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BA Athletics Club News Digest 11th December 2023

Events Calendar - online here

Events marked "#" are points scoring for the club's participation trophy - for the 2023 title.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps] [parkrun run by club members updated 4th October 2023]

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

Results for Next Week

Please help me by sending in your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to Some events will have "Prompts" set up in Facebook. These allow the posting of a single image and some text and make it easy to flip through everyone's entries.

Weekly Athletic Achievement (by Sunday evening) or use the Facebook group prompt:

Participant Event Distance Location Day/Start Time or Duration Details or comment, and other achievements
e.g. Running

Christmas is Coming

Remember to advise Steve Hillier if you intend to bring a food item to the Christmas Event - sadly the mind-reading course we sent him on appears to have been a waste of money, although the subsequent poker win retrospectively funded it. > Steve Hillier

The Ramblers StatueOsterley NOW event

Eight of us turned up at Osterley Park last Wednesday for the NOW event. Four of us went on a 4.5k jog out to see the Ramblers, a statue near Heston farm Estate that always takes passers-by by surprise even if they think that they know the area. The other four walked, jogged or wheeled one lap of the current parkrun course - so just about 2.5km. Afterwards we drank, ate and chatted in the National Trust Cafe.

There are no current plans for future NOW events but you are welcome to propose one - all you need is a location with somewhere to run, car parking, access to toilets and a nearby cafe.

Handicap Run This Week

The format of this month's five mile handicap will be different from usual.

  • The club digital clock will not be at the car park at Bedfont FC
  • Steve Newell is not available to be timekeeper


All runners are asked to record their own time for the two-lap run starting and finishing in the normal place in the car park.  Where possible, runners should set off giving themselves enough time to finish at or close to 7 p.m.  Runners should give their elapsed times to Steve Hillier.

Suggested target times based on previous performances:

Runner Target Departure
Steve Hillier 1:00:45 17:59:15
Benita Scaife 0:53:45 18:06:15
John Scaife 0:53:45 18:06:15
Roderick Hoffman 0:51:30 18:08:30
Stephen Taylor 0:46:45 18:13:15
Amanda Coombs 0:45:45 18:14:15
Scott Davison 0:44:15 18:15:45
Chris Kelly 0:41:15 18:18:45
Julie Barclay 0:38:15 18:21:45
Paul Watt 0:33:45 18:26:15

If you plan to run without a watch please converse with Steve Hillier or Roderick to see how we can time you.

Although this run is self-timed the spirit of the event is such that it should be done without consulting your watch during the run itself. 

Recent Activity Achievements

Only 8 members' achievements were communicated to me - plus Paul with the photo of Julie, Vera and himself.

Colleague Activity Distance Course When Duration Comments
Andy Rayner Various Mon fast walk in the estate in 10m 10s, Wed fast walk to Park and around thence 'dog' trot home in 29m 7s, Fri cycle Cox Green in 20m 25s, Sat Fast walk to Park and around thence 'dog' trot home in 28m 20s.
Barry Walters Running 6km Savernake Park, Bracknell Sun 00:37:36 Ran an out and back tarmac run to Savernake Park in pleasant conditions. Second half was uphill and quicker. Followed this with a one hour body pump routine which included clean and press, bicep curls, squats, planks and press ups. Then a 45 minute cycle with various changes of pace. And started the December challenge...
David Duggan parkrun 5km Baltimore & Annapolis Trail Sat am 00:31:50 Best time for a parkrun in 2023.
Harjit Jhooti Walking 20km Felixstowe Promenade Sat 04:30:26 My usual walk when I go to Suffolk. There are some nice cafes at both ends.
Petra Otto Frustration At home all week Hopefully returning to the gym next week, after seeing the surgeon this Monday. Hamstring still troublesome.
Piers Keenleyside  Race Marathon Malaga Marathon Sun 03:54:58 Legs a bit tired from Valencia and the temperature got up to 22c. Marathon number 205. 9th MV65-69 of 49.
Roderick Hoffman parkrun 5km Yarborough Leisure Centre (Lincoln) Sat am 00:28:56 Three and a half laps around playing fields with 500m towards the end of each lap slightly uphill and into the rain and cold wind. Going onto each new lap was an achievement.
Sarah Gordon parkrun 5km Yarborough Leisure Centre (Lincoln) Sat am 00:41:02 "Worst conditions for a parkrun I've ever done". The weather improved slightly for the Lincoln Ice Sculpture Trail (pictured).

