BRR are Go!

The good news is, Jim Peters Stadium will be reopening from 25 July, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Before we can book the track, we have to update our risk assessment to include social distancing and how we will remain COVID compliant, and sign and return to Everyone Active (the track managers) a shared premises agreement confirming we will comply with health and safety regulations. That will keep me occupied over the coming week.

We are still waiting for England/UK Athletics to update their guidance in line with the latest Government rules, so it’s still too early to say what format the track sessions will take or, indeed, how many people will be able to participate at any one time. We’ll post updates on WhatsApp, Facebook and the website as soon as we have more clarity, so please watch this space.

The bad news is, we’ve decided to accept the inevitable: the BRR Bank Holiday 5K won’t be going ahead this year. Even if the rules change to allow big gatherings, there isn’t time now to do all the necessary organisation. This is a particular shame, as we planned to rename the race the Phipps 5K, after former member Owen Phipps who died last year. Owen left the Club a generous donation which we used to buy a new flag and gazebo. Fingers crossed, we’ll honour Owen at our race next year and the flag and gazebo will get a long overdue airing.

Instead, we are organising a couple of internal Club events instead. Depending on the Government/England Athletics guidance in force at the time, and the number of members who want to take part, these might be handicap races so everyone can be spaced out, or ‘normal’ races i.e. with everyone starting at the same time. So pop these dates in your diary and get ready to race!

  • Sunday 2 August 10.00am – Hainault Forest, starting near the Global Café. The route will be similar to the internal XC race we did earlier in the year, but we won’t make you run across the field.
  • Monday 31 August 10.30am – Bank Holiday 5K, for BRR members (and friends) only. The usual course. There may be a socially distanced trip to the pub afterwards…

BRR in action

Back to the present, and here is Newshound Greg’s round-up of Club activities over the past week:

“It was 5k Handicap No. 5 this week for Barking Road Runners and, with another 30 participants, the series is proving very popular. The winner this time was James Hall, making five different winners in five races. James finished 1:48 inside his handicap time, 2nd place went to Natalie Traylen who bettered her time by 1:32 and third was Richard Quye who finished 1:23 inside his handicap time. Altogether 11 runners beat their handicap times in this race. Nehal Patel still the leads series with 455 point followed closely by Jason Li 444 and Gary Coombes 440.

Natalie Traylen’s 2nd place finish in the handicap race was an especially good result on tired legs as she has been doing a 100k challenge this week, which she duly completed on Saturday. Well done Natalie!

Following his 97 miles in the first week, Lands’ End to John O’ Groats virtual racer Colin Jones has put in another good number of miles in the last two weeks . Colin ran an amazing 154 miles last week and put in another massive effort this week, completing a total 455 miles of the total 783 miles distance in only three weeks [I think his speed must have been more than the 0 miles per hour shown below! – Alison]. He currently lies in 7th place overall”. 

Thanks for another cracking write-up Greg. As usual, let’s see what makes it to the Barking and Dagenham Post.

In other news…

From Zero to (Super)Hero!

Helen Ayres has completed a fantastic challenge, running 30 miles in June to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust. Helen has personal reasons for supporting the blood cancer charity, with James (Hall) having suffered from leukemia as a boy, and her Dad battling it now. I’m sure we’ve all been impressed by Helen’s progress as a runner, including her embracing the joy of interval training, and it’s great to know it’s for such a good cause. It’s not too late to support Helen via her JustGiving page:

Get Your Five (K) a Day

Welcome back to BRR to Kirsten Hiller. Kirsten is part-way through a 10-day 5k challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of her Dad, who sadly passed away recently. I hope Kirsten is dragging Andy and the family out with her for at least some of the runs, to give her moral support. You can support Kirsten via her Just Giving page: I’m afraid I haven’t got a photo of Kirsten doing her challenge, but hopefully this picture  from last year’s Spitfire Scramble will do.


More and more people are logging their results for (not)parkrun every week. The first three BRR male finishers for Barking parkrun were James Hall (20:19), Nehal Patel (22:54) and Ron Vialls (23:40). The first three BRR female finishers were Belinda Riches (24:27), Natalie Traylen (25:14) and Sara Jones (33:43). I don’t think Annette Prior has taken the plunge and signed up (commitment-phobe!) but she finished in a commendable 29:23. I’m proud to say I was the slowest in 57.43, probably dragging down the average run time across the country. Please do post your results via your parkrun profile and you may get a shout out in future blogs.

Great Run Solo

Thank you to Belinda for posting the link for the Great Run Solo virtual challenges on WhatsApp. There are weekly and monthly challenge options, as well as challenges for kids. The challenges cost £10 to join and ALL PROFITS will go to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. You get a medal with a different colour ribbon for each challenge, forming the colours of the rainbow (I may give the red ribbon for 280k in 28 days a miss). More information and sign up at:

If you’re gonna do it do it right: Leg lifts

Target: abs, hip flexors

A common mistake with leg lifts is allowing the lower back to arch too much. Those of us who do Debbie’s HIIT sessions will know this is a bad thing; it strains the back and makes the move much less effective as an abdominal exercise. If you don’t keep your back muscles and abs contracted, you’re only working your hip flexors.

If you’re just starting out with this exercise, focus on doing a few using the proper technique. You can increase the number of repetitions gradually.

To get the most out of this exercise, lower and lift the legs slowly, while keeping the abs under constant contraction and without letting your heels touch the ground.

When you feel your lower back starting to arch, it’s time to stop.

How to do leg lifts correctly:

  • Don’t flatten your lower back against the surface – maintain its natural curve.
  • Keep your head and shoulders pressed against the floor.
  • Your neck should be relaxed.
  • Keep your abs contracted throughout the exercise.
  • Keep breathing!

And finally…

Do you feel sympathy or scorn for American sprinter Noah Lyles, who briefly thought he’d set an astonishing new 200m world record of 18.90 seconds in the Inspiration Games, before discovering he’d only run 185m? I confess, I thought he must be a bit of an idiot until I realised it was a virtual race and the race organisers had put his starting blocks in the wrong place. Given that he won the 200m world title in Doha last year, he had a good chance of winning this race, so the mistake may have cost him a cool $10,000 (£7,930) in prize money. Doh!

Happy (and accurately measured) running


Chair, BRR


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