NEWS: 2013

December

Barking Road Runners produced a team of 5 to participate in the Dawn to Dusk Ultra race. Colin Jones put in a sterling performance, completing over 48 miles in 7 hours 57 minutes to finish second in the event. Louise Simpson, who is blind and was helped round by various guides completed an astonishing 31 miles in 7 hours 33 minutes to finish 14thoverall. Dervish Bartlett ran the half marathon event, winning it in a time of 1:40:57. He also completed the fastest mile of the day (from 73 runners) in 6 minutes 30 seconds over his last mile. Antony Leckerman also took on the unusual half marathon, finishing in 7th in 2:09:28. 70 year old Derek James excelled himself once again, cruising round the 13.1 mile course in 2:11:45 to grab 9th place. Meanwhile, Alison Fryatt was busy racing the annual Crown-to-Crown race at Pitsea on Boxing Day. The weather had not been kind, and the undulating course was very unforgiving, but Alison stormed round in 31 minutes 27 seconds. The popular race has become a staple for BRR over the Summer months. Derv Bartlett also gate-crashed the Ilford Athletic handicap race, completing the muddy off road 3.5 mile course in around 25 minutes.

Week commencing 16th December 2013

Charlie Routley was BRR's sole representative at the weekend. He immersed himself in the Christmas spirit, running a 10k race at Victoria Park in a full Santa outfit! Charlie completed the course in a very respectable 55 minutes with a friend. Together, they raised around £100 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

Week commencing 9th December 2013

Emma Roebuck completed the Movember 10k race in Greenwich Park at the weekend. The popular race, which is in its 4th year, gave all proceedings to Prostate Cancer. Emma ran the course with her sister-in-law Fiona, and clocked 63:05, finishing as 419th lady from over 1500 runners. Emma has recently secured a place in the London marathon this April, and is currently fundraising to meet the £1800 target set by Richard House. She is knitting snoods, scarves and earwarmers in various colours to support the worthy cause. Also, Emma is organising a quiz to be held at Eastbury Manor House in late January, and will be holding an art exhibition in the Barking Learning Centre Gallery. Emma's fundraising page is at www.justgiving.com/roebuckemma. Meanwhile, Colin Jones, Paul Pickford and wife Michelle all competed in the Santathon 5k race, which started in the Daggers stadium. Around £15,000 was raised which will be donated to the local Saint Francis Hospice. They formed part of over 550 runners, who all ran the streets in full Santa outfits!

Alison Fryatt took part in the Red Run 10k race, staged at Victoria Park. She completed the course in a very impressive time of 53:29 to finish 33rd of 54 runners.

Week commencing 2nd December 2013

Five hardy members of Barking Road Runners travelled to Chelmsford at the weekend, to take on the "Chelmsford AC 10k Road Race". The weather was kind, and despite a distinct winter chill in the air, the rain held off. Derv Bartlett took the honours this time, completing the PB friendly course in 41:26. Barry Culling (44:22) secured second place, slicing 90 seconds off his PB in the process. Kieron Chapman (45:49) continues to slide down the rankings. Nicola Cranmer (54:13) was first lady home, followed closely by the consistent Alison Fryatt (57:23). Meanwhile, club Captain Vicky Cooper was collecting a first place prize at the Barking & Dagenham Star Awards for "Volunteer of the Year", based on her role as Event Director at Barking parkrun. The local 5k event takes place every Saturday morning in Barking Park at 9am. It starts and finishes by the tennis courts/splash pool.

BRR also held their annual presentation night last week. A huge turnout of members, family and friends was on hand to celebrate the last year of running. Danny White won the mixed gender Handicap series, whilst Martin Page and Bradley Brown shared the male Cross-Country trophy. Vicky Cooper claimed the ladies' Cross-Country trophy and also took the ladies GP series award. Liv Ionita secured the male GP series award. Other trophies on the night included Vicky Cooper and Martin Page as the female and male "most improved runners of the year" and Rob Courtier as the coveted "club member of the year". A massive 16 members of BRR now have confirmed places at the London Marathon on April 13th. These are Maria Bartlett, Barry Culling, Derv Bartlett, Kieron Chapman, Paul Pickford, Faye Spooner, Gareth Tucker, Liv Ionita, Vicky Cooper, Nicola Cranmer, Ron Vialls, Danny White, Lisa Maughan, Derek James, Emma Roebuck and James Lowndes.

November

Week ending 25th November 2013

Barking Road Runners were represented at the Stebbing 10 mile race on Sunday by Derv Bartlett and Barry Culling. The undulating race is held largely on quiet roads, with deviations across farmland. Derv Bartlett ran an excellent race, clocking 68:11, whilst Barry Culling (74:52) set a superb PB on a tough course. Alison Fryatt was in action at the Greenwich Park 10k race, where she recorded a great time of 55:45 on a very hilly course. BRR continue to train ferociously during the week. They meet at Castle Green Sports Centre on Gale Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 18:45, and at Mayesbrook Track off Lodge Avenue on Wednesdays also at 18:45. Track sessions cost £3, all other sessions are free and anyone is welcome to come along for a run.

Cross-country season continues in earnest next week, and the 17 members who have a London marathon place will commence their training shortly.

October

Week ending 18th October 2013

Barking Road Runners headline event of the weekend was the Billericay 10k. The weather was kinder this year, after last year's torrential rain in the build-up to the event. The hills were still present however, and some great times were recorded. Liv Ionita was the first BRR to cross the line, in an outstanding time of 36:54 to finish 13th overall. Dervish Bartlett claimed second place, with an impressive time of 42:26. Antony Leckerman (44:56) broke the elusive 45 minute barrier this week. Barry Culling continues to improve week after week, storming round in 45:50, whilst veteran Ronald Vialls recorded 46:15. Dennis Spencer-Perkins had heavy legs after his recent marathon, but still completed the course in 53:57. Faye Spooner brought the ladies team home in an excellent time of 50:47. Vicki Groves (56:22) secured second place despite some strong winds on the home straight. Alison Fryatt (57:25) set an all-time PB for the 10k event, and was delighted with her time. During the week, six hardy members made the journey to Redbridge Cycling Centre near Hainault to compete in the Chingford league 5k race. The race is unusual in that it is held during the evening but without any lighting! The hilly course was tackled well by all with an exciting finish. Andy Preston is in pristine condition currently, as he tapers for next week's Valencia marathon. He took the honours for BRR, clocking 22:30. Antony Leckerman (22:40) pushed Andy all the way to the line, with Barry Culling (22:51) a shade further back. Amanda Heslegrave was also in the mix, notching up an excellent time of 23:04 on a very tough course. Clare Foreman is throwing herself back into running recently and her return to form was assisted by Andrew Gwilliam. They ran most of the race together in 28:50. Amanda Heslegrave was in further action at the weekend, this time tackling the 7 mile Lactic Fallout. This unusual race was more of an obstacle course, with rivers to wade through and steep muddy ascents to negotiate. Amanda did BRR proud, completing the course in 87 minutes 10 seconds to finish 235th out of over 740 runners.

