It was testament to the huge popularity of Borders XC Winter Series that 87 junior and 180 senior runners turned out at Paxton on Sunday for the fifth leg.
Furthermore it was testament to the hard work and imagination of Les Turnbull of Norham Running Club that this leg took place at all, given the conditions and water levels he had to contend with in order to deliver an interesting, challenging yet safe course.
This he did and the day was a resounding success with all competitors going away with a huge smile on their faces - and covered head to toe in mud!
In the junior boys race it was, yet again, a Gala Harriers one two with Callum Tharme and Faisal Khursheed taking first and second place, albeit sharing the same time of 10.24 minutes. Chirnside Chaser Oscar Onley secured third position with only Moorfoot Runner Ethan Elder separating him from a hungry pack of four of his Berwickshire clubmates.
Gala Harriers repeated the double in the junior girls race with Elena Heger and Eilidh Forbes crossing the line in 12.37 and 13.06 respectively. Hannah Hamilton-Meikle (Chirnside Chasers) prevented a Gala 1, 2, 3, when holding off a challenge from Katy Wilkinson in fourth place.
In the seniors race Donald Macaulay of Corstorphine AAC repeated his success from Dunbar, making light of the conditions, to storm round the course and claim first place in 21.49. He was, however, chased all the way by Tweed Striders’ Nathan Cox but Nathan, on the back of his well-earned fourth place in Edinburgh the day before, had in the end to settle for a very worthy second place in 22.22, secure in the knowledge that he had taken some notable scalps in the process. Michael Reid of Carnethy Hill Running Club was third.
Corstorphine AAC repeated their success in the ladies race with Kirstian MacRuary crossing the line first in 25.24. Second spot went to Fiona Dalgleish of Gala Harriers (26.59) while Gillian Carr of Corstorphine AAC landed the final podium spot.
Event organisers were delighted to once again have Paxton House as the venue for the NRC round of the Border XC series and would like to thank the management & staff for their co-operation, also the Home-Robertson family for generously allowing them access to the surrounding farm/woodlands
The sixth and final leg, plus presentation ceremony, will be hosted by Gala Harriers on Sunday February 14.