Olympic Day Out At Stirling

Stirling University played host to the first East District Cross Country League Race of the season on Saturday and 12 Harriers made the trip for Teviotdale.

It proved to be a worthwhile journey for the determined dozen with some great runs and the added bonus of photos with an Olympian.  In which other sport can your average club competitor get the chance to race alongside Olympic athletes?


Teviotdale Harriers with Olympic 5000m runner Andrew Butchart

The technical route took runners through many twists and turns, ups and downs and trails and tracks that skirted the Stirling University golf course.

With nine races and 783 runners in total, the wet weather synonymous with cross country running season, left athletes with an ever deteriorating course but failed to dampen any spirits.

First up and proudly sporting her Harriers vest was Ava Hughes in the under 11 girl’s (1550m).  Ava (6:53) ran a hugely determined race and finished 26th showing great improvement from last year.

Next to run and grinning from the start was Boyd Hughes in the under 11 boys (1550m).  Boyd (7:05) arrived at the climb to the line, replaced the grin with grit and earned a few more places to finish 74th.

A smiling Nadine Elder was next on the start line in the under 13 girls (2400m).  Nadine (13:13) ran well, give it her all and pushed hard through the tricky final section to 38th position.

The third Hughes sibling, Harrison, stepped forward for the under 13 boys (2400m).  An honest 65th position was the result after a reliable and steady run from Harrison (13:15).

As the weather worsened, saturated numbers fluttered from vests like the autumnal trees shedding their leaves, the scene was set for the Senior/U20 Women’s race (6000m).

Swiftly making their way to the start line for Teviotdale were Kirsty Hughes and Donna Inglis.  The women covered a two lap loop of a 3000m course that tested all who stood ready for the gun.

Kirsty (31:42) ran steady paced and proved another strong finisher, picking up places in the final straight to come home 70th.  Donna (35:39) stuck to her task and tackled the course with purpose to finish 83rd, describing stunning Stirlingshire sights during her run as two deer caught her eye.

The 8th race of the day and 6th to feature Teviotdale Harriers, was the under 15 girls/17 women’s race (3100m).  Junior Girls Captain Carly Blaikie and fellow Langholm lass Macy Cropper demonstrated great dedication and drive to make the longer journey to Stirling and did not let the club down.  Carly (13:59) finished 49th and Macy (14:35) was 57th.

The Senior/U20 Men’s race (9000m) was the final event to be run, tackling three laps of the tricky route.  Teviotdale were represented by a strong four in Alan Inglis, Scott Watson, Bruce Hughes and Rory Anderson.

Consistent Rory (32:59) emerged first out of the woods for the Harriers and raced home in 45th position.  Next home was Bruce (35:23), after taking a tumble on route finished 90th with Scott (36:35) showing ever improving form not far behind in 113th.  Competing in the opening East District League Race for the 10th year in a row, Alan Inglis (39:17) gave his customary all to place 159th.

Prior to competing and subsequently romping to victory in the men’s race, Olympic 5000m finalist Andrew Butchart (27:34), who represents host club Central Athletics, stepped forward to acknowledge the warm applause and cheers of spectators and fellow runners.

Butchart, who finished 6th behind Mo Farah in that Rio final, proved to be a class act not only as a runner but after the race also.  With many runners, young and old in awe of this oustanding athlete, he gladly gave up plenty of time to chat and pose for pictures.  An inspirational character that happily turned out to compete for his club.

Bruce Hughes photos here

East District Cross Country Relays

East District Cross Country Relays – Livingston

Cross Country started proper last Saturday for Teviotdale Harriers with the East District Relays at Livingston. Although the first weekend of the Borders autumn holiday the club managed to field 13 competitors making up 3 full teams, one incomplete and one individual runner. Also present were Teviotdale’s Alan and Doug Carruthers and Rachel Halliday in their roles as official timekeepers for Scottish Athletics.

A warm and sunny day awaited the runners on arrival at Dechmont Law, a perfect start for Maisie Ballantyne’s first run in a championship race as part of the girls’ team. All 3 girls ran their 2,500m course consistently with only seconds between them. Maisie ran the u13 leg in 11.43, Lucy Ash completed the u15 leg in 11.31, then Ishbel Inglis u17 leg in 11.33. Overall team position 25th. The girls then moved to the sidelines to watch and cheer on fellow clubmate Harrison Hughes. Well done to Harrison as our only junior boy competing in the boys u13 leg over the same distance. Harrison ran relaxed but determined and crossed the line in 11.43.