September

Week ending 29th September 2013

The 8th GP of Barking Road Runners annual series was played out on Sunday amidst a definite autumnal feel. It took place in Ingatestone along some rural paths and quiet roads. Liviu Ionita led the men home in the 5 mile race, recording an excellent time of 28:33. Martin Page (32:23) and Dervish Bartlett (32:40) had an exciting battle throughout, but Dervish pulled up with cramp in the last few hundred metres. Barry Culling finished a superb 4th for the men, recording an all time best of 36:05. Danny White (37:17) had another outstanding run, and Charlie Routley (38:46) had a brilliant debut over 5 miles.

Gareth Tucker (41:59) was chased all the way to the line by Paul Pickford (42:02). The ever consistent Dennis Spencer-Perkins took the line in 43:37, whilst Andrew Gwilliam clocked 45:54. Ken Summerfield (48:56) continues to beat his son Nathan (50:35), although the times are getting closer. 70 year old Micky Ball stopped the clock on 51:36, and Alan Murphy completed the set in 58:03. In a slightly depleted ladies field, Maria Bartlett notched up an impressive 47:16 as she led the ladies home. Alison Fryatt (48:27) and Areej Shabaaa (48:28) had a good battle, with Alison just taking the honours. Lisa Maughan sliced a huge chunk off her 5 mile PB, completing the course in 55:14. Amanda Heslegrave competed in the PruHealth Olympic distance triathlon at Hyde Park on Saturday. Amanda finished an impressive 76th amongst 141 female competitors. She completed the 1.5k swim in 33:59, the 40k bike ride in 77:29, and the final 10k run in 46:06. Despite losing over 10 minutes in transition time whilst she struggled to find her bike, Amanda completed the tough course in 2:47:46. Vicky Cooper was also in action at the London Duathlon in Richmond Park on Sunday. She chose to compete in the sprint distance and finished as 20th female out of 209. Vicky completed the first 10k run in 46:36, the 20k bike ride in 49:00, and the final 5k run in 23:16 to give her an overall time (including transitions) of 2:04:07.

Week commencing 2nd September 2013

BRR hosted their second Magic Mile event of the year on Tuesday night. Coach Rory Marriott and Chairman Rob Courtier kindly organised and timed the event, which was staged at Mayesbrook Track where BRR now train on a weekly basis. After a 10 minute warm-up, the runners positioned themselves along the mile start line and prepared for the off. 5 minutes and 32 seconds later, Dervish Bartlett strode across the line to record a new PB. Pritesh Patel paced himself brilliantly, clocking 5:57. Kieron Chapman just missed his 6 minute target, recording 6:01. Danny White (6:36) continues his return to form, and Andrew Gwilliam ran a very impressive 7:36. Alison Fryatt took 1 minute 43 seconds off her last attempt, clocking 7:42. Latest recruit Areej Shabaa finished 4 laps of the track in 8:43, and Lisa Maughan (9:18) took over a minute off her previous time. Other finishers included (6:02), Antony Leckerman (6:04), James Lowndes (6:11), Andy Preston (6:12), Joe Monk (6:23), Charlie Routley (6:27), Mahbub Khan (6:33), Gareth Tucker (6:37), Martin Mason (7:20), Cristina Cooper (7:29), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (7:45), Julie Rickard (9:17), Mick Ball (9:31), Paul Pickford (10:05) and Jayne Gallacher (11:16).

Pitsea RC hosted the final 5k event of the season at Westley Heights Country Park. The undulating route has attracted a lot of Barkings attention this Summer, and Wednesday was no exception. Dervish Bartlett was once again the quickest BRR on the night (20:31). Martin Page had a better run this time, and finished a shade behind Dervish in 20:47. Joe Monk (23:53) and Pritesh Patel (24:20) were the next members over the line. Captain Vicky Cooper clocked 25:01, and Martin Mason recorded 26:47. Dave Mottley (27:45) finished just ahead of Nicola Cranmer (27:54). Dennis Spencer-Perkins ran the course in 28:06. Vicki Groves (29:07) and Richard Ash (29:23) were also closely positioned. Ken Summerfield and Nathan Summerfield were both debuting at the event, and captured great respective times of 32:51 and 33:40. In true BRR style, a menagerie of supporters were on hand to cheer the runners home. They were Maria Bartlett, Lisa Maughan, Alan Murphy, Robert Courtier and Kieron Chapman.

James Lowndes took part in the gruelling second leg of the Gore-Tex Transalpine Run. The 24.7k race began in the Austrian town of Lech, and traversed through the mountains to St. Anton James was immersed in 5 hours 22 minutes and 12 seconds of rain, sleet and dense fog as he battled his way through 1,899 metres of ascent and 2,040 metres of descent. The course was even given some last minute alterations due to the severe conditions. Lowndes was amongst a very strong field, but placed 14th of 39 as a guest runner.

Week ending 2nd September 2013

BRR's seventh GP of the season took place amidst the delights of Clapham Common at the weekend. Barking put out a slightly smaller team than normal, consisting of 8 men and just 1 woman. Despite this, some very good 10k runs were recorded. Liv Ionita was first man home for Barking, and second overall in an excellent time of 36:29. Martin Page took 11th spot overall, with a time of 40:08. Colin Jones, who is running very well lately was third for BRR in 41:42, and 19th overall. Dervish Bartlett was slightly disappointed with his run on the day, but still recorded an excellent time of 42:56. Paul Ward is quickly getting back to form, clocking 45:47. Captain Vicky Cooper was the sole female representative for Barking, and finished just behind Paul in a time of 45:58. Barry Culling (49:57) just broke the magic 50 minute time. Gareth Tucker took 7th place for the BRR men, notching up 52:23. Mick Wilby was the final man home for the club in a time of 54:16. The 8th GP of 10 takes place at Ingatestone on15th September. It is a 5 mile race.

