On Saturday 23rd November Scottish Athletics held their annual awards night at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. With guest speaker Paula Radcliffe and Scottish Running A listers including Calum Hawkins attending the evening it was a certainly a night that one certain Teviotdale Harrier will never forget.
It was the second year in a row that this individual was nominated for the coveted Master of the Year award, unfortunately missing out last year.
However good things come to those who wait( along with a lot of hard work) and it with delight we can announce Alastair ‘Sammy’ Walker as Scottish Athletics Master of the Year 2019 .
A massive well done to Sammy on this superb achievement, you have done the club proud!
We may be a small club, but we have huge hearts and a body full of determination … “Get in there Sammy boy!”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entry Central season membership for Teviotdale Harriers is now open via the link below or to the right of this page. Only adults can use this facility! Under 17 or adults that prefer to pay in person, please see Rory at any Harriers event … apologies if anyone got an email from me (Rory) this morning, me and Entry Central have been fighting, but I now have it sussed.