HH logo The GatePost March 2002
The Newsletter of Highgate Harriers


After many years of dedicated service, Bob Slowe has decided to retire as Editor of the Gate. As co-editor for the last couple of years I know that he has dedicated countless hours writing, chasing contributors, editing, scanning, cutting and pasting, printing labels, stuffing envelopes and licking stamps. Due to his efforts the Gate magazine serves as a wonderful history of our clubs achievements and I have never seen such a high quality magazine produced from an Athletics Club. So on behalf of all of the members who have enjoyed reading the Gate I would like to say thank you Bob for your commitment to keeping the club informed over so many years. I will miss our conversations and the rewarding glasses of wine.

So the role of sole editor now passes to me and you may have noticed that the first thing I have done is go down market! Unfortunately high quality comes at a high cost so it has only ever been possible to bring out the Gate twice yearly — that is about to change. Whilst we have had to sacrifice the high-class look, we have gained the flexibility to bring club news to your more frequently. It is my intention to deliver a newsletter every few months. Size and frequency really depends on what is going on in the club and how enthusiastically members contribute. This is a bumper issue as it is the end of the cross-country season, however, on other occasions I expect that the newsletter will be considerably shorter. On those occasions it is not my intention to mail to every member, instead it will be handed out at the track, at races, it can be emailed and we may well make it available on our website.

So, give me your ideas! I want letters to the editor, photographs, cartoons, press clippings relating to Highgate, advertisements, news, social events, snippets of information, articles, race reports, forthcoming events etc.

Sonia Wilson

Email: jonia@jonia.freeserve.co.uk

Help is welcome!


Team News

The season that was

Dave Burrows reports on the men's cross country season 2001/02

Starting with the highlights of the season, the club yet again dominated the London Championships at Parliament Hill in November to retain their title. First home for the team was Chris Beecham who picked up the individual bronze medal. He was followed home by Nick Martyn (6th) and Neil Coe (9th). Such was the dominance of the club that the 'B' team also took 4th place.

Two weeks earlier at the North London Championships, Chris had already collected an individual medal, finishing 2nd and leading the team to 3rd place.

The club just missed out on the medals in the Middlesex and the Southern Champs, finishing both competitions in 4th place. Leading the team home in both races was Nick Martyn (8th in the Middlesex and 20th in the Southerns).

A much improved performance at the National Champs in February saw the club finish in a splendid 11th place, up from 44th the previous year. On a very windswept Bristol course, Shane Snow finished in 77th place; his tenth top 100 finish. Also in the top 100, Joe Loader came home in 97th place. Completing the scoring six were Chris Beecham (101), Nick Martyn (134), Neil Coe (142) and Javier Pes (205).

Disappointingly, the club failed to create much of a presence at any other fixtures, particularly the Metropolitan League races where the number of Highgate runners ranged from 1 at Horsenden Hill to 6 at Welwyn Garden City. All of these races cost the club money to enter and the total entry and affiliation fees for the men this year have been nearly 300. Next years team manager will need to look very carefully at which races the club wish to compete in.

Thanks to all who did run this season and special thanks to Terry for always being there on the day.

A mixed season

Natasha Cendrowicz reports on the women's cross country season 2001/02

This has been a slow burn season for the senior women. The indications by the end of the track season were that there was a talented pool of middle distance runners, from which to build a promising season over the country. However, as is so often the case, getting everyone together proved elusive for most of the early fixtures. The astonishingly good start that London Heathside put together (it's my job as team manager to check out the local opposition...), winning everything in sight, proved a depressing prospect. It wasn't until mid November that Highgate finally triumphed over Heathside at the North London Champs. After that we were rarely seconded (by Heathside), apart from the Met League races, which told their own story.

