The Christie Cup kicked off Teviotdale Harriers club races for the new season on Saturday and a fantastic 58 runners answered the call.
In fields full of family, friends and first time runners, Brian Gibb, Maisie Ballantyne, Duncan Little, Conan Harper and Iona Jamieson emerged victorious.
After the impressive amount of runners declared at the new Wilton Lodge Park café, the racing was fast and furious over the shortest distances the club compete in.
The straight forward routes around the paths of the park were ideal for runners and spectators alike. Everyone bar the senior men (start near Langland’s Bridge) started by the new café and raced around the playpark, past the Steve Hislop and Jimmy Guthrie statues, up to the bandstand and back down the riverside path to finish at the café.
The 16 senior men, including nine former winners, competed around three and a bit laps, totalling 3000m for the Christie Cup. Brian Gibb last won this race in 1991 and on Saturday he rolled back the years to take the win in fine style.
Half way round the third lap, Brian edged in front of long-time leader Frank Birch and was not to be caught. Bruce Hughes and back marker Greg Walker gave their all as they worked through the field but Brian had enough to get home. Bruce ran strongly for second with Greg getting up for third and recording the fastest actual time.
The two lap under 15 girls and senior ladies race was slightly more straightforward. Maisie Ballantyne assumed the race lead mid-way through the first lap and simply took off. Maisie continued to streak away and crossed the line first to secure the Scott Shield.
Lucy Ash worked extremely hard to finish second and Macy Cropper dug-in to finish third as the fast finishing Lauren Corbett tried to get amongst the medals. Lauren’s efforts did leave her with the fastest actual time.
Running over the same route, the under 17 boys also produced an emphatic winner. Duncan Little won his first ever Harriers race, showing he is a more than capable runner, Duncan sped around the park to take the Refuge Assurance Trophy. Euan Welsh displayed great desire to work right up to the line and protect second as Fraser Clyne flew down the long home straight after him. Back marker Fraser took bronze and the fastest actual time.
The largest field of the day involved 25 eager under 13 boys and girls racing around one lap. Both back markers, Conan Harper (boys) and Iona Jamieson (girls) blitzed past their fellow competitors to take their wins in fantastic fashion.
Both Conan and Iona continue to improve at an impressive rate and victory was accomplished in some style and unsurprisingly both recorded fastest actual times. Conan’s efforts helped him retain the Hawick News Trophy and for Iona, she scooped the John Hogg Trophy.
In the boys race the battle for the minor places was certainly on. Calum Renwick showed great form to take second, with Robert Wood resolutely hanging on for third as Robbie Welsh pushed him all the way.
For the girls, Carla Bonini ran a well-paced race and her reward was a superb second. Ellie Benstead moved into third heading towards the finish and despite some determined running from Lucy Allott, Ellie crossed the line to complete the podium.
Next event for the Harriers is on Sunday as the club host the Penchrise Pen Hill Race, check out teviotdaleharriers.org.uk for more details.
Alex Corbett’s photos here
Full CHRISTIE CUP 2017 results.
Christie Cup Senior Men – Brian Gibb 1st, Bruce Hughes 2nd, Greg Walker 3rd.
The Scott Shield U15 Girls & Senior Ladies – Maisie Ballantyne 1st, Lucy Ash 2nd, Macy Cropper 3rd.
Refuge Assurance Trophy U17 Boys – Duncan Little 1st, Euan Welsh 2nd, Fraser Clyne 3rd.
Hawick News Trophy U13 Boys – Conan Harper 1st, Calum Renwick 2nd, Robert Wood 3rd.
John Hogg Trophy U13 Girls – Iona Jamieson 1st, Carla Bonini 2nd, Ellie Benstead 3rd.