Despite the atrocious and ever worsening weather conditions a hardy bunch of Teviotdale Harriers congregated at the Museum in Wilton Lodge Park to compete for the title of Club Champion. Registration complete, warm ups done, numbers pinned on and it was time for the business of running. The Championships are one of two races Teviotdale run from ‘scratch’ ie, everyone starting at the same time, with a ‘sealed’ or ‘secret’ handicap, the results of which are only revealed after the race. This means a number of trophies up for grabs. The first across the line winners and also the handicap winners, giving everyone a goal to reach for and reinforcing our club’s ethos that everyone is welcome.
An enthusiastic and eager line up of 17 youngsters, including 5 first-timers Leah Lavery, Grace Levell, Amber Smith, and siblings Clara and Leonardo Felix headed off on their route through Wilton Lodge Park. Leaving from the Museum onto the grass past the new play park, towards the Boer War Memorial, round the container, down the line of trees to the old tennis courts, over the bridge, on to the Spetch to cross the Laurie Bridge and speed back to the Museum. Running for the Junior Boys Shield, in the u13 boys category, there was no doubt who the club champion would be, as Irvine Welsh lead right from the gun all the way back to the finish line, flying along the Spetch despite the , driving wind and rain, a noisy bunch of spectators cheered loudly to see Irvine complete this fine run in 5:41. A fantastic effort. One of our 4 Muckle Toon residents, Glen Jamieson showing great form, placed 2nd in 6:33 and also picked up the u13 boys sealed handicap for his efforts. In the u11 category, the club champion was Langholm’s own James Wood. James crossed the line, second overall, in a time of 6.22, coming in 2nd position with his time of 6:39 was Ivan Watson while Taylor Watson completed the trio in 6.43. Alfie Walker took 1st place in the sealed handicap, Ivan Watson 2nd spot and Craig Watson was 3rd. Sadly there were no u13 girls on the day, but there was plenty of effort from the six u11 girls, battling the elements as well as each other. Ruby Watson emerged as the u11 girls champion to secure the Taylor Trophy. Ruby’s time was 7:22, close on her heels to secure 2nd place and finishing in 7:25 was Niamh Dickson, with Leah Lavery, on her debut race, 3rd in 7:47. Well done girls. The sealed handicap placings were as follows, 1st Leah Lavery, 2nd Niamh Dickson and 3rd despite a fall in the mud, Freya Walker.
Next it was the turn of the u15/17 boys and girls and also senior men and women. This is the second of the two races where the women and u15/u17s return to their original distance and route. Taking off along the avenue and out of the park gates to head up Wilton Park Road, on approaching the steps into the Violet Woods, Conan Harper was in the lead for the boys, Ava Hughes lead girl, and Lauren Corbett lead woman, these positions remained to the finish line to see Conan win the BM Trophy in 14:50, with Calum Renwick 2nd in 15:58 and Robert Wood, our 4th runner from Langholm 3rd in 18:17. Ava crossed in 19:33 to claim the Susan Catherine Birch Memorial Cup. Lauren Corbett secured the Borthwick Trophy with her time of 19:14, Kirsty was 2nd in 19:21 and Ann Aitken placed 3rd in 22:25. Within the sealed handicap 1st placed was Kirsty Hughes, 2nd Lorna Walker and 3rd Ann Aitken.
Leaving at the same time but in the opposite direction to cover their route up to Wilton Burn, over the fields to Highchesters, along the riverside to the Joogly Bridge, back to Martins Bridge, down the A7, past the Cauld, through the park gates and up the avenue, this was a toughie first race for both Tim Hatton and Liam Gibson. Undetered they set off in a group of 9 senior men on their epic journey. A dedicated bunch of spectators braved the elements and positioned themselves around the course to cheer the men on. Those at the museum waited to see who would be first down the A7 and soon witnessed Rory Anderson speed by to take the title of club champion, securing his claim on the Campbell Trophy in a time of 42:24, next to cross the line was Greg Walker in 46:23 then Scott Watson in 48:17. The sealed handicap revealed Scott Watson in 1st place, 2nd place Alan Inglis and 3rd place Derek Scott.
The next race for the harriers will be the Scottish National Cross Country Championships at Falkirk on Saturday 22nd February.