Handicap race #07 winner, and overall series winner Gopal Miyalsamy.

I suppose that none of us were surprised when the London Marathon organisers finally decided that it would go head as an elite only event, though it’s annoying for folk like Greg who’ve had to keep training on the off-chance the race went ahead as planned. But it was a surprise to hear that they plan to run the race as laps of St. James’s Park in a ‘secure biosphere’. It sounds a bit like Formula 1 for runners – they’ll be dizzy by the end of it!

It was also a shock that the next ‘proper’ London Marathon won’t be until 3 October 2021. I wonder how many will choose to take part in the virtual race, or will defer to 2021, 2022 or 2023. It’s uncertain what will happen about the places is up in the air. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything.

Talking of Greg, here’s his weekly news story:

Greg’s Story 

It was the final race in the BRR handicap series this week. Once again there was a different winner and it was the turn of Andrew Gwilliam to claim first place in race 7,  lowering his PB by 34 seconds. Runner up was Jason Li with a 28 second PB and Ron Vialls finished third, 17 seconds inside his PB.  

After an enjoyable race series with 46 different runners taking part, 23 of whom competed in 5 or more race and 8 competing in all 7. With 490 points Gopal Myilsamy was overall winner with Kevin Wotton 46 coming through to claim second place and Jason Li 466 finishing third.

Handicap 2nd and 3rd overall Kevin Wotton and Jason Li

BRRs Martin Page competed in the Chelmsford miles of miles, a one mile multi terrain race with the start being staggered and a maximum of 6 athletes in each wave. Martins unofficial finishing time in was 6.25″.

Martin in action and in his Miles of Miles top. 

Cristina and Trevor took part in the Gravesend Duathlon on 4 August. I’m guessing that they did the Sprint distance (5k run/20k bike/ 3.3k run). Cristina finished in 1:33:25 and Trevor in 1:18:20. 

Track Tuesday

This week we will have Rosie Morgan, the new Everyone Active Contract Community Sports Development Manager for Barking and Dagenham coming along to our track session to take some photos and video footage of our club for their Jim Peters Stadium social media page. This is a great opportunity to promote our Club, so it would be great if you could wear your BRR tops/vests. I will be wearing my new England Athletics coach top, to look all official. Please make sure you follow the social distancing rules and also – if the weather is as warm as predicted – bring along some water/sports drink to stay hydrated. I was going to say ‘liquid refreshment’ but I know you lot are not to be trusted!

It will be another session based on times as that makes it easier to maintain the social distancing; after a warm-up it will be 90 seconds run, 30 seconds recovery x15, followed by a short break then, once you’re all nicely warmed up, a Tabata session of 20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds walk recovery x8; not for the faint-hearted.

We’ll be returning to the full £2 for members/£3 non-members’ track charge this week so remember to bring your pocket money.

BRR on Tour

Thursday 27th August – Dennis has posted details on WhatsApp of the planned cycle to Southend on, started from Rob’s place (Rutland Gardens, Barking) at 9.00am. There’ll be a meal and then the return journey by train. For the faint-hearted, you are welcome to get the train both ways and just meet up for the meal.

Monday 31st August – the not the Phipps 5k/BH5K in Barking Park, starting at 10.30am. We’re planning a staggered start, like we did for the Tad 5. We’ll adjourn to the Royal Oak beer garden afterwards, if the weather is nice.

Sunday 6th September – a trip to Southend, short run, then a meal. More details to follow nearer the time.


You should all  have received your membership renewal email by now. If not, please check your spam first, then get in touch with Cristina. If you’ve changed your email address and haven’t updated it on the England Athletics website, your email may have gone astray. 

Barking (Not)parkrun

It was our best turn-out of Barking Road Runners so far for Barking (not)parkrun. Well done to Jason and Ron for achieving (not)parkrun Personal Bests.

The return of (real)parkrun?

Parkrun HQ published its operating framework describing how parkrun events around the world will operate in countries where there remains an underlying level of COVID-19. It’s a pretty lengthy document, but the main points to note are:

·        Participants and volunteers should NOT attend if they have any covid symptoms. Everyone must follow social distancing rules;

·        Participants should stay local if possible and avoid unnecessary travel;

·        Equipment should be set out and collected with as little human contact as possible (we may be upsetting Chalk Man with chalk arrows rather than using cones);

·        First-timers’ briefings and pre-run briefings should be no more than two minutes;

·        No hanging around, no celebrations and no cakes, biscuits or sweets!

·        Participants must be moved to the start line as close to the start time as possible and started promptly, to minimise the amount of time spent in close proximity to each other;

·        Participants must themselves appropriately, with faster runners towards the front, and slower runners/walkers towards the back (you all do that anyway);

·        All event timing and scanning is to be carried out using the parkrun Virtual Volunteer app (we do that at Barking already);

·        Participants should walk, jog or run with an aim of making use of all available space and minimising the amount of time in close proximity to each other;

·        Participants should not spit anywhere on the course, high-five anyone else, or engage in any other non-essential contact;

·        Finish lines should be as wide as possible to stop crowding;

·        Finish tokens should be handed out at the end of the funnel, and there should be enough scanners to avoid queues;

·        Scanning of finish tokens and personal barcodes must be entirely contactless and at a distance, with participants holding their own position and personal barcodes, then depositing their position token in a receptacle after they have been scanned;

·         Finish tokens and volunteer bibs should be washed after each use.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to remember all this; all parkrunners will be emailed directly with pre-reopening guidelines once a reopening date is confirmed.

Stretches for Runners: #02 – Thigh Stretch

Here’s the runners’ favourite thigh/quadricep stretch. Simple yet effective, but are you doing it correctly, or at all for that matter?

  1. Grab the top of your left foot by the lace behind you and gently pull your heel towards your left buttock.
  2. Avoid leaning forwards or to the side, and keep the knees touching.
  3. Suck your tummy in and push your hips forward to increase the stretch.
  4. Try and balance if you can (focusing on a single spot helps) but, if not, place a hand on a wall or bench. Don’t use a friend while we’ve social distancing.
  5. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
  6. Keep breathing!

A reminder of the do’s and don’ts of stretching:

  • Don’t stretch cold muscles. It is far better to stretch after a run than before.
  • Do stretch lightly before speed work, but only after you have thoroughly warmed-up.
  • Ease into each stretch; don’t bounce or force it.
  • Before speed work, hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds.
  • After a run, hold each stretch for 30 seconds max; repeat if needed.

And finally…

I usually save something light-hearted for the final article, like they do on the Ten O’clock News. But this week I thought I’d finish with a fond farewell to Cristina’s Mum. Some of you may remember the times when she came along to track and Committee members have seen her when we’ve held our meetings at Cristina and Trevor’s. It was an honour to be asked to attend her funeral last Monday along with seven other Road Runners who were able to make it and the orthodox ceremony was very moving. It was lovely to see Cristina’s photo on WhatsApp of her Mum over at Hainault earlier in the year, enjoying Club banter and Club chips! Rest in Peace, Mariana-Luminita.



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