GALA HARRIERS’ own 10km road race, inaugurated 10 years ago for the club’s centenary celebrations, has moved from April to July and back again – but who’d have thought that temperatures would be so unseasonable in mid-May when it was staged last Sunday.
The rain held off (just), but the chilly air and increasingly blustery winds more akin to autumn weather made this both hard watching for spectators and challenging for the runners.
As ever, competitors came from a’ the airts but, despite being the organising club with all the duties that imposes, Gala runners posted some excellent performances and went home with some silverware and a little bit of extra pocket money.
More than 20 juniors turned out for the 3km race from Netherdale, with spirited runs from all. There was a tussle for the top two places in a closely fought finish, with Teviotdale’s Kyle Potts taking the top prize with a sizzling 9 minute, 8 second run and Gala’s Jamie Logan barely a second behind him in a well-earned second place.
William Taylor (Gala) came in a gallant third in 9.50 with Mark Purves, who had scampered home in first place in the recent Rowan Boland Run, not far behind in fourth.
For the girls, Gala’s Morven Cawthorne came in first in an impressive 11.14, with Rhiannon Fagan a strong second in 11.28 safely clear of Teviotdale’s Skye Patterson (12.02) who held on for third.
A strong wind was already beginning to pick up as almost 60 seniors were sent on their way, over two laps of the winding waterside course and Black Path.
First place was keenly contested all the way, with Daniel Clarkson (33.20) just outsprinting Steve Cairns (33.41) towards the finish. Gala’s Graeme Murdoch took a comfortable third place in 34.46 with Moorfoot’s Darin Dougall almost a minute behind in fourth.
Dianne Lauder who, by her own admission, had a poor race still finished as first lady in 36.53 and an astonishing eighth place overall with Edinburgh’s Susan Ridley second (41.15) and Gala’s Gillian Duncan third (42.53).
Full results on the Gala Harriers’ website.
At the post-race presentations, trophies and prizes were also awarded to the other category winners, which included Katie Blake (female vet), Darin Dougal (male vet), Dawn Grant (female supervet), Billy McCulloch (male supervet), Graeme Murdoch (first TD1 male runner) and Gillian Duncan (first TD1 female runner).
A special trophy is now presented annually by Billy McCulloch in memory of his son Ryan to the first local runner home and this year it went to Graeme Murdoch.
Past president Tony Lunn thanked all the club members for their work in organising the successful event.