Irvine and Ava do the double

Hawick Primary School Cross Country Championship 2018

 Last Friday, 16th February, 263 enthused children descended on Wilton Lodge Park to compete in the 7th annual Teviotdale Harriers Primary Cross Country Championships, writes Rory Anderson.

Double delight for Ava Hughes and Irvine Welsh

The 1850m course would provide some excellent running for each of the eight schools that were battling out for the silverware on offer. As with 2017 the weather was very kind, providing a cold but dry event with underfoot conditions varying from ankle deep mud to frozen ice rink strips that would not look out of place at this year’s winter Olympics in South Korea.

Course set out, marshals placed, primary 6 & 7 girls lined up at the start, it was time for the first race to get underway. The welcome sound of the gun unleashed the eager 129 girls into the challenging cross country trail which weaved it’s way through the beautiful park Hawick has to offer. 

The highly competitive field jostled for position over the first few hundred meters before settling down into the race. Over the first half of the race all pupils were tightly bunched together, however it was pupils from Wilton, Trinty and Drumlanrig who looked to stretch away from the field and create a smaller group fighting for the top spots. With little over a half a mile to go Ava Hughes, primary seven pupil from Drumlanrig and reigning champion made a huge effort to push for the coveted 1st prize. 

Hot on her heels fellow Westender Rhianna Scott chased with Ellie Benstead and Carla Bonini both of Trinity. With less than 150m to go the trio of runners was catching Ava with every stride but a gutsy sprint from the Drumlanrig pupil ensured 1st place and she retained the Championship medal. 

Ava Hughes (Drumlanrig) finishing time was a superb 8.39minutes, 2nd Rhianna Scott (Drumlanrig) 8.46 and 3rd completing the podium was Ellie Benstead (Trinity) 8.49minutes.

Shortly after all the girls had completed the gruelling course it was the chance for the boys of primary 6 and 7 to excel themselves over the same distance. As with the girls race the 134 boys from 8 schools within the Hawick region donned their trainers and took their marks for Barty Yule, Teviotdale Harriers longstanding member to release them with a single shot of the starter’s gun.

The boys quickly gathered speed into the first bend being cheered on by the girls who had recovered from their exertions. It was Wilton, Trinity, Denholm and Newcastleton pupils who were showing the early pace in this race matching each other stride for stride in the first half. Young Teviotdale Harrier,  Irvine Welsh with his usual long orange socks was easily identifiable in the second half of the race to be pulling further away from his competitors. 

With every step he opened up a bigger gap on the chasing Trinity, Denholm and fellow Wilton pupils to excellently grab first place and the cheers of all those at the finishing line with a time of 7.26minutes, as with Ava, Irvine retained his title from the previous year. Louis Bonini of Trinity school finished was an extremely strong sprint to secure second place in a time of 8.09minutes. Another Wilton pupil Fraser Casson completed the top three time crossing the line 8.16minutes.

To conclude with the day’s events the presentation was held at the iconic bandstand with all school parties being greatly praised for the effort and commitment on the day.

The winners of the girl team prizes was Wilton, the five counters were Iona Morozo, Chelsea Atkins, Stroma Beukes, Ruby Girvan and Hope Stewart.

The winning Girls team from Wilton

Trinity were to secure the boys team prize with Louis Bonini, Connor McLeod, Robbie Landles, Kyle Wright and Robbie Jack.

The succesful Trinity Boys team Champions

The combined team prize also returned to Trinity School with the boys names mentioned about and also Ellie Benstead, Carla Bonini, Sophie Swan, Zoe Pearce and Connie Yule.

Combined Team Champions, Trinity

Teviotdale Harriers would like to thank everyone who attended the 7th Primary Schools Cross Country Championship, including all volunteers who helped on the day, Hawick Waverley football club for the use of their changing rooms, the park green keepers for use of the changing pavilion, Gordon Webber (park management) for use of gazebos and of course Live Borders Paul Scott who communicates with the schools to make it happen.

Teviotdale Harriers have junior training on a Wednesday at Teviot Church on St. George’s Lane 6pm, all primary school kids welcome.

Club Championships

Late burst sees Anderson secure first.

On a sunny but cold Saturday, Teviotdale Harriers hosted one of its most highly contested and challenging races of the year, writes Thomas MacAskill.

First to race was the junior race with a start of 1.30pm. 20 keen youngsters set off to see if they could place their name on the list of Club Champions. Conan Harper from the Muckletoon set off at a great pace with high hopes of glory with two of the four Welsh brothers, Robbie and Irvine following his footsteps. Harper flew around the short challenging course finishing in 1st place in an incredible time of 5 minutes and 22 seconds. 2nd overall saw Irvine Welsh just holding off his brother Robbie in a time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds. Robbie in 3rd place completed the podium with a great time of 5 minutes 34 seconds. We also saw outstanding runs from Iona Jamieson, Ava Hughes and Kelly McKay. Iona motored around the course in an excellent time of 5 minutes and 41 seconds followed in shortly by Kelly McKay finishing in 2nd place in a brilliant time of 6 minutes and 34 seconds, Ava Hughes completed the U13 girls podium finishing in a great time of 6 minutes and 38 seconds.

