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BA Athletics Club News Digest 22nd May 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]

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

2023 Concorde One Hour on 4th June and Speedbird Ladies on Wednesday 21st June

With two weeks to go we've got 18 registrations for the Concorde event and with a month to go 18 also for the Speedbird Ladies. We haven't yet got three BA first claim runners, so will have difficulty entering a team in our own event!  Please do what you can do to promote these club events. 

We will need volunteers on the day, particularly for the Concorde event.

>>> Roderick Hoffman

2023 Track and Field – Week One Reports - a quiet start to the season

The first week of our competitive T&F season involved matches in both the Veteran’s and Rosenheim Leagues.

Last Monday, the British Airways team travelled to the Vets match at Battersea.  It was a brilliantly sunny evening, but turned really chilly by the end of the event.  Mike Ball led the way on the track, cheered on by his currently injured son.  Mike finished with competitive times in the 100m and 400m.  Steve and Janet covered the field events, with Janet taking comfortable victories in both discus and shot.

Mike and Steve moved on to Kingston on Wednesday to tackle the Rosenheim League.  A wide range of ages take part in this competition, from Under-18s through to the Vets categories.  The final races of the evening were two exciting 4 x 200m relays, contested by men’s and women’s teams. 

Numbers were down for the first week this year, with several BAAC athletes injured and unable to compete.  We’re hoping that several will have recovered for our next competitions:  the Vets League at Hillingdon on June 5th, and the Rosenheim League at Ewell on June 14th.  New faces would be very welcome to join the team at either event.  Just a few more participants will see us racing up the league tables.

Full details in the digest next week.

Vets League Track & Field, Battersea, 15th May 2023

Event Competition BA Participant Actual Age group Achievement Position
100m M60 Michael Ball M60 16.5 5th
400m M60 Michael Ball M60 88.8 6th
Discus (1kg) W50 Janet Smith W55 25.50 1st
Discus (1kg) M60 Steve Hillier M65 20.12 4th
Shot (3kg) W50 Janet Smith W55 8.06 1st
Shot (5kg) M60 Steve Hillier M65 6.17 6th

Rosenheim League Track & Field, Kingston, 17th May 2023

Event BA Participant Age group Achievement Position
100m Michael Ball M60 16.6 6th
Shot (7.26kg) Steve Hillier M65 5.29 5th
Javelin Steve Hillier M65 14.73 6th
Steve Hillier

Green Belt Relay 2023 - British Airways Relay Team - 23rd place of 51.

As initially reported last week, the BA GBR Relay Team were back in action at the jubilee 25th GBR last weekend, 13-14 May. After a smaller restart in 2022, the event was back up to 51 teams this year, and we were pleased to maintain our top-half position, 23rd, with a total time of 29:22:41.

We were in some jeopardy due to losing three runners to medical issues in the last ten days, with no reserves standing by, but fortunately three brave souls responded to the late calls for assistance, and we got back to full strength ahead of race day, and even managed to lend out one backup to another struggling team.

We started the weekend with an excellent run from hardy perennial Paul Knechtl, on his old stomping grounds, in blistering form, getting 1st V50 and 9th place overall, putting the team in a corresponding, and unlikely-to-be-maintained 9th position. Last minute returnee Mark Taylor was up next, picking up at Staines where he had finished - first! - on Leg 1 in 2005. The intervening 18 years were hardly noticeable as he set off over the bridge and along the tow path, and then the main challenge was to get Barry, Graham, DaveB, and our Captain to Eton, after a short wait for PK, in one car. After a quick game of where's-the-seatbelt, we were off too, at the double, in order to reach Boveney ahead of our third runner, debutante Alex Caballero, with his BA Shirt and GBR number...

We made it on time, and we were then able to switch Barry into Murray's car for the next transfer to Little Marlow, which we followed once Mark finished. With Mark in the front, our three back-seat passengers once again entertained themselves on the drive past Cliveden, and Maidenhead, up to Bourne End, which we just completed in time to see Murray off, and meet up with Team Cars 2 and 3, Roderick and Mike. More numbers were handed over to subsequent runners (though not quite as many as would have been ideal..) and we were also greeted by Steve Newell and Alan Anderson fresh (if that's the right word) from Henley parkrun. With Murray away on the awesomely beautiful, and not unhilly Leg 4, my next target was to get to my start of Leg 5 at Great Kingshill. Leaving the rest of the team to welcome Alex into the end of Leg 3, which he completed admirably, with no navigational issues, we set off around High Wycombe and up Cryers Hill to my start. Don't be fooled, the clues are all there.

