Category Archives: Race reports

Harper Clinches TOp 5 in FInal League Race

Saturday 18th January 2020 saw the Teviotdale Harriers head for Livingston, a regular venue on the cross-country circuit to compete in East District League Race 3.  Young Irvine Welsh was first to compete as our only competitor in the U13 Boys Category.  On a one long lap course of 3,200 metres, Irvine handled himself well and gave, as always, a gutsy and determined performance to finish   in 12th position in a time of 12:11. 

Irvine kitted out and ready to go at Livingston!

Next, unusually, the order differs here, were the senior ladies and Kirsty Hughes took on the mantle of representing her club in her 2 large lap course covering 6,400 metres.  Kirsty at this point was on Day 18 of her RED January – Run Every Day in January challenge and took it all in her stride to finish in a time of 32:56, 106th position.

  The U15 boys were next on their one short, one long course of 4,000 metres.  The course was churning up at this point and there were a few slips and falls on some of the tight corners.  Conan Harper crossed 1st for the harriers, a fantastic 5th overall in a time of 14:25, Calum Renwick completed in 25th position with a time of 15:47, Robbie Welsh was close on his heels in 31st position, time 16:04 and completing the 4 was Langholm’s own Robert Wood in 18:05, 46th.  These results concluded in the boys securing 5th team overall.  Well done boys! 

Conan working hard, sealing a top 5 finish – SUPERB

Kirsty’s daughter Ava Hughes alongside fellow Harrier and training partner Maisie Ballantyne were next on the line in the combined U15/U17 girls category.  Covering the same distance as the boys, jostling around the tight bends and muddy corners, both girls gave their all, Maisie competing as an U17 was home first in 26th position overall, her time was 17:48.  Analysing the results and looking at the U17 category only revealed Maisie was placed a fabulous 5th,.   Ava, running as an U15 finished well in 36th position overall, 29th in U15 only category in her time of 19:03.  Well done girls! 

Last race of the day was the senior mens race covering 3 long laps, 9600 metres.  Thanks to the arrival of Derek Ballantyne, arriving after work to watch daughter Maisie compete, and with running gear in tow, the men now had a full team.   This 368 field of senior men was quite spectacular to watch as they snaked round past the tented village and up the hill to disappear into the woods.  Rory Anderson was first harrier across the line in 34.31, 42nd position, Greg Walker was next in 35.50, 60th position, his dad Alister (Sammy) Walker finished in 37.20, 82nd position then Alan Inglis 42:03, 168th position, Derek (Degsy) Scott was next in with a time of 45:01, 208th position and completing the team, Derek Ballantyne in 47:00, 226th position, placing the men 19th team.  A good day out!

The next Scottish Event for the Harriers is the Scottish XC Nationals on the 22nd February at Falkirk. The club are looking to take a 30seat coach with runners and supporters welcome. Anyone interested please speak with a member of the committee.

Derek Ballantyne – On his way to the finish

Tullie takes Gold after years of trying!

Teviotdale Harriers held their first race of the New Year on Saturday 5th January 2020, after blowing the cobwebs away on the Harriers New Year’s Day Run, a fine number of participants were back and ready to race after all the fun of the holidays. The U11/U13 juniors were first to compete, 14 in all on the starting line, with 2 trophies to compete for, the Fire Brigade Cup for the girls and the Burnfoot Residents Association Trophy for the boys.  Taking the lead just past The Dunk corner, relatively new member Niamh Dixon powered on to win first place in the girls race and also her first trophy since becoming a harrier in a time of 10:56. Emily MacLeod, who regularly features in the top 3 since joining, took 2nd place in a time of 11:04, and another regular top 3 finisher Chloe Walker, moved swiftly up the pack, sprinting down the riverside to take 3rd spot in 11:34.  In the boys race, Taylor Watson took an early lead and maintained it all the way to cross the line victoriously, his time was 10:25, Irvine Welsh ran a magnificent race, starting at the very back of the pack, he powered his way round the Wilton Lodge Park course to cross the line 2nd in a time of 10:40, 3rd spot went to the ever improving James Wood in 10:43.  All times include handicaps and for both Niamh and Irvine, this was a double celebration,  as both recorded fastest actual times as well.  Very well done!

