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CONGRATULATIONS to Amanda & Ben Pochee, who welcomed the arrival of a baby boy on 9th November
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Editorial


It's not a bad time to be a Highgate Harrier, is it?

This past month alone has seen medal success for the senior men at National Championship events, the ladies topple the Serpies to return to the top of the Metropolitan XC League, England Athletics recognise the club's work with the City of London for the Night of the 10,000m PBs and numbers down the track - sprinting, running, jumping and throwing - on Tuesday and Thursday nights spiral to exciting, unprecedented levels.

Throw in the vibrant young athlete groups that continue to go from strength-to-strength and a handful of the 1879 stars of the future that were recognised at the Jack Petchey Foundation awards evening held last month and the club certainly finds itself in pretty rude health.

There are many more people in the club who can do a better job than me of assessing the club's current health and standing compared to Highgate teams from years gone by - none more so than John Wild, a member for sixty years and former athlete, club secretary and team manager, who last month retired from his latest role of coach at Highgate Harriers.

The club is proud of, and grateful to, long-standing members such as John and their contribution to where the club finds itself today should not be underestimated.

All in all, a momentous month. Long may it continue.

Chris Rainsford
ENGLAND ATHLETICS LONDON REGION AWARDS 2014

Highgate Harriers and the City of London have won the England Athletics Club Partnership of the Year award for 2014, primarily for the joint work that made the Night of the 10,000m PBs such a success last May but also in recognition of the relationship between the club and the City of London, writes Graham Norris.

This is a major honour for which we are proud to have won, sure there will be a photo of the presentation - and not Mr Pochee sipping on 'branded' beer - in the next newsletter!
TRACK FEES // THE RULES

Highgate Harriers pay the City of London a lump sum each year so that our Young Athletes aged 7-16 can use the track at no cost to themselves.

If you have recently joined the club or have renewed your membership for 2014/15 and have yet to receive your track card then please email Graham Norris at highgateharriers@hotmail.co.uk to arrange collection at the track.

For all others, please remember this is a public track and the following charges apply at all times:

Annual season ticket: £60 (concessions £30)
Day ticket: £3 (concessions £1.50)
ARSENAL FOUNDATION TELL YOUNG HIGHGATE HARRIER'S STORY

One of Highgate Harriers' young stars, Jahziah Williams, found himself the focus of a feature in the Arsenal FC programme for the Gunners' match against Hull City last month.

The Arsenal Foundation funds projects which empower young people to improve their skills and fulfill their aspirations.

In the article, fourteen year-old Jahziah, who has cerebral palsy, talks about the freedom that running gives him and his athletic successes - including being ranked number one in the UK over 60m, 100m and 200m at U15 level - in the T37 category.

Full article HERE
COMING TO A RACE NEAR YOU SOON: HH YOUNG ATHLETES PLAYLIST #1

Those of you who have competed for the Gate in recent times will have no doubt felt inspiration from the pre-race tracks and reggae-inspired beats pumped out by the Highgate Harriers PA.

The envy of other clubs across the country, the PA has become such a big part of the club's recent success (what? It has!) that its absence was sorely missed at last month's SEAA XC Relays.

In response, the call went out to the club's young athletes to put together a playlist of their choosing for upcoming competition - and so HERE is the first full YouTube YA Playlist.

An eclectic mix ranging from The Script to Sinatra to Slipknot, the playlist will enjoy its first airing at next month's Met League in Hillingdon - because we were been banned from playing it in Stevenage last weekend, the spoil sports!
IT'S RAINING MEDALS: NATIONAL MEDAL ACTION FOR MEN OF THE GATE
 
Highgate Harriers' men were once a force nationally way back in 1905 when they won the English National Cross Country team award, words from Alastair Aitken.

Now the men of the Gate have firmly reestablished themselves as a force to be reckoned with after picking up not one but TWO national team medals in the space of a month.

Last month at Sutton Park, Birmingham, club history was made as the men's team came a magnificent second at the English National 6-Stage Road Relay.

The result was the highest position the club has achieved since the event started in 1969 and was their best finish since fifth-place twenty-four years ago.