I would like to think that the early disappointments in the St Albans and Ealing Relays (3rd & 5th) laid the foundations for better results later on in the season. In hindsight, this slow momentum meant that we were able to deliver in the bigger races, having not spent our enthusiasm early (in the minor races). Our season can be summed up by 1st in the London Champs, 2nd in the Met League and Middlesex Champs, 3rd in the Southerns and 4th in the Nationals. Not a bad tally.

Following the demise of the Southern League, this was the first year the Highgate women have taken the Met League seriously. Our participation has coincided with the growing stature of the women's competition (sadly it was not that long ago that we used to line up to start with the under 17 men). After managing to coerce 6 of our finest to line up for the first Met League race at Ruislip in October, I had my work cut out maintaining team involvement for the remaining 4 fixtures. It is with some pride and quite a lot of resilience that this was achieved. I think I was inspired by Cathy Dawson's return to club racing at the Ruislip fixture, into imagining that getting 6 runners out was not beyond the realms of possibility. The near tropical conditions (25°) of that first race provided an unhappy backdrop to my worst race of the season, finishing a distant 54th and final counter for Highgate, as we struggled to fourth behind London Heathside, Shaftsbury Barnet and Woodford Green & Essex Ladies. My over-riding memory of that Met League was being swamped by Heathsiders, and to give them their due they kept this up, saturating the remaining 4 fixtures to emerge overall victors.

Gowry Retchakan and Sally Hannah made their only winter appearances for the club at the National Road Relays at the end of October. As it was some years since we'd managed to persuade four runners to take part in this event, this would have been an encouraging result, had Heathside not sneaked ahead of us to finish 19th and 16 seconds clear. However 20th out of 73 teams was a reasonable result with Gowry producing the team's fastest time of 15.19.

Also on the roads, Anna McCutcheon earned herself an elite start for the 2002 London Marathon by running 3.06 on a windy Dublin course, as did Louise Curtis, soaking up New York's pathos to run a 3.12 marathon in November.

In the second Met League race at Wormwood Scrubs we emerged 4th team and 4th overall, this time to a resurgent Shaftsbury who packed their winning team with veterans.

A return to Perivale in November saw Kate Jenrick claim her first race of the season as she held off Anna Crichlow from Heathside to retain her North London title. In many ways this proved the turning point in our season, as with the good support from Esther in 6th, Anna 8th and me 20th, we were crowned North London Champions.

The clement weather continued for the London Champs at the end of November, with Highgate again dominating the team results to retain their title. Kate had to settle for bridesmaid in this event as once again a Shaftsbury athlete denied her the London title in a closely fought race. Kate briefly took the lead in the last 1/2 mile but was unable to hold off Emma Fisher who won by 3 seconds. Well supported by Astrid in 6th, Anna in 11th and newcomer Louise Waldman in 17th, Highgate ran out clear winners, finishing 14 points clear of Shaftsbury and 28 ahead of Heathside.

After absenting herself from the London Champs in favour of competing in water polo for BUSF, Sula Young returned to the fold for the third Met League. This race produced an unprecedented 1, 2, 3 for Highgate, with Kate holding off a late challenge from Astrid to win her first Met League and go to the top of the individual rankings. With Sula 3rd, Esther 8th and me 34th, just ahead of Cathy, we were clear winners, and improved our overall league ranking to 2nd.

Kate and Sula earned themselves selection for the Southern Intercounties at Bury St Edmunds before Christmas. As part of the trio chasing pack behind the in form Jo Wilkinson, Kate edged out Sula to finish 2nd, taking home a bronze team medal with Surrey as well. Sula was awarded the Southern Under 23 title, leading Middlesex to team silver.

And so to 2002, and the nadir of the season for me as the team manager. Somehow, and I can't give a sensible explanation for this, I forgot to enter Sula for the County champs. Sula it was becoming apparent was having her best ever season and had a reasonable chance of challenging for the county title. The race organisers took the view that Sula could run provided she didn't cross the finish line. And run she did, leading at 1/2 way and finally ceding only to Emma Fisher who had already claimed the 2001 London title. Had Sula counted, with Esther, Anna and Astrid also featuring in the top 8, clinching the team result would have been a formality. Sadly, team pride rested with me, and I can't say that I enjoyed the sticky mud of Cranford Park, hauling myself round in 20th to salvage team silver behind Shaftsbury.

