Week ended 28th December 2014

The past week brought, yet again, some fine performances from many Barking Road Runners running at various events, from road races, to cross-countries, to parkruns. The cold and sometimes icy conditions did not tarnish their runs, and enabled some good results.

Faye Spooner achieved a time of 96 minutes and 35 seconds running at the Gut Buster event in Berkshire, which entailed a muddy, trail cross-country over a distance of 10 miles.

Earlier in the week, Witham had its Boxing Day 5-mile road race on an undulating course, with three Barking Road Runners taking on the challenge. Andy Preston was the first BRR home with a time of 34:47.99, followed by Amanda Heslegrave in 37:04.42, and Alison Fryatt being timed at 46:23.41.

On Saturday, there was the Trent Park Cross-Country which was a Chingford League event over approximately five miles. Andrew Gwilliam completed the muddy course in 40:02, with Amanda Heslegrave and Cristina Cooper finishing one second apart in 45:52 and 45:53 respectively.

The past week was also a special one with regards to parkruns, in that many venues held an extra event on Christmas morning, enabling quite a few BRR members to run two parkruns in one week! Christmas Day parkrun results were as follows: Barking parkrun: Antony Leckerman 21:36, Dawn Blake 23:28 (first female), Andy Preston 23:35, Cristina Cooper 24:31, Wayne McAllister 25:00, Chris Muthaka 25:39, Rakesh Sandhu 27:42, Alison Fryatt 27:54, and Claudette Prosper 32:47, with Ron Vialls taking on the volunteer position of tail runner. Ken Summerfield ran at Barnsley parkrun in a time of 32:28, whilst at Basildon, Steve Donoghue completed the 5K course in 20:57, with Ashley Donoghue timing 26:05. Andrew Gwilliam decided on the Colchester Castle course, and was credited with a parkrun PB of 23:02. Emma Roebuck also gained a new personal best at the Oldham event with 29:32. Meanwhile, over at Yeovil Montacute parkrun, Kieron Chapman ran 25:21 with Nikki Cranmer achieving 28:40.

BRR results from the final parkrun of the year on Saturday, 27th December, as follows: Barking parkrun: Amanda Heslegrave 22:12, Chris Muthaka 22:55, Ron Vialls 23:02, Dawn Blake 24:08, Cristina Cooper 24:51, and Michael Swan 30:16. Barry Culling had a good run at the Beckton parkrun, achieving a course personal best of 21:40, and also gaining first position in the field! Brentwood saw Martin Page run a time of 27:23, which was his first time over that route, whilst at Norwich, Wayne McAllister recorded 26:27. Pymmes parkrun gave Kresh Veerasamy a time of 26:32. Steve and Ashley Donoghue took on the Southend parkrun course, achieving times of 20:36 and 25:06. Valentines parkrun had four BRR running, with Andy Preston 21:51, Rakesh Sandhu 24:50, Antony Leckerman 24:53, and Vicki Groves 27:21.

Week ended 21st December 2014

Sunday was a special day, with an unusual event for eight Barking Road Runners by way of Sikhs in the City's Dawn to Dusk Ultra. The event also incorporated a marathon, a half-marathon, and a 10K event. The ultra race started at dusk (8:04am) and was to finish at sunset (3:53pm), with the competitor who had completed the most laps in that time being the winner. It was a multiple lap course, with each lap having been accurately measured at 2.014 km long.

Three runners from BRR took part in the Ultra event, running superb distances with Colin Jones completing a staggering 46 miles. Andy Preston ran 41 miles, and Amanda Heslegrave successfully finished 32.5 miles. Derv Bartlett, Rob Courtier, and Derek James opted for the half-marathon distance, with Derv running an excellent time of 1:34.56 to claim a medal for 2nd place. Rob Courtier received a time of 2:33.58 in his first half marathon for nearly three years. The 10K section saw Antony Leckerman secure 2nd place with 45:54, and Pritesh Patel running home in 4th place with 48 minutes and 18 seconds.

Sunday also featured Mick Wilby in the Greenwich Park 10K, where he completed the course in 52:23.

Saturday had many Barking Road Runners take to various parkruns, with some routes being run in the opposite direction from normal to celebrate Christmas, and with many volunteers and runners partaking in the fun by dressing up in Christmas outfits. The results were as follows: Barking parkrun: James Lowndes 19:12, Amanda Heslegrave 22:15 (first female), Chris Muthaka 22:31, Andrew Hiller 23:06, Dawn Blake 23:23, Kresh Veerasamy 26:21, Claudette Prosper 31:34, and Alan Murphy 40:43, with Lisa Maughan and David Mottley once again taking on the volunteer position of tail runners. Paul Ward ran at Gunpowder parkrun, achieving a time of 21:36, whilst Andy Preston took to Southend and ran a time of 20:55. Di Parsons revisited Southwark parkrun for the second time to run 25:42. Valentines parkrun had six BRR members running, with Antony Leckerman gaining a time of 21:41, Pritesh Patel 21:48, and Cristina Cooper ran 25:33 which was made all the more admirable by the fact that she has recently undergone surgery proving this a very gutsy run! Vicky Groves came home in 26:14, with Wayne McAllister just one second behind in 26:15, and Richard Ash completing the 5K course in 31:23. Barry Culling gained a Course PB at Walthamstow with 23:01, whilst Andrew Gwilliam ran at Wanstead Flats for the first time with 24:13.

Week ended 14th December 2014

The week was a fine one for Barking Road Runners, with some personal bests recorded at a variety of events and distances.

Amanda Heslegrave ran a mid-week marathon at the Enigma Blues event in Milton Keynes, with a time of 4:22:15, making two marathons in as many weeks.

On Sunday, Barking Road Runners competed in their second cross-country league match of the season, at Kelvedon Hatch. The pleasant course being just over four miles long and mainly flat resulted in some fine placings.

Men: Steve Philcox 8th, Lee Johnson 12th, Kevin Wotton 27th, Derv Bartlett 44th, Martin Page 56th, Mark Gare 68th, Steve Donoghue 73rd, Diarmuid Mac Donnell 90th, Paul Ward 92nd, Colin Jones 93rd, Pritesh Patel 109th, Andrew Gwilliam 119th, Ron Vialls 120th, Kresh Veerasamy 144th, Mick Davison 145th, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 155th, Robert Courtier 158th, Michael Ball 167th, Chris Anastasi (in his first cross-country) 168th place, and Ken Summerfield 169th.

Women: Vicky Cooper was the first BRR woman home in 7th overall place, with Ashley Donoghue 42nd, Vicki Groves 51st, and Lisa Maughan coming home in 68th position.

The team were supported by their clubmates Maria Bartlett, Alison Fryatt, and Alan Murphy.

Thursday saw Andy Preston and Barry Culling partake in the Gravesend 10K, running times of 45:15 and 50:29 respectively.

On Sunday at the Regent's Park 10K, Emma Roebuck smashed her personal best for the second time in two weeks, running 58:18!

Sunday was also the day for the Rudolph five-mile event along Southend seafront. The weather, although dry and sunny, was made to feel all the more colder with a biting cross-wind. Nevertheless, despite this, Faye Spooner ran 41:34, Di Parsons recorded a personal best of 42:12, and Mick Wilby finished in 43:23.

parkrun results on Saturday were as follows: Barking parkrun: James Lowndes 20:55, Colin Jones 21:14, Dawn Blake once again was the first woman home with a time of 23:15, Robert Courtier 26:22, Claudette Prosper 31:12, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 31:46, Ken Summerfield 31:47, Alan Murphy 43:15, and Aman Bains timing 50:53. Valentines parkrun: Diarmuid Mac Donnell 20:42, Barry Culling 21:48, Andrew Gwilliam 23:26, Rakesh Sandhu 23:39, Kresh Veerasamy 27:10, and Wayne McAllister 36:13. At Southwark parkrun, four Barking Road Runners took to the starting line with Amanda Heslegrave timing 22:04, Vicki Groves 26:32, Pritesh Patel 26:34, and Richard Ash 27:57. Antony Leckerman recorded 21:45 at Brighton parkrun.

Week ended 7th December 2014

The week was a busy one for some Barking Road Runners who partook in a variety of events. Amanda Heslegrave ran in very cold conditions on Saturday at the Dymchurch Marathon, finishing in four hours and 13 minutes; she had also been in action three days prior to that at Mayesbrook Park, in a 5K race that was hosted by Barking and Dagenham Tri Club. The latter event also saw five other Barking Road Runners take part. Lee Johnson was the first athlete home, running a very fine time of 16:32. Derv Bartlett placed in third position in a time of 18 minutes and 52 seconds, Diarmuid Mac Donnell ran 20:43, Barry Culling achieved a time of 20:47, Antony Leckerman completed in 21:27, and Amanda Heslegrave ran across the finish line in 21:45.

On Saturday, Alison Fryatt took part in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10K. Icy conditions did not make for easy running; however, despite the weather and the undulating course, she ran 57:50.

Sunday was the day for the latest Regent's Park 10K, where Lee Johnson and Derv Bartlett competed. Both runners achieved excellent results, with Lee finishing in third place with a new PB of 34:33, and Derv running a time of 40:00, which secured him 2nd place in the V40 age category!

Meanwhile, Micky Ball, Vicky Cooper, Rob Courtier, Michael Davison, Alison Fryatt, Andrew Gwilliam, Colin Jones, James Lowndes, and Paul Ward ran in the club's Royal Parks run, covering nine miles spanning three of the large royal parks, namely St James's Park, Green Park, and Hyde Park. This is an informal, annual run that was organised by the club's Social Secretary, Dennis Spencer-Perkins.

Saturday’s parkrun results as follows: Barking parkrun: Barry Culling 21:15, Barry O'Neill 23:35, Dawn Blake was the first female home in a new PB of 23:57, Claudette Prosper 31:13, Sifelani Sayisayi 32:31, Jennifer Birch 33:53, Alan Murphy 38:09, and Aman Bains 42:14. Brentwood saw their inaugural parkrun event with Andrew Gwilliam completing the challenging course in 26:16. Valentines parkrun: Diarmuid Mac Donnell 21:17, Antony Leckerman 21:37, Andy Preston 22:03, Pritesh Patel 22:42, Wayne McAllister 25:21, Rakesh Sandhu 25:57, Vicki Groves 26:12, and Richard Ash 36:34.


Week ended 30th November 2014

Barking Road Runners ran in a variety of events over the weekend that resulted in superb achievements and some personal bests. Colin Jones kicked off his weekend with the first of his "two marathons in two days" event in Deal, Kent, running fine times of 3:47 on Saturday, followed by three hours and 56 minutes for the second marathon on Sunday. Colin is no stranger to endurance races, having run many ultra-distance events in the past.

Meanwhile in San Sebastián, Spain, five BRR members celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Barking Road Runners by running either a marathon, a half marathon or a 10K event. Vicky Cooper ran an excellent marathon, finishing in a time of 3:30:45. Paul Ward chose the half-marathon event, running one hour and 38 minutes, whilst Andrew Gwilliam, Rob Courtier and Dennis Spencer-Perkins opted for the 10K race, finishing in 48:28, 55:40 and 56:37 respectively.

The Movember 10K run at Greenwich on Saturday saw Michael Wilby finish in 56:09, whilst Emma Roebuck gained a new personal best by breaking the one-hour mark for the first time in 59:16.

Also on Saturday, Barking parkrun saw no less than 14 BRR members run the 5K course, including a new PB for James Lowndes with a time of 18:39. Liv Ionita ran a superb 17:17, whilst Derv Bartlett (19:36), Chris Muthaka (21:21), Ron Vialls (22:54), Mahbub Khan (23:19), Andrew Hiller (23:22), Barry O'Neill (24:03), Dawn Blake (24:24), Wayne McAllister (25:50), Claudette Prosper (31:51), Alan Murphy (39:51), and Aman Bains (47:52) also took part, with Lisa Maughan taking on the volunteer role of Tail Runner.

Valentines parkrun results were as follows: Diarmuid Mac Donnell 20:47, Andy Preston 22:04, Amanda Heslegrave 22:46, Rakesh Sandhu 23:46, Vicki Groves 26:01, and Cristina Cooper 27:54. Walthamstow saw Barry Culling and Kresh Veerasamy adding another parkrun venue to their portfolio, running 23:12 and 27:23 respectively; with Alison Fryatt completed the course in 29:22. At Southwark parkrun, Di Parsons ran 25:21.

Week ended 23rd November 2014

Millhouse Social Club in New Road, Dagenham, was the venue for the Barking Road Runners' annual Presentation Night on Friday. This event also saw the evening host the presentations for the ELVIS series. Runners were awarded various trophies and plaques for their achievements during the year with Barking Road Runners, with special guest Peter McHugh De Clare, who is an internationally acclaimed distance-running coach and manager presenting the runners with their awards. The categories and winners were as follows:

Steve Donoghue was also finally presented with the cross-country trophy that he'd earned for the 2007/2008 season. He had been unable to collect it at the time as he had moved away to Australia and has only recently returned. It was a nice surprise for him when he realised the club had held onto his cup for several years!

Vicky Cooper was also presented with an ELVIS award for finishing the series as top V35 runner.

The main race of the week was at Chelmsford, which was home to the Essex Championships' 10K. Eight BRR runners took part in the race, recording fine times on a wet Sunday afternoon. Liv Ionita was the first BRR runner home with a time of 35:11, followed by Derv Bartlett in 40:23, Colin Jones 42:36, Vicky Cooper 43:45, Paul Ward running 44:24, Barry Culling 45:15, Amanda Heslegrave 45:45, and Rob Courtier completing in 55:25. Meanwhile, Donnington Race Track in Derby featured a half-marathon where Emma Roebuck finished in a time of 2:23.41.

