HH logo The GatePost July 2002
The Newsletter of Highgate Harriers


Paula Radcliffe won the Marathon; the Monarchy became popular again; England gave us great hope and pride in the world cup; Henman lost Wimbeldon — it has been a good year so far!

How could I choose this year to end my cultural identity crisis and return to Australia — yes, yes I know that Australia didn't even make the finals of the World cup but did I mention that Lleyton Hewitt is Australian?

What this all means is that this mid-season edition (yes I know it is almost the end of the season but it is hard on your own) is more than likely my swansong as John and I are planning to depart to Australia in a few months time. Please don't feel sorry for us, we will manage. But fear not, you will not be cast into the wilderness to fend for yourselves without vital information. After scouring the nation and narrowing the applicants down to a worthy few I am pleased to announce that my successor has been appointed. Javier Pes will take over this pivotal role, please support him in anyway you can — articles, announcements, ads would be a good start.

So to normal business — I am sorry for anyone I neglected to mention in this or any previous edition of the Gate. I can only publish the information that I am given, so in future, whenever reading results or reports of any kind please bear in mind the following phrase, '...and to anyone else I haven't mentioned best of luck on the day' or '...to anyone else I haven't mentioned, well done on a fine performance', which ever fits the particular circumstances.

Despite my trademark sarcasm I have enjoyed having a voice in the club. Thanks to everyone that has contributed over recent years and particularly to those that have taken the time to read!

Best wishes to all,


Sonia Wilson

Team News

Marathon 2002

Duncan Burbidge reports on his Marathon Experience

Marathon 2002 was much better than the other two years. I've done three in a row now and if I can get hold of Highgate's 76-year old Mr R. Burbidge (one of the few to have completed all the London Marathons), I might offer to take over the family baton before he slips the wrong side of 6 hours.

Last year's marathon was hard. I started off like the super hero I am and ended up running a 2-hour second half and an 18-minute last 2km. Snailman perhaps. This year I planned to pace myself along with the good Andrew Evans, but unfortunately we had been allocated different starts and he was back in pen 2. An elaborate plan was constructed over elaborate pizzas the night before, when it was decided that since I would get through the start line first, I should head off at 6:30 miling (relative to a 6:17 target pace) until he caught up some time after the 1-mile marker where the two starts joined.

On the day itself I edged my way nicely to the front and got through the line within 10 seconds, giving the TV-camera a smile for good measure. I headed off at the agreed pace, going through 2 miles in a shade over 13 minutes, but there was still no sign of Andy. At the three-mile point I finally heard a cheery Australian 'Hello there Mr Burbidge' behind me and the plan had worked. Apparently pens 2 to 4 had been merged at the Green start and he'd had to run three 5:50 miles to catch up; something that inevitably caught up with him later.

Throughout the first half of the race we were running with people who were very forthcoming about having set off too fast, '6:30 miling, too fast again!' They'd laugh.

'Slow down then.' Stony silence. It seems that for some happy souls, going off too fast is all part of the marathon adventure and any inference to the contrary is resented.

After the halfway mark, our constant pace started to take us through a gradually slowing field, which surprisingly included a fair few of the mighty Heathside runners. Support along the way was tremendous, the club vest getting cheers from all over, including the odd 'Ra Ra! Jolly nice Highgate chaps!' as we passed through the poorer areas of London. A shout digitally acknowledged in the generous spirit it was given.

Come sixteen miles and Andy decided that his trip to the dunny could be postponed no longer. Off he dashed and I decided to pick up the pace. For the last ten miles I managed to stay close to 6:00 minute miling, eating PowerPack energy gel at 13 and 20 miles, which helped enormously. It was during this last stretch that the intensity of support increased making it the most enjoyable race I've done.

Despite the casual account so far, the race was hard in the closing miles and my mind was definitely not working even as well as normal. I passed one of Nicky Martyn's imported Africans at about 22 miles and couldn't work out whether he was wearing normal running kit or full-length tribal dress (it was the latter); at about 23 miles I decided, for reasons that now elude me, that the best way to run was to lean my head over to the right and pretend to be Dave Moorcroft; and in the last mile I became very concerned that The Mall was in an entirely different part of London to Westminster.

Still, the enduring memory of that last half was of passing other runners, in particular Heathside runners who seemed to be dropping like flies. (Perhaps Roadside a more appropriate epithet?) And thanks for all the support.

Multi Eventers

Coral Cash Gibson reports

It has been very successful year so far for the 'Multi Eventers' as they are collectively known. Some highlights of the season so far include:

At the recent London Schools Championships our athletes showed great form:

Kate's Kids

Kate Jenrick reports

A group of almost 30 young athletes (under 11s) made the trip to Oxford 29th June to take part in the 5 star and 10 step competitions organised by Oxford City AC. This is a fantastic day for young athletes - a fun atmosphere but some serious competition.

From Coral's group, 5 star performances came from Henry Gomez, Miles Fisher and Flynn Esther. Miles and Flynn also placed 2nd overall in their age groups.

Anthony Norris, Jordan and sister, Tia Murray earned themselves 4 stars. It was great to see Sissy Bridge take 3rd place in the 800m and Sante Martin going even better by winning his 800m. Both ended up with 4 star awards overall.

In the 7 & 8 year 10 step competition Grace Campbell and Alba Norris improved on last year, now 5 steppers! Stanley Armour also did well.

