Howdie Road Runners,

You wait two years for a Grand Prix race, and then it’s over in next to no time. Well, for some of you anyway! It was great to be out racing with clubmates again at a big event, and didn’t all those who took part do well? More information in Greg’s race report, below. We move straight from the GP to the cross-country, next week at One Tree Hill. You’ll find details in the diary. Let’s go out there and smash it!

Another month, and another BRR Committee meeting. There was a lot to discuss this time, so do please spare a moment to have a look at the minutes: 220316 – March 2022 BRR Committee minutes

We are your committee and you’ll see we are keen for you to let us know if there is anything – Club-related – you think we should be considering.  Just PM me if there is anything you would like to raise.

Athletics in the News

It was the World Indoor Athletics Championships at the weekend. Sadly, Team GB performed very badly, with just two medals won, a bronze for Marc Scott in the 3,000m (7.42:02) and a bronze for Lorraine Ugen in the Long Jump. The only consolation is that many of our top athletes did not participate as they are saving themselves for the other major tournaments taking place in the coming year such as the World Championships, The European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games.

The most newsworthy aspect of the Indoor Championships was the accusation, by Daryll Neita, the Olympic 100 metres finalist, that UK Athletics “blackmailed” athletes by removing funding from them unless they left the coach, Rana Reider, who is subject to multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

Neita quit Rana Reider’s Florida-based group late last year after it emerged he was under investigation. She explained: “I want to be someone who is remembered for standing for the right things in life”.

You may remember that fellow Team GB athlete Adam Gemili was dropped from funding and removed from the UK Athletics’ world-class national programme after opting to remain with Reider, although he remains eligible for selection.

Although Neita left the coach, she has been critical of UKA. “I didn’t move due to the federation,” she said, speaking at the World Indoor Championships. “I don’t actually agree with the way they handled the situation, to be honest. “If you’re worried about the safeguarding of athletes you shouldn’t be blackmailed with funding. I think that’s two completely different things.

“It kind of felt like the federation just wanted to cover their backs in a way, which I completely understand because they cannot be supporting these kind of investigations and I completely understand that it’s a no tolerance kind of thing. I just feel like… do you care if I stay? Do you actually care?”

Neita, who last year became the second British woman ever to break 11 seconds for 100m, said she did not see anything improper first hand but left Reider’s group to salvage her reputation.

“I don’t want to be around controversies that don’t involve me,” she said. “It’s not just what we do on the track, it’s what we do off the track. It’s who you are as a person and what you’re willing morally to accept.

“I work really hard to be where I am and I just couldn’t have my narrative be controlled by that.”

Member Running Profiles

I thought it would be nice if we could include some member profiles in the blog so both older (in membership terms!) and newer members can get to know a bit more about each other. Volunteers would be lovely, but I may pick on people if nobody comes forward! I have a list of simple questions, stolen from Brentwood Running Club, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Just PM your contributions to me (a photo would be good too, so folks can see your delightful phizogs).

  1. Please Briefly introduce yourself (e.g. how long have you been running, what do you do when not running (keep it clean) etc etc).
  2. What events, if you have coming up?
  3. What does running mean to you?
  4. What is your best/proudest running moment?
  5. Best bit of running advice you could give or have been given.

If I can work out how to do it, I will set up a page on the website to collect all your profiles together.

BRR in Action

(courtesy of Greg Adams)

Barking Road Runners’ first Grand Prix race of the year took place at the week end at the Brentwood Half Marathon. BRR had a good number of runners for this race, the first GP since Dartford Half Marathon in March 2020 before COVID. It was a good run for several of BRR members with a good few PBs on the day.

First finisher for BRR was Gabriele Grimaldi finishing in a speedy 1:14:17. He was followed by Paul Withyman 1:27:36, Shuhel Khan 1:31:05, Debbie Coyle 1:31:18,   Martin Page 1:38:15, Kevin Wotton 1:42:10, Trevor Cooper 1:47:24, Belinda Riches 1:51:57, Nehal Patel 1:52:05, Cristina Cooper 1:51:57, Joyce Golder 1:55:16, Faye Spooner 1:55:0, Isobel Pinedo Borobio 1:58:00, Debra Jean-Baptiste 1:58:11, Alison Fryatt 2:24:34, Robert Courtier 2:27:54, Les Jay 2:27:59, Greg Adams 2:54:16, Micky Ball 3:06:21 and Ken Summerfield 3:29:51.


Ron Vialls competed in the Mike Penman Open 5 Mile race at Victoria Park finishing in a creditable time of 39:28 despite the wind.

Jagbir Bassi took part in the Phoenix Rhino Run at Walton on Thames. Jagbir ran 60k for the ultra distance and finished in an excellent 2nd place.

BRR  parkrunners 


James Lowndes 20:26, Adrian Davison 23:44, Trevor Cooper 24:26, Andrew Hiller Jahinur Meah 25:56, Shuhel Khan 25:57, Andrew Hiller 26:04, Jason Li 26:39, Sally Bridge 26:53, John Lang 27:00, Martin Mason 27:55, Kirsty Warwick -McDonagh 34:08, Dawn Blake 35:07, Alan Murphy 53:23.


Antony Leckerman 23:41.

