Lovely Jubilee

Sun shines on the Harriers’ first cross-country races of the season. Writes Greg Walker

Teviotdale Harriers enjoyed a bright and sunny November afternoon for the annual Jubliee cross-country races held on Saturday at Hawick Mair. The event attracted 45 runners, across 5 age categories, in 4 races covering distances from 1.6 to 3.5 miles. While the conditions overhead were fine and dry, the underfoot conditions in contrast were muddy and wet, with the heavy going making the courses particularly testing.

The first race of the day was for under 11 and under 13 boys and girls. In the boys’ race, the early pace was set by Parker Johnstone who quickly took the lead and at the halfway point he was still in front and going well. As runners re-entered the racecourse the handicap began to unwind and the fast finishing Craig Watson hit the front, Craig managed to extend his lead in the closing stages to win in a time of 15:24 and lift the Pringle Cup. Parker Johnstone managed to hold on for second place with an excellent run. Alfie Walker came from towards the back of the handicap to take third, ahead of backmarker Irvine Welsh in fourth who recorded the fastest actual time. Five girls were also amongst the field and leading the way in the early stages was Alyx Armstrong in only her second Harrier’s race. Alyx chased Parker in determined fashion at the front of the race and managed to open up a commanding lead on the other four girls. Alyx maintained her lead as the field turned for home and she stayed on strongly to cross the line 40 seconds clear of her nearest rival and claim the Archie Richardson Memorial Trophy. Emily McLeod finished in the silver medal position and recorded the fastest actual time, Emily was followed home, in third, by her sister Sarah who continues to improve after recently competing in national events.

Next on track were the under 15 and 17 boys competing for the Lodge 424 Trophy alongside the under 15 and 17 girls and senior ladies who were racing for the Ladies Jubilee Trophy. This was an interesting race as runners tackled the new longer course which included some severe climbs. As the race began to unfold it was clear that women’s captain Caroline Jack was going to take some beating as she began to build a lead at the front of the ladies race. In the boys race Sam Allot was setting his stall out by going hard from the gun. As the race progressed Sam began to pay for his quick start and was being reeled in by Callum Renwick who was running well from the second back mark and in the ladies race Caroline was similarly seeing her lead dwindle as Iona Jamieson began to close in. Caroline found the strength to hold on to claim the ladies Jubilee Trophy in a time of 35:16, followed home by Iona in 35:31, recording the fastest actual time. In bronze position was Maisie Ballantyne. In the boys race, Callum Renwick would not be denied as he managed to pip Sam Allot to the line, winning the race by a narrow margin of 8 seconds and recording the fastest time, in third place was Robert Wood.

The final event of the day was the senior men’s race for the Jubliee Trophy. 16 runners lined up in a handicap which spanned 14 minutes from the front man to the back marker. Front marker Francis Cannon set off with real purpose hoping to relive the success of his Mair Cup win earlier in the year and back marker Rory Anderson, who is currently in great form, looked really impressive in the early stages. However, it was a man in the middle of the pack, Andrew Gibson, who appeared the likely winner as runners returned to St Leonard’s Park with 2 miles to go. And so it proved, as Gibson forged his way to the front in the final mile, eventually returning a comfortable winner in a time of 34:36. The good Doctor, Paul Lockie stayed on strongly to hold on to second place and Rory Anderson dragged himself from the back mark into third place, defying his handicap and recording the fastest time of the day by some margin.

Almost 60 club members, friends and family reconvened later at the Evergreen Hall for annual Jubilee quiz, excellently hosted by quiz master Bruce Hughes. The event was again a huge success and tested the knowledge of Harriers young and old. The winning team were Magpyes skippered by Harriers stalwart Pye Reid and included Andrew Gibson and Craig Watson completing their second victories of the day, Kirsty Hughes and Maisie Ballantyne made up the winning side.

Welsh, Harper and Renwick finish 4th at East District Cross Country Relays

Teviotdale Harriers made the journey to Livingston on Saturday to compete in first of two Cross Country Relays in the month of October and what day the club had. They conditions under foot and the sun in the sky meant for a great day of competitive, but hugely enjoyable running.

