Category Archives: Races

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

Age is just a number for super Sammy!

Alastair ‘Sammy’Walker notched up yet another Scottish Title on Saturday at The John Cumming Stadium in the town of Carluke. Competing in the Scottish National 60 + age group on the outdoor track over 10,000m Sammy produced an outstanding piece of running, crossing the line with a time of 34minutes 54seconds, average mile pace a breezy 5minutes 29 seconds.

Not only did Sammy pick up the gold medal but he also smashed the previous championship record by over 5minutes held by Ian Johnstone since 2015 and the all time Scottish record of 35.19 clocked by Bill Stoddart in 1992 … the 2nd fastest in the UK ever, since records began.

What is next for Super Sammy? The Harriers Opening Run this coming Saturday?