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BA Athletics Club News Digest 31st August 2015


  • Thursday 3rd September 2015 - Magic Mile on the Bath Road at 12:45
  • Sunday 6th September - BAAC Track & Field Championships and Family Fun Day at Eton Track (see below)
  • Tuesday 8th September - Round-the-Park race at Waterside/Harmondsworth from 12:30 (see below)

New members and non-members of all fitness levels and abilities are welcome at all of these events.  The full diary of club featured events is on the club website at: Diary.shtml.  Running related gossip and chat: Facebook "BA Runner" (link:

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Reminder: Sunday 6th September BAAC Track & Field Championships & Fun Day at Eton from 12noon till around 5pm.

Thames Valley Athletics Centre. Pococks Lane, Eton, SL4 6HN (map:

Start Time   



12.30            Discus^ ^Superstars
13.00            800m  
13.15            Long Jump^ ^Superstars
13.30            200m  
13.45            High Jump  
14.00             Shot Putt  
14.00            Balloon & egg and spoon race  Kids
14.15            400m^ ^Superstars
14.30            Wellie wanging Kids and adults
15.00            3000m  
15.15             Javelin^ ^Superstars
15.15            Age 7 and under 50m sprint Kids
15.20            Age 8-10 years 80m sprint Kids
16.00             100m^ ^Superstars
16.00             Hammer  
16.30             1500m^ ^Superstars
16.45             Presentation & close  

^Superstars event an open competition for anyone who wishes to participate in a variety of both track & field events, to parade their athletic prowess!! All 6 events must be covered to be Superstar Champion.

Participation is more important than achievement and instruction will be given before any event. Sunshine has been ordered for the day (but cannot be guaranteed). Participation is free for both members and non-members though is at your own risk.

Hope to see you there,

Eddie Giles

Any questions?

Round-the-Park Tuesday 8th September Harmondsworth Moor start 12:30

The event starts near the wooden bridge behind the main car park.  It is a 2 lap course and is approximately 3 miles in length, so just a bit shorter than 5 Km. This is a fun event and ALL levels of runners/joggers are welcomed.

Those not at Waterside wishing to take part will not be able to park in the parkland car parks. You should either use the bus to get to Waterside or consider parking in the eastern side of Moor Lane, assessable only from Harmondsworth village. There is a single yellow line here with parking permitted between 10:30 and 15:30 and spaces are freely available.

The entry fee is 1 per person and all proceeds goes to the White Lodge Charity. You can either enter the race as an individual or as part of a team. Teams are to be made up of 4 mixed runners, including at least one male and one female.

In an attempt to avoid too much of a rush on the day and inform the wardens of expected numbers, please could you let know if you are going to take part. If you are entering as part of a team, can you please complete the attached form and email it to me. We will hand out numbers and collect your entry fees on the day at the start so please arrive a few minutes early. Entries will still be taken on the day.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask.


Paul Knechtl

WARR - What is it good for?

This year's World Airline Road Race is in Dubai with the 10k and 5k races being early on Friday 23rd October so most will aim to be there on or before Wednesday 21st to allow a little time to acclimatize to the heat of the outdoors not to mention the cool of the air conditioning in the hotels and reception rooms. There are already over 600 international airline participants booked including 16 to 23 with the BA group.  I'm communicating other details with the team members I know of so if you haven't received an email from me over the weekend please correct me on your plans.

If you are not sure what to expect then a few pointers for you...

  • This is the largest annual inter-airline sporting event of the year,
  • Hosted this year by Emirates and Fly Dubai,
  • A great opportunity to tick off Dubai if it is on your to do list,
  • The races are open to all airline employees with lots of age category prizes and team awards and there are some non-airline runner awards also,
  • Prior to race day there will be a T Shirt party on the Thursday and probably also a meet&greet party on the Wednesday,
  • After the races there will be a Gala Awards Dinner on the Friday evening which is in the Atlantis Hotel on The Palm (as featured in BA inflight advertising),
  • Entry is via this website (may not work with Internet Explorer - try a different browser):

Let me know if you are interested or need more information - Roderick Hoffman (Team Captain)

Monopoly Challenge - Wednesday 26th August

World markets crashed, torrential rain fell in Middlesex, chaos on the M4 - and the title deeds of streets and stations in London changed hands - all in one day!

