GALA HARRIERS have been in action as far south as Birmingham and at the seaside at Irvine over the past two weeks – as well as closer to home in Lasswade, with some very respectable results as the cross-country season comes to its end.
Dianne Lauder continues to represent her district and her country as well as her club, and her most recent selection took her to Birmingham for the McCain cross-country series, which is both an international and a UK inter-counties event.
In perfect dry conditions Dianne finished well up the field in 30 minutes and four seconds, and was the fifth counter in the East of Scotland team, contributing to their well-deserved silver medal-winning position overall.
Dianne’s time was more than a minute quicker than last year and this earned her a placing 20 higher up the order than in 2011.
On the same day, Gala juniors were representing their schools once again in the Scottish Schools Secondary Cross-country Championships at Beach Park, Irvine.
Last year’s event had seen a snow-covered course, but relatively mild conditions allowed for some good performances from Thomas Otton (15.49 and 10th in 14-15 boys), Rowan Marr (18.43 and 10th in 15-17 boys), Kerry Sandilands (10th in 15-17 girls), half a minute ahead of Louise Mercer (17.39 in 19th) and Becky Couch (17.45 in 20th place).
Last weekend, the Lasswade 10-mile race attracted almost 400 runners and its relentless uphill first half separates the men from the boys – and the women from the girls.
Five intrepid male Harriers brought home an excellent fourth placing for the club, two higher than last year, with strong runs from Fergus Johnston who was seventh in 58.26, Steve Martin (61.39), Sinclair Hill (62.54) and Calum Stewart (64.11) all shaving considerable chunks off last year’s times and Ally McGilvray (78.07) completing the set.
For the women, Eileen Nicol (74.18) Gina Allen (77.10) and Dawn Grant (83.00) all put in very respectable times over the tough course.