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BA Athletics Club News Digest 19th March 2018


  • Wednesday 21st March - NOW (non-office workers) run - Rickmansworth Aquadrome* from 12:00 (see below)
  • Wednesday 28th March - 5 mile handicap - Cranford Community College from 18:00*
  • Thursday 5th April - Dream Mile - Bath Road 12:45*

New members and potential 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.

*Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]

Not for you, no longer interested?  remove me please. / Difficulty viewing this? Read it from the website:- Latest.shtml

Facebook: (formal "BARunner" page),  BA Runner Facebook Group (ask to join)

Inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at

Test event at Bedfont Football Club on Wednesday 14th March - Report

Last Wednesday six of us met up at Bedfont & Feltham Football and Social Club to check out the facilities as a potential future base for the club. Overall we were impressed and the suitability of the venue for our club will be discussed at the next Committee Meeting.  That meeting will be held from 19:45 at the Cranford Community College meeting room on Wednesday 4th April - please attend this if you have a view or questions on this topic.

The club is easily accessible with an amply sized carpark and close to Hatton Cross Tube station and three bus routes. The changing rooms were to an OK standard and the showers were hot without being scolding. The bar was pleasant and includes a second room that we might be able to use for socials - bringing in our own food since the bar only supplies peanuts and crisps. The cost would work out very cheap compared to the current College arrangement though there are discussions still to be held on this. For running routes these streets around Hatton Road are very suitable for running on and it is a 2.5k warm-up jog (or short drive) to Bedfont Lakes park for greener running.

Roderick Hoffman

NOW Rickmansworth locationClub NOW run this Wednesday from 12:00 at Rickmansworth (for Non-Office Workers...and those Office Workers able to stretch a lunch hour into two)

Meet by the café at Rickmansworth Aquadrome at 12 noon ready to run for about 45 minutes. The run will follow the tracks used by the Rickmansworth parkrun and be flat and scenic around the lakes of the Aquadrome. There is a large free car park and toilets available. After the run, there is the option to take some refreshment in the cafe. And if you are not up to running just now...we'll meet you in the cafe from 12:45.

Roderick Hoffman / Steve Newell more info, email Steve.

Brian Forester on the move....and red shirts...

You’ll be interested to know that our Honorary Life Vice President, Brian Forrester, has been on the move:  from one hospital to another.  He didn’t enjoy the journey in a bumpy ambulance! 

West Middlesex Hospital, where he has been resident for nearly six months, have transferred Brian to St Marys, Paddington, where he is settling into his new surroundings.  We’re not sure what the next steps are, but we will keep you updated.  Brian sends his good wishes to all club members, and if anyone is in the area, he would be pleased to see any visitors.  He is in the Lindo wing, five minutes' walk from Paddington station.

Many of you will know that Brian donated a large number of red cotton T shirts, sporting a club insignia designed by Mark Taylor, to all club members.  This was a little while ago, and new members will not have had the chance to receive one.  If you would like one of these shirts, please let me know, and I’ll make sure you can arrange to pick one up.

Steve Hillier

Club parkrun results for Saturday 17th March 2018

Alan at the finish at GunnersburyAlan and Becky

Alan Anderson finishing on Saturday flanked by Joe Nolan, Steve Hillier and Gunnersbury Event Director Arlene Gallagher (+1). Alan having his barcode scanned for the 500th time and Alan with Becky Thurtell (and note the snow coming down on the day).

