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31st Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

HIGHGATE MEN WIN MIDDLESEX MASTERS

Highgate's Over 40's Men’s team was the first team in the first race of the day, over tufted and the lightly undulating Trent Park course. The 4- Man scoring team were all over 50, which was remarkable. Highgate's 53 year old Sion Parry (35:40) was crowned as Middlesex individual Masters Champion. The other Highgate scorers in the winning team were: 3rd, Alex Davidson (37:37) who will be 60 on 4 May; 4th, Chris Beecham, 37:48 and 14th Joseph Lowe, 41.07. Outside the scoring four but also running for Highgate was John O'Shea (55) in 28th in 45:14.

Louise Faherty (V45) was 2nd in the over 45 women’s race in 28:44 and Sabina Russell (V55) was first in over 55 women’s race in 29:42.

31st Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

GILFEDDER RUNS WELL AT HYDE PARK

In the last Friday of the month 5k road race on 25th of March, near the Serpentine in Hyde Park, John Gilfedder of Highgate Harriers came fourth in 16:02 out of a field of 182. That followed his two wins in the Gladstone Park run and a 2:34.05 time in the London Marathon last year. In the Hyde Park race, ex-Highgate Harrier Andrew Aitken (44) ran 17:00 in 23rd place and, over 55 runner John O'Shea was 84th in 20:49. The winner was the well-established Andy Greenleaf of Serpentine RC in 15:27. 

27th Mar, 2022, Kani Hinshelwood

Get Involved

Highgate Harriers relies on volunteers to organise activities, coach our athletes, and officiate at events. If you are interested in helping with any of the roles listed below, we would be pleased to hear from you.  

We are keen to increase the number of UKA accredited officials at Highgate Harriers. Throughout your development, you will be mentored by experienced officials and learning costs will be covered by the club.

Our Track & Field Helper roles can be undertaken on an occasional basis and are a great way for non-competing, resting or recovering athletes, parents of young athletes, and 16+ years D of E students to support their club. 

https://www.highgateharriers.org.uk/get-involved

 

23rd Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate Harriers team victory at Victoria Park

On Saturday 19 March Highgate Harriers won the team award with London Heathside second and Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets third at the Mike Penman Victoria Park Open Five Mile race. The race was won by Edward Chuck of Dulwich in 24:18. Highgate Harrier Alex Bampton was second, 7 seconds behind him. In 2019 Alex had some great runs including 14:57 for 5k, 67:13 for a half-marathon and in the Frankfurt Marathon he ran a personal best of 2:21.59. The rest of the Highgate 'A' team were: 5, Sean Renfer, 25:08; 6, Robert Wilson, 25:11 and 10, Chris Hicks, 26:37. Out of the field of 131 the first Highgate 'B' runner in 17th was Andres Chau in 27:11 and the second 'B' runner was Highgate Club Secretary Johnny Laybourne in 23rd spot in 27:44. The 'B' team were the fifth club team of 14. Over 50 runner John O'Shea finished 66th in 34:35.

23rd Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Jacob Allen back to fast running

One of Highgate's top runners did a Finsbury Park Parkrun record on 5 March. Jacob Allen's new course record was timed at 14.58 and he was well ahead of the second man Sam Mills of Kent AC, who ran 17:10. Metropolitan League winner at Uxbridge, teacher Allen had been side lined with Covid but is now in the sort of form that will encourage Highgate's team for the Southern and National Road Relays. On 5 March 573 finished and over 50 runner Chris Beecham was 18th in 19:01. 

15th Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Very fast time by Alex

Highgate Harrier Alex Leprete continued his good form this season with an incredibly fast time and a course record to win the Paddock Wood half marathon on 13 March. Alex ran 1hr 4min 39 sec to easily beat the course record set many years ago. The race has previously been won by several top international runners.

15th Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Ross Dashes Home

Highgate Harrier, James Ross, came 3rd in the Wimbledon 5k Dash, around the roads of Wimbledon on Sunday morning the 13th of March. It was out of a field of 136 finishers. Ross had won the Deal half marathon on the 20th of February and his time at Wimbledon was 15:26, not far behind the winner from Hercules, Bradley Goater, who was timed at 15:17.  The other Highgate runners were: 8th James Sudmeier, 16:11; 14, Henry Murdoch, 16:33; 21, Johnny Laybourn, 17:14; 77, Rob Saunders, 20:29 and 95, David Sutherland, 22:04.

15th Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Hannah Viner in great form

Hannah Viner was the first Middlesex runner in the Senior Women’s Inter-County Cross Country Championship at Loughborough on Saturday 12 March.  She finished 17th in 33:09 out of 274 finishers. She had won the Middlesex Cross Country Championships at Greenford on 8 January in muddy conditions which she also experienced at Loughborough, which was an even better run than she had in the National at Parliament Hill when she finished 23rd. Hannah ran some useful track races when winning 800m and 1500m events in the BMC events last season.

8th Mar, 2022, dbrewer

The First IAAF World Cup

                                      Looking Back

The first ever World IAAF athletics Cup was held in Dusseldorf, West Germany on the 2-4 of September 1977 and, in some ways,  more exciting than the following one’s. Perhaps Dusseldorf does not quite stand up to the glamour of places like  Rome, Tokyo or Rio but still  the athletics  was intense. I was also at the 1994 World Cup, near my home in Crystal Palace and, have quite a bit to say about some of the African team that won the Men’s competition but, firstly it will be  1977. The event was split up into the following teams GDR; USA ;FRG (As the Hosts); Europe; Americas; Oceania and Asia. The 1977 competition was won by GDR Men/ Europa Women. In 1994 it was Africa Men and Europe Women were the winners.

