All posts by Rory

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.