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The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

Important information for all members who
want to take part in competitions

UK Athletics are planning to introduce a registration scheme, requiring all competitors to be registered. Highgate Harriers will pay for your registration, but only if you have paid your subs and you inform us that you are planning to take part in competitions. Please contact Astrid Wingler if you want to compete in the future.

William Laing 1st Highgate Cross Country

Vacancy: Youth Support Coordinator
Highgate Harriers are looking for a Youth Support Coordinator (part-time, £3000 pa). For further information, please see our website ( or contact Joseph Lowe.


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

Women unbeaten over the country before Christmas
By Astrid Wingler

Kate Jenrick MSIE corrector
Our women's team enjoyed another successful cross-country season. During the first part of the season we felt almost invincible, before injuries, holidays and an increasing number of pregnancies resulted in a somewhat weakened team after Christmas.
The team's best performances
The season started well with a victory of the 'A' team (Anna McCutcheon, Esther Evans, Svenja Abel, Astrid Wingler) and 4th place for the 'B' team in the St Albans Cross Country Relays. Svenja, already in good shape, ran the fastest leg of all women by almost a minute. This was followed by a victory in the Ealing Cross Country Relays by the team of Kate Jenrick, Astrid Wingler and Anne Curley; this time with Kate winning the prize for fastest female.
We had already won the Metropolitan Cross Country League for four consecutive seasons and were keen to defend our title. While in the two previous years the overall league victory was open until the last race, it became clear quite early on that no other team had a chance of beating us this year. After the first four races, we already lead by 400 points and it therefore did not matter much that our injury-weakened team only finished 3rd in the last race. Overall, it turned out to be one of our most convincing league victories.
The highlight of the season was probably our performance in the London Championships on Parliament Hill, which were combined with the Southern Intercounties. Highgate women finished in positions 1 (Svenja), 2 (Esther), 3 (Kate) and 4 (Astrid), taking the London title with the best possible score. Only two county teams, Surrey and Essex, scored better than Highgate in the Intercounties competition. Kate and Astrid were 1st and 2nd veterans and Svenja representing Middlesex finishing 2nd overall in the Intercounties competition.
Compared to the London Championships, the North London Championships are quite low key. Still, it was nice to win this team
title as well. This time, Kate (1st), Anne Curley (4th) and Elizabeth Ogunde (5th) ran convincing races. Highgate's unbeaten series continued in the Sorority Cup race, where Svenja and Esther were backed up by Louise Burnie and Natalie Vasey.
We suffered our first defeat in the Middlesex Championships in January. In the previous year, London Heathside had beaten us in this race, but we were confident that we would win this year. However, with Kate competing in the Surrey Championships and the Heathside women in top form, even 1st and 2nd places by Svenja and Esther, backed up by Astrid in 7th and Alex Goodwin in 16th, were not good enough to beat our local competitors.

The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

By the time of the South of England Championships, Svenja, Kate and Sula Young were injured and Esther was on a skiing holiday. A small group travelled to Norfolk, but for the first time in years, we did not manage to finish a team, despite the fact that an injured Natasha Cendrowicz unexpectedly decided to race in order to support the team. Fortunately, Svenja and Sula overcame their injuries and finished 18th and 30th, respectively, in the National Championships, where the team, backed up by Astrid and Louise, finished in a respectable 6th place.

Our top performers: Svenja and Esther
During the period from September to January, Svenja was only beaten once - in the Southern Intercounties, where she came second behind the 2006 UK Intercounties Champion Hattie Dean. Before this race, she had won the first three Met League races and, after Christmas, continued with a convincing victory in the Middlesex Championships. Until this time, it looked like this winter would result in a big breakthrough for Svenja and that she would be able to compete with the best British runners in the bigger races. Unfortunately, an ankle injury meant that Svenja had to stop training for a while, but she managed a good comeback with a 14th place in the UK Intercounties Championships.
The biggest surprise of the season was probably Esther's consistently good performance. Esther, who has been a valuable team member for years, but was better known for her fast starts than her love of mud, had taken up competing in triathlons over the summer. This certainly improved her endurance, allowing her to maintain a fast pace for the complete duration of a race. Consequently, she finished several races in 2nd place (two Metropolitan League races, Sorority Cup, London Championships, Middlesex Championships), usually only denied victory by teammate Svenja.

