Highgate Harriers extend their lead after Metropolitan League triumph

Highgate Harriers extended their lead in Division One of the Metropolitan League after winning the second meeting of the season at Stevenage.

Four hundred runners completed the men’s race – the largest field since the league begin in 1966 – and Highgate’s Shaun Dixon came fifth, beating several notable internationals like Somali Olympian Mohamed Mohamed and John Beattie of Newham & Essex Beagles.

Dixon clocked 25 minutes 53 seconds, while Ben Noad was ninth in 26:04, ahead of Chris Rainsford (13th in 26:22), Ryan McKinlay (22nd in 26:41) and Robel Bahelbi (30th in 27:11).

Henry Dodwell was 51st in 27:46 and he was immediately followed by three Highgate clubmates – Fergal Smithwick (27:50), Braham Pochee (27:51) and Andrew Lawrence (27:52).

Jon Laybourn was 66th in 28:12 and John McKeane was 73rd in 28:32, while Jonathan Deane was 80th in 28:44.

Highgate’s victory left them top of the league with 2,206 points, ahead of Serpentine RC (1,978) and Woodford Green & Essex Ladies (1,880). Meanwhile, Highgate’s B team are third in Division Two.

The Harriers’ women’s team lie second in Division One with 673 points, just three points behind the leaders Serpentine (676) after Saturday’s race.

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Alex Gounelas was eighth in 22:19 and Ashley Scott was 15th in 22:57, while Emma Dixon (16th in 23:04) was the first Under-20 woman to finish.

Alexia Trafford was 26th in 23:43 and Hannah Viner was 32nd in 23:55 – the club’s second scoring Under-20 woman in the race.

Sophie Sheldrake was 41st in 24:23, and Over-45 veteran Astrid Wingler was 53rd in 25:08 ahead of Emma Burgess (25:20), Alex Goodwin (25:51), Natasha Cendrowicz (27:12) and Fallon Everitt (27:15).

Highgate’s Under-17 boys won their race and top the league after Under-15 runner Terry Fawden came fourth (13:08) and Sam Willis finished fifth (13:12).

Dempster Fawden was 20th in 14:08 ahead of Alastair Sleeman (28th in 14:25) and Filip Bastien (67th in 16.36).

Two Harriers ran in the Under-17 women’s race – and both were Under-15 girls, with Esther Pigney coming 23rd in 16:55 and Lucy Fitzpatrick finishing 30th in 17:50.

Cecily Turner led in the early stages of the Under-13 girls’ race and ended up third in 12:24.