17th Mar 2018 family & friends time parkrun commentary grade
Alan Anderson 34:38 Gunnersbury run #500 64%
Becky Thurtell 24:11 Gunnersbury run #440 76%
Kerstin Luksch 23:57 Gunnersbury run #250 63%
Joe Nolan 34:39 Gunnersbury run #300 47%
John Coffey 27:26 Gunnersbury 1st run at Gunnersbury 70%
Alice Banks 27:39 Gunnersbury 1st run at Gunnersbury 70%
Tony Barnwell 38:04 Gunnersbury 1st run at Gunnersbury 50%
Ian Cunningham 23:25 Gunnersbury run #321 66%
David Duggan 27:45 Gunnersbury course pb 57%
Neil Frediani 27:39 Gunnersbury course pb 59%
Steve Hillier 34:39 Gunnersbury run #4 48%
Roderick Hoffman 30:41 Gunnersbury run #289 51%
Trish McCabe 27:30 Gunnersbury run #228 56%
Steve Newell 37:01 Gunnersbury run #304, 124th at Gunnersbury 50%
John Scaife 26:03 Gunnersbury course pb 64%
Jeremy Short 25:34 Gunnersbury run #98 61%
Steve Taylor 26:35 Gunnersbury 18th run at Gunnersbury 58%
John Lennon 32:21 Hazelwood (Sunbury) Inaugural, BA park #391 48%
Sarah Gordon 34:55 Bedworth 1st run at Bedworth, park #93 56%
Scott Davison 24:03 Bedfont Lakes run #245 59%
Chris Evans 24:43 Bedfont Lakes run #197 61%
Bob Bannister 26:06 Bedfont Lakes run #308 62%
Ian Cockram 50:47 Bedfont Lakes run #425, tailwalker 29%
Jonathan Cox 24:14 Crane Park run #349, 56th at Crane 65%
Petra Otto 34:13 March run #44, 39th at March 60%
David Tyas 21:43 Osterley run #498, 1st at Osterley 70%
Caroline Cockram 25:37 Rickmansworth 1st run at Ricky, club rec (F) 65%
Julie Barclay 23:09 Rushmoor 1st run at Rushmoor in 2018 76%
Paul Watt 23:44 Rushmoor run #69, 42nd at Rushmoor 64%
Chris Kelly 21:12 Swansea Bay course pb, club record 71%
Jacqui Musselwhite 24:04 Woking run #55, 52nd at Woking 69%
Alastair Heslop volunteer Guildford run director - decision made to call run off
Denis Foxley volunteer Harrow run director
Joan Foxley volunteer Harrow timekeeper
Anne Bannister volunteer Bedfont Lakes marshal
Tom Rowley volunteer Woking marshal

The latest parkrunday turned out to be truly memorable (and not just for those able to claim Irish ancestors) with a great gathering at Gunnersbury for Alan Anderson’s well trailed 500th parkrun supported by friends and more than a dozen members.  A chilly breeze and snow flurries failed to hold anyone back.  Becky Thurtell (440th run), an old rival from his Bushy Park days came along to wish Alan well. Former protégé Kerstin Luksch (leaving to join Ealing Eagles) had held back so she could complete her 250th on the same day as Alan.  Club stalwart Joe Nolan would have completed his 300th months ago but for a series of injuries.  John Coffey, Alice Banks and Tony Barnwell all ran at Gunnersbury for the first time.

The BAAC Team at GunnersburyEd: Conspicuously missing from this BAAC team photograph is Alan Anderson because he was busy setting the course (with Steve Newell also)! I'd also sent Alice Banks away before getting the photograph taken.  Apologies were received from some unable to attend Alan's 500th including Tom Rowley, Julie Barclay, Paul Watt, Benita Scaife and Bill Byrne.

Elsewhere John Lennon (32:21) attended the inaugural run at Hazelwood (London Irish, Sunbury) to establish a club record which may only last a week or two!  Sarah Gordon (34:55) broke new ground at Bedworth parkrun near Coventry which only started last month.

Caroline Cockram (35:37) was at Rickmansworth for the first time and lowered the female club record there by bettering Alice Banks’ time by three seconds.  Chris Kelly (21:12) improved the club record at Swansea Bay.

The suggested date for a visit to Victoria Dock parkrun is Easter Saturday 31st March.  Public transport is recommended and The Emirates Cable Car from Greenwich should be operating.

