Belper Harriers update – by Darren S

Well, 2020 isn’t quite going as planned is it…?

This is the first update from the club for a while. As we know, races and events have sadly been cancelled or postponed, and club activities have not been possible. But, even at the height of lockdown, a form of exercise per day has been allowed, which has meant many club members have continued to be active. Thankfully the government saw the huge benefits, both mentally and physically, to getting out for a run (or walk/cycle) per day.

As things stand, many bigger events are tentatively lined up for October/November, whether this will be possible remains to be seen. Perhaps the smaller events will be allowed to continue? Who knows. As for the club, with regards to arranging club training sessions we are governed by the advice from England Athletics. At this moment in time we are currently assessing the options and viability of what we can do (and we will update accordingly in time). The advice from England Athletics is as follows –

• At this point in time athletics and running coaching activity can take place in groups of up to six (6) These individuals do not need to be from the same family household, but ALL must adhere to the latest social distancing guidance. • It is recommended that a time buffer is built in between sessions to enable social distancing and adequate cleaning, according to guidelines, to take place. • Coaches should not coach more than five athletes at any one time. • Check directly with your Athletics Club on their policy for club activity. Before leaving home • Follow all hygiene guidance including washing your hands. • Ensure that all arrangements have been made prior to leaving home so that any government advice on social distancing, as an example, can be maintained at any facility. This may mean prior coordination of activities with the facility management or your coach. • At this point in time only outdoor facilities may be used – see our Guidance for Athletics Venues document for further guidance. • Athletes should ensure they are prepared and have planned for circumstances where injuries or other accidents occur, and they have mitigating procedures and plans in place to resolve the issue while maintaining all government guidance. • Ensure you have enough food and hydration for the session. • Be aware that changing facilities and toilets may not be open. • Athletes should ensure that any risk has been assessed in carrying out their activity. Equipment/Facility • Take hand sanitizer with you. • Read all the facility guidance in our Guidance for Athletics Venues document. • Government advice on cleaning is here. Training and coaching • Do not congregate before or after training, return home

As a club, however, aside from the solo (and now socially distant self organised mini group) runs, the club captains Richard and Sarah have been doing a great job of setting weekly challenges for the club. Also Simon Smith has been devising a monthly route challenge, which he creates as a Strava segment for club members to run, then compiles the results at the end of the month. Ruth introduced ‘fancy dress Thursday’ – if you noticed Wonder Woman running around Belper then this was the reason! Read her blog here, which also contains a few lovely words about motivation during these times –

A few highlights from the challenges are below. Please continue to stay safe and look after yourselves, there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

The route/elevation for the June segment challenge! Current leaderboard + info here –
Ruth in her many guises for her fancy-dress Thursday antics!
Andy really went to town too!
The winning Strava art entry by Chris Jackson – a snail..! (the picture, not Chris…)
More from the Strava art challenge!! We have a smiley face, a cat, Bart Simpson and……erm……we are really not sure!