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Posts from — May 2023

Middlesex Track and Field Champs

The weekend of 13th and 14th May saw this year’s Middlesex Track and Field Championship take
place at Lee Valley. The weather was very British, it was meant to be warmish on Saturday but of course it was somewhat cold and Sunday brightened up at lunchtime be warm. Thankfully it did not actually rain.
Two Senior athletes picked up medals; Lotte Visser, Silver in Javelin and Kevin Acraman who collected Gold for Hammer and Shot.
HIllingdon had twenty two other athletes competing through the two days in a range of events. The Championship covered from U13 upwards. Here is a summary of the medals.
Marcus James U15M 100m Silver; 200m Silver
Isabella Phillips U15W 200m Silver; 300m Silver
Navtej (Shaan) Tumber U15M 300m Bronze
Amae Van Zyl U15W 800m Silver
Dylan Lewis U15M 1500m Silver
Aryan Padaruth U20M Javelin Gold
Nathan Griffiths U15M Javelin Gold
Congratulations to all our athletes who took part, several PB’s from the day!

May 20, 2023   Comments Off on Middlesex Track and Field Champs

Green Belt Relay report

The Green Belt Relay is an annual multi-stage running relay, which took place last weekend on the 13th and 14th May, which comprised of around 220 miles (350km) of running and driving around the Green Belt outside of London. It is organised by the Stragglers RC and surplus funds from the race are donated to charity. The race has been going since 1995 and this year was the 25th Anniversary. Hillingdon AC as mentioned in the pre-race amble below indicating we would not put the engravers to work, which we didn’t, but we also stayed far away from getting the toilet seat with a very respectable 33rd position out of the 51 involved teams. They also commended us on the slick team organisation which John and Andy have spent many hours behind the scenes making sure we were all accounted for. 

Hillingdon AC joined in the GBR fun in 2019 and proved to be a reliable and well organised addition to the race, without really troubling the trophy engravers too much. They came back in 2022 with a dramatic rise up the leader board to 14th place overall, helped by a stage win from Hannah Wells in stage 10 and perhaps the most stage win we’ve ever had from James Laing in stage 16. They return this year with two teams again, led by the excellent Andy Wood as team captain and John Dobbs sharing the load. Welcome back Hillingdon AC.

So, 11 eager Hillingdon AC runners 5 Virgins to the event and 3 cars (The Batmobile, Penelope Pitstop and the Italian Job) set off early on Saturday morning to take part in the 22-stage route which ranged from 6.0 and 13.3 miles per stage. Each runner ran twice over the weekend once on each day of the race, running around 20 miles in total. This was tough, as you were racing two days in a row, but it was great fun and such a rewarding experience. Although the race is a relay, each stage started at a fixed time which allowed for each stage to be a competitive race and allows teams of all different standards to stay roughly together as they advance along the route. 

Stage 1 Racing started with Zoe Dobbs running 12.7miles difficulty rating 6 out of 10 (10 is Bloody hard) from Hampton Court finishing with some men practicing for the Comrades ultra marathon at Staines coming in 34th out of 51 people in 1:45:17 and was the 5th V45. 

Stage 2 Andy Wood was next off to run 9.42 miles difficulty rating 3 to Boveney who came in 20th in 1:10:04 and was the 8th V40 Man, he was cheered on by his dad at the beautiful church finish.

Stage 3 Karen O’Rourke ran 11.2miles difficulty rating 5 to Little Marlow coming in 35th in 1:34:33 and was the 4th V45, she had a chatty lady with her for her lovely run who she had to share her Strava with at the end, was she being stalked?!

Stage 4 Patrick Griffin ran 11.8 miles difficulty rating 10 to Great Kingshill and was 20th in 1:35:59 and was 5th V40, he had a very hilly and muddy route with 489m of climbing! which was probably one of his toughest runs ever and then to say he had never gone that distance before, so he did very well.

