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Posts from — April 2024

Mini marathon 2024 report

By Jeff Shotton

The mini marathon recently seems to be blessed with nice mornings, and this was not one to disappoint – with clear skies, a gentle breeze and weather almost breaking the teens (referring to the temperature in Celsius) . The ACTUAL breaking of the teens (i.e the juniors) happened at the 9am start.

This event first started in 1985, and was held the same day as the actual London Marathon, but since 2022 has been run on the Saturday a day before as a separate affair, and this year will see approximately 14000 children take part. There is an emphasis now on inclusion to allow younger runners to take part and hopefully encourage a new generation to partake in more physical activity. Organisation is excellent, with plenty of marshals to direct, security staff, amenities, and signage. There is a DJ/announcer to keep everyone informed and to schedule, and the music pumping while everyone is preparing.

Runners either enter through their school for the one mile ‘open’ event, or qualify for a championship spot. Each school is allowed up to 50 children and is open to all children aged 17 or under. The championship series is held over the final 2.6km of the London Marathon route, and is selective – each borough or region are allowed six children in each category. As you might imagine, this makes championship spots highly competitive. Each year Hillingdon AC will field several runners for the borough, and this year was no exception, with Rosie Bishop, Edey Kestell, Alastair Burton, Barnabe Lesenne-Ward, Lewis Wake, and Ryan Stoddart all securing the right and running for Hillingdon. Along with former club athletes Annabelle Shotton and Marcus Shotton. 

As per previous years, there were 3 age championship age groups for boys and girls, with the U13 consisting of Y7/Y8, U15 belonging to Y9/10 and U17 would come from Y11/12. While London boroughs are each allowed to field their own team of six per category, athletes travel from all over the UK. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland only have one team each – I can only imagine that competition for those places is incredibly fierce.

Next to the start line, the runners are corralled into holding pens for their championship group. Each of these is fizzing with energy as warm-ups are carried out and the athletes chatter excitedly amongst themselves. All runners within a single group wear the same colour shirt so it is very easy to identify where everyone needs to be. The groups are then called forwards in turn to the start line.

Then, for a moment in time, all is quiet. The only sounds coming from the occasional squeak of super-shoes as those wearing carbon plated racers (which appears to be most) adjust for balance and position. To have that many children gathered in one place, yet still be able to hear a pin drop (or shoe squeak), is a true testimony to the seriousness these future GB stars hold this event.

As the runners stand like statues, A lone photographer stands in the centre of the road, around 50m from the start and holding a camera with a lens more akin to a cannon than a Canon. Little does he seem to realise that a thunderous wave of children will reach him within ten seconds and trample him mercilessly underfoot.

Then comes the roar. Like a damn breaking, the flood charges forwards. The cameraman dives for cover. Anything remaining on the path would be swept aside by a torrent of determination as four hundred arms and legs whirl in a blur. As fast as it starts, it is all over again, with the last of the runners disappearing around the corner and into the distance.

As a spectator, unfortunately, this is the highlight. To reach the finish having witnessed the start, one would need to also be wearing a set of super-shoes and employ them vigorously towards the finish line. For most then, the next time their child is seen is walking nonchalantly from the tape up The Mall towards the district holding pens.

Ask how it went, and the tussle, struggles, gamesmanship, effort and sweat are all boiled down to one word. “Good”. Extracting more eloquence from this generation is a work in progress. Maybe I should have sent a whatsapp message instead. Instead, effort is judged by the pinkness of the cheeks and sweat on the brow. But let’s not fool ourselves – they all tried hard and did amazingly well.

Special mention must go to Barnabe Lessene-Ward, finishing 16th in the borough challenge (63rd overall) and in a time of 8 minutes 23 seconds. Congratulations!

U13 Boys- Alastair Burton 201st ,11:31

U15 Boys- Lewis Wake 153rd, 9:28; Marcus Shotton 178th, 9.48

U17 Boys- Ryan Stoddart 140th, 9:17

U13 Girls- Rosie Bishop 133rd, 11:26; Annabelle Shotton U13G, 196th, 12:55

U15 Girls- Edey Kestell 121st, 10:41

Full results available here : https://results.tcslondonmarathon.com/2024/minimarathon/?content=downloadable_files&action=download&id=28891

April 21, 2024   Comments Off on Mini marathon 2024 report

New club record!

Report by Doreen Evans

At one of the first meets of the season last month Bradley Stone, one of our U13 athletes set a new club record in High Jump. The previous record had been in place since 2016 & Bradley took the new record to 1.49m. Great work Bradley & the season is still young! Congratulations.

April 21, 2024   Comments Off on New club record!

