About 120 hikers and runners braved high winds and occasional showers when they took to the hills around Morebattle and the Bowmont valley for the Border Search and Rescue Unit’s (BSARU) annual sponsored walk and challenge run on Sunday.
Numbers were up on last year for the four route options, ranging from a picturesque 4.5km for families to a monster 34km (21 miles) with 5000 feet of climbing for hardened hill-runners. In between, walks of 14km and 25km catered for school groups from the Borders and Berwickshire, walking clubs and individuals.
The 34km route was new this year, staged to attract some of the best hill-runners in Scotland. First home was Andrew Fallas from Edinburgh in a remarkable 2 hours 48 minutes, winning a hard-fought tussle with Fife’s Mark Harris. Equally impressive was Andy’s team-mate Jasmin Paris, third overall and first lady home by a country-mile.
BSARU’s Damon Rodwell said: “It’s always hugely satisfying to see so many people taking to the hills, and the obvious buzz some of our walkers get from going to places and tackling challenges they’d be unlikely to undertake without the backup we provide is wonderful.
“The overwhelming response from windswept walkers arriving back at base was extremely positive. As a mountain rescue team, with all the experience, training, communications equipment and manpower we have at our disposal, we are in a position to set people a challenge they can tackle in complete confidence that if they do make a navigational booboo, or for any reason need taking off the hill in a hurry, they’re in very safe hands.”
Next year marks the unit’s 50th anniversary and plans are already underway for next year’s extravaganza in the hills.