Meanwhile in Croydon, Kate was unable to defend her Surrey title after losing touch with the chasing pack to finish a disappointed 4th. Not a great day, for which I was grateful that Athletics Weekly were prepared to describe my mishap politely as 'an administrative error'. Farcically although there were many witnesses to Sula's fantastic run, it was a struggle for her to earn county selection as the Middlesex selectors preferred to consider 3 absent runners ahead of her for the Intercounties/World cross trials.

Claybury provided happier hunting ground for Highgate women the following week, with a swift 2 laps round the ground of the former mental hospital for the fourth Met League. As we were very much in contention in the team standings, with Karen Wright's help, I managed to strong arm Rhonda Munnik into competing for the club for the first time, so that we could keep the pressure on Heathside. In spite of Kate being the runaway winner, well supported by Astrid in 4th, Esther 8th, me 21st, Rhonda 35th and Karen 44th, we finished with equal points to Heathside. However, as their 6th runner was ahead of Karen, Heathside were awarded 1st.

The Met League was only ever going to be a diversion from the big races. Home pride was at stake for the Southern Cross Country Champs on Parliament Hill fields, when 7 Highgate women lined up by the Lido in torrential rain at the end of January. Sula again defied expectations to run an astonishing race, finishing 6th, just 2 minutes behind the winner, Hayley Yelling. Astrid also rose to the occasion magnificently finishing 12 seconds behind in 8th. The scoring 4 was completed by Kate in 20th and Anna, 31st, significantly all 4 ahead of the first Heathside runner. Shaftsbury pipped us to silver by just one point, as Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow took gold.

Three Highgate runners took part in the Intercounties in February. Sula's late call up did not augur well for Middlesex, who was joined by Anna pre-selected after the county champs. Sula probably won't want to be reminded of this particular race, and like several of the other Middlesex runners, misjudged the course and did not finish. Anna ran sensibly, to finish 106th, with Kate 56th, running for Surrey.

The final Met League gave me the opportunity to talk Sarah Hubner into making her debut over the country for the club. Jo Winfield also made a rare appearance to ensure a full team took on Heathside, 72 points adrift in the league. As with the previous 3 fixtures, Kate ran out an easy winner, with Astrid chasing hard after Esther's early challenge faded. Kate's win ensured that she claimed individual honours for the league, while the team finished second on the day and second by 100 points in the league to rampant Heathside.

The cross country season culminated with the Nationals in Bristol at the end of February. The word from Sula, who is currently studying in Bristol, was that Ashton Court was an exposed/windy and not particularly muddy course. Windy it certainly was, with the women spared the hail from earlier on in the day, and full blown blizzard which over took the men's race. Seven of us valiantly lined up for the 2002 nationals, a distinct improvement on 2001 when we failed to finish a team. Our reward was 4th team behind Shaftsbury, Bristol and Tipton, Highgate's best result at the nationals since I've been involved. Kate perhaps had best cause to be pleased with her run, holding her form to overtake a tiring Sula and finish 33rd, three and half minutes behind the winner, Liz Yelling. Sula admitted to having a nightmare in the wind tunnel (finish), but hung on to finish 45th, ahead of Anna, in 67th. Esther and I swapped places throughout the race before Esther emerged strongest, to finish 79th, 6 seconds ahead of me in 87th. Karen made a modest return to racing after illness, finishing 218th and Astrid having an off day, failed to finish.