Mole Valley Inaugural AttendanceSteve Newell

Updated parkrun stats - club parkrun stats

new parkruns

As a side-line I produce forecasts and analysis of attendees at inaugural events of new UK parkruns.  On the face of it my forecasts appear inaccurate, but they are forecasts for what the attendance would be without action by the parkrun to either encourage or discourage attendance at the inaugural (most these days discourage to ensure that the event is manageable on day one, and not too much of a shock for non-running locals).  My forecast for Mole Valley was low - 267 forecast whereas 354 made it despite a "quiet launch" call. Assumptions immediately after the run was that the number was high because of the cancellation of Guildford and because of busloads of uber-tourists from far-afield. The benefit of actually looking at the parkrun provided data is the understanding shown in this diagram that most of the attendees had only come a few miles from the nearby established parkruns.

Qantas Newsletter

This quarter's Qantas Running Club newsletter contains an article written by myself on parkrun tourism and other parkrun and running related content. There is also a request for a new editor to step forward for the newsletter, I will not be applying (unless Oz residence is included).

attachments/Runways - QRC Newsletter -Mar -Apr 2018.docx

Roderick Hoffman

But it is not just Alan, Steve and Roderick making noise about parkrun...

Just before his parkrun on Saturday Ian Cockram had a spot on LOVESport Radio with Iwan Thomas: LoveSport Breakfast Show 17Mar18 (from 23mins).  It probably didn't disrupt his warm-up since on Saturday at Bedfont Ian was Tail Walker.  Iwan Thomas (44) is a former Welsh and GB 400m sprinter and parkruns at Netley Abbey (when not broadcasting) and finishes these days in 20 to 21 minutes.

Warm Weather Training Camp - Portugal

This winter's weather has proved somewhat challenging for runners, particularly those training for a Spring marathon and a small group representing BAAC at this year's London Marathon, comprising of Bob & Anne Bannister and Zoe Ostley, recently travelled out to the Algarve with a few like-minded training buddies for some warm weather training. This is Bob's summary of their week away...

Portugal Training CampOn our arrival at Faro the weather was unseasonably wet and this was pretty much the theme for the week, save for a couple of sunny spring-like mornings between the frequent rain showers. No complaints though, at least we would be training in warm rain as opposed to the snow, hail and cold rain back home!

On Thursday our early morning flight out of Gatwick meant that we arrived in time for lunch at our home for the week, the Victoria Sport & Beach Hotel in Falesia, just a couple of miles west of Vilamoura. With its pristine new track awaiting us and the other 120 or so eager athletes joining us from all over the UK on the trip organised by Mike Gratton's 2.09 Events, the Victoria proved to be a wonderful base for our week's activities. Our midday arrival allowed us plenty of time to settle in before a 4pm five mile run along the coast towards Vilamoura and back along the beautiful sandy beach to the hotel. A gentle introduction before the all hard work ahead!

Our daily routine generally comprised of an early morning easy 5-6 mile run before breakfast, then plenty of leisure time and lunch before a core strengthening, pilates or yoga session mid-afternoon followed by running drills and technique sessions on the track or the local cross-country course. On most evenings preceding dinner there were very informative talks by Mike Gratton and coaches Nick Anderson and Tom Craggs with plenty of Q&A interaction with the runners.

An early 7.30am start on Sunday allowed us 3 hours or so to squeeze in a long run before breakfast. The course set out for us was out along the coast towards Vilamoura then heading inland to our drinks and feeding station 4 miles or so into the run to the start of a 3 mile loop. The plan was to complete as many loops of your choice before re-tracing the route out back to base. This provided options of running 8, 11, 14, 17, 20 or 23 miles. Having the drinks/feeding station at the beginning of each loop really highlighted the benefit of having your own fluid and refueling options available at regular intervals, particularly later on in the run (something to remember for the big day!). Just as an extra bonus, we did have the joy of coping with a very strong headwind over the final 3 miles or so back to the hotel.

With our long run out of the way, Monday was a bit of a recovery day for some with a steady early morning run and a core session and tempo run in the afternoon. Tuesday kicked off at 10.00am with the annual Falesia 5k race. An international field with virtually every member of the 2.09 group joining local runners and a large international contingent including German clubs Potsdamer Laufclub and Hamburger Laufladen competing on a testing hilly course. The first 7 finishers were timed inside 16 minutes and GB international Tracey Barlow broke the female course record in 16.31 (BA runners, Bob Bannister 98th in 25:52, Anne Bannister 107th in 26:36 and Zoe Ostley 141st in 36:02).