An array of BRR members ran at various parkrun events on Saturday with results as follows:

Barking parkrun: Andrew Hiller 23:17, Ron Vialls 23:42, Dawn Blake 24:27, Wayne McAllister 25:35, Gemma Tyler 29:57, and Clare Foreman 30:04. Lisa Maughan and David Mottley both took on the volunteer tail runner position. Harlow parkrun: Paul Ward 23:11. Southwark parkrun: Barry Culling 21.17, and Kresh Veerasamy 24:59. Valentines parkrun had a nice surprise for Diarmuid Mac Donnell, when he was awarded the Sweatshop prize for the month of October; he then went on to record a time of 21:21 for the 5K course. Rakesh Sandhu came in at 25:18, and Vicki Groves completed in 26:30. Walthamstow parkrun: Alison Fryatt 30:14, Chris Anastasi 31:07 (which was yet another PB for him).

Week ended 16th November 2014

Two Barking Road Runners competed in the Poppy Half Marathon event at Bexhill on 8th November. The event had 985 finishers, with Kresh Veerasamy recording a time of 1:57:48 and Michael Wilby running 2:07:18.

Three BRR members made their way over to Kent on Thursday for the Gravesend Floodlit 10K, with Cristina Cooper claiming the 2nd female prize with 49:11, a time which also gave her the V35 age category prize. Andy Preston and Barry Culling were the other two BRR members running, with times of 45:47 and 52:04 respectively.

The club's one-mile handicap at Mayesbrook Park athletic track on Tuesday saw 19 runners line up to await their starting point and proceed to chase the runner in front of them. The weather conditions were not ideal, with a gust of wind blowing around the top bend; despite this, however, some personal bests were still recorded. On handicap placing, the first three home were: Chris Anastasi (1st), Alain Cooper (2nd), and Ron Vialls (3rd). The individual mile times were recorded as follows: Diarmuid Mac Donnell 6:25, Antony Leckerman 6:29, Andrew Gwilliam 6:53, Alain Cooper 6:55, Dawn Blake 7:10, Ron Vialls 7:15, Mick Davison 7:21, Kresh Veerasamy 7:23, Charlie Routley 7:38, Di Parsons 7:45, Alison Fryatt 7:46, John Lang 7:48, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 8:04, Rob Courtier 8:26, Sifelani Sayisayi 9:23, Bisi Bamidele 9:42, Chris Anastasi 10:29, Craigie-Lee Paterson 11:37, and Annu Kambo 14:22.

On Wednesday, also at the Jim Peters Stadium, the Barking & Dagenham Triathlon Club hosted their Winter Series Duathlon which consisted of a 3.2Km run, followed by 8K on the bike, and then finishing with another 3.2K run. There was a close battle for first place between the eventual winner Paul Grange and BRR's Liv Ionita. Derv Bartlett placed in 3rd position, and Amanda Heslegrave in 6th.

A host of BRR members ran at a variety of parkrun courses over the weekend, and even though the weather was wet to say the least, it did not dampen spirits with results as follows: Barking parkrun: Derv Bartlett 19:37, Cristina Cooper 23:01, Ron Vialls 23:18, Barry O’Neill 23:48, Mahbub Khan 23:58, Wayne McAllister 25:09, Nigel Swaby 28:31, Claudette Prosper 31:01, Jennifer Birch 31:15, Lisa Maughan 32:15, Alan Murphy 36:03, and Maria Bartlett 44:02. David Mottley ran in the volunteer position as tail runner. Derv and Cristina were (respectively) the first male and female runners over the line. BRR members were also well represented at Southend parkrun, with Steve Donoghue (20:03), Pritesh Patel (21:13), Barry Culling (21:24), Diarmuid Mac Donnell (21:31), Amanda Heslegrave (21:49), Andy Preston (22:18), Ashley Donoghue (25:01), Di Parsons (25:19), Vicki Groves (25:39), and Richard Ash (27:09) all running. Gunpowder parkrun saw Paul Ward run 22:49, whilst at Southwark parkrun, Emma Roebuck recorded a time of 30:53. Antony Leckerman ran 24:17 at Valentines; and at Walthamstow, Alison Fryatt timed 29:44 and Chris Anastasi recorded 34:00 exactly to knock a full three-and-a-half minutes off his previous best time.

Week ended 9th November 2014

Stebbing 10

The morning of Sunday, 9th November, saw cloudy skies and mild temperatures; in fact, the conditions were absolutely perfect for the 10-mile memorial race through the beautiful village of Stebbing. Eleven Barking Road Runners lined up at the start, and on the undulating course, achieved times as follows: James Lowndes 64:29, Derv Bartlett 65:22, Liv Ionita 65:24, Colin Jones 70:41, Barry Culling 74:24, Paul Ward 75:21, Faye Spooner 85:59, Cristina Cooper 86:00, Di Parsons 88:27, Rob Courtier 95:06, and Michael Ball 1:51:44.

Hog Hill 5K

With the weather slightly less than pleasant, Barking Road Runners had good results at the Hog Hill 5K, Redbridge, on Tuesday night (4th).

The course saw Pritesh Patel as the first BRR male home in a time of 23:01, with Andrew Gwilliam (23:58), Andy Preston (24:00) and then Richard Ash (29:44) finishing behind him. The first female home for Barking Road Runners was Cristina Cooper (23:55) followed by Sonu Thethy (27:00) and Vicki Groves (28:11). Former club member Paul Withyman also ran a good time of 24:19.


Barking Road Runners were represented at the following parkruns on Saturday, 8th November, by the following athletes: Hackney Marshes: Andrew Gwilliam (28:29); Highbury Fields: Barry Culling (22:11), and Robert Courtier (27:35), with Vicky Cooper once again taking on the volunteer role of Tail Runner; Valentines: Diarmuid Mac Donnell (22:04), Andy Preston (22:24), Antony Leckerman (24:00), Cristina Cooper (25:45), Pritesh Patel (25:56), and Vicki Groves (26:17); Barking: Liv Ionita (18:05), Chris Muthaka (21:20), Amanda Heslegrave (22:25), Andrew Hiller (22:44), Wayne McAllister (25:14), Claudette Prosper (32:44) (an excellent parkrun personal best), and Alan Murphy (39:00); Chelmsford: Jacquelyn Bennett's time of 22:23 was a lifetime parkrun personal best time; Newby Bridge: Emma Roebuck ran 33:44; Harlow: Paul Ward completed the run in a time of 24 minutes 55 seconds; and Chris Anastasi ran his debut parkrun at Walthamstow, finishing in 37 minutes and 30 seconds.

Week ended 2nd November 2014

Monday 27th October, saw three Barking Road Runners taking part in the Dublin Marathon. Liviu Ionita ran a superb 2:54:18 for a new marathon PB. Derv Bartlett also gained a new PB with an excellent time of 3:24:22. Robert Antoine, in his debut marathon, completed the 26.2 miles with a time of 4:22:30.

Runners at the Billericay 10K on 2nd November found their luck was in when a downpour managed to hold off until after the race, with results as follows: James Lowndes 38:49, Derv Bartlett 40:20, Martin Page 43:11, Paul Ward 47:01, Antony Leckerman 47:23, Pritesh Patel 47:47, Faye Spooner 49:50, Dennis Spencer-Perkins 55:45, Alison Fryatt 56:23, Vicki Groves 56:27, Robert Courtier 56:58, Richard Ash 58:56, Ken Summerfield 67:08, and Michael Ball 68:38. Vicki Groves and Michael Ball were both issued a spot prize each, and the BRR men's team secured 7th place.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10K on Saturday (1st) saw Amanda Heslegrave run a time of 47:04. The Lode Half-Marathon in Cambridge on 2nd November however was the victim of an incident requiring police attendance along part of the route; runners were asked whether they wished for the event to be cancelled entirely, or for it to go ahead with a revised distance of approximately 10 miles. Many decided to run the shorter distance, including two Barking Road Runners. Andy Preston finished the race in 1:24:44, and Mick Wilby finished in 1:39:42.

There were plenty of results for Barking Road Runners on Saturday at various parkruns. Barking parkrun: James Lowndes 22:03, Andy Preston 22:08, Andrew Hiller 22:41, Cristina Cooper 23:10, Di Parsons 25:29, Ron Vialls 25:37, David Mottley 30:49, Jennifer Birch 32:25, Lisa Maughan 33:34, and Claudette Prosper 35:42. Greenwich parkrun had four Barking Road Runners at their event: Barry Culling 22:04, Robert Courtier 27:39, Ken Summerfield 32:45, and Vicky Cooper, who took on the volunteer role of Tail Runner. Ashley Donoghue ran at Southend parkrun, breaking her personal best with a time of 24:33, whilst Valentines parkrun saw Diarmuid Mac Donnell run 22:14, Wayne McAllister 25:01, Andrew Gwilliam 25:29, Gary Harford 26:26, and Richard Ash 32:04, with Antony Leckerman taking part as tail runner.


Week ended 26th October 2014

Barking Road Runners began the new cross-country season in solid fashion on Sunday, at Thorndon Park near Brentwood. Despite missing some of its faster runners, the newly promoted Division 1 team nevertheless fielded a large team to run the 7.5K (4.6 mile) course. The weather was perfect for running on the day.

Maxine Brown (6th) and Steve Philcox (8th) both scored well for the women's and men's teams respectively. Kevin Wotton (24th) was second man to finish for the club, whilst Steve Donoghue (55th) and Martin Page (58th) continued the closely fought battle they'd had at the previous Sunday's GP race. Mark Gare (68th) was next to finish, in his first cross-country race for the club. Also scoring for the men's team were John George (117th) and Barry Culling (119th). Ashley Donoghue resumed her club membership after several years' absence with a strong 40th place. Alison Fryatt (64th) completed the scoring for the women's team.

Also running for the men's team were Paul Ward, who ran a steady race to finish in 128th place. A little behind him was Diarmuid Mac Donnell, who slipped early in the race and finished in 139th place covered in mud. Next to finish was Andrew Gwilliam (143rd) with Mahbub Khan (148th) not too far behind. Gareth Tucker (154th), Pritesh Patel (155th), and Kresh Veerasamy (161st) ran together.

Gary Harford (177th), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (181st), Rob Courtier (182nd), Ken Summerfield (197th), and Micky Ball (199th) completed the men's team, whilst Lisa Maughan (81st) and Jenni Birch (87th) also ran for the women's team. The race was Birch's first experience of cross-country. The next cross-country race will take place at Kelvedon Hatch, on 14th December.

Also racing on Sunday were the club's Vicky Cooper, Di Parsons, and Gemma Tyler. With just over a month until her next marathon, club captain Cooper had already booked a place at the Old Deer Park Half Marathon before the cross-country fixtures had been agreed. Despite transport problems getting to the race, and a course that was an odd mixture of surfaces, she nevertheless stayed focus on the task in hand and finished in 1:33:10. Cooper's time scooped her both a PB and a trophy as fastest veteran; she was also 4th woman home in the race.

Meanwhile, Di Parsons and Gemma Tyler both took part at the 10-mile Great South Run, in Portsmouth. Parsons completed the course in a 1:28:59 whilst Tyler crossed the line in 1:38:41. Mick Wilby was also in racing action over the weekend, completing Saturday's Race for Osteoporosis 10K at Hyde Park in 53:57.

BRR members generally volunteered or rested on Saturday, but nonetheless some still saw some parkrun action. Kieron Chapman (25:21) and Nikki Cranmer (28:40) returned to Somerset's Yeovil Montacute event, where Cranmer knocked a minute off her previous time. Barry Culling (21:47) visited Pymmes parkrun for the first time with Rob Courtier (26:28). Diarmuid Mac Donnell continued his steady return to form with a 22:56 finish at Ilford's Valentines event, where Richard Ash also did well, finishing in 28:15. Several members also took part at the Barking event, where Claudette Prosper crossed the line in 33:43 to earn a new PB, whilst Andy Hiller completed his first parkrun outing, finishing in 23:04.

Week ended 19th October 2014

The final race in Barking Road Runners' 2014 club championship took place on Sunday. The club once again saw a large turnout at the Leigh-on-Sea Striders' 10K, and even signed up a couple of new members at the race.

Conditions were good for running, with the sun keeping off, and even a cool breeze at Chalkwell. The new course introduced by the race organisers had a mixed response from the runners, although it retained the race's challenging mixture of hills and flat seafront.

Martin Page was first home for BRR, crossing the line in 42:50. Not far behind him in 43:05 was Steve Donoghue, who is now rejoining the club after a number of years' absence. Andy Preston continued his recent good form with a 44:33 finish, closely followed by Maxine Brown, who was the first woman to finish for the club. Brown's time was 44:51. Barry Culling was pleased with his 45:19 finish, which saw off clubmates Antony Leckerman (45:37) and Joe Monk (45:44). Rob Antoine was next to finish, recording a time of 46:55.

Cristina Cooper successfully used the race as a training run at marathon pace, and was also the club's second woman to finish, with a time of 49:21. Paul Ward was next to cross the line; his time of 50:06 was especially good as he'd had to start the race from the back of the field. Not far behind were Andrew Gwilliam (50:20) and Kresh Veerasamy (50:21) who'd battled for position throughout the race. Faye Spooner also crossed the line shortly afterwards, in 50:59.

Rob Courtier (58:02) was next to finish for the club, with Dennis Spencer-Perkins (58:21) a short distance behind. Also competing were Charlie Routley (59:46), Gary Harford (1:00:22), Alison Fryatt (1:00:35), Lisa Maughan (1:03:48), Emma Ley (1:04:26), Micky Ball (1:08:58), Ken Summerfield (1:11:39), and Alan Murphy (1:21:50).

BRR's Mick Wilby and Emma Roebuck were also in action on Sunday, at the Bupa Great Birmingham Run. Wilby completed the half-marathon distance in 2:10:23 whilst Roebuck earned a new PB with her time of 2:13:17. Meanwhile at Lea Valley, Di Parsons completed the Jill Oliver 10K in 53:30. Jenni Birch was pleased to finish the Cabbage Patch 10 at Twickenham, as illness and injury have limited her fitness, whilst Clare Foreman and Gemma Tyler both took part in a 10K at Regent's Park.

During the week, Alison Fryatt had some early practice for the club's forthcoming cross-country series, as she took part at Wednesday's Civil Service Cross-Country Championships. Fryatt did well to complete the two-lap 7K course at Parliament Hill in a time of 41:49. BRR's first cross-country race will be this Sunday (26th) at Thorndon Country Park, near Brentwood.

