Teviotdale Harriers Club Champions were crowned on Saturday but the cream had to resolutely stay the course to rise to the top.
With six exciting and highly competitive races right across the age groups the standard of running was as impressive as the effort exerted.
Alongside the coveted titles of Club Champion a further six sealed handicap honours were available, thus ensuring everyone gave it their all to the line.
Rory Anderson, Michelle Short, Fraser Clyne, Thomas MacAskill, Irvine Welsh and Iona Jamieson etched their name in Harriers history but all six were pushed hard to earn their honour.
The first race on Championship day is the mass start involving the under13/11 boys alongside the under13/11 girls. Following on from their Langheugh dead heat, Thomas MacAskill and Conan Harper served up another cracker in the U13 race.
Approaching the turn around the half way point, Thomas had opened up a five metre advantage on Conan, not too far behind Irvine Welsh ran out purposefully to stamp his mark on the boys U11 race. With Iona Jamieson taking early control of the U11 girls, these three titles looked pretty secure.
Conan had other ideas however and worked hard to ease his way back into contention. Racing down the slippy ‘Spetch’ Conan battled to get back on terms, they sped over the ‘humpback bridge,’ turned left and Conan now found himself in the lead as they headed up the avenue towards the finish line at the museum.
Thomas found that little bit extra though as a tiring Conan could give no more and young MacAskill (5:43) crossed the line to take the title with Conan (5:46) only three seconds behind. Sam Allott (5:55) also had a fine run and was only a further nine seconds behind to take bronze. Robbie Welsh came out in top of the sealed handicap with Sam adding to his bronze with the handicap silver and Harrison Hughes third.
Irvine Welsh (6:06) claimed the U11 boys title with a tremendous run, followed home by a spirited Robert Wood (6:35) in second. Kyle Wright (6:49) also dug deep to secure a well-earned bronze. Meanwhile a mini battle had begun at the back of the pack as three of our youngest competitors fought for positions and unbeknown to them the sealed handicap title. Craig Watson, Glen Jamieson and Alfie Walker thanks to some determined running and plenty of encouragement secured the one, two, three.
Iona Jamieson (6:08) was the class act in the U11 girls race and built her lead around the entire route. Ava Hughes was as determined as ever and although not having her best run managed to take the silver. Lucy Allott raced right to the line to take bronze. Lucy was rewarded for her run by claiming the sealed handicap with Ava having to settle for a second silver.
Following on from the high standard set by the Juniors, the Youths and the Seniors were next and they provided some equally competitive races.
A second mass start released two groups of runners as the Senior Men headed from the Museum up through the park whilst the uder15/17 Boys, Girls and Senior Ladies raced back down the avenue towards the park gates.
In the boys race Fraser Clyne (15:51) produced the goods to retain his title from Jamie Waugh (16:00). Fraser was relentless in his pursuit of the gold but Jamie gamely built into his run to chase Fraser home, only nine seconds behind. Euan Welsh (19:19) should be pleased with his run scooping the bronze and securing sealed handicap victory in the process, with Jamie second.
The Ladies and girls also delivered a competitive race with only 16 seconds separating the top two. Michelle Short (17:03) worked hard for her title, even recovering from a mid-race tumble, as last year’s champion Lauren Corbett (17:19) refused to back down but ultimately had to settle for silver. Young Lucy Ash (19:01) continues to develop into an impressive runner and claimed bronze. The sealed handicap was won by Donna Inglis with Kirsty Hughes second and Lauren Corbett third.
The Senior men set off at a frantic pace with Rory Anderson, Greg Walker and Bruce Hughes all showing their intentions from the start. After the ‘10k hill’ Rory nudged in front and slowly opened a small but significant gap. Once he hit the road at Borthaugh, Anderson (41:51) was not to be caught and increased his lead over the last two miles to complete an impressive Club Championship hat trick. Greg (42:42) also ran home strongly in second, extending his advantage over a hard working third placed Bruce (43:31). Paul Lockie ran well to take the sealed handicap with Alan Samuel second and Andy Goodair third.
Next competitively for the club is the Scottish Cross Country Championships at Callendar Park Falkirk on Saturday 25thFebruary, where a strong team is expected to travel from Hawick.
Alex Corbett’s photos here
Results Championships 2017