The first three teams out of the 80 that qualified for the event from all the regional finals were:

1. Aldershot & Farnham & District AC ‘A’ 1:46:48
2. Highgate Harriers ‘A’ 1:47.25
3. Sale Harriers Manchester ‘A’ 1:47.54

Not to be forgotten among the medal-rush, the HH ‘B’ team also finished well-inside the first half of the field in 34th place, beating the likes of Gateshead Harriers, Herne Hill Harriers and Brighton & Hove AC along the way.

Full results HERE

Four of the six from that silver medal-winning side returned to strike... BRONZE at the English National Cross Country Relays at Berry Hill, Mansfield on the first Saturday of November, words from Ben Noad.

A medal has been more than a few years in the making and was just rewards for the steady momentum the club has built, particularly during the last three years.

Going by the freaky pattern that had started to occur, the 'A' team should have finished sixth this year, having placed 8th in 2013, 10th in 2012 and 12th three years ago. 

But no, third it was and just five seconds separated the efforts of the four Highgate history-makers. Danny Russell, Shaun Dixon, Ben Noad and Auden Nordtveit combined to finish twenty seconds or so inside a Morpeth Harriers and Bristol & West sandwich. Stockport AC took the gold.

If there were prizes for 'B' and 'C' teams then the Highgate team bus home would have been weighed-down with swag like Captain Hook's Jolly Roger. Alas, no such spoils, but second-spot - and top-50 overall - for both the 'B' and 'C' teams represented good business (especially given Rocket's last-minute bout of chip-related forgetfulness).

Special shout-outs to Peter Hawkings and Kerr Millar, who both pulled on the famous black and white hoops for the first time in National competition, and the women's trio of Becky Penty, Ashley Scott and Emma Burgess, who raced their way to 26th and the club's best finish since 2011.

Full results HERE

                       PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Photo of the Month this month features those Highgate Harriers receiving their Jack Petchey Foundation achievement awards at a celebration evening held on 22nd October. Pictured are:

Back row: Jon Deane (Leader Award), Adam Stewart, Hattie Brock and former 400m Olympic athlete Mark Richardson.

Front row: Georgia Fear, Hannah Sekkides, Phoebe Littler, Alistair Sleeman and Dorothy Brock.

The Jack Petchey Foundation seeks to inspire and raise the aspirations of young people across London by investing in, developing and promoting activities that increase their personal, social, emotional and physical development.

Send your best "Highgaters in action" shots to chrisofthegate@gmail.com for the next issue.
FAIR GREEN FIELDS TURNED BLACK & WHITE AT MET LEAGUE #2 IN STEVENAGE

Stevenage is a metropolitan oasis, sandwiched between Letchworth to the north and Welwyn to the South, twinned with Shymkent in Kazakhstan and Kadoma in Zimbabwe, and boasting to be the birthplace of top-class athletes, Lewis Hamilton, Ian Poulter and Jack Wilshere, writes Hannah Viner.

With the course itself described by ‘lovely’ Louise Faherty as “Wormwood Scrubs but a lot less convenient”, the hooped and not-so-hooped Harriers of Highgate were ready to turn the fair green fields black and white.

Trekking 30 miles north of London, questions filled expectant minds – nagging them like that Shaftsbury runner breathing down your neck as you come into the finishing straight.

Would the Serpies’ ‘quantity not quality’ method of domination win out? Would Shaun Dixon have had a hair cut? Would Heathside trounce us in a turn up for the books? Would the U17 men match their strong turn out and performance from last Met League? Would the absence of our star athletes, Becky Penty and Audun ‘the Norwegian Prince’ Nordtveit, damage team morale and performance? 

Full article HERE

Ham & High report HERE
TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILD

Our club has many loyal members who have been with us for many years, some of whom are still active in the running of the club – Terry Driscoll, Martin Holland, Martin Howard, Jeanne Coker and Tony Maitland to name a few. One other is John Wild, who has recently had to stand down from his coaching duties, write Graham Norris.

John joined the club in 1954 and, as well as a competing athlete, also performed duties such as team manager and club secretary. As an athlete, John competed mainly in the hurdles but also went on to throw for the club.

In recent years John has given his time and experience coaching a number of athletes in hurdles and throws, and below is a tribute from just one of those who has benefited from John’s help.
It is easy to take for granted that John Wild gave 50 years to Highgate Harriers, as both a coach, team manager and athlete, writes Matt Dore-Weeks

He was a throwback to generations past. John was an athlete who when he retired, became a team manager and then coached, giving back to the club until he literally could not any longer.