For the coaches, (Coral myself & Anne) the day provided us with the chance to see our protegees in action, without being tied down officiating or running about checking events were being covered (well, less running about than usual). And it is a chance to put faces to names - I had heard much about a boy from Christchurch school called Henry Gomez. Well, not only did I get to see him in action (5 star award) but also a younger brother, Christian aged 7. Not only did Christian obtain a 10 step award, but finished top 10 stepper (out of about 30) and that's after stopping in the 800m, coming off the rack for 15 seconds to be sick!

Other results:

3 stars: Stanley and George Armour, Marika, Max Coventry, Florence Colson, Ollie Morris Joe Sullivan, Ismaila Bojang. 2 stars:  James Shale, Eddie Morris, Freddie Hurndall aka Matt Tyrwhitt Drake (Freddie's place was taken by Matt who juggled events with Joe. It all got very complicated - Matt instead of Freddie in Joe's event - but they seemed to know what they were doing!). David Flatley  Omar, Megan Lambert, Eva Pental (retired injured, again!).

Static Stretching v Mobility routines before training

By Keith Wilson

The advice filtering through and being made more apparent at recent coaching courses is that a more active mobility regime prior to intense workouts should be used. This means give up your static stretching!

Alternatively, the athlete after an initial period of steady jogging to raise the core temperature and generally loosen up the body, should then perform some light running drills. These could include easy skipping, lateral running whilst circling the arms, lateral cross over running with a twist to both sides, high skips, easy bounding, heel flicks and high knee drills. These could be performed in waves of increasing intensity with a jog or walk back recovery.

After performing the aforementioned active mobility routines the athlete should then perform waves of accelerated running (strides) as a final preparation before moving onto the session proper.

Post workout warm down periods should include some gentle passive stretching of the working muscles.

Of course flexibility mobility training is essential to the athlete and various forms are well documented. However passive or static stretching may be better utilised after a light workout or after immersion in a warm bath (40c) as opposed to a prerequisite to intense forms of running.

Training regimes change as a matter of course. However what might work for one athlete might not work for another. I personally believe active forms of pre session mobility training may better prepare the athlete than passive stretching routines.

Keith will be happy to demonstrate warming up techniques on any training day. Keith Wilson is a level 2 qualified sprint coach and veteran competitor over 400 meters recently winning the M40 400 meters as a guest at the Hertfordshire vets championships in 55.9. He is a former U.S. Golden Gloves Boxer and European Kick boxing champ.

Rare Sightings...(1)

Keith Wilson (Social Secretary)

at his own picnic.

Rare Sightings...(2)

Juliet's athletes at a B team meeting

Rare Sightings...(3)

Highgate women in crop tops

(no picture for obvious reasons)

You've all wanted them, you've all complained about not having them, so take control of your own life - pick up the telephone and call:

Wasp Sports 01938 820481

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

It is that simple — I promise you!

Bulletin Board

If you change address please remember to Notify the club as soon as possible. Send your new details to:

Martin Holland

Nick and Louise Bentham gave birth (well Louise did) to Elizabeth Grace Bentham some time earlier this year. Congratulations — I guess you are old hands by now.

Anne Thilges is leaving us. She is soon to be returning to her native US. Thanks Anne for all of your hard work both with the kids and with the recurrent injuries of the club.

And for those of you with the recurring injuries, massages are still available on Thursday night in the Dog Kennel.

A message from Paul Holland (in Australia):

I am generally keeping uptodate with the club's activities via the web site. It was a shame that Cath and I couldn't get over to see anyone during our trip in April. A month just wasn't enough to get all round the country to see people. We hope to be better organised next time. I did manage to get up to the track on a chilly Monday morning to see Dad's seat, and took some pictures. Many thanks again for everyone that made that possible. I keep in regular contact with Terry, Martin and Brian, so keep up-to-date with news. It was great to see Dom's name in my weekly UK Mail this morning. Coming second at Sheffield. I have retired from full time employment, but am still running 3-4 times a week. Nothing competitive, since running with Chris Bailey on the beach during his last visit. Please pass on my regards and best wishes to everyone.

Regards, Paul Holland

Founders' Challenge 2002

Sunday 20 October

Please make a note in your diary/fixture list/walks programme

The Founders Challenge is a non competitive twenty six mile walk through the Surrey Hills, visiting places associated with the founders of the LDWA. A route description is provided, but there are no marker flags. There will be three checkpoints serving refreshments and a light meal will be served at the finish, all included in the entry fee of £4.50. A certificate will be presented to all who finish within the time limit of nine and a half hours. The median time last year was around seven and three quarter hours whilst the fastest was about four hours and twenty minutes. Start from Peaslake Memorial Hall at 9.00 a.m. (runners at 10:30 a.m.). Entry limit 250.

Further information is available through the LDWA web site (www.ldwa.org.uk) or direct from the organiser, Bill Thompson.

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. 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.org.uk

I am reliably informed that the Sunday 9am run from the track is still very much a tradition, so if you fancy an early start and some intelligent conversation, why not join in. Meet on the path above the track.

Alistair Aitken's latest book is now available - 'Athletics Enigmas' is based on his first person interviews. Many book shops and running shops should stock it but if you can't find a copy contact the publishers: The Book Guild, 25 High Street Lewes, BN7 2LU (Vine Distribution)

ISBN 1-85776-603-2


(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

Sunday 9.00am run from the track


President: Rebecca Hardy

Treasurer: Nick Bentham

Secretary: Richard Dawson

Membership: Martin Holland

Mens Athletics: Dave Burrows

Womens Athletics: Jack Bayliss

Young Athletes: Juliet Kavanagh

Race Walking: John Powell