Howdie Road Runners,

We all thought Covid and the lockdowns we had to cope with were awful. But thank goodness we have not had to face the situation that the ordinary people of Ukraine are now facing; it’s almost impossible for most of us to imagine what they must be going through. I’m sure all our thoughts are with them as we see the terrible events unfolding on the news. Thank you to Clubmates like Jagbir and Jason who are helping the relief effort.

On a more cheerful note, thank you to all those who have paid their annual membership fees so far. We have held membership rates at £15 (£31 including England Athletics (EA) registration) for another year, which I hope you agree it is good value for money. Amongst other things, your membership fees help to pay for:

  • Club affiliation fees to EA and the various leagues that we are part of;
  • subsidising the cost of South Essex Cross Country races and track nights;
  • website hosting costs;
  • bank charges; and
  • trophies for our club competitions.

EA registration gets you a £2 discount on EA-licensed races, so it is worth it if you enter eight or more races a year.

If you have paid your membership yet, you can pay your £15/31 directly into the BRR bank account (Sort Code 40-03-33, account number 42026724) using the reference ‘Mem’ for just membership or ‘Mem&EA’  for both.

Athletics in the News

The Runner’s World website has an interview with Maud Hodgson from Eton Manor AC about the Run Equal campaign which she helped to found. As some of you will remember, the campaign started in 2017 with the aim of promoting gender equality across athletics. The main focus has been cross country (XC) where, in many competitions and leagues, women run shorter distances than men. In Scotland, as Maud points out, XC races are already the same distance but there has been a lot of opposition in England. Surprisingly, this includes from some elite female athletes who think moving to longer distances for women will somehow diminish their own achievements over shorter distances. Sadly, some of the opposition has been personally abusive of Maud and has suggested that she is not a ‘proper’ runner – which anyone who has seen her in action will know is not true! I’ve always thought the answer in the bigger championships would be to have races of different distances, with men and women entering whichever distance best suits them. This is what happens in other running events. Of course, our own South Essex Cross Country League has always had the same distance for both sexes and I think it works well, especially when BRR finishes at the top of its division!

Here is the link to the interview with Maud, if you fancy a read:

Another GP announced

With diaries for 2022 very congested, thanks to the South Essex Cross Country season starting very late, and lots of races carried over from 2020/21, the Committee has decided to double up and make the Orion 5 ELVIS race on Saturday 6 August a Grand Prix race also. This means that BRR members who take part will earn points for both our internal ELVIS and GP competitions. Apologies if you can’t make that date but it is proving very difficult to fit everything in and, of course, you don’t have to run every ELVIS or GP to be in with a chance of a trophy.

BRR in Action

(with thank to Greg ‘the newshound’ Adams)

Round 05 of Barking Road Runners virtual 5k winter handicap this week saw Cristina Cooper beat her handicap time by 2 minutes and 15 seconds to claim 1st place and 100 points. In 2nd place was Nikki Cranmer who took 1:05 off her time and third was Vicki Groves who knocked 44 seconds off her previous best. Kevin Wotton and Joyce Golder, who finished 4th and 5th respectively, also beat their previous handicaps.

The winners of BRR’s in-house cross country series, Jess Collett and Joe Stacey, received their trophies after Tuesday’s track session this week.

Jess Collett, Joe Stacey and ladies runner up Joyce Golder

BRR’s Shuhel Khan took part in the Battersea Half Marathon finishing in the impressive time of 1:33:39 at the weekend. The flat and fast course consisted of 8.5 laps of the park, starting and finishing near the bandstand.

Also, a belated shout out to Jon Furlong who ran the Chelmsford Half last week. Jon, who ran with a friend who has a number of injuries, completed the race in 2.17:53. The course goes out past Great Baddow before circling up to the north and back to the town centre. We may consider doing this as a GP next year, as a change from Brentwood, if there are no diary clashes.

BRR parkrunners

Barking Park

Jagbir Bassi 19:43, Adrian Davison 22:33, Ron Vialls  23:42, Jason Li 26:19, Andrew Hiller 27:45,Faye Spooner 27:47, Alain Cooper 27:49, Sally Bridge 27:57, Robert Courtier 30:23, Les Jay 31:43, Cristina Cooper 31:43, Greg Adams 32:36, Jenni Birch 39:00, Dawn Blake 39:01, Micky Ball 41:07, Alan Murphy 50:24.


Kresh Veerasamy  36:28.

Valentines Park

Kevin Wotton 22:30

BRR Diary

Don’t forget you can find details of all our up-and-coming races on the BRR TeamUp app. Download the TeamUp app onto your phone, then enter the calendar key for Barking Road Runners when asked: ks67p21gt8p5gzdo66

7.00pm, Tuesday 15 March – Speed Development. Jim Peter’s Stadium. This week’s session will be 8 x (3 mins 10k pace, 90 seconds recovery). These reps are long enough to for physiological adaptation but, with the 90 seconds recovery, short enough for you to maintain your pace. If you are running the Brentwood Half on Sunday, please feel free to do less reps, but try and keep the intensity.

