We’ve been reminiscing over the past week about all the ‘old favourite’ races that we’ve missed over the past year. No ELVIS (East London fiVes Interclub Series) races at all in 2020. Likewise, no Crown-to-Crown races at Westley Heights Country Park, no Horndon-on-the Hill 10k, no Ingatestone 5, no Benfleet 15, the South Essex cross-country season just hasn’t happened (who would have thought we’d miss wading through freezing, thigh-deep, water at Hadleigh?), and the Chingford League had to stop just as it was getting going.

Normally, at this time of year, the Committee would be busy sorting out the Grand Prix season and looking forward to the ELVIS planning meeting, but it’s too early to know what races will be able to go ahead in 2021. I hope you’ll bear with us; we’ll get back to organising ‘real’ Club competitions as soon as we can. In the meantime, please keep motivated and compete in the virtual challenges we are organising (see below). At its heart, running is a social, rather than solitary, activity so it’s sad we can’t get together as normal. It’s great to be able to run – and discuss running – with like-minded people.  Fast or slow, we are all runners and share the same love of the sport. Keep strong, and we’ll be back out there and doing what we love, together, soon.

BRR Committee

The minutes of the January Committee meeting can be found here. Please read for information about the 2021-22 membership payment.

BRR activities

No real races on the immediate horizon, so we’re organising a few virtual events to keep you going. For all these virtual events, you can run anytime between Monday and Saturday in the relevant week, then post your result by Midnight on Saturday to be included in the results. The Timed Mile is just a training run, to compare with your pre-lockdown performance, but the One Hour Run and the Virtual Handicap are proper competitions so we need a photo of your watch, or link to your Strava/Garmin Connect (or other running app) account to verify your results. All first and second-claimers welcome to take part. If you could take some photos of yourself after your efforts, it would be great – we can send the results of these activities to the B&D Post, and we are more likely to get an article published when accompanied by a nice photo (though nothing could beat the photo they used of me eating a bacon sandwich at the Leigh-on-Sea Striders 10k a few year ago).

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. Have you maintained your fitness during lockdown? There’s only one way to find out!

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 can run any route you like but do follow the Covid guidelines valid at the time of your run.

w/c 1 February – Virtual handicap. Run 5k on the course of your choice between the Monday and Saturday. Handicaps based on your best time from last year’s competition will be applied (or your best parkrun time in the last year or so, if you didn’t compete in the handicap). Thanks to Dennis for offering to sort out the timings – let’s hope he can sort out Trevor C’s whizzy timing software!

BRR in Action

Debbie kindly put us through our paces in her Instagram body conditioning class on Tuesday, despite still suffering the after-effects of Covid. The plank variations were particularly enjoyable(!).

Well done to everyone who managed to register their time for the England Athletics Virtual Road Relay Competition 2020/21. I think, in the end, we didn’t have enough female participants to make up a full team, but there were great times posted nonetheless:

Place Name Cat Cat Pos Time
464 Jack NIXON M35 65 29:46.00
508 Joe STACEY SM 223 29:59.00
613 Paul GRAINGE M40 91 30:33.00
725 Paul WITHYMAN M35 104 31:13.00
1261 Martin PAGE M60 9 34:39.00
2068 Belinda RICHES W45 120 43:06.00
2218 Jason LI M50 128 45:47.00
2437 Alison FRYATT W55 55 58:59.00

Martin Page completed his first Barking (not)parkrun in a fantastic time of 22:01, which bagged him first place overall. Belinda was next across the virtual line in 24:44. Jason finished in 28:08 followed by Alison in 33:18. Mrs Li hasn’t run for a few weeks; I hope she hasn’t been scared off by the threat of BRR membership if her times kept improving. Belinda’s family were out in force – kudos to Belinda for getting and keeping them active.

Martin’s 22:01 was also good enough to earn him third place overall in Virtual Park Run. Belinda posted her 24:44 time, and Kresh showed that he is returning to form by finishing in 39:49.

Comedy Corner

The weather was really terrible last week. Chris spent the whole of Wednesday just staring at the window.

In the end I had to let him in.

Boom! Boom!

Les’s joke this week was considered unsuitable for those of a sensitive disposition. Let’s just say the joke featured diarrhoea and Bisto…

I’m always touched by your presents dear

We all ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ on WhatsApp over Gary Harford’s late Christmas present from his daughter; a lovely box of running-related goodies. Which made me think – what is the best running-related gift that you have ever received, either from someone else or as a pressie to yourself? It would be great if you could let us know via the attached survey link, and I’ll share the results in next week’s blog.


Simple moves for stronger and more injury-resistant joints

Move #06: Lying leg curls

This move is great for improving your core strength. It’s similar to some of the floor exercises that Debbie does in her body conditioning sessions, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. The exercise has the double effect of mobilising the lower back and strengthening your core.

How to do it:

Lie on your back and lift your knees to around 90 degrees. Contract your stomach muscles and roll your pelvis back, lifting the legs up, before returning to start position. Do three sets of 15-20 reps – if you can. You may need to build up to it. Be careful not to push this if you feel any back pain.

And finally…

I was conned into buying these new Walkers crisps in the mistaken belief that they must be healthy because they are baked and ‘with veg’. On reading the ingredients list, that is not quite true. The vegetable content of each is hardly great, with 10% beetroot or sweet potato powder in each bag, and they also contain glucose syrup, extra sugar, and wheat flour which makes them unsuitable for the gluten intolerant or celiac amongst us. That said, they’re only 100 calories a bag, the salt content isn’t too bad, and they are rather tasty. Oh well, ‘enjoy as part of a balanced diet’, I suppose…

Take care,


BRR Chair


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