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BA Athletics Club News Digest 25th May 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
18th May Track-on-Field [T&F GP day]
1500/800/400/200/100 # [CIE]
none Best weekend exercise achievement
25th May Virtuality 5k none Best weekend exercise achievement
1st June Solo Mile none Best weekend exercise achievement
8th June Street Spelling? none Best weekend exercise achievement
15th June Track-on-Field
Run-of-the-Month # (tba) Best weekend exercise achievement
22nd June tba I Spy? none Best weekend exercise achievement
29th June tba none Best weekend exercise achievement

All side-by-side races are off until at least the end of June, but the club continues to operate with the Solo runs listed above - these ARE still permitted but see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest.

* Please suggest formats for runs with the "tba" in the above table.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenges

This week we have the BAAC Virtuality 5k. Please respond to Steve BY midday Tuesday:

The BAAC Virtuality 5K [It would have been the week of the Vitality 10k]

Date – 27th May / Time – 6pm / Course – a 5k course near you.

The Virtuality 5K is a virtual race scheduled to start at 6pm on the 27th May. All runners should be prepared to start at the same time. The only exception will be for key workers or shift workers who, if they ask really nicely, will be allowed to complete their 5k run beforehand (NOT after) to get their time included in the results.

You will need to plan a 5k route near to where you live. The route needs to be as close to 5k as you can make it so use a GPS watch or route mapping website to create your 5k route and be familiar with your route and where the start and finish point is. Or use your GPS watch as you run so that you know when you have covered 5k. Don’t arrange to meet up with other runners to run the same route unless permitted by current social distancing rules and recommendations. Runners will mostly be running different routes so even if you run in a playing field it won't be a level playing field.

All runners will need to be able to use WhatsApp and have access to it at the start and end of the race.

Send Steve Taylor the following details by midday Tuesday 26th May:

  • Name
  •  Age (on 27th May)
  • Gender
  • Mobile number.

Steve will create a WhatsApp group of all the runners specifically for this race and the start of the race will be announced on this group.  You will be given a runner number by Steve to use in the WhatsApp group. Remember your runner number, you will need it to announce when you finish the race, there won’t be any bibs.

At 6pm on race day the start will be announced with a GO message at exactly 6pm. There will be countdown messages from an hour leading up to the start so that you’re prepared and can check that you’re receiving messages.

Start running as soon as the GO message is received and not before.

Once you have finished your 5k run, message the WhatsApp group with just your runner number, e.g. "22" (no times, no pictures, just your number).

The order that the runner numbers appear in the group will be the provisional finish order of the race so once you have completed your distance and stopped your watch you need to grab your phone and message your number as quickly as possible. The only exception is for key workers and shift workers who can submit their time to Steve beforehand if they are unable to run at 6pm on the 27th due to work commitments - BUT to avoid disqualification don't tell anyone else your time.

After all runners have finished the race Steve will message that the race is ended and runners can then message me with their number and finish time for him to crosscheck with and include in the results, e.g. "Runner 22 – Time 25:45 - at Bedfont Lakes". Don’t message your time until the race is ended to avoid any congestion on the messaging group. Steve will merge the times with times from any key workers and message back the full results.

The winner and/or gender age group winners will receive top bragging rights and a place in the BAAC digest.

The WhatsApp group will be deleted within two weeks of the end of the race.

This is a new format so if it all goes wrong on the day then we’ve all had a good 5K run anyway.

Steve Taylor (

We are considering the solo runs to be held during June.

  • Hopefully June will be the last month where we don't have the option of running together. The committee will decide at our Committee Meeting next week whether and how to continue with virtual running once we are allowed to run together (but feel free to influence us with your comments).
  • During June we will have Midweek Challenges of another "Solo Mile", this will be next week, and another "Track-on-Field".
  • I have a "Street Spelling" run pencilled in for 8th June. Perhaps this will be the CIE for June. I intend this to be competitive whereby each runner is allocated a word at the start of their time and they will then have to visit streets for each letter in the word, returning to their start point to stop the clock. I would like two additional Starters for this so that each of the Starters can also do the event. Please nominate yourself to be a Starter!
  • I also have an "I Spy" event pencilled in. I'll probably move that to a weekend to allow a longer run or walk. Competitors will have checklists of nature and rural things to spot on their run/walk (see photo below). Expect more detail on that soon.