Week ended 12th October 2014

Barking Road Runners member Mark Gare achieved an outstanding time at the Yorkshire Marathon on Sunday. Gare ran the course, which makes its way around York and the surrounding countryside, in a Personal Best of 3:25:13. The time was twenty-five minutes faster than his previous best for the 26.2-mile distance.

Also racing on Sunday was Micky Ball, who completed the Perkins Great Eastern Run (Peterborough Half Marathon) in a steady 2:20:51, whilst Mick Wilby took part at the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in central London, which he finished in a time of 2:02:36. The club's Craigie-Lee Paterson also volunteered at the event.

Four club members took part at the popular Tiptree 10 race, which this year was also part of the Essex Championships. Andrew Gwilliam led the club home with a new PB for 10 miles of 1:22:20. Alison Fryatt was next to finish, with her time of 1:30:25 earning her a PB as well. Club chairman Rob Courtier was equally happy with his finishing time of 1:37:28 whilst Richard Ash narrowly missed his target of 1 hour and 40 minutes with an official time of 1:41:15. The club's Chris Anastasi and Alan Murphy supported at the race.

Other club members racing over the weekend were Faye Spooner, who completed the 16-mile Garmin Kingston Run Challenge in 2:22:01, and Amanda Heslegrave, who tackled the half-marathon distance Spartan Beast obstacle race.

Earlier in the week, the club was also represented at the Hog Hill 5K. The unusual race takes place on two evenings a year at Redbridge Cycling Centre's undulating cycling track, and is held without the use of artificial lighting, so makes for an interesting challenge. Vicki Groves ran with her daughter in the women's race, which they completed in a time of 36:50. In the men's race, Antony Leckerman led the team home in 22:29 with Pritesh Patel finishing only just behind him in 22:35. Andrew Gwilliam (23:41) was next to finish, followed by Kresh Veerasamy (25:49) and then Richard Ash (30:21).

On Thursday night, Barry Culling took on a tough double, completing the Gravesend Floodlit 10K shortly after taking part in the 5K race at the same venue. He completed the shorter race in 22 minutes, whilst his time of 46:39 meant he was second out of a BRR team of four to finish the longer race. Also taking part were Andy Preston, whose time of 44:07 was a massive PB; Cristina Cooper, who finished in 47:35; and Kieron Chapman, who crossed the line in 50:55. The men won the men's team prize, and Cooper also won a prize as second female.

There was a large turnout of BRR members on Saturday at Ilford's Valentines parkrun, where Vicki Groves completed her 100th parkrun. Clubmates Barry Culling (21:56) and Di Parsons (25:29) both helped celebrate Groves' achievement by earning PBs. Andy Preston meanwhile completed a parkrun at the National Trust's Wimpole Estate in 27:19. Other BRR members were in action at the Barking and Gunpowder events.

Week ended 5th October 2014

Barking Road Runners' latest championship race at the Southend 10K saw 26 members turn out to run for the club. The fast, flat course combined with good weather to prove an excellent opportunity for the runners to test themselves, and a number seized the chance to earn a new PB time.

Liv Ionita was first home for the team, in a pacey 38:44. Derv Bartlett once again breached the 40-minute barrier, and bested his previous best for the course with a 39:38 finish.

Martin Page (42:24) narrowly beat club captain Vicky Cooper (42:31), who achieved a PB as she tried to chase him down. Not far behind was Maxine Brown, whose time of 42:54 was also a best for the distance.

Antony Leckerman was happy with his time of 44:47. Barry Culling was disappointed with his 45:28 result, but it was good enough to beat Rob Antoine's 45:34.

Faye Spooner was third woman home for the club, running a steady 47:09 to earn herself a PB. Kieron Chapman and Andrew Gwilliam did battle once again, with Chapman passing his clubmate a mile from the end. Chapman's efforts earned him a season's best time of 47:47 whilst Gwilliam's 48:19 was a PB. Ron Vialls was pleased with his 49:34 as he was running in considerable discomfort due to sciatica.

Further PBs were earned by Di Parsons (51:40), Alison Fryatt (54:26), Richard Ash (58:22), Lisa Maughan (62:31), and Jenni Birch (72:32), whilst Sifelani Sayisayi (65:07) did well in what was both her first ever race, and her first attempt at the distance.

Also taking part were Charlie Routley (55:05), Vicki Groves (55:08), Nikki Cranmer (56:04), Rob Courtier (56:30), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (57:52), Micky Ball (63:11), Emma Ley (65:59), and Alan Murphy (79:00). Most were pleased with their results.

Other BRR members taking part in weekend races were: Mick Wilby, who completed the River Thames Half Marathon in 2:04:10; Amanda Heslegrave, who ran in the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10K race in a time of 48:09, and also at the Copped Hall 5-mile race in 41:30; and Craigie-Lee Paterson, who completed the Bournemouth Marathon Festival's 10K race in 01:24:27. Earlier in the week Wilby also finished the "Run the River" 10K charity race in 55:47.

With a major race happening on the following day, many club members chose to either take it easy or else volunteer at Saturday's parkrun events. However, Andy Preston marked the 10th anniversary of parkrun in style, by breaking the 21-minute barrier for the first time, completing the Southend course in 20:44.

Meanwhile at Barking, where club member Alison Fryatt had her debut as Run Director, Rob Courtier continued his recent hard work to finish in 26:45. Teresa Doole also knocked a sizeable chunk off her PB to dip below 30 minutes for the first time, crossing the line in 29:54.


Week ended 28th September 2014

Barking Road Runners had another large turnout at the club's latest race, the Valentines Park 5K in Ilford. Hosted by East London Runners, the race was the last of this year's ELVIS inter-club series, and once again proved popular with the club's runners.

Derv Bartlett led the team home with a PB time for the two-lap course of 19:01. Vicky Cooper was second over the line for the club, and was particularly pleased with her time of 20:54 as it earned her both a PB and the V35 prize.

Martin Page (21:10), Antony Leckerman (21:25), and Andy Preston (21:26) were the next runners to finish, with Colin Jones (21:46) and Barry Culling (22:10) not far behind.

Rob Antoine did well again, completing the race in 22:59. Amanda Heslegrave's time of 23:01 meant she was second-fastest woman for the club.

Kieron Chapman (23:52), Gareth Tucker (23:58) and Andrew Gwilliam (24:50) had a good battle for the next few places. Just behind Gwilliam finished Ron Vialls (24:53) who ran the whole race dressed in an Elvis Presley costume.

Di Parsons was pleased with her time of 25:20. Alison Fryatt also did well to finish in 26:49 having achieved a 10K PB only the day before, and Nige Swaby finished shortly after in a good 26:57.

Nikki Cranmer (27:10), Charlie Routley (27:23), Rob Courtier (27:42), Teresa Doole (31:13), and Micky Ball (31:34) also competed for the team, with Doole achieving a PB in her first-ever race.

A number of the club's ELVIS runners were also in action on the previous morning, at the Middlesex 10K. Derv Bartlett achieved his first sub-40 result for the distance finishing in 39:32. Barry Culling finished in 45:27 whilst Rob Antoine knocked several minutes off his previous PB to cross the line in 47:35. Alison Fryatt's 54:32 meant she also earned a PB, and Rob Courtier was pleased with his finishing time of 58:13.

Three of the club's women took part at Sunday's Windsor Half Marathon. Cristina Cooper led the team home in 1:52:14 with Faye Spooner not far behind her (1:52:25). Emma Roebuck meanwhile finished in a PB time of 2:21:15.

Earlier in the week, the club hosted a timed mile at Mayesbrook Park's Jim Peters Stadium. A mixture of club members and guests took part. The fastest on the night was Pritesh Patel (5:50). Inga Hayden-Cooper's 6:37 was narrowly slower than her PB for the distance. Kresh Veerasamy finished in 6:49 and Andrew Gwilliam achieved a PB time of 6:59 despite suffering from a heavy cold.

Other runners taking part were Di Parsons (7:27), Vicki Groves (7:34), Jack Davies (7:38), Alison Fryatt (7:40), Robin Booputh (7:43), Rob Courtier (7:44), Dawn Blake (7:46), Ellie Macintyre (7:48), Sonu Thethy (7:50), Nige Swaby (7:55), Emma Roebuck (8:24), Teresa Doole (8:24), Hiren Patel (8:41), Olivia Walugembe (8:49), Sifelandi Sayisayi (9:03), Micky Ball (9:16), and Steph Groves (10:25). A number of the runners achieved their fastest time for the mile, whilst others made their first attempt at the distance.

In other events during the week, Amanda Heslegrave competed in the Women's Running Magazine 10K at Finsbury Park (48:47), whilst Mick Wilby took part in the Color Run, a 5K event at Stratford's Olympic Park. Kresh Veerasamay completed the Shine Night Walk in approximately eight-and-a-half hours, a marathon-distance charity walk.

Saturday saw a large number of club members in parkrun action. James Lowndes completed the Doncaster event in 18:55. Paul Ward ran at the Gunpowder event, north London (23:44). Barry Culling (21:46) and Rob Courtier 927:42) both ran at Mile End parkrun as a warm-up to the Middlesex 10K later in the same day. Numerous members took part at either Barking (where Claudette Prosper's 34:39 earned her a significant PB) or Valentines in Ilford.

Week ended 21st September 2014

Barking Road Runners' long-distance specialist Colin Jones put in another outstanding performance over the weekend, taking part in the Self-Transcendence 24-hour race. Starting at noon on Saturday, the race involved repeated laps of Tooting Bec athletic track, in south London. Supported by his family, with clubmates also cheering him on for a time, Jones had completed a total distance of 102 miles by noon on Sunday.

Other BRR members were also racing on Sunday morning. Club captain Vicky Cooper was awarded a prize for finishing as 5th woman at the Les Witton 10-mile race at Dartford. Cooper's time of 1:12:44 was also a new Personal Best for her at the distance. Others taking part were Barry Culling (1:16:41), Alison Fryatt (1:35:48), Rob Courtier (1:38:43), and Micky Ball (1:49:36).

Also on Sunday, Liv Ionita finished the Pleshey Half Marathon in 1:20:45, whilst Derv Bartlett knocked around 9 minutes off his previous year's time for the course to finish in 1:26:41. Amanda Heslegrave took part as well, crossing the line in 1 hour and 44 minutes. Meanwhile, Mick Wilby finished the Battersea Park 10K in 54:28.

Eight of the club's members ran at Saturday morning's Barking parkrun. Lisa Maughan knocked a further chunk off her PB with a finishing time of 30:05. Clubmate Barry O'Neill also earned a PB, shaving a second off his previous best to complete the 5K course in 23:31. BRR members were also in action at Valentines parkrun, whilst Barry Culling and Kresh Veerasamy visited the Grovelands event in Enfield, and Di Parsons took on the 5-lap course at Highbury Fields.

Week ended 14th September 2014

Barking Road Runners had a fantastic turnout for its latest Grand Prix race, with 22 runners taking part at the Ingatestone 5. Based at the Anglo-European School, the five-mile course leads out through Fryerning for a large loop along the area's undulating country roads, before heading back to finish next to the by-pass. The race has proven a popular challenge for the club's runners, and has been a staple of its calendar for the last four years.

James Lowndes continued his recent good form by leading the club home in a PB time of 31:26 that placed him 15th out of the 133 who ran. Club captain Vicky Cooper led the women's team home, and in her effort to chase down clubmates Colin Jones (34:04) and Martin Page (34:18) she earned a PB of 34:38. Cooper's time also saw her finish as 4th fastest woman overall, and won her the women's V35 trophy. Barry Culling (35:54) and Antony Leckerman (36:11) were next to finish for the club.

Faye Spooner was the club's second woman to finish. Her pacey 38:37 took her past Paul Ward (39:45) and Kieron Chapman (39:48) as the race progressed. Andrew Gwilliam (40:20) also tried without success to chase down his clubmates Ward and Chapman. Rob Antoine found the hills a bit of a battle, but still did well to finish his first outing for the club in 41:27. Dennis Spencer-Perkins (42:37) was next to finish. Mick Davison then crossed the line in 44:51.

Vicki Groves (45:05) and Alison Fryatt (45:21) both had a good race. Club chairman Rob Courtier wasn't able to catch his two clubmates, but looked comfortable as he finished in a good 46:48.

Also running for the club were Charlie Routley (49:53), Richard Ash (50:15), and Micky Ball (53:07). Lisa Maughan and Emma Roebuck ran together, finishing in 53:51. Alan Murphy also ran, crossing the line in 58:04.

Mick Wilby raced on Sunday too, taking part in the Run to the Beat 10K at Wembley. Describing it afterwards as a "tough race", with plenty of hills, he finished in 58:55. Wilby also took part earlier in the week at the World Cancer Research Fund's "Beat the Banana" 5K, which he completed in 26:32.

The club's Cristina Cooper completed an Olympic-distance triathlon on Sunday at Dorney Lake (near Windsor), in an overall time of 3:16:58. Her splits were 39:10 for the 1500m swim, 1:41:50 for the 42.4km bike ride, and 49:25 for the 10K run. Meanwhile, clubmate Andy Preston took part in a duathlon at the same venue, which he completed in 1:18:46 with splits of 21:29 for a 5K run, 42:14 for a 21.2km bike ride, and 11:50 for a 2.5K run. Both were pleased with their efforts.

On Saturday, Clare Foreman took part with friends in the Tough Mudder race in Cheshire, an obstacle course through over 10 miles of woodland and thick mud.

BRR were once again represented at a variety of different parkrun events on Saturday morning. Barry Culling (21:33) celebrated his 100th parkrun at the Southend event, where clubmates Andy Preston (21:00), Di Parsons (25:06), Vicki Groves (26:23), and Nikki Cranmer (27:16) accompanied him. Parsons' time was a PB whilst Preston matched his previous best for the distance. At the Barking event Cristina Cooper (25:51) paced round clubmate Dave Mottley (25:52), and finished as first female, whilst new member Claudette Prosper knocked over 2 minutes off her PB to finish in 37:17. Pritesh Patel also took part, finishing in 22:44.

Antony Leckerman (23:22) and Andrew Gwilliam (29:01) took part at the Valentines Park event, whilst Emma Roebuck (32:18) ran at Mile End, and Rob Courtier (27:59) and Vicky Cooper (36:14) ran at Southwark.

