Schools Cross Country Championships: A Run Away Success

Hawick Schools Cross Country Champions were crowned last Friday at a bustling Wilton Lodge Park.

The annual event organised by Teviotdale Harriers in association with Live Borders Active Schools, attracted over 400 enthusiastic runners competing in four keenly contested races with individual and team prizes up for grabs.

As well as the yearly Primary Schools P6/P7 boys and girls races, for the first time High School S1/S2 pupils would also race for boys and girls prizes.

Ava Hughes, Irvine Welsh, Maisie Ballantyne and Thomas MacAskill emerged worthy winners on a heartening day for the town, when every standard of runner accepted the challenge and tackled the courses in impressive fashion.

The Primary Schools girl’s race was first underway. Boasting 120 runners, the girl’s excitedly sped off to tackle the well-marked 1850m course and it was Drumlanrig St Cuthbert’s Ava Hughes who would emerge victorious. Although still only in P6, Ava raced home determinedly to claim gold in 8:23. Emily Gibson (8:33) finished a spirited second representing Trinity, with Poppie Gibson (8:42) running for Stirches a strong third.

Trinity claimed the girl’s team prize with a total of 56 points. Emily Gibson (2), Sophie Swan (8), Rhae Pringle (10), Emily Stormont (17) and Ellen Dobbie (19) were the counters. Drumlanrig (57) finished second only one point adrift with Wilton (90) in third.

In the 133 competitor boy’s race, another P6 runner was to claim the title. Wilton’s diminutive Irvine Welsh raced to victory in an impressive 7:37. Rhys Elliot (7:47) ran well for Stirches to secure second with Wilton’s Fraser Casson (7:49) finishing fast in third.

A strong Wilton quintuple romped to victory in the team competition as Irvine Welsh (1), Fraser Casson (3), Robbie Welsh (5), Jack Turnbull (8) and Taylor Rafferty (12) scored an impressive 29 points. Again Drumlanrig (58) took second with Denholm (95) completing the top three.

The overall Champion School Trophy was secured by Drumlanrig (115), with Wilton a close second (119) and Trinity (190) third.

Individual prizes were awarded at the picturesque Bandstand by Harriers club President Alan Coltman and the pupils and teachers dispersed back to their respective schools to make way for the older competitors.

Again the girls were first to race and 87 young S1/S2 Teri’s stood on the start line, ready to head out on the slightly further 2450m route. With a much coveted House competition up for grabs there was plenty to race for. Maisie Ballantyne running for Turnbull completed an impressive double, winning in 10:46. S1 student Maisie followed up last year’s Primary School victory with a tenacious run.

Kelly McKay (11:07) made it a Turnbull one-two running with great intent from start to finish. Tiegan Singleton (11:12) and Sophie Allott battled neck and neck to the line but it was the former, competing for Scott who prevented the Turnbull clean sweep by taking third in a close finish.

Unsurprisingly Turnbull won the girls team competition with Maisie Ballantyne (1), Kelly McKay (2), Sophie Allott (4), Sophie Allen (9) and Phoebe Gale (10) reaching a total of 26 points. Scott finished second (29) with Turnbull ‘B’ (88) third House.

The final race of the day included 92 boys and the promising Thomas MacAskill ran impressively for Douglas to take the gold in 9:16. Fellow Douglas House mate Ben Morozzo (9:41) gave a good account of himself to take silver with Jai Patterson (10:02) running purposefully for Turnbull completing the podium.

Douglas secured the team title with a dominant 23 points, Thomas MacAskill (1), Ben Morozzo (2), Matthew McDonald (5), Martin Goldie (7), Rocco Cuthbert (8) the five scorers. Turnbull (43) finished second with Scott (71) third.

These results earned Turnbull the overall Champion House title on 69 points, with Scott (100) second and Douglas (112) third.

Event organiser Rory Anderson couldn’t have been happier with how everything went: “Friday was a huge success and was great to see so many keen runners over the four races.

“It’s good to take part in such events but also be competitive and push for the best position you can get.

“I would also like to thank the continued support of our eight local schools and now also Hawick High School, the teachers, staff and helpers, all of whom gave up time and effort to back this worthy event and make it so worthwhile.”

A Harriers spokesperson also added: “We would like to thank Paul Scott and Euan Lindores for their efforts over the last few months, Gordon Webber for the gazebos and Hawick Waverley for use of their changing rooms.

“Last but not least a huge thanks to everyone who marshalled, officiated and provided any form of assistance in making this inspiring day such a success.”