I was fortunate enough to meet John when I was competing for the 'B' team in 1999. John was the team manager of what at the time was an excellent 'B' team. I remember that when the team went for a few drinks at the end of the season, John said to me that he had coached many athletes that are far better than me! Looking back on it I think it was his way of showing a cocky young kid some humility.
 
Over the next 15 years, John tirelessly worked with me, on technical aspects of hurdling and the high jump, getting the best out of me. John worked with many other athletes in his coaching career of all ages and abilities.

John coached internationals and athletes that were doing the sport just for fitness and everyone in between. He treated all of his athletes the same, despite ability levels. He was an expert in technical aspects of athletics and a great teacher. More than that he is a roll model for us all. He will be sorely missed at the club.
Highgate Harriers is proud of, and grateful to, those long standing members who, while not actively involved these days, still continue their membership. We really appreciate your loyalty - you are valued club members.
CHRISTMAS SOCIAL
 
Highgate Harriers' very own Social Sec Emma Burgess provides us with the quick-fire details for this year's Christmas Social: 
 
When: Saturday 20th December from 7pm (after the Met League at Uxbridge)
Where: The Oak and Pastor, Junction Road http://oakandpastor.com/
What: Christmas buffet (£7 per person), drinks, good times!
Dress Code: Festive jumpers encouraged but not essential
 
GET INVOLVED!!! What better way to celebrate Christmas than a post-race Christmas themed knees up. 

If you're keen, drop me an email (emmacmburgess@hotmail.co.uk) so I can get a rough idea of numbers!
 
UTG!

Highgate Harriers had outstanding results in the North of Thames Cross Country Championships (first run in 1883), which was held in conjunction with the Liddiard Cup (first run in 1947), coming away from Kingsbury with a hatful of medals, writes Alastair Aitken.

Highagte’s 'A' team of eight-to-score were all inside the first 22 positions of the 132 that finished. The team won the North of Thames four-to-score, the six-to-score, the Liddiard Trophy plus the Middlesex Cup for twelve-to-score! 

Highgate Harriers were the first Masters team out of 10 clubs with 27 points ahead of London Heathside on 54 and Ealing Southall & Middlesex on 61.

Highgate Harriers women won the Liddiard Cup out of seven clubs that competed, with their three to score totalling 11 points. In an intriguing race, the winner was Hillingdon’s Mack Eva in 18:10 but she only got the better of Emma Burgess in the final 200m.

See article in Ham & High HERE
Congratulations to our Norwegian brother, Audun Nordtveit, who finished tenth for Norway in the Nordic XC Championships on Saturday 8th November.

Audun was selected off the back of his sixth-place finish at the national championships last month and was part of a four-strong team as Norway took the team silver behind Sweden. Gratulerer!

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The date for the 2015 Highgate Harriers Night of the PBs has been set. Save the date - Saturday 16th May. More details on plans and preparations to follow over the coming months.

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The next issue of The Gate is due out next month. Feedback and contributions to the newsletter are gratefully received so please send any through to Chris at chrisofthegate@gmail.com.

Special thanks to Hannah Viner, Matt Dore-Weeks, Graham Norris, Jahziah Williams, Alastair Aitken, Ben Noad, Emma Burgess and Jon Oviasu for their contributions to the newsletter this month.

For the latest news and updates in the meantime, don't forget to check the Facebook age and follow the club on Twitter: @HighgateHarrier

                      UPCOMING FIXTURES

Always check with your team manager/coach before travelling
NOVEMBER

15    London Cross Country Champs - Parliament Hill Fields
16    Brooks Brighton 10k
22    North London Cross Country Champs (m/w) - Alexandra Palace
22    NW London Young Athletes League (Match 2) - Alexandra Palace
29    Fraternity / Sorority Cup Cross Country (m/w) - Trent Park
29    NW London Young Athletes League (Match 3) - Trent Park
29    British Athletics Cross Challenge & Euro XC Trials - Sefton Park, Liverpool

DECEMBER

20    Met League XC (Match 3) - Uxbridge
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