Week ended 7th September 2014

A busy week for the Barking Road Runners saw members earning glory at a number of races, including multi-discipline events.

Liv Ionita comfortably won the latest duathlon organised by the Barking & Dagenham Tri Club at Mayesbrook Park on Wednesday evening. The event comprised a 3K run, followed by 20 laps cycling round the track, and finishing with a further 3K run. Including transition times, Ionita completed the three stages in 11:09, 16:05, and 10:13, for an overall time of 37:47. Clubmate Cristina Cooper was the fastest woman on the night, finishing in 9th overall place with splits of 14:29, 22:22, and 14:03, for a total time of 50:54. Other runners taking part included Kevin Wotton (40:57), Derv Bartlett (40:58), Andy Preston (43:15), Vicki Groves (55:05), and Richard Ash (55:34).

Amanda Heslegrave earned a trophy at Sunday morning's Barking & Dagenham Triathlon. Her time of 1:23:15 meant she finished as 2nd fastest woman. Also completing the 400m swim, 20K cycle, and 5.3K run, were clubmates Ash (1:40:57), and Groves (1:43:48), who were both taking part in their first triathlon. Heslegrave was unable to collect her trophy in person, as after the event she had to travel to Cambridge, where she competed in the 5K Spartan obstacle race later in the day.

A further trophy was collected on Sunday by fellow BRR member Cristina Cooper at the hilly Weald 10K. The sixth-fastest woman on the day, Cooper's time of 48:20 earned her the 35+ age category prize. Clubmate Andy Preston also took part in the race, finishing in 47:19.

BRR were represented at two other road races over the weekend. Taking part at the half-marathon distance Great North Run were Faye Spooner (1:53:53) and Di Parsons (2:09:19), whilst Andy Hiller and Rob Courtier both enjoyed the Langham 10K. Hiller completed the course in 47:58.52 and Courtier was very pleased with his finishing time of 56:58.01. Hiller's children also took part in a 2K fun run, in which his daughter won the girls' prize with a time of 10:14.

Earlier in the week, a number of club members also turned out for the Crown to Crown trail race, held in the Langdon Hills Country Park, near Basildon. Barry Culling was first home for the club, completing the undulating course in 22:30. Kieron Chapman (25:09), Kresh Veerasamy (26:19), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (27:49), Alison Fryatt (28:43), Nikki Cranmer (29:32), and Rob Courtier (29:57) also took part, with other clubmates supporting. All enjoyed a well-earned post-race dinner at a pub restaurant adjacent to the country park. Vicky Cooper also took part in the latest mid-week Assembly League race, held in Beckenham.

Barking Road Runners were once again well-represented at a number of parkrun events on Saturday morning. Liv Ionita was overall fastest at Barking parkrun with a finishing time of 17:24 whilst Amanda Heslegrave was fastest female with 22:18. Also taking part were Derv Bartlett (19:32), James Lowndes (20:22), Dave Mottley (27:02), Ron Vialls (27:17), Teresa Doole (31:27), and Alan Murphy (34:44). Richard Ash was in the hot seat for the first time as Run Director at the Valentines event in Ilford, where Antony Leckerman (21:41) and Vicki Groves (26:10) ran. Barry Culling (22:02) tried out the surprisingly hilly Mile End event for the first time, whilst Kieron Chapman (25:31) and Nikki Cranmer (29:58) took part at the multi-terrain Harrow Lodge event. Further afield, Vicky Cooper and Andrew Gwilliam took advantage of a trip to Birmingham in their role as Ambassadors for parkrun UK, to stop off en route at the busy Coventry parkrun, where Cooper was first female finisher.


Week ended 31st August 2014

Barking Road Runners were able to field a fast team at their own annual 5K race at Barking Park on Bank Holiday Monday, despite many of the club's members being needed as volunteers to help stage the event.

Liv Ionita earned a fine PB of 16:37. Missing out on a podium place by just 4 seconds, Ionita's time is an improvement by two-and-a-half minutes over his first outing at the race back in 2012. Second and third for the club were Derv Bartlett (18:33) and James Lowndes (18:41), both of whom also achieved PBs in what proved to be excellent running conditions. Antony Leckerman (21:06), Barry Culling (21:44), Pritesh Patel (22:58), Gareth Tucker (24:03) finished in times that they have previously bested at parkrun events, but which are officially recorded as fastest times for them in a 5K race.

Club captain Vicky Cooper was first runner home for the women's team, in a PB time of 21:08. Amanda Heslegrave's 22:08 secured her second place, whilst Jacqui Bennett (22:45) in third place also earned a big PB for the club in her first outing at the August Bank Holiday race.

Also running for the club were Colin Jones (20:30), Faye Spooner (23:26), and Vicki Groves (26:50). (A report of the race as a whole, include details of the prize winners, can be found on our website here.)

On Saturday morning, Andrew Gwilliam took part at the inaugural Bere Island parkrun, hosted by a small rural community off the south-west coast of Ireland. His time was 25:18. Vicky Cooper meanwhile ran a time of 22:09 at the Barnsley event, finishing as second female on what she described as "the most challenging course I've run to date, and stunning beautiful". Di Parsons ran the Southend event in 25:32, whilst closer to home, Emma Roebuck completed Southwark parkrun in 31:08, Barry Culling ran the Harrow Lodge course in 22:43, and Richard Ash (30:43) ran at the Valentines event in Ilford. Twelve of the club's runners took part at Barking parkrun, where Jenni Birch gained a PB time of 30:03.

BRR members also took part at other races over the weekend. Andy Hiller took part with friends at Sunday's South London Super UK 13K "Spartan" obstacle race; taking part at the same event was Amanda Heslegrave, who also ran in the previous day's South London Sprint UK 5K race. James Lowndes meanwhile ran overnight as part of another team at the 24-hour Spitfire Scramble race in Hornchurch.

Liv Ionita and Derv Bartlett took part in Sunday's Putney & Fulham Half.

Week ended 24th August 2014

Derv Bartlett clinched the Barking Road Runners' handicap series in style on Thursday evening, with a new Personal Best time of 18:31. The 5K race at Barking Park also produced a fine effort from club chairman Rob Courtier, whose first place on the night secured him second place in the series with a near season's best time of 27:28. Club captain Vicky Cooper also achieved a course PB time of 21:22 that earned her third place in both the race and the overall series.

Other runners on the night were Olivia Walugembe (31:49), Abigail Swaby (37:39), Terry Phillips (24:45), Martin Page (21:15), Antony Leckerman (21:19), Andy Preston (21:28), Alison Fryatt (27:01), Nige Swaby (26:48), Nikki Cranmer (27:00), Gareth Tucker (23:56), Barry Culling (24:30), Derek James (29:27), Richard Ash (29:37), Pritesh Patel (24:46), and Kieron Chapman (24:28).

Further PBs were achieved by three BRR members at Saturday morning's Barking parkrun. Lisa Maughan smashed her previous best time by over a minute, reducing it to 30:46. Alan Murphy (34:09) also did well, earning his first PB in over a year. Both Maughan and Murphy are regular volunteers at the event, so don't get the opportunity to run every week. Barry O'Neill also earned a new PB time of 23:32.

Other BRR members running at Barking were James Lowndes (19:33), Derv Bartlett (20:28), Dave Mottley (26:24), Nikki Cranmer (29:02), Michael Swan (29:02), Jenni Birch (30:17), Sandra Swan (31:54), and Teresa Doole (32:39), whilst competing at the Valentines Park event were Antony Leckerman (24:02), Kresh Veerasamy (25:40), Vicki Groves (26:43), and Richard Ash (28:59). Meanwhile, Barry Culling took part at Beckton parkrun, where he achieved a course PB of 21:56.

At the Brentwood Brizes 10K, also on Saturday morning, Martin Page finished in 8th place with a time of 45:28. His son also competed in the 5K event.

The club's Alison Fryatt took part at Sunday's Mel Batty 10K in Grays, where she was very pleased to get a new PB for the distance of 55:23.

Week ended 17th August 2014

Barking Road Runners' Liv Ionita once again achieved a podium place for the club, finishing third at Wednesday night's Crown to Crown race. Ionita's 17:34 was only three seconds slower than the time that won him the previous month's race, and shows remarkable consistency on a challenging course with an uphill finish.

Other club members taking part were Derv Bartlett (19:43), Barry Culling (23:02), Kresh Veerasamy (26:02), Gary Harford (27:11), Andrew Gwilliam (27:15), Alison Fryatt (29:21), Nicola Cranmer (29:40), and Rob Courtier (32:14). Harford and Gwilliam enjoyed a battle in the closing stages of the race, and both did well as neither had run for the previous two weeks. It was also both their first time competing in a Crown to Crown race. The runners were supported by the club's Maria Bartlett, Alan Murphy, and Chris Anastasi.

Also on Wednesday night, BRR's Andy Preston and Amanda Heslegrave took part in Barking & Dagenham Tri Club's Go-Tri Duathlon, at Mayesbrook Park. Preston finished 3rd with a time of 46:10, and Heslegrave was 4th with 49:37. The next event will be on Wednesday, 10th September.

On Saturday morning, Barking Road Runners were in action at a variety of different parkrun events. Di Parsons enjoyed her first outing at Beckton parkrun, and was especially pleased to be the first female over the line with her time of 25:47. Elsewhere, Barry Culling returned to Maidstone, where he finished in 22:08; Antony Leckerman ran at the Valentines event in Ilford, finishing in 21:26; and Emma Roebuck completed the Southwark event in 30:21.

The largest contingent of BRR members competed at the Barking event. Liv Ionita was third overall fastest out of a field of 83 runners, crossing the line in 17:00, whilst Lisa Maughan (31:56) and Ruth Tyler (33:41) both claimed PBs. Also running for the club were Chris Muthaka (22:03), Kresh Veerasamy (25:27), Ron Vialls (25:54), Teresa Doole (34:49), and Alan Murphy (35:54), with Jennifer Birch (48:29) volunteering as tail runner.

Week ended 10th August 2014

Martin Page won Barking Road Runners' handicap race on Thursday night, the penultimate in the 2014 series. Page looked steady throughout the race, showing an improving form after injury troubles earlier in the year. Derv Bartlett (18:50), Emma Roebuck (29:24), and Jenni Birch (29:41) all earned 5K PBs, with Birch finishing inside 30 minutes for the first time. Olivia Walugembe did well too in her first race at the distance, completing the Barking Park course in 34:53.

The final race will be on Thursday, 21st August, with Derv Bartlett, Vicky Cooper, Rob Courtier, Antony Leckerman, Barry Culling, and Nige Swaby all still in contention for the series prize.

On Saturday, Emma Roebuck tackled the hilly parkrun course at Heaton, Manchester, and was pleased with her finishing time of 30:21. Meanwhile, Vicky Cooper (22:59), Barry Culling (23:32), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (29:44), and Rob Courtier (32:54) took a trip to Hampstead Heath parkrun, another hilly course. Cooper's time meant she finished as first female. Another first female place was earned by the club's Amanda Heslegrave at the Barking event (22:56), where Derv Bartlett (19:15), Liv Ionita (19:17), Wayne McAllister (25:37), Chris Muthaka (28:25), Jenni Birch (30:47), Lisa Maughan (31:58), Ruth Taylor (34:18), and Alan Murphy (40:13) also took part. Kieron Chapman ran at Harrow Lodge, where he crossed the line in 25:28.

Mick Wilby took part in Saturday's Pride Run 10K at Victoria Park, where he finished in a time of 53:42.

Three BRR members participated in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 cycling event, which was shortened by the organisers from 100 to 86 miles, due to the weather conditions. Amanda Heslegrave battled with the wind and rain to complete the full course in 6:52.41 whilst Craigie-Lee Paterson completed 56 miles, and Vicky Cooper cycled 26 miles as part of a relay team on behalf of her employer. Paterson also volunteered as a supervisor at the previous day's FreeCycle event in central London, with Andrew Gwilliam and Vicky Cooper volunteering as marshals for a shift each.

Week ended 3rd August 2014

Barking Road Runners' Liv Ionita celebrated his 24th birthday in style on Sunday, by gaining 2nd place at the British Heart Foundation Victoria Park Run 10K. Taking advantage of the fast, flat three-lap course, Ionita stormed round in a Personal Best time of 33:21. Further PB times were achieved by Derv Bartlett (37:55), Faye Spooner (46:43), and Di Parsons (50:53), with clubmate Ron Vialls also finishing in an excellent 42:50.

Club captain Vicky Cooper also did well at Saturday's ELVIS race hosted by Orion Harriers, where she won the women's over-35 prize. Cooper's pacey time of 36:32 meant that she was 5th fastest woman overall. Taking place in Epping Forest, the 5-mile race proved a test for all the runners, although the cool temperatures made for less gruelling conditions than have had to be endured with many of the summer's races to date. Liv Ionita led the team home as usual, in a course PB time of 30:02 that saw him finish in 11th overall position. Derv Bartlett (33:31), Antony Leckerman (37:59), Pritesh Patel (41:05), Faye Spooner (42:51), Alison Fryatt (48:30), Nige Swaby (49:35), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (50:30), Micky Ball (54:12), and Rob Courtier (55:04) also competed for the club.

Earlier in the week, BRR hosted a "Magic Mile" event at the Mayesbrook Park track. A mixture of club members and local runners, together with some of their children, all competed to see how quickly they could run 1 mile. Liv Ionita was unsurprisingly fastest on the night, finishing in 4:52.69. James Lowndes (5:19.00) and Derv Bartlett (5:19.32) had a good battle for second fastest, whilst James Traylen (5:31.88) was the only other runner to finish under 6 minutes. Chris Muthaka (6:15.96), Vicky Cooper (6:21.53), Rakesh Sandhu (6:30.24), Inga Hayden-Cooper (6:33.16), Natalie Traylen (6:37.65), and wheelchair athlete Gary Donald (6:35.64) all finished under 7 minutes, with Hayden-Cooper achieving a PB for the distance.

