Howdie Road Runners

Our trip to the York 10 at the weekend reminded me of what a great sport running is. Most non-runners would think that running is a solitary activity and, it’s true, the fact that you can just put on your kit and head out the front door by yourself, at any time of the day, is one of the advantages of running. But it’s also a great participative activity, whether running as part of a team effort, like at the Chingford League or ELVIS, with friends at track or a training run, or – as Dennis, Rob, Joyce and I did at York, running our own race but with great company before or afterwards, what’s not to love?

Members’ Cup 2021 and Club Charity

Last few weeks to place your vote for the member who you think has made the biggest contribution to the Club in the preceding year. As previously explained, you cannot vote for yourself and, as I won last year, you cannot vote for me!

You can find the link to vote here:  Remember, remember, the vote closes on 5 November.

October Committee Meeting

The discussion at this month’s Committee meeting mainly focused on the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. We also agreed to hold an internal cross country competition over the winter, and agreed a date for a low-key presentation evening: Friday 26 November.

The full minutes of the meeting can be found here: 211013 – October 2021 Committee meeting v2.

A little bird told me…

It was someone’s birthday today. Now, who on earth could that be…? Only kidding, we all know the answer to that question – happy birthday Alan Cramner! Enjoy wearing your new parkrun Volunteer 50 t-shirt.

BRR in action

(Greg ‘the newshound’ Adams)

Several Barking Road Runners members travelled to York at the weekend to compete in the York 10 mile race and a bit of parkrun tourism at the same time.

Alison Fryatt and Rob Courtier did the York parkrun at York race course and were joined by Dennis Spencer-Perkins and Joyce Golder for the 10-mile race.

Joyce was first BRR member to finish in a time of 1:28:06 followed by Dennis Spencer-Perkins 1:40:39, Rob Courtier 1:51:11 and Alison Fryatt 1:52:38.

At Barking park run this week Alan Murphy did his 250th run with 241 of these at Barking. Alan was present at the first Barking parkrun nine years ago and is still going strong. As well as 250 runs he has volunteered 192 times either marshalling, setting up or marking the course. Why not join him and others 9.00am every Saturday at Barking Park?

BRR parkrunners this week

Barking Park

Adrian Davison 21:32 PB, Owen Wainhouse 21:42 Joyce Golder 24:56 (PB), Andrew Hiller 26:04, Martin Brooks 26:42,  John Lang 26:36, Isobel Pinedo Borobio 28:13, Martin Mason 31:25, Greg Adams 31:43, Les Jay 32:34, Dawn Blake 33:55, Micky Ball 37:07, Jenni Birch 38:48,  Alan Murphy 47:25 and Trevor Parkin 47:48.


Martin Page 23:43

Chalkwell Beach 

Antony Leckerman  21:50 and Ron Vialls 23:06.


Kresh Veerasamy 34:56.


Nikki Cranmer 34:23.

Valentines Park

Kevin Wotton 23:23.


Rory Burr 23:54, Alison Fryatt 34:57, and Rob Courtier 34:58.

BRR Diary

7.00pm, Tuesday 19 October – Speed Development, Jim Peter’s Stadium. I’ll be stuck in the House of Lords on Tuesday (no, I haven’t been elevated to the peerage, just supporting a Minister with some new legislation), so Captain Rob will be doing the honours. Which means (drum roll) … 10 x 300m reps.

7.30pm (women), 8.00pm (men)  – Wednesday 20 October – Lee Valley Velopark 5k. Chingford League 03. Free entry for BRR members. You have until Midnight 18th October to let me know if you want to run. If you have previously run a race this season, please re-use your number. The cafe is open in the Velodrome, so please use it. Toilets, showers and lockers also available.

6.30pm, Thursday 21 October – road run from Jo Richardson School. One hour maximum.

7.00pm for a 7.15pm start – Thursday 28 October – BRR AGM, Jo Richardson School, Gale Street. We’ll try and fit in a quick run beforehand.

11.00am, Sunday 14 November – Stebbing 10. SOLD OUT!!!!!

7.00pm, Friday 26 November – 2021 Presentation. Prince of Wales Pub, Green Lane. Trophies will be awarded for the ELVIS competition, Handicap competition, and Members’ Cup.

Running Hero – Kriss Akabusi

A 400m relay team mate of last week’s running hero, Roger Black, Akabusi had a tough start in life.

Born as Kezie Akabusi in Paddington in 1958 to Nigerian parents who were studying in London, Akabusi went into foster care/children’s homes at the age of four with his brother Riba when his parents returned to their country. Due to the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War, he lost contact with them in 1967. He was later reunited with his mother in his teens but decided he wanted to remain in the UK.

Akabusi joined the British Army in 1975 and changed his name to Kriss, spelling it with a ‘k’ to retain his initials. Speaking of the name change, he said:

“When I joined the army, I made the transition from a boy who had been in a children’s home with very little direction – as long as you weren’t bunking off school or nicking cars, you were left alone. The army wasn’t like that, it had a structure and meaning.

“I wanted to divorce myself from Kezie. I saw myself as not normal because normal to me was having a mum and dad and coming from a home you could call your own. Everyone I met in the army seemed to have that. I chose the name Kriss which kept the initial K while blending with my future.”

Akabusi started his army career in the Royal Corps of Signals before switching to the Army Physical Training Corps (as it was then called) in 1981. It was during his time in the military, in 1983, that his potential in athletics was discovered. He initially specialised in the 400m before switching to the 400m hurdles in 1987.

As a member of the British 4 × 400m relay team, Akabusi won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

In 1990 he broke the longstanding – 22 years – British 400m hurdles record with a time of 47.93 on his way to a gold medal at the European Championships. He also won the 400 m hurdles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

At the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, Akabusi won the bronze medal in the 400m hurdles and a gold medal as a member of the 4 x 400 relay team alongside Roger Black, Derek Redmond and John Regis. You may remember from last week’s blog that their combined winning time of 2:57.53 set a new British and European record.

Akabusi retired from athletics after the 1992 Olympics, where he won the bronze medal in the 400m hurdles, beating his own GB record. He also won a bronze in the 4 × 400m relay. However, despite winning Olympic medals, Akabusi still counts his proudest achievement as becoming European champion in 1990, saying:

“To stand on the top as a champion and to have your name etched in the record books, that is something else. To be Kezie Akabusi, the kid from a children’s home, having the world clapping you and slapping you on the back, is amazing.”

Cracker Corner – the fruit edition

Why did the banana go to the doctors? It wasn’t peeling well.

What do vampire footballers have at half-time? Blood oranges.

What do you get when you cross a lemon and a cat? A sour puss.

What is Darth Vader’s favourite fruit? Empire apples.

Boom! Boom!

And finally…

Jason Li eat your heart out! Think you’re the only one who can take a good photo? What about my fantastic photo of Cliffords Tower? Dating from the 13th century, it is one of the most historic sites in York, built on the same spot as a previous wooden structure that witnessed the slaughter of York’s entire Jewish population in 1190.

Unfortunately, my picture is a fake,  a photo taken from the hoarding that is currently around the building while it undergoes vital restoration. Here’s what it actually looks like at the moment. Actually, I think my photo is pretty good too…

Happy Running



BRR Chair


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