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.