7.00pm, Thursday 17 March – road run from Jo Richardson School/Castle Green Centre. Usually around 5 miles.

19 March to 25 March – 5k Virtual Handicap #06. 

10.00am, Sunday 20 March – GP01: Brentwood Half Marathon. Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9DA. Not too late to sign up for the first race in this year’s Club Grand Prix series. There are a few spare places that have been offered up on WhatsApp, or enter at:

10.00am, Sunday March 27 – SECCL #02, One Tree Hill. Let’s get another great team out and maintain our position at the top of Division 2. We have just received the final results from SECCL #01. I am a bit worried about the woman from Leigh-on-Sea Striders where, instead of a time, the results just say ‘lost’. I hope they’ve found her by now!

220227 – Weald Park XC Rd1 – FINAL

2 April to 8 April – 5k Virtual Handicap #07. Last race in the virtual winter competition.

10.30am, Sunday 10 April – GP02: St. Clare 10k. St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood, CM17 9JX. A lovely run through the country lanes near Harlow, with proceeds going towards the upkeep of St Clare Hospice. Entry £13 for EA registered/£15 for unregistered.

11.00am, Friday 15 April – Crown to Crown 5k. Westley Heights Country Park, 1 Dry St, Langdon Hills, Basildon SS16 5LT. First race in the series for this part trail, part path race that is always popular with BRR members. Other races are usually on the first Wednesday evening of the month from May to September. Registration will open soon, but it is a cheap and cheerful, no frills race.

10.00am, Sunday 24 April – SECCL #03, Hadleigh Downs. More info to follow nearer the date.

Running Injuries

ow many of us think we can run through an injury and end of making it worse? Statistics show that, in any given year, 65% of all runners succumb to an injury and, sadly, 50% of those injuries will be recurring. Below is some advice from Bookitzone on how to deal with some of the most common injuries. Of course, if you are in chronic or acute pain you should stop running and seek professional advice. But none of the suggestions below should cause any harm, and taking early action may nip the problem in the bud. Also, if you can do so without aggravating the injury, find some exercises to strengthen the weak spot. This, and building up your training again in a gradual manner, will reduce the risk of recurrence.

What, then, are the most common injuries runners are dealing with?

Runner’s Knee – The most common injury amongst runners. An irritation of the cartilage under the kneecap caused by extra pressure on the knees, long runs, and descending hills or stairs. The best way to recover from a bout of runner’s knee is to reduce your mileage, avoid downhill running or try using a bike or pool for training whilst the irritation recovers.

Achilles Tendonitis – Prevalent in 11% of runners; the irritation of the tendon connecting the calf to the heel is caused by a sharp increase in the intensity of training. People with weak calf muscles are also susceptible. It is recommended to stop all running immediately in cases of tendonitis, cycling too if it hurts. Ice should be applied regularly. Swimming is a safe alternative cardio exercise.

Hamstring – A tight or weak muscle in the back of the thigh occurs mainly when the muscle is overstretched, but can also be caused by inflexibility or a disproportionate size difference between hamstring and quadriceps. Try slowing your pace and avoiding hills to help recovery. Deep-tissue massages are also helpful to ease the stiffness that causes injury.

Plantar Fasciitis – When the tendons and ligaments that connect your heels and toes receive small tears or become inflamed, this is known as plantar fasciitis. Having very high or low arches is the most common cause; but pronation and supination, as well as long periods of standing can also be a factor. The best way to ease the discomfort is to ease up on running or take a break completely. Ice the arch, heel and top of your foot and gently stretch back toes to loosen the arches.

Cracker Corner

I always wondered why cats didn’t shave. Apparently 8 out of 10 prefer Whiskas…

I’ve got a new job making plastic Draculas. Unfortunately there are only two of us on the production line, so I have to make every second Count…

Don’t tell Chris but I’ve got a new toy boy who works in a wheelie bin factory. Trouble is, I don’t know which day to take him out…

Boom! Boom!

And finally…

We all know jelly babies are great for a little energy boost during a race. Six jelly babies contain 104 calories. That’s roughly the same number of calories as you burn from running a mile. Which got me thinking, how many jelly babies do you need to eat during a race to maintain your energy levels? For a 5k you’d need around 18 jelly babies, 36 for a 10k, 60 for 10 miles, 78 for a half marathon, and 156 for a full marathon. No wonder ultrarunners don’t tend to eat jelly babies all the way through a race; they would have to carry them in a trailer…

Happy Running



BRR Chair


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