Highgate Harries record best-ever result in cross country relay

Highgate Harriers AC was founded in 1879

Highgate Harriers AC was founded in 1879 - Credit: Archant

Highgate Harriers recorded their best-ever result by coming second at the English cross country relay Championships in Mansfield on Saturday.

Shaftesbury Barnet were first in 1:02.58, Highgate Harriers second in 1:03.13 and Aldlershot & Farnham third in 1:03.35. Several more fancied teams were close behind that, which included Leeds City and Tonbridge AC.

Highgates' B team were the second 'B' team in the race in 19th place. Highgate's fastest was on leg one for the A team when Seyed Ghafri ran 15:36.30 and then Jacob Allen took Highgate up from ninth to second in 15:38.05.

Alex Le Pretre briefly put Highgate ahead with a 15:44 clocking on leg 3, and  Robel Behelbi brought the club in second in a time of 16:24.00.

The B team including Ash Harrell, Pete Chambers, Rob Wilson and Roger Poolman were in the team that came 19th.

Highgate Harriers did not have a complete women's team, but Hannah Viner ran well to be the ninth fastest woman.

One of the club’s all-time ultra-distance walking greats, Fred Baker has passed away, aged 88. 

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Legendary Fred of Highgate Harriers completed 19 UK sub-24 hours' 100 miles races, commencing with a 22:30.13 timing in the testing 1956 Sheffield-to-Harrogate-and-back (staged over Yorkshire's hills-and-dales), which saw 38 start & 21 finish (8 becoming new Centurions).  

Fred earned Centurion number 266. Fred served as The Centurions' Honorary Secretary from 1986-to-1995.  

When stepping down he passed this position on to fellow Highgate Harrier Bill Sutherland BEM.  

In 1982 Fred was elected as a Centurions' Vice-President. He resided in Carlisle, in a care home during his last days. 

For decades life was split between the UK and Australia, where he owned property.  

Needless to say he was in Carlisle for our spring and summer and, when weather turned for the worse, he was off "down under" for six months. 

The club said: "He was one never to be forgotten. Our condolences to his family members."

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