Howdie Road Runners,

One Tree Hill. I never get tired of saying it: there isn’t one tree, and there’s definitely more than one hill! But that didn’t stop BRR from smashing it on Sunday morning. When I think of our Club, I often think if we were in the FA Cup a reporter might refer to us as ‘plucky little Barking’ because we are a lot smaller than a lot of the clubs we compete against. But we have big hearts and recently we have been putting in some big performances too. Well done to all our runners (both at the XC and in other races over the weekend) and to today’s team of expert scorers, and the supporters; we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we did at the weekend without you all playing your parts. I am soooooo proud of you all!

Athletics in the News

Athletics Weekly has reported on some new research that England Athletics is taking forward with a charitable body called Podium Analytics to try and understand why so many young people drop out of athletics due to injury.

Some informal research from 2016 found that many of the best athletes at junior championships never make to the world stage. Mel Watman, a former AW editor who completed the research said ‘My research was alarming and confirmed the impression that far too many of our most promising athletes fall by the wayside, often before they even reach their 20s.”

Two years’ later, a study by heptathlete Karla Drew discovered more than half of Britain’s top athletes in the under-20 age group failed to improve their PBs once they got into their 20s.

However, research into why this happens has been sketchy so far. The reasons range from educational demands and the attraction of other sports to questionable coaching techniques or lack of facilities to sheer disinterest and lack of motivation, not to mention developing an interest in (ahem) extra-curricular activities!

But injury is also believed to be a huge factor, and it is this aspect that the EA/Podium Analytics research will look at, with the aim of reducing the incidence and impact of injury in athletics in 11-18-year-olds. Initially, Podium will focus on athletes aged 16-18 years who are part of England Athletics’ Youth Talent Programme. This will enable EA coaches, schools and clubs to record the hours of sporting activity and any injuries that occur for each young athlete they teach.

Let’s hope the research leads to increased longevity for the running careers of our young athletes and we will see the benefits in future championships and Olympic Games.

Member Running Profiles: Gary Harford

Here is the first of our new member profiles:

“Hi all, my name is Gary Harford aka Gazza.

I have been running since school (that’s a long time ago!). I got into the London Schools 400 metres final two years on the trot. When I left school I trained with Cambridge Harriers for a while.

I moved to Romford from SE London in 1992. Two years later I married Penny. She will say I’m like a bear with a sore head if I’m not running, or if Charlton lose (quite often then).

My best moment is the Westminster Mile in 5:15 and proudest is the London Marathon in 3 hours 36.

Apart from Club races I have nothing planned, just enjoying my running.

Advice? ALWAYS STRETCH BEFORE AND AFTER RUNNING. You know it makes sense!”

Many thanks to Gazza for being brave and being the first person to submit his profile. And I’m sure we all understand the bear with a sore head bit – from not running, not from Charlton losing!

We’d love you all to submit your profiles. Here is a reminder of the prompt questions, but please feel free to go ‘off-piste’ if you wish.

  1. Please briefly introduce yourself e.g. how long have you been running, what do you do when not running?
  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.

BRR in Action

(courtesy of Greg Adams)

Round #02 of the South Essex Cross Country League this week saw Barking Road Runners competing at One Tree Hill on a 4.5 mile course.  After finishing first in their division in Round One BRR fielded another strong team and managed to finish in top spot again with Gabriele Grimaldi finishing in 3rd place overall and Debbie Coyle finishing 5th overall of the ladies. The other points scoring runners for BRR were Joyce Golder, Isobel Pinedo Borobio, Cristina Cooper, Steve Philcox, James Lowndes, Peter Jackson, Jagbir Bassi, Paul Wyatt and Colin Jones. 

Equally as important were the non-scoring members who helped prevent runners from other teams scoring as many points as they otherwise would have: Belinda Riches, Veronica Barrikor, Alison Fryatt, Julie Gillender, Nikki Cranmer, Melissa Lowndes, Adrian Davison, Trevor Cooper, Martin Page, Rory Burr, Jon George, Ron Vialls, Jonathon Furlong, Jason Li, Gary Harford, Mick Rose, Martin Mason, Les Jay, Rob Courtier and Micky Ball.

Also this week was round #06 of BRR’s winter 5k virtual handicap series. Only three runners bettered their handicap times this week. In first place with her third win of the series was Cristina Cooper followed by Clodagh O’Callaghan and Rob Courtier.

Jack Nixon finished first in the marathon at the Bedford GP running festival, held at Bedford Autodrome, with a rapid time of 2:34:53, over four minutes ahead of his nearest rival. In the Rome Marathon Derv Bartlett finished in a time of 3:11:17.

On Sunday Ron Vialls and Gary Harford finally collected their trophies for coming second and third respectively in the winter BRR XC competition. it was fitting that the trophies were presented at One Tree Hill. 

On Friday night Gary was also in action with Alison at the Harold Wood Running Club 5k for Ukraine run. All participants were asked to donate £5 to the Disaster Emergency Committee fund to help the people of Ukraine. The route was similar to that used for the Harold Wood ELVIS race, including Harold Wood Park and Pages Wood. 

BRR parkrunners 

Barking – Jagbir Bassi 19:22, James Lowndes 21:28, Adrian Davison 23:06, Mark New 24:29, Joyce Golder 24:39, Martin O’Toole 25:44, Martin Brooks 25:48, Isobel Pinedo Borobio 25:50, John Lang 26:08, Sally Bridge 26:42, Andrew Hiller 26:54, Rob Courtier 29:55, Greg Adams 31:29, Kirsty Waugh McDonagh 33:00, Dawn Blake 33:47, Nikki Cranmer 33:48, Trevor Parkin 47.17, Alan Murphy 52:96.

