Howdie Road Runners

Mad dogs and Englishmen (and women) go out in the mid-day sun. On Sunday you didn’t even have to wait until mid-day; it was already swelteringly hot by 9.30am. So well don to the BRR members who took part in the Asics London 10, and who trained for the Spitfire Scramble next weekend, and everyone else who was out there in the baking sun. I’m still trying not to complain about the heat, after the miserable weather earlier in the year, but it’s getting increasingly difficult!

Remember all the usual tips for running in hot weather: 

  • Tip #1: Slow down your running pace. Don’t try and beat the heat; it will beat you!
  • ​​Tip #2: Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing if possible. Synthetics are better than cotton at wicking away moisture.
  • Tip #3: Cool your body down before running – maybe not an ice bath, but a cool pre-run shower might help (although a friend told me that it’s runners that cause water shortages, because we all shower too much).
  • Tip #4: Wear sunscreen, including on your head if you are follically challenged. 
  • Tip #5: Keep hydrated but do not overdrink – this may dangerously dilute your body salts, which will already be low due to increased sweating. Have a sports drink, which will replace lost electrolytes, if you can. 
  • Tip #6: Seek out the shade to keep as cool as possible. Just direct your feet to the (non)sunny side of the street. 
  • Tip #7: Run early in the morning or later in the evening, if possible. Of course, you may not have a choice if you are in a Spitfire Scramble team. 
  • Tip #08: Splash your head, neck and inside of wrists with water to try and cool down. But avoid getting wet feet as that can cause blisters. And, if you only have limited access to water, probably better to drink it. Don’t take water another runner might be desperate for, and chuck it over your head.
  • Tip #09: Start slow and end slow. Give your body a chance to adjust to running in the heat rather than sprinting out the door – you still need to warm-up, even though you’re hot already – and gently slow to a walk at the end of your run rather than coming to an abrupt stop, to regulate your heart and allow your body to re-adjust. 
  • Tip #10: If you feel faint, dizzy, disoriented, have stopped sweating, or your skin is cool and clammy, STOP RUNNING, get out of the sun and get some fluids. You know it makes sense. 

Running in the News

Newer members may not know that Barking Road Runners is responsible for managing the water station at mile 14 of the TCS London Marathon, which is taking place this year on Sunday 3 October. Mile 14 is on the Highway, just before the eastbound entrance to the Limehouse Link. You get to see the runners as they go past the water station heading towards Narrow Street and the Isle of Dogs, and also on the other side of the road on their way back towards the finish line.

It’s a long and hard day volunteering on the water station, as we have to get their early to set up and then hand out literally tens of thousands of bottles of water. Oh, and clean up the empty bottles too! but it is also great fun and it gives you a feeling of great satisfaction knowing you have helped, in a small way, so many people achieve their dream of finishing the marathon.

However, if you needed an added incentive to volunteer, how about a front row view of two great GB runners, each at different ends of their career?

Eilish McColgan will be running her debut marathon, stepping up to the distance after breaking the women’s GB half marathon record last February. She is already familiar with the course after acting as pacemaker for Charlotte Purdue last year but, of course, dropped out before the end .

Si Mo Farah will be also be running in what, some are saying, may be his last elite race. Farah last run the London Marathon in 2019, clocking his best time at the event of 2.05.39, which earned him fifth place.

We’ll start collecting the list of water station volunteers soon. Let us know if you want to help.

BRR in Action

(with thanks to Greg Adams)

Elvis series race No 4 took place last Wednesday. The Newman Hilly 5 mile, organised by Ilford AC is – as the name suggests – a hilly 5 mile trail run at Hainault Country Park. 

This year with building works at the usual starting area the start was switched to Chingford Plain off Lambourne Rd and the course changed somewhat, hopefully returning to normal next year. Barking Road Runners fielded a a good sized team minus a few who missed the race due to work commitments on the evening. Respective male and female first finishers for BRR were Paul Withyman 33:26 and Jess Collett 38:12. 

Other BRR runners were Peter Jackson 34:45, Stuart Mackay 36:55, Antony Leckerman 39:03, Adrian Davison 39:35, Tom Brennan 39:58, Rory Burr 40:56, Belinda Riches 44:05, Isabel Pinedo Borobio 46:22, Martin O’Toole 47:49, Jason Li 48:48, Husiyen Dogan 49:28,  Emma Paisley 51:18,  Martin Mason 52:52, Alison Fryatt 57:20, Les Jay 58:27 and Rob Courtier 1:06:13.  

Kirsty Waugh-Mcdonagh 1:10:41, Clodagh O’callaghan 1:11:32, Tom Shorey 53:36, Jahinur Meah  50:56 and Husiyen Dogan 52:37 ran the Asics 10k.