Outlook For the first time competing for Highgate Harriers this season were Annabelle Lovejoy, Natalie Vasey, Fiona Burnie and Aneira Roose-McClew, who won the Under 20 Women's title in the London and the North of the Thames Championships. I hope our new members will continue to run for our team in future cross country seasons. With more and more of our women embracing motherhood instead of concentrating on their running careers, we always rely on new members. Maybe, some time in the future, the new generation of Cendrowicz-Owens, Bailey's, Hannah's and Dawson's will strengthen our team. However, our women have so far exclusively produced male progeny.
Let's hope for some girls this year!

CLIVE COPE, who was a most lively personality as the social secretary of Highgate Harriers back in the late 1970's early 80's and, a sub-two minute half miler with the club at the time died on the 5th of March. His wife Valerie was also in London with Clive before they had a large family and moved away to Morecambe.


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

    Chicago with a Harrier - 3 years after learning to run!
To begin at the beginning, I was 59 and watching the London Marathon yet again, but this time, after the finish of the T.V. coverage, I actually tried running for about half a mile. The result wasn't very encouraging but a week later I went out again and tried to run a bit further. Well, I was bitten by the bug because a year later I, managed to finish my first London Marathon, having followed a training schedule in Runners World. I always trained on my own and never understood the meaning of junk miles but think now that I was good at them. I ran London for the next 2 years to April this year each time managing to be quicker, getting down to 4.13.

There is nothing special about my running or me, but after London this year I thought I would try for Chicago. They were very friendly and happy to let runners make their own travel arrangements - unlike New York. By this time I was running with a partner and finding I was training much harder Out of the blue, one of my sons, aged 34, who hadn't run since school said he would run with me in Chicago and I duly got an entry for him. My first partner had gone away for the summer and I started running twice a week with my son. We had about 14 weeks and, of course, again I had to train harder than ever just to stay with him except on the long runs which I paced. We fitted in the British 10k (what a shambles) and the Burnham Half and again followed the schedule in Runners World. I arrived in Chicago free of injury and was very proud to wear a Harriers' shirt whilst training there. (Incidentally, we thought the city was beautiful, so clean and in the centre relatively free from traffic.)
The morning of the race was cold but no wind and despite the race beginning at 7.30 a.m., being part of 32,000 in one mass start was stunning. We managed to settle into our planned pace (9 min/mile) and perhaps because the course is so flat, gradually gained on our target time. The crowds weren't as big as London, but very enthusiastic particularly in the Italian and Chinese sectors. We were fortunate in having two other sons as a support team and they appeared 5 times round the course yelling encouragement , with extra water and bananas. My son had a bad spell at 22 miles but had really helped me to keep to the pace I had hoped for. He finally pulled away at the last water station at 25 miles and I just didn't have enough left to try and catch up. My planned big finish wasn't there but 3hr 56 was a 17 minute improvement on my personal best, so I was like the Cheshire Cat. It was a great city and a great marathon. The next day at the airport just about every country seemed to be represented, with everyone wearing a medal and smiling at each other. We even got upgraded because the lovely BA desk lady thought I had done well!

Want something new? Try Chicago. Want to improve? Get a training partner who is better than you.

As I had promised not to do London in 2002, I am going to escape to Paris. As someone said, you have to have your dreams.

John Brassing

The Gate                                                                                   April 2007


Highgate youngsters should be proud of their contribution to one of the more successful cross-country seasons in the North West London Cross Country League (NWLCCL).
Furthermore, with the likes of William Laing, Alice Keane and Samara Williams consistently performing to higher standards, the future of middle and long distance running looks promising.
Alice was awarded Highgate Harriers outstanding young female athlete of the season, she also led the U15 girls which included the always reliable Talia Caspi to 2nd in the league.

Verity  Talia  Georgia  India  Alice
Verity     Talia     Georgia     India     Alice
Some notable performances in the NWLCCL go to Stanley Harrison (U11) and Samara (U13). Stanley was chasing an Ealing athlete at every outing, but at the final meeting, in front of an enthusiastic crowd, Stanley won the race, claimed the club championship and finished 2nd in the league. The U11 boys' team did fantastically well in a very competitive field- missing out on first place to Ealing by one point. The team has been well supported- particularly by Daniel Lavin (3rd overall in the league) and Peter Laing who were also rewarded with 2nd and 3rd in the club championships. At the last two races, Samara showed strong front running to lead U13 girls' races from start to finish.
Mei Corbett, Amy-Jane Cotter (2nd in club championship) and Stella Sabin also made valuable contributions that led to the U13 girls finishing 2nd overall. The U11 girls have not been out in as great a number but Alex Eastman and Ayla Jaggs produced some good individual results.
William Laing (1st in club championship & NWLCCL overall) led the U15 boys also
consisting of George Laing (2nd in club championship), Max Coventry and Hamish Birrel team to 3rd place. The U17 male and female contributors to the league were David Mobbs, Laurence Matthewman, Ben Shaps, Hannah Ashman and Nina Sorensen.

