Category Archives: Race reports

The youngsters and oldies do club proud

Ballantyne, Harper and Welsh pair make the trip to Tru Wealth Scottish Athletics Young Athletes Road Race Championship 2020

As the Corana virus continues to cancel and postpone many sporting events the Young Athletes Road Race Champs were giving the go ahead at the overcast and blustery venue of Battery Park Greenock. Four members of Teviotdale members made the journey West on Sunday following on from their successful Friday evening at the Harriers Presentation Night.

The first of the quartet was Irvine Welsh in the under 13 boys’ race with the distance little over a mile and a half. Irvine who is renowned for his cross-country ability swapped his spikes for flat racing shoes and was able to produce a fine display crossing the line in 26th place in a time of 9minutes 12 seconds. This an improvement on his 32nd place at the Scottish Cross Country in Falkirk.

Conan Harper and Robbie Welsh were next to take the race to their fellow competitors in the under 15 boys’ race. Harper who had struggled with illness over the last few weeks finally was able to get some decent training behind him and this was shown at Battery Park. Setting out hard from the gun Harper settled into the top 5 positions along with runners from Fife Ac, Giffnock, Team East Lothian and Central. As the race reached its final stage Conan stayed in the front group as the Fife athlete dropped off, Harper claiming 4th spot and only 7 seconds behind Connor Bell in the gold medal spot.

Robbie Welsh the second of the Harriers in the under 15 boys race was unfortunate to have a fall during the race. He is typical Harriers fashion got straight back onto his feet and completed the course in 16minutes and 46seconds placing Robbie in 62nd place.

Lastly to go for Teviotdale Harriers was Maisie Ballantyne in the under 17 womens race. On the back of her recent win up Hawick Moor, Maisie took her great form onto Greenock where she completed the extremely windy road race. Ballantyne crossed the finishing tape in 19:51 and placed in 22nd.

Pittillo takes Gold at British Masters

Jim Pittillo, Teviotdales current Men’s Captain took GOLD in the British Cross-Country Championship held last weekend in Corwen, Wales. Competing in the over 85 age group Jim completed the adulating 6KM cross-country race in 40minutes and 23 seconds and added to his Scottish title won earlier in the season.

Alastair ‘Sammy’ Walker also made the trip South of the Border to compete in the 60-65 age group, with the distance a challenging 8KM. Sammy who has won this event last year in Belfast was unable to retain his title with the younger Colin Donnelly (Cambuslang) and Ifan Lloyd (Swansea) taking the top two spots. Sammy claimed the bronze medal spot in great time of 32minutes and 49 seconds and made it 100% podium finish for the Harriers duo.

Harriers Sign off Season with moor cup

Teviotdale Harriers had a very busy and exciting weekend to finish off their 2019/20 season writes Donna Inglis.  Sandwiched between the annual Primary and High Schools Cross Country event in Wilton Park on Friday 6th, and the final race at Chirnside of the Borders Cross Country Series on Sunday 8th, Teviotdale held their last race of the season on Saturday 7th March, the Moor Cup race.  This race was first held in 1894 and holds the honour of being the oldest cross-country race in Scotland.  With many of us having enjoyed the dazzling sunshine and clear crisp conditions the day before, Saturday dawned disappointingly grey and drizzly up the Mair, with the wind increasing the closer it got to the start time.  Conditions underfoot on the racecourse were soft on the bends and down the back straight there were plenty of puddles to contend with. The juniors would run first on their lap and a half course, following them would be the senior ladies, U15/17 girls & boys on their new race distance of 4 laps measuring 3 miles, the same distance as the senior men.

