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BA Athletics Club News Digest 31st August 2020

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

Events Calendar

Week of Monday… Midweek Challenge Club Event Weekend Solo Run
17th August Track x5 or Ross Barkley 5k (results below)    
24th August Scrabble Rescramble (results below)  Best weekend exercise achievement
31st August Bedfont Lakes parkrun (in your own time) NOT Speedbird Ladies (see below)Best weekend exercise achievement
7th September Solo Mile Shared Mile - Bushy (tbc)Best weekend exercise achievement
14th September Equinox 5k (probably solo) 16th Sept: NOW Wimbledon (tbc)Best weekend exercise achievement
21st September Track-on-Field / Ross Barkley Victoria Dock (date tbc)Best weekend exercise achievement
28th September tbc 4th Oct: Virtual London Marathon 

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

Cancellation - Speedbird Ladies Race

We have had to cancel the 2020 Speedbird Ladies Race which we had hoped to run on 2nd September on Harmondsworth Moor. Despite licensing from Run Britain/England Athletics and an OK from Hillingdon Council the landowner, British Airways, was unwilling to allow any events to be held on Harmondsworth Moor for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully next year's Speedbird Ladies Race will be able to take place in May 2021.

Bedfont Lakes parkrun courseThis Week's Midweek Challenge - Run the Bedfont Lakes parkrun course

I've heard of two groups planning on running at Bedfont Lakes this week so it would seem sensible to have this week's midweek club challenge to do just that.

At any time during the week (including next weekend if you are busy during the week, but please avoid 9am on Saturday) run the Bedfont Lakes parkrun course (pictured) and send me your time.

Most of us will be familiar with the course. It starts at the western end of the park and has two clockwise laps around most of the park. The second lap is slightly longer than the first (see map) and the finish is where the start was...or when your watch bleeps "5km". If you are running alone you are of course welcome to start and finish on any part of the course including near the larger carpark off Bedfont Road.

The Clockhouse Lane carpark is currently open until 20:30. I don't know if any facilities are open during the day or evening.

Tell me what time you did> Roderick Hoffman

Scrabble Rescramble Results

The second coming of Scrabble this summer was greeted with fewer entrants, but what the competition lacked in numbers, was made up for by the enthusiasm and wordsmithing of the participants. 

The five pairs started their challenge on Tuesday or Wednesday with a bit of rapid exercise.  Only three individuals chose to run for forty minutes.  The others decided to row (30 mins), use a fixed or road bike (20 mins), or walk (one hour).  Each pair then added together the number of kilometres covered to claim that number of Scrabble tiles.

The leading runner was Maarten Stenham, who covered 8km, while leading lady runner Amanda Coombs wasn’t far behind.  Paul Brandon’s fixed bike spun over 10km in the time allowed, and Steve Newell’s row showed a seven metre improvement from his May effort.
You would normally expect to deal with seven Scrabble letters at a time.  The pairs were trying to get their heads around a feast of up to sixteen letters, trying to make use of every bonus square they could cover.  Word length was capped at seven, with no blank tiles and no penalties for unused letters. 

August Scrabble WinnerThe teams puzzled their way through Thursday, coming up with more creative and high scoring terms.  Fortunately, no team had suffered a surfeit of vowels or consonants this time, and the points scores were consistently high.  A few strange two letter words appeared to round off the scoring, but all check out as part of the English language!

In the final reckoning, Roderick and Amanda’s knowledge of tall, herbaceous plants of Central America (epazote) proved crucial , outscoring Paul and Christine’s use of the wider ranging hop clover (or medick).  The other three teams were close behind, with Maarten and Jakob using “dene” (a valley or sand dune), Barry and Steve employing “delphin” (a fatty substance derived from dolphin oil) and Simon and Janet utilising “en” (a unit of measurement). 

We’ve all learnt some new words!

Ed: the winning solution is shown in the image - obviously the team hugely benefited from having, and being able to utilise to the maximum, the "Z" tile.