August

Week ending 25th August 2013

Handicap finale (7)

The ever improving Ken Summerfield led the team home on this occasion, destroying his PB and recording 29:20. Lisa Maughan (31:46, a PB) proved she's made of the right stuff, by holding her nerve and securing second after leading for the large majority of the race. The evergreen Mick Moohan (26:20) took a well-deserved 3rd place. Five other PBs were broken on the night, new recruit James Mullins (23:58), speed merchant Liv Ionita (17:32), consistently good Alison Fryatt (26:30), man of the moment Danny White (22:53) and hat fashionista Antony Leckerman (22:02). Other finishers were Dervish Bartlett (19:22), Kieron Chapman (20:57), Martin Page (19:53), Nigel Swaby (26:14), Clare Foreman (26:15), Nathan Summerfield (32:44), Martin Mason (24:34), Pritesh Patel (23:29), Nikki Cranmer (27:24), Mahbub Khan (24:15), Gareth Tucker (24:47), Paul Pickford (25:53) and Barry Culling (25:26). Overall, Danny White (394 points) just produced enough on the night to hold on to 1st place. Lisa Maughan (393 points) gave a superhuman effort to take 2nd, whilst Colin Jones (390 points) had done enough in previous races to hang on to 3rd. Awards will be presented to all during the annual presentation at the end of November.

Newham 24-hour relay

East End Road Runners hosted an unusual 24 hour track event at the weekend. Barking formed an outstanding team of 14 runners, and successfully ran a baton continuously round lane 7 of the Terence McMillan stadium, between Midday on Saturday and Midday on Sunday. Amanda Heslegrave opened proceedings, completing 43 laps in 2 hours. Birthday girl Maria Bartlett ran 23 laps in the next hour, before passing to Lisa Maughan who completed 16 in an hour. Hour long stints continued to 10pm — Dervish Bartlett (30 laps), Barry Culling (26 laps), Ronald Vialls (33 laps), Mahbub Khan (26 laps), Nicola Cranmer (21 laps) and Kieron Chapman (28 laps). Cristina Cooper took the late shift, running 55 laps in 2 hours. Andy Preston carried the baton through to 2am, running 50 laps in the process. Ultra runner Colin Jones seemed happy with the graveyard shift, running an amazing 102 laps (28.27 miles) in 4 hours. As Sunday morning finally came, Captain Vicky Cooper took the mantle, running 61 laps in 2 ½ hours. Liv Ionita stepped in for the next 1 ½ hours, completing a further 49 laps, before handing back to Dervish Bartlett, who completed 52 laps in the final 2 hours. Barking defeated 3 other teams who managed to complete the endurance event, notching up over 170 miles (615 laps of lane 7). Colin Jones and Dervish Bartlett ran 51 miles between them in their combined 7 hours of track time. Liv Ionita and 60 year old Ronald Vialls proved the fastest due to their shorter stints.

Pitsea Crown-to-Crown 5k

Pitsea RC hosted their monthly 5k event at Westley Heights Country Park. After such a busy week, Barking put out a slightly depleted team of only 4 runners, but in true BRR form a further 6 came along to shout support. Martin Page was first home for Barking, clocking 20:56. Vicky Cooper took an easy run, cruising round in 24:47. Nicola Cranmer and Kieron Chapman ran very steadily, recording 29:17 and 29:18 respectively. Pritesh Patel, Alan Murphy, Rob Courtier and Janet Finch also came along in a supporting role. Club rivals Jenny Akroyd and Nigel Swinburne joined BRR for banter and drinks afterwards. The course record was obliterated this week, with Adam Hickey from Southend finishing a full 71 seconds ahead of 2nd place Crispian Bloomfield (himself a very good runner). He recorded a quite unbelievable 15:25 on what is one of the toughest 5k trail courses in the area.

Aquathlon

After her 2 hour stint on the track, Amanda Heslegrave popped over to compete in Havering 90s annual Aquathlon. Amanda completed the 400m swim in 9:48, and followed it up with a 5k run in 23:47 for a total time of 33:35. This great performance was enough to secure the second female veteran trophy.

Newmarket Races

30 members of Barking, including friends and family, got away for a day at the races (Newmarket) at the weekend. The weather was kind, and a few cashed in after choosing the right steed. Barking often hold social events like these, and believe this is what makes them one of the closest knit in Essex.

Week ending 11th August 2013

Barking Road Runners' 6th Grand Prix of the season took place at Harlow last weekend. Sixteen members tackled the undulating 10 mile race which ventured out into the countryside before finishing on the track. Liv Ionita led the Barking men home in an outstanding time of 62:48. Martin Page (67:58) placed second in the MV50 category and second for Barking, whilst Dervish Bartlett (71:53) completed the three man team who took third place overall. Vicky Cooper was first lady home for BRR, recording 76:08. Cristina Cooper (80:10) ran a superb race, just missing out on the magic sub 80. The women's threesome was rounded off with Faye Spooner (89:21). Other members to finish the course were Ronald Vialls (63:27). Ronald also claimed second place in the MV60 category, pipped to the post by a mere 16 seconds. Andy Preston found himself in a Vicky/Cristina sandwich with a time of 77:57. Barry Culling (83:18) had another impressive run. Paul Ward took the first 5 miles very gently before racing through the field to finish in 85:18. Michael Wilby (91:05) and Alison Fryatt (96:18) paced themselves well, and Dennis Spencer-Perkins wasn't far behind in 97:53. Kieron Chapman and Nicola Cranmer ran the course together in 98:18. Ken Summerfield rounded off the Barking team, clocking 1:52:23 in his first ever 10 mile race, some way under the 2 hours he was targeting. Gareth Tucker represented BRR at the London Triathlon. He chose to participate in the Olympic distance and completed the swim, cycle and run in 2:40:27 Gareth clocked 34:11 for the 1.5k swim, 1:05:16 for the 40k cycle and finished with a 10k run which took 53:06. The additional time was accrued during transitions. Meanwhile, Amanda Heslegrave was taking on the Sprint distance at the Barking and Dagenham triathlon. The swim took place at Becontree Leisure Centre and consisted of 16 lengths to total 400m. Amanda completed this in 10:23. The 20k cycle on open roads took 46:06, and the final 5k run took Amanda 24:57. Combined with two minutes of transition time, Amanda's total for the course was 1:23:27.

Week ending 4th August 2013

Six lucky Barking members were given the chance to participate in the National Lottery Anniversary Run at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last weekend. They formed part of a 15,000 strong field which also featured Paula Radcliffe and Victoria Pendleton. The course went past iconic Olympic games venues, including the Velodrome and the ArcelorMittal Orbit before finishing on the track. First home for Barking was Maxine Brown. She completed the exhilarating 5 mile course in 41:38. Faye Spooner (41:48) was hot on her heels, whilst Louise Perrin was a touch further back in 42:06. Michael Wilby (42:44), Antony Leckerman (43:14) and Nigel Swaby (47:13) also competed in the magnificent event. Nigel said "The track itself was great to run on; to experience running in such an impressive stadium was fantastic in itself but you actually felt like a top athlete when you could hear the commentator describing your progress over the PA". Sir Chris Hoy started the mass race, saying afterwards: "It's wonderful to see the Stadium back in action for The National Lottery Anniversary Run. To see 15,000 members of the British public so thrilled to take part in sport at this iconic venue is a real legacy from the Games."