On the command ‘Get ready, Go’, the twenty one juniors started on the far side of the racecourse opposite the tower, followed a slight slope down through the water logged ground and round the sticky lower corner, to power against the strong winds up towards the tower, on completing their ‘half’ lap it was all systems go as the leaders pushed on to complete the full lap.  Powering through from the very back was Irvine Welsh, chasing the pack amongst whom was his little brother MacLaren.  MacLaren had run a strong and steady race as did Greg Watson who had taken the lead on the back straight, Greg gave his all to finish victorious in a time of 12:30, plucky MacLaren pushed on to take 2nd spot in 12:37 and the ever-determined Irvine took 3rd spot in 12.52. All times include handicaps.  Fastest actual time was Irvine Welsh in 7.27 but there were also some gutsy performances from Taylor Watson, Glen Jamieson, James Wood and Alfie Walker making up the top 5 actual fastest times. It was just as dramatic in the girls race, Chloe Walker 2nd last off in the girls handicap flew around the course to take 1st place in 13.32, hot on her heels was training team mate Ruby Watson taking 2nd position in 13:37, as there had only been 5 seconds between them in the handicap, they both recorded fastest actual time for the girls in 10.17.  Little Leah Lavery on only her second outing for harriers, took all the mud and puddles in her stride to finish 3rd in a time of 13:45. It was yet another race in very tough weather conditions so well done to all the juniors who turned out on the day, especially our newbies experiencing cross-country running for the first time and our p6 and p7 runners who had already competed the day before.

Next, it was time for the ladies and u15/17s to try out their new double distance.  Eleven on the line, they took off one by one in handicap order, then after a couple of laps the ever improving Kirsty Hughes moved to the lead at the top bend, heading down the back straight Maisie Ballantyne flew swiftly through the group and was on Kirsty’s shoulder round the bend before taking the lead and powering on to finish 1st in 26:39, Kirsty crossed in 28:05 picking up not just a silver medal but also the Mary Hughes Memorial Salver, donated by the  family in memory of her mother-in-law Mary Hughes, this is presented to first female over 40 in the competition.  Keeping it in the family, daughter Ava Hughes took 3rd spot in 29.15.  In the boys race Calum Renwick ran an absolutely fantastic race, starting at the back, he quietly and determinedly pushed and pushed his way forward to take the top spot in 26:12, Robbie Welsh continued to show his increasing confidence and form to take 2nd place in 26:24 and one of our most enthusiastic runners Langholm lad Robert Wood took the bronze spot in 27:41. All times include handicaps, fastest actual times went to Maisie Ballantyne 21:09 and Calum Renwick 19:32.

As the skies darkened even further and the wind continued to increase, the twelve men were called to the line where this year’s captain super, super-vet 86 year old Jim Pittillo was first to go, followed by Minto man Ron Hastings then President Alan Coltman, as the remaining 9 runners were called to leave in handicap order, Douglas Wood had a bit of a panic with a jacket zip malfunction which caused great hilarity for the others and probably an adrenalin rush for him, but thankfully he made it away on time. With all 12 away predictions were made amongst the spectators as to who would take the title.  As the laps unfurled and the lead changed a couple of times, Derek Scott was soon spotted taking the lead, chased down by Alan Inglis and then Rory Anderson moving swiftly and confidently through the pack from his position of back marker.  Coming up the final straight, tensions heightened as the 2 front runners came in to view, Derek with Rory on his shoulder, both continued to push on for the line and with just a few metres to go Rory stepped out and overtook Derek to take the crown.  Rory’s arrival time 32:28, Derek 32:38 and Alan Inglis maintained his position to take not only 3rd place but also claim the first over 40 male in the competition, his time was 33:04, all times include handicaps, Rory fastest actual time in 18:28.

As if that was not enough excitement for the runners, a group headed down to Chirnside the following morning for the conclusion of the Borders Cross Country Series.  Paul Lockie from Teviotdale Harriers had this message for all “Well Done to all our Teviotdale Harriers who took part in the Border Cross Country Series this season – great effort by all in a competitive field. Thanks to Chirnside for hosting today’s race and the annual end of season prize giving.  Special mention to Ava Hughes who was 2nd girl in 12-13 years category, Iona Jamieson who was 1st girl 14-15 years category, and 1st girl overall.  Pauline McAdam 3rd female vet 60, John Tullie 2nd male vet 60 and Rory Anderson 1st male overall from a host club.

The harriers will enjoy their Presentation Night and End of Season Celebration Bash on Friday 13th March.  Next outings are the British Masters on Saturday 14th March and the National Road Relays on Saturday 21st March. 