Meanwhile Roderick set off to set up our first Marshal point at 10 miles into Leg 4, and Mike joined him there [and we coped with BT having dug up the whole lane that the course goes down - it was touch and go so we didn't have the chance to take a photograph of the problem]. Frankie picked up Alex and drove onto pick up Murray. I set off on the 13mile Great Kingshill leg, which is as marvellous as the schedule implies, and Graham and Mark moved my car to the end of the leg. Roderick finished Marshalling and headed for his start at Chipperfield, where there may have been a slight "where's my number" consternation... And at a similar time, in St Albans, a new GBR runner, Keith Johnson, was waiting patiently in a BA shirt for someone to greet him warmly and proffer him a GBR number. The seconds were ticking away, but thanks to the highly-tuned, finely-honed, works-like-clockwork systems analysis employed to develop the BA GBR schedule, both runners were soon brandishing their requisite numericals and were on their ways.

Our next Leg was to be run by GBR stalwart Dave Dixon, but in a new twist, he would be facing off against an old team member, Richard Ruffell, who was the runner we had nearly needed ourselves before Alex, Mark and Steve stepped up. Instead, on Friday morning, another team, the Shaef Shifters, had enquired if we knew anyone willing and able to do one leg only at this point on the Saturday. A quick check revealed that Richard was available, even with his Triathlon 70.3 training commitments, and could be persuaded to run, so we all descended on Stage 8, to see the erstwhile colleagues lining up on the same start line. Happy times were remembered, handshakes exchanged, and after the start was slightly delayed - by the Clapham Chaser on Leg 7 arriving at his finish in almost record time - they were off.  At this point we needed to move multiple cars to the finish, and also pick up Keith which he helped by doing a terrific time on his first attempt.

Once again, my priority was to get to the Leg 9 start before our final last-minute volunteer, and GBR noob, Steve Taylor, had to set off, to handover his number, and a new shirt. This was accomplished successfully, and although parking was a bit tricky, we met up and Steve was sounding comfortable with the leg navigation - seven miles straight down the canal, then a tricky bit over three bridges, and a big hill. Our marshal station was at mile 7.9 on the course, between the bridges and the hill, which Roderick, Barry, PK and DB would establish, and I was to pick up DB from there to get him to his leg, the last of the day. Meanwhile Mike would head up to Stage 10 for his - second - run of the day - something to do with parkrun apparently (!) - but before that we just had time to see Dave finish his leg in good order - 7th (and 3rd V50!) and Richard not far behind.

At the Marshal point, while picking up DB, I could see the Stage was being keenly fought, with the top three within 30 seconds of each other, and a Clapham Chaser Woman in 2nd. Things were clearly heating up, and the same was true for our Marshals, as the genteel resident of the house on the corner came out to ask what was going on, and when it was explained to her, asked if any of our sterling men-in-yellow would like a refreshing cup of tea! PK was not about to turn that down, and was still able to guide runners around the corner with his remaining free hand.

For DB and I it was then off to Toot Hill for the last Leg, which we were able to prefix with a quick visit to the Green Man, for a swift half and a bag of nuts. Dave got off promptly, and we awaited Mike. Mike's opponents included a Team Bushy member, who may be familiar to readers of last year's report, as she was somewhat taken aback by the last-minute nature of that year's BA runner's on-the-line overtaking manoeuvre. This year, determined to avoid a similar denouement, she ran hard all the way to beyond the finish, only then turning to applaud Mike in. She was keen to clarify it was nothing personal, but definitely payback for 2022!

Finally, we all converged on Blackmore, where it was clear that DaveB had had an excellent run (9th), and then we headed for our evening's accommodation, in Bulphan. For the first time in our 17-year history there was a disconcerting, but ultimately resolved mix up with the rooms and food but once we had ordered food and drinks, we were able to grab quick showers and were back in our private dining room for some beers, starters, mains, puddings! and a debriefing on the day's events. We also quickly reviewed Sunday's plan, but happily, needed no major changes.

With a varying variety of minor trepidations, Sunday panned out in a sunnier, but otherwise similar way. Once again, all legs were run - if mostly slower - and cars proceeded around the glorious Green Belt. PK was first V50, in 58:35 on his Stage 19, which looks like it should be a V50 Record, and over both days, we obtained 10 Category Position Podiums (1st-3rd), with the rest of us managing our contributions, to limit our descent on the leader board to 2 positions - not bad for a bunch of 90% OFs (Over Fifties, not Old Farts!).

Once again, we owe enormous thanks to event directors Peter Kennedy, Alex Cutting, and all the Stragglers for their months of work putting on such an enjoyable event. And to all the other teams for providing the excellent competition and looking out for us at the Marshal Points too.