Meanwhile, Cristina Cooper and Andy Preston were taking part in the Datchet Dashers Dorney Dash at Windsor. On a day of mixed weather, the rain held off but the cloud cover was sufficient to reduce the temperature — the price however was a stiff headwind in the home straight. Cristina and Andy have been doing much of their training together, with the overall aim being the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington at the end of October. They ran the 10k together, both breaking their PBs in brilliant times of 46:06. Cristina also finished 8th in her age category and as 19th woman out of 317.

The annual London to Southend bike ride also took place. The 52 mile route began in Victoria Park, veering dramatically through East London and the Essex countryside before culminating in Priory Park at Southend-on-Sea. Paul Pickford and Danny White took part in this, with Paul just beating the 3 hour mark in 2:58 and Danny not far behind in 3:08.

Gareth Tucker is deep in training for the London triathlon, and this week he was finalising his preparations at the Swimfest 1.5k race at Alexandra Lake in Thurrock. He was hunting a 30 minute finish, but came in slightly over (32:48).

July

Week ending 28th July 2013

Eton Manor AC hosted the 5th ELVIS (East London V(5) Interclub Series) race at the weekend. It also doubled as BRR's 5th GP race of the season, and ensured a great turnout as members vied for double points. The hot weather proved challenging, but the fast flat 2 lap course was tackled — and completed well — by all. Liv Ionita led BRR home in a cracking time of 17:43 to place 4th overall, only just missing out on the medals. The ever improving Dervish Bartlett took a few more seconds off his PB, recording 19:25. Martin Page (19:37) secured third for BRR. Ronald Vialls was once again the first V60 over the line, running a superb 20:53. Ron was presented with his trophy (see pic) afterwards by Eton Manor. Ultra marathoner Colin Jones was just a shade behind Ron (21:10). Antony Leckerman (21:51) took 6th place for Barking. Vicky Cooper was the first Barking female over the line in a time of 22:37. Kieron Chapman found the heat tough to handle, recording 22:44. Faye Spooner (24:34) was next to finish. Alison Fryatt (27:19) continues to impress, and was followed closely by Maria Bartlett (27:46). Dennis Spencer-Perkins completed the hot course in 29:23. 70 year old Micky Ball (32:14) ticked off yet another race. Andrew Gwilliam (35:52) and Lisa Maughan (37:58) notched up very good times considering the conditions.

Meanwhile, in Felsted, Amanda Heslegrave and Alan Murphy were attempting Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners annual 10k event. The road race took place on quiet lanes through pleasant countryside, and was the 4th of the 6 Essex Grand Prix races. Amanda put in a good performance, finishing as 18th lady in a field of over 400, clocking 45:22. Alan Murphy conquered the course in 88:06.

During the week, the 5th of 7 Summer handicap races was completed at Barking Park. 17 runners took part in the event, whilst a further 11 supported. James Lowndes took the plaudits, setting an all time 5k PB of 18:32 in the heat. Danny White further stapled his likelihood to feature in the handicap top 3 overall, also claiming an all time 5k PB of 22:47. Liv Ionita continues to impress, running a superb 17:44. Colin Jones (19:32) and Derv Bartlett (19:36) rounded off the top 5, making it a day for the speedy members. Other finishers were Mick Davison (23:56), Antony Leckerman (21:42), Alison Fryatt (27:07), Mick Wilby (25:58), Nigel Swaby (26:35), Gareth Tucker (22:51), Ken Summerfield (31:28), Gary Harford (26:00), Mick Moohan (27:54), Lisa Maughan (34:34), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (27:47) and Maria Bartlett (27:24).

Midweek trackwork continues in earnest at Mayesbrook Park Arena. The faster crowd completed 400m and 600m reps, whilst the intermediates were mentored by coach Rory Marriott. This week's work was about raw speed, and featured pyramid sprints culminating in a relay race.

Week ending 7th July 2013

Barking Road Runners sent 11 of their toughest runners off to compete in the world renowned "Longest parkrun" last week. With races being staged as far afield as Australia, BRR proudly flew the flag for the East London competition. The endurance event involved running seven 5k races throughout the day, each staggered 90 minutes apart, with the first held at 9am and the seventh at 6pm. The courses visited were Walthamstow, Wanstead Flats, Valentines (Ilford), Barking, Beckton, Mile End and Hackney Marshes. As if this wasn't tricky enough, 6 BRR members (Amanda Heslegrave, Nicola Cranmer, Vicky Cooper, Dervish Bartlett, Kieron Chapman and James Lowndes) decided to cycle the 40 miles between the events to keep the legs ticking over, and hopefully delay the onset of any muscle tightening.

James Lowndes was the runaway winner at the 3 lap first event (Walthamstow), as would prove the theme of the day, with Dervish Bartlett close behind in second. James had problems with his fold up bike shortly after leaving Walthamstow, but these were soon rectified by the "real" cyclists in the group!

Wanstead featured a scenic trail route through the woods, whilst Valentines and Barking were both flat tarmac courses through their beautiful respective parks. Beckton was a mix of everything, grass and tarmac, wooded areas and a long straight at Beckton Corridor. Mile End was arguably the toughest parkrun of the day, with 8 hills to conquer. It was rounded off with the picturesque "out and back" course at Hackney Marshes.

James won 4 of the 7 events, which was an amazing achievement, finishing most between 20 to 21 minutes. Dervish Bartlett also ran all 7, completing each one in under 22 minutes. Kieron Chapman was another 7 times finisher, averaging just under 23 minutes. Amanda Heslegrave and Vicky Cooper also completed the gruelling day, running at each other's side for most of it, averaging around 25 minutes per parkrun. Nicola Cranmer ran the first 4 events in an average of around 28 minutes. These 6 hardy runners also cycled to and from Barking and between every event, totalling almost 22 miles on foot and 40 in the saddle. Antony Leckerman also completed the first 4 events, putting in some quick 22 minute times in the process. Alison Fryatt joined us at Barking, and ran the final 4 events. Andrew Gwilliam completed 2, including being quite the Gentleman and running the final event with another injured competitor. Chris Muthaka raced at Mile End, and Alan Murphy secured a new PB whilst racing at Barking Park.

The atmosphere throughout the day was brilliant, and it was rounded off with a late trip to the Royal Oak. The unanimous decision was that everyone who attended would do it again next year. And the entire day was free!

As BRR is on an upward spiral lately, the Committee had decided to offer its members the chance to run on the newly refurbished track at Mayesbrook Park. A whopping 31 members turned up to take advantage of this offer, and Rory Marriott and Robert Courtier kindly took the session. It proved so successful that the decision has been made to rent out the track on a bi-weekly rota, alternating with some hillwork at Beckton Alps. This can only be good news for the club, and over the coming months — with lots of hard work — times should start tumbling.