Other runners taking part were Barry O'Neill (7:05.78), Mark New (7:12.37), John Lang (7:22.56), Kresh Veerasamy (7:25.02), Simon Armstrong (7:25.35), Di Parsons (7:37.64), Simon Moore (7:41.82), Alison Fryatt (7:56.48), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (7:59.80), Vennisa Chowdhury (8:02.60), Emma Ley (8:02.86), Rob Courtier (8:17.62), Teresa Doole (8:33.78), Jenni Birch (8:37.34), Pritesh Patel (8:54.02), Neev Patel (9:17.15), Micky Ball (9:28.46), Ruth Taylor (9:49.01), Sifelani Sayisayi (9:53.40), Krishan Chowdhury (10:10.78), Lisa Maughan (10:15.35), Olivia (10:16.62), Bhavna Patel (10:42.50), and Shaylan Patel (11:08.00).

Amanda Heslegrave competed in the sprint event at Sunday's London Triathlon. Crossing the finishing line in 1:34:01 she earned third place in her age category.

Barry Culling took advantage of a family holiday to take part at Maidstone parkrun, which he completed in 22:25. New BRR member Emma Ley did well at Barking, who did well to complete her first parkrun event in 28:51.


Week ended 27th July 2014

The latest race in the Barking Road Runners' handicap series was won on Thursday night by Derv Bartlett. Bartlett narrowly beat his handicap time, crossing the line in 19:16. Other club members taking part were Vicky Cooper, Jennifer Birch, Mark Seaton, Dennis Spencer-Perkins, Gemma Tyler, Liv Ionita, Antony Leckerman, Nige Swaby, Rob Courtier, Ron Vialls, and Kresh Veerasamy, whilst John Lang, Barry Tyler, Abigail Swaby, and Walid Teina also took part as guest runners.

There are two more races left in the series, on 7th and 21st of August.

BRR and local rivals Dagenham 88 Runners continued a recent tradition by holding a "mob match" to celebrate Barking parkrun's 2nd anniversary on Saturday morning. Both clubs saw a good turnout, but BRR proved stronger on the day, winning by a margin of around 200 points. Running for BRR were Liv Ionita (16:39), Derv Bartlett (19:23), Chris Muthaka (21:01), Antony Leckerman (21:33), Vicky Cooper (21:41), Barry Culling (22:02), Ron Vialls (22:13), Pritesh Patel (23:51), Wayne McAllister (24:51), Gemma Tyler (25:38), Di Parsons (25:44), Andrew Gwilliam (25:56), Vicki Groves (26:24), Alison Fryatt (29:18), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (29:43), Jenni Birch (30:25), Rob Courtier (30:45), Emma Roebuck (30:57), Micky Ball (31:23), Dave Mottley (33:21), Ruth Taylor (34:20), and Alan Murphy (36:05). Taylor achieved a 5K PB, whilst Gwilliam's time was a PB for Barking parkrun. Meanwhile Kresh Veerasamy (26:17) took part at Valentines parkrun, Ilford, and Richard Ash (33:57) ran at the Harrow Lodge event.

Also on Saturday, BRR's Asha Sandhu was awarded Valentines parkrun's monthly prize in recognition of her contribution to the event. The prize entitles her to a free pair of running shoes at the Sweatshop running store.

Week ended 20th July 2014

Barking Road Runners' Micky Ball showed that "you're never too old" by winning the men's over-70 prize at Sunday's Harlow 10, the latest race in the club's 2014 championship. Despite having undergone major heart surgery in the past, Ball regularly takes part in races, and completed the undulating ten-mile course in a steady time of 1:55:49.

The hot and humid conditions proved testing for the BRR team, but all were happy with their finishing times. Derv Bartlett led the team home in a comfortable 1:11:28 that was only just outside his PB for the distance. Club captain Vicky Cooper's time of 1:15:32 meant she was 9th woman overall to finish, and 4th fastest in her age group, whilst Barry Culling beat his previous best for the course with 1:21:55. Andrew Gwilliam (1:25:47) and Jenni Birch (1:55:19) both did well at their first attempt at racing the distance. Alison Fryatt (1:40:49) also took part for the club.

Earlier in the week, the club also competed at the Newman Hilly 5 hosted by Ilford AC. Held on a two-lap five-mile course along trails in Hainault Forest, the race was the latest in the inter-club ELVIS series. BRR's men's team was made up of Liv Ionita (29:21), Derv Bartlett (33:45), Ron Vialls (38:03), Barry Culling (38:25), Kresh Veerasamy (44:19), Nige Swaby (50:52), Andrew Gwilliam (51:26), Richard Ash (52:57), Micky Ball (55:14), and Rob Courtier (60:28). Running for the women's team were Vicky Cooper (37:22), Vicki Groves (48:09), and Alison Fryatt (49:25).

A number of club members participated in various other events during the week. Mick Wilby (44:03), Nige Swaby (47:38), and Louise Perrin (50:49) all took part in the latest Anniversary Run, a 5-mile race held in Stratford's Olympic Park. Vicki Groves ran with a friend at the Tunnel 2 Towers run from Rotherhithe tunnel to Billingsgate, held to raise money for London's firefighters. Gemma Tyler cycled with her brother in the London to Southend charity bike ride, whilst Amanda Heslegrave knocked over 10 minutes off her previous best in the Hampton Court Swim, a 2.25 swimming race taking place in the River Thames.

A total of 10 BRR members also took part at various parkrun events on Saturday, with 5 running at Barking, and 1 each at the Valentines, Southend, Chelmsford Central, Harrow Lodge, and Great Notley (Braintree) events.

Week ended 13th July 2014

Liv Ionita fulfilled his promise as Barking Road Runners' fastest runner by winning his first race this week. Ionita led the BRR team home in a time of 17:31 at Wednesday evening's Crown to Crown race, held on an off-road 5K course in the Langdon Hills Country Park, near Basildon. The rest of the team was made up of Derv Bartlett, Richard Ash, Kieron Chapman, Rob Courtier, Nikki Cranmer, Alison Fryatt, and Vicki Groves.

Also on Wednesday night, club captain Vicky Cooper took part in the third of the three-race Wimbledon Adventure Trail series. Cooper completed what the organisers described as a "challenging" 2-lap 7.8-mile course in a time of 1:02:42, which earned her joint third place for the 2014 series. The previous two races in the series were held over 5 miles each.

Cooper had further success on Thursday evening, when she competed on behalf of her employer in the highly competitive 5K Standard Chartered Great City Race, held in the City of London. Finishing 50th out of 1,727 women, Cooper achieved an excellent Personal Best time of 21:16 for the distance.

A number of club members also raced at the weekend. Alison Fryatt (58:55), Rob Courtier (65:38), and Alan Murphy (82:50) competed at the Felsted 10K which proved much hillier than advertised, so all were happy with their times. Meanwhile, Michael Wilby took part at the British 10K in central London, which he completed in 54 minutes.

Seven members of the club took part at Saturday's Barking parkrun. James Lowndes managed to finish in 4th place with a time of 21:08 even though he was pushing his young son around in a buggy. Barry Culling (21:36), Martin Page (21:38), David Mottley (29:26), Rob Courtier (30:02), Jenni Birch (30:07), and Alison Fryatt (47:30) also ran at Barking, whilst Vicki Groves (25:42) and Richard Ash (28:33) took part at the Valentines parkrun event in Ilford.

Week ended 6th July 2014

The Barking Road Runners' 5K handicap race on Thursday night saw a great battle in the closing stages, with the lead changing twice before James Lowndes powered home to claim the winner's prize with a time of 19:11.

The next handicap race will be on Thursday, 24th July.

On Sunday, Barry Culling and Faye Spooner took part with a couple of friends at the NSPCC Milton Keynes Half Marathon. Their finishing times were 1:40:17 and 1:51:29 respectively. Also on Sunday, Amanda Heslegrave, Martin Page, and Andy Hiller all took part in the revived Brentwood 10K race. Heslegrave finished in 45:29 and described the course as "quite testing but well worth it". Page almost succeeded in chasing her down, finishing in 45:48. Hiller crossed the line with a time of 47:05.

Heslegrave also took part in Saturday's BananaMan Triathlon, made up of an 800m swim, 31.8km bike ride, and a 7.5km run. Her finishing time was 2:06:48.

BRR members were also in action at various parkrun events. Wayne McAllister (24:54) continued his return to fitness at Barking Park, with Rob Courtier (29:07), Jenni Birch (31:38), and Dave Mottley (34:45) also taking part. Antony Leckerman (21:55) and Andrew Gwilliam (23:31) both took part at the Valentines event in Ilford; Gwilliam celebrated completing his 50th parkrun with a PB. Barry Culling ran at the tricky Harrow Lodge event in a time of 22:25 whilst Di Parsons returned to Hackney Marshes for the first time in over three years, where she finished in 25:26.


Week ended 29th June 2014

The latest Barking Road Runners club championship took place on Sunday at the Horndon 10K. The course, which loops through the village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, along nearby country roads, and across farm tracks, is known for being challenging, especially in midsummer weather, but despite this a number of the club's members achieving new personal best times for the 10 kilometre (6.2 mile) distance.

Amanda Heslegrave led the women's team home, and earned the 3rd place women's trophy with her time of 45:14. Other BRR women to compete were Vicki Groves (56:12) and Emma Roebuck (60:33), with Roebuck being especially pleased with her time.

Liv Ionita was fastest overall for the club, finishing in 35:22. Despite a lack of recent training, James Lowndes also performed exceptionally well, crossing the line in 39:11, whilst Derv Bartlett was third home for the club in a time of 41:01. Each of the fastest three men achieved a Personal Best.

Other BRR men taking part were Barry Culling (46:28), who felt a little disappointed with his time, Ron Vialls (47:15), Martin Page (48:30), Andrew Gwilliam (49:00), Gareth Tucker (52:46), Gary Harford (53:39), Rob Courtier (67:08), and Micky Ball (68:36). Gwilliam was very happy with his time, which knocked over three minutes off his PB. Page and Tucker also did well, as both are recovering from injury.

Also in racing action on Sunday was Faye Spooner, who took part with a friend in the Harry Hawkes 10-mile race, in Thames Ditton.

At Saturday morning's Race for Life charity event at Victoria Park, Hackney, Asha Sandhu was delighted to complete the 10K course in 1 hour and 13 minutes, a much faster time than she'd expected. Sandhu's efforts had raised approximately £400 in sponsorship at the time of going to press. Taking part in a different charity event was Craigie-Lee Paterson, who completed the 9-mile Midnight Walk in support of St Luke's Hospice, in west London.

BRR members represented the club at various parkrun events across the capital on Saturday morning. A total of 14 members took part at Barking parkrun, with a further 4 taking part at the Valentines event in Ilford, whilst Andrew Gwilliam ran at Hackney Marshes, and Emma Roebuck ran at the Southwark event.

Week ended 22nd June 2014

Barking Road Runners began a busy week on Tuesday, by taking part at the Eton Manor 5K, the latest in the ELVIS series of races.

Liv Ionita was first BRR member home, and eighth overall. He completed the two-lap multi-terrain course in 16:57. Derv Bartlett (19:29) and Antony Leckerman (21:24) were second and third for the team. Club captain Vicky Cooper (22:02) was the fastest BRR woman, although disappointed with her time. Second was Jacqui Bennett (23:59), and third was Di Parsons (26:04).

A large number of other club members took part: Barry Culling (22:14), Mahbub Khan (22:38), Ron Vialls (22:45), Andrew Gwilliam (22:59), Kieron Chapman (23:49), Kresh Veerasamy (25:24), Charlie Routley (25:47), Vicki Groves (26:23), Nige Swaby (27:05), Alison Fryatt (27:17), Rob Courtier (29:36), Emma Ley (29:45), Titi Windapo (30:12), Micky Ball (32:12), and Maria Bartlett (32:46). Richard Ash was unable to finish due to a long-standing hamstring issue flaring up.

On Thursday the third of the club's 5K handicap races took part at Barking Park. Andrew Gwilliam (23:22) put his recently improved form to good use, and claimed 1st place by a comfortable margin. Second place went to club chairman Rob Courtier (28:29), and Lisa Maughan gained third place with a Personal Best time of 30:57. Also taking part were Jenny Birch, Barry Culling, Emma Ley, Derek James, Vicky Cooper, Derv Bartlett, Mahbub Khan, Emma Roebuck, Liv Ionita, Kresh Veerasamy, and Titi Windapo.

The club's runners took part at three different races on Sunday. Liv Ionita finished the City of London Mile race in a blisteringly quick PB time of 4:46. Derv Bartlett (5:26) also gained a PB. Faye Spooner (7:10) completed the team for BRR. Taking part at the inaugural Run Hackney Half Marathon were Colin Jones (1:43:28), Vicki Groves (2:07:35), and (in her first outing at the distance) Titi Windapo (2:26:38). The Kelvedon Hatch 5K proved popular once again with club members, despite not being a club championship race this year. Barry Culling achieved his fastest-ever race time for the distance, finishing in 21:38. Also competing were Ron Vialls, Kieron Chapman, Martin Page, Andrew Gwilliam, Nikki Cranmer, Alison Fryatt, Rob Courtier, Maria Bartlett, and Alan Murphy. Meanwhile, Amanda Heslegrave finished an Olympic-distance triathlon in an overall time of 2:42:24.

Club members also enjoyed a social night on Friday at the Moby Dick function room, Chadwell Heath, as part of the celebrations of BRR's 30th anniversary. Amongst those present were the club's founders, Brian and Lesley Phillips, who were presented with a commemorative silver plate.

Week ended 15th June 2014

Barking Road Runners had a strong turnout at the latest ELVIS race, the "Midweek 5" hosted by Havering 90 Joggers. The race returned on Tuesday night (10th) to its traditional home at Raphael Park, Romford, after redevelopment of the park. The undulating two-lap five-mile course proved a good test for the BRR team, including some of its newest members.

Liv Ionita (28:48) was once again the first to lead the team, finishing in 14th overall place. Derv Bartlett was pleased to finish the race safely after collapsing at the previous Sunday's Southend Half Marathon. His time of 32:45 saw him finish in 46th position. Third to finish for the team was Antony Leckerman (35:37), with Barry Culling (36:01) not too far behind him.

