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Posts from — February 2018

English National Cross Country Championships 2018 – Senior Women

The sun was shining, sunglasses made an appearance and people were smiling, reports Freya Hollingsworth. Could it be, the first weekend in many where we wouldn’t finish a race looking like drowned rats?

11 Hillingdon AC ladies congregated around the finish line, Bryony arrived not looking best pleased at the fact that even though it was sunny it was still bitterly cold!! Ladies captain, Mel rocked up, in her ski sunglasses still imagining she was on holiday…it is Parliament Hill after all, the closest some of us will get to the mountains this season!

De-layering happened lastminute.com and a sea of ladies made their way towards the start. Huddling at the bottom of the hill “eagerly” waiting to get going – not wanting to get cold – spectators ringing their cowbells stood on along the edge of the course. 2.20pm arrived, the gun went, Garmin watches were started and a herd of 1,113 ladies charged upwards, conquering Parliament Hill.

The challenging course made everyone (apart from Gemma finishing in 57th place) feel as though they were “trudging”, not racing. Trying not to lose shoes in the mud appeared a struggle for many competitors, not for the HAC ladies who powered through and finished with shoes still on both feet! Cheering from spectators all over the course made the trudge worth it, especially from Mel and Christina at the end of the first lap.

Notable performances go to support crew for standing in the cold, all the HAC ladies who conquered Parliament Hill (IN THE SUNSHINE) and especially Heather who kindly informed us just before the start gun went off that she will sadly be leaving us and moving to Somerset because the hills around here just aren’t challenging enough for her.

Top four scorers for the club were Gemma Barry (57), Hannah Wells (280), Iwona Gray-Cauvin (605) and Kathryn Carruthers (671). The Hillingdon AC ladies team finished in 48th position out of 112 teams.

February 27, 2018   Comments Off on English National Cross Country Championships 2018 – Senior Women

Brighton Half Marathon 2018

Well done to Hillingdon AC athletes Debbie Brown, Babz Kedge and Andrew Malyan who travelled south to compete in the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday 25th February.

Andrew Malyan finished in 1:37:36

Debbie Brown finished in 1:42:14

Babz Kedge finished in 1:52:29

Well done all three of you. Feet up!

February 25, 2018   Comments Off on Brighton Half Marathon 2018

Summer Series 2018

The following races have been selected for this year’s Summer Series. The dates and venues for the Park Runs will follow in due course. A volunteer to do the points would be most welcome. The other races fill up quick, so if you wish to run in any of them then enter in good time

April 5km training race
Sunday 13th May Run Wembley 10km
May Park Run
Sunday 17th June Concorde 5
June 5km training race
Sunday 1st July Bushey Spire 10km
July Park Run
Sunday 5th August Bearbrook 10km
August 5km training race
September Middlesex 10km
September Park run
If the Ickenham 5 is run this year I will add that in when a date is released

February 25, 2018   Comments Off on Summer Series 2018

Finchley 20 – Lots of marshals still needed please

We still need lots of marshals for this year’s Finchley 20 road race. This is the club’s main race fixture of the year and is coming up on Sunday 18th March at 9am. This is the one race that raises much needed funds for the club and helps to keep our subs down.

This year there is also a 10 mile race which is 2 laps of the usual course, and the 20 mile race which is 4 laps of 5 miles on the road. The marshal points are attached, together with a course map.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER & SUPPORT YOUR CLUB…. be part of the tradition!

We need 60+ marshals around the course plus further helpers for the two water stations (although we hope to have a number of cadets, who can help here). Course map is attached.

If a HAC member plans to run either event we ask that you please provide a marshal in your place. No experience needed.

If you can help please contact Maria Hernandez-Humm or add your name to the sheet at the clubhouse.

Please support this historic club event.

February 24, 2018   Comments Off on Finchley 20 – Lots of marshals still needed please

Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 6 March 2018

All members are invited to the Annual General Meeting of Hillingdon Athletic Club to be held at the Clubhouse, 206 Bury Street on Tuesday 6 March at 8.15 pm. The Agenda and previous minutes have sent to all members via email, please print these if you require them for the meeting as hard copies will not be available at the meeting. A hard copy is also displayed in the Clubhouse.

The Club Accounts, referred to in Agenda Item 5, are not available for early circulation as the audit is in progress. If you wish to obtain a copy in advance of the meeting, please contact Martin Searle on martin.searle@hotmail.co.uk.

As in the past we have scheduled a question and answer session immediately after the formal meeting at which you are invited to raise questions, make suggestions and generally contribute to help us run the club as effectively as possible.

