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A tribute to Dave Holman – The lost speech

This is what I would have said if I had been asked to speak at Dave Holman’s funeral, reports Alan Chidley.

You have to imagine I have just walked up to the front of the chapel.

Good afternoon everyone…….I have just been handed a note which says “Don’t mention The Haystack”…so I won’t.

Dave joined our club in 1977 and on the night his membership form came up at Committee I was covering the Membership Secretary who could not attend the meeting.

So I read out new member Henry Holman, which meant that for the first few weeks I always refered to him as Henry. Of course I soon changed to calling him Dave, the name we all new him by.

Dave was a great help to our club, especialy looking after new young members, who soon became known as Dave’s Ducklings. He worked tirelesly with these young athletes guiding them through the early stages of athletics and many of them went on to acheive high standards as they went into the older age groups.

I am sure there are many here today who have come to say thank you and good bye.

He also helped in other ways, as part of working parties at the Clubhouse, marking cross country courses and, in conjunction with Harry Wild, building a shed which is still very much in use today.

He became, as far as I know only the 4th person to have part of our course named after him when Dave’s Hill was named.

He also held Committee posts such as Team Manager for the young age groups and in 1988 became President of our club.

I well remember when he was made a Vice President and was told he was now on the shortlist for President, to which he replied “I’ve always been on the shortlist”.

At the Club Dinner of 1988 I had the privilege of introducing him and I remembef saying “Dave is a man who you can believe every word he says, as he would be incapable of telling a tall story”

However, this was sometimes thrown into doubt with the stories he would tell such as:

  • Playing football against Stanley Matthews
  • Being Eddie Calvert’s bodyguard
  • Riding a Penny Farthing bike which he found in Ruislip High Street to Brighton
  • Running the London to Brighton
  • Regular claims to have been a Finchley Harrier, of which there is no record
  • Harry Secombe and Nat Gonella performing at his first wedding
  • Claims to have coached Lynford Christie and Seb Coe

A couple of anecdotes from members:

James Shipley remembers when he was doing some road hill work with Dave’s group and some local youths had been causing problems nearby. The residents had reported this and the police arrived just as the group set off on an uphill stride.. Believing them to be the troublemarkers the police gave chase only to be amazed as having reached the top of the hill they all turned round and started jogging back towards them.

Martin Searle recalls that many years ago his father mentioned that the seat of his childreens swing had become decayed and then Dave presenting him with a new handmade seat, asking nothing more than a thank you.

Stefan Dokic asked if the recent Junior win in the Southern Road Relays could be dedicated to Dave as he was always great supported of our younger teams.

So we have lost one of the great characters of our club, but I am sure he will never be forgotten.

 

Claybury kicks off HAC ladies cross country season – Met League Fixture 1

17 HAC ladies were amoung 211 finishers (the second largest Ladies field) at the first cross country fixture of the season on 14th October. The only other fixture with over 200 was at Stevenage in Nov 2015 with 218. Thanks for the stats Doug Millsom!

Renowned for it’s ominous mid-lap hill, Claybury provided a testing first fixture with any flat ground noticeably absent.

First HAC lady home was Gemma Barry in 10th position overall. Hot on her heels was Jennifer Harvey crossing the finishing line in 15th position.

Our best Vets were Karen O’Rourke, 4th V50, Pauline Fischer 5th V60 and Angela Duncan 1st V75. Angela finished ahead of three youngsters.

Well done to all who competed this challenging course. Bring on the next fixture and hopefully some mud!

Also a massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us, the men for your support as you warmed up and Melanie Spencer our wonderful team manager for getting us organised.

The next Met League fixture is at Welwyn Garden City on 11th November. Please make every effort to compete for the club in this fixture.

5km masterclass update

The 5k Masterclassers taking part in the Northala Fields 5k Parkrun to provide a 4-week progress check were all superstars.

Karmen smashed her baseline time of 20:08 and race target of 19:59 by running an awesome 19:47 (she was also 1st Lady). Bhavesh performed so well that, amazingly, he beat his end of Masterclass target – achieving a PB of 23:22 (so will now get a new goal). And, incredibly, Angela beat her race target by over 1:30.  As for the (previously) non-runners: Andrea walked briefly a mere 3 times and obliterated her target by over 15mins – her time was so good I had to check the Parkrun records three times! Not far behind was Jaz who, despite having had to miss a week of training, mostly ran the 5k and beat her target by c13mins. Finally, Sree and Swathi both beat their walk/run targets by c10mins.

Congratulations to everyone, your results are just reward for your efforts so far in the Dash for Fitness Autumn 5k Masterclass, in association with Hillingdon Athletic Club.

Hillingdon AC U15 Boys – National Champions!

What an historic day for Hillingdon AC. In our history we have Olympians, a Gold medal, a world record, GB and national racers and National champions – all individuals. On Saturday 7th October 2017 that changed with the U/15 boys winning the National Road Relays in Birmingham, reports Stevan Dokic. It has always been important to our Hillingdon athletes to go to the races that test us. Events from parkrun to National road events, these make us fitter and faster. We at Hillingdon AC definitely tick the box.