This means there are two slots for Midweek Challenges "tba" and it would also be nice to have a competitive event on one of the June weekends to be Run-of-the-Month. Please suggest ideas.

Roderick Hoffman

Midweek Challenge Track-on-Field # Results

May Track-on-Field resultsThe results table show that 16 of us managed to record results for this Track-on-Field event.  I've included results for a 17th, Steve Newell, to provide us with a comparison. Steve did his times whilst seated, on his rowing machine, but produced results that are compatible with his running times from just a few years ago.

Most of us managed to be faster over the shorter distances but the 100m was problematical for six of us - three going at the same speed, three slower. For some of these it was more of a measurement issue over the short distance.

How do our performances compare with April?  We had 11 competitors in April and eight of us managed to do it both months. On average Mike Dennison ran 10.8% faster. For an individual event Steve Hillier ran the 100m 22% faster this month compared to last. I ran 1.1% slower overall, though that was entirely due to a slower 800m run (I start with the 800m, work down to the 100m and then do the 1500m, perhaps I'll try something different in June). Chris Kelly was on average most consistent - just 0.1% slower than last month, though within his results he was 9% faster over the 100m!

Round-the-Block Points #

This was a club points scoring event so all of us have improved our scores in the Round-the-Block table. Simon Turton has now achieved the ten points necessary for individual recognition for his contribution to the club this year.

Roderick Hoffman

SOLO activity achievement weekend 22nd to 25th May 2020

30 colleagues recorded weekend activity achievements. Harry Wild appears for the first time but isn't the slowest "Wild" seen, and we have a new activity - the Shot Put!

Colleague Activity Distance Course Start Time Run Time Comments
Alan Friar Running 3k University of Reading playing field Sat am 00:17:40 One more km than last week.
Alice Banks Running 3.13miles Sun am 00:33:20 Still recovering from a trip to Everest Base Camp
Amanda Coombs Duathlon 3/40/10(km) Run/Cycle/Run Sun 02:27:05 Really did not enjoy 40km on the turbo trainer! Hopefully back to open water swimming soon, so I can concentrate on the two things I love - running and swimming.
Andy Rayner Running 4miles XC Sat 00:49:00 Very windy conditions. Earlier in the week - 0:47:56
Barry Walters Running 5k The Lookout, Bracknell Sat am 00:26:27 Another tempo run.
Benita Scaife Running 5miles Bisham Woods / Cookham Dean Common Sun 00:50:39
Chris Stockwell Walking 12.4miles Fifield & Holyport Sun am 03:55:00 Different footpaths, rescued a slow worm from a gravel track. [ED: Slow worm? (pictured below), well, we can all be pleased that we weren't the slowest ones out there this weekend]
Christine Munden Walking 5miles Capital Ring Section 8 Mon pm 01:45:00 Greenford to Osterley Lock (in flip-flops).
Clara Halket Running 20.5k Mon am Would have gone farther if I had taken some water with me!
Denis Foxley Running 5miles Ruislip Woods Sun 00:50:00 Taking in the golf course and lido as well.
Emma Morton Running 10k Laleham Sun am 00:48:37 This morning’s 10k with several segment PBs and top 10 segment places! Not far off my 10k PB so hopefully in race conditions I’ll pull a new one out of the bag
Gary Rushmer Running 6.28miles Harmondsworth Moor Sat 00:54:56 1 mile warm up/1 mile warm down + 3 X 5 Hills at waterside. Looks like the groundkeeper has been furloughed with trees down on route.
Harjit Jhooti Cycling 52.57km Hampton Court and Richmond Sun 05:20:56 I’m doing more cycling than running these days.
Harry Wild Internal Exercise 30mins Home Daily 00:30:00 I do 1/2 hour hand weights and exercises every morning combined with a walk in the evenings.
Jain Reid Running 17.72km Richmond Park Sat am 01:45:17 Another weekend run around Richmond Park for me. I don’t think I could ever get bored of it
Janet Smith Shot Put Shot Put Circle somewhere! Mon 8.46 meters Valhalla virtual shot put competition with 200 entrants.
John Scaife Running 5miles Bisham Woods / Cookham Dean Common Sun 00:50:40
Maria Jovani Running 7k Wedding Day 7k course Sat evening 00:28:50 20 seconds PB compared with last year’s official race.
Michael Ball Cycling 14miles Oxshott Common 14 mile bike ride core circuit and 10 hill sprints. Went to oxshott common and used the killer hill on the x.c course like you do .
Mike Dennison Running 10miles River and Bushy Park Sun am 01:19:53 Simple 10mile run.
Paul Brandon Turbo Cycling 7.8m/12.5k My garage Sun pm 00:31:12 Waited for a cooler evening for a Steady ride in the warm/heat.
Paul Watt Running 5k Frimley Lodge freedom run Sat 00:21:24 Only me as Julie has an injured knee!
Petra Otto Duathlon 7m/3.1m/6m Cycle/parkrun/cycle
Piers Keenleyside Walking 10miles Ealing Parks Sat 02:49:59 Lammas, Blondin, Boston Manor, Elthorne, Brent Lodge, Perivale, Pitshanger, Cleveland, Walpole, Lammas Enclosure and then back into Lammas to finish at home.
Roderick Hoffman Running 5k Rectory Park (alternative Northala Fields parkrun) Sat am 00:29:53 Slight reroute to avoid a flood due to a burst waterpipe.
Scott Davison Running 10k Overlap with Staines 10k route Sun pm 00:53:46 13 seconds quicker than last week
Simon Turton Running 7.5miles Chilterns Sat pm Hilly, windy, sunny.... & fun!
Stephen Taylor Running 13.13miles Ealing Half (reverse) Sat am 02:09:35 It was a bit windy but at least it was cool.
Steve Hillier Running 5.1k Roxbourne Park and Eastcote. Sun am 00:31:53 It was warm and windy, perhaps I should have started earlier than 8.30.
Steve Newell Indoor Rowing 6800m Home Sat am 28:00.4 Not a PB!

