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Restricted return to activity at Hillingdon AC

I hope you are all safe and well. Following recent updated guidance from England Athletics on returning to activity the Management Committee have been working hard to put the necessary measures in place to enable a limited return to club life. I am glad to say that from tomorrow Sunday 21st June small groups of 4 runners or less can start and finish their runs from the Clubhouse car park. Please observe the notices regarding social distancing that have been put up in the car park. To enable this first limited stage of re-opening to happen we have developed a COVID club plan, created risk assessments for groups leaving from the Clubhouse and for coached sessions, as well as appointing COVID co-ordinators for both the clubhouse and the track, Michael Illing and Natalie Walker respectively. These documents will be posted on the club website in due course but the salient points from the clubhouse risk assessment are posted below, which I would ask you all to observe if meeting for a run. At this stage the Clubhouse will not be open but the Committee and clubhouse co-ordinator are working behind the scenes to make the Clubhouse COVID compliant for when the Government relax the rules further, which will be no earlier than the 4th July. The coaches at the track are having regular meetings to work through all the challenges faced there and we are in weekly contact with Hillingdon Council regarding the opening of the track facility. We ask for your patience, as none of us have faced a situation like this before. We are doing our best to get the club up and running as soon as possible but our priority as always is the health and well being of our members and their families. We hope to be able to update you early next week on our plans for membership subscriptions.

  • Maximum group size of 4 people
  • Groups to be arranged in advance and communicated over social media
  • Group meeting times to be staggered if multiple groups are running from a single location, such as the clubhouse
  • Social distancing to be maintained at all times as per current government guidelines
  • Approximate route to be planned in advance avoiding high streets and being aware of areas where social distancing rules may be broken (bus stops etc.)
  • No coaching to take place unless a separate list assessment has been submitted to and approved by the Covid 19 co ordinator
  • Special care to be taken when passing or overtaking others, slowing down or stopping if necessary
  • Face coverings and gloves to be carried for use in an emergency
  • Travel to/from training by own individual transport or in household groups
  • If you are displaying any Coronavirus symptoms then do not attend training. Stay home and follow current government advice

Virtual 5K Training Race June – Results

Please find attached the results of June’s Virtual 5K Training Race.

As regards next month, we are bound as a club by both Governmental & England Athletics advice, but rest assured people are working hard behind the scenes at the club so that we may all return safely as soon as possible. If anyone can spare some time to help with this, please contact Dave Smith (Club Chairman) davidalan.smith2@gmail.com

The date for next month is Thursday 9 July, either at Ruislip at 6.40 (if allowed) or virtually.

Virtual 5K 2020-06-11

THURSDAY 11 JUNE – Hillingdon AC Virtual 5K Training Race

This Thursday 11 June is the next Hillingdon AC Virtual 5K Training Race.

On Thursday you have until 8pm to blast out a fairly accurate 5K; it can be from home, round the actual 5K route, the woods, anywhere permitted under government guidelines.

Then send your time (minutes & seconds) and date of birth by email to gavin.collett@jti.com Lee Collett by 8pm Thursday night and I’ll produce a “race” result on Friday. There is no need to send me any proof, description of course or links to any others site such as Garmin, Strava, I won’t open them. I trust you all! Please also indicate if you have walked the whole way with no running at all.

Any ages, any speed for members, friends and family of Hillingdon AC. Please spread the word.

Stay safe


COVID-19 co-ordinator required

Following the new Government advice issued on the 28th May easing lockdown restrictions, EA have issued new guidance. As the club looks to implement these guidelines we need to appoint a club COVID-19 co-ordinator who will take responsibility for the club plan and support coaches in undertaking the relevant risk assessments. This role is vital in enabling safe running to return to Hillingdon AC. If you feel that this is a role you can take on please contact me via e-mail at davidalan.smith2@gmail.com

Clubhouse not to be used in the current situation

All members are to be reminded that the Clubhouse is currently not to be used for any activity until further notice. This is following advice from both England Athletics and the Government. 

As soon as further updates are received the Committee will communicate this to all members.

Please also be advised that the landline at the Clubhouse is no longer operational. Should anyone wish to contact the Clubhouse please use the following number: 07401 153748.

Updated EA advice on COVID-19

Dear All

I hope you are all well and getting by in these difficult times.

Whilst we are all keen to get back to training as soon as it is safe to do so the wellbeing of all coaches, athletes and the wider community is the clubs top priority.

I have had a look at the current advice from England Athletics and have tried to pick out the main points. However I would recommend that all members read the EA documents, which can be found here https://www.englandathletics.org/

The current guidance relates only to outdoor activity only therefore the clubhouse and gym will remain closed until further guidance is issued.

At this stage EA advise that no group activity takes place due to the requirements of social distancing. At this point in time athletics and running coaching activity can only take place on a one to one basis i.e. one coach and one athlete or two athletes with no coach present. If the individual is under 18 then a parent needs to be present due to the nature of 1-2-1 coaching restrictions currently. Two athletes, who do not need to be from the same household, can go for a run together as long as they observe social distancing and all current Government COVID-19 guidance.  