If anyone who ran on Friday enjoyed the event and would like to give running another go Teviotdale Harriers meet every Wednesday 6pm, at Teviot Church in St George’s Lane.

Closely Contested Club Championships

Teviotdale Harriers Club Champions were crowned on Saturday but the cream had to resolutely stay the course to rise to the top.

With six exciting and highly competitive races right across the age groups the standard of running was as impressive as the effort exerted.

Alongside the coveted titles of Club Champion a further six sealed handicap honours were available, thus ensuring everyone gave it their all to the line.

Hat Trick Man Rory Anderson

Rory Anderson, Michelle Short, Fraser Clyne, Thomas MacAskill, Irvine Welsh and Iona Jamieson etched their name in Harriers history but all six were pushed hard to earn their honour.

The first race on Championship day is the mass start involving the under13/11 boys alongside the under13/11 girls. Following on from their Langheugh dead heat, Thomas MacAskill and Conan Harper served up another cracker in the U13 race.

Approaching the turn around the half way point, Thomas had opened up a five metre advantage on Conan, not too far behind Irvine Welsh ran out purposefully to stamp his mark on the boys U11 race. With Iona Jamieson taking early control of the U11 girls, these three titles looked pretty secure.

Conan had other ideas however and worked hard to ease his way back into contention. Racing down the slippy ‘Spetch’ Conan battled to get back on terms, they sped over the ‘humpback bridge,’ turned left and Conan now found himself in the lead as they headed up the avenue towards the finish line at the museum.

Conan And Thomas Battle For The Line

Thomas found that little bit extra though as a tiring Conan could give no more and young MacAskill (5:43) crossed the line to take the title with Conan (5:46) only three seconds behind. Sam Allott (5:55) also had a fine run and was only a further nine seconds behind to take bronze. Robbie Welsh came out in top of the sealed handicap with Sam adding to his bronze with the handicap silver and Harrison Hughes third.

Irvine Welsh (6:06) claimed the U11 boys title with a tremendous run, followed home by a spirited Robert Wood (6:35) in second. Kyle Wright (6:49) also dug deep to secure a well-earned bronze. Meanwhile a mini battle had begun at the back of the pack as three of our youngest competitors fought for positions and unbeknown to them the sealed handicap title. Craig Watson, Glen Jamieson and Alfie Walker thanks to some determined running and plenty of encouragement secured the one, two, three.

Iona Jamieson (6:08) was the class act in the U11 girls race and built her lead around the entire route. Ava Hughes was as determined as ever and although not having her best run managed to take the silver. Lucy Allott raced right to the line to take bronze.  Lucy was rewarded for her run by claiming the sealed handicap with Ava having to settle for a second silver.

Following on from the high standard set by the Juniors, the Youths and the Seniors were next and they provided some equally competitive races.

The Mass Start With Champions Fraser 26. And Michelle 91.

A second mass start released two groups of runners as the Senior Men headed from the Museum up through the park whilst the uder15/17 Boys, Girls and Senior Ladies raced back down the avenue towards the park gates.

In the boys race Fraser Clyne (15:51) produced the goods to retain his title from Jamie Waugh (16:00). Fraser was relentless in his pursuit of the gold but Jamie gamely built into his run to chase Fraser home, only nine seconds behind. Euan Welsh (19:19) should be pleased with his run scooping the bronze and securing sealed handicap victory in the process, with Jamie second.

The Ladies and girls also delivered a competitive race with only 16 seconds separating the top two. Michelle Short (17:03) worked hard for her title, even recovering from a mid-race tumble, as last year’s champion Lauren Corbett (17:19) refused to back down but ultimately had to settle for silver. Young Lucy Ash (19:01) continues to develop into an impressive runner and claimed bronze. The sealed handicap was won by Donna Inglis with Kirsty Hughes second and Lauren Corbett third.

The Senior men set off at a frantic pace with Rory Anderson, Greg Walker and Bruce Hughes all showing their intentions from the start. After the ‘10k hill’ Rory nudged in front and slowly opened a small but significant gap. Once he hit the road at Borthaugh, Anderson (41:51) was not to be caught and increased his lead over the last two miles to complete an impressive Club Championship hat trick. Greg (42:42) also ran home strongly in second, extending his advantage over a hard working third placed Bruce (43:31). Paul Lockie ran well to take the sealed handicap with Alan Samuel second and Andy Goodair third.

Next competitively for the club is the Scottish Cross Country Championships at Callendar Park Falkirk on Saturday 25thFebruary, where a strong team is expected to travel from Hawick.

