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11th Oct, 2023, Alastair Aitken

Six of those Highgate Harriers' men ran in the Six stage National road relay Championships, when Highgate came 7th of 77 starting club teams, at Sutton Coldfield, on the 7th of October 2023. I felt some club people might like to know a little about them, after I had talked to the team. That was when they had completed their legs/stages.

Stage one, was led home by Jacob Allen, in first place, as he also did in the Southern road relay! Jacob is a PE teacher at Central Foundation School. He had run 13:43.75 for 5000 on the track in California in 2018 and in 2022 ran 29:14.41 in the Highgate Harriers Night of PB's. In the six stage relay, after half a mile he was in second place before drawing away from a winning team runner from Leeds, to do his stage in 16:58. "My plan was to take the race from the bottom of the hill'

Jacob Allen, who had  an injury earlier in the year said "I had the Summer off but still kept fit. I hope to get back to running with Alex Lepretre and, I would like to do the London Marathon next year. At school I like to encourage them at sport. It is the football season and we have just had the year 7 cross country race."

Robbie Brown (Leg 2 in 18:06. Came in 3rd) He was at City of York AC but joined Highgate Harriers, while still at Oxford University, one & half years ago. He got a full 'Blue'  for cross-Country for Oxford University but stressed. "I have enjoyed running for Highgate in the Southern relays and the National one. I hope to do cross-country and plan the races to do. I do sessions with Highgate  and, whatever sessions they set".

Alex Lepretre, a commercial solicitor, ran Leg 3 in 18:02. " It did not go well. I did the Berlin Marathon that I did not go that great, I must admit that my training had not quite clicked " (One should note, It was still 2:18.27 which was faster than any Highgate club member has done in history, except for Alex who ran 2:15.01 in the London this year.! He also had a good run in the 12 stage that Highgate won this year)

Roger Poolman (Leg 4 in 17.45)   Roger is a Physics teacher, who studied at Cambridge University. He ran 13:50.78 for 5000 in 2019 and also a personal best 3000 of 8:11, 63 in 2018 which showed obvious talent and, he won a Met League race at Wormwood Scrubs in 2019.. One reason or another he was unable to quite sustain that form, included later with a bout of covid. He has still run well for Highgate and coming back to form. He was fairly happy with his run in the relay on the 7th.                                                                  About his teaching "I run in the morning teaching in the afternoon and,, teach in the morning as well" 

Terry Fawden (Leg 5 -18:09).As he has been with Highgate since being a schoolboy at Highgate School. Terry talked about some of his outstanding results that were special to him?  "Finishing 3rd in the ' B' race in the British Universities cross country, I ran 14:45 for 5k this year. I was 3rd in Manchester in a BMC race in 14:31." Looking back at the time he came ninth in the Junior National cross-country must be special? " Yes; (2014) It was about ,nearly10 years ago now. This year I was 4th in the BUCS steeplechase as well in 9:06  I fell over too in the race!." He added I am doing a degree in Electronics at Cambridge. I have got another couple of years at Cambridge doing that". He also remarked " Unless you are a professional runner, doing the studies balancing with the running is good way of doing it!""

 Rob Wilson (Leg 6 18:16) was the anchor man. He does a lot to help with the club, as Captain of the the cross-country team. He joined Highgate from being at Ealing S&M in 2014. What stands out for Rob as special that he has been involved with  as a runner? "2016 when we won the National 12 stage road relay title. The Southern cross-country in 2023 when we beat Tonbridge by 2 points; Winning the National 12 stage in 2023." You have improved tremendously over the years with the club. with 14:33 for 5000 at Battersea. Which do you prefer road, cross-country or track? "I Iove distance running!"