Schools Cross Country 2020

A week ago today (Friday 6th March) 287 enthused children descended on Wilton Lodge Park to compete in the 9th annual Teviotdale Harriers Primary & High School Cross Country Championships. The weather was on the Harriers side after the event was forced to rescheduled due to the endless wind and rain over the past weeks, but the morning of the 6th there was a glimmer of sun and gentle breeze, perfect conditions to tackle the 1850m Wilton Lodge Park course.

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 whistle unleashed the eager 142 girls into the challenging cross-country trail which weaved it 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 Trinity, Denholm & Drumlanrig who looked to stretch away from the field and create a smaller group fighting for the top spots. As the race developed it was Trinity duo Millie Scott and Emily Hush who jostled for the gold medal spot with the Denholm trio of Emily Robinson, Hannah Craig and Charlotte Robinson closely behind. With little under 200m to go Scott of Trinity made the last push for the finish line and was able to claim Gold for Trinity School. Emily Hush finished strongly in the silver medal position with Emily Robison wining the bronze after a spectacular sprint with her Denholm School team mates.  Millie Scott (Trinity) finishing time was a superb 8:49minutes, 2nd Emily Hush (Trinity) 8:51 and 3rd Emily Robinson (Trinity) 9:07minutes.

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 124 boys from 7 schools within the Hawick region donned their trainers and took their marks. The boys quickly gathered speed into the first bend being cheered on by the girls who had recovered from their exertions. It was Taylor Watson, Seth Elliot, Josh Wight and Dion Law who emerged as the front group after the first quarter mile and no one was willing the take their foot of the gas with the prizes on offer. However, Drumlanrig pupils Law and Wight began to work with each other and on the short climb towards the mid-way point made a decisive break. Dion had an extremely strong sprint to secure gold for Drumlanrig in a time of 7.56minutes, Josh Wight just behind in 2nd 8:00 and Seth Elliot of Denholm 3rd 8:09.

To conclude with the Primary School event 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 were Trinity, the five counters were Millie Scott, Emily Hush, Niamh Dickson, Carra Mcleod and Rose McCluskey.

Drumlanrig were to secure the boys team prize with Dion Law, Josh Wight, Liam Gourlay, Lewis Cook and Reilly Lambert.

The combined team prize also returned to Drumlanrig School with the boy’s names mentioned above and also Mackenzie Grudge, Bethany Brown, Rowan Tully, Sarah Mcleod, Tamzin Yule.

In the third and final race of the day, it was the turn of the 21 High School kids that had put their name down to compete in the 2020 S1 & S2 Cross Country Championship. Although numbers were down on previous years the runners who took part were of the highest of standards. The combined races made for an exciting start, Boyd Hughes forcing the pace, Irvine Welsh hot on his heels with Charles Mckay settling down in the bronze medal position. In the girls race it was very tight for the top spots with Ava Hughes, Jessica Smith, Ellie Benstead, Chelsey Aitkens and Leah Brown all grouped together. As the High School Championship headed towards the later stages of the race Irvine Welsh (a previous winner) overtook Boyd Hughes and darted his way up the riverside finishing 1st in a time of 7:10. B. Hughes held on for 2nd 8:10 with a fast finishing Charles Mckay 3rd 8:17.

In the girls race it was another previous winner Ava Hughes who finished strongly in 1st 8:22, 2nd Jessica Smith 8:31 & 3rd Ellie Benstead 8:34.

Teviotdale Harriers would like to thank everyone who attended the 9th Primary Schools Cross Country Championship, including all volunteers who helped on the day, Hawick Waverly football club for the use of their changing rooms, the park green keepers for use of the changing pavilion, Keith Jonhson 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 kids from Primary 3 onwards welcome to come and have a try. We cater for all abilities with qualified coaches so please come along and join the fun. 

