Teviotdale Harriers had a very busy and exciting weekend to finish off their 2019/20 season writes Donna Inglis. Sandwiched between the annual Primary and High Schools Cross Country event in Wilton Park on Friday 6th, and the final race at Chirnside of the Borders Cross Country Series on Sunday 8th, Teviotdale held their last race of the season on Saturday 7th March, the Moor Cup race. This race was first held in 1894 and holds the honour of being the oldest cross-country race in Scotland. With many of us having enjoyed the dazzling sunshine and clear crisp conditions the day before, Saturday dawned disappointingly grey and drizzly up the Mair, with the wind increasing the closer it got to the start time. Conditions underfoot on the racecourse were soft on the bends and down the back straight there were plenty of puddles to contend with. The juniors would run first on their lap and a half course, following them would be the senior ladies, U15/17 girls & boys on their new race distance of 4 laps measuring 3 miles, the same distance as the senior men.
On the command ‘Get ready, Go’, the twenty one juniors started on the far
side of the racecourse opposite the tower, followed a slight slope down through
the water logged ground and round the sticky lower corner, to power against the
strong winds up towards the tower, on completing their ‘half’ lap it was all
systems go as the leaders pushed on to complete the full lap. Powering through from the very back was
Irvine Welsh, chasing the pack amongst whom was his little brother MacLaren. MacLaren had run a strong and steady race as
did Greg Watson who had taken the lead on the back straight, Greg gave his all
to finish victorious in a time of 12:30, plucky MacLaren pushed on to take 2nd
spot in 12:37 and the ever-determined Irvine took 3rd spot in 12.52.
All times include handicaps. Fastest
actual time was Irvine Welsh in 7.27 but there were also some gutsy
performances from Taylor Watson, Glen Jamieson, James Wood and Alfie Walker
making up the top 5 actual fastest times. It was just as dramatic in the girls
race, Chloe Walker 2nd last off in the girls handicap flew around
the course to take 1st place in 13.32, hot on her heels was training
team mate Ruby Watson taking 2nd position in 13:37, as there had
only been 5 seconds between them in the handicap, they both recorded fastest
actual time for the girls in 10.17.
Little Leah Lavery on only her second outing for harriers, took all the
mud and puddles in her stride to finish 3rd in a time of 13:45. It
was yet another race in very tough weather conditions so well done to all the
juniors who turned out on the day, especially our newbies experiencing
cross-country running for the first time and our p6 and p7 runners who had
already competed the day before.
Next, it was time for the ladies and u15/17s to try out their new double distance. Eleven on the line, they took off one by one
in handicap order, then after a couple of laps the ever improving Kirsty Hughes
moved to the lead at the top bend, heading down the back straight Maisie
Ballantyne flew swiftly through the group and was on Kirsty’s shoulder round
the bend before taking the lead and powering on to finish 1st in
26:39, Kirsty crossed in 28:05 picking up not just a silver medal but also the
Mary Hughes Memorial Salver, donated by the
family in memory of her mother-in-law Mary Hughes, this is presented to
first female over 40 in the competition.
Keeping it in the family, daughter Ava Hughes took 3rd spot
in 29.15. In the boys race Calum Renwick
ran an absolutely fantastic race, starting at the back, he quietly and
determinedly pushed and pushed his way forward to take the top spot in 26:12,
Robbie Welsh continued to show his increasing confidence and form to take 2nd
place in 26:24 and one of our most enthusiastic runners Langholm lad Robert
Wood took the bronze spot in 27:41. All times include handicaps, fastest actual
times went to Maisie Ballantyne 21:09 and Calum Renwick 19:32.
As the skies darkened even further and the wind continued to increase, the
twelve men were called to the line where this year’s captain super, super-vet
86 year old Jim Pittillo was first to go, followed by Minto man Ron Hastings
then President Alan Coltman, as the remaining 9 runners were called to leave in
handicap order, Douglas Wood had a bit of a panic with a jacket zip malfunction
which caused great hilarity for the others and probably an adrenalin rush for
him, but thankfully he made it away on time. With all 12 away predictions were
made amongst the spectators as to who would take the title. As the laps unfurled and the lead changed a
couple of times, Derek Scott was soon spotted taking the lead, chased down by
Alan Inglis and then Rory Anderson moving swiftly and confidently through the
pack from his position of back marker.
Coming up the final straight, tensions heightened as the 2 front runners
came in to view, Derek with Rory on his shoulder, both continued to push on for
the line and with just a few metres to go Rory stepped out and overtook Derek
to take the crown. Rory’s arrival time 32:28,
Derek 32:38 and Alan Inglis maintained his position to take not only 3rd
place but also claim the first over 40 male in the competition, his time was
33:04, all times include handicaps, Rory fastest actual time in 18:28.
