Report written by this years Chief Harriers Correspondent Greg Walker.
Sir Mo Farah led 50,000 runners out at the start of last Sunday’s Great North Run to the strains of the Geordie anthem ‘local hero’. The previous day Teviotdale Harriers headed out on their annual ‘opening run’, with a few less runners, led by their own local hero, new mens club captain, Jim Pittillo. 85 year old Jim was the unanimous choice when elected at the recent club AGM and becomes 113th mens captain in the club’s 131 year history. Jim will be ably assisted over the season by ladies captain Caroline Jack and junior captains Iona Jamieson and Robbie Welsh.
Saturday’s opening run which marks the start of the Harriers’ season saw the club captains assemble, at the Harrier’s newly refurbished clubrooms at the Round Close, along with around 40 members for the annual photograph. The season then began in in style with a run blessed in warm September sunshine. The captains led the runners through the Park to Scaw Mill, via Wilton Dean village. After some fun at the river crossings the younger members headed for the park for some games and the rest headed into the hills for a gentle 5 mile run round Wilton Burn and Bortaugh before heading for home via the Strawberry Woods and the Park.
Once the run was complete, runners, friends and family headed to the Cricket Club for the all-important presentation of the ‘captain’s badges’. The silver badges were introduced in 2017 and were presented to all past club captains. The annual presentation to the new captains has become an important event on the Harrier’s calendar and the badges are a great memento of the captains’ year leading the club.
After the presentation, younger members enjoyed a game of rounders on the cricket pitch, followed by a keenly contested football match which, despite an excellent hat trick from a former club captain, ended in a draw. At the full-time whistle, tired and thirsty Harriers retired to the cricket club for some well-earned refreshment and to contemplate the forthcoming cross country season, which will see the Harriers compete in local, regional and national races across the length and breadth of Scotland.
Now the season is up and running, the races come thick and fast. The Christie Cup race, taking place tomorrow (Saturday 14 September), is the first race of the season and all pre-registered runners should meet at the Café up the park at 12:45. With the first race off at 13:30.