Stage 5 Clive Wickham ran 13.5 miles difficulty rating 10 to Chipperfield and came in 14th in 1:38:50 and was 7th V40, he had the pink trainers the envy of all the runners and locals on his long route there were very tough challenging hills but great fun run, he tried a sprint finish, but his hamstring said no! 

Stage 6 John Dobbs ran 8.5 miles difficulty rating 3 to St Albans and came in 47th in 1:25:10 and was 10th V50, he has found his run challenging as still recovering from knee replacement surgery but loved being part of the team.

Stage 7 Melanie Spencer ran 11.6 miles difficulty rating 7 to Letty Green and came in 25th in 1:28:20 and was the 1st V45 loved every minute of the long straight old train route and families having afternoon tea on the platforms on the St Albans Way and beat a Hare and hound runner!

Stage 8 Sam Hurley ran 10.7 miles difficulty rating 4 to Dobbs Weir and came in 23rd in 1:20:40 and was the 5th Senior Man, he enjoyed navigating around Hertford Castle and the canal, there is also an amazing picture of him cross the weir.

Stage 9 Gabe Segall ran 10.2 miles difficulty rating 7 to High Beach coming in 39th in 1:32:12 and was the 8th Senior Man, he didn’t like the hill but loved the race. 

Stage 10 Paul Spencer ran 9 miles difficulty rating 6 to Toot Hill and came in 36th in 1:23:50 and was the 7th V50, he thought it was very wet, muddy, and very, very, very, very long, it took the race guide 1 hour to get through the mud in the first mile on his foldable bike to put the markers down, after the run his plastic shoe covers were then the talk of the town, watch out Clive.  

Stage 11 Vicky Brownlee then ran 7.5 miles difficulty rating 3 to Blackmore coming in a smiley 40th in 1:12:30 and was the 4th V45, she finished off the team’s first day saying she loved every second even when she had to navigate through the shoulder high crop.  

Then we all then had a well-earned rest with dinner at a local Zizi, met someone else with pink shoes and enjoyed a comfortable bed in the Premier Inn prepared to do it all again with the 6:45am roll call the following day.  

Stage 12 Andy Wood ran 10.75 miles difficulty rating 6 to Thorndon Park 24th in 1:23:12 and was the 6th V40 Man, what more can you say than being cheering on one Olympian to another, Fatima Whitbread – had fun walking her dog that morning. 

Stage 13 Melanie Spencer ran 6.6 miles difficulty rating 2 to Cranham came in 23rd in 49:37 and was 3rd V45 foam she was found rolling in the car park and squatting on the start line as her legs were still sore from the day before she was glad to have some downhill in her route.  

Stage 14 Zoe Dobbs ran 9 miles difficulty rating 4 to Davy Down and came in 28th in 1:18:41 and was 3rd V45, she ran with 2 fellow runners (all with the same finishing time) navigating the route together finishing off a very scenic Mardyke Viaduct Railway bridge, she found this tough after the run the day before.

Stage 15 Patrick Griffin started his run Stone Lodge the other side of the Darford Bridge and ended in Lullingstone Park completing 9.4 miles difficulty rating 6 and came in 14th in 1:11:48 and he was the 5th V40 Man, his route took him along the Darenth River Valley which he found picturesque and eventually the sun came out, he really pushed hard to finish as far up the field as he could and he really enjoyed it.

Stage 16 Clive Wickham ran 13.1miles (and add on) difficulty rating 10 to Tatsfield and came in 32ndin 1:57:32 and was the 12th V40 Man. He had a stunning route on a gorgeous day, the sun stayed out and he was glad there were water stations enroute. His quads were not very willing due to the climbs yesterday so he had to take an easier pace and walk a few climbs, (there were lots) and could have also done without going wrong and adding 1.1km and another hill to his route.  

Stage 17 Gabe Segall ran 10.5 miles difficulty rating 7 to Merstham and came in 44th in 1:40:52 and was the 9th Senior Man, he was smiling all the way and felt like he earned his curry tonight. 