Next it was the turn of the U15/U17 boys & girls plus senior ladies.  This race is one of two where these categories return to the original distances unlike the other 5 harrier races where all senior categories run the same distance.  There are 3 trophies up for grabs in this race, Lodge 111 Trophy U15/U17 Girls & Senior Ladies, Lodge 111 Trophy U15/U17 Boys and the Langheugh Trophy for Senior Men.  Chasing the Lodge 111 trophies were 11 competitors including Morgan Grieve, making a welcome return to racing as an adult having been a junior member.  Ann Aitken was first away in the handicap and kept her lead to finish 1st in a time of 20:38, Lindsey Knox was next over the line in silver position with a time of 21:30 and completing the trio 3rd place went to Kirsty Hughes in 22:00, all having braved the chilly waters of the fords over the route.  Fastest actual time for the ladies was Caroline Jack.  In the boys race Robbie Welsh kept that winning feeling in the family, equalling his younger brother Irvine’s success in the earlier juniors race.  Robbie crossed the line 1st in the handicap in a time of 21:30 as well as recording fastest actual time.  A regular top 3 finisher, Calum Renwick was 2nd in 23:47 then another double sibling placing with Robert Wood matching brother James in 3rd position with a time of 23:56.  All times include handicaps.

Finally, it was the turn of the senior men for the Langheugh Trophy.  A punishing route of approximately 5/6 miles of true cross country racing including steep climbs, dykes and fences to jump, burns to cross, not to mention the mud!  Regardless, a willing and hardy 18 souls lined up for the challenge.  First to come in to view approaching Wilton Burn were Ron Hastings and Frank Birch with Frank, not Ron! taking a little detour before rejoining Ron on the original route, (a few more metres on Strava Frank!)  Next to appear were Alan Coltman, Paul Lockie and Andrew Gibson, one after the other until Paul took a hefty tumble down the banking, he soon recovered and the race was back on.  Pursuing them were, Alan Inglis, Liam Gibson and John Tullie followed by Gregor Welsh, Kenny Short, Derek Scott and Keith Murray.  Douglas Wood, Scott Watson and Greg Walker then appeared before back marker Rory Anderson then came in to view, followed by Derek Ballantyne and Euan Welsh to complete the 18. Positions changed much during the run down the track with John Tullie coming in to view as leader on the back pitches of Wilton Lodge Park.  John crossed the line in 1:06:21, 2nd place went to Andrew Gibson 1:06:57 and after a surge for the line over the last 2 pitches Greg Walker pushed forward to take 3rd place 1:07:39.  Fastest actual time Rory Anderson. 

Menzies 2019

Last weekend saw Teviotdale Harriers last races for 2019 writes Caroline Jack, with the competitive Menzies Race on the Saturday and the more informal but equally competitive Christmas relays on Sunday.The Menzies Race saw 42 Teviotdale Harriers descend upon Hawick’s Common Haugh in relatively mild and dry conditions for the time of year. First off were the juniors (U11/U13), running around part of Wilton Lodge Park and back to the Haugh, Winning the MGM Trophy for the boys was Ivan Watson, followed home by Lyle Beattie and Alfie Walker. Irvine Welsh recorded the fastest actual time of 8:19. The girls race saw Chloe Walker take the W G Robertson Trophy and also the fastest recorded time of 10:41, followed by Niamh Dickson and Ruby Watson. Next up were all other categories in a sealed handicap start following the route usually only run by the men; through the park, up the 10k hill, towards Martins Bridge, round by the “Joogly Bridge” and back along the A7 to finish at the High School. Conan Harper took the J M Hamilton Trophy in the scratch race for U15/U17 boys in a time of 25:32 followed by Calum Renwick and Robbie Welsh. Sam Allott winning the Shiel Trophy in the sealed handicapped category. Langholm carried on the winning streak with Girls Captain, Iona Jamieson recording a time of 31:09 in the U15/U17/Ladies scratch category winning the W Spence Trophy, followed by Caroline Jack and Ava Hughes. Ladies Captain, Caroline Jack winning the sealed handicapped Curruthers Trophy.The men’s race saw Langholm winning a hat-trick with Ryan Milligan storming in to first place with a time of 24:58 to take the Oliver Trophy, followed by Greg Walker and Alistair ‘Sammy’ Walker. Winning the sealed handicapped Menzies Trophy was Derek Ballantyne.