The Harriers youngters … snap happy!

Sarah Macleod, Zak Stewart and Glenn put on the club vest for the first time as they made their debut in the East District Relays, with the club ‘elders’ over the moon with the efforts they put in representing the club at the highest of levels. Before the race the excitement and nerves were clear to see on the trios faces but the performance by each of the youngsters was exceptional and a credit to their club. Once Sarah, Zak and Glenn had recovered from the gruelling 1.60 mile undulating course the pack lunches were consumed and they along with the 7 other Harriers kids marched round the course to cheer on the Senior Ladies & Men’s teams.

Rewind a couple of hours to 12 noon and the girls relay team of Sarah (under 13), Ava Hughes (under 15) & Maisie Ballantyne (under 17) were about to begin in the fiercely competitive field of 31 each completing the 1.6mile loop. As with the Scottish relays in 2 weeks time the under 13 starts the race, passing over to the under 15 who then completes the changes by handing over to the under 17 runner.

Sarah dug deep in an extremely fast paced start of the under 13 leg, pacing herself excellently to maintain her form and hand over to Ava in a time of 14minutes 24 seconds. Under 15 Ava Hughes put together a strong performance picking up 4 places on her way round the Livingston loop before handing over the duties to Maisie who like wise picked up a further 4 places. Ava time 11min 11 secs and Maisie 10mins 32secs. The girls finished the overall race in 24th position.

The Harriers fielded 3 teams in the boys relays at Livingston with Irvine Welsh, Glenn Jamieson and Zak Stewart all taking to the start line for the mass start of 39 teams. As with the girls race the speed from the gun was frantic, with Zak and Glen tucking into the group; however Irvine the second youngest of the Welsh contingent pushed hard to stay with the leaders in 10th position at the half way point of his loop. With little over half a mile to go in the under 13 leg, it was all downhill to the finish, Welsh emptied the tank to pass a further two runners placing Teviotdale in 8th position with 2 legs to be run. Welsh clocking a time of 9mins 44 seconds, Jamieson 2nd Harrier home with an impressive time of 11mins 24secs, Stewart completing the trio of under 13 boys runners in 11mins 40secs.

Champing at the bit and eager to get running on the under 15 legs were Conan Harper & Robbie Welsh. Harper who took on 8th place from young Irvine Welsh run a superb race clocking up a first mile of 5minute 36seconds  bumping the Harriers up into the bronze medal position. A strong finish from Team East Lothian however knocked Teviotdale back into 4th position before handing over to the under 17 leg. Robbie Welsh the second of the Harrier under 15 leg runners run a time of 10mins 1 second gaining 6 positions.

Finally Callum Renwick and Robert Wood had their turn of covering the now severely champed up course in the under 17 leg, although both still only under 15. Renwick had all the pressure on his young shoulders to hold off the chasing older under 17 boys, and he done so with great mental and physical strength. Running a time of 9min 20seconds Callum retained the position of 4th place, one of the highest finishes any of the Harriers teams have had in recent years. Robert Wood in his typical gutsy fashion complete his leg in a time of 11minutes 24, with the second Harriers team crossing the line in 32nd.

After all the excitement of the junior relays it was then the turn of the senior women and men, both with one full team and one partial team.

Pauline Mcadam, Ishbel Inglis and Kirsty Hughes competed relentlessly putting them in good form for the full Cross Country Calendar over the coming months. The 2.45mile loop time for the trio collectively was 1hours 5minutes and 47 seconds, Mcadam 22:12, Inglis 22:00, Hughes 21:35 positioned 50th overall. Ann Aitken competing as part of the partial team time was 24:03.

The senior men first team was head off by Rory Anderson, Colin Welsh on the 2nd leg, Raymond Jaffray on the 3rd and Andrew Gibson bringing the Harriers home.  Finishing in 34th place with a total time of 1hour 1minute and 17 seconds.  Anderson 13:42, Welsh 15:51, Jaffray  15:25 and Gibson 16:19  

The second senior men’s team was Alan Inglis 17:12, Brian Harper 18:07 and Alister Biggar 18:54.

