Sixteen years ago, Jedburgh’s Kevin Amos decided to hang up his spikes and retire from running on the open athletics scene.
However, circumstances, and perhaps even the hand of fate, have changed.
The former Jed-Forest rugby ace told The Southern: “My young son Jack started running at the games and I would go and watch him, as well as his training at the Chico Woods school.
“As I was going to the training all the time, I thought I might as well join in and train as well.
“I then decided to give it a go at the games again. This was just to keep me fit, though, and give me an interest.”
However, at Kelso Games on Sunday, this interest turned into success. For Amos, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Tuesday, won the main event on the Poynder Park track card – the 200m handicap – from a mark of 38m.
Following a fine heat win, Amos produced the goods again in the final, gaining the honours in 21.95 seconds.
The other placings went the way of Geoff Keen of Selkirk and John Armstrong of Edinburgh (23m).
Commenting on his triumph, Amos said: “My coach Chico Woods has a lot to do with my win due to his tough training programme.
“He has been pushing me really hard and has got me fit, so I have a lot to thank him for. I also have to thank Jack as it was him who got me back to the running.”
David Lauder of Hawick came out top in the 100m.
Competing from a mark of 11.5m, Lauder, a former victor of the New Year Sprint, looked the part when winning his heat in 10.51 seconds.
In the final, Lauder produced a sizzling run that saw him break the tape in 10.46. Richard Eland of Broughton (16.5m) came in second and Hawick’s James Parker (5m) third.
Lauder told us: “That was my fourth final of the season and I was beginning to think I was never going to win one, but thankfully I now have.”
Earlston’s own Gavin Tait (345m) showed the field a clean pair of heels in the 1,600m. Running under the banner of the TLJT club, Tait, a newcomer to the games front, emerged a clear victor in 4 minutes 23.34 seconds from Dermot Cummins of Corstorphine (117m) and Colin Welsh of Kelso (60m).
A somewhat surprised Tait said: “I didn’t expect to do so well. This is my first season running at the games and I thought I wouldn’t win anything at all.”
The junior and youths’ events conjured up some thrilling and exciting racing. In the junior 100m, the long-legged Cameron Clamp of TLJT (6m) surged home in the final in 12.60.
Cameron Fisher of Jed AC (17.5m) followed up his recent one-lap handicap triumph at Peebles Beltane Sports by doing the business in the youths’ 100m.
Fisher recorded a winning time of 11.14 and excelled even more in the final when blitzing to a win in 10.78.
The junior and youths’ 200m events both turned out to be real humdingers.
Eleven-year-old Josh Dougall of TLJT (7m) gained the bragging rights in the junior race, edging out Jamie Kinghorn of Chirnside (12m) and Matthew Bertram of TLJT (7m) on the tape.
And in the youths’ final, backmarker Darcy Graham of Hawick (7m) produced a scintillating finish to gain a dramatic victory.
After having won the youths’ 100m confined, from a mark of 7m, Jason McIntosh of Kelso won the youths’ 1,600m from 85m.
And victory in the youths’ 800m went the way of Henry Gray-coached Ben Reynolds of Chirnside (175m).