Category Archives: Races

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. 

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.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival

Entries are OPEN for the 2020 Edinburgh Marathon Festival! Represent Team Teviotdale Harriers and set yourself a new challenge! With 9 races on offer over two days including the marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10k, 5k and junior races, there really is something for everyone!

Come and be a part of Scotland’s BIGGEST running festival!

Standard entries close on the 5th of January, so there’s not long left to get involved! Enter now: https://www.edinburghmarathon.com

#emf2020

Welsh, Harper and Renwick finish 4th at East District Cross Country Relays

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.

The Harriers youngters … snap happy!

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 team.

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.

“Thee Alistair Walker” takes home double gold

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.

Looking as Cool as a Cucumber!
A. Walker in the 10k Road Race

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.

Find the final of the 800m here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqOm8I_WLBU

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.

Christie CUP 2019

Mens race in full flow

A bright but blustery day greeted Teviotdale Harriers on Saturday past, as they hosted the Christie Cup.  With a new season upon us and lots of new faces competing there was excitement in the air as registration took place next to the café in Wilton Lodge Park.  First race of the day was the junior boys and girls with 20 enthusiastic competitors ready to go including first-timers Chloe Walker, Sarah & Emily MacLeod, Ivan Watson, Hamish Devlin, Parker Johnston, Alyx Armstrong and Hana Renwick.  With a one lap route of 897m the youngsters started at the café, past both the Steve Hislop and Jimmy Guthrie memorials, then the shelter and the bandstand to finish back at the café, smiling all the way every one of the youngsters gave it their best effort.  Chloe Walker soon took the lead and although chased down the final straight, retained her lead all the way to the finish line to take gold in a time of 4:05, it was a family affair claiming 2nd and 3rd spots, with elder sister Sarah taking silver in 4:09 and younger sister Emily bronze in 4:11.  The boys followed the same pattern with only one second separating each of them in a fiercely fought competition, Greg Watson came out the victor in a time of 4:18, hot on his heels for 2nd place was Calan Pender Mills in 4:19 and 3rd was Langholm’s own James Wood in 4:20 who had managed to shave off a good few seconds on his time from last year.  A very exciting race to watch.  All the times include handicaps, fastest actual times for girls – Chloe Walker, for boys – Irvine Welsh.  All trophies and medals will be presented at the club’s presentation night in March and these six will be the first on the stage. 

Next up it was the combined race of senior ladies and U15/17 boys and girls with both Robert Wood and Ava Hughes moving up a category to run with the seniors.  Another change was the increase in distance, moving from 2 laps on the same route as the juniors to 3 and a ‘bit’ laps on the same course covering a distance of approximately 3,000 metres.  With a strong headwind and quite a bit of heat in the sun the 13 competitors took off.  Positions remained much the same on the first lap with changes beginning on the second and third, but there was one position in no doubt.  – 1st male, Conan Harper moved quickly through the field at a blistering pace to take a huge lead and crossed victoriously in 13:50.  Second for the boys and second over the line was Thomas MacAskill in 14:08.  Next to cross the line and take the title of 1st female was Ava Hughes showing the new category and new distance were no problem to her in a time of 14:10, with only a second separating them, Robbie Welsh crossed in 14:11 to take 3rd.  Second place for the ladies went to Maisie Ballantyne in 14:39 followed in at 14:45 by Kirsty Hughes, Ava’s mum, keeping it in the family with her bronze to complement Ava’s gold.   Again, all times include handicaps, fastest actual times – Conan Harper and Maisie Ballantyne.

Ava Hughes on her way to winning the D Scott Shield (ladies/under 17/15 girls)
Conan Harper cruising to victory with an incredible time of 9min 40 secs

Finally, it was the men to run, 10 competitors on the line with an age range of 30s to over 70s, having watched the other categories they were hyped up and ready to go.  Showing a family trait, Brian Harper eased his way up through the pack to take the lead, maintaining it and finishing strongly in a time of 14:22, Derek Clyne was next in 14:43, followed 2 seconds later by Alan Inglis who took 3rd spot in 14:45. Fastest actual time Alan Inglis.  All times include handicaps, for full results and photographs see teviotdaleharriers.org.uk.

Brian Harper winner of the men’s Christie Cup