Fourth out of 39 teams was a pleasing conclusion to the cross country season. The women demonstrated their commitment this year to competing at a high level as well as supporting the local league. Next season it would be nice to think that getting 6 runners out for all five Met League fixtures wasn't an extraordinary achievement. As previously, special thanks should go to Terry for being on hand to sort out numbers, carry safety pins and sort out spikes. Jack also provided valuable support in motivating and identifying athletes for imminent competitions. And finally, Andy deserves thanks for driving us to the races and not being too sour during all the occasions that we outran his club.

Youngsters' Winter Training

Kate Jenrick reports on the progress of the 7-11 age group

For over a year now a group of young athletes (7-11) have been meeting every week. When the winter evenings closed in, the group had to slim down to 18 in number and moved into the Maitland gym for relays, games and indoor circuits. Introducing a 15 minute run outside, proved surprisingly popular. One of the favourite routes is to the steps and ramp at the entrance to the Heath off Savernake Road. The competition is then on for the most circuits up the steps and down the ramp. Sissy Bridge holds this record which she could better if the rest of us were prepared to stand and wait for her to finish. Before the Christmas break a road race over a mile, with a timed rest half way was very hotly contested. Winning plaques were awarded to Becky Tywritt Drake (7-8 years) Kieran Morland (9-10) and Florence Bridge (11+).

Sessions will resume on the track (either Tuesdays or Thurdays) sometime after Easter. Full details will be handed out in the gym. Its hoped that everyone will get to try out new events, I even have pole vault in mind for a few individuals. There will the opportunity to take part in some competitions. Some of the older athletes are getting close to selection for the youth and women's track teams. On which note, there are home fixtures on 27th April, 8th June. All supporters will be welcomed - start time usually 2pm finishing with relays about 5.30pm.

The winter group members are: Ismaila Bojang, Florence & Sissy Bridge, Grace Campbell, Florence Colson, Becky, Matthew and Natasha Tywitt Drake, Amy Cotter, Eleanor Cross, Megan Lambert, Freddie Hurndall Kieran Morland, Alba & Anthony Norris, Eva Pental, Joe Sullivan, James Wilson.

Asa Hartford Williamson

The club would like to express sincere condolences to the family of Asa Hartford Williamson who was killed in an accident on the way back from training on Dec 18th. This was extremely tragic news for Asa's friends and coaches at the club and our thoughts are with his mother Beverley and his brother Simeon.



Summer is coming and it is going to be HOT!

So to keep your cool

order your



All you need to do is telephone:

Wasp Sports 01938 820481

Tell them you are from Highgate Harriers, give them your measurements and send them a cheque.

Go on

set the trend for the new summer season.

Rare Sightings

This is a new section that doesn't require too much explanation. Seeing John Ayton race this year was such a rare occurrence that he deserves the honour of being the first to qualify for 'rare sightings'. Photos of candidates welcome for future issues of the newsletter.

Highgate Social Pages

Post training drinking

Feel like a Post Training bevvie?
Then join us for our regular
Thursday evening drink at the
White Horse Pub
South End Green

Bulletin Board

Congratulations to Dominic Hall who did exceptionally well in the Indoor track events this season, culminating in a 2nd place at the AAA Championships in Wales on the 2nd & 3rd of Feb with a time of 1.51.79 over 800m. 1st was James McIlroy (a GB International) with 1.51.10.

The Camden Schools XC races were held on Friday 8th March (for years 3 - 7), there were more than 700 participants! Shock result was that Gospel Oak School lost out this time to Christchurch - well done to Sissy, Becky, Grace, Florence  & other Christchurch runners. There was a total of 7 medals in the group. Congratulations also to Santi Martyn who won his age group on the day. Go to www.theCSSA.org to see pictures of our mob including a nice shot of Santi finishing his race miles ahead of the competition.

The SEAA are holding an Endurance Day for all you cross country runners. It is taking place at Thornton School, near Milton Keynes on Saturday, 6th April 2002. I understand guest speakers include Eamonn Martin, and various England Team Managers. It is free, and lunch will be provided.

