Note: this does NOT constitute a varied diet, even for runners…

Latest England Athletics Guidance

Following the PM’s announcement last week, EA updated its guidance for athletes. The rules seem to be constantly changing at the moment, so the guidance may well be different in the next few days’ time but, at the moment, the following is allowed:

  • The UK Government has confirmed that individuals can exercise outside of their home in a public outdoor space, limited to once per day and not involving travel outside their local area, as follows:
    • By themselves
    • With people they live with
    • With their support bubble (if legally permitted to form one)
    • In a childcare bubble where providing childcare
    • Or, when on their own, with one person from another household
  • 1:1 training sessions can be delivered by qualified coaches
  • Virtual competitions can still take place.

Anyone taking part in any virtual activity should at all times observe the above restrictions. Social distancing guidance should be followed at all times.

The full guidance can be found here. Of course, we want to protect the reputation of the Club and not be seen to be breaking the rules but – more importantly – we want to protect our members and their families, so please be safe and sensible out there.

BRR Committee

The January Committee meeting took place on the 10th. Issues discussed were the Membership portal and membership fees for 2021-22, Club finance, and virtual races. The full minutes will be posted soon.

BRR Activities

A reminder that you have a few extra days to compete in and submit your 5-mile time for the England Athletics Virtual Road Relay Competition 2020/21. The deadline for running the 5-mile distance is now 23:59 on 13 January, with results to be entered on the OpenTrack system by noon on the 14th. DON’T FORGET TO POST YOUR RESULT!!! Please don’t think that only fast people can take part; we need four men and four women to make up the team, so your time could be crucial for us, however fast or slow. Thanks again to Jack for flagging this virtual competition. More details and sign-up for free here. 

Tuesday 12 January @ 5.00pm – Debbie’s Instalive fitness session. If she is still too poorly to do all the exercises herself, I’m sure we can do her proud if she just barks orders at us! Just head to Comradesincoaching on Instagram. In the meantime, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Debbie, Paul, and all of our other members who’ve been struck down recently.

As it looks like we might be in lockdown of one form or another for a while still, we are pressing ahead with virtual races. For all these events, remember it is the elapsed time on your watch that counts, NOT your moving time, and remember to follow whatever Covid restrictions are in place at the time of your run. More details will be posted shortly, but here are the dates for your diaries:

w/c 25 January – BRR Timed Mile – some of you are missing our end-of-the-month timed mile at track, so we’re going virtual. You have a week to run and post your best mile time. More details soon.

w/c 1 February – BRR One Hour Run – how far can you go in an hour? Winner is the person who posts the longest run. You have a week to run and post your distance. More details soon.

Virtual Handicap Series #01 – we may hold more than one this year, depending on how things go. The distance is 5k, on the course of your choice.

HC01  1 – 6 February
HC02  15 – 20 February
HC03  1 – 6 March
HC04  15 – 20 March
HC05  29 March – 3 April
HC06  12 April – 17 April
HC07  26 April – 1 May
Dates are from Monday to Saturday. you can run the 5k distance any time during that period, but your result (with a photo) must be submitted by Midnight on the Saturday.

BRR in Action

Ron Vialls was first over the virtual line at Barking (not)parkrun, in 22:57. Ron also scored the highest age grading of 75:16%. Pretty impressive, eh? Second-claimer Natalie was first woman in 24:15, with Belinda Riches not far behind in 25:14. Jason finished in 28:51 and Alison (me!) got a new (not)parkrun PB of 32:28. It’s not too late to start logging your (not)parkruns. Just go into your parkrun profile, click on (not)parkrun and enter the date and time for your run. You can record as many 5k runs as you like; your fastest run will appear in the stats.

Belinda’s time was good enough to bag her second female in virtual park run. Kresh also recorded a time of 42.10

Breaking news

I forgot to renew my Scrabble Society membership.  Now they’re sending me threatening letters.

I found myself stuck with the letters ‘D’ and ‘O’ at the end of a game of scrabble. I had to try and make do.

The Scrabble museum was robbed last night. The curators are at a loss for words.

Boom! Boom! Ok, ok, I won’t give up the day job…

Equal Access to Race Distances

Our cross country league (the South Essex Cross Country League, or SECCL) seems to be ahead of the curve by having the same distance races for men and women. But that’s not the case for a lot of cross country competitions.  England Athletics is now undertaking a survey to capture thoughts on how cross country can provide equal opportunities for all participants at all levels in the future. You can take part in the survey here.

Fancy twisting your melons?

Did you see on the news that Bez from the Happy Mondays will be launching his own online YouTube fitness classes “Get Buzzin’ with Bez” on 17 January? Unfortunately, he won’t just be shaking his maracas, but will instead be guided through the sessions by a personal trainer. Bez said that people can join him “on this mad journey or just sit on the sofa and have a good laugh at me”. He added “At the very least, I know I’ll be making people smile, at best I’ll be helping people get fit and mentally happier alongside me.”

Simple moves for stronger and more injury-resistant joints

Move #05: Child’s Pose or Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh)

This is a classic yoga pose and one of Debbie’s favourites for recovering after some tough floor exercises (which is all of Debbie’s floor exercises). The lower back is prone to pain owing to the loss of cushioning in the discs as we age, and/or stiffness from poor posture and core control. Child’s Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso. It feels really nice too.

How to do it:

Kneel with knees shoulder-width apart, feet together and bottom near the floor. Tuck your bum under while you lower your head and reach your arms forward. Hold for two minutes. If you creep your fingers forward, you get a great stretch in your shoulders and arms too.

And finally…

The discussion on WhatsApp last week about Doctor Who and weeping angels reminded me of Saturday evenings all those years ago, hiding from my most feared Doctor Who opponents – the Cybermen. For non-Doctor Who fans, the Cybermen are a species of emotionless, space-faring, cyborgs who convert human beings (or other similar species) to join and populate their ranks. I think the fact that they looked like people somehow made them more frightening than the Daleks or the Doctor’s other enemies. Only the previous week, while looking at one of my mile runs on Garmin Connect, I realised that there is a Cyberman hidden in plain sight in Loxford Park. No doubt this is a Cyberman signal and Loxford Park is where the cyborg invasion will begin. Wait a minute, perhaps it has already started…

Be careful out there


BRR Chair


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