Week Achievement photosThe first picture, from Dinton Pastures last week, had been missed out of last week's digest. There are also a couple of WhatsApp pictures from last week that I haven't managed to include for a reason similar to that experienced by Boris Johnson “I don’t know the exact reason, but it looks as though it’s something to do with the app going down and then coming up again, but somehow automatically erasing all the things between that date when it went down and the moment when it was last backed up.”

parkrun Results for Saturday 9th December

26 activities are recorded below (plus one from last week). Please get in touch if your activity is missing.

Club parkrunner parkrun Run# Pos Time Age Grade Comment
David DUGGAN Baltimore and Annapolis Trail 113 31 0:31:50 51.73% fifth run at Baltimore and Annapolis Trail
David John BIRD Bedfont Lakes 670 8 0:23:26 67.85% run #106, 103rd at Bedfont Lakes
Scott DAVISON Bedfont Lakes 670 20 0:27:11 55.12% 286th run at Bedfont Lakes
Emma Moreton Bedfont Lakes 670 Barcode scanning at Bedfont Seas
Melanie Miller Buckingham 431 185 0:53:56 33.56% 51st parkrun finish of 2023, consolidating obsessive parkrun label, park #146
Ian Haylock Bushy Park 960 52 0:20:31 73.03% run #386, 377th at Bushy, 18 years of parkrunning
Ian CUNNINGHAM Bushy Park 960 335 0:26:31 61.03% run #531, 421st at Bushy
Diana Smith Bushy Park 960 816 1:07:19 35.38% tailwalker at Bushy, run #49
Mike DENNISON Crane Park 535 4 0:20:37 81.33% best age grade% at Crane Park this year. Gold Obsessive run (see below).
Ben CHAYTOW Crane Park 535 14 0:23:33 61.15% 297th run at Crane Park
Janet Smith Dinton Pastures 215 196 0:38:18 49.26% 9th run at Dinton Pastures
Denis FOXLEY Harrow 377 83 0:31:53 58.44% 198th run at Harrow
Joan FOXLEY Harrow 377 Timekeeper at Harrow - 100th volunteer occasion
Alice BANKS Henley-on-Thames 257 20 0:36:52 57.55% F3, 6th run at Henley, only 23 finishers this week including tailwalker. 12 other volunteers!
Harjit Jhooti Kesgrave 417 134 0:52:47 34.29% first run at Kesgrave (Ipswich), park #109
Paul WATT Moors Valley 338 21 0:21:40 72.77% BA fastest male (from Eddie Giles), park #173
Julie BARCLAY Moors Valley 338 46 0:23:45 80.56% BA first lady and best age grade, park #176
Vera Simms Moors Valley 338 153 0:29:49 66.01% run #79, park #34
Maria JOVANI Osterley 453 23 0:22:01 73.58% F3,  23rd at Osterley
Bob BANNISTER Osterley 453 91 0:27:39 61.78% run #487, 52nd at Osterley
Trish MCCABE Osterley 453 104 0:28:58 55.35% 60th run at Osterley, P-Index is 5
Benita SCAIFE Osterley 453 139 0:33:05 65.14% 8th run at Osterley, P-Index is 5
John SCAIFE Osterley 453 140 0:33:07 52.64% 8th run at Osterley, P-Index is 6
Neil FREDIANI Prudhoe Riverside 287 33 0:29:34 57.27% run #309, 33rd at Prudhoe Riverside, best time there since June
Ben Kelly Reading 619 13 0:22:54 56.40% run #93
Steve NEWELL Rickmansworth 281 226 0:48:42 42.16% eighth run at Rickmansworth
Alan ANDERSON Rickmansworth 281 227 0:48:43 55.94% run #687, fifth run at Rickmansworth, 16.5 years of parkrunning
Fiona Bishop Sittingbourne 331 22 0:28:03 72.25% F2, BA first lady, first run at Sittingbourne, park #84
Christopher T KELLY Southall 96 34 0:38:20 41.13% first run at Southall, Wilson Index advances to 100
Roderick HOFFMAN Yarborough Leisure Centre 41 49 0:28:56 56.91% first run at Yarborough, Wilson Index stays on 58, park #365. Just needs "Z" for a double alphabet.
Sarah GORDON Yarborough Leisure Centre 41 79 0:41:02 50.93% first run at Yarborough, Wilson Index stays on 32, park #148  Two "Y" s, but no "J", "U", "V" or "Z"!
Melanie Miller Coventry 619 407 0:38:44 46.73% [Late result, missed last week] Gold Obsessive achievement (50 parkruns over the year)