If anyone wants to register interest for next year's event you're more than welcome - as this year certainly proved that a full team is no such thing, and reserves are priceless. Let me know.

Captain Chris Kelly (22-May-23)

Roderick's photographs:!Ao4wOv9pbDU1ioRgYDMph3Hkl_4goA?e=hhKNAs

Chris+Paul's photos:

GBR Organisers & Helpers Video:

May Monthly Mile Results

Club Mile results for May

Six results this month with three of them (Bob, Mike and Ian) having been recorded at the resumed Arethusa Mile races which during the lighter months take place every Wednesday in Bushy Park starting, coincidently, near the Arethusa Statue. For the June club mile we'll propose a meet-up at one of these mile races - they are free to enter and operate in a similar way to parkrun (indeed, they use the original finish position disks that were made for Bushy parkrun). The proposed date for this is Wednesday 28th June but this needs to be confirmed.

Recent Activity Achievements

17 members communicated their achievements to me or found on Facebook (plus two missed from last week). Your achievement not listed? It could be because you didn't submit it.

Colleague Activity Distance Course When Duration Comments
Andy Rayner Cycling Cox Green and Ockwells Fri 00:17:13 Wed 17 May cycle Cox Green and Ockwells in 18m 10s and the same on Friday 19 May in 17m 13s.
Barry Walters Running 8km Bracknell Wed am 00:44:13 Ran a steady effort over Swinley Forest in the morning and was moving quite well. Conditions were dry and pleasant. In the evening did a body balance session mixing tai chi, pilates and yoga at my local leisure centre. 
Clara Halket mixed Run/Walk 8.53km The Heath Sun 01:15:32 Post night shift workout on the heath. Legs feeling much better.
Emma Moreton Running Half-M To, round and from Bedfont Lakes parkrun Sat am Half marathon consisting of run to and from Bedfont Lakes parkrun and was first female with 22.20
Jain Reid Running Marathon Richmond Park Sun 04:59:42 My last long training run - Richmond Park marathon. Hot and hilly but great for regular aid stations rather than carrying everything.
James Edwards Ultra-run 25km UTMB Ultra Trail Snowdonia 04:08:00 I did the smaller 25k route with 1,350m elevation. An unusually hot day with no wind made it a challenging event. Maybe next year I'll try the 50 ‍♂️
Janet Smith Various Colchester Sat Double Duty today. Running at Colchester Castle parkrun, my 150th and 57th different one followed by competing for WSEH in the Southern League. Hammer, Shot Putt and Discus
John Scaife  Race 5miles Marlow 5 Sun 00:46:29 Strictly speaking this is last week but photos by a Maidenhead AC photographer only just made available. Didn’t really get going and disappointed with my time of 46:29 despite perfect conditions. It’s a nice event and close to home. Thanks to course marshal Alice Banks for the support.
Michael Ball Sprints Vets League and Rosenheim. This week's activity 100 and 400 at Battersea Vets league and 100 at Kingston [see above for details]
Neil Frediani  Race 7Miles Pier to Pier Sun 01:10:25 7 mile coastal run on sand, trail, grass, pavement and more sand at the end. That is a good pace for me at the moment.
Paul Timms  Race Half-M Great Bristol Half-Marathon Sun 01:42:54 [from last week]
Petra Otto parkrun 5km March Sat am 00:46:43 No PB on my 150th Parkrun - the course had become 3.21 miles due to a charity spinning event taking place outside. Plus the usual 3x hard gym, and a circuit training class.
Roderick Hoffman Running 12.16km Yeading to Greenford and back Sun 01:28:03 Good conditions except that the Grand Union Canal towpath was full of cyclists practicing for next weekend's Ride London [see Steve H., though I didn't].
Simon Turton Orienteering 8.11km Bloom Wood, Marlow Sun 01:11:19 After a stint team-leading the car parking. A tricky little wood with plenty of brown features (pits, depressions, knolls etc.) and controls hung low, meaning accurate compass work / pacing required. Lacking a bit of fitness but generally pleased with my run, placing 27/63 finishers on my course. Good to catch up with Ian Hudson.
Stephen Taylor  Race 10km Ealing Eagles 10k Sat 00:58:09 The Ealing Eagles Bunny Park 10k, the route goes past my front door. The organisers had to make a last minute change to the whole route as the council closed a bridge over the river Brent deemed as unsafe. The new route seemed to be as hilly or even more so than the planned route.
Steve Hillier Cycling 29km A40 & Grand Union Sun am 02:02:00 A straight ride towards Acton, hugging the dual carriageway and drinking in the road fumes, returning along the meandering canal and skirting Horsenden Hill.  A pretty ride, but really busy on a Sunday.
Steve Newell parkrun 5km Kingston Sat am The team were confident that a licence busting attendance of over 500 would not happen as many regulars has been asked to consider going elsewhere. Attendances at Richmond and Bushy were both up by 50 on the previous week. I hadn't run this version of the course before. The first 500m was through damp calf deep grass ("no mow May"!). A lovely sunny morning, I cycled back along the towpath to Richmond to avoid climbing Richmond Hill twice in one morning!