Stage 18 Sam Hurley ran 9.6 miles difficulty rating 9 to Burford Bridge and came in 34th in 1:36:12 and was the 9th Senior Man, he had a tough stage with steep hills and downhills if I’m not mistaken it may have been Box Hill twice, he wasn’t sure was the easiest part, the up or down, I hope the McDonald’s helped.

Stage 19 Paul Spencer ran 8.4 miles (and add on) difficulty rating 7 to West Hanger and came in 48thin 1:32 and was the 13th V50, he thought this was supposed to be the easier run – not realising he had 330m of incline in the first 3km of the race, he could have done with not getting lost in the woods without navigation or GPS working realising he had gone off course and needed to climb another 100m and 2km to get back on track, very annoying when he had made good placing prior to the detour. 

Stage 20 Vicky Brownlee ran 6 miles difficulty rating 1 to Ripley 40th in 55:30 and was the 11thV45, she didn’t realise that running downhill could be so hard but managed to maintain her position and beat a Ranelagh runner and she loved being in the best organized team with the best support and morale. (We may have been the loudest).

Stage 21 John Dobbs ran 8.4 miles difficulty rating 2 to Walton Bridge came in 49th in 1:25:31 and was the 9th V50 Man, so a glorious day and then a isolated rain downpour on his finial 1km along the river, but still finished strong with good form.  

Stage 22 Karen O’Rourke did the final run of 7.1miles difficulty rating 1 to Bushy Park coming in 35th in 58:45 and was the 2nd V45, she was a little concerned as all the ladies looked very fast prior to the start of the race but she smashed it and brought it home for the team. 

The whole team met at the prize giving at Karen’s finish and had some well-earned beers. It was a great opportunity for newer members to get involved with the club and to meet other Hillingdon athletes. The experience and camaraderie of the weekend was amazing, and it was wonderful, to be running in such scenic environment so close to London. What a great team we were and roll on next year. Great thanks to Andy Wood and John Dobbs for all the work that went on behind the scenes to make it so slick and run like clockwork and make it so enjoyable for everyone involved.


Melanie Spencer 

May 20, 2023   Comments Off on Green Belt Relay report

HAC take the honours at Marlow and Pednor 5

Marlow 5 to finish first in their respective races. James won a tight battle to pull away from Simon Millett of Windsor Slough and Eton and fellow HAC club mate Tom Squires over the last 400 metres. James finished in 25:49 and Tom 25:52. Catriona, on her first outing this year, was also involved in a close race with Alex Cook of Wycombe Phoenix Harriers and Katherine Streams of Reading Road Runners who finished 3 and 7 seconds respectively behind Catriona whose time was a brilliant 30:27. Catriona, Rachel Boswell, Nicola Penty- Alverez and Hannah Wells all finished within the first 11 places to win the women’s team prize for the second race in a row, having also picked taken the honours at the Pednor 5. For James this was his second win in two weeks, having also come first at the Pednor 5 on Monday 1st May in a time of 25:57. Full results for the Marlow 5 can be found here and for the Pednor 5 here. The next summer series race is the Regents Park 10km on 3rd June.

May 14, 2023   Comments Off on HAC take the honours at Marlow and Pednor 5

May 2023 5km training run # 2

The second of the summer training runs took place on Thursday 11th May with 26 runners registering. First finisher was Kirk O’ Rourke in a time of 16:55, followed by Edward Spencer in second place in 18:24. First female finisher was Nicki Penty-Alverez in third place overall finishing in a time of 19:31, closely followed by Paul Leppard in 19:32. Full results can be found May 2023 Training Race Result.

A huge thank you to the clubhouse team for the fabulous chicken and vegetarian wraps after the run and to Rob Thompson for the quiz. Also to Andy Torrance for organising the run, and Phil Welch and Gavin Collett for timekeeping and officiating.

May 13, 2023   Comments Off on May 2023 5km training run # 2