Highgate Harriers impress at National 12-stage Road Relay Championships

Highgate Harriers’ men enjoyed a fine performance at the National 12-Stage Road Relay Championships on Saturday, coming 12th out of 80 clubs.

The race was comprised of six long legs and six short legs at Sutton Park near Birmingham, and the Harriers completed the event in four hours 22minutes and 30 seconds, with Belgrave Harriers taking the title in 4:12.54.

Danny Russell was first up for Highgate and he led the race for a period before coming in second at the change-over, clocking 26:17.

Robel Bahelbi beat his time from last year’s competiton by a minute, coming in fourth in 15:09, and Ben Noad then took the Harriers into first place after the first long leg of the day, posting 27:01.

Highgate were second after Michael Dan’s fourth leg (15:40) but they then slipped away.

Nevertheless there were strong runs from Ben Pochee (28:16), Fergal Smithwick (16:07), Ryan Mckinlay (28:59), Braham Pochee (16:10), Richard Scott (28:39), Stephen Whiting (16:03), Henry Dodwell (28:27) and Peter Downie (15:42).

Highgate’s manager Ben Pochee said: “Our senior men’s team truly came of age and demonstrated to the national athletics community the new podium-chasing mentality we are building at the club.

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“Our rivals are quaking in their boots. The future’s bright, the future’s Highgate!”

Meanwhile, the Harriers’ Under-15 trio of Terry Fawden, James Millett and Alex Machin-Palely were 11th out of 46 clubs at the UK Young Adherents road race championships, which was also held at Sutton Park.