Highgate Harriers earn best result for 24 years in national road relay

Sean Renfer collapsed at the finish line after a brave run that helped Highgate Harriers to their best result for 24 years in the national 12-stage road relay championships.

Renfer, who ran the 10th short stage at Sutton Park near Birmingham in a time of 16 minutes 52 seconds, handed over to Murray Strain before crumpling to the ground.

An ambulance was called and Renfer received treatment at the scene for high blood sugar, but did not have to go to hospital and stayed to watch his team-mates clinch seventh place – their highest finish since 1991.

The overall time for Highgate was 4:28.20, enough to put them ahead of some fancied teams, including Southern champions Shaftesbury Barnet and Belgrave Harriers, who have won the title seven times this century.

Robel Bahelbi ran himself into the ground on the opening leg with a time of 27:44, while Audun Nordtveit was the Harriers’ fastest runner on the long legs in 27:39.

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Chris Rainsford (28:18), Ben Noad (28:28), Danny Russell (28:06) and Strain (27:51) completed the other four long legs, while Brahma Pochee (16:34) was their fastest runner in the short stages.

Darryl Davison (16:48), Jon Laybourn (16:49), Rob Wilson (16:31) and Peter Hawkings (16:40) were Highgate’s remaining runners on the short legs.

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The club were not fielding a team in the national women’s six-stage road relays, but Ashley Scott did run the first leg at Sutton Park and finished 31st out of 51.

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