June

Week ending 23rd June 2013

Southend Half Marathon didn't oblige with the usual sun soaked atmosphere this year. Runners were treated instead to a cool overcast day, which didn't prove too disheartening for the supporters. Along with the flat course on the sea front, there was a great chance for participants to record a PB. V60 Ron Vialls impressively led BRR round the course, finishing in 91:37. His protégé, Dervish Bartlett, was less than a minute behind (92:34). Colin Jones (93:27) was 3rd male, notching up yet another 40 mile training weekend on quest to run a speedy ultra. The day belonged to the Barking ladies however. Club Captain Vicky Cooper (98:21) ran a 4 minute PB, just pipping new clubmate Amanda Heslegrave (98:24) to the post. There will be some interesting battles between these two over the coming months, as each pushes the other to their limits... and beyond! Cristina Cooper (1:45:52) took 3rd place, and secured 3rd place overall for the Barking ladies at Southend. For a club of BRR's size to do that in a race of such magnitude is nothing short of magnificent. Other finishers at Southend were Kieron Chapman (98:22), Chris Muthaka (1:40:48), Paul Withyman (1:41:33), Mahbub Khan (1:42:52), Andy Preston (1:44:43), Barry Culling (1:45:33), Faye Spooner (1:47:44), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (1:55:30), and Chairman Rob Courtier (2:24:20).

On Tuesday, Havering 90 Joggers hosted the 3rd ELVIS race of the season. Raphaels Park is still undergoing its transformation, so the usual 5 mile route was turned to a 5k and hosted instead at nearby Harrow Lodge Park — location of the regular Saturday morning parkrun. Liv Ionita recorded a quite astonishing 17:53 on the very tough course, finishing in 4th place overall, and just missing out on the medals. Martin Page (20:05) and Dervish Bartlett (20:12) took second and third spots for the men. Ron Vialls (21:14) recorded 1st position in the V60 category, and was rewarded with a trophy for his efforts. Barry Culling (23:10) was delighted to beat Vicky Cooper (23:20) for the first time over any distance. Danny White (23:50) continues his return to fitness and form. Paul Pickford (26:40), who has been struggling with injury since the marathon, had his first successful race for a while. Lisa Maughan (35:12) ran the course in its entirety, and was delighted with the outcome. Other finishers at Harrow Lodge 5k were Colin Jones (20:55), Joe Monk (21:41), Kieron Chapman (21:55), Amanda Heslegrave (21:57), Antony Leckerman (22:00), Cristina Cooper (24:19), Andy Preston (24:24), Faye Spooner (25:03), Gareth Tucker (25:10), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (25:59), Andrew Gwilliam (26:03), Maria Bartlett (26:45), Vicki Groves (26:52), Gary Harford (27:02), Richard Ash (27:58), Nigel Swaby (28:07), Rob Courtier (31:17), and Ken Summerfield (31:37).

Wednesday saw the monthly 5k race at Pitsea. The undulating trail race took place at Westley Heights Country Park, and was followed up by a social visit afterwards to the Harvester. Dervish Bartlett was first man home for BRR, completing the course in 21:06 despite being caught unaware by the official timers and starting from the back! Other results have yet to be released. 12 members competed, with 3 supporting.

On Sunday, the Great Easton 5 mile race was also hosted by Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners. The scenic course takes place on quiet country lanes and is popular locally. BRR life member Alan Murphy tackled the route, finishing in 69:19.

Colin Jones ran the traffic-free Kent marathon, which features the UK's heaviest finishers' medal. The course featured 17 laps of the smooth tarmac at the Cyclopark, and Colin completed it in an impressive 3:56:58.

Week ending 16th June 2013

Orion Harriers hosted the 2nd ELVIS race of the season on their home patch at Chingford Plain. The tough off road 5 mile race proved taxing, but BRR managed to record some great times. New boy Liviu Ionita strode home first for Barking, and 15th overall, in an excellent time of 30:31. Martin Page notched up an impressive 33:10, followed by Dervish Bartlett (34:56). 60-year-old Ron Vialls (36:01) claimed a glass memento after finishing first in his age category. Amanda Heslegrave was the first lady home for Barking, clocking 36:37. Another new signing — Antony Leckerman — finished in 36:48. Kieron Chapman just scraped inside the top 100 with 37:44, and Wayne McAllister (37:58) was hot on his heels. Barry Culling (38:50) also broke the 40 minute barrier. Other finishers were Faye Spooner (40:17), Danny White (41:38), Pritesh Patel (41:57), Andrew Gwilliam (42:40), Maria Bartlett (43:07), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (44:26), Paul Pickford (45:06), Nicola Cranmer (46:58), Alison Fryatt (47:45), Nigel Swaby (50:16), and 70-year-old Micky Ball (52:24).

During the week, Barking's second interclub handicap was played out at Barking Park. A record breaking 28 members participated, and some cracking times were recorded. Danny White took 1st place, also claiming the £10 Decathlon voucher, finishing in one of his best 5k times this year — 24:06. Lisa Maughan is rapidly improving both her distance and speed, and clocked a very good 33:10 in 2nd place. Proceedings were completed by recent addition Ken Summerfield, who tackled the parkrun course in 31:05.

May

Monday 27th May 2013

Olympic champion Mo Farah took the honours at the ever popular BUPA 10k, running a cracking time of 29:13. Nine BRR members had the pleasure of competing in the race, which started and finished on The Mall. Dervish Bartlett (41:43) once again led BRR home, finishing 702nd in a field of over 10,000. A shade further back was Kieron Chapman (43:00). New member Antony Leckerman notched up an excellent time of 44:06. PBs tumbled on the day, and Barry Culling (47:19) was no exception. Maria Bartlett was competing in her first ever 10k race, and grabbed an impressive debut PB of 52:11. Andrew Gwilliam (52:30), who has been having some great battles with Maria lately, was a mere 19 seconds behind. Michael Wilby completed the course in 55:11. Antony and Lisa Maughan were also both competing in their first ever 10k races. Antony ran the out-and-back course in a time of 73:22, whilst the ever-improving Lisa completed it in 75:32. Meanwhile, 40 miles north, Kevin Wotton, Amanda Heslegrave and Vicky Cooper were competing in the undulating Hatfield Broad Oak 10k. Kevin had an excellent run, finishing 30th overall in 37:06. Amanda Heslegrave (44:31) was first BRR lady home, and Vicky Cooper (45:47) completed a great day for Barking.

The picture is of 6 of the 9 runners who completed BUPA 10k. (l-r) Antony Maughan, Maria Bartlett, Kieron Chapman, Lisa Maughan, Dervish Bartlett, Barry Culling.Six of the BRR members who took part in the Bupa 10K.

