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Easter Egg Orienteering Race – 29 March

Our first Easter Egg Orienteering Race will be held on Thursday 29th March at 6pm.

Please register yourself or your team between 6pm and 6.45 at the clubhouse.

There is a 1 hour cut off, after that points will be deducted from your score.

Easter gift for all those taking part and an egg-cellent prize for the winners.

Hops on tap and bring a dish buffet afterwards.

All welcome.

Lucy Wilcock – Middlesex U15 Indoor Shot Put champion

Congratulations to Lucy who became the Middlesex U15 Indoor Shot Put champion representing Hillingdon on Sunday 18th March. Well done Lucy!

2018/19 Club membership fees are due now.

You’ll all be pleased to know that is time again to get your annual club membership renewals in. The membership form is now live and ready to go. Everyone from senior athletes to coaches and officials should fill in this form ASAP please. Athletes need to complete this form by 31st March to be registered to compete for the first track fixtures in April. http://www.hillingdonac.co.uk/shop/clubmembershippage.html

Finchley 20 and Hillingdon 10

Dear Runners

It is with deep disappointment that the Finchley 20 and Hillingdon 10 is cancelled after receiving advice from UK Athletics.

Below is the letter we have received from Dr Natasha Beach who is UK Athletics’ medical advisor:

Adverse Weather – UKA Advice to Endurance Events for the Weekend of the 17th -18th March 2018

The Met Office has issued yellow and amber (potential threat to life) weather warnings for much of the UK this weekend.

The real feel temperature is due to drop in many areas into single or double minus figures, with predicted strong wind speeds and to varying degrees, snow is also likely to fall.

Events that are due to take place should give serious consideration to the impact that the weather will place on the welfare of the runners, and any staff, volunteers, stewards etc. involved.

Consideration should also be given to the potential issues with transport systems, (including the ability to transfer injured or unwell participants, spectators etc. by ambulance) and the natural impact cold weather has on the workload of any receiving hospitals.

For events affected by these weather warnings we strongly suggest cancellation or postponement of your event for the benefit of everyone involved.

Whilst we can appreciate that this will disappoint some people unfortunately no refunds can be given. There is a considerable cost of staging an event, and the main costs to contractors, suppliers, administration etc are already committed well before race day. The remaining income from the race is also vital for the running of the community running club.

Once a date has been decided for the 2019 event you will be contacted again and you will be offered a free place in the event next year.

Once again we are deeply sorry for the cancellation of this year’s events and the inconvenience this may have caused you.

Finchley 20 & Hillingdon 10 Update

8.30am Saturday 17th March

It is snowing quite heavy in Hillingdon at the moment and the forecast looks pretty ominous for the rest of the day and into Sunday morning. The forecast has changed around alot so we will continue to wait until 12 noon before we make a decision based on the conditions and those that are forecast. A race on or off email will be sent to all entrants around 12 noon from Active Training World, who have managed the online entries for us at Hillingdon AC.  Lets stay positive!

7am Friday 16th March.
Snow and sub zero temperatures with a cold wind are currently forecast for Saturday and heavier snow showers forecast before and during the early part of the race. This is a hard one to call from our point of view as the forecast has changed around a bit in the last few hours but either way it will be cold. Hillingdon AC’s organising team will make the decision based on the forecast and a course inspection at 12 noon on Saturday 17th March as to whether the race can take place on Sunday.

As well as the weather we also have a few roadwork’s on the course that are causing us headaches. Hillingdon Council have assured us the roadwork’s being carried out by HS2 will be removed by Sunday for the race. These roadwork’s on Breakspear Road South, if not removed will cause a cancellation of the race as there is no way around them and no diversion route possible.

Secondly we have had emergency gas works spring up on the course near the clubhouse this week. These we have been told by the contractors and Hillingdon Council need to be avoided and not run near to. If they finish before Sunday then all is well. We have worked on a diverted route late last night. A diverted route will mean the race will have no certificate of course accuracy and subsequently no results will stand as records for the distance with UK Athletics.

On a positive note, since 1933 the race has never been cancelled due to weather or roadwork’s and we are and will continue to do what we can to put the race on although the welfare of the athletes and our team of marshals will in the end outweigh that of sentiment and history.
Fingers crossed everyone!!!

Hillingdon 10km and Half Marathon – Sunday 25th February

With the Beast from the East set to roll in bringing sub-zero temperatures, the Hounds of Hillingdon AC gathered together to set off on the chilly Hillingdon 10km and Half Marathon on Sunday 25th February, reports Zoe Dobbs, aka for this post – Mutley.

Heading the pack like a greyhound out of the starting gates, Ed Dyer set the pace and despite being led astray by the pacemakers around the grounds of Brunel University, he won the race in super speedy time of 1:15:59.

There’s life in the old dog yet as Stuart Arundel was next across the line for Hillingdon AC in a time of 1:37:42, coming 6th in the over 50s age category.

As always looking like the best in show, the whippet-like Alex Longton scooted round in 1:42:30 dragging round Zoe Dobbs doing her best impression of an Afghan Hound.

The rest of the pack were not far behind with an injured Andy Wood putting in a gutsy performance at 1:41:49 and Louisa Gawn and Bryony Lycett-Brown completing their first Hillingdon Half in 1:52:41 and 1:53:14 respectively.