1977 World Cup

Several performances stand out.  Irena Szewinska (Poland/EUR) won the women’s 200 in 22.72 and the 400 in 49.52. The  latter ahead of Marita Koch (GDR) who did 49.6. Popular Norwegian Greta Waitz, running for Europe, won the 3000 in 8:43. 5 beating the Olympic 1972 1500 Champion, Lyudmila Bragina  (URS/Russia) who ran 8:46.3 for second position.

Regarding the Men, there were a lot of interesting high quality middle distance runners taking part.

Ethiopian, Miruts Yifter ‘The Shifter’ who won the 5 & 10,000 in the 1980 Moscow Olympics won the  5 & 10, in Dusseldorf for Africa and in the 5000 the first 4 were high caliber runners. Yifter did 13:13.8; Marty Liquori, voted by the top American magazine Track &

Field News as No,1 in the World for that year over 5000) 2nd  13:15.1; Australian Dave Fitzsimons of Oceania was 3rd in 13:17.4 and 4th of 8 was Nick Rose of EUR /GBR) 13:20.4’

In athletics, as so often happens there is a changing of the guard at the pinnacle 0f World  athletics stardom. The Greatest miler of 1975 & 76 was 1976 Olympic Champion John Walker of New Zealand, who was the first man to run under 3:50 for a mile. Along came the fast improving Steve Ovett, Here in this one race the indicator was out for a new person to hit the top. Steve Ovett overtook John Walker and the man who came 2nd Thomas Wessinghage of FRG in the last ap when Ovett ran a 54.5, with a last 200 in 25.1. Ovett’s winning time was 3:34.5, a UK record with Thomas  Wessinghage of FRG in 3:36.0 and Jurgen Straub (2nd in Moscow) of GDR 3rd in 3:37.5. So, Steve Ovett, Coe and a little later Steve Cram, took the middle distance supremacy back from the .’Great’. New Zealanders.

            There was an almighty clash in the final straight of the World Cup 800 when the ‘Giant’; 1976 Olympic 400/800 Champion, Alberto Juantorena ‘White Lighting’ from Cuba came up against that ‘Great’ Kenyan Mike Boit, No 1 in the World in 1975. In Dusseldorf the 800 was won by the  Alberto Juantorena but only by a tenth. It was 1 Alberto Juantorna of AMER/Cuba 1:44.0; 2 Mike Boit Kenya and Africa 1:44.1 3 Willi Wulbeck (FRG) 1:45.5; Mike Boit. was a  close up third in the Olympic 800 in Munich in 1972 (1:46.01) but when he was training out in Kenya, less than a year before he was unable to run much faster than 1:49-He made a remark to me, showing great modesty, which fascinated me “ In the school in Kenya in 1971 Bruce Tulloh taught me. I remember Bruce telling me I was as good as anyone else in the 8oo and I couldn’t believe it.  I thought  he was probably trying to create some interest to make to make me keep going.! I ran cross-country with Bruce to build stamina . We were looking ahead to the Olympics of ‘72 but I was not quite sure. I did not think I was going to make the team as there were several runners better than me at that time” That showed what a great motivator Bruce was, with, his background of being a European Champion over 5000 in 1962.

              Edwin Moses had 122 400 hurdles races that he won outright, before being beaten by a fellow countryman Danny Harris. He had two very big rivals from Germany and they were 2nd and 3rd in the World Cup in 1977 1 Edwin Moses (USA) 47.58, 2 Volker Beck GDR 48:83; NS 3 Harald Schmid (Frg) 48:85 and 4th in that was European Champion of 74’ Alan Pascoe (Europe and GBR) 49:73.

What was Edwin Moses most satisfying  performance ?

I think the AAU at Los Angles, Westwood, when I broke the World record of 47.45, on the 11th of June 1977- It beat the record I had set in Montreal (Olympcis in 76), although it was not really a good race Knowing I had run that time under those conditions told me I was in terrific shape at the time. It gave me a sign which told me to keep going, as I could go under 47 seconds

Steve Williams was a Big Tommie Smith fan. And ran a World record  of 9.9 for 100m in the AAU Chamionships ahead of Don Quarrie, Reggie Jones, Ivory Crockett etc. Steve won  the AAA Championships 100 at Crystal Palace in 1974 in windy  conditions in 10.2 and that, was a where I met him for the first time. He was injured at the two Olympic which was a big blow and his consolation prize was winning the World Cup 100 in Dusseldorf for the United State in 10.13 2nd was Eugene Ray (GDR) 10.15; 3rd Silvio Leonard (Cuba/Americas) 10.19 and 4th Pietro Mennea (Italya/EUR0). In Dusseldorf Steve Williams was part of the World record winning USA 4x100 relay team that won in 38.03 and the team included Steve Williams, Steve Riddick, Cliff Wiley and Bill Collins)

Now for something completely  different that I asked Steve.What music did he like?                               “ I don’t go nowhere. without my music. I am pretty diversified with the music I like. Jazz, rock. Popular music. My knew kick is very strange electric sort of music. I like Herbie Hancock and Wes Montgomery.  I am a guitar freak. My favorite guitar player is Jimmy Hendrix. An Italian guy asked me  if I was to come back as somebody else, who would it be. I said I would come back as Jimmy Hendrix . I think that would be the life: making money playing the guitar.

