PAXTON House, Berwickshire, must be one of the most pleasant locations for a winter cross country race and the weather was not as harsh as forecast.
Wooded tracks, burn crossings, riverside paths, fields, climbs and mud – lots of it, welcomed the 250 runners from across the Borders and beyond.
After five races in the Border Winter Cross Country series, many junior and senior Gala Harriers found themselves in the top places in their age categories, with many juniors in particular excelling and doubling up with a Sunday outing after their inspiring Broxburn experience the previous day.
Nathan Cox won the junior race, closely followed by Thomas Otton, ensuring top three positions overall for both boys in the series to date.
Jamie Logan and Josh Abbott lie first going into the next round, with Rory Williams, Robert Fox and Jessie Taylor also enjoying good runs.
Nineteen Gala seniors battled their way through the increasingly muddy course with Fergus Johnston (21.41) third and Rowan Marr (21.48) fourth, Rowan first in the M16-19.
Fiona Dalgleish further consolidated her lead in the vet ladies category with a strong run in 25.58, with Gillian Duncan (27.29) and Karen Maxwell (31.09) also well placed going forward. Full results can be found on Norham Running Club’s website.
The previous day at Broxburn, Gala Harrier seniors knew that they had a lot to live up to and with the return to fitness of Dianne Lauder, the ladies team did well to attempt to lift their team position of seventh after two rounds with fifth place on the day which should boost the final team placings. Great runs came from Lauder (fifth in 23.16) Fiona Dalgleish (21st in 25.27) Rachel Fagan (27th in 26.08) and Fiona Shepherd (59th in 28.38) amongst a large field.
The senior men went into the final leg fifth. The final team placings are not yet confirmed, but their 11th place might compromise it slightly. Fergus Johnston led the Gala men home, 24th in 32.49 followed by Colin McCall (34.50), Euan Jardine (36.00), Steve Martin (38.42), Dave Nightingale (39.42) and Derrick Brydon (41.12).