Slow WormChris's Slow Worm. For the proposed "I Spy" event I'll be asking people to tick off animals or objects they may see on their run / walk. I will include an "other" box for the more unusual, and require photographic evidence. So Chris is one-nil up already!

Same again next weekend.  Submit your best exercise achievement of the 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}

Colleague Update

It is good to have heard from each of Harry Wild and Dave Barnard this week. Both appear to be taking care and doing well.

Roderick Hoffman

WARR London LogoTen Years Ago - WARR London

Ten years ago, in 2010, the British Airways Athletics Club hosted the World Airline Road Race with race day on Saturday 25th September.  That event, along with the WARR hosting in 1985, have been the biggest events that this club has ever undertaken.

In 2010 we had 970 runners representing about 66 different airlines running in 10k and 5k races around Victoria Dock in East London. As well as registration in the Novatel Hotel we also hosted events on three consecutive nights and various other activities over the four days of the event. Our support team on the day included about 100 members, relatives and friends. At the end of the event we were able to make a five figure donation to the Dreamflight charity.

WARR 2010 Full BA TeamKatherine Henville (Kat, now Katherine Stather) was the host committee chair and for many provided the inspirational leadership required. I took on the role of project manager and ensured that everything was considered and covered. Many people contributed a great deal to the event and this write-up only mentions some of them - the full core team consisted of Alan Friar, Graham Taylor, Helen Smith, John Taylor, Marion Woodhouse, Mark Taylor, Natalie Lang, Nick Edge, Paul Brandon and Simon Turton but many others contributed equally greatly. We did have challenges to overcome to make the event succeed:

  • One such challenge was that Kat and I fell out, including with a verbal fistfight in one of our committee meetings. Neither of us were prepared to give way and we didn't speak to each other from July through to September!  However we had already agreed responsibilities and each of us focused on our own deliveries, perhaps competing to outdo the other.
  • Halfway through the planning an important member of our committee was instructed by BA to resign from the airline and we were told to have no dealing with them, particularly dealings involving money.
  • A couple of weeks before the event Kat broke her collarbone and had to complete the engagements in great discomfort and with her arm in a sling.
  • As we arrived at the site to start the set-up process Helen Smith almost had her car stolen. She managed to get back into her car as the carjacker was trying to drive it away. I've never been sure which of the two of them were in the greater danger.
  • The team results didn't go as planned. We had trusted that the International Committee would get them right but in retrospect it became apparent that the results processing tool they were using wasn't up to the job.  Team results have never been published for either of the two races.