Full results:

Individual km Team km Tiles Points
1st Roderick Hoffman & Walk 6.6 14.0 14 107
Amanda Coombs Run 7.4
2nd Paul Brandon & Turbo cycle 10.3 16.8 16 92
Christine Munden Run 6.5
3rd Maarten Stenham & Run 8.0 14.0 14 89
Jakob Stenham Cycle 6.0
4th= Barry Walters & Turbo cycle 8.9 16.1 16 82
Steve Newell Row 7.2
4th= Simon Turton & Cycle 9.0 15.1 15 82
Janet Smith Walk 6.1

Steve Hillier

And in the side challenge to add a sentence using your words:

  • Roderick/Amanda: "Are you in the ZONE to DINE OR have the EPAZOTE flavoured tea OR something else?"
  • Simon/Janet: "FUELED by a desire to make a KILLING in the quiz, we found an SI typographic unit, EN, DO you believe it? "

August Track-on-Field resultsTrack-on-Field Results

Over the last couple of weeks five of us have completed the "Track on Field" challenge of 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200m and 100m.

Looking at the graph alongside this text it would appear that we are doing really well at the 200m. But apart from Michael we have various issues with other distances. Perhaps with the 100m we are being constrained by either not using starting blocks or because having had our hands on the ground we have to wipe clean the starting area as we launch ourselves forward.

Looking at the results month-on-month (graph below table) Bob is continuing his improvement whilst others are not doing so well.

The next Track-on-Field will be in the week of 21st September.

Name Month 1500m time 800m time 400m time 200m time 100m time Comment
Michael Ball Aug 00:07:18 00:03:39 00:01:42 00:00:45 00:00:18
Denis Foxley Aug 00:07:47 00:04:10 00:01:51 00:00:49 00:00:25
Barry Walters Aug 00:07:53 00:03:55 00:02:08 00:00:53 00:00:26 Similar times to last month despite the strong wind
Bob Bannister Aug 00:05:53 00:03:04 00:01:27 00:00:34 00:00:17 4 out of 5 PBs. The 400m metres needs some work!
Steve Hillier Aug 00:08:30 00:04:24 00:02:04 00:00:43 00:00:22 It had rained heavily just before, so the streets were empty and fresh.

August Track-on-Field results

Recent Ross Barkley Results

I may have missed some performances but I've certainly got these four recent Ross Barkley efforts. Let me know of others.

Week of Runner Location Distance Total Time Running Time
19-Aug-20 Micheal Ball Osterley 5k 00:32:19 00:23:18
15-Aug-20 Eddie Giles Treadmill 5k 00:27:59 00:23:29
19-Aug-20 Barry Walters Osterley 5k 00:27:04
19-Aug-20 Steve Hillier Osterley 5k 00:37:52 00:28:52

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 28th to 31st August 2020

This week 22 colleagues reported activities.

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Amanda Coombs Open water swim 4miles Henley Swim 4 Mile Challenge Sat 02:17:34 Definitely a challenge rather than a race, but fantastic to be back at probably my only open water event of the year.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Fri 00:50:10 Muddy run. Then 10mile bike ride on Sunday in PB 46:40.
Barry Walters Running 11km Swinley Forest Sat am 01:06:18 Interval session of 3x1500m with 3 mins rec. Plus 3k warm-up and warm-down.
Ben Cooper Walking 6.8km Millenium Coastal Path, Llanelli Sat 01:30:00 With the family. Not counting the picnic stop.
Benita Scaife Running 5miles Maidenhead to Bourne End via Cookham bridge Sat 00:55:11 Not our usual cross country route via Winter Hill golf course but a road run via Cookham bridge.
Clara Halket Running 9.13km In the woods Sat 01:00:12 Fitness run this evening after first day back at work. Worked the single tracks in the woods beyond the ridges.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 12.59km Hunstanton Beach Fri am 03:03:45 In the rain. With a stretch well out from the coast, though fortunately at low tide.
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat am 00:25:37 Met up with Paul, Julie and Tom. My daughter Vicki also joined us. We were all happy with our running.
Jain Reid Running 17km Thames loop - Putney & Chiswick bridges 01:45:01 I never tire of this stretch of the Thames.
Joe Nolan Running 5k Black Park Sat am 00:30:13 3rd nostalgic run at BP - 30s quicker than last week ! Pleased with that and feeling inspired again .....
John Scaife Running 5miles Maidenhead to Bourne End via Cookham bridge Sat 00:55:11 Not our usual cross country route via Winter Hill golf course but a road run via Cookham bridge.
Julie Barclay Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat am 00:22:51
Keith Johnson Running 11km Markyate, St Albans Sun am 00:54:40
Kelly Davis Running 8km Bedfont Lakes Sat 01:00:00 Felt really rubbish this morning but we decided to do 5k at Bedfont. Well, we felt really good and managed 8k!
Melanie Miller Walking 25.93km Falmer to Brighton Sat 05:23:34 I guess, from the description, with a group called the Brighton Bugs.
Michael Ball Running 5k Brooklands Sat am 00:27:34 Windy
Paul Watt Running 5k Rushmoor Freedom Run Sat am 00:21:46
Petra Otto Running 3.53miles Sun 00:37:08 Plus 4x 1-hour gym, inc. some cardio.
Roderick Hoffman Running 10k Chasewater and Edgbaston Reservoir parkruns Fri 01:08:35 Two freedom runs in near enough the same time, both runs in the rain around reservoirs.
Simon Turton Running 8.73km Southern Navigators GPS-O (Aldershot Park) Sat 00:44:29 It was surprisingly undulating but made for a good workout.
Stephen Taylor Running 20.18miles Ealing ' Queen of the suburbs' challenge Sat 03:26:25 Practice for 'Ealing Half Marathon' organised virtual challenge to visit 13 of Ealing's parks in September.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Eastcote Sat 00:33:26 Fine, cool drizzle. Plus Sunday cycle, Linda has a new bell and brakes, I have a new saddle, so we're getting keen!

