Guy looks to go that extra mile at Jedburgh Games

Pupils from Edenside Primary School in Kelso, Kelso High School and athlete Guy Learmonth promote the new "Passport" scheme to encourage children use local leisure facilities.
Pupils from Edenside Primary School in Kelso, Kelso High School and athlete Guy Learmonth promote the new "Passport" scheme to encourage children use local leisure facilities.
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Countless races have been won and lost since Jedburgh Border Games were first held in 1853, and there is a lot more to be done on Saturday.

The Riverside Park meeting is always a big occasion and this weekend’s card certainly has a big-time look about it.

For along with the top event on the programme, the 110m handicap with its prize pot of £3,000, top Borders amateur runner Guy Learmonth is looking to make a record-breaking appearance in the 800m handicap event.

The 21-year-old from ­Berwick is a class act and has represented Scotland at both outdoor and indoor level.

Coached by Henry Gray, he has also broken many a running record and on the pastures of Riverside, he is hoping to add another one, and perhaps two, to his list.

Running from scratch, Learmonth’s aim is to better the British professional record time of 1 minute 51.5 seconds, which was set by Jim Gray of Livingston on the tartan track of Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium in 1975.

To go quicker than this on a grass surface would be a great achievement. In addition, and with the organisers permission he would also like to try for the world 880yd grass record. Gray told TheSouthern: “Guy was disappointed not to make it into the British team for the Under-23 European Championships this week, despite making the qualifying time, and he decided it would be good to do something a bit different for a change.

“He is heading towards his peak and is in great form, so now seemed the right time to go for these records.

“If he keeps improving the way he has been doing this may be his last appearance on the local circuit and it would be great if the local crowds got behind him on Saturday.”

Back marker for the sprint event is Jedburgh’s own Greg Turnbull.

There are a string of other Jed sprinters bidding for glory on their home town track such as Kevin Amos (14.5m), Seb Harrison (3m), Iskan Barskanmay (4.5m), Scott Richardson (6m), Scott Elliot (14.5m), Cameron Grieve (7.5m), Craig Grieve (3.5m), Craig Gillan (4.5m), Darrin Scott (7m), Darren Tomlinson (11m) and Tommy Finkle (12m).

Other senior races plus junior and youths’ events complete the Jedburgh card.