Howdie Road Runners

“And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here”.

Henry the Fifth talking about the battle of Agincourt? No, Barking Road Runners talking about the Chingford League 5 miler in Trent Park! What a day Saturday was – freezing cold, drizzle, and gale force winds. Not the best running weather, and that’s before we even mention the mud. It wasn’t great for the volunteers doing the scoring either; it was so cold the ink was freezing in our biros. So I’m even more proud that we were able to put out such a strong team, especially given the difficulty even getting to from our area.  More in Greg’s news story, below.

No running hero or cracker corner this week, as there is a lot of other stuff to cover. Don’t worry, they’ll be back next week.

Athletics in the News

While the Chingford League was slogging it out in Trent Park, elite athletes were competing in the Liverpool Cross-Country Challenge for places in the British team at next month’s European Cross-Country Championships in Dublin.

Jess Judd and Jack Rowe won their respective senior races, with Judd clocking 26:29 and finishing 17 seconds ahead of her nearest rival in the 8.1k race in Sefton Park. The senior men’s race was 9.8k (they don’t run equal). Jack Rowe clocked 28:05 to win the race, beating two-time Olympian Andy Butchart by 11 seconds.

The Fingal-Dublin Championships take place on Sunday 12 December. The British team should have some stiff competition if previous events are anything to go by. Let’s hope it is televised; it’s good to see other people suffer like we did at Trent Park.

BRR in Action

(Courtesy of Greg ‘the newshound’ Adams)

Freezing cold weather, howling wind and mud can mean only one thing, Cross country season has started for Barking Road Runners. Trent Park was the destination for Round 4 of the Chingford league which also doubled up as round 1 in the club in-house 5 race cross country series.

Eighteen runners competed for BRR in what they all agreed was a tough course in adverse conditions but nonetheless some good times were recorded. With the men’s team pushing for promotion from Division 2 a good result was needed.

First finishers for BRR were Joe Stacey in the men’s race and Debbie Coyle for the ladies. 2nd lady for BRR was Jess Collett followed by Joyce Golder, Belinda Riches, Isobel Pinedo Borobio, Debra Jean Baptiste and Veronica Barrikor. In 2nd place for the men was Paul Withyman followed by Jon George, Nehal Patel, Tom Wagstaffe, Shuhel Khan, Jason Li, Gary Harford , Andrew Gwilliam, Rob Courtier and Les Jay.

Alison Fryatt took part in the night-time Supernova 5k at the Olympic Park. Each runner was given a headtorch for the run which started a lap around The London Stadium before criss-crossing the park and finishing with another lap around the Stadium. Alison completed the run in a time of 32:23

This week’s parkrunners

A smaller field of parkrunners this week with many people saving themselves for the Chingford League race in the afternoon.

Barking Park

Charlotte Owen 25:10, Trevor Cooper 27:48, John Lang 28:01, Sally Bridge 28:07, Alain Cooper 28:37, Cristina Cooper 30:30, Nikki Cranmer 34:16, Dawn Blake 34:16, Micky Ball 37:22 and Alan Murphy 48:25.

Harrow Lodge

Rory Burr 26:11 and Stuart Burr 26:49.

Valentines Park

Kevin Wotton 31:49 and Kresh Veerasamy 33:38.

Sports Quiz

Are you a sports expert? Try this sports quiz from the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Let us know how you get on.

Everything Track and Field Quiz | Britannica

BRR Diary

7.00pm, Tuesday 30 November – Speed Development, Jim Peter’s Stadium. It’s the last Tuesday of the month so that means the timed mile, with 300s afterwards. After last week’s blatant cheating in the Cup and Saucer game(!), this week the only person you are competing against is yourself.

7.00pm, Thursday 2 December – Road run from Jo Richardson School, Gale Street. About an hour. NOTE THE NEW TIME, due to popular demand.

9.30am, Sunday 5 December – BRR Xmas parks run. Meeting at 8:15am Barking Station for the 9.30am meet at Matthew Parker Street (nearest tube St. James’s Park on the District/Circle line). A social run of around six miles through St. James’s Park, Green Park and Hyde Park, with refreshments afterwards in the Methodist Central Hall. There will be a few cars to leave your stuff, and you can change in the Hall.

8.00pm, Tuesday 7 December – 2021 trophy presentation, Jim Peter’s Stadium, after the track session. Given current Covid uncertainties, we’ve made the tough decision to forgo our traditional pre-Xmas presentation night and party, and have something lower key, like last year. Please come along if you’ve won a trophy, or to congratulate those who have.

Various times, Sunday 12 December – Sikhs in the City 10k/HM/Marathon/Ultra. Woodford. Distances over 10k start at sunrise (8:04) and ultrarunners can keep going until sunset (15:45) if they feel like it. https://www.evententry.co.uk/Sikhs-In-The-City-Dawn-To-Dusk-Sunlight-Ultra-2021

10.00am, Sunday 19 December – BRR XC 02. Hornchurch Country Park, starting next to the car park near the Squadron’s Approach entrance. A two-lap, roughly five-mile course. Jason has made a great little video of the course. We’ll post it nearer the time.

