wear Brand Launching 6th May

Many of us will remember Bill Byrne from when he was a member of the club, from 1984 to 2001, and in recent years we have seen Bill and his wife Claire at the Concorde and at local parkruns.  Bill was keen to tell us about his new venture:

New Running Wear Brand Launching 6 May

Iffley Road is a new British running wear brand launching on the 6 May. It has been set up by myself, Bill Byrne and my wife Claire. To generate interest pre launch we would be most grateful if as many club members as possible could like and share us on Facebook and / or follow us on Twitter. Here are the links: 

We will be starting off with a small range of tops and shorts. The look is understated and elegant and comes in deliberately muted colours inspired by the British elements. Technical performance will be excellent - we have chosen lightweight fabrics with great wicking properties.

Setting up Iffley Road has been our dream for many years and we are so excited to be this close to launch.

Thanks in advance for your support and happy running!

Bill Byrne

London Marathon 2013

London Marathon Thanks to all of our Marshals

On behalf of both the British Airways Athletics Section and the race organisation, I'd like to thank you for all your hard work on Sunday at the 33rd running of the London Marathon. There were almost 140 volunteers marshalling the 5 crossing points from Waterloo Bridge through Parliament Square to Birdcage Walk and down to Spur Rd. Initial feedback indicates that the crossings again worked extremely well.

On your behalf I'd like to specifically thank Stuart Glover, Natalie Lang, Barry Walters, Eddie Ketterick and Paul Brandon for team leading the crossing points and Trevor Plows, Alan Friar and Steve Hillier for over-seeing sectors 6 & 7 but be assured, without everyone's help the day would not have been as successful as it was. For my part I was supporting Steve on Sector 7 and really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to some of you and put a 'face to a name' after months of e-mailing you! We got away around 6pm (after seeing the 7 hr 'course closed' come through) and by the time we were dropping the radios and megaphones back at the finish, the baggage trucks were making a move, indicting another successful event had reached it's conclusion. I can't claim credit for the weather but I think it was appreciated by the competitors, helpers and spectators.

Each year we're asked to provide feedback to the organisers, so can I ask the Team Leaders to send their feedback to either Trevor Plows for sector 6 or Steve Hillier for sector 7. I'm sure you're all tired but you should reflect on a job well done and after you've had time to recover, I hope I can look forward to your help again next year as you certainly made my life a lot easier again this year. I'll be starting recruitment for the 2014 VLM (13 Apr 2014) in January 2014, so if interested in helping again drop me a line then (not now please as your e-mail may get lost!).

Finally, the Club supports other LM organised events, the next being the BUPA 10000 on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May. The event is a lot easier to marshal than the marathon and usually all wrapped up by 1pm, so if you'd like to help can you contact Clara Halket ( for further details. There's usually a jacket and a packed lunch for each helper as a thank you.

Regards, Simon Turton BAAC VLM coordinator

Ian's Experience

I was lucky enough to get a ballot place this year so I knew I had a place a little earlier than the last couple of years. My training followed the same pattern as the last two - just a good deal more unpleasant through the cold January, February and March!

What did I learn this year?

  • When they start handing out prizes for consistent finish times I'm first in line. 2011 - 3:32:46, 2012 - 3:33:45, 2013 - 3:32:47, so just ONE second outside my PB
  • Whether I start fast or slow I seem to finish in much the same time
  • I must say the last 6 miles were particularly hard work in 2013
  • The blue start was considerably more congested than the red start - given the choice I'd take red!
  • The sun always shines on the marathon (well the last 3 years anyway!)

What was good about this year?

  • The people you meet along the way...
  • Fellow parkrunners on the way to Blackheath
  • BA colleagues marshalling at the start
  • Family, more colleagues and parkrunners along the route to give me a shout (when I was still capable of hearing them)
  • Passing, and being passed by fellow BA runners - thankfully this year I avoided catching Piers from behind :-)
  • The BA crossing points to give that boost when the legs really need it
  • Shaking Richard Branson's hand at the end with just enough strength to point out my BA vest
  • Meeting BA runners afterwards and then the marshals at the Waterloo Bridge crossing

we'll see about that....

