Stardate 15112020 and we’re into the second week of Lockdown #02 already, with the prospect of a Covid vaccine dangled tantalisingly in front of us, though it might be quite some time before it is available to everyone. This lockdown is a lot less severe than the first one, with lots of everyday activities seeming to be going ahead as normal. With amateur group sports activities being an exception, of course.

If you do participate in a running (or other sporting) event, please do remember to share the details, including photos. I’ll include them in the blog and – who knows – the Barking and Dagenham Post might even decide to print something.

November Committee Meeting

If you read the BRR 2019-20 Annual Report, you’ll have seen that Trevor and Cristina have decided to step down from the Committee. Once again, thanks to both of them for their valued input. Dee Spencer-Perkins has agreed to act as our Club Secretary on an interim basis, and started by taking the minutes of our November meeting last week. I’m sure you’ll agree she’s done a great job; I think she might has done this sort of thing before…

201109 – November Committee Meeting

Cardio Tuesday

A number of us joined Debbie’s cardio session on Tuesday. Debbie is kindly providing the sessions for us on Instagram (search for Comradesincoaching) each Tuesday while track is closed. They start at 5.30pm and last for around an hour. Last week’s session was focused on exercises that would benefit runners, including arm strengthening, but it was my hamstrings, quads and glutes that were telling me the next day that I’d worked hard. That said, there are always ways to adapt the exercises to match your level of fitness, so do give it a try. If you can’t make the live session, you can catch up using the recordings.

Chingford League

Some good news, hopefully. RunBritain has granted a provisional licence for the next Chingford League race, to be held on December 6th (Sunday afternoon) at Hog Hill and the venue is booked and paid for. Now we just need to hope that Lockdown #02 is lifted on schedule. The proposal is to have:

  • Four separate senior races: 12noon, 13:00; 14:00 and 15:00.
  • 120 entrants in each race, pre-entry only, in socially distant waves as for the first race.
  • No entry to the pavilion, but the League has booked portaloos. In a downpour people would be able to stand under cover outside the pavilion, provided they socially distance.
  • No spectators will be allowed, to support social distancing.

It sounds likely that 3-5 clubs will be grouped together for each of the timeslots, so it’s not possible yet to say which timeslot our race would be. Men and women would run together in each of what effectively would be four mini mob matches. The results of all four races would then be combined into a single coherent list of results. The League organisers will be back in touch with us at the end of November if it looks likely the race can go ahead, to invite entries and allocate clubs into groups in a particular race slot. If lockdown doesn’t end, they will postpone the whole thing to a later date.

Unfortunately, the “no spectators” rule will still apply so it won’t be possible to hold a juniors’ race this time (mainly an issue for our champion, Joseph Grange), but the organisers are trying to arrange something in the New Year.

BRR in action

Well done to Ron for running his fastest 5K of the year in Barking Park on Wednesday, a fantastic 22:37:7, spurred on by Paul Grange. A nice little PB to add to his Barking (not)parkrun results and, Ron, there is no way you have a pot belly! Belinda, Jason, Alison, and Greg also recorded Barking (not)parkrun times. Good to see Mrs Li posting her first (not)parkrun result; we’ll sign her up for the Club one day…

How fab to get three BRR runners in the top ten of last Saturday’s Virtual Park Run (#VPR35). Martin P was third overall in 21:09; Debbi C was first female and fourth overall in 22:45; and Belinda was sixth overall and third female in 24:38. Kresh also flew the flag for BRR, finishing in 42:55.

At the other end of the scale, a big ‘thank you’ from me to birthday boy Micky Ball who helped me to run 10k at Hainault on Sunday, the furthest I’ve run since my stress fracture in July. My time of 1:30:50 was not the fastest, but stands me in good stead for my virtual Leiden 10K (in place of the Leiden HM, which has been cancelled). which I have to run between 22 and 29 November.

Centurion Running

I thought I’d leave the Centurion Running virtual hundred miler challenge to Owen and James L; I’d struggle to run 100 miles in a month, let alone the week (23 November to 29 November) allowed by the challenge. However, having checked the website, there is a range of distances you can commit to run, from 5k to the full 100 miles. You can spread your distance out across the whole week, or do it all in one go. More details at

Morning Stretches for Runners

Week three of our morning stretches for runners, and our ‘yin yoga flow’ is really starting to take shape. Following the neck circles and shoulder shrugs, this week we’re adding yet another familiar stretch: the forward fold, otherwise known as touching your toes, but it’s the folding not the toe-touching that has the fitness benefits. Both John Lang and Debbie include the forward fold in their after-exercising stretching sessions, and for good reason: it lengthens your arms; loosens your hamstrings; stretches your upper back; and works your spinal mobility, all in one simple move. And you’ll get these benefits however far you can fold down – you don’t have to be super-flexible and bendy like Nehal!

#03: Forward Fold

How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms hanging loose at sides. or in front of you. Soften knees and fold forward, letting your head fall toward the ground. Pause at the bottom, then take a deep breath in. Breathe out and see if you can fold any further. Do this a couple of times, then slowly unfold, to return to standing position. Repeat a couple of times if you wish.

And finally…

Well done to Dennis for being awarded the GreenRoad Certificate of achievement for outstandingly safe (bus) driving over four or more consecutive years. I was certainly pleased it was Dennis bearing down on us in his big red bus when Chris stepped out onto Longbridge Road early on Thursday morning. Alas, Dennis may be a Master of safe bus driving, but he wasn’t quite as good at staying upright at a very wet and muddy Hainault on Sunday! Nice pink top, though…

Stay safe and stay upright



BRR Chair


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