An artist’s impression of handicap #04 winner, DSP.

Howdie BRR,

The March BRR Committee meeting took place last week and the minutes can be found by clicking here. Our thoughts are turning to the organisation of track sessions, and how the Club Grand Prix competition is going to go ahead with races still falling out of the calendar and uncertainty about whether other events will go ahead or not.

Running in the News

Unfortunately, ten members of GB & NI squad and officials involved in the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Torun have now tested positive for Covid. The whole squad was already having to self-isolate after a staff member tested positive. An initial investigation has found that the virus was transmitted at two hotels where strict Covid protocols were not followed, particularly on the day the Championships ended. I remember thinking when I was watching the on TV that there was a lot of hugging and kissing going on when the event was supposed to be socially distanced. We’ll have none of that business when we get back to track!

The GB Olympic Marathon and 20k Trials will take place next Friday, 26th March. Sorry, I know you will all be disappointed, but entry is restricted to invitation only. The race will take place at Kew Gardens, with marathon hopefuls completing one small lap and 12 big laps of the Gardens, which are usually out of bounds for runners, finishing in front of the Palm House. No spectators are allowed, but the event will be streamed at:

Talking of the Olympics, Tokyo Olympics’ creative chief, Hiroshi Sasaki, has resigned after suggesting that a popular Japanese plus-sized female comedian, Naomi Watanabe, could appear as an “Olympig” wearing pig ears at the opening ceremony of the Games. Charming! Ms Watanabe hasn’t commented.

BRR in Action

It was time for Winter Virtual Handicap #04 last week, and the competition is hotting up. Twenty-seven members submitted a time this week, with Dennis Spencer-Perkins once again finishing first, 1 minute and 5 seconds inside his handicap. Sophie Wotton was second, 58 seconds inside her handicap, and Ken Summerfield finished third, 55 seconds inside his handicap. A further nine runners also bettered their handicap times.

Charlotte Owen has returned to top spot in the overall series on 382 points, with round three leader Martin Brooks slipping back into second place with 380 points, and Belinda Riches moving up to third with 354 points. With three races still to go there is plenty of time for change in the order of merit. Note that Dennis, the HC organiser, has adjusted some of the scores from previous races (e.g. if two people achieved the same result, in line with normal scoring convention, he has given 100 points, 100 points, 98 points, rather than 100 points, 100 points, 99 points).

Great performances at Barking (not)parkrun, with BRR members taking the first three places and all earning new NPR PBs. Well done to Martin Page (20:05), Ron Vialls (22:29), and Belinda Riches (23:04). Jason Li (26:17), Rob Courtier (30:49), Alison Fryatt (33:11) and Greg Adams (33:59) also ran. We hadn’t seen Mrs Li for a few months and I thought we scared he off by threatening to sign her up for BRR, but she was back this week with a new PB of 35:12. Now, where’s that membership form…

Martin Page also took first place at Virtual Park Run, finishing in 20:06. Kresh Veerasamy was the only other BRR runner, finishing in 41:01.

BRR Diary

More details of the Chingford League race at Hog Hill on Monday 5 April are now available. The venue has now been booked and the Runbritain permit issued, so it should be good to go, assuming no Covidisasters.

Barking Road Runner’s start time is: 12.10pm

Pre-entry is compulsory. I know some of you have already said you want to take part, but grateful if everyone who wishes to compete could send me the following information: 

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Date of birth (date, month, year)
  • Estimated 5k time, rounded to the nearest whole minute e.g. 21, 16, 29 or whatever it is! This is just to decide which wave you go in, so don’t spend too long mulling over it.

NO LIMIT TO SENIOR ENTRIES but I’m afraid it doesn’t seem to be open to juniors.