parkrun Review 9th December 2023

This week we look at Hertfordshire and a county parts of which are very familiar to club members who have been involved with annual “Green Belt Relay”.  Oddly, three parkruns which seemed well established have ceased to be – at least partly because of the perceived impact of parkrunners on the flora and fauna. A much loved and challenging parkrun at Tring through Forestry Commission land never restarted after the Covid19 interruption and neither has the run at Ellenbrook Fields (Hatfield, birthplace of the Comet jetliner).  The pretty and hilly run at Heartwood Forest (Sandridge) was replaced, after only 47 runs ending in October 2018, by Jersey Farm, only a mile away, the following month, as a new event with an inaugural.

Rickmansworth parkrun is popular with members.  Two flat lakeside laps, a large free carpark and a café within yards of the finish.  South Oxhey very much a cross-country course on grass with ups and downs.  The Aldenham course is flat and features two laps round a reservoir Aldenham along wooded trails.  The Cassiobury course in Watford is another flat one with a potentially fast tarmac surface.   Those four parkruns are all reachable by Underground/Overground.

The newest parkrun in the county is Leavesden Country which started in October 2022.  The gently undulating course includes a woodland trail and the grass surrounds of football pitches.  A large car park and café close to the start/finish.  Gadebridge Park is in Hemel Hempstead and includes a significant proportion on grass with a few ups and downs and also features a narrow two-way section through an underpass where lane discipline is rather important!  The St Albans parkrun which started back in 2012 is held in Verulamium Park and is a fairly flat 3-lap course round a lake.  Pay and Display NCP car-parking by the museum is close-by.  So we have a cluster of eight parkruns in the southwest corner of the country.  Up to the north we have Letchworth and Stevenage reachable via the A1(M) and further to the east Panshanger and the strikingly scenic Westmill.  All of these include running up and down hills on grass or tracks you will remember.  Barclay Park in Hoddesdon (off the A10) has a four lap winter course and a three lap summer course with some slopes to negotiate.  The final parkrun in Hertfordshire is Castle Park in Bishops Stortford near the M11 and not far from Stansted Airport.  Castle parkrun started in September 2017 essentially a replacement for Hatfield Forest (in Essex, just 5km away on the other side of the M11) which was run for the last time in the same month with a record innings closing attendance of 424. 

Elsewhere, for those looking to progress their alphabet challenge the newish parkrun at Quakers Walk (Devizes, Wilshire) has now settled down after 3 months and could prove useful.  The paths are rather narrow (no double buggies please) but any gradients are much less demanding than the Queen Elizabeth parkrun! (late news – cancelled on 25th December due to lack of volunteers). 

This week was dominated by the rain.  Scores of UK parkruns were cancelled, some at quite short notice, causing the dedicated to quickly change plans while thousands of others obviously stayed in bed!. No UK parkrun attracted as many as even 900 runners this week, Bushy being the best attended with 816.  With Higginson, Marlow one of the cancelled parkruns, Alice Banks (36:52) was one of only 23 finishers at Henley-on-Thames parkrun and that included the tailwalker.  There were a dozen other volunteers – a big effort for a small field and there were plenty more events with even fewer participants. 

There was one inaugural in UK this week – Battlestead Croft (Burton on Trent) attracted over 100 runners with over 30 volunteers helping the event to get off to a good start.  The course is on grass round the Burton Rugby club grounds and dogs are not permitted. 