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 6 March 2018

SEAA Event Survey

The SEAA Endurance Working Group has compiled a survey based on suggestions and proposals received over the past year regarding our Endurance Events. The survey contains ten questions asking for details on your activity in athletics and your opinions on changes to the Masters XC Championships and the Main XC Championships.

Their aim is to ascertain the views of our affiliated club members before making any changes.

It would be appreciated if Hillingdon AC club members, officials and athletes could take two minutes to complete this short survey.

Survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XFBWGK2

This survey will close on the 21st March 2018 and will not accept any answers after that date.

February 21, 2018   Comments Off on SEAA Event Survey

Fifth and final Met League fixture at Trent Park – Men’s Team

A big thank you to the 29 athletes who competed for the club in the Senior Men’s race in the Met League on Saturday. Although this was one of the smallest turnouts we have had at a race over the course of the season, the A team still did enough to finish fifth on the day and meet their pre season target of finishing fourth in Division One overall, reports Paul Leppard.

However, the lack of strength in depth did affect the B and C teams who finished 11th and 19th respectively in Division Three on the day and 6th and 19th respectively in Division Three overall.

From an individual perspective, Abdishakur Abdulle finished 3rd, Kadar Abdullahi 4th, Rob Thompson 11th and James Laing 26th to gain big points for the club in terms of the team score while there were improved performances from Fahad Abdi (59th), Richard Mann (76th) and most significantly from Mayank Mishra who improved remarkably on his performance at Wormwood Scrubs to finish in 100th place.

From looking at the list of people who raced for the club on Saturday, it strikes me that the vast majority did at least four of the five fixtures. It’s great to see this level of commitment from so many athletes and so thank you to everyone who made the effort to compete in multiple fixtures and who contributed towards the success of the club in the Met League over the course of the season.


February 14, 2018   Comments Off on Fifth and final Met League fixture at Trent Park – Men’s Team

Final Met League fixture at Trent Park – Ladies Team

Saturday 10th February saw the final Met League fixture of the 2017/2018 season at Trent Park.

All week the weather forecast said it was going to be sunny all morning until 2pm, when of course the rain would come down just as the ladies race started at “not before 1.55pm”.

However, the morning bought wind, rain and hail and it didn’t subside all day. As we congregated coldly but proudly at the HAC flag (which was already at a 45 degree angle thanks to the wind) Vicky asked if this was “some kind of community service” and Nikki was very angry that the temperature was obviously well below the 7 degrees that her weather app said it was going to be.

After 30 mins of slowly removing various layers of clothing and then putting them back on again, 26 HAC Ladies made our way to the start line. Mel and Lucy were adamant it was “still crop top weather”, Rebecca was in Bryony’s jacket and Heather forgot she still had her scarf on, again. That scarf is destined to finish a race Heather.

Thankfully the officials got us off to a start quickly but not before our traditional Trent Park group hug to try and keep warm. It does work, we think the men should try it!

The HAC ladies love the mud, which is a good job really as there was 6km of it.

The course was challenging with plenty of upward flat bits and slippy twists and turns, not helped by the blustery winds.

Up at the front Gemma Barry finished her impressive Met League season in 3rd position. Gemma also took 2nd in the overall individual rankings. Congratulations Gemma, you are an inspiration to the rest of the team.

Joining Gemma in HAC’s top 4 finishers were Hannah Wells in 37th, Emma Danby in 56th and Ciara Williams (running on a skiing injury) in 83rd. Well done ladies.

Further down the muddy field Zoe, Freya and Karen stuck together along the course (with team spirit and a bit of mud), Taj really didn’t like the climb up to the monument having thought she’d done the big hill already (I can’t quote her as the words aren’t suitable for the HAC website) and Heidi loved the mud so much she thought she’d roll around in a bit.

Our Senior Women’s A team finished the season in 7th in Division 1. Our B and C teams finished the season in 2nd and 10th positions in Division 3.

The season has bought notable results in the Vets age groups which culminated in our Vets A team winning Division 2 and gaining promotion. To quote Zoe “big up the golden girls”. Our Vets B team finished 5th also in Division 2 and the C team were also 5th in Division 3.

Well done also to Lucy Duncan who finished 3rd in the V40 category, Kathy Carruthers and Karen O’Rourke who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the V50 category, Pauline Fischer who was 3rd in the V60’s and of course the amazing Angela Duncan with her own V75 category.

Full results from the Trent Park fixture and individual overall results can be found here. https://t.co/X2GLyVPphn

The season has seen record numbers of competitors in our ladies team. Well done to all who pulled on their vests and crop tops.

