Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Running Still - 133 years of Highgate Harriers (August 2012)

There was a private viewing of 'Running Still' - 133 years of Highgate Harriers, on the  10th of September at the Camden Local Studios and Archive Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn (Exhibition was from 26th of July to Friday the 28th of September 2012).  Thanks' go to the organisers of the Private viewing, Tudor Allen the archivist for the Camden Council ' Love Camden' and Robert Slowe, an Official with Highgate Harriers for 50 years. Bob  was a middle distance runner and County cross-country runner before becoming a noted veteran marathon man.
Robert Slowe  gave a 20 minute introductory talk about the Highgate Harriers. He pointed out that it was at the Old Crown Pub in 1879 that, surprisingly enough, a couple of cricket clubs had decided on something else to do, probably because of the inclement weather which, eventually led them into forming the club to do athletic events.. Back at the start of the next Century Highgate Harriers were the best team at cross-country nationally and won four 'Nationals' in those early days and it took some 100 years, till 2006, before they had two individual runners again in the  first six home but one must point out that Highgate are currently the Southern Senior Men's cross country Champions and in the top six clubs in the country at that discipline in 2012. Bob pointed to the exhibits which include the Cups, photos and historic articles about the club..
   In the last 'Great' War'  only the walking section continued to compete. One of those, who walked for England Charlie Megnin, even dodged the bombs when walking home on one occasion!
   It was in 2003 that the President of the club at the time, Jeanne Coker and the Women's section celebrated 50 years since the Ladies section was originally formed, to join the men of Highgate..One outstanding runner over those 50 years was Maureen Smith (nee Boannano) who was the second woman ever to break 5 minutes for the mile back in the 1950's.
   Highgate Harriers are currently the National 'Over 35'  Masters (veterans) Road Relay Champions and their women have won the title of Metropolitan League Champions for 7 of the last  8 years.
   Amongst those notables at the Private viewing were Highgate's current Olympic sprinter from the Camden area Simeon Williamson and Ex-World 10k record holder and London Marathon organiser David Bedford.

Alastair Aitken

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