Aspiring property speculator Alan Friar was beaten by the M4 ("free parking" for over an hour), but two teams of traders fought it out on the streets of Cranford.  They completed shuttle runs from the Concorde Centre to three marshaling points (round trips of approximately 0.85k, 1.4k and 2.1k) to collect Monopoly title deeds.  Reaching two of the marshaling points involved a tricky bit of hill work, unusual in this part of the world.  The runners were under pressure to make good use of their forty minutes, and each marshal was visited several times.

Team Boot (Chris Kelly and Alan Anderson) put in a valiant effort, but their 1,900 worth of properties was defeated by the 2,270 worth collected by the larger Team Top Hat (Roderick Hoffman, Steve Newell and power walker Harry Wild).

Thank you to officials Brian, Paddy, Paul and Linda for their help.

Steve Hillier 

Club parkrun results for Saturday 29th August 2015

After the party atmosphere at Reading last week to celebrate Chris Kelly's 250th run it was time to look elsewhere for achievement.  As usual we didn't have to look very far although some little stories were unearthed more by instinct than thorough investigation.

The slightly cooler weather and maybe the recent Wednesday night training sessions triggered some notable performances:

  • Joe Nolan (23:21) ran his best parkrun of the year at Black Park.  He is now on 233 runs so just 17 away from joining Chris Kelly.
  • Steve Newell (29:47) running his 80th run at his home Gunnersbury parkrun course ran his best parkrun of 2015.
  • Gareth Hobby (24:34) was running his 20th parkrun at Reading and that was his fastest of the year so far.
  • Joan Foxley (33:58) ran her best parkrun time ever at Harrow. 

29th August 2015

Family, Friends,+





Alan Anderson 28:55 Gunnersbury run #375 73%
John Coffey 26:27 Woking run #180 69%
Kerstin Luksch 21:37 Gunnersbury run #152 69%
Joe Nolan 23:21 Black Park run #233, best time this year 69%
Denis Foxley 24:57 Harrow run #15 68%
Alan Friar 26:55 Reading run #169 66%
Steve Taylor 23:49 Northala Fields run #38 63%
Chris Kelly 23:39 Reading run #251 62%
James Glover 23:43 Guildford run #13 62%
Piers Keenleyside 25:31 Gunnersbury taking it easy 62%
Joan Foxley 33:58 Harrow pb 62%
Tony Barnwell 30:24 Wycombe Rye run #88 60%
Kevin Holland 28:30 Woking parkrun pb 60%
Steve Newell 29:47 Gunnersbury run #190, best time this year 60%
Tony Merritt 31:40 Northala Fields 11th consecutive pb. MV75 60%
Monica Alonso 27:46 Guildford run #58 58%
Roderick Hoffman 27:14 Ashton Court park #121, BA park #194 56%
Gareth Hobby 24:34 Reading run #20, best time this year 56%
Ian Cunningham 28:32 Bushy Park social run 53%
Sreeram Sethuraman 26:05 Upton Court run #57 51%
Caroline Cockram 48:03 Bedfont Lakes volunteer tail runner 33%
David Duggan 48:03 Bedfont lakes volunteer results processor 32%
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford barcode scanning
Alice Banks volunteer Maidenhead finish token support
Benita Scaife volunteer Maidenhead barcode scanning
John Scaife volunteer Maidenhead barcode scanning
Tom Rowley volunteer Woking marshal

Roderick Hoffman decided a bank holiday weekend for the ideal moment to clear up one of the anomalies in the attendance table and headed to Ashton Court in Bristol to take the club different parkruns total to 194 and his personal tally to 121.  Daniela Mayerova has also run there once, before she joined our club.

The club provided three volunteers at Maidenhead with Alice Banks feeding finish tokens to the finish token giver-outer and John and Benita Scaife scanning them a minute or two later.

