In the first team competition since the National Cross Country back in February at The Hercules Wimbledon Invitational 5km Mob Match (Saturday 17th Oct), Highgate Harriers Senior Men picked up from exactly where they left off - as undisputed top dogs in London distance running. The ten men of Highgate proving far faster than the competition from south of the river.
The fixture pitted the majority of the teams that make up Surrey XC League Division 1 against Highgate, Serpentine and Victoria Park Harriers in an 11 team mob match. This novel format, designed by Highgate stalwart Ben Noad, saw athletes running in waved starts. Each club had one runner per wave and each wave started exactly 60 seconds after the wave which preceded it. Clubs were requested to seed their runners; with their fastest in wave one, second fastest in wave two, and so on, so as reduce the potential for overtaking on the course. The team competition was calculated on the basis of cumulative time across each club's ten athletes.
Over the challenging course, which saw runners skirt the famous All England Lawn Tennis club before taking on a sizeable hill, Highgate's men showed their class, running out clear victors.
Finishing with three men inside the fastest five times of the day (Roger Poolman, 2nd in 14:50, Alex Leprêtre 3rd in 14:54 and debutant Ash Harrell 5th in 14:57), recording a cumulative time for the 50km of 2:34:48 (averaging 15:28 per man) Highgate put over 4 minutes into second placed Herne Hill Harriers. Highgate men won 7 of the 10 waves outright.
Former British 5km record holder Nick Goolab of Belgrave Harriers ran the fastest wave of the day, winning wave 1 in 14:34.
Full results can be found here
Whilst the Highgate results were:
2. Roger Poolman 14:50
3. Alex Leprêtre 14:54
5. Ash Harrell 14:57 (team debut)
11. Alex Crossland 15:11
14. Harry Wakefield 15:16 (team debut)
23. Robert Wilson 15:36
23. Robel Bahelbi 15:36
29. Sean Renfer 15:47
48. Danny Brewer 16:10
58. Lewis Greaves 16:31 (team debut)