Welsh & Walkers claim burns Club top prize

Last Saturday (30th November), the brave runners of Teviotdale Harriers were not going to let the overnight frost (which had cancelled most of the towns other sporting action) stop them from their annual Burns Club races and they descended onto the Common Haugh for an afternoon of enthralling handicapped racing writes Euan Welsh.

The first race of the afternoon was the U13/U15/U17 Boys competing for the main event, the Burns Club Trophy, over an enduring 2.4 mile round the outskirts of Wilton Lodge Park. Six runners took off from the Haugh and it was Sam Allott who lead the way after the opening mile setting a fast pace and asking questions of those in pursuit behind him. In the final mile, the back markers of the race, Robbie Welsh, Irvine Welsh and Calum Renwick made good ground, quickening with every stride and in the final few hundred metres it turned into a battle of two brothers as Robbie and Irvine fought for the title. Robbie, who had held Irvine off for the majority of the race finally fell away and it was Irvine who would go onto take the Burns club Trophy in an a time of 19.46, five seconds clear of Robbie (19.51) with the podium being completed by back marker Calum Renwick (20.10) who also claimed fastest time for the race in what was a tremendous effort.

The boys were running over a new route and a further distance which was introduced this season with their race being started in conjunction with the U15/U17 Ladies race who were contesting for the John Elliot Trophy. Twelve ladies, including two debutants head off on the new route, with past Ladies captain Ann Aitken making a statement in the opening stages. On the comeback from injury, Lauren Corbett was running comfortably in her efforts to lead the race, with teen flyers Maisie Ballantyne and Ava Hughes also making their presence felt in the middle to latter stages. Towards the close of the race, experienced Corbett would quicken and fiend off any late surge that newcomer Victoria Campbell gave, taking the victory in a time of 20.05. Campbell took silver (20.10) and 13 year old Ava Hughes finished well (20.12) to take bronze.

The second set of races to get underway was the U11 boys (Ian Watson Memorial Shield) and the U13/U11 girls (Stan Reid Trophy) over 1.4 miles. Ten boys set off at a fast pace with back markers James Wood and Greg Watson knowing they had to go flat out if they were to contend for medals come the final few hundred metres. Alfie Walker did well to get himself into the lead and with his eyes set firmly on the finish line he managed make a dash for the line break the tape comfortably in a time of 9.49 with front runners Calan Pender-Mills (9.58) and McLaren Welsh (10.00) second and third respectively.

In the girls race, nine budding athletes galloped off on their search for the Stan Reid Trophy and as expected with a short course it was the front markers who held their positions. Freya Walker gained confidence with every stride and once she was in front there was no looking back, breezing to victory in a solid time of 9.36. Alyx Armstrong was next over the line (10.17) and Emily McLeod was third (10.21).

In the final race of the day, 18 men set off on the same course that the ladies and boys had covered earlier in the afternoon. Club stalwarts Jim Pittilo and Frances Cannon set the pace in the early stages with Frank Birch and Alan Samuel also running well at the halfway point. It was at this point that some of the younger blood made their efforts to try and catch the front runners. Euan Welsh hit the front with 600 metres to run and despite determined efforts from the talented Rory Anderson and spirited Scott Watson, Welsh would take the title (21.20), his first in the harriers vest, with Frank Birch (22.19) second and Paul Lockie (22.27) third.