Weekly Achievement Photos 

Roderick Hoffman

parkrun Results for Saturday 18th and 20th May

34 activities are recorded below. Please get in touch if your activity is missing.

Club parkrunner parkrun 18th May Run# Pos Time Age Grade Comment
Roderick HOFFMAN Lahden satama 35 21 0:30:01 54.36% Finland special. New BA parkrun - #728.
Paul WATT Tokoinranta 126 14 0:20:47 75.86% Finland special. BA record men (from Roderick).
Julie BARCLAY Tokoinranta 126 35 0:24:21 77.48% Finland special. First BA lady and best grade.


Club parkrunner parkrun 20th May Run# Pos Time Age Grade Comment
Ian CUNNINGHAM Banstead Woods 764 123 0:30:19 52.89% 2nd run at Banstead, with Janet
Emma Moreton Bedfont Lakes 642 13 0:22:20 69.40% First female. Run as a section within a half-marathon distance training run.
Joe NOLAN Black Park 660 389 0:34:05 50.61% 19th run at Black Park this year, P-Index is 4
Kevin HOLLAND Brooklands 145 320 0:36:15 52.28% run #133, 28th at Brooklands, P-Index is 4
Mike DENNISON Bushy Park 931 68 0:20:06 83.42% 299th run at Bushy Park
Ian Haylock Bushy Park 931 113 0:20:50 71.92% 357th run at Bushy
Maria JOVANI Bushy Park 931 218 0:22:47 71.10% 29th run at Bushy
Diana Smith Bushy Park 931 1319 0:52:59 44.20% run #31 (all at Bushy)
Paul TIMMS Cirencester 195 34 0:23:12 68.53% Celebratory 100th parkrun
Janet SMITH Colchester Castle 458 202 0:37:03 50.20% First BA lady. 150th parkrun, park #57
Scott DAVISON Crane Park 506 58 0:27:20 54.39% 85th run at Crane Park, P-Index is 6
Benita SCAIFE Crane Park 506 111 0:33:03 65.20% first run at Crane Park, park #99
John SCAIFE Crane Park 506 112 0:33:03 52.75% first run at Crane Park, park #108
Melanie Miller Cyclopark 130 105 0:40:06 44.56% First BA lady. Park #115
David DUGGAN Hanworth 135 53 0:34:42 47.45% also gave first timers welcome
Denis FOXLEY Harrow 348 143 0:29:51 62.42% run #218
Joan FOXLEY Harrow 348 224 0:38:37 61.67% run #256
Sarah GORDON Hastings High School 58 113 0:47:07 44.36% run #330
Keith Johnson Houghton Hall 209 22 0:22:48 66.30% Inspired by the Green Belt Relay? 5 second PB.
Adrian HAINES Ifield Mill Pond 116 1 0:18:57 81.79% first finisher for fourth time at IMP and best age grade%
Steve NEWELL Kingston 610 276 0:48:22 42.45% 28th different parkrun run 3 times. Fibonacci crisis avoided
Paul WATT Leavesden Country 30 10 0:20:58 75.20% BA Men's record (from Roderick), first run at Leavesden Country, park #139
Julie BARCLAY Leavesden Country 30 24 0:24:30 77.01% BA Ladies record and Grade (both from Trish). First run at Leavesden Country, park #143
Alice BANKS Maidenhead 356 232 0:31:45 65.83%
Petra OTTO March 300 147 0:46:43 47.66% 150th parkrun at March's 300th.
Bob BANNISTER Osterley 424 74 0:24:18 69.68% run #459, 40th at Osterley
Trish MCCABE Osterley 424 103 0:25:43 62.35% run #416, 47th at Osterley
Anne Bannister Osterley 424 168 0:29:10 71.66% run #284, 33rd at Osterley
Alan ANDERSON Osterley 424 324 0:49:16 55.31% parkrunning in the sun on his 88th birthday.
Ben Kelly Reading 594 90 0:25:23 50.89%
Jain REID Richmond Park 756 411 0:57:38 31.84% And marshal credit, finishing with the tail.
Harjit Jhooti Rutland Water 311 157 0:31:36 56.54% 198th parkrun. First run at Rutland Water, park #83
Barry WALTERS Sandhurst Memorial 99 72 0:29:07 58.67%
Roderick HOFFMAN Stockley Country 19 Finish Tokens at Stockley Country
Fiona Bishop Woking 367 97 0:24:31 81.44%