I stumbled cross an astonishing series of performances by one runner at Northala Fields.  Tony Merritt from Burnham Joggers, a member of the Cowell Club (more than 100 different parkruns) keeps returning to Northala Fields.  He was naturally at the inaugural along with some of us in midsummer 2014.  Since then he has been back eleven times and come away with a pb every time.  Echoes of pole vaulter of an earlier era.

{Ed: The One That Got Away was also at Northala on Saturday. The other year Mohamed Mohamed was spotted by a club other than ours running solo round Hillingdon track. He was doing a fast pace so they signed him up on the spot. It turns out that he was a Somali Olympic Athlete who had not managed to catch the boat home after the 1500m in London 2012.  He ran his first ever parkrun at Northala on Saturday and knocked a minute off the course record (to 14:43).  Northala can now boast that it has one of the top twenty fastest UK parkrun times.}

Northala Fields might attract a good crowd this coming week as the runs at Gunnersbury (London Mela) and Osterley (wedding) have been cancelled.

Spare a thought for Steve Newell's nephew, David Palmer, who lives in Yorkshire and often takes his son to the parkrun at Fountains Abbey.  For a man in the prime of life his pb is nothing to write home about but he is now forever saddled with a pw on the parkrun computer of 59:59 along with 224 others who were at Fountains Abbey (Ripon) this week.  Something must have gone horribly wrong.  The timekeeper was the most dedicated volunteer at Fountain's Abbey but I fear she may be relegated to trail runner on a permanent basis after this! [Ed: It shouldn't matter, this is not the first such occurrence, one of the club's faster parkrunners can also "boast" a parkrun time of 59:59 after a similar event at St Albans the other year].

Updated club parkrun stats: 

Steve Newell

Ashton Court parkrun

This was my 121st different parkrun.  All parkruns are the same and all parkruns are different but some are more the same as others and some are more different than all the others and it was really nice to do a run that was very different from the previous 120. The course is quite simple - you start at the bottom of the hill and run 2.5k to the top of the hill 100m higher up, then you turn round and run back down.  It would be a considerable challenge NOT to do a negative split - my splits were just over 15 minutes, then just under 12.

So - how hilly was your parkrun?  The graph shows the tougher parkruns that I've done, and Reading for comparison.  The tough ones are all different - Clair has one tough climb you do five times.  Tring wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't for the sting in the tail towards the end.  Queen Elizabeth has a finish well below the start but has a climb of 65 meters in the middle.  Parke has several steep climbs - some too steep to run.  And Lyme Park - steep uphill at the start for over 70m, a climb in the middle, steep downhills and then all uphill at the end!  In comparison Ashton Court is pleasant - not too steep on the way up (though I did walk twice) and then you can run as fast as you can downhill without having to save anything for a subsequent climb.

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun PS

I note that Sharon Kassemzadeh did her best ever graded performance at flat Cassiobury on Saturday with 87.45% (compared with the club record of 86% held by Dave Dixon).  I suspect that that was despite her having done the tough hill training session with PK and others on Harmondsworth Moor on Friday - not because she had.

Roderick Hoffman

Running Shorts

Race result - Greenwich Park 10K - 30 August 2015

Not a brilliant time as there was a very significant hill we had to go up - and as the race was set over 3 laps we had to do it 3 times!
Those that have run the London Marathon and started at Greenwich might remember the hill you have to walk up from the town to the start - that was the one we had to do today! 





53 PIERS KEENLEYSIDE 312 0:47:43 0:47:31 V55 Male 48

Piers Keenleyside

Ed: All competitors had to do that same hill and Pier's 'non-brilliant' time turns out to be that of the fastest V55!

Subject: Autumn Marathon Preparation Workshop with Mara Yamauchi - 30th September 2015

Following the successful workshop we held earlier this year, we have another opportunity for athletes and coaches to attend Mara's Marathon Preparation Workshop, primarily aimed at those preparing for an Autumn marathon. The time and location are as follows:

  • Wednesday 30th September 2015 6:30pm-8:30pm
  • At: Southwark Council Offices, 160 Tooley Street, SE1 2TZ (Nearest Station: London Bridge)

Costs 10 to attend. Further details are contained in the following link: In order to reserve a place at this workshop, could you please contact myself.

Many thanks, Regards,

Guy Spencer

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