Bib numbers will be issued on the day. All the usual Covid stuff:

  • Two metres distancing before, during, and after the race, no finish funnel.
  • wave start as per the wave letter on the competitor’s named number bib.
  • spectators are discouraged.
  • no entry to the pavilion and please try not to congregate near the entrance.
  • Start and finish will be near the bottom of the big hill (don’t ask me which one!).
  • One Volunteer/Helper per club (either for our Club’s race, or one of the runners can help at the race after at 13:00).

Other Action

23 March @ 5.00pm – the last chances to join in Debbie’s fitness session on Instagram (search ComradesinCoaching). All the sessions are saved, if you want to give them a go.

22 March to Midnight 27 March – The Fabulous Thirty. How far can you run in 30 minutes? Half the time of the Hour Challenge, so you should be able to really put your foot – or feet, preferably – down.

29 March to Midnight 3 April – Winter Handicap #05.

Tuesday 30 March – Track night. Oh yes, we’re back at track and it’s the mile time trial. For those of you who haven’t had a track to run on over the last few months, it will be interesting to see how your times compare. If you can’t make track, post your time on the 5k handicap/race results thread and I’ll include it in the blog.

12:15pm, 5 April – Hog Hill 5k, Chingford League. Details as above.

5 April to Noon 11 April – Age-Graded 10k.  You’ve done the age-graded 5, now let’s see how you get on over 6.2 miles. I’m allowing half a day extra as some of you do your long run on a Sunday morning.

12 April to Midnight 17 April – Winter Handicap #06.

17 April – Chingford League Relays. Eastbrookend Country Park. Details TBC.

18 April to Midnight 24 April – The Furious 15. You’ve seen how far you can run in an hour, you’ve seen how far you can run in half an hour, now it’s time to see how far you can run in 15 minutes. Two miles? Two kilometres? There’s only one way to find out – RUN!

26 April to Midnight 1 May – Winter Handicap #07.

7.30pm, Wednesday 12 May – Crown to Crown.

22/23 May Great Baddow Virtual 10. There is a charge to enter this race, but the proceeds go to charity. Nearer the time, we might look and see if we can run together. Watch this space.

31 May (real) OR 29 May to 6 June (virtual) – The Vitality 10k.

Running Shoe Trivia

Apparently Hoka One One should actually be pronounced hoka on-ay on-ay. The shoe brand originated in France, but where is the name from, and what does it actually mean?

Answer at the bottom of the blog.

Cracker Corner

Just flipped our microwave over onto its side and he absolutely loves it!

10 Reasons your Neck and Shoulders Hurt While Running

No. 3 – You look down at the ground

Your eyes might not seem all that important when it comes to running form, but the rest of your body will follow your gaze, so it’s important to pay attention to it. Your body follows your line of sight, so if you’re looking down at the ground it can affect the way you hold your neck, which affects the position of your shoulders and back, which in turn causes pain in your hips and knees. Basically, looking down messes with your entire running form. When you run, tuck your chin in and keep your eyes up towards the horizon, glancing down occasionally to check for obstacles and uneven pavements.

And finally…

Has anyone else noticed the ‘X-Committee tea room’ hut by the allotments in Barking Park? It fascinates me whenever I walk past. If anyone knows the story behind it, I’d love to know, but in my imagination there has been a massive rupture between past and present committee members, so bad that they can no longer even drink a cup of tea together. The BRR Committee can get a bit excited sometimes – because we all care about the Club – but we’ve never got as far as needing separate places for a cuppa. Well, not so far…

Happy Running



BRR Chair

Trivia answer: The shoes are named after a Maori language phrase which translates loosely as “fly over the earth”. The company was founded in Annecy, France in 2009, by two former Salomon employees. The brand gained attention by producing maximalist shoes at a time when the minimalist or barefoot running trend was gaining popularity.

The oversized soles were intended to allow faster downhill running due to their inherent stability. This made them popular with ultrarunners. But the shoes’ combination of maximal cushioning and minimal weight soon made them popular with other runners too.

HOKA was purchased on April 1, 2013 by Deckers Brands, the parent company for UGG.


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