The full list of results can be found below:

Primary Schools Results

High School 2020 Results

Hardy Harriers beat Snow, Sleet and Hail to Compete in the Nationals

Teviotdale Harriers descended on Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday for the Lindsay’s Scottish Athletics National Cross-country Championship 2020. This annual event brings together the country’s top runners from as far as Stornoway to the Borderlands of Hawick to battle out for Scottish Athletics top prize. 

Irvine Welsh and Glen Jamieson were the first of the Harriers to take up the challenge of the multi terrain, multi weather course in the under 13 boys’ championship. Unfortunately Charles McKay although travelled to the event did not start. Ground conditions had the going of soft to bottomless, understandable giving the storms that had passed over the country in the last few weeks, and the weather gods weren’t on the Harriers sides either on Saturday. As the under 13 duo stepped onto the start line a sudden flurry of sleet and snow made visibility poor and the challenge only greater for the field of 157.

Welsh continued his recent excellent form and with a gutsy performance crossed the finish line in 32nd place in a time of 12:34. Jamieson who has yet another year at the under 13 age group finished 147th with a time of 16:33.

In the under 15 girls’ race, Glens sister Iona , Ava Hughes and Kelly McKay donned the maroon striped vest competing over the two lapped race, Kelly was forced to pull out due to an injury after the first lap. Iona and Ava both running fantastically coped great in the slippy underfoot conditions. Iona finishing with a time of 19:03 placing her 42nd. The Hughes customary sprint was put to good use in the closing stages with several places gained by Ava who finished 84th in a time of 21:13.

The Harriers quartet of Conan Harper, Callum Renwick, Robbie Welsh and Robert Wood were in the fiercely contested under 15 boys age group. From the gun Harper latched onto the leader’s group and battled it out with several national class athletes for the top spots. Conan was able to cross the tape in 13th place with only 59 seconds splitting the top 13. Renwick was the 2nd of the Harriers home with an exceptionally strong second lap finishing 36th, Welsh who was unable to shake a stitch showed a huge amount of determination to finish in 137th, one place behind was Wood in 138th.

Times Harper 15:53, Renwick 16:35, Welsh 19:53, Wood 20:36.

Solo Harriers star Maisie Ballantyne was competing alongside 55 girls in the under 17 girls’ race. Maisie was able to settle in the early stages of the race working with a group of around 10 girls in the middle of the pack. Towards the final stages of the race the Harrier began to increase her pace finishing strongly in 31st place with a time of 27:28.

It was then turn of the Senior Women to scamper around the gruelling 10km cross country, an amazing 315 completing the course.  Kirsty Hughes was the first of the 3 Harriers home, her recent training regime put together an outstanding performance finishing 215th in a time of 58:15, 4 minutes quicker than her time last year.  Ann Aitken and Donna Inglis traded places multiple times on the course but it was Ann who crossed the line first in the 304th, Donna 305th. Their times 1:08:19 & 1:08:42.

9 races complete, thousands of feet already over the bottomless ground, it was now the turn of 670 Senior Men to step up and give it their all in the National. The eight Teviotdale Harriers involved were Rory Anderson, Greg Walker, Alastair Walker, Alan Inglis, Andrew Gibson, Degsy Scott, Paul Lockie & Derek Ballantyne. To make matters worse for the Senior Men, half a mile into the race a timely hailstorm passed over Callendar Park battering a few men into submission and forcing them to pull out. The 8 hardy Harriers continued on their quest for greatness and Anderson was first home in 73rd place (40:09), Greg Walker finished 147th (42:37), Alastair Walker finished 217th (44:36), Inglis 387th (49:23), Gibson 404th (49:56), Scott 515th (53:27), Lockie 607th (58:14) and Ballantyne 622nd (59:39).

A massive shout out to all Harriers spectators who made the journey to Falkirk and cheered Teviotdale around the course. It truly made a huge difference and you done the club proud.

The Harriers complete their season on the 7th March at Hawick Moor.