A special thank you to our Team Manager Mel Spencer who somehow organises us all as well as the tea and biscuits (one last mention of “milk gate” seems appropriate here). Thank you for your efforts Mel and so good to have you back out there racing with us.


February 14, 2018   Comments Off on Final Met League fixture at Trent Park – Ladies Team

Matthew Fayers sets new club record

Matthew Fayers is back on track racing a new club record for the mile at the Washington Huskie Classic Indoor A race. Finishing in 3.58.4 taking 1/10 second off of his PB. Reports Stevan Dokic.

A good sign as he approaches his March paced speed work period. We are looking forward to Matthew’s return to HAC in May.

February 11, 2018   Comments Off on Matthew Fayers sets new club record

5km Masterclass Update

Saturday saw the second 5k Parkrun progress check for the Dash for Fitness Winter 5k Masterclass, in association with Hillingdon Athletic Club.

Once again, the Masterclassers were in fine form. Arunima beat her PB by a stonking 2 mins 4secs; Bhavesh managed to smash his already speedy 22:48 PB by 20 secs. Rohit, in running 25:25, not only beat his PB by a staggering 2 mins 45 secs but also managed to achieve his end of Masterclass goal. Incredibly, he was not alone in doing so, with previous non-runners: Cindy, Fauzia, Jane, and Thomas all beating theirs. Fauzia impressively took over a minute off her PB; Jane remarkably took over 2 mins off hers; and Cindy and Thomas unbelievably took over 3 mins off theirs. In fact, Thomas now has a PB of 28:31, despite this being only his second ever 5k and the first one that he has run continuously. All the Masterclassers now have a further 4 weeks of training before the FINAL progress check on 10th March.

February 9, 2018   Comments Off on 5km Masterclass Update

BUCS Champs

If you are into XC and weren’t at Hillingdon House Farm on Saturday 3rd February 2018 you missed the best set of races probably ever run there. It is 50 year since the last time the British University XC Championships have been held in London. That’s pretty big tick for Hillingdon. Everyone did an amazing job to help Brunel University host this event. TBH it was the hard work of Hillingdon and ESM members that did the lions share of the work and we should be rightly proud. That was the peak for Hillingdon House Farm, which has to be one of the best places to put on a XC event. It is equally a devil and an angel for athletes and spectators alike. Particular shout out to John Bignell and Andy Torrance who worked with me to really cut back the overgrowth on the ski slope and by Vyners Field on Friday. Thank goodness we did because the sight of 700+ women charging around the course was amazing and spectactular and I don’t think there were any issues. Maria Hernandez-Humm marveled once again piecing together a squad of enthusiatic marshals from HAC, ESM, Serps and TVH. If anyone from the council asks. It was a Brunel event. They might not like the condition of the fields when they see them. They were well cut up from racing and 4 vans, a trailer and car needed pushing off the fields and caused just a few divots and skids. I was the only sensible person not to park on a XC course
Here is an article I’ve pulled from http://leftspikefanzine.com/ which sums up the day very well.
Fields of green quickly turned to mud at the BUCS Cross Country Championships earlier today

The annual FA Cup of student distance running was a well-organised bout of mud, blood, running and rain by host university Brunel. Cross country as it ought to be.

A winding two-lap route doubled-back on itself in anticipation of the ski slope hill, the first of two features that might well be described as ‘extreme’ and/or ‘edgy’. The second claimed the highest profile of victims – but more on that later.
First up on the menu

Stacked. That’s certainly one word to describe the strength of the women’s field. When the current senior national cross country champion finishes fifth, you know it’s been a rather good race.

Consider: nine out of the first ten women ran for GB in Edinburgh three weeks ago. Between them they’ve won more than 25 individual or team medals at the European Cross Country Championships. They also happen to have a collective 17 individual national cross country medals in their sock drawers.

Awesome. That’s another word to describe the women’s race. The stream of women who snaked their way round the Hillingdon course was a sight to see – and the 704 women who finished was almost three times as many as a decade ago. Women’s distance running in the UK is doing alright at the moment – and youth is on its side.
First-timer to the fore

While victory may have been ‘completely unexpected’ for Harriet Knowles-Jones, the best junior cross country runner on the Continent right now was always one to watch for our money.