Alex Corbett’s photos here

Results Championships 2017

Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships

GOLD MEDAL FOR JIM AT THE MASTERS

Saturday 28th January saw the Teviotdale Harriers head north to Dundee to compete in the Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships. The ten men and one woman squad with a combined age of over 550 years, along with a hearty bunch of spectators left a cold and misty Hawick early on Saturday morning to make their way to their venue at Camperdown Park, Dundee.

There are two races run on the day, the first being the combined race of Women over 40 and Men over 65 on a 2 lap, 6,000 metre course. Teviotdale had 3 runners in this event. Donna Inglis F50+ category, Frank Birch M70+ category and previous silver medalist at both the Scottish and British Masters Cross Country Championships, Jim Pittillo in the M80+ category.

Running in damp, misty, drizzly conditions, first home was Donna Inglis in a time of 36.04. Next was Jim Pittillo in a time of 38.18, well ahead of the competition to take not a silver medal this time, but the gold medal, much to the delight of all the team. Frank Birch on his first outing to the Masters, completed in 38.57. Well Done Jim!

Then it was the turn of the Men 45 – 65 years. With the temperature taking a dip and sleet beginning to fall, an amazing 295 competitors lined up for this race. Teviotdale fielded 8 competitors – Craig Grieve M45+, Alister Walker M60+, Andrew Goodair M45+, Alan Inglis M45+, Alister Biggar M45+, Alan Coltman M50+, Paul Lockie M50+. Running a 3 lap course covering 8,000m first home for the club was Craig Grieve in 32.38, next in was Alister Walker, 4th in the over 60 category with a time of 33.17, Andy Goodair followed in 33.38, then Alan Inglis in 34.57, Alister Biggar completed in 36.43, Alan Coltman in 41.45 and Paul Lockie in 42.09.

Dry clothes on, tent and banner taken down and packed away, all headed to the Ardler Centre for the presentation of medals. A loud cheer went up when Jim received his well earned gold medal. Celebrations began on the minibus home with various delights being shared out, then continued with a visit to Wetherspoons, Hawick for tea and some refreshments.

See Alex Corbett’s photos HERE

See Lauren Corbett’s photos HERE

Conan and Thomas are quick on the draw

The positive upward spiral Teviotdale Harriers are currently enjoying continued during the exciting Langheugh Races and annual social dominoes tournament on Saturday.

The Haddon and Turnbull sponsored event provided dead heats, wrong turns and a huge turnout for the senior men, all followed by an equally well supported get-together in the Cricket Club.

A sparkling crisp winter’s day awaited the runners and the many supporters who congregated at the towns Bandstand. The chill of the seasonal weather was soon forgotten as the first race of the day het up to a cracking climax.

The under 11/13 boys and girls set off on a course which had been altered due to ongoing works in Wilton Lodge Park.  Confusion arose after a handful of runners ventured upon the wrong route whilst others continued around the correct course.

Those who had ran the shorter route were given time to recover and offered a second chance to run the correct route later and credit to those youngsters who gave it their all for a second time.

Conan Harper and Thomas MacAskill

The boys were battling for the Burnfoot Residents Association Trophy and what a battle it was.  Conan Harper started as back marker with Thomas MacAskill having a ten second advantage. This blossoming rivalry threw up another corker as they raced towards the line.

Both couldn’t have given anymore as they sprinted for victory, eventually crossing the line in a blanket finish. After a short deliberation, officials rightly declared a dead heat. Having a tremendous run in his own right Robert Wood took third. Credit also to the next Walker to step off the running conveyor belt as young Alfie Walker followed grandad Alastair and dad Greg and competed in his first Harriers race.

Racing for the Fire Brigade Cup, Iona Jamieson blazed home to take victory for the girls. Already a consistent performer, once Iona hit the front she was not to be caught. Ava Hughes finished 2nd and Sinead McHugh completed the podium.

Next to be called to their marks were the ladies and under 15/17 girls and boys. Competing for the Lodge 111 Trophy the ladies and under 15/17 girls provided a keenly contested race. Ultra-Distance runner Pam Paxton reclaimed a trophy she had won two years previous and for the fifth time in total by securing a hard earned victory. The battle was now on for the minor medals and it went right to the line as the determined Ann Aitken managed to dig deep and fend of the fast finishing Lucy Ash.

The under 15/17 boys were racing for their own Lodge 111 Trophy and back marker Fraser Clyne looked in fine form as he cruised around the course to take the honours. Jai Patterson ran on gamely to take silver.

On a day which popular consensus described as being the best Langheugh conditions for many a year, the last race of the day boasted its highest number of competitors since 1997. An impressive 20 senior men competed for the Langheugh Trophy, around what is surely one of the most testing cross country routes in Scotland.