Second race of the day was the U15/17 Boys and Ladies. 16 runners showed great determination and dedication as they swiftly plowed their way through the 3.6km course. The course was a mixture of road, trim track and grass. Straight from the gun Fraser Clyne made his way straight to the front and he soon made a brake away. He was followed by Thomas MacAskill, Duncan Little and Eilidh Jaffray. Clyne was around 1 minute infront of second place Thomas MacAskill as he accelerated his way down the last steep hill of violet woods. 3rd place Duncan Little was around about 10 seconds behind Thomas as he came down the hill and Eilidh Jaffray rapidly tried to stay with him.

Clyne came flying along the spetch and he extended his lead to around 1 minute and 20 seconds from MacAskill with Little and Jaffray hot on the heels with around 400 metres to go. Clyne made his way over the Laurie Bridge the last incline of the race and powered his way to victory in a highly impressive time of 13 minutes and 58 seconds. MacAskill finished in 2nd place in a time of 15 minutes and 21 seconds. Duncan Little finished with highly earned 2nd place with a brilliant time of 15 minutes and 43 seconds and Eilidh finishing 3rd overall and 1st in the U15/17 Ladies with an excellent time of 16 minutes and 11 seconds. 2nd in the U15/17 ladies was Maisie Ballanynte and third was Lucy Ash. Sealed Handicap winner was Maisie Ballanytne & boys sealed handicap winner was Thomas MacAskill. The Ladies race saw the extremely talented Helene Jaffray finishing in an excellent time of 17 minutes and 43 seconds, Lauren Corbett finished in second having a superb run and a time of 18 minutes and 44 seconds, Pam Paxton finished in 3rd with a cracking time of 19 minutes and 4 seconds. Sealed Handicap winner was Pam Paxton.

The last race of the day was the Men. Rory and Greg set off with purpose and matched each other stride for stride for nearly the entire race. Bruce set off third and tried to stay the pace as long as he could. Rory was going for his fourth win in a row but Greg was hoping to improve on last years second and claim the title. In the pack Andrew McEwan was running fantastically leading out the experienced Keith Murray at the Joogly Brig. Back at the front Rory pushed hard down Buccleuch Street and managed to edge a slight advantage. Bruce had now lost sight of the leaders but was well clear in third. Moving towards the park gates, Rory had increased his lead to about 5 seconds and there was to be no way back for Greg as Rory turned on the heat to claim his fourth straight title. Greg earned his second and Bruce came home in third, the same one-two-three as the previous year. Keith got the better of Andrew over the long run in to take 4th but for his efforts Andrew grabbed the sealed handicap title with Chris Watson second and Greg Walker securing third.

Next club race – Cup Races, Sat 3rd March.

Alex Corbett’s photos here

Think Fitness -Think Teviotdale Harriers

Come and try they said, come and try we did!

Hello my name is Bruce and I’ve just returned from the gym, showered, glugged two pints of water and instructed my darling wife Kirsty to get the tea made (I think she replied; “Yes dear!!!”).  I’ve sat at my computer and as I contemplate my gym experience, the rush of endorphins that exercise brings, that unmistakeable high, the surge of energy you feel afterwards still courses through my body. Continue reading Think Fitness -Think Teviotdale Harriers

Feel The Chills

Well it had to happen some time, after dodging the worst of the winter weather for the previous five years, the Feel The Burns Hill Race finally succumbed to the snowy conditions, fortunately only to the point of being shortened to about 7.5 miles but still fitting in about 600m of climbing. Undeterred nearly 200 hardy souls not to mention the many marshall’s took to the hills above Selkirk on Sunday and the general consensus afterwards was that the correct decision was made with another splendid event being staged in the testing conditions.

After a slippery start up the track from the Corbie Linn car park the runners turned sharply uphill towards Peat Law and the scene was set for the next 5 miles or so with a narrow track being carved out of the deep snow as we ploughed our way onwards. The climb up to the 3 Brethren featured a new first as we passed a couple of skiers making their way upwards no doubt before making a speedier descent than we managed on the detour downhill finding it difficult to distinguish the path amongst the all-white scene. The snow arrived as we rejoined the usual route at the foot of the dreaded Foulshiels climb and would accompany us for the rest of the race gradually strengthening so the field increasingly resembled snowmen as they arrived at the finish.

Among the Harriers taking part, Ian Williams was first home in 23rd place while John Tullie had his customary battle for this race this time with Kenny Short who controversially got the judge’s decision on the line, judge for yourself. John did have the consolation of comfortably taking the V60 prize to add to son Douglas’ overall victory while Frank Birch trotted round with his usual smile to take the V70 prize. Other Harrier’s taking part were Keith Murray, Duncan and Paul Lockie, Derek Scott and Pamela Paxton while Derek McHugh ran round as the sweeper, apologies if I’ve missed anyone.

More photos on Selkirk Fundrunners Facebook page while full results can be found on SHR website.

The athletics club for Hawick and area since 1889.