Jubilee Quiz Night – Saturday 2nd November

!!DATE FOR THE DIARY!! Saturday 2nd November
Jubilee Quiz Night. Always a good laugh and everyone can join in. Bring your family, your friends, your Bottle and most importantly your general knowledge. All ages can join in with our annual quiz as the questions by our Quiz Master Bruce Hughes caters for all. 

Please note that the Harriers will provide snacks, please do not bring your own. 

Teviotdale harriers adults training night – NEW

The Harriers are delighted to announce that a weekly adults training (16 +) session will start the first Wednesday in October ( the 2nd) with training taken by Rory Anderson

We will meet outside the Teviot Parish Church (End of High School) at 7.15 . This is open to all, old, new and current members and will involve rep work, interval sessions, hills, all ages and abilities are welcome. Training sessions will accommodate all.

Any questions please email roryanderson@ymail.com

Look forward to seeing lots of faces there!

NATIONAL FITNESS DAY – Wednesday 25th September

Teviotdale Harriers have a great relationship with Think Fitness in O’Connell Street. As part of National Fitness day any S4 and above child and all our Adult members are invited to come along for a wee challenge after this Wednesday’s junior training. I hope as many of you will join me in supporting this joint event.

Where – Think Fitness

When – 7.15 (this Wednesday)

For more details click on the facebook link below; have you got what it takes?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/518758348158346/permalink/2717567728277386/

“Thee Alistair Walker” takes home double gold

Alastair Walker and Colin Welsh of Teviotdale Harriers headed over to Jesolo on the outskirts of Venice, Italy to compete in the 2019 European Masters Athletics Championships in which they have just returned home from.

Kelso man Welsh would take on the best in Europe in the over 35 aged group over 800m with Sammy Walker blazing up the track over 5k and 10k road race in the over 60’s.

Looking as Cool as a Cucumber!
A. Walker in the 10k Road Race

Welsh began his bid over the half mile in the first heat of two on the 11th September. Clocking up of 2:00:17, Welsh comfortably qualified for the final as 8th fastest over the 2 heats.

With a couple of days rest Welsh felt great and ready to go in the final. He was willing to take on the pace testing athletes from The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Poland hoping that he could use his strength to take the sprinters out of the field.

Welsh led from nearly the start of the race until around 250m to go when a few of his European competitors overtook him. Coming down the home straight Welsh was able to pick another runner off and crossed the tape in 2:00:01 finishing in 8th place. A incredible result for Welsh who has been unable to train properly with a knee injury.

Find the final of the 800m here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqOm8I_WLBU

It was then the turn of Sammy Walker who is recognised as a celeb in the Masters Athletics. Alastair had members of the public asking if he was “thee Alastair Walker” in which he responded in his usual laid back fashion.

In between photos and autographs Walker smashed the field away on the track over the 5K distance clocking a time of 17:08:50 beating his closest rival Sweden’s Tore Axelsson by 23 seconds … all in a days work for Sammy.

On a rest day between taking gold in the 5K and trying again for the double in the 10K road race, Sammy met up with Colin to visit the city of Venice and all it has to offer in terms of tourist attractions. I think you’ll find from the below imagine, the pair of them were overwhelmed with the city and although primarily there for the racing the trip lived up to expectations when the trainers were off.

The following day Alastair competed in the European 10K road race around the town of Jesolo and the outcome was very much the same for the flying scot. Going out hard and only getting faster Sammy broke the tape in a time of 35mins 28seconds with his closest competitor nearly 2mins 30 seconds behind. There is just no stopping this man right now, what is next for the Harriers flying papa?

Speaking with Colin Welsh on his return he had only great words (and rightly so) for Sammy, Colin said ” he is so laid back but he is the best out there in world for his age at what he does. It’s a privilege to know him and compete for same club as him.”

Well done again Colin & Sammy and thanks for flying the Harriers flag at the highest of levels.

The athletics club for Hawick and area since 1889.