baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
BA Athletics Club News Digest 30th May 2016
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: http://www.barunner.org.uk/Event Diary.shtml.
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Track & Field Grand Prix results and future events
The 1st Grand Prix was incorporated at the BA Championships on 15th May 2016 at Eton track:
The 2nd GP was held at Uxbridge track on Monday 23rd May 2016:
A very pleasant sunny evening at Uxbridge saw some really good Shot Putting from Steve & Tony. Possible records this year for them (Uxbridge track is quite high up – must have been the rarefied air!!)
The next Grand Prix Monday 13th at Uxbridge track is the 800m & Long Jump starts at 6pm
There is also a Rosenheim at Walton Wednesday 1st June starts at 6.45pm
And a Vets league match at Uxbridge track on Monday 6th June (help is required as we host this event) starts at 6.30pm
Hope to see you there,
Green Belt Relay 2016 - Reports
This year's Green Belt Relay was marked by the strength in depth of the Relay Team. Two runners were unable to stay over, so some rescheduling was required, but the desire to run remained, and we made it work. Last year's absentee Captain was back, except for the Captains meeting, when he was in Germany, but Deputy Hoffman stepped in to pick up the slack - and the T-Shirts. Dave "Dependable" Dixon's knee let him down mid-Leg (which is kinda where you need your knee) but this was simply seen as an item of discussion for the Saturday night Feast at Paul Goldsmith's Honeymoon Retreat, and with a little more rescheduling, Roderick "Ready" Hoffman and Simon "Steady" Ashford took on longer legs to allow Chris "Go" Kelly to sneak in an extra, shorter Stage on the Sunday. [Ed: to get a result the team has to start all twenty two legs. Any that the team don't finish are given the cut-off time on that leg]
Graham managed to navigate his running duties with his regular aplomb, completing them comfortably inside the cut-offs as usual, this year! He was also able to drive four different cars around the Home Counties for the rest of the weekend, once he had identified the large red Start buttons.
I got to do my usual Little Marlow Leg 4, which includes a few amusing gradients, passing a Pembroke Athletica runner on the downs, and watching him pass me on the ups. It was a titanic struggle, with me leading for much of the way, but knowing that it ended on an uphill and flat section. I tried but couldn't hold him off on that last up, or catch him along the top, so had to make do with a PB. On Sunday I enjoyed a new Leg 17 - which stitched together two I've done before with some gentle North Downs Way action, but was not very competitive because I missed the start through being a bit dozy. Earlier I had squeezed in the enjoyably downhill Stage 13 which was more closely contested from the delightful sweep through the woods at the back of the Ford Motors HQ, through the complex middle bit, but allowed me to get away on the downhill section at the end.
Vicky "Kingshill" Edwards enjoyed the race - having the "benefit" of having run Stage 5 last year. She remembered most of it, except for the pain, which came flooding back at about 6 miles, but eventually enjoyed catching a group of runners in the last half-mile who had clearly gone wrong. She dropped a place, but ran the stage 5 mins quicker than last year. She was on the downhill leg 20 on Sunday, but so it seems was everyone else - despite coming a very decent 10th, she was beaten by 7 other women runners! Still, its always good to be able to knock out 6 miles at sub-7-minute pace.
My Mate Murray carried out his legs with his usual reliability and no unexpected incidents - covering a few more miles than he was ready for - but enjoying the routes, the signage and the marshaling.
Richard "No complaints" Ruffell got to see his daughter Natalie winning her Saturday Stage 6, from the ideal vantage point of being just behind her. On Sunday, he missed out on seeing, or having to avoid, a fallen tree on the Blue Riband Stage 16 as he was on a completely different routing, probably a mile or more away from any fallen trees. The reason is still a little unclear, but we know that they changed the route last year, and that they changed it back this year. Richard recced the route well in advance of the race weekend, and ended up doing the 2015 version. Instead of a fallen tree he did find a bog, and like the early bird, went through it, at which point he lost his shoes. Graham confirmed that he looked like he had been in a mud bath, which is not the ideal addition to a 13+ mile run at hard-factor 10. "Oh the fun of the GBR."
Paul "PK" Knechtl picked up a very annoying shin-splinty-type injury the week before the Relay, so was reduced to very light training rations. He had a great run on Saturday (everyone else agreed!) along the St Albans Way, finishing fifth - and if it hadn't been for that pesky injury, would that minute and a half held him off? We'll have to see next year... From his Sunday exertions, he is happy to confirm that leg 19 is hilly…
Dave Dixon's knee is getting less painful now, and more bendy. He actually seemed to enjoy falling into the care of some Clapham Chaser marshals who set him up, and another injured Dave, with pints while they awaited a lift to the end - nearly better than running 10 miles with a busted knee! He's already looking forward to next year.
Neil "Experienced" Frediani found the navigation easier, as he is now used to sawdust trails. He did follow one lady who had gone wrong, and when he realised the people behind hadn’t called out when he went wrong, he tracked them down and beat them. On his second leg, he beat his running time from last year, but stopped for food and drink, so was just outside the cutoff. He is firmly supporting the lobbying for Stage 16 to be "upgraded" to hardness 8+, not only because of the nearly 1400ft of climbing but also the difficulty of the ankle breaking terrain and the sadistic way the route goes down over rocks and tree roots and up staircases and over more roots right to the end in the last mile. His only disappointment was not getting to a pub this year, compared to the 5 enjoyed last year!