Stuart Nisbett came in just over 2 hours and the highland terrier John Hughes was delighted to come in at 2:03:23 chased down by Taj Randhawa in 2:08:56. The Duncan Dachunds trotted round in 2:34 and last but not least for the HAC pack, Krishna Chapman in just under 3 hours.

The sprint distance of 10k saw Mohamed Mohamed once again win in a time of 32:41 closely followed by Fahad Abdi in third place with a time of 35:09.

Andy Torrance was third in the M60 category with a time of 52:45. Boo Smith was first in the W50 category in a time of 49:33, followed by Maria Vergara in just over the hour mark, Heidi Smith looking very clean after her cross country antics in just over the hour and Lisa Nisbett in 1:18.

Hillingdon Half isn’t known for its picturesque scenery as you charge through the streets of Cowley and West Drayton, but what the route lacks in views it makes up for with the home grown marshals who spur you on. Thanks to all the HAC crew who stood out in the cold to point us in the right direction, hand out water and keep us safe.

The Big Half

Congratulations to Kathryn Carruthers and Karen O’Rourke who completed The Big Half on Sunday 4th March in 1:39:07 and 1:46:09 respectively. Well done ladies.

Lee Valley Minithon races – Angel Doyle

We went to the Lee Valley Minithon races event on Saturday 24th February, reports Angel Doyle.

My coach Stef didn’t have enough girls for the national X/C races. Myself and my little sister Cherilee entered the 60m, 200m, and the 600m all on the same day. Our 1st race was the 60m. Cherilee was at 12.45 and I was at 1.15. We aren’t sprinters and we were nervous and scared.

Cherilee came equal 1st in 9.6 and I didn’t start well but got back into 3rd place in 9.3. We both PB’d racing off of a standing start.

We had a long wait for the 200s and had a light chicken salad meal with some fruit after. We also rested and relaxed. I was waiting at the waiting area for the 200s. There was a delay because of the many juniors competing. Cherilee raced 32.2 a debut time and came 2nd. I ran a PB of near 3 seconds in 31.6 and came 2nd.

Our 600m were an hour later and most of the girls didn’t race the 200m. Cherilee took 8 seconds off of her indoor time from last years indoor minithon. She came 2nd in 2.11.3. I ran a PB just in 1.55.1 and took 6 seconds for my PB from last years minithon. I started the race with the led runners taking the pace. At half way 300m I was boxed in and a led runner took off. My Coach Stef was telling me to come out. I managed to find a gap and took chase. I caught her at 140m to go and went passed her. I heard the tannoy say my name and club. I sprinted to the win. My 1st win.

Cherilee won a gold for her 3 performances and I a silver. Because it was all about the points we were so pleased and Stef said that we were now competing and challenging to win races. This is giving us confidence.

The following Monday we went to see Cherilee compete for the North Hillingdon borough x/c primary school cup. Cherilee won and beat a girl that had never been beaten before.

This was our best weekend in athletics and we know there will be more……

A tribute to Sir Roger Bannister

Following the sad news that we have lost a true legend, it is timely we share this report from Alan Chidley.

As most people are aware Sir Roger Bannister was, for a very short time, a member of Finchley Harriers, one of the two clubs that amalgamated to become Hillingdon A.C.

He was 17 at the time and getting ready to go to Oxford where he would join Achilles A.C., the club at Oxford University.

However the minimum age for membership of Achilles was 18, so he needed a club to bridge those few months.

In the book titled “The First Four Minutes’ by Sir Roger, there is a photograph of Roger running in what looks like the Middlesex Youth X/C in 1947/48. He is running in a Finchley Harrier vest.

A few years ago I organised a reunion for the old club and during this I, as Historian, was asked about the details of Sir Roger’s membership of Hillingdon AC.

I was unable to answer all the questions so I decided to write to him via the College he was with in Oxford. I enclosed a SAE and waited for a reply.

One very warm day I was sitting in my living room, half asleep, when the phone rang. Unable to raise the energy to get up I let the answer phone deal with the call. On the recording was my mobile phone number and a minute or two later my mobile phone rang.

I thought I had better answer this so did so and said a very sleepy hello. The voice at the othe end said, “Hello this is Sir Roger Bannister speaking”. Suddenly I was wide awake and said “Good heavens”,to which he replied cheerily, “Why do you say that? I am a human being after all”. I said “of course, but I have never received a call from a Knight of the Realm before.”

There then followed a 22 minute conversation where he tried to answer my questions and although some of the memories were a bit hazy he did very well.

He asked me about the present club and hoped there was no bad feeling about his membership being so short. I assured him there was no bad feeling at all.

He said it had been a choice between us and Polytechnique Harriers and as he lived in the Pinner area had decided to join the nearer of the two.

As I was on my mobile I was able to move around my house and get out some magazines from the relevant time. He was interested and surprised when I read out some articles where his name appeared.

Finally he wished me all the best and said “Keep up the good work with your club, officials and Committee members are very vital and important.”

So ended my only conversation with a Knight of the Realm, somehow I can’t see it ever happening again.

Rest in Peace Sir Roger Bannister.

Clubhouse Spring Clean – Saturday 03rd March

If you can spare an hour or two this Saturday, please come along to the clubhouse from 10am to help give it a spring clean. We all use it!