Any return to activity will require a risk assessment by the coach, athlete and where relevant parents. Any risk assessment would include mitigations and plans in the event of the activity not going as expected. This will include planning for scenarios such as an athlete sustaining an injury and the need to support that athlete whilst maintain social distance.

There is much more detailed information on the individual athletes responsibilities in the EA documents which I encourage you to read.

Best Wishes


Virtual 5k: May

Please find attached the result of the Hillingdon AC May Virtual 5K Training Race.

There was an impressive 66 finishers (compared to 68 last month), including 16 who didn’t compete last month.

These virtual races will continue in this format (next one Thursday 11 June) until we are able to hold them for “real”. Bring it on. Gavin Collett


Virtual 5k training race – Thursday 14 May

Following the success of last month’s race when there were 68 finishers, next Thursday 14 May is the next Hillingdon AC Virtual 5K Training Race.

On Thursday (anytime of day), use can use your permitted period of exercise to blast out a fairly accurate 5K; it can be from home, round the actual 5K route, the woods, anywhere permitted under government guidelines. It must be on Thursday though, so you can’t have repeated attempts throughout the week.

Then send your time (minutes & seconds) and date of birth by email to gavin.collett@jti.com by 8pm that day and I’ll produce a “race” result on Friday. There is no need to send me any proof, description of course or links to any others site such as Garmin, Strava, I won’t open them. I trust you all! Please also indicate if you have walked the whole way with no running at all.

Any ages, any speed for members, friends and family of Hillingdon AC. Please spread the word.

Also a reminder there is an 8pm clap that night for all key workers (especially our brave members in the NHS, our thoughts are with you), then a quiz on the club’s facebook page at approx. 8.10pm.

Stay safe everyone, miss you all.



Victory Quest

I have placed all the markers in position for this Bank Holiday weekends, VE Day, Victory Quest Challenge. Shown is the map of the locations and attached is a file with the map and clues to find the 14 markers. The markers are WW2 related images. In keeping with the last 2 excellent quest challenges, organised by John Dobbs and Nigel Ealand respectively, there is a 15 min time penalty for any markers not found. You can run, walk or cycle it. Time yourself from when you find your first marker to when you find your last marker. You can start at any marker. If you have sensitive legs you may wish to wear leggings or long socks.
Please post your times to me at mbateman@hillingdonac.co.uk or onto our FB group and say whether you have found them all or not. Add images if you want. 4 have been draw by my fair hand. You have from 6am Friday 8th to 8pm Sunday 10th to complete the quest.
Just for fun, 1 of the markers has message that has been encrypted cipher. Another marker has the code. You can crack it at home in your on time if you wish.
All 3 are beautiful parks and Dowding Park is packed full of plenty of history so you should find this to be an enjoyable event . Please follow all rules on social distancing during this event.
Please share with your friends and family. All welcome!
The clues:
1: On a tree sapling support in the vicinity of a high curved brick wall.
2: On a laurel bush (shiny leaves) by corner of wall near the Bunker entrance gate.
3: On a log near the large black circle on the gate.
4: Look at the number of the Rifle Range then count 2 bollards to your right and look around back of those trees on the left approx in line with the 2nd bollard.
5: Find 2 back to back goal posts then head direct towards the river to find 4 exercise posts then head right to the large tree.
6: On the main trail through Big Clump find a fallen tree with only 2 large branches. In the direction it has fallen look for the pink flowered bush and head there.
7: On the tree by the small “Attention au Chien” sign.
8: On the cornered dying tall conifer tree.
9: On the tall dead stump in the vicinity of the small red bin.
10: On a fallen tree in the ditch. Find the weeping willow tree and join the ditch near the pink flowers to the willows left.
11: On a branch under a dark low spreading tree which is opposite the concrete fence post with side supports.
12: On a tree nearby a section of metal railing. Find the manmade log structure near the high mounds, then take the small trail on its left.
13: On a dead tree with lots of short branches coming out of its left side. From the summit look to the stadium then take the trail to the right. Take caution where you run on the Ski slope because there is Giant Hogweed on it which can burn skin! They are big fan shaped leaves.
14: On a tree at the trickle crossing.

England Athletics Statement

Suspension of athletics competition extended to 30 June 2020.
Following previous statements on 17 March and 24 March, England Athletics, in collaboration with the other Home Country Athletics Federations and UKA, can confirm that the suspension period relating specifically to athletics competition has been extended until at least the 30 June 2020.
Whilst all licensed competition events in our sport scheduled up to 30 June 2020 are suspended, we will continue to review the wider suspension of all other athletics activity outside of competition (currently set to 31 May 2020). We will wait for a further announcement from the UK government in relation to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown period, expected during week commencing 4 May, before further reviewing and updating on the current suspension period covering all other athletics activity.
In the mean time and pending further updates from EA and the Government, the coaches and management committee are considering how a safe training environment at both the Track and the Clubhouse can be provided to members if non- competition activity is allowed.
This has been a very difficult time for us all in so many ways. Some members may have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 and others may be facing financial difficulties due to the lock down. For others the social isolation of lock down may have had an effect on their mental health. Please feel free to contact any member of the management committee in the knowledge that any conversation will be confidential. We at Hillingdon AC are here for you and will do our best to support members in any way we can through this challenging time.