 

Regards Alastair Aitken

8th Mar, 2022, dbrewer

Ron Hill MBE ‘A Legendary Character’

Ron Hill MBE ‘A Legendary Character’ (March 2022)

 Ron Hill will go down in athletics history as one of the ‘Greatest’ all-round distance competitors, not just as a ‘Big’ Championship marathon winner but, also as one of the truly ‘Great’ club athletes that strikes at the heart of grass roots athletics. He did end up being with Clayton Le Moors club but it was Bolton & Lancashire’s County teams that he ran his successful road relay’s and cross-countries or as, I am sure his international Bolton United clubmate, Mike Freary would testify. Ron ran, even if injured, up to a mile a day between 1964 and 2017; that was 19,032 consecutive days).When he stopped running seriously was when he had heart trouble on a run in 2017 and, did not want to be a danger to his family particularly his wife May and, his two sons. However, even with the oncoming of a dementia related illness in 2018 when he was 80 he still managed a Park run at Hyde Park   ‘You can’t keep a good man down’ one is tempted to say’ (He died May 23rd 2021)

Ron  was born in Accrington in Lancashire on the 25th of September in 1938 and, his parents became supportive of his love for running, when he went to Accrington Grammar School. He was in the athletics team but. all his life in one way or another, he really worked hard for his eventual success in the sport. He got a PH.D at Manchester University. He then worked at a large textile firm as a research chemist and his knowledge, grew and grew. He invented those Ron Hill Freedom shorts & string vests , that were very popular, particularly in the 1970’s and 80’s and he founded Ron Hill Sports, which his two sons have worked for. Even in 1964 when I talked to him first of all he said “My wife May never grumbles when I am so often away from home racing. I don’t talk about athletics much at work, as it is personal but to a lot of other athletes I do”

As the years went by he learnt about the best diet for the week of a marathon build up. A lot of runners followed his ideas about a  protein diet followed by the last three days of carbohydrates. He was also a good organizer of events in later years.

Regarding his career I have decided not to pick a lot on the failures he thought he had had on the way but more on his successes, which to me are quite revealing in themselves. I asked him in early 1964;

What was his most satisfying result to that date?” he said to Alastair Aitken then “My win against the  Americans at the White City in 27:56.0 over 6 miles in July (63) on a sloppy track, on a windy day.-It proved my AAA’s win in 27:49.8 was not just a flash in the pan’ particularly as I ducked under 28 minutes twice in three weeks”(Jim Hogan was 2nd in the AAA’s in 27:54.2 ). 

On the 14th of  October 1964 Ron ran his first Olympic race in Tokyo over 10,000. He was the first GB runner in 29:53.0 and on the 21st of October Ron ran the marathon in 2:25.34.4 coming 19th of 53 (Basil Heatley 2nd and Brian Kilby 4th were the other GB runners)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In 1966 and 1968 Ron Hill won the National cross-country but it was Tim Johnston of Cambridge University’ who, back in 1963 won the Inter-Counties & British Universities  (Ron was 4th  in the latter) Memorable because they were all in the considerable snow about at the time! In the former Gerry North the 1962 National Champion was 2nd. After that Bas Heatley won the National in the mud in 1963. A very good cross-country runner in tough races was Thurrock’s Mel Batty who won in 1964 & 1965, with  Ron Hill 3rd in the former and in 1965 Ron was 4th English runner behind winner Mel Batty. Dick Taylor won in 1967 and Trevor Wright in 1970. Ron was 2nd in the 1964 International. The really amazing National was when at Graves Park, Sheffield in 1966. Ron Hill won  by a few inches from Mike Turner of Liverpool and Cambridge University, in their last 100 for a dash for the line. Of the two times in the International (Old World CC) when Ron came 2nd in Tunis in 1968 in 35.27. just one second behind Mohamed Gammoudi of TunisIa (25:26), who gained gold silver and bronze medals over the space of three Olympics at 5 or 10k.  Ian Stewart, that great competitor, waxed lyrical about Mohammed’s ability. when I talked to him. 3rd in Tunis was Roy Fowler (35:32) who won in 1963. Like with Mike Tagg’s victory in 1970. They both finished just in front of  Gaston Roelants, the 1964 Olympic steeplechase Champion.                            Often, like with Bruce Tulloh the 1962 European 5k Champion Ron Hill, ran barefoot on the country and the track. The Lancashire team were very  often in the frame as winners of the CAU inter-Counties senior CC race with runners like Mike Turner,  and Mike Freary running and of course Ron Hill too.

In 1968 Ron Hill ran in the Mexico Olympics at high altitude. It was in the 10,000 where so many came unstuck. Ron Hill came 7th in 29:53.2 just behind Multi World record holder Ron Clarke (6th) of Australia 29:44.8 suffering the serious effects of altitude. Bill Adcocks was 5th in the marathon. Tim Johston 8th, Because of the effects of altitude Tim told me in Mexico “it was a’B…. waste of time racing at altitude in the those Olympics” so. all in all it must be a plus for Ron Hill.  Ron ran in 115 marathons in all so, I am going to pick out about a few but, of course, one must also remember he ran a World Best for 25,000 of  1:15:22.6 on July 21st 1965. His fastest 10 miles was 46.44.0 and he ran 6 miles on the track in 27:26.0  He was only the second person to ever break 2:10 for a marathon. Something of interest was Ron never liked to train with anyone after his university days and went for extensive runs in the country side on his own, which did upset one farmer when he ran across his land. Even though it was a public footpath. and he physically turfed Ron off the ground, Ron had a few things to say!