Next up were the ladies on their 4,000m route. First away was Lauren Corbett crossing the line in a time of 17.54, next up Ladies Captain Kirsty Hughes, completing her leg in 20.20, and Donna Inglis on the final leg 21.19. Overall team position 36th.

Last race of the day was the senior men’s event covering the same route and distance as the ladies. Teviotdale had one full team in Greg Walker, Scott Watson, Andy Goodair and Alan Inglis. Also competing were Andrew Gibson and Alister Biggar. First leg runner Greg Walker finished in 14.05, 2nd leg Scott Watson in 14.50, 3rd leg wearing the red number Andy Goodair in 15.47 and final leg Alan Inglis in 16.16. Overall team position 34th. Andrew Gibson also ran first leg finishing in 17.27 with team mate Alister Biggar completing the 2nd leg in 17.11.

Next outing for Teviotdale Harriers is to Stirling on Saturday 15th October 2016 for East District League Race 1.

See Alex Corbett’s photographs HERE

Harriers Have A Dam Fine Time At Kielder

The picturesque Kielder landscape framed a weekend of 5 events that left competitors physically drained but surely satisfied.

The Active Northumberland Kielder Events will always be blessed with the sensual sights, sounds and charm of the serene setting. However, when the weather also plays its part, you’ve surely found yourself at one of Britain’s most pleasurable and stimulating places.

Now, pleasurable is not a word you would always associate with the running of a Marathon but surely even the most fatigued of competitor must have let their mind drift. Deviating for a delightful moment towards the captivating countryside they currently found themselves running around.

The two day event began on Saturday with the Run Bike Run event and also a 10k race. The following day, Kielder Marathon, Half Marathon and various junior races provided thousands of runners and spectators with a wonderful reason to get out and see what Northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water, had to offer.


Greg Walker, Kirsty Hughes and Bruce Hughes

Teviotdale Harriers were represented by Pam Paxton in her 6th Kielder Marathon, whilst Kirsty Hughes, Bruce Hughes, Greg Walker and Michael Yule lined up to tackle the Half Marathon.

Both events set off at the same time but began at different locations. The Marathon, which claims to be Britain’s ‘most beautiful,’ begins at Leaplish Waterside Park and encircles the shore line before finishing back at Leaplish.

The Half Marathon begins at one side of Kielder Dam, heading along to the other before performing a loop that sees runners head back along the Dam having completed the first 4 miles of their race. They then follow the final 9 miles of the Marathon route along the Kielder Keepsake Trail to the Leaplish finish.

With many sights to see and many trails and terrains to navigate, runners were never idle. From the Kielder Columns to Robins Hut, from the Janus Chairs to Freya’s Cabin. ‘Steep inclines/declines’ mixed with ‘tight bends’ kept runners focused and sometimes eager to see what awaited them around the next corner.

Although, when around the next corner was the climb up Bull Crag, it wasn’t always fun!

Water and Isotonic stops were plentiful and much needed on such a warm, still day.  Who would have thought in October runners would be so grateful for the shaded spots provided by the tree lined trails they found themselves winding around.

Pam Paxton (4:22:48) completed her Marathon on this testing trail route and finished 263rd of the 627 runners.  This run gave her a 10th place in the FV40 category.


Pam Paxton with her hard earned medal

As Pam made her way around, the half Marathon runners raced towards the completion of their event.

Kielder Kudos must be given to Greg Walker as he set off with intent from the start. Lying 4th by the end of the Dam, Greg (1:22:23) found himself finishing the race in that same position.

Next to finish in the much commented upon Harriers vest was Bruce Hughes (1:28:33) in 13th place. Michael Yule (1:37:58) finished 72nd overall and 15th MV40. Kirsty Hughes (2:05:32) completed the quartet and came home 364th overall and a credible 32nd FV40 among the 705 Half Marathon runners.

With an abundance of friendly, helpful marshals dotted frequently around the route, once runners had begun they could concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, from start to finish with no further problems.

In the interests of balance though, the pre-race staging of the  parking, with an initial two toilets and bus journey into the start could certainly be slicker. One long line filled with hundreds of runners and spectators with no sight around the corner left many anxious as to whether they would be making the run on time.

