Those who run together have fun together

Good News (Fingers Crossed!)

After the trial event in September, the Chingford League will hopefully be kicking off on 24 October at Chingford Plain, Chingford Plain E4 7JQ, subject to the Corporation of London giving the go ahead. Start times for the 5.2 mile, 2-lap multi terrain course, will be Senior Men 9am, Senior Women 10:15am (no junior race this time).

  • Pre-entry only, by 20:00 on Saturday 17th October – let us know if you want to take part.
  • No guests, no transfers, no late entries, or entries on the day. Open to 1st and 2nd claim senior members of the 17 League clubs.  One volunteer helper required per club.
  • More details on Covid Security soon, but likely to be in waves, like the test event.

Other hoped-for dates for the 2020/21 season:

  • 21st November (host/location tbc)
  • 12th December (host/location tbc)
  • There may also be a Hog Hill race (albeit a daylight event – concept provisionally agreed – no access to buildings)
  • 6th February (Victoria Park or Velopark)
  • 13th March – Wanstead Flats relays.

Track Tuesday

Captain Rob and I had a meeting last week with Everyone Active, who manage the Jim Peters Stadium. We expressed our concern about some of the indoor facilities being taken away to be used by the boxing club. We explained that, when Covid restrictions aren’t in place, we don’t just train on track then go straight home; we use the indoor facilities for gathering before and after our training, for doing our stretching session, for refreshments, and socialising with our fellow club members. They have now agreed that we can have sole use of the training rooms during our sessions, so we can use one of our rooms for our stretching and chatting. We can also continue to have use of the kitchen area to make hot drinks – after Covid is out of the way. Roll on the end of these bloomin’ restrictions so we can get back to normal.

The track session for 6 October will be ‘Zigzags’ – the following five times over (41:15 minutes total plus warm-up and cool-down):

  • 3 minutes steady effort
  • 30 seconds recovery
  • 2 minutes faster effort
  • 45 seconds recovery (should have been 30 secs again, but I’m feeling kind)
  • 1 minute hard effort
  • 1 minute recovery

And – weather permitting – I’m sure we can do some body conditioning afterwards, to show Debbie that we are being good while she is away!

Members’ Cup and Club Charity Vote

Hopefully you all saw Jason’s message on 1 October about the vote for the Members’ Cup and Club Charity of the Year. The Member’s Cup is awarded each year to the member judged by his or her fellow members to have made the biggest contribution to the Club in the preceding year. One vote per person – we’ll know if you try and vote twice!

You cannot vote for yourself and the same member cannot win the trophy two years in a row, Jason won last year so don’t vote for him or your vote will be wasted. The member that receives the most votes will receive a trophy. In the event of a tie, all the members with the same number of votes will be awarded a trophy.

The Club also asks members each year if they wish to continue supporting the Club’s official charity – currently Richard House Children’s Hospice – for another year or if they would like to nominate another charity. Members who receive a Club place for the London Marathon are expected to raise funds for the Club Charity, and donations are also made from funds raised at the Club 5k race, quiz nights etc (when they can take place again).

The vote will close on Saturday 31st October, so get voting now! We like the outcome to be a surprise, so please don’t tell others who you are voting for. You can vote via the following weblink: or by just telling Jason your preference.

Greg’s Grapevine – BRR in Action

Sunday 4th October was London Marathon day at least for the elite runners ran the 26.2-mile distance around St James park. For everyone else it was a virtual marathon on a course of their choice, with all day to complete the distance. Several Barking Road Runners’ members entered the virtual run with Cristina (5:07) and Trevor Cooper (4:34) doing their run at Hainault Country Park with hills and mud to make it a bit tougher. Owen Wainhouse (4: 12), Gopal Myilsamy (4:27), Isobel Pinedo Borobio, Faye Spooner, Jason Li, Debra Jean-Baptiste, and Amanda Heslegrave (4:51) also ran, with Amanda completing her run at Barking Park and remarking she is never going to Barking Park again [Amanda, I know it was wet, but not sure you needed the swimming cap and goggles! – Alison]. Elsewhere, Martin Mason and Les Jay completed the Havering virtual half marathon in Hornchurch Country Park, in support of Havering Mind.

BRR dates for your diary

Thursday 8st October – a five-mile fartlek session from the Jo Richardson School, starting at 7.00pm prompt. Make sure you take a mask – you’ll need it to enter the building.

Sunday 11th October – social Club run at Hainault Forest, starting at 9.30am from the car park near the Global Café. Let’s hoe the weather is nicer than last Sunday.

Barking (Not)parkrun

It parktoberfest, and we’re supposed to be encouraging our friends and family members to (not)parkrun with us. I think may have my work cut out with my family. In the meantime, Jason, Greg and I were the BRR representatives at the latest Barking (not) parkrun. Maybe one day I won’t be the last person over the line…

To Bend or not to Bend, that is the Question

We’ve all done it: bent double after a hard effort to get our breath back, only to be told that we should be standing up straight to let the air into our lungs. But a 2019 study quoted in this month’s Runner’s World magazine suggests that we had it right all along. When you are standing up straight, your lungs are hyper-inflated and can’t take in any more oxygen. Bent over with your hands on your knees, your body is in a better position for your diaphragm to function, reducing your heart rate faster.  Give it a go at track…

Don’t just sit there on your ass…exercises for those who sit a lot

Exercise #3 Single-Leg Bridges

Single-leg bridges are great to help engage the gluteus maximus (the largest glute muscle) plus the core and hamstrings. Keep these bridges slow and controlled. Focus on really using your glutes to do the movement.

  • Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about a foot or so away from your butt. Rest your arms at your sides on the floor.
  • Lift your right leg in the air toward the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed.
  • Push through your left foot to lift your glutes, hips, and back off the ground.
  • Slowly lower back down, keeping your right leg in the air.
  • Repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.

And finally…

What is the most important physical attribute to be a fast 100-metre runner? Is it a muscular upper body? Long legs like Usain Bolt? No, apparently the answer is a big bum; Experts at Loughborough University have examined the anatomy of elite athletes and concluded that a large gluteus maximus is essential for sprint speed. So, if you’re sprint finish isn’t as fast as you’d like it to be, you can blame your butt!

Happy Hoofing


BRR Chair


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