Broxburn missed the worst of the wintry weather last week, with only a sprinkling of snow on the course for the third and final leg of the East District Cross-country League.
This soon dissipated under the feet of the 600-plus runners taking part, but while the elements were relatively tame, the same could not be said of the churned-up course, which incorporated a shin-deep pool of flood water among its many highlights.
With a good number of usual scorers absent for a variety of reasons, this was always going to be a tough day for Team Borders and fingers were crossed that no mishap would befall the three available U17 men who topped their league going into the 5.4km race.
As it was, the Galashiels trio of Thomas Otton, who had an excellent run for second place in 19.13, Gavin Bryson (4th, 19.23) and Jason McIntosh (15th, 20.55) brought home the bacon with a one-point win on the day. They duly lifted the G K Aithie Shield for the third time in four years with a comfortable 26-point winning margin in the final league placings, ahead of Fife.
That old adage “you’ve got to be in it to win it” was brought to mind when the U13 boys’ league title also came the way of Team Borders. Trailing Edinburgh by 10 points after the first two legs, there seemed little chance of the deficit being clawed back with this age-group being one of those most hit by absentees.
But despite Team Borders only finishing fifth on the day over the 2.7km course, Edinburgh’s automatic 100-point penalty for failing to field a third scoring runner saw the local lads clinch a surprising overall season win by 27 points, ahead of Corstorphine and Pitreavie. They therefore retained the Teribus Trophy (originally donated by Teviotdale Harriers). The crucial scorers on the day were the strong finishing Ethan Elder (Moorfoot, 13th, 11.10), George Godfrey-Fausett (Gala, 19th, 11.22) and Harry Fuller (Chirnside, 22nd, 11.36).
The U13 girls finished third on the day, courtesy of Beth Hobbs (Moorfoot, 6th, 11.28), Elena McGorum (Moorfoot, 12th, 11.46) and Rhiannon Fagan (Gala, 13th, 11.47), and that was enough to retain clear second place overall behind league winners Edinburgh.
Also third on the day and overall were the U11 girls, racing over 1.4km. Megan Hobbs (Moorfoot) had an improved run for 10th in 6.25, with team-mate Madeline Collins (14th, 6.33) and Gala’s Harriet Woodland-Broome (12th, 6.28) the other scorers.
More Team Borders results on page 73.