Saturday 25th May 2013

At the weekly Barking parkrun, monthly prizewinner Lisa Maughan received her Sweatshop voucher for a new pair of trainers from Rachel (Sweatshop representative).Lisa Maughan receiving her Sweatshop prize.

Wednesday 22nd May 2013

The first in a series of 7 ELVIS races took place at Eastbrookend Park in Dagenham. The local interclub competition always secures a good turnout from Barking, and this race was no exception. Three runners from Barking broke the magic 20 minute marker. Kevin Wotton (18:06) led BRR home, with Martin Page (19:18) and Dervish Bartlett (19:47) clocking great times. Kieron Chapman (21:30), Antony Leckerman (21:38) and Amanda Heslegrave (21:47) all finished close together. Vicky Cooper (22:11) just broke her PB for the course. Other finishers included Wayne McAllister (22:44), Barry Culling (23:15), Pritesh Patel (23:33), Faye Spooner (23:53), Andrew Gwilliam (24:07), Michael Davison (24:35), Danny White (25:10), Maria Bartlett (25:16), Martin Mason (25:28), Vicki Groves (26:08), Nigel Swaby (27:37), Alison Fryatt (28:41), Richard Ash (28:56), Micky Ball (31:29), Rob Courtier (33:18) and Lisa Maughan (34:12).Alison Fryatt in action.

Sunday 19th May 2013

Great Baddow hosted Barking Road Runners second Grand Prix event of the year on Sunday. The weather was kind, and 19 members took part in a well organised 10 mile race. New member Liv Ionita strode home in 1st place for Barking, clocking an impressive 66:33. Martin Page (66:48) was only seconds behind. Dervish Bartlett (71:08) held off a late surge from Kieron Chapman (71:22) to claim third. A flurry of runners followed, with 6 PBs falling on the day. Colin Jones (72:59), just pipped first lady Maxine Brown (73:25) to the finish line. Wayne McAllister (74:47), Joe Monk (75:03) and club Captain Vicky Cooper (75:14) had a good battle throughout. Amanda Heslegrave recorded an excellent time of 76:00 whilst running for the first time without any timing device. Andy Preston secured a time of 76:39, with Barry Culling (77:00) and Cristina Cooper (78:19) close behind. A little further back was Mick Wilby (90:40) and Nicola Cranmer (92:31). Dennis Spencer-Perkins (1:43:09) caught and passed Micky Ball (1:43:54) late on. Rob Courtier continues his return from injury, recording a time of 1:57:21.The BRR team at Great Baddow.

Thursday 16th May 2013

The first in a series of 7 Handicap races was played out on Tuesday night. The staggered start aims for runners of varying abilities to finish en masse. 27 runners participated, and with 8 volunteers on the course the night was a resounding success.

The top 3 finishers have all been recently recruited from Barking’s highly successful Beginners Group, which is taking place at 18:15 on Tuesday nights at Castle Green Leisure Centre. Stacey Adams led the field home in a time of 30:45, and was presented with a £10 Decathlon voucher. Lisa Maughan took second place, completing the 5k course in 34:11. The ever improving Maria Bartlett smashed her PB once again (24:12).

Other notable finishers on the night were Andrew Gwilliam with a new PB (24:03), and new member Ken Summerfield (31:57). Colin Jones (20:30) found a lot of speed when it mattered. Cristina Cooper (22:54) continued to slice time from her PB. Another new member Paul Withyman (21:05) had a great first outing for the club. Liviu Ionita (17:48) ran the quickest time of the night.

Sunday 12th May 2013

BRR members relaxing after the Bluebell 5.Barking Road Runners commenced their Summer runs with a trip to the Little Haven Nature Reserve to compete in the Bluebell 5 mile trail race. The beautiful 2 lap course throws up challenging terrain, boggy patches and scenic routes through the forest.

Barking's latest signing — Liviu Ionita — had a brilliant start, finishing 3rd overall in a time of 30:12. He was presented with a hand crafted wooden bowl sourced from the local reserve. James Lowndes, still recovering from the London Marathon, recorded 32:32. Martin Page continued his impressive rise, slicing 69 seconds off last years result (34:06). Kieron Chapman took 4th in 35:53.

Maxine Brown was first lady for Barking, and 3rd lady overall. She was also presented with a wooden bowl for her time of 37:53. Andrew Gwilliam (44:28) notched up a PB despite having raced at Huntingdon the previous day. Martin Mason was a shade further back (45:45), followed closely by Nicola Cranmer (46:19). Dennis Spencer-Perkins completed the undulating course in 47:23. Louise Perrin aided Chairman Rob Courtier's comeback from injury by completing the course with him (59:33). Micky Ball also came in under the hour.

April

Thursday 25th April 2013

BRR hosted a volunteer stall in Vicarage Field, Barking. The aim was to promote the running club, and in particular Barking parkrun — a free 5k timed run which takes place every Saturday morning in Barking Park. The run has received a surge in popularity lately, with the average attendance jumping from 30 in March to over 50 in April. The day was a huge success, with a lot of interest shown from both runners and non-runners locally. Dennis Spencer-Perkins, Maria Bartlett, Lisa Maughan and Alan Murphy manned the stall.

Sunday 21st April 2013

Great Welsh Marathon

Resident Welshman Gareth Tucker chose to represent Barking at the 4th Great Welsh Marathon this weekend. The weather, which had looked so promising during the build-up, turned cold, wet and very windy. Gareth excelled himself however, and despite the hilly course was able to achieve a PB of 3 hours, 49 minutes, and 31 seconds — finishing 118th in a field of 259 runners. Gareth put his success down to a change in his training schedule. Instead of pumping out the miles, he concentrated more on strength training with one distance run per week. Gareth believes this aided his stamina, and allowed him to push through the final few miles of a tough marathon without dropping the pace too much.

VLM 2013

At 10am on Sunday morning, 15 hardy Barking Road Runners lined up to compete in the Virgin London Marathon. They were blessed with a glorious day as they gathered on Blackheath Common. This was to be the culmination of 16 weeks' intensive training, and emotions were running high following last weeks tragedy at Boston.