The race was on closed roads around the centre of London passing various well known landmarks including Trafalgar Square and Big Ben with the red hot conditions making for a tough race.

Jack Nixon competed in the Milton Keynes special 5000PB D race finishing third in a personal best time of 15:07:07.

BRR parkrunners

Barking Park – Jagbir Bassi 20:00, Stuart Mackay 21:12, Kevin Wotton 22:24, Jahinur Meah 24:14, Mark New 24:32, Joyce Golder 25:20, Jason Li 25:53, Andrew Hillier 26:41, Rabea Begum 2:29, Les Jay 30:16, Rob Courtier 37:19, Micky Ball 39:59 and Alan Murphy 47:32.

Brentwood – Adrian Davison 23:39.

Chelmsford Central – Rory Burr 22:36, Stuart Burr 26:12 and Gary Harford 27:48.

Knockanacree Woods – Vicky Henderson 27:56, Derv Bartlett 27:57 and Nikki Cranmer 35:48.

Wendover Woods – Joe Stacey 19:00.

Chingford League

In case you missed it on the WhatsApp group, the dates for the 2022-23 Chingford League season have now been agreed. Let’s try and put out as strong a team as possible this year and go for promotion.

Here are the dates for your diary:

  • Sat 1st Oct (xc) – 5m, Dagenham Central Park
  • Wed 12 Oct 5k (road) – 5k, Velopark, Stratford
  • Tues 1 November (road) – 5k, Hog Hill, Redbridge Cycling Centre
  • Sat 26th Nov (xc) – 5m, Trent Park (incorporating the Barnet Fraternity Cup)
  • Sat 21st Jan (xc) – 5m, Epping Forest
  • Sat 4th Feb (road) – 5m, Victoria Park
  • Sat 11th March 4x 3000m relays at Wanstead

Times to be confirmed, but the evening races usually start at 7.30pm. All dates also on TeamUp: Download the TeamUp app onto your phone, then enter the calendar key for Barking Road Runners when asked: ks67p21gt8p5gzdo66 to see all of BRR’s agreed fixtures for the year.

BRR Diary

7.00pm, Tuesday 12 July – Speed Development. Jim Peter’s Stadium. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot, so some (reasonably) short reps this time, with plenty of recovery. Of course, hot muscles mean you can run the reps FAST! The session is based on a favourite of Kenenisa Bekele, an Ethiopian long-distance runner who was world record holder in both the 5k and 10k from 2004 and 2005 until 2020. He could run 400 metres in less than a minute and 200m in less than 30 seconds. Let’s see what you can do.  

8 x (60 secs fast, 90 secs recovery, 30 secs faster, 90 secs recovery)

The 60 seconds should be run at 7 out of 10 effort, the 30 seconds at 8 out of 10 effort i.e. not an all-out sprint, as you probably can’t do that for 30 seconds.

7.00pm, Thursday 14 July – Summer Handicap #05. Barking Park.

Noon Saturday 16 July to Noon Sunday 17 July – Spitfire Scramble. Hornchurch Country Park. Good luck to all BRR members who are taking part.

7.30pm, Wednesday 20 July – ELVIS 05: Harold Wood 5k. Harold Wood Park, Harold View, Harold Wood, RM3 0LX. The newest race in the ELVIS series, and a quite challenging mix of tarmac paths and gravelly trail. More information and entries at

9.00am, Saturday 23 July – Barking parkrun 10th birthday.

7.00pm, Thursday 28 July – Summer Handicap #06. The penultimate race in the series.

Running Nutrition

The running mags are always full of articles about optimum race nutrition, but I find the guidelines about so many grammes of protein and carbohydrate per kilo of body weight quite confusing. So I thought this infographic, courtesy of BBC Good Food, was useful. Here is the link, in case the pictures aren’t clear enough to read Nutrition for runners – infographic – BBC Good Food

Cracker Corner – the politically incorrect mental health edition

I’m worried about my neighbour. He spends all day shouting ‘baggy trousers.’ I think it’s madness.

Talking of which, a man went to see his psychiatrist recently, completely naked and wrapped in clingfilm. The psychiatrist said ‘I can clearly see you’re nuts’.

Two cows were out grazing in a field. One cow said to the other “Aren’t you worried that mad cow disease might return?” The other cow replied, “Why would I be worried about mad cow disease? I’m a rabbit!”

Boom! Boom!

And finally…

Oh dear. If you’re going for a run in a vest in very sunny weather, you really need to make sure the sun cream is applied to every inch of exposed skin, and not just as far as your arms can reach.

Still, I guess this proves that my Ultrasun once-a-day sun cream really does work. It was the factor 30 glimmer edition, if you’re interested. I do like to sparkle…

Take care in the heat




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