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13th Oct, 2023, Chris Rainsford

Highgate Harriers’ junior boys enjoyed a GREAT day out at the English National Road Relays in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, exceeding all expectations to finish 8th.

Thomas Chadwick, birthday boy Alex Mulvihill, and Felix Kent built on their brilliant 5th place at the Southern Road Relays two weeks ago to achieve the club’s best result at U17 level in memory.

Flying out the traps on leg one, 16-year-old Thomas rolled along with the leaders through the opening 3.88k loop. Leading the chase pack by the pond just 1k from the finish, Thomas maintained his position and handed over to Alex just outside the top-10.

“I kind of regretted the salmon salad bagel I had just an hour and half before the race when we were charging down the hill with a kilometre to run,” admitted Thomas afterwards.

“But it was fun to be mixing it with the best in the country and to set the team up for a good one.”

Alex was celebrating his 17th birthday and debuting his new Highgate Harriers Soar vest. Chilling outside the first dozen as he reached the halfway point, Alex repeated his trick from Aldershot a fortnight ago to reel in the field.

“I thought I should put that extra year of wisdom and experience to good use and just bide my time,” said Alex.

“So I picked them off, finished well and can now look forward to a big slice of birthday cake later.”

Alex came home 7th, handing over to Felix on the anchor leg. The North Finchley native had a group of four to work with throughout the final leg.

The consistency from the boys across the three legs was impressive as just 25 seconds separated their efforts.

“Luckily, Thomas and Alex set me up very nicely,” said Felix. “I didn’t have to think too much, just race.”

Felix rocketed home in that highly impressive 8th, above and beyond all pre-race notions and just 26 seconds off a podium spot.

Next up for the team is the Southern Cross Country Relays at Wormwood Scrubs on 21 October. The future prospects of the senior men’s relay team appear to be in safe hands.