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British Airways Athletics Club: Street Sentences Event Instructions
This is a fun competitive event that can be run at any time during the period specified.
The objective is for each participant to collect a set of letters based on the initial letters of the streets around where they live and construct an apt or amusing phase or sentence from those letters.
The letters are to be collected during a single exercise activity that could be a 30 minute run or a 50 minute normal walk (or a 40 minute powerwalk, though in our recent mile walk exercise no one other than the author proved capable of such). Letters are collected by visiting the street name signs of local streets - the council maintained signs that identify streets, avenues, roads, paths even in some cases roundabouts but not places (such as "Welcome to Hillingdon") nor commercial signs, building names, school signs, church identifiers etc.. Bus Stops that are named with a particular street are also permitted signs. Each street can only be counted once, no matter how many street name signs have been visited. In the unlikely event that you have two identical street names close to you only one will be counted (probably the one that gets all of the post).
How long you take, and the distance you have travelled, has no impact on the result of this event other than: if you exceed the time limit then for each minute or part minute you are late back you need to remove a letter from those collected. Letters are to be removed from those collected last - so if you got back 2.5 minutes late you would have to remove the last three streets visited. The penalty is the same for those walking the event since they should be able to predict their timely return more accurately.
Each person has to finish at the same location that they started from. This should be either their home address or their work address, with one permitted adjustment - you may start and finish at the nearest street-sign to your front door, or your workplace's front door or gate. Thus anyone who lives at the far end of a long cul-de-sac is not disadvantaged.
In addition to street names you are also allowed to score zebra crossings with each zebra crossing visited being counted as either a "Z" or an "X". No other substitutions are permitted.
I look at the complete set of letters "AABBBGHIIMOORTTUUWWYZ" and decide that "ZOOM" might be a good word to include in an apt phase. After a great deal of head scratching I eventually come up with "Aargh, buy zoom bib twit" which may not make much sense but does use all of the letters other than one "u" and one "w".
Examples of Street Name signs are shown in the image below:
So, just to confirm, you have until the closing date to do your activity, accumulate a set of letters and come up with your phase or sentence. Email your entry to the judge including your activity type (run, walk, powerwalk), the time taken, the GPS map and/or the list of streets claimed and the phase or sentence submitted to be judged. Towards the end of the period participants are encouraged to post photographs, GPS trace of their route and comments on the letters collected on Facebook. But it is considered unsporting to post a good result early in the event period.
Once all of the results have been verified winners can be announced.
The chart shows the number of streets in London starting with each letter of the alphabet. This has been estimated from the street index of a copy of the London AtoZ.
Letters marked "*" and "**" are considered rare.
Letters can be used as follows:
Any questions? Contact the organiser: Roderick Hoffman