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 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.