Fifty Years With An Honest Friend

‘The best laid schemes of mice and men,’ Poet Robert Burns once penned.  Had he witnessed Saturdays Burns Club races the Bard of Ayrshire may have felt compelled to change his opinion.

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Burns Club Race Winners.

A special 50 year association between Hawick Burns Club and Teviotdale Harriers was marked with a highly competitive afternoons racing, culminating in the friendly hospitality of our local club.

Blessed by a cold but dry day, a bumper number of runners, both old and new, headed to the Common Haugh which overflowed with friends and families ready to support all who set foot on the start line.

As tradition, the first race of the day featured the Senior men competing for the Will Clark Trophy.  ‘Thou need na start away sae hasty,’ was not the wisest strategy as six previous winners lined up alongside 16 others hoping to take home the title.

The starters stop watch and race handicap released runners, including the returning Sammy Walker racing alongside son Greg, along a 2.2 mile course that had to be altered slightly due to the ongoing Park regeneration, with back marker Rory Anderson ready to ‘rin and chase thee.’

As the handicap began to close, three time winner Brian Gibb took to the front.  Brian proved to be a tough target to track down but with around 400m left to race, Brian was caught and passed by eventual winner and scratch runner Rory.  Brian held on strongly for second place, his third silver in as many races, with Bruce Hughes having made steady progress through the field, fending off a late charge from Scott Watson to take third.

It was now the turn of the under 11 Boys, racing alongside the under 11/13 Girls on a course just over one mile for the Ian Watson Memorial Shield for the boys and the Stan Reid Trophy for the girls.

In the boy’s race, at the half way point heading past the Steve Hislop Statue, all 9 runners were still very much in contention.  Sam Wight, Logan Kendal and Jamie Jack although competing in their first Harriers race were still in the mix.

Once he hit the front however, it was Irvine Welsh who managed to speed away and claim a 20 second victory, as well as fastest actual boy from the resolute Robert Wood in second with Shaun Chapman showing up really well to take third.

The girl’s race proved very similar to the boys with nearly all of the seven runners making the turn for home in close proximity.  Young Gracie Dalgleish, assisted by her dad gamely ran on in her first Harriers outing.

With not much to split the top three, Ava Hughes mustered the strength required to hold off Nadine Elder to take the title.  Nadine claimed silver and fastest actual girl with Maisie Ballantyne finishing fast for third.

The final race of the afternoon paired the under13/15/17 Boys alongside the under15 Girls/Ladies.  The boys battled for the Burns Club Trophy whilst The John Elliot Trophy was at stake for the girls/ladies.

Also slightly altered to accommodate the ongoing work at the Park, the 1.8 mile course was keenly contested by an impressive 14 girls and ladies featuring first time competitors, Michelle Short, Sarah Legge, Nicola Hartop and Rachel Harris.  Although not making the podium, all four should be pleased with their efforts which included Michelle claiming the fastest actual time.

Eventual winner and retaining her title, Lucy Ash really seems to enjoy this race and ran superbly to take the trophy home followed by fellow Langholm lass Macy Cropper who battled to take silver only one second ahead of bronze medallist Kirsty Hughes.

The boys race also went to the wire, with back marker Fraser Clyne only securing victory in the last 400m from Duncan Little.  Leading the other 11 runners home, Fraser also retained his title from last year.  Duncan produced a top notch run to secure silver with Harrison Hughes determinedly earning third as Jamie Waugh worked hard to close the gap.

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Tom Dagg presents Fraser Clyne with the Burns Club Trophy.

Immediately following the races, all presentations were made in front of a sizeable crowd in the Burns Club.  Life member Grant Moyes, on behalf of the Harriers began by presenting an engraved gift to the Burns Club as thanks for their contiuned support.  First ever winner Tom Dagg was also on hand to present Fraser Clyne with the Burns Club Trophy, 50 years after claiming victory himself.

The Ploughman Poet may have wrote, ‘there is no such uncertainty as a sure thing,’ but I wouldn’t be too concerned with regard to the friendship between these two clubs.  Here’s to another 50.

Alex Corbett’s photos here

Young Harriers Make The Grade

Lornshill Academy in Alloa hosted the second East District League Race of the season last Saturday with plenty Teviotdale Harriers in attendance.

A testing examination awaited all runners with a textbook cross country course laid on that required an ‘A for effort’ from all who ran it.

A big team of 23 Harriers tackled the muddy trails and all passed with flying colours, in particular the 12 youths who ran, proving to be a class act.

The sight of so many Harriers vests being carried around the boggy course on young shoulders was an encouraging sight.  Every one gave their all and showed the determination it takes to compete in these tough events.

The first race of the day saw 66 under11 girls line up to tackle the 1700m route.  Ava Hughes showed customary determination and finished strongly in 37th (8:21).

The under11 boys were next on the 1700m course and two first time East District runners set off for Teviotdale among the 99 runners.  Irvine Welsh and Robert Wood couldn’t have ran any better and both worked hard right to the line.  Irvine placed 37th (7:00) and Robert 67th (7:55).

Nadine Elder (14:08) was our sole representative in the under13 girls and she gave a great account of herself to finish 37th out of the 68 runners on the slightly longer 3000m circuit.

Two more first timers stepped up in the 3000m under13 boy’s category.  Conan Harper and Robbie Welsh joined Thomas MacAskill and Harrison Hughes among the field of 83.  All four lads can be proud of their efforts which resulted in a 9th place finish for the team.  Conan came home in 13th (11:54), Thomas was next, not far behind in 15th (11:58).  Robbie followed in 68th (14:28) with Harrison 70th (14:35).

With the races coming thick and fast, it was now the turn of the 89 Senior/Junior Women in their 6200m event.  Four ladies ran for the club and all worked hard on terrain that was getting increasingly softer.  Lauren Corbett ran impressively to place 40th (29:46), Kirsty Hughes smashed last years’ time to come in 74th (34:14).  Ann Aitken (35:53) and Donna Inglis (36:49) always give their all for the team and finished 80th and 85th respectively.  This great running by the ladies gave them 13th place of the 26 teams.

Stepping back down to the under15 boy’s now and Fraser Clyne (15:07) showed continued good form to finish an impressive 13th.  Fraser was competing over 3800m in a field of 64 runners.

Racing the same distance, the under15/17 girls/women were next and Ishbel Inglis, Carly Blaikie and Macy Cropper finished 12th among the 21 teams and 90 runners.  Ishbel led the trio home in 67th (19:45).  Carly followed next in 74th (20:33) with Macy 79th (20:58).

The final event on the now bottomless course was the Senior/Junior Men featuring 253 runners.  The three lap 9000m race included seven Harriers and resulted in an 18th place finish out of the 37 teams.  Rory Anderson (35:18) was first to finish for the Harriers in 53rd.  Bruce Hughes (36:38), Scott Watson (37:05) and Alan Inglis (40:57) were next to count in 79th, 82nd and 156th.  David Bell (45:40) finished his first East District race 214th.  Paul Lockie (49:19) in 239th and Alan Coltman (49:38) 241st completed the long list of competing Harriers.

All in all it proved to be an inspiring day with so many Teviotdale youngsters showing grit and determination to make the long journey to Alloa and give their all when they got there.  The young Harriers then got into the spirit of the event and spent the rest of the afternoon cheering on the rest of the runners.

With the Burns Club races to look forward to next Saturday, there is plenty more running to be done.

Alex Corbett’s photos here