The Barking Hillbillies on Thursday night

Good to see our sport up and running again over the weekend, at the British Championships in Manchester. I did note that some of the events, such at the mens’ 1,500m, was not as spaced out on track as we have been told by England Athletics that our sessions must be. However, I end to record these sort of programmes, so I can fast-forward all the chat, so perhaps I missed the bit where they explained that all the participants had been tested in some way before competing.

Track Tuesday

Well, the timing went wrong but I don’t think anyone noticed…

Apologies once again to the milers for losing all your times. Thank goodness most of you had recorded your own times so we were able to piece together the results. I will practice and practice and practice again with the timing app before the next timed mile (29 September).

There was no sign of the boxing club that was supposed to be using the stadium building, though Rob saw them there on Thursday. What was present last Tuesday were a horde of gnats/mosquitoes who enjoyed feasting on us, particularly during John’s cool-down stretches. 

If biting beasties find you tasty (like they do me) remember to wear some insect repellent this week. Debbie will be taking this week’s session, so come prepared to work hard! 

Finally, a reminder that you can now pay for your track sessions online, reducing the need to bring/handle cash on the night. Just pay your track subs directly into the BRR bank account (Account Number 42026724, Sort Code 40-03-33, reference ‘Track Subs’). We’re asking that you pay for 10 weeks (£20) at a time, if you can. We’ll keep track (pardon the pun) of when you have used your sessions – you don’t have to use them on consecutive weeks. We will still accept cash on the night if that’s easier for you. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, you will have to pay £3 a session until you’ve paid up.

Didn’t we have a lovely time…

…the day we went to Leigh-on-Sea? Ok, most of you are far too young to remember the song I’m misquoting (ask me and I’ll sing it for you), but the 20 BRR members and family who went to Leigh-on-Sea on Sunday had a great time. The 10k run or cycle along the seafront from Leigh to Southend Pier in pleasant sunshine was followed by a – socially distanced – lunch at the Peterboat. 

Earlier in the week, our triathlon Comrades  were in action again at the Aquathlon. A little bird told me that Debbie was first female and Paul Wyatt was third male, but all our participants put in strong performances. Personally, I think they just like dressing up in rubber…

Planned BRR activities

Thursday 10th September – Second hill training in Mayesbrook Park. Meet in the car park opposite the Roundhouse pub for a 6.30pm start. The session will last for about an hour. You can join in late if that’s too early for you – the group will be running up and down the hill beside the railway line.

Saturday 12th September – Debbie’s HIIT workout at 5.00pm. Just search for comradesincoaching on Instagram.

Saturday 19th September – BRR Social. Cycle to Tilbury then lunch at Gravesend. More information to follow. 

Sunday 20th September – the next Tad 5 trail race at Hainault, with a slightly more straightforward course than the last race. 10:00am start.

Tuesday 22nd September – Predicta 5k at track. Guesstimate your 5k time then run it – without your watch to help you! Runner who finishes closest to their predicted time is the winner. 

Return to Cross Country

The autumn/winter should see the beginning of our Cross Country (XC) season in the South Essex Cross Country League (SECCL). Normally by now the League organisers would have held the annual fixtures meeting to settle the dates, hosts and venues for the season. However, everything has been delayed because of the uncertainty of the current situation.

Recently, England Athletics published an update on a restricted return to cross-country competition although this only outlined provisional dates for county leagues and championships plus other national competitions and gave a time frame for pilot XC events and when XC licenses will be issued and races may commence. The actual detail of how a race could take place won’t be released until the week commencing the 14th September, but the update says ‘Cross Country competition will be unable to resume in the traditional format, adaptations will have to be made based on the current circumstances regarding the virus’.

The SECCL organisers are waiting to see guidelines and will then decide if it will be possible for some form of competition to take place between the 12 clubs in the League. We’ll keep you updated.

The organisers of the Chingford League are also exploring whether it will be possible to hold the competition this autumn/winter. As revealed by Gary C, a trial race is being held, for a strictly limited number of invited competitors, on 12 September. More news next week.

Virtual Valentines 5K

East London Runners club is inviting everyone to race their 5k in Valentines Park virtually this year. Anyone can run the course between the Friday 11th September 8:00am till the Sunday 13th September 7.00pm to run it, with until 10.00pm that night to post your results  through this link:

The course will be the same as organised every year by ELR in Valentines Park. The course will also be marked with chalk. There will be virtual awards organised for:

The best team/best Senior/best Vet/best 50+/best 60+ for both male and female. An extra award will also be given to the best finish line photo as well.

Full information is available on their website

The virtual race is free and you will not need to enter in advance. However, as times have been hard for charities, ELR are asking participants to consider making a small donation to their charity partner ELHAP through this link:

Barking (Not)parkrun

Jason was the star BRR Barking (not)parkrunner this week, finishing his 5k in 26:16, virtually followed by Greg in 33:11. We may not need to depend on (not)parkrun for much longer, if the news reported on the BBC today is correct and ‘real’ parkrun will be returning – to England, at least – by the end of October. Of course, parkrun HQ will have to find way of preventing hordes of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parkrunners descending on English parkruns, as covid restrictions vary between the home nations. 

Stretches for Runners: #06 – Lower back stretch

Lots of us have bad posture and weak backs from spending too much time sitting down, then we put our back under stress by running hard. It’s important to stretch those tight muscles after a run to relax them and minimise the risk of injury. Some of Debbie’s neutral spine exercises would help too. 

·         Lie on your back with both feet flat.

·         Pull your right knee to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back.

·         Hold for up to 15 seconds and repeat with the left leg.

·         Then, pull both knees to your chest and hold for up to 15 seconds.

And finally….

We all know Jason is a fantastic photographer, but I thought he excelled himself last week with his couples photos. And all using a mobile phone too. I’d like to think that I could buy the same model of phone and produce equally good photos, but who am I trying to kid? Of course, it helps to have such photogenic subject matter…

Safe running


BRR Chair


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