Howdie Road Runners

Last Tuesday after the track session we held our presentation for the 2021 season. For the second year running it was a rather low-key event; due to Covid, we decided that a big gathering so close to Christmas wasn’t a good idea, and there were fewer than usual trophies to present. However, we had trophies to award for the Summer Handicap and internal ELVIS competitions and, of course, the Members’ Cup. A reminder of the winners:

2021 Summer Handicap

1 Emma Botterill (now Paisley)
1 Joyce Golder
3 Jason Li

2021 ELVIS competition

Men Women
1 Trevor Cooper Alison Fryatt
2 Jason Li Cristina Cooper
3 Dennis Spencer-Perkins Joyce Golder

Members’ Cup:

Greg Adams and Rob Courtier

How wonderful to have JOINT WINNERS! Both deserved all the votes they got. Not everyone left comments with their votes, but here is a selection:

Also well done to all of the worthy runners up; it was great to see so many of our members are appreciated by their fellow runners:

Jason Li; Micky Ball; John Lang; Joe Stacey; Charlotte Owen; Dennis Spencer-Perkins; Chris Anastasi.

Athletics in the News

What better to do after a hard race on a Sunday morning than lay on the sofa all afternoon watching other people run hard? Euro Cross 2021 took place on Sunday, at the Sport Ireland Campus in Fingal, Dublin, and was shown on the BBC Iplayer. There was a range of races for different age groups across various distances from 4k upwards on the purpose-made course. The terrain was mainly grass, with a short section on a dirt (for ‘dirt’ read ‘mud’) track. All competitors wore spikes, as far as I could see. Norway took first place in both the senior male and senior female races. But, like the South Essex Cross Country League, there were both individual and team prizes up for grabs, with the first three runners from each country to score. Team GB&NI performed really strongly, taking individual gold medals in the men’s U23 (Charles Hicks), and women’s junior (Megan Keith) along with gold team medals in the mixed relay, senior women’s and junior men’s races, a silver in the men’s U23, and bronze in the women’s junior and women’s U23 categories. This haul of bling put us well ahead in the overall medal table, with eight medals in total compared to nearest rival Norway’s five medals (two gold, two silver, one bronze).

The winning mixed relay team:

I was interested to see most of the runners collapse to the ground just after the finish line and have to be helped up by the course officials; I obviously don’t try hard enough when I do XC races!

BRR in Action

(Courtesy of Greg ‘the newshound’ Adams)

The Sikhs in the City ‘Dawn to Dusk’ run was the destination for Barking Road Runners this week. The course, made up of undulating 2k laps, had medals for 11 laps/half marathon distance, 22 laps/marathon distance, and 25 laps or more for the ultra distance. Completing 11 laps were Jason Li 2:30:15, Rob Courtier 2:40:25, Emma Paisley 2:47:21, Alison Fryatt 2:47:22, and Dennis Spencer Perkins 3:05:37.

There was also a 10k race taking place with BRR’s Kevin Wotton finishing in 3rd place with a time of 48:17, Ron Vialls 50:08 in 7th, and Martin O’Toole 53:26 in 8th. Also in the 10k were Isobel Pinedo Borobio 1:02:02 and Les Jay 1:20:47.

Kevin with his 3rd place trophy:

And Martin O’Toole, who missed the main photo:

This week’s BRR parkrunners

Barking Park

Adrian Davison 24:09, Rosie Fforde 24:15, Joyce Golder 25:00, Andrew Hiller 26:35, Rob Courtier 29:44, Martin Mason 32:21, Barry Culling 34:04, Dawn Blake 34:10, Helen Ayers 34:10, Micky Ball 36:21, Jenni Birch 40:21 and Alan Murphy 52:03.

Bognor Regis

Belinda Riches 26:02.


Antony Leckerman 24:21.


Ken Summerfield 43:34.


Owen Wainhouse 21:39.


Thomas Shorey 25:34 and Clodagh O’Callaghan 35:54.

Valentines Park

Kevin Wotton 30:57, Vicki Groves 32:06 and Kresh Veerasamy 54:07.