Kevin Wotton was competing in his eight successive London Marathon and notched up a highly impressive PB of 2:51:22. Not far behind was James Lowndes, who also recorded a PB of 3:03:33. Dervish Bartlett was running his first-ever marathon, superbly taking the line in 3:28:43. Club captain Vicky Cooper again ran a "good for age" time, stopping the clock at 3:38:50, a new London PB, whilst 60-year-old Ron Vialls was hot on her heels in 3:42:57. Wayne McAllister and Faye Spooner were the final two to beat the 4-hour mark, in respective times of 3:51:45 and 3:55:18. Bob Willis was next home in 4:12:03, followed by another marathon first-timer Kieron Chapman in 4:20:41. 70-year-old Derek James completed the course in an impressive 4:21:17, whilst Nikki Cranmer took 34 minutes off her previous best, romping home in 4:32:45. Mick Moohan also broke the 5-hour barrier in 4:56:29. Dennis Spencer-Perkins ran the course in 5:20:50, followed by Micky Ball, another 70-year-old, in 5:49:14.

Paul Pickford was forced to drop out at 17 miles after he suffered chest pains. Thankfully, he is recovering and will be okay.

Most of BRR were running for Richard House Children's Hospice, who had a good presence at the race. Their stall was located next to the water station at Mile 14, which was ably manned once again by over 50 volunteers from Barking Road Runners. After the race Richard House kindly laid on a function at the Goat Tavern, where the runners were treated to a free meal and massage.

With the marathon now completed, BRR's attentions turn back to their GP events, which continue next month at Great Baddow. The Handicap league and ELVIS series also commence in May.

Sunday 14th April 2013

Barking Road Runners are gearing up for the Virgin London Marathon next Sunday, one of the most important dates in their diary, and will see 12 members taking part.

Sunday 7th April 2013

This year saw the Braintree 5 being comprised as part of the Essex Championship series and the race had 500 entrants. Kevin Wotton finished in a very speedy 29.08, followed by Martin Page in 31.58 and finally Amanda Heslegrave came in at a respectable 35.24.

Saturday 6th April 2013

In the annual Victoria Park Harriers Open 5, in its forty-seventh year, Dervish Bartlett sprinted home in 32.30, closely followed by BRR's resident 60-year-old veteran Ron Vialls in 32.46. Family member of Vialls, Jake Nelson finished in 38.39 and Gareth Tucker came in at 39.02. To complete the line-up, Alison Fryatt finished in 44.09.

March

Friday 29th March 2013

On Good Friday, Pitsea RC commenced their monthly 5k trail race through Westley Heights Country Park, which is open to all. Last year runners were blessed with a 20 degree mini-heatwave, this year they endured the bitter temperatures. BRR managed to turn out 4 members. Dervish Bartlett was the first home, running a course PB of 21:35. Vicky Cooper was seventh female overall, finishing in 23:42. Kieron Chapman was a touch further back in 24:05. Nikki Cranmer cruised round the undulating tracks in 29:05. This race has a real family feel to it, with over 300 runners of hugely varying abilities taking part, and many supporters lining the course. It takes place at 7:30pm on the second Wednesday of each month (May to September) and costs only £2 to enter.

Sunday 24th March 2013

Brentwood Half Marathon

Despite freezing conditions and snow flurries, the Brentwood Half Marathon also went ahead as planned. Kevin Wotton was BRR's first finisher, clocking up an impressive 1:22:18. Martin Page stood out from the pack this week, somehow managing to notch up a PB and smash the 90 minute mark with a time of 1:28:10. Kris Moulsdale completed the flat course in 1:56:06. Vicki Groves just missed her 2 hour target, striding home in 2:01:55. The final two finishers for Barking were Richard Ash 2:22:08 and Christine Howson 2:32:32.

Hyde Park 20 Mile

A multitude of events were taking place this weekend, but with the cold snap continuing and snow still falling Hemel Hempstead were forced to cancel their 20 mile race. As a result, a lot of Barking Road Runners switched instead to the 20 mile race at Hyde Park, where conditions were still proving tough, but the course was runnable. Bradley Brown led BRR home in an excellent time of 2:27:16. Having struggled with his pacing over distance races in the past, Bradley executed almost perfect negative splits. Wayne McAllister was next man home, in another excellent time of 2:42:03. Colin Jones and Vicky Cooper crossed the line together in times of 2:48:26 and 2:48:27. Paul Pickford came in at a respectable 3:12:20, whilst Faye Spooner was just behind in 3:12:41. 70-year-old Micky Ball also completed 16 miles in approximately 3 hours 12 minutes.

Sunday 17th March 2013

The Dartford 10M in Kent saw nine Barking Road Runners take part, all of whom had a very good race. Conditions were ideal, not too hot or too cold and the forecast downpour very kindly waited until much later on in the day, so runners only had to endure a short light shower. The course is an undulating route with a very harsh uphill at about mile 4 then a slightly easier uphill to finish, so not a bad course overall. The marshals were fantastic and extremely supportive, one of the best attended, with strategically placed water stations for those who required it. James Lowndes finished first for BRR in a fantastic time of 65 minutes. Club Captain Vicky Cooper finished in 76 minutes with Colin Jones hot on her heels also finishing under 77 minutes. Next finisher for BRR was Barry Culling who finished in 81 minutes a superb time in his first ever 10 mile race. Mark Ambrose was the next BRR member to finish, in a time of 82 minutes, whilst Paul Pickford came in next in 85 minutes. Racing a fellow runner to a sprint finish and beating him was Dennis Spencer-Perkins, closely followed by second BRR female, Sally Spencer in a time of 99 minutes. Bringing up the rear, but not last by any means was our 70-year-old veteran Micky Ball ensuring he crossed the line with two lovely ladies by his side in a time of 1 hour and 44 minutes. Vicky Cooper won a prize for first female in her age category, a lovely silver plate and a Sweatshop voucher, sponsors of the event.

Thursday 14th March 2013

During the week Barking Road Runners attended a pasta night laid on by their chosen charity Richard House Children's Hospice, based in Beckton. This gave an opportunity for the runners to see how any money raised is used. 12 members of BRR will be running the London marathon for Richard House and they hope to raise £5,000 this year to add to the £45,000 they have raised over the last 9 years. The London Marathon takes place on 21st April 2013, and will feature over 35,000 runners from all around the world.

Sunday 10th March 2013

This weekend saw the running of Lydd Half Marathon, which incorporated the British Masters Championships this year. The fast, flat course was almost entirely traffic-free. Derv Bartlett notched up a PB, completing the race in 1:31:14. His overall finishing position was 96. He also beat his mentor, Ronald Vialls who finished in 1.31.57, for the first time over such a distance. Ron did, however, claim third prize in his Veteran 60 age category for the Masters Championships. Ron was placed 103.