In the very hot conditions of Athens on the historic route he was  first in the European Championships of 1969.

21st of September 1.Ron Hill (GB) 2:16.48; 2 Gaston Roelants (Belgium)2:17.22.2; 3 Jim Alder (GB) 1:19,05.8. I talked to Ron in Glyfada/Athens and at his home about the race.

Ron comes in “At about 32 kilometers at the end of a long hilI I could still not see Roelants. as he was out of sight, but the message was he was 2 minutes ahead at one stage earlier and I did not know just how far he was ahead at this stage. It was when we came to the top of the hill I gained a psychological boost: all it was from this point was downhill run to the finish. I was feeling good.                        I remembered when training over the course that I had seen this sign that it was only a matter of six miles downhill run to the finish. I remembered thinking then’ When you see this sign in the race you know there are no more hills. I changed gear and started running faster. Jim Alder changed gear as well, but not so drastically as I had done, and I went past him and away, and that was it I was certainly worried at that point but at the time the main thought was simply to maintain the pace for as long as possible and hold on to that silver medal. With a mile to go I suddenly saw Gaston ahead of me, and it was just with half a mile to go I chopped him. When I got nearer to the finish. I went down towards the orange lights. I had no idea where Roelants was. I could see where the stadium was  on the left hand side, over the Central reservation and moved from the right hand carriage way to the left hand side’ Just as I did this a landrover went right across in front of me-one of the convoy leading the race so  I almost collided  with the vehicle, my hands stretched out in front of me to stop the impact. Needless to say he got a mouth full of English he probably didn’t understand. I continued running up the ramp into the stadium and almost sprinted along the track to the finish’

I thought’’ That’s shown’em. A few days afterwards when you can think back ‘I won the European Championships’ it’s a nice feeling”

On the 20th of April 1970, Ron Hill sped through a continuous down-poor of rain to take the famous Boston Marathon race victory in a course record breaking 2:10.30, which was the second fastest ever time recorded and finished 42 seconds ahead of Eamon O’Reilly with Pat McMahon 3rd in 2:14.53.

      “I did not intend at the outset of  taking the cross-country seriously this Winter as I have in the past., and yet  was only part of the buildup. For in the past cross country was an end in itself. It was part of the marathon build up for the Commonwealth” said Ron.

 In the athletes village, before the Commonwealth Marathon in Edinburgh, it appeared to me Derek Clayton, running for Australia was very confident, particularly as he had run a World record of 2:08.35 for the marathon in 1969 but of course in Edinburgh on the 25th of July 1970. amongst others  to contend with who were running was Ron Hill and 1966 Commonwealth Champion Jim Alder!

As well as a fast man over the Athens marathon course  Olympic 5th placer Bill Adcocks.

The race started and in the front was Jerome Drayton of Canada and Harnek Singh were just in front of Derek Clayton with Ron Hill just tucked in behind that. Drayton was leading the front group as they went through 5 miles in 23:21. Ron Hill had  gone ahead by 10 miles in 47:45. Ron  was still ahead at half way in 1:2.35.It was 1:37.32 at 20 miles and two of his toughest opposition Drayton and Clayton, had dropped out. Morpeth’s Jim Alder was now in second place. Don Faircloth started to move and went into 3rd position. Into the Meadowbank stadium Ron came in. It was quite something to see. It was the fastest ever competitive marathon time to date of 2:09:28; 2nd was Jim Alder (Scotland) 2:12.04; 3rd  Croydon’s, Don Faircloth (England) 2:12.19.

On the 12th of August 1971 in the European Marathon Championships in Helsinki the winner was Karel Lismont of Belgium (2:13.09) but all three British competitors filled the next three positions., one of those being Ron. 2nd Trevor Wright 2:13.59.6; 3 Ron Hill2:14.34.8, and 4 Colin Kirkham 2:16.22.

In 1972 was Ron’s third Olympic Games and he ran the Marathon, won by stylish Frank Shorter of the USA in 2:12.19.8. Ron Hill was the first British runner in 6th place in 2:16:30.6 just one ahead of Don Macgregor of GB who did. 2:16.34.4. Amongst many other claims to fame over his extensive career was when in 1975 he ran 2.15.59.2 for a course record, when winning the Enschede marathon in Holland and he won the event back in 1973 too. He will always go down as an inspiring Northerner to all that had the chance to talk to him or saw him running in so many places.

 

Regards Alastair Aitken.

  

 

 

 

 

5th Mar, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate's Senior Men's team finish sixth in the country

Highgate’s Senior Men’s team finished sixth out of 132 teams that finished in the National Cross Country at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday 26 February. There were an amazing 2,089 runners who completed the three-lap, glue like, Hampstead Heath course, as a lot of the time it was running through thick mud. There was another sparkling performance by Alex Lepretre, who came 17th in 43:22 ahead of 'A Star' Surrey runner, Dominic Nolan of Croydon (18th) and the Middlesex Champion, Dylan Evans of Shaftesbury Barnet (20th). The rest of the Highgate scorers were: 83, Alex Bampton 46:02; 84, Pete Chambers 46:02; 99, Rob Bahelbi, 46:21; 105, Charlie Haywood, 46:30; and Roger Poolman,125th in 46:50.

