Highgate Harriers have the Christmas No1 spot in Metropolitan League

Highgate Harriers’ men are top of the Metropolitan League at Christmas, despite coming second behind Serpentine in the third of the five fixtures in Uxbridge on Saturday.

Highgate’s Shaun Dixon and Audun Nordtveit came second and third after an exciting battle with the eventual winner, Michael Callegari of Shaftesbury Barnet, who finished in 26 minutes 27 seconds.

However, Serpentine had five runners in the top 12 and won the day with 1,074 points ahead of Highgate (1,022), whose 12 scoring athletes all finished inside the first 63 places out of the 383 finishers.

Nevertheless, the Harriers remain narrowly top overall with 3,165 points after the three fixtures, ahead of Serpentine on 3,134.

The final two meetings will take place at Horsenden Hill on January 10 and Wormwood Scrubs on February 7.

While the Harriers’ men are seeking to win the Metropolitan League title for the third successive year, Dixon and Nordtveit – who won the first fixture at Claybury – are in the frame for the individual prize, especially as Callegari, who has won the last two meetings, will be absent for the next one as he is competing in an international at Edinburgh that day.

Meanwhile, Highgate’s women are second overall in Women’s Division One with 752 points, just behind Shaftesbury Barnet (759) and narrowly ahead of London Heathside (735).

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Shaftesbury’s Rachel Felton was the race winner on Saturday for the third time in a row, clocking 21:41, while Highgate’s Esther Evans was fifth (22:49) – the first Over-40 runner to finish – and Hannah Viner was ninth (23:03), the first of the Under-20 competitors.

The Harriers lead the combined men and women’s competition for the Howard Williams Cup with 41 points, ahead of Shaftesbury Barnet (39) and Serpentine (38).

In the Under-17 men’s race, Terry Fawden was second out of 62 finishers, clocking 14:00, ahead of his team-mates Dempster Fawden (eighth in 14:35), Alexander Machin-Paley (17th in 15:20), Adam Stewart (24th in 15:35) and (Oliver Kemp (28th in 15:51).

Highgate are second out of the 25 clubs in the league with 701 points, just behind Trent Park (709) and well ahead of Ealing, Southall & Middlesex (609).

In the Under-13 boys’ race, Theo Machin-Paley was 12th in 13:24 and Manny Pigney was 30th in 16:02, leaving Highgate ninth of the 20 clubs in the league. Milly Dunne was the sole representative for the Harriers in the girls’ Under-13 race and came 20th out of 30 in 16:06.