Club captain Vicky Cooper was the fastest BRR woman on the day. Her time of 36:21 meant she finished 4th in her age category.

Also taking part were Mahbub Khan (37:53), Ron Vialls (38:55), Andy Hiller (39:25), Andrew Gwilliam (39:42), Mick Davison (39:57), Charlie Routley (43:11), Vicki Groves (44:26), Nige Swaby (45:40), Alison Fryatt (46:12), Richard Ash (47:49), Emma Ley (49:55), Titi Windapo (51:40), Micky Ball (52:50), Maria Bartlett (54:20), and Alan Murphy (62:36). Fryatt's time was an improvement of 4 minutes from the previous time she'd taken part in the Midweek 5, whilst Gwilliam knocked 3 minutes off his PB for 5 miles.

BRR members competed in a number of other events during the week. Barry Culling, Vicki Groves, and Clare Foreman took part at Wednesday night's Crown 2 Crown race. Amanda Heslegrave dressed as Bat Girl at the Summer Wolf obstacle race in Leicestershire. She and Alison Fryatt also competed at Sunday's hilly Great Oakley 5, finishing in 36:58 and 46:30 respectively. Also running on Sunday was Mick Wilby, who took part at the Macmillan 10K charity run at Regent's Park, where he finished the two-lap course in 53:08. Meanwhile, Gemma Tyler took part in the London to Brighton charity bike ride.

Derv Bartlett and Kieron Chapman took part in 4 of the East London parkathon stages, with Andrew Gwilliam and Liv Ionita joining them for the Barking stage. The informal event comprises a series of 5K runs across 7 different local parks in the region.

BRR members also took part at an assortment of parkrun events on Saturday. Amanda Heslegrave (22:27) ran at Coventry, whilst Chris Muthaka (22:40) ran at Wanstead Flats, Leytonstone. Closer to home, Vicki Groves (26:14), Kresh Veerasamy (26:32), and Richard Ash (29:56) ran at Valentines parkrun, Ilford, whilst at the Barking event a total of 9 club members took part.

Week ended 8th June 2014

The Barking Road Runners' fifth club championship race of the year, held on Sunday, proved eventful as runners of all abilities struggled with brutally hot weather at the Southend Half Marathon.

Liv Ionita once again led the club home, in an exceptional time of 1:19:25 that saw him finish as 7th overall. Mark Gare (1:40:09), Barry Culling (1:44:18), and Antony Leckerman (1:46:35) also did well for the men's team. Faye Spooner was the fastest BRR woman to complete the course, with a time of 1:57:36.

Youngster Nathan Summerfield did especially well to complete his first-ever half marathon in tough conditions, crossing the line in 2:18:02. Derv Bartlett collapsed with exhaustion whilst out on the course, with club captain Vicky Cooper abandoning her own race to come to his aid. Bartlett was reported as feeling okay after the race. Other competitors for the club were Mick Wilby (2:08:34), Di Parsons (2:09:21), and Charlie Routley (2:13:51), whilst Martin Page continued a difficult recovery from injury to finish in 2:33:31. New member Jenni Birch completed the course in 2:49:52.

Further afield, Kieron Chapman and Nicola Cranmer competed at the Nine Springs 9K, held in Somerset's Yeovil Country Park. Their respective finishing times were 50:48 and 1:01:17. The hot weather made a tough course even tougher, with Cranmer describing it afterwards as "hilly to the extreme". Also competing away from home was Amanda Heslegrave, who enjoyed the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, where she finished the Sprint event in 1:39:08.

On Thursday night, 13 members and 1 guest took part in the second of the club's 5K handicap race series at Barking Park. Mark Gare kindly donated his £10 winnings back to the club. Also on Thursday, Barry Culling took part at the Gravesend Cyclopark 10K, where he finished in 19th place with a time of 45:41. During the race, Culling achieved an unofficial PB of 6:14 for the mile.

BRR members were also represented at several different parkrun events on Saturday morning, both locally and further afield.

Barry Culling (22:19), Mahbub Khan (22:36), Wayne McAllister (27:19), and Dave Mottley (30:00) all ran at Barking parkrun, whilst Antony Leckerman (22:32), Andrew Gwilliam (26:20), Kresh Veerasamy (26:23), and Richard Ash (30:24) took part at Valentines parkrun in Ilford. Rob Courtier completed the Grovelands event, Enfield, in 29:53. Pritesh Patel (21:37) and Vicki Groves (41:28) ran at Southend parkrun; Groves was partnering a friend in her first ever parkrun attempt. Holidaymakers Kieron Chapman (24:47) and Nicola Cranmer (29:39) completed the Yeovil Montacute parkrun, held on National Trust land in Somerset.

Week ended 1st June 2014

Barking Road Runners' two marathon specialists, Amanda Heslegrave and Colin Jones, were both in action at the Kent Roadrunner marathon on Saturday morning. Held over over 17 gently undulating laps of the Cyclopark, Gravesend, the race is completely closed to traffic, and so offers an ideal environment for long-distance running.

Heslegrave's excellent time of 3:39:37 was not only a Personal Best for her, but as the 4th fastest woman overall she also earned the women's veteran prize for the race.

Jones completed the course in 4:10:26. A good time in itself, it's even more remarkable when considering that this was his fourth marathon of the month.

The race is also known for the size of its finishers' medal, which the organisers describe as "the biggest in Europe".

The following day, Heslegrave went on to take part in the London stage of the World Triathlon Series. Competing in the "Olympic" distance event of 1500m swimming, 40km cycling, and 10km running, her overall time was 3:05:32.

Earlier in the week, a number of the club's runners took part in the Hatfield Broad Oak 10K. Liv Ionita led the club home once again, finishing in a time of 36:30. Also taking part were Derv Bartlett (41:31), Vicky Cooper (44:09), Amanda Heslegrave (44:57), Kieron Chapman (49:52), and Nicola Cranmer (57:44). Club captain Cooper was pleased with her result, as a 48-hour virus had put in doubt whether she would even be able to take part.

BRR was represented at three different parkrun events on Saturday morning. Vicky Cooper (21:23), Andrew Gwilliam (25:05), and Craigie-Lee Paterson (38:55) all took part at Cannon Hill parkrun, Birmingham, where the three were attending a weekend conference in their capacity as parkrun UK Ambassadors. Around a dozen club members took part either at Barking parkrun, where Liv Ionita finished first with a PB time of 16:57, or at the Valentines event, in Ilford.


Week ended 25th May 2014

Barking Road Runners began a busy week on Wednesday evening, by taking part at the first of this year's ELVIS series of inter-club races. Hosted by Dagenham 88 Runners, the three-lap 5K event was held for the second year at Eastbrookend Country Park.

BRR's team at the ELVIS race

Liv Ionita was the first BRR member to finish, in an excellent time of 17:32, whilst captain Vicky Cooper was the first woman home for the club in 21:20. Also taking part were Derv Bartlett (19:54), Antony Leckerman (21:52), Barry Culling (22:13), Mick Davison (24:18), Ron Vialls (24:57), Mahbub Khan (25:03), Gary Harford (25:30), Clare Foreman (25:47), Kresh Veerasamy (25:58), Andrew Gwilliam (26:11), Vicki Groves (26:54), Alison Fryatt (27:00), Nige Swaby (27:18), Richard Ash (27:53), Nathan Summerfield (28:29), Rob Courtier (30:40), and Micky Ball (32:46).

Fryatt also ran in Edinburgh on Sunday, where she took part in her first marathon. After months of hard training she was "really pleased" to complete 26.2 miles in 4:27:37 as she'd been aiming for around 5 hours.

The club was also represented by a number of members at the Bupa London 10,000 race, held in central London. Barry Culling achieved a Personal Best time of 44:07. Antony Leckerman wasn't too far behind (45:01), whilst new member Jacqui Bennett in her first 10K race earned an excellent time of 48:58. Another first-timer was Nathan Summerfield, who seemed happy with his time of 61:13.

Andrew Gwilliam described himself as "chuffed" with his time of 52:39, as he had expected to complete the course in a much slower time. Di Parsons achieved a PB with her time of 53:31. Charlie Routley (59:38) ran with a friend, whilst Mick Wilby (55:50) also competed.

On the day before, Ionita and Bartlett were also in central London to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister becoming the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes, by taking part in the Bupa Westminster Mile. Ionita completed the course in an outstanding time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds, whilst Bartlett's time of 5 minutes and 33 seconds met his target.

Derv Bartlett and Liv Ionita after they'd taken part in the Westminster Mile

Other race action from club members during the week included Mick Wilby on Wednesday, who completed the British Heart Foundation's 10K Canary Wharf Jog in a good time of 51:03, whilst Amanda Heslegrave was happy to complete the monthly 5K race in Hyde Park in a time of 21:43. Heslegrave also took part at Buxton Half Marathon, in Derbyshire. Treating the race as a training session, she ran the hilly course at marathon pace, finishing in 1:50.


Week ended 27th April 2014

Sunday's Braintree 5 saw a good turnout from Barking Road Runners taking part in the second of the club's championship races. The undulating five-mile course on roads to the west of the town produced some good times from a number of the runners.

The BRR team at Braintree

Derv Bartlett was first home for the club, crossing the finishing line in a Personal Best time of 32:28.30. Clubmate Liv Ionita helped pace Bartlett round, finishing just behind him in 32:31.15. Club captain Vicky Cooper's time of 34:32.20 was also a PB, with her and Barry Culling (35:15.40) beating best times they'd only set a week before.

Kieron Chapman was very happy with his time of 36:04.30 as he'd not had the opportunity to train regularly. Also happy with his result was club chairman Rob Courtier, whose time of 46:13.00 matched that from a week before, despite taking part on a harder course.

Kieron Chapman in action at Braintree

Other BRR members taking part were Vicki Groves (42:59.35), Di Parsons (43:27.70), Mick Wilby (44:06.40), Nikki Cranmer (45:17.45), Martin Page (45:35.05), Charlie Routley (46:02.65), Nathan Summerfield (46:43.15), Ken Summerfield (50:11.05), and Micky Ball (51:46.20).

Alison Fryatt took part at Sunday's Bracknell Half Marathon. The course proved to be hillier than she'd expected, and a series of underpasses added to the challenge, but she was nevertheless pleased with her finishing time of 1:58:11. Clubmate Louise Simpson took part at the Unity Fitness & Dance half marathon; fellow BRR member Clare Foreman acted as guide for Louise, who's blind. The race comprised 6 laps of trails round Hackney Marshes. Also on Sunday, Amanda Heslegrave enjoyed taking part with friends at the Shakespeare Half Marathon in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Earlier in the week, Louise Simpson was also in action at the Mayor of Huntingdon's Charity 5 Mile Multi-Terrain Race. She finished in 50:16 despite having run the London Marathon only a week before. Late on Saturday night, Faye Spooner took part with friends at the Electric Run, held in Wembley Park.

BRR were well represented as runners and volunteers at both Barking parkrun and Valentines parkrun, Ilford. The runners generally held back due to the following day's races, but nevertheless an in-form Vicky Cooper achieved a course PB of 21:47 at Barking.

Week ended 20th April 2014

Barking Road Runners' women's team won an unexpected 3rd place at the Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets AC Open 5, on Saturday afternoon. Held in Victoria Park, the five-mile race was celebrating its 48th year.

Club captain Vicky Cooper was the first BRR woman to finish, smashing her previous Personal Best (PB) for five miles with a time of 34:51. Alison Fryatt also achieved a PB with a time of 41:28, with Di Parsons (42:29) completing the women's team. The women had not entered the race expecting to be in contention for a team prize, so the surprise result delighted them and their clubmates.

Barry Culling earned yet another PB at the same race, finishing in 35:30. Amongst other BRR members taking part were Derv Bartlett (32:31), Pritesh Patel (38:02), and club chairman Rob Courtier (46:13). A marshalling error meant that Colin Jones inadvertently ran part of the complex course a third time, depriving him of a good time. Stalwart club volunteer Alan Murphy completed the course in 1:06:27 in his first race of the year.

Derv Bartlett in actionBRR runners and supporters before the raceBRR runners and supporters after the race

With many of the club's runners recuperating from their recent marathon efforts, several BRR members nevertheless took part at Good Friday's "Crown to Crown" race, the first in a series of 5K cross-country races that will be held throughout the year in the Westley Heights Country Park, near Basildon. Barry Culling led the team home with a time of 22:06, with Kieron Chapman (23:10), Kresh Veerasamy (26:49), Clare Foreman (27:00), and Louise Simpson (30:30) also taking part.

Maria Bartlett; Vicky Cooper; Alan Murphy; Barry Culling; Louise Simpson; Kieron Chapman; and Derv Bartlett (top row); Sean Bartlett; Clare Foreman; and Kresh Veerasamy (bottom row)

BRR members were also in parkrun action as usual on Saturday morning. Only a week after running her first marathon, Gemma Tyler earned herself a PB time of 25:11 at Barking parkrun. At the Valentines Park event in Ilford, Vicki Groves improved on her PB of the previous week, reducing it to 24:40.

Also taking part at Barking were Barry Culling (25:11), Kresh Veerasamy (26:24), Wayne McAllister (26:34), David Mottley (26:45), Alison Fryatt (27:38), and Dennis Spencer-Perkins (31:07). Other club members taking part at Valentines were Diarmuid Mac Donnell (21:28), Antony Leckerman (21:41), Amanda Heslegrave (21:44), and Andrew Gwilliam (32:58). Louise Simpson (31:48) took part for the first time at the recently established Basildon event, whilst Mahbub Khan once again accompanied his son around the Barking course.

Week ended 13th April 2014

Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon saw 10 members of Barking Road Runners complete the world-famous 26.2 mile course. A number were raising money on behalf of a local charity, the Richard House hospice trust. Conditions were ideal for running, although the tens of thousands of participants meant that some BRR members found it difficult to make steady progress through the crowded early stages of the race.

The club's star performance was produced by Liv Ionita, who finished in an outstanding time of 2:57:29. Ionita has struggled with injury issues in recent months, but looked comfortable during the race, and recorded an official PB (personal best).