Highgate finished ahead of some 'Big Hitters' like Sale, Bedford, Notts AC and Aldershot. Other Highgate runners to finish very highly in the huge field were: 177, Rob Wilson, 47:43; 208, Sean Renfer, 48:20; 247, James Ross, 48:57and 261, Henry Murdoch 49:04 The race was won by Mohamed Mohamed (40:52) of the winning Southampton AC team. 

1,016 finished the Senior Women’s race. Hannah Viner, who had been second in the last two Metropolitan League races, came in a good 23rd in 31:16. The other scorers were:146, Karina Thornton, 35:28 and 190, Emily Young, 36:33.  Also in the field were: 327, Ellen Kerr, 39:13, 352, Sabina Russell, 39:37; 393, Jemima Storey, 40:28; and 402, Natasha Cendrowicz, 40:38. The winner of the race was Jessica Gibbon of Reading AC in 29:00.

A few of the other results for 'The Gate’. In the Junior Men's race Kamal Hamid was the first Highgate junior home in 109th of 215. In the Under 17 Women’s race Lauren Russell was 62nd and Jess Parry 89th as the first two Highgate home. Jack Bailey was 89th in the Under 17 Men’s race out of 313. Ellen Donald continued to run well in coming 41st of 145 finishers in the Junior Women’s race and Mia Parry was 79th. It was noticeable that Highgate had a good amount of runners in the Under 15 race for boys and these were the names: 22nd, Thomas Chadwick in 15:24; 111, Joseph Hayes;150, Felix Kent; 178, Alexander Mulvihill; 281, James Cameron; 336, Riyad Saleh; and: and 385, Joseph Drinkell.

22nd Feb, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate men win clearly without a fight!

After the storms on Friday (18 February), and after discussions with Enfield Council, the fifth and final Start Fitness Metropolitan League fixture due to be held at Trent Park on 19 February was cancelled. As a result, the standings after the fourth fixture held on 15 January stand as the final overall League result in all categories. That, of course, includes results from the Claybury, Welwyn, Uxbridge and Wormwood Scrubs races combined. The organisers said they could not re-schedule the final fixture so the points would stand. Therefore, the Howard Williams Trophy for the most successful Senior Men and Women combined points would go to Highgate Harriers.

The full League table for the Men in Division 1 was: 1, Highgate Harriers, 6,046 points; 2, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, 5,127; 3, London Heathside, 4,252; 4, Thames Valley Harriers, 4,230; 5, Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, 4,053; 6, Ealing, Southall & Middlesex, 4,037; 7, Hillingdon AC, 3,461; 8, Highgate Harriers' B', 2,600; 9, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets 'B’, 2,268; 10, Serpentine RC, 1,929; 11, Trent Park RC, 1,883 and 12, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, 1,814.

London Heathside topped the Women’s Division 1 with 1,396 points with Highgate Harriers second with 1,122 and Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets third with 1,084. The Highgate Under 13 girls did well by being third of 20 clubs in their division.

On the day the Met League was cancelled, one of Highgate's top dozen distance runners Pete Chambers was fifth in Division 2 of the Surrey League race at Lloyd Park. Croydon; and he also won a ‘Mob Match’ between the Striders of Croydon and Croydon Harriers at the Parkrun at South Norwood Country Park earlier in the month.

19th Feb, 2022, Kani Hinshelwood

Highgate Harriers QuadKids 2022

The first session of QuadKids for 2022 will be held on Sunday 6th March at the Parliament Hill track.  QuadKids is a fun introduction to athletics for children up to the age of 12.  No previous athletics experience is required and it is not necessary to be a member of Highgate Harriers or any other athletics club. 

 

Time and location

QuadKids is held at the Parliament Hill Track. 

The registration desk will open at 11:30, to pick up participant numbers, and we will kick-off events at 12:00. We aim to finish at 13:30/14:00.   

Events 

At each QuadKids session participants are divided into two groups, under 7 years and 7-12 years, and everyone has an opportunity to participate in 4 events. The events are a sprint, a throw, a jump and a longer run.  

For the under 7 group the sprint is 50 metres and the longer run is 400 meters.  The runs for the older participants are a 75 metre sprint and a 600 metre long run. 

Registration 

Online registration is strongly encouraged and is open now at: https://webcollect.org.uk/highgate 

It is also possible to register on the day at 11:30. If this is your preferred option, it would be very helpful if you could send an email to quadkids@highgateharriers.org.uk with the children’s names and ages so that we have an idea of how many onsite registrations to expect. 

The registration fee is £3. 

Results 

Results are posted on the Quad Kids website http://www.quadkids.org/clubs and they are usually available the next day.  

At the end of each session every participant receives a certificate on which they can fill in their results and then watch their progress from month to month! 

Water and snacks 

Please bring your own water/drinks and snacks.  There is a bottle filler available at the track. =

Observers 

Parents/observers are welcome to attend. We may be looking for volunteers on the day to help with events – thank you in advance for your assistance!

Future dates

Our plan is to hold QuadKids on the first Sunday of the month from March to September so reserve the following dates on your calendar: 6th March, 3rd April, 1st May, 5th June, 3rd July, 7th August, 4th September.  

 

I hope to see you at QuadKids! 