Ian Cunningham

The entry ballet for the 2012 race is ALREADY CLOSED unless you are a UK resident and you have a good-for-age time set since 1st January 2012 - details on the website:

Natalie Lang's Experience at the Parliament Square Crossing Point

I thought you might appreciate the funniest thing that happened to us..
Well we had a first of who/what needing to cross the road!!
A horse and rider.. and I don't mean a police horse.. just the sort of thing you expect to walk through parliament sq on a Sunday morning!!


Steve Taylor's Report

After a good solid block of training I was really looking forward to marathon day and feeling a mix of confidence and nerves. I knew I was in good shape but didnít know if I would be able to break the 4 hour mark. I watched the weather forecast in the days leading up to the run and hoped that it wouldnít be too warm. With all of the training and long runs done in the freezing cold a warm day would be hard to adjust to. The forecast sounded ideal with a cool start, warming up but then clouding over around lunchtime. I had breakfast at 6:30 in the morning, I tried not to stuff myself this time as in the past Iíve felt rather bloated on the start line. Oatibix with a bit or granola and a glass of orange juice. The tube and train journey to the start becomes more familiar each time. I met a few of the other BA runners on the red start, paid the obligatory two trips to the toilet and sat around conserving energy before heading off to the pens. They seem to announce for everyone to get the kit bags on to the trucks really early this year. I seemed to be waiting in the pen for ages. It was great to see all of the black ribbons being worn to support our fellow runners in Boston. The 30 seconds silence before the run was moving as thousands of runners fell pin drop silence. All you could hear was the birds chirping away in the park.

The run got off to a good start, getting across the line about 5 minutes after the gun. The first few miles are the most enjoyable as itís really easy running and soaking up the atmosphere. Cutty Sark comes round pretty quick. It seemed to be quite warm running in the sun and looking up at the sky there seemed to be no sign of any clouds coming along soon. I met my wife and daughter at mile eleven and didnít stop for a chat this time, just dropped off my sweaty gloves and carried on. I came past the athlete Iwan Thomas going over Tower Bridge and he looked to be struggling. At mile 19 I met my supporters again and grabbed a drink that wasnít Lucozade sport, thereís only so much Lucozade sport that you can drink, but by this time my pace was slowing. It was just a bit too warm for me and I wasnít able to hold on to that sub 4 hour pace and when I got in to the 20 plus miles I knew that I would be just over the time. I still had a target of beating my PB from last year of 4:07 so with that in mind kept up a steady pace towards the end. It was good to get a cheer from the Ealing Eagles at mile 23 as a friend of mine was with their cheer squad and the usual friendly faces of the BA marshals along the last stretch makes the last couple of miles that much easier. I finished in a time of 4 hours 4 minutes, a new PB for me and leaving me with a challenge for next year. After the finish I felt much less knackered than other years, just the one blister on a toe, the calfs and quads seemed in much better shape and not a twinge from my usually troublesome achilles tendons either. Iíve recovered well since and am now looking to get back to some shorter runs in the near future. Iíd like to say a big thank you to all of the BA marshals for the great job that they do.

Iíve been raising money for a charity called Five Talents and so far have raised over £1,200.

P.S Thereís still time to sponsor me at  .

Steve Taylor

And one of our quieter runners caught by the Evening Standard reporter..

Susan Cover writes

After many freezing cold mornings training in sub zero temperatures, climbing over hills and mud paths trying different diets and wandering is this really going to be achievable - the day looms ever closer. I panic still not knowing if I have done enough to run the London Marathon. I followed a 4 week final plan. Towards the end of my schedule I started to wind the distance down from 22-20-10-8 miles gradually decreasing until I was doing my regular 5-6 miles over the course of 5 days. I was lucky in many respects not to have suffered from stress injuries or illness my only setback being symptoms of Gluten-Intolerance. This caused me to withdraw from a planned race and 2 weeks of being unable to run for periods of longer than 50 mins. All that said and done I was doing pretty well considering there were others who had to pull out for various reasons - all that hard-work and preparation just doesn't seem fair! So I was one of the luckier ones and I was looking forward to the day with anticipation and excitement.

Then comes the blow the awful news of the Boston Marathon! I was glued to the television watching the atrocity unfold in horror wandering how this would affect the event and what the outcome would be. A shame that we forget that this could ever happen to us then we are cruelly reminded not to be to complacent. However we have to accept and move on from the sadness - and the support and solidarity from all involved helped to overcome the fears and concerns that many may have felt in lead up to the planned race day.