When I retook the Relays Manager position I felt that we are again producing a good group of junior athletes. Encouraging them to race with fellow team members  at these events will make them better athletes and people. They will learn and make mistakes, but most of all gain valuable experience.  Missing the start, getting in the wrong position at the start, hard runs and sessions pre major races were  some of the learning curves that we picked on and will improve.

The U/15 boys A team was all about getting a great start in a very competitive group. Max McGarvie did this with brave tough front running with the top boys. On encouragement form me surged to the lead at the 1k to go  splitting the pack and just 3rd to hand over to Abdifatah Khalif , 2nd leg, who took the lead after 400m. Holding this under pressure and then pushing on mid race  and to a good lead of 10  seconds. I could see at this point Herne Hill Harriers and Blackburn closing down the 2nd team Rotherham. Race on!

Abdifatah Khalif kept this 10 second lead for Adam Ireland, 3rd Leg. Adam was on his own with only the wind to keep him company. No pressure! At the 1500m point I could see Adam  cruising with still a 10 second lead from Herne Hill and Blackburn. I called to Adam that he has done this before – led and won.

Into the last 1K Herne Hill went from now 14 seconds behind back to 12 seconds. But the Herne Hill athlete looked back at 800m to go. This telling me he was flat lining and looking to hold off Blackburn who were closing. Everyone now knows that Adam will hold his nerves and sprinted the last 200m to finish and win the first Hillingdon team National title. Well done team – the whole club is extremely proud of you.

This took 51 years – sorry for the delay!

These top and major races are a must for the athletes that want to improve. The experience and learning curves will benefit all. The pressure and crowd can easily distract from the fast race. There were mistakes and coaches can advise how to overcome these and get better positions for the athlete, the team and the club. You will all walk away better athletes.

The U/15 B team with Hanad Ahmed,45th in 13.57, Matthew Crow 44th in 14.29and Josh Lee 35th in 14.05 came 3rd B team behind Aldershot B and Birchfield B teams.

U/13 boys Abdi Hamud 10th in 13.43, Luke McGarvie 20th in 15.17, Noah Lawson 33 in 16.28.

U/13 girls Laura Anene 51st in 16.16, Nicole McGovern 20th in 15.09 ( 3rd fastest) Angel Doyle 35th in 17.28 U/17 men Ross McGarvie 11th in 12.15, Alex Hutchison 38th in 14.01,  Tariq Arieff 47th in 15.04.

Well done to all and look forward to the South of England X/C 2k, 3k, and 4k relays at Wormwood Scrubs.

Clubhouse Diary Dates

Please see below some advance notice for dates that the Clubhouse will be unavailable for normal training:

Saturday 18th November 9.00 am to 5.00 pm for First Aid Training Course
Sunday 26th November 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm for Katherine Well’s baby shower
Sunday 14th January 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Air Cadets Cross Country Race
Saturday 20th January 5.00 pm onwards – booked by Club Member

The Clubhouse Team

Click here to enter.

It’s Official!!!

 

An historic day for Hillingdon AC. Team medallists at a National event reports Stevan Dokic . Its been 40 years for the junior boys team and 20 for the junior and senior women team. After a delay of nearly 2 weeks our u/15s boys were officially South of England road relay silver medallists. They also had the fastest lap of the u/15s by Mohamed Sherif Ali 8.24 for the short 3k course. The 4 boys had to wait even though they received the medals on the day.
I hope the times are accurate but should be close as these were carried out on the video evidence.
Well done to Ahmed Hanad 9.13, Abdikalih Khalif 8.51, Adam Ireland 8.58 and Max Mcgarvie 8.54.
The boys go again this Saturday for the national road relays and will be chasing a tougher cause for medal positions.

Middlesex 10km Road Race Championships

A very productive day at the Middlesex 10km Road Championships on Sunday 1st October was led by Abdishakar Abdulle, who became Middlesex 10km Road champion, finishing in 31:15. He was followed home in 6th place by Mohamed Daud Mohamed in 32:36 and Rob Thompson in 14th place in 33:26. As Mohamed didn’t meet the qualifying criteria for the Middlesex championships it was down to Aramias Zeration to help Abdi and Rob take the overall team prize. The Men V50’s of Dave Smith, John Bignell and Dave Martin took the bronze team prize.

Anna Harwood took silver in the Ladies Championship race in a time of 39:04. Debbie Brown and Mel Spencer took silver and bronze respectively in the Women V35 category.  Zoe Dobbs claimed bronze in the Women V45 category and Pauline Fischer took bronze in the Women V60 category. The women also claimed 2nd overall team and won the Masters team prize.

Well done to all the above and all those who participated. A link to the full results is here http://www.middlesexaa.org.uk/

Dave Holman Funeral

Dave Holman’s funeral will be held at Breakspear Crematorium on Thursday 19th October at 12.00, with a reception back at the clubhouse afterwards,. If you plan on attending can you please let me know so that we can plan the catering.

3K Training Race Results

The final 3k training race of the year drew record numbers of competitors on Thursday 28th September with 85 finishers. Thank you to everyone that took the opportunity to run these races over the past 7 months, marshal or timekeep. Hopefully everyones efforts have been worthwhile and the rewards will be shown over the XC season and beyond. Results can be found here.