BRR, running up that hill…

Committee News

I’m pleased to welcome Belinda as the newest member of the BRR Committee. Belinda has agreed to take on the role of Membership Secretary. Thank you to Cristina for helping Belinda get up-to-speed with the role, and thanks again to Cristina and Trevor for their time on the Committee.

With Belinda and Dee Spencer-Perkins (Club Secretary) now on the Committee, we are almost at full strength, save for someone to arrange social events. Admittedly, for the last year there wouldn’t have been much that a Social Secretary could have organised. Hopefully things will gradually get better next year so, if you’re interested, please let me know.

As well as welcoming Belinda, the December Committee meeting discussed the upcoming Royal Parks run and other BRR events; presentation arrangements; and Club finances. The minutes will be circulated shortly.


It’s great news that the vaccine (or, should I say, vaccines) is on its way. It brings the return to normality that much closer, though we may have to wait a while before it’s our turn. Sadly, in the meantime, we won’t be able to meet indoors as a group for our usual end-of-season celebrations and presentation night. Ni Christmas Jumper meal either – sob!

So, on Tuesday after track, we’ll be handing out the trophies for the 2019-20 Cross Country season, the 2020 Virtual Handicap competition, and the 2020 Members’ Cup. When I say ‘handing out’, I mean they’ll be on the table for the winners to pick up themselves! If you are one of the lucky winners (see below), it would be great if you could be there to collect your trophy and have your photo taken.

Cross Country:

Women – (1) Debbie Coyle; (2) Rosie Fforde; (3) Charlotte Owen

Men – (1) Joe Stacey; (2) James Lowndes; (3) Rory Burr


(1) Gopal Myilsamy; (2) Kevin Wotton; (3) Jason Li

Members’ Cup – ???????

Of course, only Jason and Rob (who orders the trophies) know who will be getting the Members’ Cup, so come along on the night to find out who is the lucky winner.

Track Tuesday

Yay, we’re back on track again! Let’s hope we don’t have any further lockdowns to break our stride. This week the session will be taken by Rory Burr, so look forward to an interesting and probably hard workout…

A reminder that we must still follow the England Athletics Covid Secure guidelines. This means:

  • Don’t come to track if you, or someone you have been in contact with, have been tested positive, or feel unwell. The most common Covid symptoms are:
    • a new continuous cough
    • a high temperature
    • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
  • If you’re paying cash, please bring the correct money for the session (£2) to minimise cash handling.
  • Use the building only for toilets/handwashing and leaving bags and wear a mask if you come indoors.
  • Come in your kit and change when you get home.
  • Warm-up and stretch outside.
  • Maintain a distance from your fellow runners.
  • Still no teas and coffees – sorry!

A big ‘thank you’ to Debbie for providing online HIIT sessions while track was closed. They were a great way to maintain and improve our running fitness – I know all those who’ve taken part feel that strengthening their upper body, core, and legs has really helped their running performance. The sessions are still available on the Comradesincoaching Instagram page if you want to give them a go.

Planned BRR activities

12 December – Barking Park 3k, starting 9.30am at the Barking parkrun start line. Nice, flat, and quick two-lap course. We’ll make this a regular fixture in January, February and March if people enjoy it, at least until parkrun returns.

13 December – Royal Parks run, meeting at Matthew Parker Street, Westminster at 9.15am (nearest tubes St. James’s Park or Westminster). A gentle social run of around 7.5m or so in St. James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. If you’re driving, remember that the congestion charge now applies at weekends too, unless you are exempt. Here’s me with my homeboys outside Kensington Palace at last year’s run.

20 December – Pre-Christmas hills at Hainault. Starting at 9.30am by the Global Café. The usual warm-up then 10 reps of the hill by the car park or until the last runner finishes. Fast up and recover down.

25 December – the DEFINITELY NOT Christmas park run. 9.30am in Barking Park. So everyone can run, please record your own time. Christmas outfits aren’t compulsory, but they would be fun.

BRR in action

Thanks to Greg for this week’s race report – let’s see what the Barking and Dagenham Post prints!

Lockdown #02 is finally over and it’s time for some real racing, although with plenty of COVID restrictions in place. Chingford league race No. 2  was the first post-lockdown race for Barking Road Runners and Redbridge cycling track at Hog Hill on Sunday was the destination. The 5k course was different to the usual one but was tough, with plenty of hills for those that enjoy them, or to grin and bear for those that that don’t, including the finish at the top of a big hill.

Selected finishing times For BRR runners were Jack  Nixon 18:20, Debbie Coyle 20:38, Paul Withyman 19:36, Paul Ward 22:30, Rory Burr 23:48, Helen Ayers 30:19, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 33:15, Alison Fryatt 33:44, Rob Courtier 34:39 and Kresh Veerasamy 39:34 (apologies to anyone whose time has been missed). Sad for John George, who was unable to run after someone his wife works with tested positive, but he did the right thing by not turning up.

Cristina and Trevor C participated in the third Dartford Bridge Christmas Pudding charity 10k. Cristina finished in a time of 53: 26 and Trevor in 51:05. Good to see Trevor donning his normal work attire for the race, but their running buddy looked a bit worse for wear…

Owen Wainhouse did a virtual 100 mile run divided into 4 marathons completing 104 mile in total. Great stuff Owen!

We had fewer participants at this week’s Virtual Park Run (#VPR38), maybe because you were saving yourselves for the Chingford League. Belinda finished 7th overall and was second female in 25:38 and Kresh was 47th in 41:47.

At Barking (not)parkrun this week, Jason (29:47); Greg (31:24); Alison (33:48), a new (not)parkrun PB. And another PB for Mrs Li this week. She really is catching up with Jason.

Xmas presents for Runners

What do you buy the runner in your life (maybe that’s you) for Christmas, other than a BRR orange hat? All the running books and magazines recommend that you keep a training journal/diary, so you can monitor your training over time and see what does and doesn’t work. A paper journal may sound old-fashioned these days with Garmin Connect and Strava etc available. That is, until the tech goes down. I usually go for the Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log, but have a look at what’s on offer and choose the one that best suits your needs. I also treated myself to a running calendar to keep track of all the races I’ll be entering in 2021, fingers crossed.

Morning Stretches for Runners: #06 – full squats

It’s the last week of our morning stretches for runners and we’re adding squats to complete our full ‘yin yoga flow’. That means the full flow is: neck circles; shoulder shrugs; forward folds; hip circles; standing overhead stretch; and full squats.

Squats are a great all-rounder for runners; a full squat creates ankle mobility, wakes up the glutes and strengthens the thighs and calves. What’s not to like?

How to do it: 

  • Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out, and hands clasped at chest for balance.
  • Send your hips back as if you’re sitting in a chair, then bend knees to lower down as far as possible while keeping chest lifted.
  • Lower until your thighs are at least parallel to floor.
  • Press through your heels to return to start.
  • Repeat 10 times.

And finally…

Not many people know it, but Mo Farah and I share a birthday. We also share a love of running. That’s where the similarity ends. Judging by his performance on ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get me Out of Here!’ I’m better at maths, geography, and at doing an East End accent than he is (Oi, Alfie, leave it aaaaht). And I wouldn’t have any trouble putting my hand into a hole with a few pigeons in it to collect a star. Unfortunately, he’s better at running fast, winning races, and getting gold medals. Of course, this is all just an excuse to print again the photo of Mo having the honour of meeting the Li family.

Happy running


BRR Chair


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