 

Brenda (Myers)

quadkids@highgateharriers.org.uk

9th Feb, 2022, Alastair Aitken

League Glory Day Approaches

On the 19th of February Highgate Harriers’ senior men go for their eighth consecutive victory, out of 21 clubs, in the Metropolitan League Cross Country at Trent Park, Cockfosters. They have an excellent chance of carrying off the trophy. The leading three clubs after the fourth of five Start Fitness Metropolitan League fixtures were: 1, Highgate, 6,046; 2, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, 5,127; and 3, London Heathside, 4,252. 

Two Highgate Harriers ran in the first Metropolitan League in Hainault Forrest in 1966. They were twice Club President Terry Driscoll and Press Secretary Alastair Aitken. The fields have grown and grown since then.

In the first four League races of this season, one of the successful Highgate Harriers has been Alex Lepretre. His finishing positions in the first four fixtures were 5, 3, 2 and 2 respectively. In the fourth one he was second at Wormwood Scrubs on the 15th of January. He gave an exclusive interview to Highgate's Press Secretary. The winner for the second time was Tom Frith of Woodford Green & Essex Ladies.  Alex comes in:

"We had been told to expect the worst conditions at the Scrubs in years, and following on from the incredibly muddy and boggy Horsenden Hill at the Middlesex Championships, it's fair to say everyone was expecting the worst. It turned out that, whilst still very muddy and with some standing water in some places, it wasn't quite as bad as feared, and in fact there were some patches where some good running was to be had. Indeed, the first mile went out in a touch over 5 minutes, although it did settle down somewhat after that. There was a decent group for the early part of the race, with a TVH runner taking out the race at first, but by the time that we got to about a mile in, it was Tom Frith and myself. Tom and I battled it out most of the way round, exchanging the lead on a couple of occasions but never quite managing to shake the other until about 3.5 miles when Tom made a move to which I couldn't quite respond and he built up a lead which he consolidated during the rest of the race."

6th Feb, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate Harriers Silver Lining

Highgate Harriers’ Senior Men’s team men gained silver medals in the South of England Cross Country Championships at Beckenham Place Park on Saturday 29 January.  It was over a winding, undulating, but dry, course. The first six teams, out of the 60 odd clubs entered were: 1, Southampton A.C. 121; 2, Highgate Harriers 221; 3, Tonbridge A.C, 230; 4, Hercules Wimbledon, 313; 5, Belgrave, 474; and 6, South London Harriers 526.

Alex Lepretre, led Highgate home in seventh in 48:23. Just before half way he led the field but, several international runners were close behind, ready to pounce. One of those was the winner Andy Coley-Maud of Guildford & Godalming. He won in 47:41. He will be remembered just a few years ago running some very good races in the Highgate Harriers colours but the last time he ran the Southern for Highgate he had to drop out with an injury coming on. However, he has run uninjured recently and told me he is now training on forest trails, which helped him not get injured again. He will be one to watch for a possible top three place in the National Cross Country at Parliament Hill Fields on the 26 February. Highgate are expected to have a strong team for the National but, unfortunately, two of their outstanding runners, Seyed Taha Ghafari and Jacob Allen have been injured. Allen should be back fairly shortly but Ghafari has a more serious injury. I am sure the Manager of the best runners, Ben Pochee, hopes both will be in good form for the National 12 Stage Road Relay on 9 April at Sutton Park, Birmingham. It could make a great deal of difference in that for the club!

At the Southern, Highgate’s first 9 home out of 685 finishers were well inside the first 100. They were: 7, Alex Lepretre 48:23; 27, Robel Bahelbi, 50:12; 40, Charlie Haywood, 50:59; 47, Roger Poolman, 51:26; 49, Sean Renfer, 51:30; 51, Alex Bampton, 51:43; 56, Pete Chambers, 51:55; 82, James Ross 53;17; 85, Henry Murdoch 53:31.

In the Under 17 Men’s race Jack Bailey came 24th of 139 finishers in 21:18 and, his father the 'over 55' Highgate Harriers Club President Chris Bailey, went round in 603 place in the senior race out of 685 finishers. Monte Watson did well to come 46th in the Under 20 race.

Hannah Viner of Highgate was 6th of 366 finishers in the Senior Women’s race in 29:43. She finished very fast but said she had a bad patch in the middle of the race. The other high placers were: 23 Yasmin Goater (31:06); 58, Karina Thornton (32:59); and 148, Sabina Russell 36:13. Highgate Harriers were the 5th team of 45 clubs. Aldershot Farnham & District A.C was the winning team.

23rd Jan, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate ignite in the mud

After the fourth Start Fitness Metropolitan League fixture at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday, 15th January, Highgate Harriers men’s team are in first place in the top Division One, with 6,046 points and in second place are Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets with 5,127. That news should boost the men in the club, who go into the last match at Trent Park on the 19th of February.

In the squelching conditions, after all the rain, Highgate were far from put off. Their 12-man team were in the first 78 places out of the 439 finishers. The team were led in by Alex Lepretre, who had come second the previous week in the Middlesex Championships. At Wormwood Scrubs he was second again in 25:12 with Robel Bahelbi third in 25:39. The rest of the team were: 10, Sean Renfer, 26:06; 32, Roger Poolman, 27:08; 35, James Ross, 27:11; 36, James Barber, 27:12; 41, Lewis Greaves, 27:24; 43, Henry Murdoch, 27:34; 56, David Shepherd, 28:01; 57, Pete Chambers, 28:01; 62, Daniel Brewer 28:11; 78, Finlay Sleeman (U20) 28:46. 