parkrun Review 20th May 2023

“Special” events on Thursday (Ascension Day) in Finland created an opportunity to attend an “extra” parkrun this week.  For Roderick Hoffman (30:01) who travelled to Lahden satama, 100+ km to the North from Helsinki it was break from his weekly duties at the fledgling Stockley Country parkrun. Paul Watt (20:47) and Julie Barclay (24:21) went to Tokoinranta in Helsinki (where Roderick visited in pre-Covid times).  The attendance (a record 166) was swelled by many UK parkrunning tourists.

So, moving onto Saturday and the fun-loving opportunistic youth(?) of Hillingdon were up to no good and by 9 a.m. adjusted the “direction of travel” signs at Stockley Country which Roderick had had in place by 08:30.  The parkrun is still attracting more first timers than runners familiar with the course and some of the former spent some time “out of bounds“ to coin a golf links' expression.  But everyone found their way to the finish.  Paul Watt (20:58) and Julie Barclay (24:30) were also back in the UK trying the newish parkrun at Leavesden Country Park in Hertfordshire and setting club records there.

Elsewhere, Adrian Haines (18:57, 81.79%) was first home at Ifield Mill Pond for the fourth time and with his best age grade% there.  Mike Dennison (20:06, 83:42) at Bushy, and Fiona Bishop (24:31, 81.44%) at Woking, were both also over 80%.

There was a pb for Keith Johnson (22:40) at Houghton Hall, winding down after the Green Belt Relay.

Alan Anderson is more used to celebrating another 100 parkruns than the occasional birthday.  He can now stop telling everyone he is nearly 88, he is 88!  And on 688 parkruns.  And he was marshalling at Osterley Junior parkrun on Sunday where 76 years' younger (12) Jack Hayward (6:58, Ealing Southall and Middlesex) was first home with a pb – a name to keep an eye on.

Steve Newell

Finland Ascension Day parkrun

There were a total of 296 finishers across the six Finland special parkruns on Ascension Day. That is roughly double their normal Saturday attendance. An analysis by myself (parkrun statsgeek group | Finland Ascension Day Report | Facebook) shows that they got the same normal of local attendees but they were supplemented by an equivalent number of international visitors. 122 of those normally run in the UK, 11 normally in Australia and 16 from other parkrun countries. Tokoinranta, in Helsinki, had the most number of visitors, over 100, whereas the most northerly parkrun, Pokkinen only had six, although another eight made it there for their Saturday parkrun. 78 of the visitors had run on Norway's special day on 1st May and five had also run on South Africa's special day in April.

The next special day is on Monday, 29th May, with The Netherlands celebrating Whit Monday and with 11 of their parkruns running a special parkrun. Five aren't operating - including the popular Zuiderpark and also Amsterdamse Bos, near Schiphol. The Facebook World Tourist parkrun site already has over 188 people listed to attend the Dutch special parkruns. The following week has two special days - Denmark's Constitution Day on 5th June followed by Sweden's National Day on 6th June.


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

Runnymede Runners Relays - 15th July

No one has yet stepped forward to organise a BAAC team for this. We'd need a couple of members to show an interest, then I'm sure we'd pick up a few more.

A reminder about our popular Runnymede Runners relays in Windsor Great Park

The relay starts at 12 o'clock on the 15th of July, with gates open at 11:00am, (so even time to do a parkrun first :-) ) with the event finishing around about 3 or 3:30pm.

In summary teams of six runners, consisting of at least one female runner and no more than 3 senior male runners with each leg a distance of about 3.7 miles through the park, returning to the start to hand over to the next runner. The cost per affiliated team is £60 i.e. £10 each (or £72 for a non-affiliated team).

We encourage families and spectators, it's normally a sunny day in July, ideal for a picnic, with free parking and toilets close to the start line.

There is also a charity cake stall and a catering truck serving ice cream, coffee and hot food.

We also have a free kids race no official age limit but sort of aimed at under 10's as its about 600 to 800m, and everyone gets a medal.

All the details and sign up is on the following web page:

Really hope to see you there with a team.

But if you have any questions then please let me know,

Ian Sharp (Comms Secretary, Runnymede Runners)

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