It’s a muddy good show at Ally Pally as Harriers stay top of the league

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad finished third and fourth at Alexandra Palace on Saturday as Highgate Harriers’ men retained top spot in Division One of the Metropolitan League.

Highgate were second on the day, finishing with 1,167 points behind Woodford Green with Essex Ladies (1,176), while London Heathside were fifth.

However, the Harriers still lead the division overall after three of the five Metropolitan League races.

There was a record field of 493 finishers in the men’s race on Saturday – the largest since the league races began in 1966.

Dixon was the first Highgate runner to cross the finish line, coming third in 27 minutes 10 seconds, while Noad was fourth in 27:13.

Danny Russell was 22nd (28:32) and Tim Gardner was 23rd (28:33), closely followed by Richard Scott (28th in 28:44) and Henry Dodwell (30th in 28:52).

Fergel Smethwick, Under-20 runner Robel Behelbi and Andrew Lawrence all made it into the top 40, while 42nd-placed Ben Pochee was the first veteran home in 29:27, only a few weeks after fracturing his ribs.

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Rob Walker enjoyed his best ever run, clocking 30:10 to come 55th, while Luke McMullen was 56th in 30:13.

There was also a record field of 156 finishers in the women’s race, with Highgate coming fourth on the day and currently lying fifth in Division One.

Alex Gounelas led the Harriers home, coming eighth in 25:36, while Katie Meredith was 14th in 24:15 and Alexia Trafford was 35th (25:24).

Louise Faherty and Rhonda Munnik were 55th and 56th respectively, while Sophie Sheldrake was 60th in 26:45. Fallon Everitt, Natasha Cendrowicz and Emma Burgess also finished in the top 100, ahead of Alex Godwin, Elizabeth Ogunde and Sarah Chapman (32:17).

Lucy Fitzpatrick was sixth in the Under-13s girls’ race, while Filip Bastien and Callum Anderson were 29th and 33rd in the boys’ race.

Highgate won the boys’ Under-17 team race out of 25 clubs, with Terry Fawden coming third and Alex Machin-Paley seventh ahead of Joshua Mills, James Millett, Bruce Allinson and Alistair Sleeman.

Hannah Viner was ninth in the women’s Under-17 race.

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