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BA Athletics Club News Digest 3rd August 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
27th July (Wed 29th) Neil Roderick Celebratory run evening (results below) none Best weekend exercise achievement
3rd August Heathrow Mile (Wed 5th) and Solo Mile   Best weekend exercise achievement
10th August Street-O Norbiton (see below) Suggestions for an August Run of the Month?
17th August Track x5 or Ross Barkley 5k  
Week 24th or 31st Aug Scrabble Rescramble  
Wed. 26th Aug or 2nd Sept Speedbird Ladies (proposed / CIE)  

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.  For the shared activities we need to continue to work with the social distancing gap of 2metres. 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.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge - The Heathrow and Solo Miles

It is the first week of a new month, so it is time for our mile runs. There are two choices this week - you can either join us at Heathrow on Wednesday for a run on the traditional Bath Road "Dream Mile" course OR you can do your own one mile course and send me the time.

Heathrow Bath Road Dream Mile - Wednesday 5th August start time 12:45. This offers a straight mile on well maintained pavement with no side crossings. There are usually a few pedestrians but on the whole we have the course to ourselves.

Starting at the eastern end of the course on the south pavement of the A4 Bath Road near Newport Road and the Heathrow Fire Station (what3words "///scrap,define,drop") with the finish at the parking sign post before the pump (not the post with the camera) ("///stroke.slides.comet"). Free street parking is available in Harmondsworth Village but allow plenty of time for your warm-up jog to the start. Alternately you can park next to the finish for a relatively small fee for an hour.  Please tell me to expect you since I will need to fill in the risk assessment form to cover all those present.

Roderick Hoffman

If you are unable to join us on the Bath Road on Wednesday 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

Club Time-Trial - results

Last Wednesday 18 of us ran on the same course at roughly the same time and for most of us that was the first time we had run together in four months. We also had David Duggan supporting me on timekeeping and both Harry Wild and Tom Rowley were there to marvel at seeing people running on the same course.

July Time Trial

To help us remember who we all are, from left to right in the socially distanced photograph we have: John "every which way" Scaife, Benita Scaife, Amanda Coombs, Scott Davison, Denis Foxley, a group of picnickers nothing to do with us, Alan Friar, someone hiding behind a beard claiming to be Graham Taylor, Simon "still at BA" Turton, Julie Barclay, Paul Watt, Steve Newell, Roderick "race director" Hoffman, Harry "always ready in case he is needed" Wild and David "marshal" Duggan. Thanks to Neil "memories are made of this" Frediani for the photograph.

The format of the event was a time-trial designed to avoid a mass start, a mass finish or bunching on the course. The course was the unusual length of 4.3k - determined as the longest single loop that could be designed on Harmondsworth Moor without venturing out to Saxon Lake. The course was winding and it was undulating with five distinct climbs. The club owns 33 yellow-board arrows and I deployed 32 of them on the course to indicate each turn and the very occasional straight. Despite the arrows, and the contents of five large bags of flour, John still managed to go astray and passed other runners head on.

Name form Start Finish Run Time Position vs form Comment
Graham Taylor 00:30:39 18:30:45 18:56:17 00:25:32 11 91% Most improved (vs 5k parkrun time of 30:39)
Benita Scaife 00:33:23 18:33:00 19:01:55 00:28:55 16 94%
Denis Foxley 00:29:01 18:31:00 18:56:13 00:25:13 10 94%
Alan Friar 00:32:00 18:31:30 18:59:42 00:28:12 14 96%
Stephen Taylor 00:24:44 18:29:15 18:51:06 00:21:51 8 96%
Scott Davison 00:24:11 18:29:30 18:50:55 00:21:25 7 96%
Mike Dennison 00:20:07 18:30:30 18:48:47 00:18:17 1 99% Fastest male
Julie Barclay 00:22:27 18:30:00 18:50:28 00:20:28 5 99%
Simon Turton 00:23:15 18:34:30 18:55:48 00:21:18 6 100%
Neil Frediani 00:28:31 18:38:30 19:04:39 00:26:09 13 100%
Steve Hillier 00:31:10 18:33:15 19:01:51 00:28:36 15 100% And Brentford got through to Wembley
Chris Kelly 00:21:09 18:31:45 18:51:17 00:19:32 4 100%
Maria Jovani 00:20:51 18:32:15 18:51:33 00:19:18 2 101% Fastest Female
Roderick Hoffman 00:28:30 n/a n/a 00:26:25 n/a 101% Non-competitive run earlier in the week
Paul Watt 00:20:37 18:29:45 18:49:08 00:19:23 3 102%
Steve Newell 00:40:00 18:33:30 19:13:24 00:39:54 18 108%
Amanda Coombs 00:24:41 18:32:45 18:57:28 00:24:43 9 109%
John Scaife 00:33:02 18:32:00 19:05:23 00:33:23 17 110% Got lost after 3k, ran well over 4.3k.
Trish McCabe 00:25:10 18:29:00 18:54:41 00:25:41 12 111% Most in need of training opportunities

The fastest runners on the day were Mike Dennison and Maria Jovani. I had found 5k times for everyone and used these to reduce the likelihood of people running round together. It is pleasing to see how many of us finished in the 99% to 101% range against those 5k times.

No Covid-19 incidents were reported. The same format is being proposed for a Speedbird Ladies Race to be held around the end of August.

Roderick Hoffman

109 Year Loss

After the event, and entirely separate from it, Neil and I enjoyed a drink in the Five Bells with around six running colleagues. For me it was a drink to mark the start of my 60th year, for Neil it was the end of an era since he has now left BA after 36 years' service. Julie Barclay and Paul Watt were also running with us last week for the last time as BA employees - after a combined service length of 73 years. The club does still have active BA employees amongst its membership, but these are starting to become few and far between. All three of Neil, Julie and Paul intend to stay as members of BAAC...though we may not get to see Neil in the flesh very often as he moves to Newcastle this week.