She put herself in the mix from the gun. A lead group of five became four as Judd tired. Harriet waited for her moment. It came on the other side of the water feature. The baying crowd willed over-zealous striders to come a cropper in the stream. The leading protagonists took on the potential pitfall with aplomb.
Beaming Bowden brings home the Bronze

Beaming Bowden brings home the Bronze

Rabid, screaming students breached the red tape that marked the finishing straight, ignoring objections from officials to get up in the grills of the fast-finishing girls. Harriet was clear in a position she knows well. Law held off homegirl Bowden by less than one second to snaffle silver. Loughborough took team gold.
Early pace too hot to handle

Rapid. Probably the best word to describe the start of the men’s long race. Relentless too, certainly where permanent fixtures Emile Cairess, Mahamed Mahamed and Alex Yee were concerned.

Others came and went, the pace too hot to trot along with for a few, who were shed unceremoniously to the nether regions of the race. One who kept coming back for more: eventual runner-up, Chris Olley.

First he was up with the fancied few. Then he was back with the chasing pack, letting the lead group go tit-for-tat. Then he was up again, a serious pretender in contention with a lap still to run. Pacing like a boss.

Yee made his move with Cairess in tow. It looked as if that would be the final blow. The Leeds Becket runner, also 19, pulled a winning-margin clear with the second ski slope scaled.
You can’t upend the comeback kid

That was until the dastardly water feature claimed its most high-profile casualty of the day. Face-planted and eating mud. Importantly, undeterred.

The lone, lean figure of Yee emerged from the woods at the death, a silhouette against the greying scene, solitary and strident in the long run for home.
Alex falls prey to the dastardly river-crossing

Just eight months on since a high-speed bike crash left him literally punctured and broken, Yee’s return to winning ways at the first time of asking cannot be understated. Comeback kid he might be, but it didn’t come without its cost.

Olley put a valiant kick in but the damage had been done. It left last year’s short race winner, Cairess, to outkick Mahamed for bronze. St Mary’s took the team title for the seventh time in the last decade.
Last but not least

Typically exuberant, sometimes obnoxiously tribalistic, the men’s short race finished off the afternoon. St Mary’s student, Luke Prior, sped off halfway round lap one and was never bettered. It wasn’t enough, though, to lead his team to gold.

That was, instead, Loughborough’s for the taking. With four inside the first eight, the team’s victory at least went some way to making up for the university’s apparent failure to register a team for the long event.

Photos acquired from various sources. If you are a twitter or Instagram user and want to see more use #BUCSXC

February 6, 2018   Comments Off on BUCS Champs

Russell Vroobel RIP

it saddens me to report that Hillingdon’s Russell Vroobel passed away on Sunday 28th January.

He was a qualified ‘Leaguer’ and a crucial member of the Hillingdon race walking team that won five podium finishes in the League between 2008 and 2015. Condolences to his family.
Russell’s funeral will be held at Chiltern Crematorium on 6th February at 10 o’clock.

February 5, 2018   Comments Off on Russell Vroobel RIP

Watford Half Marathon – 4th February 2018

There were some great results for the 13 HAC members who took on the Watford Half Marathon on a rather chilly Sunday 4th February. Well done to all.

Results as follows:

Charles Edwards 1:21:39
Stuart Arundel 1:37:19
Jonathan Gawn 1:40:40
Zoe Dobbs 1:43:25
Chloe Charles 1:44:48
Freya Hollingsworth 1:45:49
Martin Searle 1:45:52
Bryony Lycett-Brown 1:48:43
Gary Taylor 1:49:57
Jacob Gloor 1:58:28
Dennis Carey 1:58:50
Louisa Gawn 2:01:02
Joanna Edwards 2:06:21

February 4, 2018   Comments Off on Watford Half Marathon – 4th February 2018

Bob Parker – Funeral Details

Bob Parker sadly recently died aged 88 years. Bob was a lifelong member of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers and Coach to Dave Bedford.

His funeral is on: Wednesday 7th February at 11.00am, at Hendon Crematorium,
Holders Hill Road NW7.

Undertakers are Leverton & Sons Ltd and on their website Tributes to Bob (listed as Robert Parker), and/or Donations (to St. Luke’s Hospice, Harrow or to SBH) can be made.

February 4, 2018   Comments Off on Bob Parker – Funeral Details

Chilli and Jive Evening – 10th February

Saturday 10th February is the final Met League cross country race of the season at Trent Park.

Afterwards there will be a fun evening of Jive dancing and a chilli meal available at the Clubhouse, all for just £7 per person.

If you would like to eat, please can you let John Dobbs know by Thursday 8th Feb, stating veg or non veg.

Thank you

February 3, 2018   Comments Off on Chilli and Jive Evening – 10th February