Three people stood out for me and they were Alex Lepretre, who in deplorable conditions had been second in the Middlesex the Saturday before; Finlay Sleeman, the youngest in the team, making the cut as 12th man and, in 205th place, Chris Beecham, who some 12 to 15 years ago was one of the top two distance runners in the club and is still running well as an over 50-year old.

Currently one of Highgate Harriers’ best distance runners. who won a recent Met League, is Jacob Allen who was recently selected to run for England in Spain at Elgoibar. Despite a dodgy foot injury, he came home in 21st place. I’m sure we will hear a lot more of Allen in the future for the club as I think his best is yet to come!

Back at Wormwood Scrubs, Jack Bailey was third in the Under 17 Men’s race and his brother Liam was fifth in his race (Under 15 Boys).

Women in for a Grand Stand Finish?

Highgate Harriers women's team have been improving as the season goes on. The comfortable overall leaders at the moment in the team competition are London Heathside, after four of the five matches, with 1,396 points but up to second now are Highgate Harriers with 1,122 and third are Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets with 1,084. With a 'Super-Human effort' Highgate might pull it off. They have done it before at the last gasp.

The winner in the Senior Women’s race on Saturday the 15th was Jess Hawling of London Heathside (28:33), but in second place was Hannah Viner of Highgate. The times of the first six Highgate women scorers were: Hannah Viner 29:15; 4, Yasmin Goater, 30:22; 9 (1st Under 20) Ellen Donald, 31:04; 32, Emily Young, 32:54, 38, Mia Parry (Under 20) 33:21 and 42, Louise Faherty, 33:37.

Lauren Russell was fourth in the Under 17 Women’s race in 15:45. Izzy Ions was fifth in the Under 13 girls race, 12.27; 11th was Eloise Lindley and 12th Mia Cobbold.

Starting out in the youngest age group Highgate's Jack Cobbold was 26th of 48 in the Under 11 boys - not bad for a nine year old!

9th Jan, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Highgate women excel in the rain

In damp muddy conditions at Greenford, Hannah Viner, who was second in the Middlesex Cross Country Championships in 2017, was in great form winning well, out of 97 competitors. Hannah, a previous Met League winner and international on the road on the Continent. won the race in 32:26. Highgate's Yasmin Goater was fourth in 34:13, Karina Thornton was 23rd in 38:26; and Louise Faherty was 27th in 39:08 to complete the scoring team of four. Highgate took third place in the team competition with 55 points, the same number as London Heathside who were second. The winners were Trent Park with 44 points, from the 13 completed clubs. The other Highgate runners were Sabina Russell in 36th in 40:53, Ellen Kerr in 39th in 41:14, Natasha Cendrowicz in 47th in 43:14 and Joanna Gardner in 60th in 45:37. 

Regarding the men, only one of their 'Star' runners was in action, which will not be the case in the Metropolitan League races. The winner out of 146 finishers was Shaftesbury's Dylan Evans in 43:54 but not far behind was Highgate's Alex Lepretre in 44:19. Daniel Brewer ran well for 35th in 52:14; 51st was Alex Davidson in 53:23; and also well in the first 100 were Christopher Wright in 61st (55:28) and Joseph Lowe in 77th (57:47). The Highgate team placed 6th.

3rd Jan, 2022, Kani Hinshelwood

BOXING DAY RACE 26TH DECEMBER 2021

 

The Club would like to thank Deborah and Adrian Laing who, along with other members of their family, have kept this great traditional race going. Long may it continue!

• The rain had brought areas of North London to a halt with road floods. So the start of the race was a little later than usual at 11.15.

• The torrential rain had left the Heath waterlogged and meant that the race started on the footpath. The course continued past the ladies swimming ponds and across the two fields near Kenwood to the Mile Gate - sinking into deep mud and puddles all the way home to the finish line anext to Parliament Hill track.

• First place was won by Thomas Chadwick in a time of 21.19. who is the winner of the Bottomist Trophy for 2021.

• Thomas Chadwick and Peter Laing valiantly battled it out for first place for most of the race – with Thomas Chadwick pushing ahead at the final stage. Peter Laing came second in a time of 21.22.

• The race results in full are as follows:

1. Thomas Chadwick 21.19
2. Peter Laing 21.22
3. Daniel Hickson 22.21
4. Alex Chadwick 23.44
5. Chris Giles 23.58
6. Bea Chadwick 24.03
7. Nick Roden 24.31 8.
Kate Chadwick 24.58
9. Alex Driscoll 26.47
10. Andy Hickson 26.48
11. Jem Hickson 26.49
12. Mick Jefferies 28.15
13. Nick Kaufmann 30.04
14. Kate Driscoll 30.10
15. Hannah Giles 30.10
16. Jessica Parry 30.10
17. Andi Shah 30.13
18. Adrian Laing 30.17
19. Deborah Laing 34.04

• Special thanks go to a number of people who helped with the race:
Graham Norris and Sinead Peak for co-ordinating the supply of all the equipment needed and access to the club room.
Peter Laing for helping with set up and announcing the results on the day.
Our two wonderful volunteers who recorded times and results – Katie Roden and Zorika Adams.
As well as a kind grandparent who rang the starters bell.
Thanks also to the City of London and the Hampstead Heath keepers – as the track was open for use of the facilities.
• It was great to take part in this wonderful tradition for another year and hope to see many more of you next year.
• Wishing you all the best for 2022.