Liv Ionita after he'd finished the London Marathon

Derv Bartlett is one of the club's fastest "veteran" runners, and although he's not currently running at his best pace, he was nevertheless still able to finish the marathon in 3:43:56.

The club's fastest woman on the day was Faye Spooner. She described her race as a tough mental battle, but was able to knock several minutes off her PB to cross the line in 3:49:00. Another impressive performance was shown by Derek James. James will shortly be celebrating his 71st birthday, but his marathon time of 4:03:34 meant he was as quick as many runners much younger than him. Danny White also had a good run, with his time of 4:12:01 being just 9 seconds slower than his PB for the distance.

Gareth Tucker's continuing hip flexor problem, which developed during the gruelling winter months' training, meant that he was unable to run at his accustomed pace. He finished safely though, in a time of 4:40:15. Clubmate Paul Pickford completed the course in 5:32:40.

Several of the BRR group were taking part in their very first marathon. As training programmes typically include a longest run of 20 miles, this meant these runners were running over 6 miles further than they'd ever run before.

Barry Culling clearly enjoyed his race, and his finishing time of 4:04:23 shows that his impressive form over recent months has not ended. Culling's next outing at marathon distance seems certain to bring his time under the 4-hour mark.

Gemma Tyler was another of the club's marathon debutantes. Running on behalf of charity Mind, she finished in a creditable 4:47:49. Emma Roebuck was also a first-timer, and after completing the course in 5:13:13 she was already talking about running in another marathon, describing her experience as "absolutely brilliant".

(left to right) Danny White, Barry Culling, Paul Pickford, Gemma Tyler, and Derv Bartlett, together with a friend (far left)

Barking Road Runners were also present at Mile 14, where each year they provide one of the official water stations. Club members, together with family and friends, as well as other volunteers from the local running community, meant the station was staffed by over 70 people. Although they had a long day handing out approximately 30,000 water bottles to the runners, all seemed to enjoy their experience.

The BRR water station in action at the London Marathon

A picture showing most of our London marathon runners relaxing in the evening after the race (l-r): (top row) Danny White, Gareth Tucker, Paul Pickford, Gemma Tyler, and Derv Bartlett; (bottom row) Faye Spooner, Barry Culling, Liv Ionita, and Derek WhiteA some of our water station volunteers, also relaxing in the evening

Members of the club also volunteered or ran at various parkrun events on Saturday. Ron Vialls was awarded the monthly Sweatshop prize (a free pair of running shoes) at Barking parkrun, in recognition of his contribution to the event. Di Parsons' time of 25:14 earned herself a PB at Southend. Parsons' daughter Jacqui Bennett crossed the line in a time of 23:32 at the same event, knocking a chunk off her previous fastest parkrun time. Vicki Groves was very pleased to have finished the Valentines event in under 25 minutes after numerous attempts, whilst Pritesh Patel reduced his PB by a further 15 seconds at Barking.

Week ended 6th April 2014

Barking Road Runners club captain Vicky Cooper completed Sunday's Greater Manchester Marathon with an outstanding time of 3:25:48, smashing her previous personal best. Despite having struggled with a hip issue late in her training programme, Cooper was able to take the opportunity provided by the race's flat course to improve her marathon time by 5 minutes. Achieving an average pace of less than 8 minutes per mile over the 26.2 mile distance, Cooper's time was over 24 minutes quicker than that required by the London Marathon's "good for age" rule, which guarantees faster athletes a place in the prestigious event.

BRR club captain Vicky Cooper taking part in the Greater Manchester Marathon

Several other BRR members also took part in a marathon on Sunday. The club's long-distance specialist Colin Jones crossed the line at Blackpool's marathon in a fast time of 3:24:43. Meanwhile on the south coast, Charlie Routley achieved a creditable time of 4:45:08 at the Brighton marathon, describing the journey to his first-ever 26.2-mile event as "sofa to marathon in 12 months". He was raising money for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research charity. Further afield, Clare Foreman also successfully completed her first marathon, finishing the Paris event in 5:01:11. Although a little disappointed with her time, Foreman nevertheless did well as she'd had a number of injury setbacks during her winter training.

Clare Foreman running in the Paris Marathon

The club has around a dozen members entered in next Sunday's London Marathon, with most running in aid of the Richard House hospice trust. BRR have raised well over £50,000 for the charity over the years. A private pasta night to thank this year's runners took place on Friday night, with Derv Bartlett, Paul Pickford, Emma Roebuck, Faye Spooner, and Gareth Tucker amongst those in attendance.

Various BRR club members relaxing at the Richard House pasta night

Various club members, whether training for marathons or not, have been taking part over the first three months of the year in the "Jantastic" challenge, which pushes runners to achieve goals based on the consistency, frequency, and time achieved for races and training runs. The club as a whole scored well, ranking 77th out of the approximately 1,700 clubs and teams that were registered with the organisers' website.

Saturday morning saw BRR represented at a number of different parkruns. Jacqui Bennett, Di Parsons, and Rob Courtier all ran in the inaugural Basildon event, whilst Pritesh Patel surprised himself by achieving a new PB time of 21:15 at Barking.


Week ended 30th March 2014

Barking Road Runners' Amanda Heslegrave won the women's prize for Saturday's Bells & Whistles 10K, which took place at Dover in aid of the Brathay Trust, a charity working to support children and young people. Having led the race for much of the distance, Heslegrave was eventually overtaken by the men's winner, but she still finished in second place overall.

The unusual trophy won by Amanda Heslegrave as first lady at the Bells & Whistles 10K race

On Sunday, the club's Alison Fryatt competed in the Paddock Wood Half Marathon, where she smashed her personal best time for the distance, finishing in 1:56:13. Fryatt is in training for May's Edinburgh Marathon.

With the London Marathon only two weeks away, other BRR members are reaching the end of their training programmes, and are now reducing the intensity of their running in preparation for their big day on 13th April. Nevertheless, the club's Colin Jones still took part in a local 10K race organised on Saturday by the Sikhs in the City running group, finishing in a time of 44:50.

The club have released their schedule of 5K handicap races that will be taking place on weekday evenings at Barking Park during 2014. The dates are: Thursday 15th May, Tuesday 3rd June, Thursday 19th June, Tuesday 1st July, Thursday 24th July, Tuesday 5th August, and Thursday 21st August.

Week ended 23rd March 2014

Sunday's popular Brentwood Half Marathon saw a number of Barking Road Runners in action. An unexpected shower that got the runners wet shortly before the start, and changeable weather during the race, didn't seem to affect performances.

Liv Ionita led the club home, finishing with a time of 1:26:28 that secured him 57th place overall. Derv Bartlett wasn't too far behind, achieving a personal best time of 1:29:51 as he chased after his clubmate. Barry Culling also continued his present excellent form with another personal best, crossing the line in 1:35:28. Other BRR members taking part were Vicky Cooper (1:43:08), Antony Leckerman (1:45:07), Danny White (1:51:07), Pritesh Patel (1:56:03), Paul Pickford (1:58:47), Vicki Groves (2:00:37), Dave Mottley (2:11:56), and Richard Ash (2:16:36). The event was Mottley's first ever at half marathon distance. A number of BRR members also turned out to support their clubmates, with Dennis Spencer-Perkins cycling round the hilly one-lap course to offer encouragement. Martin Page was unable to finish the race due to injury.

BRR team shot after the Brentwood Half Marathon

Four BRR members took part in Sunday's 20-mile race held at Hyde Park. Seasoned long-distance runner Colin Jones was the first to finish for the club, completing the multiple-lap course in 2:41:03. Faye Spooner wasn't far behind him, finishing in an excellent time of 2:52:03. Derek James finished in a time of 3:10:47, whilst Emma Roebuck was pleased with her time of 3:50:15. The event is one of several held specifically at this time of year to aid marathon runners with their training. Also racing on Sunday was Mick Wilby, who completed the Richmond Half Marathon in a time of 2:08.

Colin Jones, Emma Roebuck, Faye Spooner, and friend Areej Shabaa at Hyde Park

Amanda Heslegrave has been tackling the problem of how to keep regular distance running interesting, by experimenting with races she's not previously taken part in. This strategy has been working well for her, and Saturday produced another personal best for her, this time at the Windsor & Eton Half Marathon, held at Dorney Lake, Bucks. She completed the flat, 4.5-lap course in 1:37:47, meaning she was first to finish in her age group. Later in the day she achieved a personal best of a different sort, when taking part in the Sport Relief Swimathon. Swimming multiple laps, she completed a distance of 5 km in a time of 1:54:24. Clubmates Vicki Groves and Richard Ash, together with Groves' friend Christine Howson, also took part in the Swimathon, splitting the distance between them by swimming approximately 1 mile each to collectively reach the full 5 km. Craigie-Lee Paterson took part in the individual 2.5 km event at the Queen Elizabeth Park, completing the distance in 1:01:20.

Also on Saturday morning, Barry Culling was particularly pleased to be the first male finisher at the Barking parkrun, with a new personal best time of 20:46.

Week ended 16th March 2014

On Sunday, Barking Road Runners completed one of the most successful cross-country campaigns in the club's history, by taking the 2nd Division team prize for the fifth out of five races. Already assured of promotion to the 1st Division in next winter's South-East Essex Cross-Country League, the club fielded a large turnout of runners at the race held at Kelvedon Hatch to celebrate. Maxine Brown added further to the club's trophy haul by once again winning the divisional women's prize.

The recent sunny weather meant that the four-mile course was largely dry, in sharp contrast with the wet and muddy conditions that had marked the past few months' off-road races. The race was a late addition to the League's calendar, necessitated by the cancellation of a race earlier in the season. BRR members taking part in the women's race were: Maxine Brown (6th overall), Vicky Cooper (7th), Amanda Heslegrave (13th), Vicki Groves (38th), and Alison Fryatt (41st). Running in the men's race were: Steve Philcox (4th), James Lowndes (25th), Derv Bartlett (40th), Joe Monk (67th), Colin Jones (73rd), Diarmuid Mac Donnell (79th), John George (83rd), Paul Withyman (88th), Mahbub Khan (90th), Barry Culling (95th), Mark Gare (98th), Mick Davison (106th), Gary Harford (112th), Martin Page (114th), Ron Vialls (117th), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (123rd), John Collins (126th), Nathan Summerfield (128th), Ken Summerfield (129th), Robert Courtier (131st), and Micky Ball (132nd). A number of club members and their partners also turned out to support.

Maxine Brown approaching the finishing line, with Vicky Cooper in the backgroundMaxine Brown approaching the finishing line, with Vicky Cooper in the backgroundMaxine Brown with her individual prizeClub captain Vicky Cooper and club chairman Rob Courtier with the BRR team prizethe winning BRR runners together with a number of their supporters

BRR also earned prizes during the week, at the latest Gravesend Floodlit 10K, which was held on Thursday night. Amanda Heslegrave's time of 45:21 won her the women's veteran prize. Heslegrave, Faye Spooner (48:44) and Emma Roebuck (61:25) also won the women's team prize. Roebuck's time was a personal best for 10K, as was clubmate Barry Culling's time of 44:18.

Heslegrave was also on good form at Saturday morning's Barking parkrun, where she earned a personal best time of 21:01 for the 5K distance. Amongst other clubmates taking part, Alison Fryatt's time of 25:50 was a personal best, whilst Di Parsons achieved a course PB of 25:43 at the Valentines parkrun event in Ilford.

Week ended 9th March 2014

Barking Road Runners' 2014 club championships started at Sunday's Roding Valley Half Marathon, where club captain Vicky Cooper captured the women's veteran prize. Cooper finished as 7th fastest woman overall, and her time of 1:34:25 was 8 minutes quicker than her result last year over the same course.

James Lowndes, who had only entered the race a few days before, also did well; his time of 1:25:35 saw him finish in 18th place overall. Other runners for the club were Colin Jones (1:38:45), Dervish Bartlett (1:39:29), Diarmuid Mac Donnell (1:44:59), Antony Leckerman (1:46:25), Faye Spooner (1:50:41), Mahbub Khan (1:51:44), Danny White (1:53:05), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (1:57:51), Derek James (2:00:48), Martin Page (2:02:56), Nicola Cranmer (2:04:30), Charlie Routley (2:06:56), Alison Fryatt (2:07:37), Gemma Tyler (2:07:58), Areej Shabaa (2:15:13), Michael Wilby (2:25:40), and Ken Summerfield (2:30:22). The course, made up of a short loop followed by two large laps, was held on roads in the Woodford and Chigwell area. The area's hills combined with the unseasonably hot weather to test many of the runners, and some were also affected by injury issues.

The BRR runners and supporters before the Roding Valley Half MarathonVicky Cooper being presented with her prize by Roding Valley's Race Director, Dave Hollingworth

Also racing on Sunday was Gareth Tucker, who took part in the Finchley 20 race. Using the race as part of his training programme for next month's London marathon, Tucker was struggling to recover from a hip flexor problem, but nevertheless achieved an excellent personal best time of 2 hours and 49 minutes. Meanwhile, Barry Culling and Kresh Veerasamy represented the club over the same distance, at the three-lap Essex 20 race, held near Colchester.

Gareth Tucker after he'd run the Finchley 20

On Saturday morning, various club members also took part at a number of different parkrun events. Amanda Heslegrave and club chairman Rob Courtier ran at Grovelands parkrun, Enfield. Heslegrave's time of 22:07 meant she was the first female to cross the line, whilst Courtier's time of 29:09 was a personal best for the course. Barry Culling (21:40) and Alison Fryatt (27:26) ran at Barking parkrun, and Southend-based Di Parsons earned a course PB at Valentines parkrun, Ilford. Louise Simpson ran at Princes parkrun, Liverpool, where she also achieved a course PB.

Week ended 2nd March 2014

Barking Road Runners' Amanda Heslegrave earned yet another prize on Saturday afternoon, finishing as 2nd female at Ilford AC's 10-mile cross-country race, held at Hainault Forest. The three-lap race proved to be exceptionally muddy, and Heslegrave did well to finish in under 90 minutes. Also taking part for BRR were Barry Culling (1:27), Gareth Tucker (1:33), Mahbub Khan, and Alison Fryatt (1:45). Fryatt described running the course as "like wading through treacle, with the only let up being when we had to climb hills". Tucker followed up the race with a further 10-mile run as part of his marathon training.