Cardiff  – Owen Wainhouse 20:31

Chalkwell Beach – Antony Leckerman  22:52.

Harrow lodge – Rory Burr 23:27.

Raphaels park – Faye Spooner 34:00.

South Woodham Ferrers – Debbie Coyle 18:59.

Stratford upon Avon – Stuart Mackay 19:49, Jess Collett 21:26.

Valentines Park – Kevin Wotton 22:10.

Victoria Dock – Stuart Burr 30:18.

BRR Diary

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 29 March – Speed Development. Jim Peter’s Stadium. It’s the end of the month which means it’s time for the mile. Should feel nice and easy after XC. The usual 300s with 100 recoveries afterwards.

7.00pm, Thursday 31 March – road run from Jo Richardson School/Castle Green Centre. Usually around 5 miles. Might try some hill work in Lodge Avenue if it is light enough. 

2 April to 8 April – 5k Virtual Handicap #07.  Last race in the virtual Winter competition. Who will be the winners?

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. It’s a cheap and cheerful, no-frills race.

10.00am, Sunday 24 April – SECCL #03, Hadleigh Downs. Let’s try and field another strong team and get the hat-trick of Division 2 wins! Remember, if we win the overall series there will be a BRR mug for everyone who has participated/supported. Dennis has reminded me of the old saying ‘never touch the FA Cup until you’ve won it’. Not sure if the same applies to a BRR mug but perhaps I’d better not tempt fate.

Chafing: Prevention and treatment

Anyone else see poor Les’ bloody t-shirt after the Brentwood Half Marathon? No, a fellow runner hadn’t beaten him up after he told them a bad joke during the race; it was the dreaded runner’s nipple. Ouch!

Of course, both men and women and can suffer from chafing and it can affect no just your nipples but various other body parts including your thighs, armpits and waists. Probably most of us have been there at one time or another. The only thing more painful than running with chafing is getting in the bath or shower afterwards – double ouch!

Chafing is caused by the outer layer of skin (epidermis) skin rubbing against other skin or against clothing, causing microscopic tears or a graze. The exposed skin, or dermis, becomes red and irritated, and very tender to the touch.

While chafing can occur during any distance of run, longer races are most likely to be the culprits with runners repeating the same movements perhaps thousands of times, with salty sweat adding to the friction.

Prevention is usually better than cure, so how can we reduce the likelihood of chafing? Here are some tips from Richard Edmonds, co-founder of running underwear brand Runderwear.

  1. Ditch the cotton: Cotton absorbs sweat and stays wet. Wear synthetic, sweat-wicking fabrics. The layers of clothing closest to the skin should be a moisture-wicking fabric, delivering sweat away from the body and minimising rubbing or irritation.
  2. Go seamless and tagless: Seams and tags on a running top or bra can cause irritation.
  3. Get a proper fit: A too-snug sports bra can dig in; the excess material of a baggy T-shirt can rub you raw. Make sure you choose underwear, socks and base layers with an ergonomic fit that’s just right. Loose-fitting garments, combined with sweat will increase the chances of rubbing. Garments with elastane, or lycra, will stretch to provide a close but comfortable fit.
  4. Protect your legs: Compression shorts (often found inside baggier outer shorts for modesty) or running tights/capris can protect your inner thighs from rubbing.
  5. Cover ‘em up:Nipple protection is critical for men.  NipGuards and plasters are common shields.
  6. Cover ‘em up:As Les found, nipple protection is vital for men (women are usually protected by their running bras). You can use normal plasters or a specialist product like NipGuards. Just be careful removing them in you have a hairy chest!
  7. Get Greased up: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a smear of petroleum jelly aka Vaseline to cover the irritated skin, both to protect the area and to help it heal faster. If you know where your ‘hotspots’, you can also apply a dab of petroleum jelly before you run, in the hopes of avoiding the problem in the first place. However, beware: Vaseline can stain clothes and apparently can’t be used on neoprene wetsuits if you are a triathlete. If this is a worry for you, you might be better using one of the specialist anti-chafing creams that are available on the market like Body Glide. I’ve been told that banana skins work, but I can’t vouch for that. If you try it, be sure to eat the banana first, especially if you are sticking it down your shorts!
  8. Hydrate: Not only will keeping hydrated enable your body to function at its best during a run, but it will allow you to sweat more freely which, in turn, will flush salt crystals away from your skin more easily
  9. Moisturise: It’s not just vanity: skin that’s well moisturised is less prone to chafing.

If the dreaded chafing occurs despite your best efforts, the best way to treat it is:

  1. Shower as soon as possible after you finish your run, keeping the water lukewarm. If you have it, use antibacterial soap to ward off the bacteria that can creep into exposed skin and cause problems such as folliculitis, which is caused by bacteria getting into hair follicles (hope you’re not eating while reading this…).
  2. Pat your skin dry gently and apply a soothing and healing ointment. Sudocrem is ideal; it contains zinc oxide and is antibacterial. It’s clinically proven to help heal nappy rash so it can cope with runner’s chafing too!

Cracker Corner

I hired a former airline pilot to decorate my house. He did an excellent job of the landing.

After One Tree Hill I handed Chris a glue stick instead of a lip balm. He still isn’t talking to me…

A friend of mine has relocated to a remote Scottish village where everyone wears tight jumpers. It’s a close-knit community.

Boom! Boom!

And finally…

Lesson no.1: if you wear glasses, make sure you put them on before doing anything important. I wish I’d followed this advice before oiling the folding parts of my tricycle. That way I may have sprayed it with the special bike lubricant I’d bought rather than contact adhesive. Oops. Should have gone to Specsavers…

Happy Running



BRR Chair


Leave a reply

©2022 KLEO Template a premium and multipurpose theme from Seventh Queen