As well as the other Legs run, Fish and Chips eaten, and incidents glossed over or forgotten, we also manned our four marshalling points successfully, doling out water and cheering runners on, with no adverse effects. Well, there was one chippy bloke in a BMW who inquired if I was a "car-stop" - standing in the road on a quiet cul-de-sac corner - but I think he was just trying to impress his girlfriend. We were mentioned in dispatches by Clapham Runners: "Brilliant marshalling of Byfleet Road crossing at 4.5m of stage 21." I think it might have been thanks to Neil for his water service thereat, complete with tray, and BA Marshal bib, which did seem to exemplify the "BA Way to marshal".
To top the weekend off, we regained the Corporate Trophy, which we set out to do after losing it to Loughborough Uni. last year. It hasn't actually been returned yet, and so we may need to go and get it - but it's the principle that counts...
BAAC GBR Captain
Club parkrun results for Saturday 28th May 2016
The "late spring bank holiday" weekend was an excuse for a bit of tourism or an escape from parkrun altogether and although parks which have a winter and a summer course have now switched to summer the weather seemed to have gone off the boil.
The fastest run from our members this week was by Chris Kelly (19:59) at Reading where the hours to produce the results is now becoming a bit of an issue. Given that it is all down to unpaid volunteers it is not fair to be too critical and we should just pause to reflect occasionally what a brilliant set-up parkrun offers at nil cost to the runner.
Next fastest was Kerstin Luksch (20:09) stretching her legs prior to Monday's Vitality 10000 which she finished in 42:10.
Adrian Haines (20:30, 71.38%) made his second visit to a parkrun in the Bordeaux area in the month. Although he was only second to cross the finish line, that performance earned him a club course record [bettering the previous one by over 12 minutes! the previous holder adds], an age group category record by a full eight minutes and sent him to top spot in the "age gradient" league table at Mandavit.
Natalie Ruffell (20:36) was the first female home at Croxteth Hall Country Park in Liverpool. She has now run at 21 different parks (all in the UK).
The 50th birthday celebrations for Janice Jones (28:34), a younger sister of Julie Barclay (21:48), continued for a second week like an Indian wedding. This time it was every girl for herself at Holkham Hall in Norfolk and Paul Watt (21:47) was the first in the party over the line to set a new club course record.
Steve Dodsworth (24:47) set a new club record at Reigate Priory where Linda Dodsworth (27:12) achieved a pb.
Roderick Hoffman (26:12) and Steve Newell (32:26) made a first visit to Ellenbrook Fields in Hatfield where the parkrun course adjacent to the De Havilland campus of Hertfordshire University is on a disused airfield. Local street names include Comet Way, Gypsy Moth Avenue, Mosquito Way, Dragon Road, Chipmunk Chase and wait for it .... The Runway. It was a poignant moment whose first aviation experience was on a De Havilland Rapide, a biplane which made its maiden flight from Hatfield in 1934.
Kevin Holland (29:02) reached a parkrun finish line for the 50th time at Poole so a red vest will be on its way to him sometime soon. Alan Friar is on 199, Ian Cunningham is now up to 245.
Alarm bells at Woking courtesy from Tom Rowley (marshal) who remembers seeing Helen Smith (31:05) and Monica Alonso at the start. There is no official news of Monica reaching the finish funnel and as we went to press she wasn't replying to emails. We fear the worst.... #dfyb.
Updated parkrun stats: www.barunner.org.uk/results/ba_parkrun_park_totals.xls
parkrun ups and downs
A new record was set last Saturday - North Beach (South Africa) had a world record 1,874 finishers (over 100 more than the two biggest UK parkruns combined - Bushy with 1098 and Cannon Hill with 664). North Beach is the closest parkrun to the start of South Africa's famous Comrades double marathon which was on Sunday.
Little Stoke parkrun was cancelled last Saturday on safety grounds and is not expected to operate again although talks with the parish council are ongoing. There is also the possibility of a new parkrun staring up within a few miles though this hasn't yet been confirmed. Also near Cork in Ireland there is a new parkrun starting up at Ballincollig on 18th June which will either be a replacement for, or a supplement to, Tramore Valley should the council find a way for their public to have access to their park.
I'm inviting the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewett, to come and answer questions about parkrun. This is likely to be finalised as a midweek lunchtime event at the BA Waterside Headquarters though I will endeavor to facilitate non-BA members to be able to attend.
parkrun depends on volunteers so it is good to give credit to those who reach the 25 volunteer milestone - whereby one can request a volunteers shirt. Last week Alice Banks made that mark so well done. Now on the subject of volunteers (hey, do you see what I did there?)...it is the Concorde Five next Sunday and I'd really like to know in advance that I've got enough volunteers to make the event successful. If you are able to make it then let me know or if you are already due to run in the event could you ask a friend or relative and again let me know. Also of those who have volunteered - I need someone to be lead bike - so let me know if you could do this.
And a picture of us making our way to our marshalling point at the Vitality 10000 today...now last time I ran a caption competition no one entered, I'm sure you can do better than that with this one...
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