11.00am, Sunday 26 December – Crown to Crown 5k. Westley Heights Country Park, 1 Dry St, Langdon Hills, Basildon SS16 5LT. Look out for the online registration – entries are limited to 350 runners so you don’t want to miss out. By the way, the female course record holder is Jess Judd. https://www.pitsearunningclub.org.uk/events-1/crown-to-crown-1

10.00am, Monday 27 December – Witham (not on) Boxing Day 5. Witham Rugby Club, Spa Road, Witham, CM8 1UN. Can you beat the pud? There’s only one way to find out! https://www.withamrc.org.uk/races/boxing-day-5/

6.00pm, Sunday 2 January – Leigh-on-Sea 10k. The popular race (well, with everyone but the Daily Mail – see below), organised by Leigh-on-Sea Striders, is back with a new time and a new route taking in Two Tree Nature Reserve, Belton Way Loop, and Old Leigh. Head torches are compulsory (sounds like fun!). https://leighonseastriders.co.uk/leigh-on-sea-striders-10k/

7.30pm, Friday 7 January – Club meal. The Greyhound Harvester, High Road, Romford. Let Nikki know if you are interested.

10.00am, Sunday 9 January 2022 – BRR XC 03. Hainault Forest. Starting at the car park near the café in Fox Burrow Road.

‘Wokism’ Gone Mad. Or is it?

Thanks to Martin Mason for flagging up the story about Leigh-on-Sea Striders (LOSS) offering ‘invisible’ medals at their 10k race on 2 January, which has got the Daily Mail hot under the collar. An amazing 92 readers felt the need to respond and express their outrage at wokism gone mad. Here is the article, for those who didn’t see it:

“Gone in a flash! Invisible medals become a running joke as 10km competitors brand the move ‘woke tokenism’

Charity run organisers have been accused of ‘woke tokenism’ by offering ‘sustainable invisible’ medals.

Runners completing the 10km event in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, usually get metal alloy medals. But the town’s Striders running club, which organises it, said that for its next event on January 2 – with 650 runners – ‘our unique medals will be invisible’.

Finishers will receive sports shop vouchers but one participant, who asked not to be named [no doubt because they don’t actually exist – Alison], said: ‘Runners love getting a T-shirt and a medal at the end of an event – it’s one of the traditions of running events.

‘This sounds like a bit of woke tokenism to me.’

Another said: ‘The idea of being more sustainable is good. But runners, like me, do love a medal.’

Organiser Dean Ovel admitted the move was controversial but said the club no longer wanted to use metal medals made in – and shipped from – China.

The event was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19. This year’s run was due to take place last month but was also affected by the pandemic. It will now happen on January 2, when 650 people will take part. The club’s website revealed the runners, who will cover three loops of Leigh-on-Sea, will have to wear environmentally-unfriendly headtorches, which run on batteries, ‘because, to add a little more uniqueness, our race is held after sunset’.

Mr Ovel said: ‘Rather than the medals, which are manufactured from metal and made in China with the shipping, we’ve gone away from that, controversially.

‘We want to give the runners something that will firstly be worthwhile to them, rather than hanging on a wall or just stick in a box.

‘We’re hoping to give a voucher for our partner, RunActive. Then they have something to spend in the shop or online.’

In a statement announcing the revised awards, Leigh-on-Sea Striders said: ‘After 11 years of running this even we are taking a more sustainable approach and, among many other aspects, our unique medals will be invisible. Instead, we will have something a little more useable for everyone who crosses the line.’

The run, which has raised more than £30,000 for charities since it was first held, will support Cardiac Risk in the Young and Southend Hospital this year”.

For the benefit of the Daily Mail, it isn’t ‘woke’ it’s a joke! Just to show Dean Ovel is having a bit of a laugh, if you look at the website you’ll see that there is an entry category for ‘VIPs and Royalty’. Or perhaps the Daily Mail think her Maj may actually consider running the Leigh-on-Sea 10k!

Hainault Forest Restoration Project – Update

Those of us who ran in the Forest on Sunday saw the Restoration Project in action, with hundreds of volunteers walking or being bussed to its eastern edge where the Woodland Trust is planting 24,000 of trees as part of the Big Climate Fightback.

A bat loft has been installed in the old Rangers office. Common and Soprano pipistrelle and brown long eared bats have been roosting in the loft and there may be the sound of tiny bat feet soon.

Redbridge Council have two contractors working in the Forest: Buxton Buildings are working on the restoration of the barns and Blakedown South East are working on landscape improvements.

Foxburrow Barns are being restored to provide all year-round visitor facilities.  A new café with extensive outdoor seating will be situated in the 1856 Barn, complementing the Global Café (where we usually have our tea and Club chips after our Sunday run). The Main Barn will become a venue hosting events and meetings. The courtyard area will host micro workspaces for craft artisans to work from. The Forge Barn will be re-built with an extension. This will become the first Woodland Trust visitor centre in the country and link Hainault Forest with a national network of forests. New public toilets will also be provided.

The buildings are currently on track to open in 2022.

Foxburrows Farm will be provided with new visitor facilities, additional animal houses, a new visitor route and a staff compound to support the management of the farm and provide a base for the Forest Rangers. Adjacent to the farm will be a bespoke, forest themed children’s playground and ‘public realm area’ which will host seasonal markets and small events.

In the wider landscape, the main footpaths will be restored and new signage will guide visitors along circular trails.  A fully accessible footpath for wheelchairs and pushchairs will start from the barns, loop around the lake and back to the car parks. The main pedestrian entrances will also be improved to make the site more welcoming and open up views from the road; this work is already underway.

The landscape works are currently on track to be completed autumn 2022. Here is an artist’s impression of what it might look like.

And finally…

I’ve had enough of the frustration and annoyance. No, I’m not talking about living with Chris. I’m talking about the annoyance of the miss-placed running sock. A pair goes into the washing machine but only one seems to come out. I now have several lonely odd socks in my drawer. So I have splashed out on some sock holders to keep the socks in pairs while in the wash. Only trouble is, now I’ve lost the sock holders…

Happy Running

 

Alison

BRR Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

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