A big thank you must be offered to Bruce Mactaggart for access to his land and a huge well done also to the members who had spent the morning taping out the 5.5 mile course.

A 20 minute gap between first away Frank Birch and scratch man Rory Anderson left runners with plenty of work to do to catch the man in front. Paul Lockie soon found himself first and led for the vast majority of the race as the back markers steadily made their way through the field.

Long-time leader Paul eventually succumbed as Bruce Hughes powered past to hit the front, a position he was not to relinquish as he finished strongly to claim the victory. Derek Scott had also managed to work his way through the front runners and claimed a well deserved 2nd, with Jubilee Champ Scott Watson running on well for 3rd.

Barty Yule receives his dominoes prize from Alex Corbett

With a great afternoon of running complete, an amazing 66 Harriers past and present, along with their friends and families enjoyed an evening of dominoes, chat and laughs in the Cricket Club. With 9 decades of competitors taking part, Barty Yule eventually claimed the title after beating Scott Watson in the final. Many thanks to Alex Corbett for organising what proved to be an excellent night, to finish of a fantastic day.

Next up on the hectic Harriers fixtures calendar is this Saturdays Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships in Dundee.

Alex Corbett’s Langheugh and dominoes pics here

Results LANGHEUGH TROPHY 2017

Cross Country – Fun for all the family!

Teviotdale Harriers epitomised the term ‘family club’ on Saturday as kids followed by parents gave their all on a frozen Cross Country course at Broxburn.

A bright but chilly day set the scene for the third and final East District League Race of the season and an impressive 23 runners made their way from Hawick.

A strong group of 12 Senior Men, gave Teviotdale their highest team position in a league race for eight years, with father and son Alastair and Greg Walker in particular catching the eye. Dad Alastair  was competing in his first league race for over 23 years and son Greg was first home for the club.

With the top six runners counting towards team placings, Teviotdale’s Senior Men finished 11th of the 33 teams in the three lap 8.1km race. Greg Walker (48th), Rory Anderson (73rd), Scott Watson (80th), Bruce Hughes (95th), Alastair Walker (121st) and Alan Inglis (155th) were the counters.

Alister Biggar (197th), Andrew Gibson (198th), David Bell (208th), Ged Smith (233rd), Alan Coltman (252nd) and newcomer Brian Harper (258th) competing in his first ever East District race, completed the dozen.

The first race of the day included Ava Hughes in the 1.4km under 11 girls. Starting off steadily Ava worked her way though the field before finishing 33rd.

In the 1.4km under 11 boys, Robert Wood was the sole competitor. Cheerie Robert set off grinning and responded to club mates encouragement with a double thumbs up. Obviously enjoying his run, Robert finished 74th.

The next race to feature runners from Teviotdale was the 2.7km under 13 boys. Conan Harper showed dad Brian how it’s done and raced home 13th, with teammates Thomas MacAskill (17th), Lewis Renwick (60th) and Harrison Hughes (68th). With three runners counting towards team places, the lads finished a credible 9th of the 20 teams.

It was now the turn of our Senior Women to race and all three can be proud of their efforts. Kirsty Hughes (82nd), Ann Aitken (87th) and Donna Inglis (95th) were great examples to their kids. Running determinedly around the two lap 5.4km course the marvellous mums placed 17th of the 30 teams.

The under 15 boys were next and Fraser Clyne ran superbly over his 4.1km course. Showing improvements every time he runs, Fraser finished a highly impressive 6th, improving on his 13th place in the previous race at Alloa.

Racing after her mum and just before her dad, Ishbel competed in the under 15 girls/under 17 women’s race. Ishbel ran strongly and should be pleased with hard earned position of 42nd.

In what is a hectic few months of running, this Saturday will see Harriers competing in the Langheugh races.

New Year’s Day Run

A total of 30 runners whos ages ranged from 5 to 83 years old as well as a few well wishers met on New Year’s Day to take part in the annual social run, although the weather was cold and underfoot conditions were tricky, spirits were high and everyone had a great time. At 10.30 am the ladies and mens captains (kirsty and Bruce Hughes) led the charge from the clubrooms over the James Thomson Bridge, through Wilton Lodge Park (where they were joined by Brian Gibb), up Wilton Burn and over the fields to Martin’s Bridge, they then regrouped on the Fisherman’s Walk to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of Past Harriers sadly no longer with us. Next, a very muddy route back to Buccleuch Lane then through the park to finish at the clubrooms.

Report by Alex Corbett.