I have watched many times and often wandered how it would feel to prepare and compete in such a sport. When the day finally came I was as ready as I could be. I had a goal to finish in 4 hrs 30 mins all being well - but had no idea of just how impossible that achievement was to uphold. It was 15 mins before I crossed the mat and still unable to run. I kept a moderate pace for much of the time trying to pick off runners along the way without bumping into them or causing them to slow as I moved ahead - it was a real tactical feat. I was forever weaving and winding myself in and out of the crowds. To say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement. I couldn't imagine ever being able to reach the 26th mile it seemed so unreal. You just get lifted and carried away by the enthusiasm from the crowds - it was an amazing experience not easy to forget. I enjoyed every minute of the ups and the downs at being able to cross the finish line in one-piece. I was passed by A Pint Of Fullers Ale, a Fairy, Bat-Girl,Scooby-Doo and countless other fancy dress competitors and it was so funny I almost found myself offering the Pint Of Ale my bottle of water as he looked so thirsty and overheated I felt sorry for him. I can't remember passing any of the famous Landmarks as I had my eyes fixed to the thin blue line or the empty bottles littered by the sides.

My one great personal achievement was to complete the race without having to stop and I can honestly say I ran the whole distance even though sometimes at a slower pace than usual. So I am proud as it seemed so unrealistic a few months ago and now I can cherish my well earned Medal and say congratulations to everyone who was there and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I would also just like to add my many thanks to all the Marshals who selflessly volunteered and worked so hard for us to be able to compete in the Virgin London Marathon you also earned your medals we couldn't have done it without you well done!

Sue Cover

And Mike Thorne's achievement...

Mike Thorne not only did the marathon but he did so carrying with him a giant pair of rotary wheels.  Yes, it seemed a "wheely" good idea at the time to get attention and raise funds for  money for the Rotary WheelAppeal.  Mike has raised at least £1,167 so far and the fund is still open.

The description of Mike's Marathon and several photographs pf him and his wheel are at this link , where there is also a link to his appeal.

Joe Nolan

Well I had a bit of a scare after my final 9miler training run the Sunday before when my knee locked up solid in the afternoon which was diagnosed as inflamed muscles/tendons needing ice packing daily and also just half an hour before starting the big day run.

Good to meet up with Gary and Graham at Blackheath at the Red start first time for me (last 2 times it was Blue).

Right alongside me in the start pen appeared a friend from my local parkrun who is a quite fast and experienced runner, albeit coming back from much injury last year. We ran the first half and up to 15 miles together controlling our pace to between 8m45/9m miling Ė Iím not used to running alongside others but this was really good as we were chatting and I could take in both the route and tremendous crowds so much better this time.

About half way (1h57, which felt fine) I had however started to feel a bit weary but kept going, not saying anything to start with, hoping it would pass but at 15 it got to me and I told him to go on. I then slowed and adopted a safer walk/jog to end - I think in fact it was dehydration (I should know better !) It was quite hot and we were boiling after just 3 miles after all that cold weather training ! I then stopped a few times for a quick chat with friends watching on route and guess I could have clipped a few more minutes off the 4h23 but was fine at the end and apart from a overnight leg cramps have been fine since ! The other chap was still going well until 23 when his knee stiffened up and he hobbled in at 4h08 - if we had carried on that early pace we would have broken 4h and joined that exclusive sub-club - I think on another day I might yetÖ.

I didnít see any other BA runners on route but saw many of our marshals in the last few miles which was great. Life has returned to Ďnormalí now with a return to my local parkrun yesterday.

I shall start the London process again tomorrow by entering the ballot. I have a place in the Berlin marathon in September and am hoping to be better prepared by more longer training runs and plenty of half-maras.

I would like to thank BA again for this tremendous experience and also all the hard working marshals (I truly believe it is easier to run than marshal !)

Joe Nolan

parkrun update

NO space this week - next week's digest will cover last Saturday's BAAC Club Featured parkrun at Bushy.

Steve's parkrun stats

Marathon Photo Caption Competition

What is being said or thought when Richard Branson met Piers Keenleyside at the end of last week's London Marathon?

I can't guarantee to be able to publish all entries submitted.

Caption Competition

News for the next BAAC News Digest? Please send material to the news@... address.  You can copy Paul Brandon and Roderick Hoffman in BUT the news address is the one that we use when the digest is compiled.

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