Sunday 3rd March 2013

The first of ten Barking Road Runners Grand Prix races took place at Roding Valley last weekend. The weather was almost perfect for running, and on the undulating road terrain Martin Page romped home as first Barking man in an excellent time of 1:29:06. Bradley Brown claimed second spot in 1:30:16. Ronald Vialls in 1:33:51 and Dervish Bartlett 1:35:24 also placed in the top 100 overall. Andy Preston had a solid performance in his first GP event for Barking, with a time of 1:50:15. Gareth Tucker 1:54:44 just pipped Paul Pickford 1:54:54 to the line. Kieron Chapman also broke the 2 hour mark in a time of 1:58:36. Dennis Spencer-Perkins 2:01:43 wasn'€™t far behind. Wayne McAllister 2:04:40 and Michael Wilby 2:12:54 were the final Barking male finishers. Club captain Vicky Cooper took top honours for the women in a PB cracking time of 1:42:41. Cristina Cooper 1:50:15 was also marking her first GP for the club with an impressive PB debut. Nicola Cranmer also broke 2 hours for the first time, running home in 1:58:36 to set yet another PB. Ron and Vicky were both presented with awards for finishing first and third in their age categories respectively.

Vicky Cooper had also been in action the day before, competing in the rearranged Althorp Duathlon. She completed the 10k run in a new PB of 46:15, 40k cycle in 1:36:22 and 5k run in 23:49 taking her overall time, including transitions to 2:49:31. Vicky received another award for finishing third in her age category in only her second ever duathlon event.

February

Sunday 17th Feburary 2013

Barking Road Runners had another good showing in the final round of the South East Essex Cross Country league. In an exciting finale, Martin Page (31:19) pipped Bradley Brown (31:29) to the post to secure joint first in the club's internal competition. 60-year-old Ron Vialls (31:51) held off the challenge from the ever improving Dervish Bartlett (31:57). Kieron Chapman took fifth (32:48), with birthday boy Joe Monk a shade further back (33:07). Colin Jones took the final point scoring spot for the men (36:18).

Maxine Brown took top spot for the Barking ladies with an impressive time of 35:36. Club captain Vicky Cooper was second in 36:52 but took first place in the club's internal cross-country competition. Maria Bartlett (44:55) completed the female points scorers.

Other finishers for Barking were Pritesh Patel (36:18), Barry Culling (38:12), and Gareth Tucker (40:02). Paul Pickford completed the muddy course in 41:10, whilst Andrew Gwilliam finished in 43:43. Nicola Cranmer (46:04), and Micky Ball (49:40) rounded off proceedings.

Barking Road Runners finished the season fourth in Division 2, a mere point behind Pitsea. East Essex Tri secured promotion back to Division 1, whilst Castle Point were relegated having placed last in all 5 races. Benfleet won the final race to beat Billericay into second and become the league champions once again.

Sunday 3rd February 2013

The fourth and penultimate cross-country race of the season was played out at Weald Country Park on Sunday. 232 runners braved the cold, wet and windy conditions to run 4.5 gruelling miles through the park. James Lowndes once again led the Barking men home in a cracking time of 31:23. Veteran Martin Page took second in 32:34, with Bradley Brown hot on his heels in 32:55 Dervish Bartlett recorded a time of 33:44, whilst Ron Vialls notched up 34:13 on his way back to full fitness. Kieron Chapman was next man home in 35:36. Pritesh Patel rounded off the male points scorers in a time of 38:52. Other men to finish for Barking were Paul Pickford (41:27), Barry Culling (42:29), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (51:07) and Micky Ball (58:32). In a very under-strength women's field, only club captain Vicky Cooper (38:40) and Maria Bartlett (47:15) were fit enough to compete. Overall first place once again went to Rob Warner of Havering 90 in 25:36, whilst Charlotte Peppiatt of Benfleet claimed top spot for the women in 29:56. Barking look almost certain to finish the season fourth in Division 2, but the final (arguably toughest) round at Hadleigh on 17th February is still to be completed.

January

Sunday 13th January 2013

The third cross-country race of the season saw a good turn out at Thorndon Country Park from the Barking Road Runners, despite some cold temperatures and a number of runners being out due to injury. The threatened snow never amounted to more than a few wisps, but the recent rain meant the 4.7 mile course was tough going for all, thanks to lots of mud, and even some calf-high water in places.

First to cross the line for the BRR men was Bradley Brown, in a time of 33:08. In second place was one of the club's veterans, Martin Page, who crossed the finishing line in 34:03. Joe Monk, another veteran, completed the course in a time of 35:36. Derv Bartlett's time of 35:57 meant he was only 20 seconds behind, in fourth place for the club.

Maxine Brown was the first woman over the line for the team, completing her first race since the Virgin London Marathon, in 38:16. Vicky Cooper, the club captain, showed that she was on the mend from injury, finishing in second place with a time of 41:32. Both women competed in the Veteran category. Rounding out the women's team were Faye Spooner, in a time of 41:58, and Maria Bartlett in a time of 48:35. Maria has recently joined the club through its beginners' group, and was not only competing in her first ever race for the BRR, but was also running her longest-ever distance to date.

Eight other BRR men completed the course: Gareth Tucker 38.35, Pritesh Patel 40:07, Graham Carrick 40:17, Barry Culling 42:27, Salim Issa 47:54, Paul Pickford 48:34, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 52:21, and Micky Ball 52:58. The runners were supported by Andrew Gwilliam, Alan Murphy, Vicki Groves, Martin Mason, Janet and Dave Finch, Jo Oxlade, club chairman Rob Courtier, and Lisa Maughan. The next race in the series is at South Weald Park, on 3rd February 2013.

Tuesday 1st January 2013

Nikki Cranmer, Vicki Groves and Kieron Chapman kicked off the New Year in style by competing in the Knacker Cracker on Box Hill. It has repeatedly been voted Britain's best 10k, Britain's best trail race and Britain's toughest 10k. With titles like that, it had a lot to live up to, and it most certainly did! 250 runners gathered at the foot of Box Hill, the large majority of them in fancy dress, and prepared for the off. Vicki was dressed as Superwoman, Nikki as Batgirl and Kieron as Spiderman, and amidst a whole host of equally inadequately dressed runners, began the steep ascent to the top of Box Hill. The path levelled out somewhat here, and the muddy trail was followed round to reveal a steep descent to Juniper Bottom. The first drinks station awaited the runners at the bottom, from where it was another long steep climb to Juniper Top. Another completely un-runnable descent awaited, after which it was time to climb Box Hill once again, this time on very narrow, windy paths with magnificent views over Dorking. One more descent awaited, around 250 slippery steps had to be conquered to reach the base of the hill. A short loop, this year avoiding the stepping stones which were completely submerged, before the long climb back up the same steps to the very peak of Box Hill. From there it was an easy 800 metres down the hill to the finish. Amazingly the winner (Mark Curtis of Trionium) did all this in 48:15. The BRR gang ran the course as one and all finished in a respectable 85:30. Each finisher was gifted a t-shirt with their name on the back and a very nice medal. The atmosphere was unbelievable, with marshals fantastically enthusiastic; just what the runners appreciated!