Mud, sweat and shoes spilled as Gala hosts a heck of a race

GALASHIELS, UNITED KINGDOM - 27 Nov 2011'Border Winter Cross Country Series, Galashiels''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )
GALASHIELS, UNITED KINGDOM - 27 Nov 2011'Border Winter Cross Country Series, Galashiels''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )

ON SUNDAY the fields and hills above Galashiels formed the backdrop for more than 250 runners who had travelled from all over the Borderland and southern Scotland for the popular Borders Winter Cross-country Series.

The day dawned fair and breezy – although the mud decided to linger and most of it returned on the legs of the competitors, while at least one running shoe was sucked off and left on the hill. But despite that, and a variety of routes taken, there were some strong performances on the day.

There was some exciting racing with very close finishes in both the male and female races. Race winner was Dunbar’s Andrew Crichton in a time of 22 minutes and 22 seconds, but only six seconds ahead of Hunter Bog Trotters’ Scottish international hill runner Joe Symonds. Teviotdale’s Darrell Hastie was third in 23.46.

It was in the female event where the finish was even closer, with Carnethie’s Charlotte Morgan and Edinburgh AC’s Sue Ridley credited with exactly the same time, 25.54, but Charlotte was narrowly given first place. Megan Wright from HBT was third female and 37th overall in 26.32.

Winning the junior race overall in spectacular fashion was Gala’s Rowan Marr in 10.42 and retaining his top category position. It was a tight finish with Selkirk’s John McLean (10.45) in second place, just beating Moorfoot’s Jacob Adkin (10.47) in third. First girl home was Lucy Henderson-Morris (Gala Harriers), while Jamie Logan (12.29) and Jo Arres (13.42), also from the host club, achieved first places in their age categories on the day.

The full results for both juniors and seniors can be found on the Norham Running Club’s website under Winter XC series.

Gala Harriers would like to thank the Pate family and John Scott for the use of their fields during the race and to record the club’s continuing appreciation of their co-operation which allows this to happen.