As if that was not enough excitement for the runners, a group headed down
to Chirnside the following morning for the conclusion of the Borders Cross
Country Series. Paul Lockie from
Teviotdale Harriers had this message for all “Well Done to all our Teviotdale
Harriers who took part in the Border Cross Country Series this season – great
effort by all in a competitive field. Thanks to Chirnside for hosting today’s
race and the annual end of season prize giving.
Special mention to Ava Hughes who was 2nd girl in 12-13 years category, Iona
Jamieson who was 1st girl 14-15 years category, and 1st girl overall. Pauline McAdam 3rd female vet 60, John Tullie
2nd male vet 60 and Rory Anderson 1st male overall from a host club.
The harriers will enjoy their Presentation Night and End of Season
Celebration Bash on Friday 13th March. Next outings are the British Masters on
Saturday 14th March and the National Road Relays on Saturday 21st
Teviotdale Harriers descended on Callendar Park, Falkirk on
Saturday for the Lindsay’s Scottish Athletics National Cross-country
Championship 2020. This annual event brings together the country’s top
runners from as far as Stornoway to the Borderlands of Hawick to battle out for
Scottish Athletics top prize.
Irvine Welsh and Glen Jamieson were the first of the Harriers to take up the challenge of the multi terrain, multi weather course in the under 13 boys’ championship. Unfortunately Charles McKay although travelled to the event did not start. Ground conditions had the going of soft to bottomless, understandable giving the storms that had passed over the country in the last few weeks, and the weather gods weren’t on the Harriers sides either on Saturday. As the under 13 duo stepped onto the start line a sudden flurry of sleet and snow made visibility poor and the challenge only greater for the field of 157.
Welsh continued his recent excellent form and with a
gutsy performance crossed the finish line in 32nd place in a time of 12:34.
Jamieson who has yet another year at the under 13 age group finished 147th with
a time of 16:33.
In the under 15 girls’ race, Glens sister Iona , Ava Hughes and Kelly McKay donned the maroon striped vest competing over the two lapped race, Kelly was forced to pull out due to an injury after the first lap. Iona and Ava both running fantastically coped great in the slippy underfoot conditions. Iona finishing with a time of 19:03 placing her 42nd. The Hughes customary sprint was put to good use in the closing stages with several places gained by Ava who finished 84th in a time of 21:13.
The Harriers quartet of Conan Harper, Callum Renwick, Robbie
Welsh and Robert Wood were in the fiercely contested under 15 boys age group.
From the gun Harper latched onto the leader’s group and battled it out with
several national class athletes for the top spots. Conan was able to cross the
tape in 13th place with only 59 seconds splitting the top 13. Renwick was the
2nd of the Harriers home with an exceptionally strong second lap finishing
36th, Welsh who was unable to shake a stitch showed a huge amount of
determination to finish in 137th, one place behind was Wood in 138th.
Times Harper 15:53, Renwick 16:35, Welsh 19:53, Wood 20:36.
Solo Harriers star Maisie Ballantyne was competing alongside
55 girls in the under 17 girls’ race. Maisie was able to settle in the early
stages of the race working with a group of around 10 girls in the middle of the
pack. Towards the final stages of the race the Harrier began to increase her
pace finishing strongly in 31st place with a time of 27:28.
It was then turn of the Senior Women to scamper around the gruelling 10km cross country, an amazing 315 completing the course. Kirsty Hughes was the first of the 3 Harriers home, her recent training regime put together an outstanding performance finishing 215th in a time of 58:15, 4 minutes quicker than her time last year. Ann Aitken and Donna Inglis traded places multiple times on the course but it was Ann who crossed the line first in the 304th, Donna 305th. Their times 1:08:19 & 1:08:42.
9 races complete, thousands of
feet already over the bottomless ground, it was now the turn of 670 Senior Men
to step up and give it their all in the National. The eight Teviotdale Harriers
involved were Rory Anderson, Greg Walker, Alastair Walker, Alan Inglis, Andrew
Gibson, Degsy Scott, Paul Lockie & Derek Ballantyne. To make matters worse
for the Senior Men, half a mile into the race a timely hailstorm passed over
Callendar Park battering a few men into submission and forcing them to pull
out. The 8 hardy Harriers continued on their quest for greatness and Anderson was
first home in 73rd place (40:09), Greg Walker finished 147th
(42:37), Alastair Walker finished 217th (44:36), Inglis 387th
(49:23), Gibson 404th (49:56), Scott 515th (53:27),
Lockie 607th (58:14) and Ballantyne 622nd (59:39).
A massive shout out to all
Harriers spectators who made the journey to Falkirk and cheered Teviotdale
around the course. It truly made a huge difference and you done the club proud.
The Harriers complete their season
on the 7th March at Hawick Moor.
Entries are OPEN for the 2020 Edinburgh Marathon Festival! Represent
Team Teviotdale Harriers and set yourself a new challenge! With 9 races on
offer over two days including the marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10k, 5k
and junior races, there really is something for everyone!
Come and be a part of Scotland’s BIGGEST running festival!
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
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.
The athletics club for Hawick and area since 1889.