Subsequently the start was delayed as runners who had arrived 45 minutes before the event waited for a bus that would transport them to the start line, all be it, not properly warmed up.

Once aboard, the short bus journey did run smoothly and the sight of former World 1500m Champion Steve Cram organising things as you stepped off, quickly eased the tension.

Kielder and all its beauty staged a hugely impressive run and route that left many memories that weren’t just discomfort and tiredness.

Penchrise Pen Hill Race

Last Sunday saw Teviotdale Harriers host their annual Penchrise Pen Hill Race and with the race also doubling up as the final counter in the inaugural Borders Hill Running series a record field of thirty eight runners lined up to contest this year’s renewal at Stobs camp. Despite a headwind on the outwards journey conditions proved pretty good for racing and some fast times posted with pride of place going to Lucas Cheskin of Moorfoot who blasted away from the pack and led the field home in a new course record of 34:19, 35 seconds inside the previous mark of Haddington’s Brian Marshall who finished third with another previous record holder Andrew Cox of Moorfoot sandwiched in between. Lucas also became the first recipient of a new trophy for the race kindly donated by regular participant Will Donald of Bonchester. First lady home in a time of 40:11 was Susan Ridley of Edinburgh AC with Pauline McAdam of Teviotdale second and Sarah Mcadam third.

After the Penchrise presentation was concluded, the Borders Hill Series prizes were handed out by series organiser Colin Williams with Andrew Cox emerging first overall in the series and Jill Stephen of HBT first lady. Teviotdale were well represented among those receiving momentoes for completing a minimum five of the ten races and among the age group prizes Pauline McAdam was successful in the F60 class.

Many thanks to all who came along to run and those who helped out on the day and also all who kindly donated prizes including Lyle and Scott and Shorts of Hawick.


Christie Cup

The Teviotdale Harriers 2016/2017 season got underway on sunny Saturday 10th September with the staging of the Christie Cup. Due to ongoing works in Wilton Lodge Park the route had to be changed from it’s usual starting point at the site of the old cafe to the bandstand. Runners ran up the slope and off to the left, then followed the park paths past the pitches, round by the dunk and back to the bandstand. Juniors were first to compete on their one lap course. A total of 20 boys and girls lined up in the U11/U13 category including newcomers Robbie Welsh, Shaun Chapman, Robbie Jack, Brooke Hogg, Zak Marsh, Craig Watson, siblings Isla and Glen Jamieson. All the youngsters took off at a blistering place but when they came back into view it was Brooke Hogg who rounded the bend to cross the line first in a time of 6.18, 2nd girl and 2nd over the line was Ava Hughes in 6.21 with Maddi Hewitt 3rd in 6.46. Fastest actual time Maddi Hewitt. Victory for the boys went to Conan Harper in 6.23, with newly appointed junior boys captain Thomas MacAskill hot on his heels to take 2nd place in 6.26, 3rd was the ever smiling Irvine Welsh in 6.39. Fastest actual time Thomas MacAskill.

Next to run were 12 competitors in the U15/17 boys, girls and senior ladies race over their two lap course. This was Euan Welsh’s first outing as a Harrier and a move up to a different category for Jai Patterson. On completion of the first lap Ishbel Inglis was in the lead overall and managed to maintain that lead in the ladies race to take first place in a time of 12.55, 2nd was this year’s junior girls’ captain Carly Blaikie in 13.09 and Lauren Corbett 3rd in 13.16. Fastest actual time Lauren Corbett. Fraser Clyne was first overall as well as 1st youth in a time of 12.48, with only seconds between them Jamie Waugh took 2nd place in 12.52, Jai Patterson was 3rd in 14.27. Fastest actual time Jamie Waugh.

Final race of the day was the three lap course for the 14 senior men competing. There was plenty of support from the youngsters who had raced and were now cooling down with ice creams in tandem with plenty effort from the men as they completed lap after lap. That effort paid off for Greg Walker, who claimed victory in 22.01, 2nd spot went to Brian Gibb – back into racing – in 22.05 and 3rd placed was Rory Anderson in 22.11. Fastest actual time Rory Anderson.

All times include handicaps.

Please see Alex Corbett’s photographs HERE