2nd Jan, 2022, Alastair Aitken

No stopping Alex

Alex Davidson, was the first ‘Over 55’ in the ‘Last Friday in the Month’ 5k road race at Hyde Park organised by Serpentine RC on 31st December.  He was 21st of 176 overall in 18:00. He certainly looks to be a force when he is 60 in May.

Last year was a good year for Highgate's distance and cross country runners. Something missed at the time was Chris Wright beating 134 other runners to win the early morning Sri Chinmoy 10k road race in 31:33 at Battersea on the 23rd of October. He is one of the strong Highgate 12-man team that should win the Start Fitness Metropolitan League this season, taking with them the successes of 2021.

2nd Jan, 2022, Alastair Aitken

Thomas Chadwick wins Bottomist Cup

Thomas Chadwick, an Under 17 runner, who as an Under 15 came 11th in the recent Metropolitan CC League race at Uxbridge on 4 December and ran two personal best times on the track in the Summer with 2:18.79/4:51.05 for 800m/1500m, battled it out with Peter Laing for much of the Bottomist Cup Annual Boxing Day race, from Parliament Hill Fields, before eventually winning. The traditional Highgate Harriers event had always been supported by the late Ted Fosbrook a 'Great Club Character' for Highgate and now his daughter Deborah Laing has a lot to do with the continuation of the long-standing event. Her son Peter Laing was second in the race on soggy Hampstead Heath. The first three of 19 finishes were: 1, Thomas Chadwick, 21:19; 2, Peter Laing, 21:22; 3, Daniel Hickson, 22:21.The first woman was Bea Chadwick in 24:03 in sixth place.

2nd Jan, 2022, Alastair Aitken

James Barber wins

James Barber, who has been as high as 27th in the Metropolitan Cross Country League this season, finished first in a Sunday League race at Stevenage on the 19th of December. 421 finished the race. His time was 27:18.

On the 11th of December was the Southern and Inter-Counties Masters Cross Country Championships at Lloyd Park near Croydon. Over 55 runner Alex Davidson was 34th of 233 finishers in 38:43, and ex-Highgate Harrier Andrew Aitken (M40) came in 22nd in 37:54.

15th Dec, 2021, Alastair Aitken

Highgate Harriers on fire

Highgate Harriers took no prisoners, as they went further ahead in the Start Fitness Metropolitan League Cross Country on Saturday 4 December. In the Senior Men and Woman’s races, in the third fixture, held on the tough Hillingdon House Farm course, the race contained a brook with muddy slopes to be negotiated twice in the race. Amazingly, in the men’s race out of the 376 finishers, Highgate had five runners in the first seven and their scoring 12-man team all finished within the first 55 home. Highgate amassed 1,542 points with Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, 1,386, London Heathside, 1,148 and Ealing Southall & Middlesex, 1,134.  

After the initial start, the 27-year old PE teacher, Jacob Allen of Highgate set off in the lead, despite the fact he had referred a football match at his school in the morning. He maintained his lead right to the finish, winning in 25:21. It was his second Met League win this season. In second place was Alex Lepretre, despite his shoe lace coming undone twice. His time was 25:43; Robel Bahelbi was third in 25:45, Chris Rainsford was fourth in 25:51. The next four Highgate men were Charlie Haywood 7th in 26:27, 14th, Roger Poolman, 26:59; 29th, Sean Renfer, 27:54, 31st Lewis Greaves, 27:56 and James Barber, 34th in 28:04.  Henry Murdoch was 41st and Monte Watson 55th to bring the 'A' team home. A small comment from me: Alex Davidson, who will be 60 in May, came 111st in 31:01, James Rossiter, who is 50 and a field events thrower for the club came 301st, and, important club Official, Martin Black came in 348th of the 375 finishers – he was celebrating being 58 on the day.

The race for first place in the Women’s race was intense between Beth Hawling of London Heathside and Hannah Viner of Highgate and, eventually, due to her smart running down the hills, Hawling was first in 28:44 and Viner second in 29:05. On the day Highgate women were well represented and came second overall but London Heathside lead the League table. In third place in the race was a clear Tara Bage running for Highgate in 30:41. Ellen Donald was 15th and first Under 20 in 32:22. Karina Thornton was 24th in 33:42 and Mia Parry (Under 20) 26th in 33:51. Natasha Cendrowicz (W50) was 92nd of the 182 finishers.  Jack Bailey was fourth in the Under 17 race, only beaten by three very good juniors.

3rd Dec, 2021, Alastair Aitken

Highgate Harriers defeat the cold and rain

On Saturday 27 November Highgate Harriers won the Fraternity Cup cross country race at Trent Park. In the cold wind, over a new course, the first to set off ahead of the 215 finishers were Ash Harrell and Robel Bahelbi, who opened up a lead after the first small lap. In the race, founded 88 years ago, three runners went clear after that, all from the winning Highgate team. In the second large lap, well-spaced out by wide margins, were Ash Harrell, the eventual winner in 26:35, Robel Bahelbi, who finished second in 27:29, and Sean Renfer, who finished third in 28:07, which all helped make it a good Highgate win. Roger Poolman finished 5th (28.21), Lewis Greaves 7th (28.39) and in 42nd place overall, but the over-50 winner, was Alex Davidson (32:15).

The first three teams were: 1, Highgate Harriers, 2, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets and 3, London Heathside.