WET, WIND and winners

Despite the atrocious and ever worsening weather conditions a hardy bunch of Teviotdale Harriers congregated at the Museum in Wilton Lodge Park to compete for the title of Club Champion.  Registration complete, warm ups done, numbers pinned on and it was time for the business of running.  The Championships are one of two races Teviotdale run from ‘scratch’ ie, everyone starting at the same time, with a ‘sealed’ or ‘secret’ handicap, the results of which are only revealed after the race.  This means a number of trophies up for grabs. The first across the line winners and also the handicap winners, giving everyone a goal to reach for and reinforcing our club’s ethos that everyone is welcome.

An enthusiastic and eager line up of 17 youngsters, including 5 first-timers Leah Lavery, Grace Levell, Amber Smith, and siblings Clara and Leonardo Felix headed off on their route through Wilton Lodge Park.  Leaving from the Museum onto the grass past the new play park, towards the Boer War Memorial, round the container, down the line of trees to the old tennis courts, over the bridge, on to the Spetch to cross the Laurie Bridge and speed back to the Museum.  Running for the Junior Boys Shield, in the u13 boys category, there was no doubt who the club champion would be, as Irvine Welsh lead right from the gun all the way back to the finish line, flying along the Spetch despite the , driving wind and rain, a noisy bunch of spectators cheered loudly to see Irvine complete this fine run in 5:41.  A fantastic effort. One of our 4 Muckle Toon residents, Glen Jamieson showing great form, placed 2nd in 6:33 and also picked up the u13 boys sealed handicap for his efforts.  In the u11 category, the club champion was Langholm’s own James Wood.  James crossed the line, second overall, in a time of 6.22, coming in 2nd position with his time of 6:39 was Ivan Watson while Taylor Watson completed the trio in 6.43.  Alfie Walker took 1st place in the sealed handicap, Ivan Watson 2nd spot and Craig Watson was 3rd. Sadly there were no u13 girls on the day, but there was plenty of effort from the six u11 girls, battling the elements as well as each other.  Ruby Watson emerged as the u11 girls champion to secure the Taylor Trophy.  Ruby’s time was 7:22, close on her heels to secure 2nd place and finishing in 7:25 was Niamh Dickson, with Leah Lavery, on her debut race, 3rd in 7:47.  Well done girls.  The sealed handicap placings were as follows, 1st Leah Lavery, 2nd Niamh Dickson and 3rd despite a fall in the mud, Freya Walker. 

Irvine Welsh Under 13 boys Champion

Next it was the turn of the u15/17 boys and girls and also senior men and women.  This is the second of the two races where the women and u15/u17s return to their original distance and route. Taking off along the avenue and out of the park gates to head up Wilton Park Road, on approaching the steps into the Violet Woods, Conan Harper was in the lead for the boys, Ava Hughes lead girl, and Lauren Corbett lead woman, these positions remained to the finish line to see Conan win the BM Trophy in 14:50, with Calum Renwick 2nd in 15:58 and Robert Wood, our 4th runner from Langholm 3rd in 18:17.  Ava crossed in 19:33 to claim the Susan Catherine Birch Memorial Cup.  Lauren Corbett secured the Borthwick Trophy with her time of 19:14, Kirsty was 2nd in 19:21 and Ann Aitken placed 3rd in 22:25.  Within the sealed handicap 1st placed was Kirsty Hughes, 2nd Lorna Walker and 3rd Ann Aitken.

Leaving at the same time but in the opposite direction to cover their route up to Wilton Burn, over the fields to Highchesters, along the riverside to the Joogly Bridge, back to Martins Bridge, down the A7, past the Cauld, through the park gates and up the avenue, this was a toughie first race for both Tim Hatton and Liam Gibson.  Undetered they set off in a group of 9 senior men on their epic journey.  A dedicated bunch of spectators braved the elements and positioned themselves around the course to cheer the men on.  Those at the museum waited to see who would be first down the A7 and soon witnessed Rory Anderson speed by to take the title of club champion, securing his claim on the Campbell Trophy in a time of 42:24, next to cross the line was Greg Walker in 46:23 then Scott Watson in 48:17.  The sealed handicap revealed Scott Watson in 1st place, 2nd place Alan Inglis and 3rd place Derek Scott.

The next race for the harriers will be the Scottish National Cross Country Championships at Falkirk on Saturday 22nd February.