The BRR participants at Ilford AC's cross-country race (l-r: Mahbub Khan, Gareth Tucker, Barry Culling, Alison Fryatt, and Amanda Heslegrave)

On Sunday, Mark Gare did well at the Silverstone Half Marathon, held at the famous motor-racing circuit. In cold and windy conditions, he finished in a personal best time of 1:37, and also broke his personal best times for 5K and 10K in the process. Clubmate Kresh Veerasamy recorded a time of 2:01.

BRR members were also in action at Barking and Valentines parkruns on Saturday morning, where Pritesh Patel achieved a new personal best time of 21:17.


Week ended 23rd February 2014

Barking Road Runners' Amanda Heslegrave collected a trophy as the third woman to cross the line at Sunday's 10-mile race, held at Ford's Dunton test centre. Heslegrave's finishing time of 1:14 was also a personal best for her over the distance. Other runners taking part for the club were Antony Leckerman (1:16), Pritesh Patel (1:18), Danny White (1:25), Vicki Groves (1:32), Richard Ash (1:35), and Alison Fryatt (1:35). The times recorded by Patel, White, and Fryatt, were also personal bests.

The BRR team (together with Dan Cogan of Ilford AC) after the Dunton race, with Amanda Heslegrave at the front holding her trophy

The race, held to raise funds for the St Luke's Hospice, is held on a mostly flat course that however includes a number of inclines and steep banked sections, as it loops back and forth around the test track and adjoining access roads. Runners also had to battle more than once against strong headwinds.

Also on Sunday, Dennis Spencer-Perkins ran in the Heartbreaker marathon, in Hampshire's New Forest. Spencer-Perkins entered the race at short notice, having been unable to obtain a place in April's London marathon, which meant he had much less time to train for the event than normal. He did well to complete the very hilly course in 5:17:51 and also had to contend with strong winds.

On Saturday morning, BRR members took part at various parkrun events. Louise Simpson ran at Worsley Woods, in Salford, whilst closer to home Amanda Heslegrave achieved an excellent finishing time of 22:07 in her first run at the Mile End event, which has a large hill that runners have to tackle on four separate occasions. A number of club members taking part at the Barking event did so having already run a considerable distance that morning as part of their marathon training.

Week ended 16th February 2014

Barking Road Runners claimed the 2nd Division team prize for the fourth race in a row, at the South-East Essex Cross-Country League event held on Sunday at a wet and muddy Thorndon Country Park, near Brentwood. Maxine Brown also collected a trophy as first female in the 2nd Division, both for Sunday's race, and also (following a correction to the results) for the the previous cross-country race at South Weald.

Liv Ionita gained a podium place for the BRR team, by finishing in 3rd place. Also earning points for the men's team were Derv Bartlett (46th), Diarmuid Mac Donnell (63rd), Martin Page (68th), Paul Withyman (78th), Barry Culling (79th), and Pritesh Patel (87th). The women also performed well, with Maxine Brown finish in 5th place, and club captain Vicky Cooper and Amanda Heslegrave rounding out the scores by finishing in 12th and 14th place respectively.

Mark Gare (88th), Gareth Tucker (105th), Ron Vialls (107th), Charlie Routley (108th), Mick Davison (111th), Gary Harford (123rd), Ken Summerfield (130rd), Rob Courtier (133rd), Micky Ball (134th), and Nathan Summerfield (135th) also took part for the men. Maria Bartlett (51st) and Lisa Maughan (52nd) rounded out another good turnout for the club.

Liv Ionita, club captain Vicky Cooper, and Derv Bartlett, hold the team trophy won at ThorndonThe 2nd Division team trophy for the Thorndon cross-country raceA beaming Amanda Heslegrave with the team trophy

On Saturday evening, BRR's Colin Jones took part in the 32.75 miles night-time Moonlight Challenge. Held in rural Kent on a five-lap course across very muddy farmland, Jones said that "just trying to get through it was hard work". He finished in a time of 5:48.

Jones' feat was especially impressive as he'd earlier run a brisk time of 20:36 at Valentines parkrun (Ilford) on Saturday morning. Eight of his clubmates also took part, enjoying an informal "mob match" with members of Dagenham 88 Runners as part of the celebrations of the event's third birthday. This time around Dagenham narrowly took the honours; a repeat match is likely at Barking parkrun's second anniversary event in July.

The strong wind made running at Valentines difficult. Conditions were no different down the road at Barking parkrun, where 5 club members took part. Further afield, James Lowndes took advantage of a family trip to his home town to run at Doncaster parkrun for the first time, finishing the course in 21:12.

Earlier in the week, Barry Culling earned himself a PB (Personal Best) of 44:19 at the latest Gravesend Floodlit 10K, whilst Amanda Heslegrave's time of 45:33 meant she was 2nd female. Clubmate Faye Spooner also took part, finishing in 50:37.

Week ended 9th February 2014

Barking Road Runners' club captain Vicky Cooper completed her 50th parkrun on Saturday morning, at Gunpowder Park, Enfield Lock, earning herself the much-coveted red "50" t-shirt. Cooper finished with a time of 24.14 whilst clubmates Colin Jones (20.47) and Kresh Veerasamy (26.27) also took part. Cooper and Jones then ran a 16-mile route home, as part of their marathon training.

A second group from BRR also went on tour to Pymmes parkrun, Edmonton, north London. Amanda Heslegrave's time of 22.11 saw her over the line as first female at the event, running the course for the first time. Clubmates Antony Leckerman (21.45), Pritesh Patel (22.33), Vicki Groves (26.21), David Mottley (26.42), and Richard Ash (27.04) also completed the three-lap course.

BRR were also represented more locally, at Valentines parkrun in Ilford, and at Barking parkrun.

Week ended 2nd February 2014

Barking Road Runners won the 2nd Division team prize at Sunday's cross-country race at Weald Country Park, their third win out of the three races held so far in the current season. Conditions were muddy, but mild temperatures, blue skies, and a bit of sunshine meant that although the race was tough, it was not as gruelling as other recent races.

The first over the finishing line for the club was Liv Valentin, who was happy with his overall place as 4th male. Steve Philcox was 8th male, and the club's first "veteran" to finish. Also scoring for the men were Derv Bartlett, James Lowndes, Joe Monk, Martin Page, and Colin Jones. Maxine Brown was the fastest BRR woman, with Amanda Heslegrave and club captain Vicky Cooper also earning points towards the team prize. Amongst the non-scoring runners was Laura Jones, who was enjoying her first-ever cross-country race, and who finished as 4th female for the club. Altogether the club fielded an excellent turnout of 26 runners.

Club chairman Rob Courtier and club captain Vicky Cooper with the 2nd Division team trophy won by the club at the South Weald cross-country raceRob holding the same trophy, this time with Liv Valentin, the club's fastest runner on the dayLiv Valentin, Vicky Cooper, and Maxine Brown, who was the club's fastest woman on the day at South Weald

Also on Sunday, the Barking Road Runners were represented at races across the hilly countryside of the Sussex Downs, starting from the village of Falmer, near Brighton. Gareth Tucker took part in an 18.5 mile race, although a marshalling error meant the runners actually ran almost 22 miles in the end. Areej Shabaa completed a tough 10K race at the same event, describing it afterwards as the hardest race she'd ever run over that distance.

Further afield, Di Parsons represented the club at the 25th Torremolinos Half Marathon, in Spain.

A group of Barking Road Runners visited Mile End parkrun on Saturday, for the event's 2nd anniversary. Antony Leckerman was the first club member to cross the line, with a time of 21:33. Also taking part were Richard Ash, whose time of 26:19 was his second-fastest for a parkrun, despite the two-lap course having a large hill that had to be ascended 4 times. Others taking part were Vicki Groves (27:25), Pritesh Patel (27:30), and David Mottley (27:31). Closer to home, 7 BRR members took part at Barking parkrun, where Vicky Cooper achieved a course PB of 22:18.

Earlier in the week, Amanda Heslegrave also put in a strong performance at the Serpentine Running Club's 5K race at Hyde Park, finishing in a time of 21:24.


Week ended 26th January 2014

Barking Road Runners club captain Vicky Cooper brought home gold as the fastest woman at Sunday's Hadleigh 2012 Legacy 10K, with a time of 53:15. Also competing for the club were Derv Bartlett (49:51), Barry Culling (52:40), Alison Fryatt (1:16:07), Emma Roebuck (1:17:39), and Louise Simpson (1:49:37). The race proved tough for all who took part, with a hilly course made even more difficult by muddy conditions and rain.

Vicky Cooper with her trophy for first female at Hadleigh(l-r) Barry Culling, Vicky Cooper, Derv Bartlett, Emma Roebuck, and Alison Fryatt, after the race at Hadleigh

On Saturday, Amanda Heslegrave and Cristina Cooper took part in the South of England Athletic Association cross-country championships at Parliament Hill. The senior women's 8 km race took place after a day of junior races, so the conditions were especially muddy. Heslegrave did well to cross the line in 44:56 having run a fast time at Barking parkrun earlier in the day. Cooper wasn't too far behind, finishing her first-ever cross-country race in a time of 47 minutes.

BRR's Colin Jones was also in action on Sunday morning, taking part in an invitation marathon held in Bromley, south-east London, to commemorate a local runner's 100th marathon. Jones said, "It was 5 laps which included about a mile and a quarter of woodland path and farm track which was quite muddy, so I am pleased with my time of 3 hours and 37 minutes".

Amongst club members taking part at the weekend's parkrun events, Pritesh Patel achieved a new Personal Best time of 21:33.

Week ended 19th January 2014

Barking Road Runners took part in the first big race of the year, Sunday's challenging Benfleet 15. The runners were tested by a notoriously tough course, and had to deal with both hills and mud. Leading the club's runners home was Derv Bartlett, with a PB time of 2:01, whilst club captain Vicky Cooper's time of 2:12 knocked around 10 minutes off her previous best. Barry Culling (2:13), Charlie Routley (2:31), and Clare Foreman (2:48) were all in their first race at this distance. Also running were Colin Jones (2:08), Joe Monk (2:14), Mark Gare (2:16), Gareth Tucker (2:24), Kresh Veerasamy (2:47), Dennis Spencer-Perkins (2:57), and Louise Simpson (3:55).

Also racing on Sunday was Amanda Heslegrave, who set a new PB of 44:23 at the Hyde Park 10K.

On Saturday, Louise Simpson, who's blind, also tackled the muddy Harrow Lodge parkrun for the first time, finishing in a time of 35:50.

Week ended 12th January 2014

The first full week of 2014 saw the Barking Road Runners begin their marathon training in earnest. Nevertheless, four of the club's members took the opportunity on Thursday (9th) to take part in a somewhat unusual race. The Gravesend Floodlit 10K is held at night under artificial lighting, and comprises four laps of an outdoors tarmac cycling track. Cristina Cooper's time of 45:39 earned her both a PB (Personal Best) and the prize for first lady. Cooper and her clubmates Faye Spooner (48:30) and Clare Foreman (50:14) were also the fastest ladies' team. Andy Preston (45:04) completed the BRR contingent.Cristina Cooper (l.), Clare Foreman (m.), and Faye Spooner (r.)

BRR members have also now resumed their Tuesday-night training sessions at the Jim Peters Stadium, located in Mayesbrook Park. As well as the main track session itself, new beginners' and intermediate beginners' groups have begun as well. Non-members wishing to take part can contact the club captain ( for further details.

On Saturday (11th) BRR members took part at a number of parkrun events, including Barking, Valentines, Finsbury (where club captain Vicky Cooper was third female), and Southend.

Week ended 5th January 2014

Barking Road Runners commenced the New Year as they mean to carry on, by participating in a double parkrun on New Years Day. The events at Wanstead Flats and Valentines Park were hosted entirely by volunteers and were completely free to enter.

10 hardy BRRs gathered at Wanstead at 9am to run the very muddy trail course. Barry Culling whizzed round in 22:40, whilst Vicky Cooper was first lady for the club in 24:28. Mahbub Khan (24:41), Kieron Chapman (25:07) and Pritesh Patel (25:23) were next over the line. New recruit Kresh Veerasamy finished the course in 26:59, whilst Clare Foreman (27:30) was just behind. Nicola Cranmer (29:14) just took the honours over Vicki Groves (29:16). David Mottley (29:41) and Richard Ash (30:57) rounded off the action at Wanstead.

From there, it was a short drive or cycle over to Valentines Park in Ilford for the next 5k race at 10 am. Over 160 people ran this scenic route through the park with Dervish Bartlett leading the BRR entourage home in 20:34. Andy Preston is fighting fit again after his recent marathon, completing the course in 21:17. Barry Culling (22:34) remained consistent throughout the morning. James Lowndes pushed his newborn son Wilf round in a running buggy, but still achieved a tremendous time of 22:47. Mahbub Khan (24:05) just pipped first BRR lady Vicky Cooper (24:05) to the line. Pritesh Patel (24:48) was next for Barking. Kresh Veerasamy (26:24), Kieron Chapman (26:31) and Clare Foreman (26:41) also completed the course. Nicola Cranmer (28:13) had another good battle with Vicki Groves (28:21). Richard Ash (29:02) got off to a good start, which proved enough to beat David Mottley (29:15). Club Chairman Robert Courtier (29:47) gave everything to secure another sub 30 time, and was ably paced round by Amanda Heslegrave (29:48) and Cristina Cooper (29:49). Lisa Maughan has really upped her game recently in preparation for the London marathon and cruised round the course in 31:01. The ever consistent Micky Ball finished in 32:23, whilst Dennis Spencer-Perkins brought up the rear in 32:41.

Alison Fryatt competed in the New Years Day 10k race at the Serpentine. Driving rain and 37kph winds turned what should have been an enjoyable race into a tough task, but Alison triumphed, still completing the course in under an hour (58:30).

Many of BRR are competing in this years Jantastic (, which is a free event running for the next 3 months and aims to motivate us all to get out there and achieve our running targets! Sign up yourself, or just follow our team — Barking Road Runners.