Derek rolls back the years with victory in the Harriers’ Burns Club Races writes Greg Walker.
Teviotdale Harriers enjoyed almost perfect conditions for their annual Burns Club Races which took place on Saturday. 46 Harriers competed over 5 races round Wilton Lodge Park, starting and finishing outside Hawick Burns Club.
The Harriers have enjoyed a long association with The Burns Club who have sponsored these races for a remarkable 51 years. It was early in this association, in 1979, when a young fresh-faced Derek Clyne last won the Will Clark Memorial Trophy; he was one of 13 senior men who lined up for the first race of the day, looking to get their hands on the cup.
The men tackled the fast 2.3 mile course which wound its way up Wilton Park Road and round the Dunk, down the Spetch and over the Laurie Bridge, finishing down the Avenue to the Haugh. The early pace was set by Frank Birch who forged ahead in his own inimitable style but Derek was quick to get into his running and to exert his dominance on the field; once he was in the front there was no looking back and he came home in fine style, in a time of 18.38, completing a 38 year wait for another win in the race. Derek was followed home by a strong finishing back-marker Rory Anderson who recorded the fastest time of the day. Raymond Jaffray finished 3rd after a strong run, showing signs of a return to form.
The second contest of the day was a combined race for under 11 boys racing for the Iain Watson Memorial Trophy and under 11/13 girls who competed for the Stan Reid Trophy. Not to be out done by the Men, the under 11 boys race created another great story as 7 year old Craig Watson lead for most of the race to win the trophy donated in memory of his late grandfather Iain, much to the delight of his Dad and Granny who watched on. Craig was pushed all the way by Glen Jamieson and James Wood who finished 2nd and 3rd in an excellent race.
In the under 11/13 girls race Ava Hughes continued her dominance of the event, with the talented youngster winning the trophy for the 3rd time in 4 years. In 2nd place was Iona Jamieson who had the fastest actual time and in 3rd place was Carla Bonini with an excellent run.
In the final event, the Harriers’ ladies lined up alongside the under 17 boys over a shorter, but no less demanding, course which saw athletes run up through the park, up the lung-busting ‘10k hill’, past the changing rooms and back down into the park to cross the football pitches and home via the Spetch, Laurie Bridge and the Avenue.
First home in the ladies race, sealing an impressive first victory in a Harriers’ club race, was Helene Jaffray in a time of 15.18. Helene set her stall out early and by the time the field turned for home she was well in control of the race, she was made to work hard for her victory by Lauren Corbett who finished 2nd with Lucy Ash staying on well to take 3rd spot. Helene’s daughter Eilidh recorded the fastest actual time.
Robert Wood proved to be a popular winner of the under 17 boys race, the Langholm youngster put in an impressive performance to hold off Robbie Welsh in 2nd and Calum Renwick in 3rd to take the Burns Club Trophy back ‘through the tunnel’.
Teviotdale Harriers would like to thank Hawick Burns Club for their continued support of this excellent event.
Burns Club Races 2017 full results
Alex Corbett’s photo’s here