Borders XC Podium Places Aplenty

The curtain came down on the 2018/19 Borders Cross Country Series on Sunday leaving six Harriers with overall podium places.

Despite some freezing winds and muddy underfoot conditions, Teviotdale were once again well represented for the final races held at Gala Policies.

Our prize winners – John, Pauline, Iona, Maisie, Irvine and Fraser (McLaren on his behalf)

John Tullie, Pauline McAdam, Fraser Clyne, Maisie Ballantyne, Iona Jamieson and Irvine Welsh all secured category prizes, with your four best results out of seven races (the final Gala races were excluded) counting towards your total.

Over the entire Winter series a record 586 athletes toed the start line to compete in races at Lauder, Dunbar, Peebles, Spittal, Paxton, Hawick, Chirnside and finally Gala.

It was following Sunday’s races that all the prize presentations would take place within Gala Academy. Recent Scottish Cross Country Champion and former Borders Cross Country competitor Adam Craig, Lauder was on hand to present the trophies.

Competing in the Male 60+ group, John Tullie claimed bronze with a total of eight points (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd) with Pauline going one better in the Female 60+ group, taking silver with six points (1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd).

Fraser also found himself upon the second step as his consistency with four second places earning him eight points in the Male Junior category.

Maisie took third in the Female 14-15 year old section with a total of nine points (2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd). Whilst Iona, racing in the Female 12-13 group took second with an impressive five points (1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd). Iona’s consistency did win her the JMS Cup for best results from a Teviotdale runner over the series.

Young Irvine Welsh was the sixth and final podium person for the club as he claimed bronze in the Male 10-11 group with 11 points (2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)

This concluded the hugely popular and competitive Borders Cross Country Series and runners will already be getting anxious at the thought of the series entries opening again for the 2019-20 event later this year.

Masters Magic From Walker and Welsh

In a busy weekend locally for Teviotdale Harriers, success was to be found for two Masters athletes who were on their travels.

Whilst Sammy Walker was claiming gold at the British Masters Cross Country Championships in Belfast, track runner Colin Welsh was picking up medals at the British Masters in London.

Sammy and his coach/fellow competitor, Derek Clyne headed across the Irish sea to compete over 8km in more than decent weather for cross country running. There may have been snow on the hills but beautiful blue sky shone all around.

Meanwhile at the two day indoor event at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, the weather wasn’t to provide any problems for Colin as he claimed Silver and Bronze in the 1500m and 800m respectively.

On Saturday (9th March) Sammy and Derek tackled the 4 lap course at picturesque Stormont Castle whilst Colin himself raced around 4 laps of the 200m, blue Lee Valley track.

Sammy, as he has done so often over the last year or two, produced the goods when it mattered. Finishing 24th overall, Sammy claimed V60 gold in 31:41. Robert Atkinson (32:18) running for Barrow and Furness took the category silver, with North Belfast Harriers runner Laurence Johnston (33:11) third.

Over in the Capital, Colin toed the line for the start of the V35 800m. Bronze would be the prize for the Kelso joiner as he stopped the clock in 1:59:78. Dave Ragan (1:56:88) would take gold for Basingstoke & Mid Hants and Tipton’s Aaron Brown (1:58:11) would cross second.

Sammy Walker alongside former Harrier, Michael Combe

Back in Belfast, Derek Clyne finished 8th in the same V60 category as Sammy, completing the course in 39:28. Also running and finishing 5th V40, was former Teviotdale Harriers member Michael Combe (30:34). Michael who now runs in Northern Ireland for Willowfield Temperance Harriers placed 11th overall.

Doubling up in events, Colin was back on track on Sunday (10th March) to compete in the V35 1500m. He would go one better than the previous day and this time claimed Silver. Again, Aaron Brown would be the man who crossed the line before him.

Colin ran 4:09:50, with Aaron’s winning time 4:07:16. Third placed Andrew Pickett would be slightly further back with 4:19:63 earning him Bronze.