Harrow Lodge

Rory Burr 24:49.


Kevin Wotton 30:01.

BRR Diary

Don’t forget you can find details of 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

19 March to 25 March – 5k Virtual Handicap #06.  The penultimate race. There’s still all to play – or should that be run? – for!

7.00pm, Tuesday 22 March – Speed Development. Jim Peter’s Stadium. A nice simple session this week 12 x (2 mins on, 1 min off). If you ran Brentwood and are still suffering, do please reduce the number of reps.

7.00pm, Thursday 24 March – road run from Jo Richardson School/Castle Green Centre. Usually around 5 miles.

6.30pm, Friday 25 March – Harold Wood RC 5k run for Ukraine. The Hub, 11 Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood, RM3 0QA. HWRC are organising a 5k run and asking participants to make a £5 donation (or whatever you can afford) to the Disasters Emergency Committee to support those in Ukraine. Wear the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, if you have it. Let me know if you are interested so I can tell them that some folk from BRR will be coming along. Here is the JustGiving link:

10.00am, Sunday March 27 – SECCL #02. Langdon Hills Country Park, One Tree Hill, Corringham SS17 9NH. The course is one lap approx. 4.5 miles on gravel and mud paths. Parking is very limited, so please car share where possible and arrive in plenty of time for the start. All runners to wear club letters and colours, and all participants must be over 17 years of age on the day of the race. The entry fee is £5.00 but the Club will subsidise £2 per runner, so you just pay £3 to Alison or Dennis on the day (please try and bring the right money, if you can). Hot drinks and cakes will be provided near the upper car park after the race. Please note the new course, and don’t forget your B!

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. Further details will be available nearer the time.

2022 GP Dates

A reminder of the races selected so far for the Club’s Grand Prix competition. You’ll note that the Rayleigh 10k has already sold out. This has caused a problem: some members signed up when it was first selected as a GP two years ago, and their places have been carried forward, so it would have been unfair if we didn’t have it as a GP this year. But we also appreciate that many of you will have been unable to sign-up due to the carried over places. We have therefore decided, as a one-off, that there will be 11 rather than 10 races in this year’s GP competition, with final results still based on the best six performances across the series. That means there are two more dates to be decided. Sorry if you still can’t make at least six of the races – we aren’t adding any more once the final two are agreed!

  • Sun 20 Mar GP01 – Brentwood Half
  • Sun 10 Apr GP02 – St Clare 10k
  • Sun 8 May GP03 – Rayleigh 10k (SOLD OUT)
  • Sun 22 May GP04 – Great Baddow 10
  • Sun 5 Jun GP05 – Thames Chase 10k
  • Sat 6 Aug GP – ELVIS 06/Grand Prix – Orion 5
  • Sun 11 Sep GP – Pleshey Half
  • Sun 18 Sep GP – Ingatestone 5
  • Sun 9 Oct GP – Tiptree 10

How Long to Long Run?

I’m not sure anyone in the Club secured a ballot place in the London Marathon this year. But there are lots of other marathons to sign up for if you are itching to run that distance.

While, to a certain extent, you can ‘wing it’ for shorter distance races, you really do need a training plan if you’re doing a marathon, unless you want to risk not finishing or suffering for quite some time afterwards!

A common point of debate is how long the longest run in a marathon training plan should be. Tom Craggs, an England National Team Coach who has trained runners from beginners right through to elites, advises that, while it is important to have banked some good time on feet in your longest long runs, if you go too long in training you’ll struggle to recover and will start your marathon already tired.

Craggs recommends that 3 hours and 10-20 minutes is as long as you should be out on feet in your longest run. Any more than that and you risk not recovering in time for race day. If that gets you to 20 miles, which many marathon runners aim for, then that’s great but don’t push too far, or too hard, for too much time.

A peak long run might be 2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours 15 minutes to include 4 sets of 20 minutes at goal marathon pace with a 5-minute steady recovery.

Aim to have a couple of your long runs where you mimic your planned race day routines e.g. run at the time the race starts, wear your race day kit, have your race day breakfast, and practice your race fuelling.

You should also practice good race preparation ‘hygiene’: eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, avoiding booze (or cutting well back if that’s too hard), stretching and cross-training; and getting enough sleep. Getting these things right will probably make more of a positive impact on race day than squeezing out an extra couple of miles on your longest run.

Cracker Corner

I’ve got a new job as a refuse collector. I didn’t get any training; I just had to pick it up as I went along.

I’m reading a book about a locksmith but I’m finding it very difficult to get into.

I went to the customer service desk at Tesco and said: ‘I want to make a complaint – this vinegar’s got lumps in it.’ The assistant said: ‘Those are pickled onions.’

Boom! Boom!

And finally…

We all felt for Debra when she fell on an uneven pavement during our Thursday night club run. But spare a thought for Dutch athlete Femke Bol, who came a cropper in the semi-finals of the women’s 400m at the World Indoor Championships. Bol was pushing so hard to win the heat that she face-planted just before the finish. Luckily the impetus carried her forward and she crossed the line in second place, but on her chest! It didn’t seem to do her any harm; she won a silver medal in the final. Still, it was a very undignified way to get there…

Happy Running and Keep Upright!



BRR Chair


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