Among his many jobs in Athletics, Derek Adams has been treasurer of the ECCA (English Cross Country Association) for some years.  His latest duty was dealing with the finances for the National at Bristol.  He asked to retire this year, but has been persuaded to do one more year.  He has been made Life Vice President of the AAA of England.

I am including here the usual plea for help for officials for the young athletes and the senior men and women's fixtures. If you look at the fixture list you will see we have some days where we have 3 teams competing on the same day. So all of you non-competing athletes, girlfriends, boyfriends, mums, dads, brothers, sisters etc (you get my drift) get out there and offer your help. You might enjoy it!

Jeanne Coker and Maureen Smith will be at the Commonwealth Games this summer as track officials. That is a pretty impressive call-up!

Come along and support Highgate runners during the London Marathon on 14 April. The club places went to Alan Solomon, Kevin Linehan and Duncan Burbridge. Also competing under club colours will be Natasha Cendrowicz, Sally Hannah, Anna McCutcheon, Louise Curtis and Nicky Martyn.

Kids, don't throw away the spikes you have out grown — donate them to our pool of spikes. There are many youngsters in the club who would gratefully receive your cast-offs!

Anyone prepared to help with the Young Athletes team - it would be very much appreciated.

Remember: Keep up with the latest in the club by joining the smartgroup (club members only). Go on, ensure that you don't miss out on information about that crucial race or that vital party invitation.

Also, check out the clubs website for the latest results, photos and forthcoming fixtures. www.highgateharriers.co.uk

Congratulations to Kate Jenrick who won the Rothery trophy for outstanding senior athlete in 2001. Congratulations also to Gandalf Muschamp who won the Jewell trophy for outstanding Junior and Lulu Cash-Gibson who won runner up.

Some of you may remember, or in fact still possess relics of club kit. Well watch this space because very soon you will be able to replace that mud stained and threadbare clothing. Highgate is about to launch its 'not quite couture' range of logo emblazoned T-shirts and tracksuits in the latest club colours. Better than the model T Ford, the colour range will include white as well as black! But for those of you who just can't wait - it has recently come to light that some items from the 1996/7 collection are still available. Hurry to place your order with Dominic Hall before these precious items are snapped up by those afficionados of Highgate retro fashion.

Provisional Summer Fixtures 2002

April 2002
27 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Parliament Hill
May 2002
4 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Eton
4 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Colchester
5 Young Athletes League - boys Ipswich
18 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Reading
18 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Woodford
18 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Watford
19 Young Athletes League - boys Basildon
June 2002
2 Young Athletes League - boys Parliament Hill
8 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Woking
8 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Parliament Hill
8 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Parliament Hill
22 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Tooting Bec
22 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Kings Lynn
23 Gold Cup round 1 (men & women)  
30 Young Athletes League - boys Canterbury
July 2002
6 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Battersea
13 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Basildon
13 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Sutcliffe Park
21 Young Athletes League - boys Sutcliffe Park
23 Gold Cup semis (men & women)  
27 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Hastings
August 2002
3 Southern Mens League (Div 1) Bournemouth
3 Southern Mens League (Div 4) Hemel Hempstead
September 2002
7 Southern Womens League (Div 2) Medway

Please do not travel without checking the location and timing of an event with your team manager.


(ages at 1 September)

Age 20 or over £30
Age 17-19 £18
Age 16 £12.50
Age under 16 £5

Subscriptions are due on 1st September in each year. Membership is continuous and resignations must be in writing to the Club Secretary. You cannot join another club until your subscriptions are paid up to date.


Any club member who has not got a vest should contact their team manager; otherwise club vests can be purchased from Richard Priestley or Natasha Cendrowicz.


Parliament Hill Fields Athletics Track


Tuesdays & Thursdays: 5.00pm onwards

Saturdays & Sundays: 10.30am onwards


President: Rebecca Hardy

Treasurer: Nick Bentham

Secretary: Richard Dawson

Membership: Martin Holland