There’s Norway Highgate Harriers’ Nordtveit can be beaten at Alexandra Park

Audun Nordtveit made light work of his first ever cross-country run in the UK by winning the men’s Metropolitan League race on a successful day for Highgate Harriers at Alexandra Park.

At the third league meeting of the season, Norwegian Nordtveit beat 407 other runners in the field – the highest number of competitors since its inauguration in 1966 – to win the men’s event in 26 minutes and 23 seconds.

The result helped ensure that the Harriers ended the day at the top of the men’s and women’s combined team standings, therefore winning the Howard Williams Trophy with 40 points, ahead of Serpentine RC and Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers.

The men’s team also sit top of Division One in the Metropolitan League with 3,367 points, ahead of second-placed Serpentine RC on 3,044 and Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers with 2,733.

The women’s team are also top of their league, having overtaken Serpentine at the weekend.

Nordtveit’s success was the outstanding result of the day – the Norwegian track runner had approached his first English cross-country race with trepidation, but he burst clear in the last mile to win in 26:23.

Shaun Dixon came through well to get fifth place in 26:58, while Highgate’s other scoring runners were Phil Wylie, Ben Noad, Ryan McKinlay, Robel Bahelbi, Chris Rainsford, Henry Dodwell, Ben Pochee, Richard Scott, Jonny Laybourn, Andrew Lawrence and Chris Beecham.

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The women’s race was won by Barnet’s Rebekah Gardiner in 23:21, but she had her work cut out to overtake Highgate’s Becky Penty, who finished second in 23:26.

The Harriers women who finished in the first 65 out of 152 were Hannah Viner, Emma Dixon, Kate Meredith, Hariot Brock, Gemma Rous, Sophie Sheldrake and Emma Burgess.

Meanwhile, Highgate Harriers’ Under-17s lead their division with 799 points, ahead of Thames Valley on 732 and Herts Phoenix on 701.

Terry Fawden was the first runner in the Under-17 men’s race, crossing the line in third place in 18:24 behind the winner, Thomas Butler of Barnet (18:13).

In the Under-17s women’s event, Esther Pigney was 13th of the 42 runners in 18:41.

In the Under-13s race, Highgate’s Cecily Turner had a good run and finished third overall in 11:29. Jessie Wilkinson was 10th in 12:04.

The Harriers are next in action at the Middlesex Championships at Wormwood Scrubs on January 4, before the Metropolitan League race at Horsenden Hill, Perivale on January 11.