Highgate Harriers amongst the best on the National stage

Highgate Harriers AC was founded in 1879

Highgate Harriers AC was founded in 1879 - Credit: Archant

Highgate Harriers senior men were eighth of 76 clubs, starting the National Six Stage road relay on Saturday, at Sutton Park near Birmingham.

Yet, they had three of their top men missing, including Roger Poolman.

Their fastest runners on the day were on the first two stages, which turned  out to be a "baptism of fire"' for the Kurdish runner from West Iran, Seyed Taha Ghafri.                  

However Ghafri, who led the runners early on his stage, has set all his many personal best times with Highgate Harriers in 2021. 

On leg two was another talented, relative newcomer, Jacob Allen, who was a star runner at San Francisco University.


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On leg three was the big surprise for the club, when Robel Bahelbi briefly put Highgate into third place on his leg three but then, some clubs had some "big guns" still to come.

On leg four Peter Chambers and on leg five Alex Lepretre looked good and. they will be a strong force over the Winter months.

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In leg six the anchor man Sean Renfer came eighth.

Teams were Highgate 'A' Seyed Ghafri 17.10, Jacob Allen 17.23, Robe Bahelbi 17.43, Pet Chambers 17:47, Alex Lepretre 17.35, Sean Renfer 18:41. 

Total time 1:46.1. Winning team Aldershot F&D 1;42.44. Highgate's B team were 51st in the high quality event.

They comprised of James Barber 18:50, Lewis Greaves 19.12, Russell Ashford 19.40, Micky Dan 19:40, Andrius Chaau 19.56 and Jon Laybourn 20.09.

Considering Highgate's women had just one of their top runners, they did very well to come 28th of 79 starting teams.                     

Hannah Viner flew round  to come in eighth on the first leg in the women's four stage relay in 14:25.

The others were Emma Butcher 16:53; Karina Thoornton 16.26; and Kani Hinshelwood 16.52, Total time 1:04.36; Alsershot F&D won in 59:03.                                                                                   

On Sunday, as well, Ash Harrell was 12th in the Manchester Marathon in a personal best time of 2:29.29 beating his best of 2:31:42.       

Andrew Aitken (43) ran his fastest 10k at Worthing of 34:34 since he ran for Highgate in 2008. 

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