A FUN-PACKED weekend saw a handful of Gala Harriers in action at the Deerstalker events around Traquair and at Alloa in the half-marathon.
Alan Murray led home the Harriers’ challenge in the 5km race in perfect conditions through river, sheer afforested hillsides and a variety of obstacles in a time of 1 hour, nine minutes and 29 seconds, placed 59th out of 574, with Matthew Purves (1.16.19) in close pursuit. First-timers Lisa Hogg (1.23.40) and Anne Purves (1.37.52) enjoyed their mudbaths, coming out unscathed and smiling.
As dusk fell, Andrew McCrirrick made short work of the demanding 10km course to complete his night’s work in 1.48.08. Much further down the field amongst the bobbing head torches and delayed by a nasty injury to her running mate, former Harrier Anna White, was Rosi Capper, happy to be home in 3.5 hours with the seat still in her shorts.
Elsewhere, with London Marathon training in mind, club president David Hunter accompanied four others to Alloa where the half-marathon course provides an excellent test of winter training before the road season really begins in earnest.
Colin McCall led the quintet home in fine style in 1.26.57, with Derrick Brydon and Rachel Hunter separated only by one place and five seconds in 1.28.04 and 1.28.09 respectively. Hunter posted his intent with a steady 1.45.34 while Jackie Law ran a well-judged 1.49.01.
KELSO Crawlers Running Club have made a couple of appearances already this season, firstly at Lasswade 10 mile race and then at Alloa Half-marathon last weekend.
At Lasswade three Crawlers tackled a tough course which always proves a stiff test at the start of the road running season. Times were: Alastair Martin 82 minutes 56 seconds, Stuart Keddie 83.49 and Mick Purves 85:04.
Last weekend conditions were perfect for running at Alloa and the following times were recorded: Alastair Martin 1 hour 45 minutes and 15 seconds, Jac Neill 1.47.27 and Lorna Davenport 1.56.26.
The Crawlers are now training for other spring events such as the Edinburgh Half-marathon and London Marathon. Please see the website www.kelsocrawlers.org.uk which will provide information on training with the club.
LANGHOLM Academy pupil Ryan Milligan won the Dumfries and Galloway cross-country school championships for the fifth year in a row.
The 17-year-old runner competed in the S5-6 race at Newton Stewart over a distance of around four miles on the Wigtown showfield ground.
He raced away from a large field of runners to cross the finishing line 40 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Ryan has now won the S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5-6 age group races, and prior to that he won the Annadale and Eskdale primary school championships as a P7 pupil.
The annual five hills race at Langholm will take place on Saturday.
Starting from the Market Place the course heads up Whita Hill and the Castle Hill.
The runners then cross the Duchess’s bridge before making the tough climb to the trig point on Timpen and then on to Meikleholm and Warbla. The runners finally head down to Buccleuch Park and over the suspension bridge to finish at the Health Centre car park.
Further information is available from Roger Irving on 013873 80870.
EIGHT brave Lauderdale Limpers took part in the 10km Mighty Deerstalker event on Saturday with Spaniard Luis Molero coming home first (98th overall) in a time of 1 hour, 39 minutes and 28 seconds.
Other results: Graeme Sutherland (2.13.02); Tommy Angus 2.15.01; John Richardson 2.25.15; Keith Wylde 2.32.24; Colin Reed 2.43.53; Sarah Freeman 2.47.51; Gail Watson 3.33.31.