Other results included the spirited effort by U13 boys team consisting of Roland and Leo Turnell-Ritson and Stanley at the Middlesex Championships who just missed out on 3rd place. Samara in her first outing for Middlesex was 43 out 143 in the National Inter-counties. Alice, Samara, Atak Diing and William and George Laing will be representing London in the English Schools Cross Country Championships.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the young athletes who contributed to this season. First track race 29 April, Bedford and remember, ALL your performances count.

      by Kate Jenrick & Elizabeth Ogunde


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

Ben Noad was awarded the Harry Rothery Trophy for being the outstanding Senior in the last year.
Two of his best performances were 2nd place in the Inter-Counties cross country and 5th in the National Championships.
Pat Davis, who won the Southern 800m Final and ran his fastest 800 this year, was awarded the runner up plaque.
The Walter Jewell Trophy for the outstanding junior went to Under 15 sprinter Anthony Norris, who at the age of 14 this year ran the remarkable times of 11.5/24.3 for the 100/200. The 11.5
placed him 20th in the whole of the United Kingdom in his age group for the year.
The runners' up plaque went to Saningo Martyn, who ran well on the track, road and cross country in the year.
Nicky Martyn was awarded the Masters Trophy, for being the first veteran in the London Marathon.
'Team-Wise' the Senior Women were the most outstanding coming third in the National cross country Championships.
Bill Mutler, was awarded Hon Life Membership for services to the club.

ALBERT ALDRIDGE         The mystery solved
Those who read the story of Albert Aldridge in the last issue of The Gate may remember that the mystery of how Aldridge's scrapbook found its way to America looked to be unsolved for ever.
However, I was happily surprised to receive in the post a printed email from a lady by the name of Frena Gray-Davidson, who lives in Bisbee, Arizona.
The email had been posted by Malcolm Holmes, the erstwhile Camden Archivist who has looked after the Highgate Harriers archives for so many years and who had been sought out by Mrs Gray-Davidson when she heard that the Aldridge scrapbook had been deposited with him.

The scrapbook was in the house of a Mrs Attaway whose parents were William and Lucy Kent. The Kents came to Bisbee in about 1903. At about that time in Redhill,
Surrey, Albert Aldridge married William Kent's sister, Jessie. Thus he was Mrs Attaway's uncle by marriage.

Jessie and her brother William stayed in touch and when William died in 1965 Jessie continued the correspondence with her niece, Mrs Attaway. Jessie died in1975, still living in Redhill leaving three children but she had presumably sent the Aldridge scrapbook to Mrs Attaway for safe keeping. The Aldridges had three children, a son, Albert junior, and two daughters.

As mentioned in the main article, the scrapbook is now deposited with the club archives at the Holborn Library.

Bob Slowe


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

MEN'S WINTER SEASON by Alastair Aitken    
Highgate Harriers team successes came in the early and mid-term. The 'Southern' senior team was one short and the 'National' senior race had just two Highgate competitors, which showed
that there was a general lack of interest in those events, once prized as vitally important to club and international runners.
Team wise the Highgate men were victorious in the North London Championships and it was worth noting that, in his first cross-country season Glen Saqui ran very well to come in second. Highgate won the London Championships with a four man team of Henry Dodwell, first vet Nicky Martyn, Glen Saqui and Chris Beecham. Ryan McKinlay won gold in the U20 London Championships. In the Intercounties, held in conjunction, he was 3rd and Saningo Martyn 4th leading Middlesex to the U23 title.

The Middlesex Championships saw two making the County team in the senior race Henry Dodwell 6th and David Bruce 8th. Highgate had a good team win with 131 points, ahead of Harrow 151 and Thames Valley Harriers 160.
In the U20 Saningo Martin won individual and team gold, supported by Atak Diing and Jack Matthewman. MSIE corrector
Nicky Martin & Henry Dodwell
Nicky Martin & Henry Dodwell

Highgate had an excellent Captain in Henry Dodwell, who led by example and was a prime mover in getting many of the club stalwarts out for the Metropolitan League where the club finished a creditable fourth out of 25 clubs.