The challenge Stephen took on, visiting 13 of Ealing parks, hadn't had to be done in one go but he is well into marathon distance training. However on one of my runs I noticed a "Welcome to Ealing Parks" sign in Lime Tree Park further west than Stephen managed - so perhaps visiting all of Ealing Parks would require an Ultra Run?

Clara appears to have logged 170.4km over August - in a "Girls Run the World V Ultra Alps 2020" challenge. We start a new month on Tuesday so why don't we all log our mileage (or kilometerage) over September and see what we total? Include any exercise walks or runs including those on treadmills. 

Please 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}

Types of Running

I'm a member of the Facebook "parkrun laughs" group. I don't recommend membership, it has too many members who think that repetition or shouting "bobbies" (and both together) is funny and there are negative views stated on groups such as cyclists. However they do occasionally have an item worth viewing. The following is an example, which I'll reproduce here since I'm the author of most of it (and with apologies for the in-jokes):

Types of running - we probably all know that the definition of "Hash Running" is "Running for drinkers with a running problem" but here are some other definitions:

  • parkruns are for runners who want their cake and eat it,
  • Podium races are for thinnies who don't like cake or beer,
  • Park Races are for non-conformists,
  • Road running is for when there are too many bikes on the pavement,
  • Ultra-runs are for runners who don't know how to stop,
  • Marathons are for those who like chocolate bars packed with peanuts,
  • Half-Marathons are for those on a diet,
  • Hill running is for anyone who doesn't live in a flat,
  • Fell running is for runners who like falling,
  • Trail running is for failed fell runners,
  • Cross Country is for trail runners with anger management issues,
  • Orienteering is for runners who don't like running with other people,
  • Relays are for runners who only like brief meetings with other runners,
  • The three-legged race is for those born near Chernobyl,
  • Tough mudder is for those who like it dirty,
  • Track running is for those with navigational issues,
  • Field athletics are for those who like throwing their weights around,
  • The sprints are for those with no inbuilt speed limiter,
  • Hurdles are for those who can't deviate,
  • Fartlek is for those who enjoy a madras the night before,
  • Fun Runs are for Oxymorons,
  • Nature runs are for runners without vests,
  • Steeplechase is for runners in vestments,
  • A Paper Chase is for those without Smartphones,
  • Race walking is for those who can no longer lift their feet when they run,
  • Virtual racing is for those who want to have virtues,
  • Couch to 5k is for Furniture Removers,
  • 5k to Couch is for Furniture Restorers,
  • Colour runs are for all of us, there is no discrimination here,
  • The human race is for all of us (most of us, anyway).

Roderick Hoffman

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 provided social distancing advice is kept to. The relevant law in England says that people can meet in groups of up to 30:

  • Do not exercise outside the house 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, 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 meet with up to five other persons for your exercise outside the home, and in some situations up to 30. Club organised events 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 the club shared activities we recommend need to continue to work with  the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the run itself. Any member can organise a shared activity by following the England Athletics guidance, filling in the risk assessment form and notifying myself or Steve Hillier that you have done so in advance of the event.

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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