Wednesday was our last full day on the camp before leaving for home on Thursday morning. The day started with a medium/long run of 6-12 miles and in the afternoon we had a fun session on the track with everyone attempting to run a mile in your predicted time without the aid of a timing device, followed by a light hearted relay which unsurprisingly turned out to be very competitive! For our final evening's entertainment everyone met up at a local restaurant for a BBQ meal, a few drinks and then our farewells (until we do it all over again next year!).

If you feel like getting away for a week or so in late winter for some highly organised training in warmer weather (there is also a 10 day option) this training camp is highly recommended.


Bob Bannister

Ed: Sounds far more successful than my "Altitude Training" - Upon my arrival in Colorado I managed the one mile high parkrun but the following week, at 3,000m, could only manage two 2k runs before collapsing breathless and on my final full day skiing I fell heavily, bruising a rib, so consequently I haven't been able to exploit my greater oxygen capturing ability in my runs since. That's my excuse anyway.

Ending the Curse????

This comment relating to Paul Watt’s earning of the Most Improved Runner Trophy last week reminded me that I had planned to write a brief report of my year with the accursed trophy. "Ed: In some previous years the "Most Improved" trophy has seemed a curse with the recipient spending much of the following year out with injury - but we don't believe in superstitions, do we?"

Thanks to the above, it was with some trepidation that I received the most improved runner trophy last year having improved times at 7 distances in my 60th year. The year started well with a half marathon pb 4 days after receiving the trophy which when age adjusted was better than the 1:29:xx which I recorded as a 28 year old in 1985.  Then it all seemed to fall apart, a slower listless half marathon a few weeks later then a much slower London marathon than planned (started way too fast), followed by an uneventful Green Belt Relay (plenty of injury opportunities there) and an eventful 10mile trail race in the North Downs where I fell twice in the flat mile 9. Plenty of blood and a jolt but not a run preventing injury. Then it was off to Snowdon for a trail half where running down a mountain was fraught with danger, thankfully it was a dry run. No injury but I did hit the wall having screwed up my feeding strategy, it was only a half after all! Plenty more injury opportunities came my way with trail runs on holiday in Austria and South Africa and then the Beachy Head 10k where overtaking people on a very steep muddy descent to the finish was dangerous. A few cross countries were completed safely as well and then running in snow for a few days, still no expected injury , finally I could hand over the trophy and relax.

Can you be too slow to get a running injury?? Have I broken the curse?? Good luck Paul Watt, you are a bit faster than me so be very careful.

PS I fell today in the woods but only suffered a bruised hand :-)

Neil Frediani

Running Shorts

  • Notice, if you will my time over my road/XC for 10Mar was 31.59: so, 'Steady as she goes!' Next date is for Thursday this week as I try to jog this course twice a week, interim. Thanks for taking notice.  Andy Rayner.

Tom's Diary - Tunnel Vision

Following Ian Cunningham's Southend Pier Marathon effort last week Tom has had some correspondence from a friend about a couple of Tunnel Marathons she ran:

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel Marathon 4th August 2002.  The marathon started at 2am and it was actually 58 laps. I can’t remember what time I ran but I know I was 2nd lady; 1st lady was Babs from Poland who I became quite good friends with as we bumped into each other frequently whilst racing in Europe. 

Ed: The event was to celebrate the tunnel's centenary and there were 100 competitors. The winner that day was Hugh Jones (London Marathon 1982 winner) in a time of 2:45:40.

The Elbtunnel Marathon 26th Jan 2003: Finish time 3:27:41 - I was 3rd lady this time.  Babs also ran but she was much slower as she ran with her daughter.  It also happened to be Babs’ birthday and we all had champagne and cake at the finish.  We all had great fun! This tunnel marathon was 48 laps over 870.8m, again slightly rising at each end at a total 150m climb.  It was much wider than Greenwich as it was for road traffic beneath the River Elbe.

Ramona Thevenet

Next week - has anyone run a Marathon entirely or mainly on a bridge?

Next Digest?

Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send it to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at

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