Ben Noad led Highgate to a clear individual and team victory in the London Heathside 5miles road race as one of his warm up races for the World cross country in Kenya

Highgate Harriers won the team event in the Finchley 20 miles road.

Club Archives
As notified previously the club's archives and memorabilia are held at the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PA ( The previous archivist, Malcolm Holmes retired on 10th February after serving for 43 years in the libraries. His replacement is Tudor Allen and any items should be sent to him in future. All minute books, photos, old medals, programmes etc. will be welcome additions to the archives and will be of interest to future generations. So please don't throw anything of that sort away - sent it to Tudor Allen.


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

What links Highgate Harriers with the trophy for the winner of the Men's National Cross-Country championship and the town of Chesham?

MSIE corrector
To find the answer we have to go back to 14 March 1914 on which date the National Cross-Country championship was held at the little Buckinghamshire town of Chesham. This was to be the last National before the outbreak of World War One put a stop to all competition, and indeed ended the lives of a large number of the competitors.

The course comprised a circuit of about 1,000 yards around the local park followed by three laps of just over three miles each of countryside, a total of about 10 miles.

The inhabitants of Chesham subscribed 30 guineas for a magnificent cup to be presented to the winner and held annually. The Chesham Challenge Cup is still presented to the winner of the Men's race.

Chesham was anxious to put on a good show. Seven trains brought contingents from across the country. Despite shocking conditions about 2,000 spectators thronged the park with many more lining the route in the countryside. After a week of rain, hail and snow there was a tremendous storm continuing for most of the race. Of the 269 starters only 130 completed the course.


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

What has all of this to do with Highgate Harriers? The answer is that the race was won by Charlie Ruffell (Highgate Harriers) in a time of 1 hour 10 minutes 26 seconds, so he became the first holder of the trophy. The same trophy was presented last year at Parliament Hill to Peter Riley by none other than Derek Adams of Highgate Harriers.

Charlie Ruffell who took part in the Olympic games in both Stockholm and Antwerp was unusual in that he returned to competition after the war although he had contracted Malaria while serving in the far East which eventually led to his death. He presented a cup to the club for 10 miles cross-country.

The trophy has never since been won by a member of Highgate Harriers, but here's hoping that that day will not be too far away.


Southern Men's LeagueRichard Priestly
London Inter Club Challenge     Astrid Wingler
Young Athletes LeagueElizabeth Ogunde
National Junior LeagueShanne Bradley


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

Middlesex Young Athletes Road Relay Championships
Under 11 Boys 1500 Metres Individual Road Race       2nd Daniel Lavin

London Schools Cross Country
Junior Girls6th     Samara Williams
Intermediate Girls         5thAlice Keane
Senior Girls5thAneira Roose-Mclew
Junior Boys8thGeorge Laing
Intermediate Boys5thWilliam Laing
Senior Boys4thAtak Diing

Alice Keane
In her first ever and the SEAA 's first ever Indoor Under 17 women's 1500m race Alice Keane won a bronze medal

Award for Alice Keane
Alice Keane is the first winner of our new award for Most Consistent Young Female Cross Country Runner, which is sponsored by Runners Need. She received this award for her consistently good performance in the North West London Young Athletes Cross Country League, where she was the overall winner in the Under 15 Girls competition.


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007


Please check the website for the latest fixtures


The Gate                                                                                   April 2007

Coaching Times: Tuesday: 5:00pm Young Athletes 11+ (X-Country & Middle Distance) 6:00pm Young Athletes 11+ (Track & Field) 6:30pm onwards - Seniors (Track & Field) Thursday: 5:15pm Young Athletes 7-11 (Track & Field & Games) 6:00pm Young Athletes 11+ (Track & Field ) 6:30pm onwards - Seniors (Track & Field ) Saturday: At Hampstead Heath Extension 11:00am Seniors & Juniors (Middle/Long distance) Sunday: 10:30am onwards Seniors (Track & Field) 11:30am Young Athletes 11+ (Track & Field) 12.00am All ages Throws with John Wild


President    Terry Driscoll
Treasurer   Joseph Lowe
Secretary   Nick Stockman
Information & Membership Kate Jenrick (Young Athletes 7-11 years) Juliet Kavanagh (All ages Sprint, Jumps & Throws) Jack Bayliss (middle/long distance) Astrid Wingler (middle/long distance)


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