5k parkrunner results app

If you’re a parkrun fanatic (and aren’t we all?) and don’t already have it, you may like the 5k parkrunner results app. You just download the app and input your athlete ID (including the ‘A’) and it provides your parkrun stats including your performance against all the unofficial parkrun clubs. It also includes your barcode, in case you ever forget the physical version. If you want, you can track your parkrunning friends and monitor their stats too.

BRR Diary

7.00pm, Tuesday 14 December – Speed Development, Jim Peter’s Stadium. It’s the session that I dread saying, as I always get it embarrassingly wrong: Dancing Dicks:

(30 secs, 60 secs, 90 secs with 30 secs recovery) x3, with 2 minutes between sets.

7.00pm, Thursday 16 December – Road run from Jo Richardson School, Gale Street. Having a bit of fun this week with twists and turns on the Oval Road Loop. About five miles. Faster runners can loop back to add distance.

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. Follow the pink flags (hoping nobody nicks them!). Please arrive early to register.

7.00pm, Tuesday 21 December – Speed Development, Jim Peter’s Stadium. The Christmas Cracker session AKA ‘the Twelve Minutes of Christmas’. Intrigued? See next week’s blog for more details.

11.00am, Sunday 26 December – Crown to Crown 5k. Westley Heights Country Park, 1 Dry St, Langdon Hills, Basildon SS16 5LT. £2.50 for EA members/£4.50 for others. Enter at

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!

7.00pm, Tuesday 28 December – Speed Development, Jim Peter’s Stadium. Not just the last session of the month, but the last session of the year. The usual mile time trial followed by some festive relays.

6.00pm, Sunday 2 January – Leigh-on-Sea 10k. The popular race (well, with everyone but the Daily Mail), organised by Leigh-on-Sea Striders. Head torches are compulsory. Free prosecco at the end, plus you can buy pizza! Enter at

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.

Training logs

Never mind dodgy Christmas presents from well-meaning relatives. One of my favourite gifts each year is the one I buy for myself: my training diary. I may have all my runs recorded on Garmin Connect, but I still write every single run in the diary. I now have them going back over several years. Like the New Year itself, each pristine new diary starts full of hope and anticipation. Also like the year itself, this can turn into disappointment, with the diary recording poorer than expected performance, illness, injury and, more recently, cancellations and postponements due to Covid. But among the pages there are also great experiences documented, whether due to a better-than-expected performance, a well-organised event at a wonderful location, or running alongside my fantastic clubmates.

Why bother with a hard copy diary/log if you have all the information on Connect/Strava? Well, if nothing else, paper is more reliable than IT! Digital sites may change or close, and you risk losing all your historic data (this has happened to me). It can sometimes be easier to compare performance across the years on paper than by searching online, especially if you swap between apps. I also find writing down the detail of each run in my diary helps to cement it in my mind, and makes me think about what did or didn’t go well, and why.

There is a huge range of training diaries/logs available, each allowing you to collect a slightly different range of information. Which you go for really depends on what will be most helpful to you as a runner. But information that helps you to spot trends or issues that impact on your performance is most useful. For example, if you do several hard training sessions in a short period, how does it impact on your performance? Do you always run better in a particular pair of shoes? What happens if you have slept badly or had a boozy session the night before a run? Is there a correlation with a drop in performance?

Anyway, here is the training log I’ve bought for 2022, from Amazon. Cheap and cheerful, but it looks like it captures the info I need, and I can add extra stuff in the free space. Roll on 1 January!

Cracker Corner – the crisp edition

  • A packet of crisps walks into a pub. The barman says “sorry, we don’t serve food here.”
  • The other day I saw two bags of crisps strolling along Ilford Lane; they were Walkers.
  • I’ve been inspired to create a totally new flavour of crisps. If it’s successful, I’ll make a packet.
  • What is a frog’s favourite crisp flavour? Croaky bacon.

Please save your Christmas cracker jokes and let me have them – they’ve got to be better than these!

And finally…

Congratulations to Nehal for securing a much sought-after ballot place for the Chicago Marathon, which is taking place next October. Looking at the website, you cab buy a Chicago Marathon chair. At $429 it’s not cheap but it’s sturdy; it will hold weights up to 440lbs. That’s 31.4 stones or 199.5 kilos. Maybe for people who prefer to sit and watch a marathon rather than run it!

Happy Running



BRR Chair









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