TCS London Mini Marathon 2024

We’re inviting young Hillingdon residents between the ages of 11 and 17 years to a trial to be selected to represent Team Hillingdon at the 2024 TCS London Mini Marathon. This is an annual sports event, in which young athletes from across 33 London Boroughs and nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales compete against each other in a 2.6km road race. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 20th April 2024.

Who Can Apply?

The race is open to runners aged between 11 and 17 and covers 2.6 km of the main London Marathon route. To be eligible to represent Team Hillingdon, athletes must either live or go to a school in the borough.

There are three main age categories for the 2024 race as follows (both male and female entrants in each category):

  1. Under-13 male and female (School years 7 and 8) – must have been aged 11 or 12 on Wednesday 31 August 2023;
  2. Under-15 male and female (School years 9 and 10) – must have been aged 13 or 14 on Wednesday 31 August 2023;
  3. Under-17 male and female (School years 11 and 12) – must have been aged 15 or 16 on Wednesday 31st August 2023.

Further information on these age categories can be found on the London Marathon website at https://www.tcslondonmarathon.com/the-event/tcs-mini-london-marathon/the-championships

How to enter

Stage One – Team Hillingdon Selection Process:

To be selected we are inviting young people to attend specific trial/run sessions. We will be using Parkrun, Power of 10 or a recorded race track time as qualifying time submissions to select the final team.

Parkrun details:

  1. Distance – a national 5km run
  2. When – every Saturday 
  3. Start Time – 9.00am
  4. Website – http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

You can refer to the Parkrun website for details of your local run and the course route. 

Stage Two – Register for selection

  1. To take part in a parkrun you need to register online in advance of the first race (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/). You only need to register once to get your unique bar code.
  2. You must take this bar code to every parkrun you take part in, otherwise your time cannot be accredited to you. Parkrun volunteers scan the bar code at the finish line to record who you are and what position you finish within your age group.
  3. Once you have a recorded time either through Parkrun or other race meets/avenues, please submit your race time and complete this form – https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=ebasqoHD-0izIPnVge6Ujwpv6ORBmlFLn776Iu01MDxUMFMzM1I5QjZZNjdZR05DQTdUTlRXQlY0VC4u
  1. It is important to note that boroughs are only allowed to select 6 runners in each age category, therefore selection will be robust. 

What Happens Next?

Subject to your race submission time, we will select participants in each age category. For further information on representing Team Hillingdon, contact us by email at sportsandphysicalactivity@hillingdon.gov.uk 

TCS Mini London Wheelchair and Ambulant/ Para Marathon

Wheelchair and ambulant athlete entry

There is also the opportunity for young athletes who use wheelchairs or have a physical or sensory impairment to take part in the TCS Mini London Marathon championships in the following categories:

  1. Under-14 Boys and Girls Wheelchair
  2. Under-17 Boys and Girls Wheelchair
  3. Under-14 Boys and Girls Ambulant
  4. Under-17 Boys and Girls Ambulant

How to Apply

For further details on taking part in these categories please contact Michelle Weltman, the TCS Mini London Marathon Wheelchair and Ambulant/Para Athlete Coordinator at paraathletes@londonmarathonevents.co.uk

If you would like to discuss anything further, before or after applying, please contact the Hillingdon Sport and Physical Activity team on sportsandphysicalactivity@hillingdon.gov.uk 

April 14, 2024   Comments Off on TCS London Mini Marathon 2024

April 5km training race

The first training race of the summer produced a very good field of 49 finishers with perfect weather conditions for those participating. James Laing finished in first place with a time of 15:56 followed closely by Kallum Pritchard in 16:05. Fits woman finisher was Nikki Penty- Alvarez finishing 7th overal in a time of 20:05. Just under a minute behind Nikki was the returning Hannah Laing in 21:03. A fine curry had been prepared by Mukesh and team back at the clubhouse on a busy night for the clubhouse team. Pete Humm, Zoe Dobbs and Dave Smith were this months quiz masters. The next training race will be on Thursday May 9th. Full results can be found April 2024 5K Training Race Result

April 14, 2024   Comments Off on April 5km training race

Summer series results after race 1-Beaconsfield 5

Congratulations to Nikki Penty Alvarez who finished first HAC runner at the Beaconsfield 5 in 30th place overall and 4th woman in a time of 36:17. Jeff Shotton was the first male HAC runner home in 41st place in a time of 37:08. Fifteen HAC runners participated including Simon Claridge, whose first outing in a HAC vest for some time was a welcome return. Updated points table can be found here Summer series after race one

April 6, 2024   Comments Off on Summer series results after race 1-Beaconsfield 5