track and race, BRR-style

August Committee meeting

Yet another Committee meeting held via Zoom. Things discussed this month were:

  • Membership – membership was due by the end of August. Members who haven’t paid by 14 September will be charged the £3 track fee until they are paid up.
  • Track Hire – the track hire charge has increased to £50 an hour.
  • Club events – covered later in the blog.
  • 2020 Annual General Meeting – the AGM usually takes place in October. Amongst other thing, it’s where the Committee gets elected for the year ahead, and where any proposed changes to Club rules are discussed and voted on, so it’s important the meeting takes place. However, Covid restrictions will make it difficult this year. The Committee will investigate how the meeting can be held in accordance with Covid guidelines.

Track Tuesday

This is our fourth week back together on a Tuesday night! After the heat of a fortnight ago, last Tuesday’s session was much more comfortable as far as the temperature went. The session itself wasn’t quite so comfortable. We started with Rob’s evil twin taking the runners through some strides. Then it was the ‘descending ladder’. Even I was exhausted afterwards, and I was just shouting out what rep to do! We all needed John’s great cool-down stretching session, including his crafty figure-of-eight squats (you’re so busy tracing the figure of eight with your hand you forget you’re doing loads of squats along the way).

This week’s track session is aimed at building your endurance: 9 x 3 minutes at 10k pace, with a 1-minute jog or walk recovery. A bit random? No, we’re doing nine reps as it leaves time for some quick sprints (30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds recovery x 4) at the end. The idea is to replicate a race, or even parkrun, where you often need to muster the strength for a sprint finish when you’re already tired.

We’d welcome volunteers to take the stretching session this week or in future weeks; stretching after putting your body through a tough session is really important and we’re all more likely to do it if we do it together.

Greg’s news story

Here’s Greg’s latest article for the B&D Post, including the Havering City Scramble that we mentioned last week. If you’d like your exploits to be featured in the Post, or even in this blog, remember to post the details, plus a picture if possible.

“With the not unexpected news that this year’s London Marathon has been cancelled apart from the elite race, the weekly cancellation of other races too, and the finish of the BRR summer handicap series, opportunities to compete are currently thin on the ground and the motivation to get out and run is waning for all runners.

There is the option to run a virtual London Marathon on the day for non-elite runners over any route you choose and it doesn’t have to be run in one go, you have 24 hours to complete it on the 4th of October. Finishers will receive a t-shirt and medal. Fortunately, the BRR track sessions have recommenced and everyone is enjoying them even with the Covid restrictions in place.

A few BRR members managed to find some racing that hadn’t been cancelled. A city scramble 10k was one such event taking place in various boroughs in London and cities throughout the UK. The one BRR chose was over the Havering route. It’s largely a fun event where the runners have to find the clues to solve the puzzle to find the finish location. Due to a few technical difficulties the intrepid BRR runners did 10 miles instead of 10k. Well done.

The Bridge Aquathlon was another event several BRR members competed in wearing their Comrades Triathlon club hats. This race involved a 650-metre swim followed by a 5.8k run. With the event limited to 40 competitors due to Water Safety and staggered starts, BRR’s Debbie Coyle and Charlotte Owen were first and second female finishers, Debbie finishing first with an 8:35 swim and 34:25 run and a Charlotte second in 8:51 and a 41:13 run. Well done all”.

Another cancellation

 Sadly, the Stansted 10k, which had been rearranged for 20 September after the original 7 June date was postponed, has now also cancelled altogether for 2020. As far as we’re aware, the Havering Half is still going ahead on 11 October as planned. If so, that will be two races of our normal 10 race Grand Prix series that have gone ahead.  

Planned BRR activities

A reminder of the Club activities coming up:

Thursday 27th August – it’s not too late to join in the cycle to Southend starting from Rob’s place (Rutland Gardens, Barking). Get in touch with Rob for further details.

Monday 31st August – the ‘not the Phipps 5k/BH5K’ in Barking Park. Please arrive by 10:00am for a 10.30am start. Runners will start 10 seconds apart, like we did for the Tad 5. Only open to BRR and invited guests. At the moment the weather is supposed to be 19 degrees max and dry, which is just right for a 5k. No prizes, just the fun of taking part, though we might buy the winner a drink afterwards in the Royal Oak.

Sunday 6th September – a trip to Leigh-on-Sea, a five-mile run (if you like), then a meal.  Meet on the grass to the left of the station (where the LoSS 10k starts) for a 10:30am start.

Sunday 20th September – The return of the Tad 5 trail race at Hainault. 10:00am start. We’ll make the course a bit simpler so we don’t lose any of you.

Run Through – light at the end of the tunnel?

Run Through have started holding ‘real’ races, including their ever-popular Lee Valley Velopark 5k/10k/HM races, taking place on Saturday 29th August – and you don’t even have to miss parkrun to take part! As you’d expect, special social distancing measures are in place; even the toilets will be social distanced.  Further details at:

Victoria Park Open 5

The Victoria Park Open 5 has switched to a virtual format for 2020. The race is free to enter and you can complete the 5-mile (or 8,047 metre) distance on a course of your choice any time between 00:01 Friday 18 September and 23:59 on Monday 21 September. More details here . You may be able to combine it with the next Tad 5…

Isorun 10 miler – 26th September

The Isorunclub is back with another virtual 10-mile race – ISORACE02 – on Saturday 26 September. This time they say ‘This is a hard start. To qualify you must start between 9.45am and 10.15am’. Not sure how they check that out with a virtual race but I’m sure they have their methods. The race is free but the organisers would welcome a donation to their chosen charities. It would be great to enter a BRR Team, if folk are up for it. Info and entries at

Barking (Not)parkrun

Belinda was first over the line – again! – in 25:06 at Barking (not)parkrun week ending 23 August. Other BRRunners were Jason Li (26:13); Greg (28:22); Trevor P (35:06 – a new PB); and Alison (57:23).

Stretches for Runners: #04 – Iliotibial band (ITB) stretch 

If you’re looking for a stretch to do after a hard track session, you could do much worse than an ITB stretch. If you do the stretch correctly, you should feel the stretch along your outer thigh and hip. If you stretch your arms up over your head, you’ll get an upper body stretch too.

  • To stretch your right ITB, cross your right leg behind your left leg.
  • Keeping both feet on the ground, lean to your left side and push your right hip outwards.
  • Don’t bend forward or stick your buttocks out.
  • Hold for about 15 seconds.
  • Repeat with the left leg.

And finally…

Here are the latest men’s running shorts from Nike. Retro with knobs on (or should that be with knobs in? Sorry guys). Would you wear them to run in? If only the blue stripe was a shade darker it would look great with a BRR vest or t-shirt..

Happy running


BRR Chair


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