Norbiton Street-O LocationFuture Midweek Challenge - Street-O Norbiton

Next week's midweek challenge will be another Street-O event but this time instead of visiting the postboxes near you I'm asking colleagues to run a specific Street-O course in Norbiton and use an App to record their progress.

The image shows the location of the map with the circles showing control points. You are allowed to start your run at ANY of the control points. You then have one hour to pass by as many of the other controls as you can, and to get back to where you started from. If you take longer than one hour then time penalties will apply. The App, if correctly installed and started(!), will track your run and will bleep loudly when it gets close enough to the centre of each control point to count. If you have a Garmin watch and don't want to run with the phone there is a Garmin download which will also perform the function but it is said to be more fiddly to set up than the App.

I will let you do your "Midweek" run at any time next week from Tuesday 11th to 5pm on Monday 17th.

More details in next week's digest - but something for you to think about between now and then. You can pair up if you like, but do so within Covid-19 guidelines.

Roderick Hoffman

PS: If you want a head start then you can find out how to download the APP from

PPS: And for those of us who take part in the regular South London Street-O series there is the news that this year's series is expected to start in September - though it may do so with an App run option.

SOLO Activity Achievement Weekend 31st July to 3rd August 2020

This week 24 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements (although there is a hint that others were also active but didn't report, or did report but I didn't spot their reports).

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Amanda Coombs Open water swim 1.67km Shepperton Fri 00:29:53 The only sport I could manage in that heat.
Andy Rayner Cycling 10miles Sat 00:47:30 Pleased with bike ride. Also getting back to running with midweek XC in 50:30.
Barry Walters Running 13km Swinley Forest and back Sun am 01:10:47 Struggled in the early stages but felt better as run went on.
Ben Cooper Running 3.79km BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff) Sat 00:17:47 Also ran 17:54 both Sunday and Monday. Last chance tomorrow to improve my best for my shift.
Benita Scaife Running Sonning to Caversham Fri am Then, after coffee at Christchurch Meadow, walked back
Chris Stockwell Walking 11.6miles Windsor Great Park Sun am 03:22:00 Been avoiding weekends due to the number of people about and lack of distancing. My midweek mileage has compensated, keeping to my target of 100 miles per month.
Christine Munden Running 8km Little Wormwood Scrubs Sat Including 5k time-trial. Too hot, four hours sleep and no breakfast either.
Clara Halket Running 16km Virginia Water Sun am In Neil Frediani's honour, 2km warm up walk, 13km run with a loop of the 5km route he measured for the BA100 Relay, 1km warm down walk.
Denis Foxley Running 5.5miles Ruislip Woods and Common Sun 00:59:00
Eddie Giles Swim 200m Parkwood Gym, Salisbury Sun am 00:15:00 I am a slow swimmer trying to get further & faster!!
Harjit Jhooti Cycling 34.74km Aylesbury, Tring, Wendover Fri am 03:32:44 It was a scorcher. I nearly melted!
Jacqui Musselwhite Running 5km Brooklands Sat 00:26:12 Meeting with Tom Rowley, Julie Barclay, Paul Watt, Kay Trinder and Fiona Bishop. Also cycled there and back on the canal and river.
Joe Nolan Running 1mile Wraysbury/Sunnymeads Sun am 00:10:14 Also breathless from reading Clara's training blog!
John Scaife Running Sonning to Caversham Fri am Then, after coffee at Christchurch Meadow, walked back
Keith Johnson Running 10.1km St Albans area Sat am 00:50:45 Just the one run this weekend as working again. Must try and do more next weekend!
Kelly Davis CaniCross 3.1km Middle of nowhere Sat 00:23:36 Did my first CaniCross today. I think I have found my heaven of running!
Maria Jovani Running 12.42miles Three parkrun venues and Feltham Track Sat am 01:43:08 Followed by a visit to Hampton Pool
Mike Dennison Running 16.45km Bushy Park and riverside Sun am 01:25:57 Longer run
Petra Otto Running 6km Stamford Sat On top of a one hour gym session for the 7th consecutive day
Roderick Hoffman Running 15km Three freedom parkruns Sat 01:40:16 Canons Park, Sunny Hill and Harrow
Scott Davison Running 5km Bedfont Lakes Sat lunch 00:25:36 Plus some 1min planks with 15sec recovery and press ups all good
Stephen Taylor Running 17miles Big loop around Greenford Sat am 02:57:54
Steve Hillier Cycling 4.6miles Three stations ride Sat pm 00:49:12 Another on a "three" theme this afternoon.  It was warm and humid but not too windy. Three stations:  Eastcote, Ruislip Manor, South Ruislip.
Trish McCabe Running 6.56miles Bushy Park Sun am 01:08:00

CaniCross is added this week (this is where your run is enhanced by one dog power) and also a "normal" inside swim.

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}

Club Participation

Club ParticipationA quick graph showing club participation since the lockdown started. So for instance last week, of Monday 27th July, we had 20 individuals involved in the Midweek Challenge (the Time-Trial) and 24 reported Weekend Achievements. Many individuals did both.

We started off in late March with 30 to 35 of us reporting weekend achievements, but recently that has dropped to 20 to 25 each week. The midweek challenges have attracted variable numbers originally up to 25 each week, more recently 15 to 20.

Suggestions for new weekend or midweek challenges will always be welcome.

Roderick Hoffman

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes from last week underlined or struck-through] (no changes)

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 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.

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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