WARR 2010 10K StartThose are low spots but we rose to overcome them. The high spots included:

  • Kat and I may not have spoken but 100% agreed that Simon Turton would be the ideal person to be the on-the-day Race Director and Simon delivered fully on our trust. This meant that Kat and I were not overcommitted on the day - so much so that I was able to run the 10k.  I can remember on the second lap having tears in my eyes, emotional because all was going so well.
  • The weather on race day was supreme - clear blue skies.
  • I had said that I could get Willie Walsh, then BA Chief Executive, to the event and I delivered on that. On the morning he looked me in the eye and said that he "was there for five hours, what did I want him to do?" (though he hadn't brought his running shoes).  I appointed Helen to be minder for Willie. No one gave any trouble.
  • The course was fit for purpose - the wrong side of London but flat, fast and scenic, accurately measured by Hugh Jones and using the facilities of the ExCeL centre at start and end.
  • Two of the side-events were held in the very large Fox pub next door to the ExCeL. We considered hiring a formal banqueting room from the ExCeL but that would have blown our entire budget just hiring and decorating the room before we considered any funding for food or for the races. So the awards were also held in the pub...but it was a very big pub with screens showing the action on all three floors. We did venture offsite for one event - the T-Shirt party was held in Leadenhall Market and included a Town Crier, and a Pearly King and Queen.

The original website is available here: and some photographs can be seen on my website:

It may have been ten years ago but some things are still fresh in my head. I will be celebrating the ten-year anniversary by running the Victoria Dock parkrun on 26th September 2020 - Victoria Dock parkrun uses what is in effect the same course that we used, apart from the location of the start and finish.

Roderick Hoffman (2010 WARR Host Project Manager)

Ride London and London Marathon 2020

Hi folks,

You will have seen that Ride London, scheduled for August, has been cancelled.  Simon is checking about the fate of July's Great City Race.  
In the meantime, we have received this message from London Marathon's Volunteer Coordinator, and Hugh Brasher's public statement is available.

When I hear any more, I'll let you know.

Keep in touch,

Steve Hillier

"You are right, it is indeed sad news about Ride London. As it stands we are doing everything in our power to go ahead with the 40th (LM) race on 4th Oct. You will be able to imagine the many challenges this presents, but we continue to try everything in our power.

We will of course keep you updated as soon as there are any developments.

Stay safe and take care"

Triathlon News

The Hawaii Ironman World Championship race scheduled for October 2020 has been postponed and will now be held on 6th February 2021.  The real "2021" race will be held in October as usual so there will be two races in 2021.  This has happened once before.  There were two races in 1982.

Steve Newell

Coronavirus Warning Footnote [changes underlined]

In the UK exercise outside is still permitted because it will boost physical and mental health. The relevant law in England states, "No person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse...a reasonable excuse includes the take exercise...alone, with one or more members of their household, or with one member of another household". The word "need" is not defined, and you could be challenged on your interpretation. In line with government guidance; whose purpose is your health, the health of those around you and reducing demand on NHS and other services; we advise you as follows:

  • Do not conduct a solo run 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,
  • Do not conduct a solo run if you consider yourself to be, or others consider you 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 should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there,
  • You may now meet up with one other person for your exercise outside the home - either another runner or a coach. But do not meet-up in threes or more, and continue to maintain the social distancing with anyone you do meet up with. If you are a coach then you must finish the coaching session with one athlete BEFORE you start a coaching session with another,
  • As you run keep 2m away from all others - by default diverting around them (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. For club solo events we will not include running distances of more than 15mile length (25km),
  • If government instructions are updated to limit or prevent exercising outside your homes 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

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