Chris Kelly (38:20) waited almost two years before checking out one of our newer local parkruns at Southall.  This week was run number 96 which Chris needed to finally get his Wilson Index up to 100.  That means he has now run at parkruns with every event number from 1 to 100 and he will listening out for somewhere celebrating 100 and going along the following week because he now needs a #101 ! 

Steve Newell

Matters Arising - Hertfordshire parkruns

There are 16 Hertfordshire parkruns listed, including the three that have closed. Roderick has run all 16, though only with a total of 22 runs. Steve Newell has run 14 of them with 22 runs, missing Castle Park and Tring. Former member Richard Ruffell ran 12 of the parkruns in 63 Hertfordshire runs before leaving us - including St Albans 23 times, the challenging Tring 13 times and Cassiobury 12 times. John Taylor has only run two of the parkruns but that includes Rickmansworth 32 times. Tony Barnwell is just behind having run there 27 times. Keith Johnson has run at St Albans 22 times. Joan Foxley has 23 Rickmansworth parkruns to her name, seven more than Denis Foxley has.

45 different colleagues have run at various Hertfordshire parkruns. 27 members have run at Rickmansworth, 18 at Cassiobury and 14 members have already run at the relatively new Leavesden Country. Next largest is St Albans with 12. I'm the only club runner to have run at Castle Park. Of the three that have closed, Tring was the most popular with 8 club colleagues having run there - including for instance Dave Barnards only three parkruns. The start and km markers were still in the Tring park last time I checked - though I wouldn't recommend a freedom run until a drier period.

Gold Obsessives and Bingo

The Gold Obsessive challenge is given when you complete 50 parkruns in the year. Mike Dennison got his this week, following Melanie Miller last week. But David Duggan is ahead of those two with 52 and Paul Watt and Julie Barclay have 57 so, with three Saturdays remaining plus Christmas Day a total above 60 is possible! The club record is probably David Duggan's 58 in 2019.

Others who look like they could make the Gold grade by the end of the year are Alan Anderson and Harjit Jhooti (on 49), Trish McCabe (on 48) and Maria Jovani (on 47). I will quickly say that some of the reward money should be given to the non-running 5k event volunteers who make all of these totals possible.

Doing many parkruns in a year also helps with the Annual Bingo achievement. I'm aware of two winners this year with Paul Watt having finished with times including all of the "3" seconds (so "03", "13", "23", "33", "43" and "53") and Bob Bannister having finished with all of the "5" second times.

No one has achieved a row of ten results (for instance all the seconds from "00" to "09"). Just one right result away is Maria Jovani needing a "58". At least seven of us are two results away -  Alan Anderson, Dave Duggan, Harjit Jhooti, Julie Barclay, Melanie Miller, Trish McCabe and Steve Newell.

I don't think that we've ever had a member complete the row of ten in any full year. John Lennon did this in 2014, but that was before he joined the club (and he has subsequently left). In that year John got all the seconds from "30" to "39" in just 33 runs - with all the scoring runs being at Bedfont Lakes (and he got one spare "34" at Fulham Palace).

Low Numbers in the Rain

There were 90,560 finishers of UK parkruns last Saturday - the lowest number this year. Many parkruns were cancelled and others had low numbers - for instance the 33 at Stockley Country was our lowest total ever and only one third of our average.

Bedfont Lakes run #670 had 65 finishers - its lowest total since the 62 finishers at event #198 on 23rd March 2013. Now, that event was a special one for me - it was my 53rd parkrun and the first time I had run at the same parkrun twice. I returned to Bedfont Lakes to collect my "50" shirt and end my streak of 52 parkruns with no repeats. I finished in 29:45. As a Club Featured parkrun other club members joined me there including, doing their first ever Bedfont Lakes runs, Chris Kelly (3rd in 19:38), Piers Keenleyside (23:38), Steve Newell (30:53) and Sarah Gordon (39:13). Other established Bedfont Lakes runners linked to the club were also there including Neil Frediani doing his 50th Bedfont Lakes parkrun. More details in an old digest from those days: baRUNNER News Digest (but take care - not everything written in that digest is the gospel truth).

Roderick Hoffman


Full club parkrun database - {read access to club parkrun database} - Download or save a copy, and explore at your leisure.

Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Roderick Hoffman

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