The Perfect End To The Season

The end of another successful Teviotdale Harriers season arrived last Friday night at a jam-packed Evergreen Hall.

Presentation night was the occasion but entertainment and fun were the order of the day.

With a plethora of prizes to be presented to worthy recipients, over 100 members, their families and friends all congregated to appreciate the formal side but guests were also treated to a highly entertaining evening.

Slickly hosted by Rory Anderson, bedecked in a crisp white shirt and black dickie bow, the Club compere kept a good pace to proceedings as he dished out praise and mickey-taking in equal measure. With plenty to get through, Club President Alan Coltman was soon on stage to offer his opening remarks and the night was off and running.

Host for the evening, Rory Anderson

Looking back on the season, Alan described his two favourite moments. The first being the three Harriers (Fraser Clyne, Eilidh Jaffray and Iona Jamieson) who had been selected to represent the East of Scotland at the Inter District Cross Country races in Stirling. A great achievement for both runner and club.

This led him onto his most favourite of moments as Alan described; “A young lad stopped me one night at junior training and beaming with pride said, Alan, my Papa is World Champion.”

The young lad in question was Alfie Walker and his Papa of course is Sammy Walker. Unfortunately, Sammy couldn’t be there on the night but he had good reason. The next again day he would be winning the V60 British and Irish Cross Country Championships in Belfast.

The night flowed smoothly, much like the excellent bar service provided by Square One and the halfway point was soon upon the evening. Time for a quick bite to eat, recharge any empty glasses and settle down for part one of a DVD looking back over the 2018-19 season, compiled by Bruce Hughes.

Many laughs later it was time for the next batch of presentations. In the second half, as is customary, the winner of the Senior Men’s Cup Race is invited to say a few words. In a reflective but funny way, now five times champion, Francis Cannon gave great respect to the honour which he had earned.

Five times Cup Race winner, Francis Cannon

Also within the second half, trophies including the Coltman Challenge Cup (for most outstanding athlete of the season), the Jimmy Grierson Memorial Trophy (for first Senior Man in the East District Championships), the points prizes and also the Presidents Medal were awarded. As well as all this, the latest Harriers trophy, the JMS Cup, was presented for the first time.

The Coltman Challenge Cup winner, as selected by the committee, could only go to one person. World Masters 10k gold medallist Sammy Walker was a more than worthy winner. This was the third time Sammy has collected this particular piece of silverware having previously won in 1991 and 1986.

Sammy with his World Gold, who was the worthy winner of the Coltman Challenge Cup

The Jimmy Grierson Memorial Trophy was claimed by Brian Harper for his run at Aberdeen in December. The points prizes, for competitive efforts over the season in club races and District and National Championships were won by Alan Coltman (Senior Men), Ishbel Inglis (Senior Women) and the Junior prize was scooped by Glen Jamieson.

Brian Harper with the Jimmy Grierson Memorial Trophy

The winner of the Presidents Medal is the choice of Club President Alan Coltman and is awarded to someone who provides a great deal of service to the club and to the President himself over the space of the season.

Winner of the Presidents Medal, Alan ‘Pye’ Reid

This year’s worthy recipient was Alan ‘Pye’ Reid for all his help towards making the Scottish Masters such a successful event as well as all the Historical and current results work that he provides promptly and accurately to the club.

The JMS Cup was heading back to Langholm as Iona Jamieson become the first ever winner. Donated by local painter and decorator Malcolm Scott it was awarded to the most successful competitor in the eight race Border Cross Country Series held over the winter months.

Iona Jamieson, the first to ever winner of the JMS Cup

With the formal side complete it was now time for the second part of Bruce’s DVD and then for guests to swap stories of a very successful season and for anyone who felt inclined to have a bit of a dance as the lights came down and the music cranked up.

The Club and the committee would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed towards our season. From runners to officials from handicappers to volunteers and all the family and friends who bring the kids along to training and races.

Many, many thanks but please remember that the racing season may be over but training continues as normal and soon the Summer Time Trial Series will recommence.

The athletics club for Hawick and area since 1889.