Lovely Jubilee

Sun shines on the Harriers’ first cross-country races of the season. Writes Greg Walker

Teviotdale Harriers enjoyed a bright and sunny November afternoon for the annual Jubliee cross-country races held on Saturday at Hawick Mair. The event attracted 45 runners, across 5 age categories, in 4 races covering distances from 1.6 to 3.5 miles. While the conditions overhead were fine and dry, the underfoot conditions in contrast were muddy and wet, with the heavy going making the courses particularly testing.

The first race of the day was for under 11 and under 13 boys and girls. In the boys’ race, the early pace was set by Parker Johnstone who quickly took the lead and at the halfway point he was still in front and going well. As runners re-entered the racecourse the handicap began to unwind and the fast finishing Craig Watson hit the front, Craig managed to extend his lead in the closing stages to win in a time of 15:24 and lift the Pringle Cup. Parker Johnstone managed to hold on for second place with an excellent run. Alfie Walker came from towards the back of the handicap to take third, ahead of backmarker Irvine Welsh in fourth who recorded the fastest actual time. Five girls were also amongst the field and leading the way in the early stages was Alyx Armstrong in only her second Harrier’s race. Alyx chased Parker in determined fashion at the front of the race and managed to open up a commanding lead on the other four girls. Alyx maintained her lead as the field turned for home and she stayed on strongly to cross the line 40 seconds clear of her nearest rival and claim the Archie Richardson Memorial Trophy. Emily McLeod finished in the silver medal position and recorded the fastest actual time, Emily was followed home, in third, by her sister Sarah who continues to improve after recently competing in national events.

Next on track were the under 15 and 17 boys competing for the Lodge 424 Trophy alongside the under 15 and 17 girls and senior ladies who were racing for the Ladies Jubilee Trophy. This was an interesting race as runners tackled the new longer course which included some severe climbs. As the race began to unfold it was clear that women’s captain Caroline Jack was going to take some beating as she began to build a lead at the front of the ladies race. In the boys race Sam Allot was setting his stall out by going hard from the gun. As the race progressed Sam began to pay for his quick start and was being reeled in by Callum Renwick who was running well from the second back mark and in the ladies race Caroline was similarly seeing her lead dwindle as Iona Jamieson began to close in. Caroline found the strength to hold on to claim the ladies Jubilee Trophy in a time of 35:16, followed home by Iona in 35:31, recording the fastest actual time. In bronze position was Maisie Ballantyne. In the boys race, Callum Renwick would not be denied as he managed to pip Sam Allot to the line, winning the race by a narrow margin of 8 seconds and recording the fastest time, in third place was Robert Wood.

The final event of the day was the senior men’s race for the Jubliee Trophy. 16 runners lined up in a handicap which spanned 14 minutes from the front man to the back marker. Front marker Francis Cannon set off with real purpose hoping to relive the success of his Mair Cup win earlier in the year and back marker Rory Anderson, who is currently in great form, looked really impressive in the early stages. However, it was a man in the middle of the pack, Andrew Gibson, who appeared the likely winner as runners returned to St Leonard’s Park with 2 miles to go. And so it proved, as Gibson forged his way to the front in the final mile, eventually returning a comfortable winner in a time of 34:36. The good Doctor, Paul Lockie stayed on strongly to hold on to second place and Rory Anderson dragged himself from the back mark into third place, defying his handicap and recording the fastest time of the day by some margin.

Almost 60 club members, friends and family reconvened later at the Evergreen Hall for annual Jubilee quiz, excellently hosted by quiz master Bruce Hughes. The event was again a huge success and tested the knowledge of Harriers young and old. The winning team were Magpyes skippered by Harriers stalwart Pye Reid and included Andrew Gibson and Craig Watson completing their second victories of the day, Kirsty Hughes and Maisie Ballantyne made up the winning side.

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.