Gala juniors keep their shield

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THE 2012/13 Border Cross Country series has been unprecedented in terms of athlete turnout and support, and the final leg was held on Sunday in Galashiels.

Almost 230 runners descended on the fields, woods and hills above the policies and after that at Galashiels Academy for one of the largest presentation ceremonies the series can remember.

Apart from some early flurries of snow, the course offered near-perfect conditions for running and, in defence of last year’s title, Gala’s juniors maintained their strong lead throughout the series in the team category to retain their top place and the much deserved winners’ shield. Many individual performances counted towards this and there were also winners in each category with Cara Hogg and Rhiannon Fagan, Josh Abbott, Rory Williams, Jamie Logan, Nathan Cox and Thomas Otton all taking the top three places in their age groups.

Visiting clubs from Edinburgh who love this series took the main honours in the senior race with Carnethy and Hunters Bog Trotters featuring highly in both men and women’s winners. However, Gala ladies scooped the team prize and the men took first place from within the six hosting Borders clubs. In addition Karen Maxwell, Fiona Dalgleish, Anna Campbell, Sheila McNab, Rowan Marr and Mark Bryson all took top three age category places.

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

Gala Harriers would like to thank the local farmers for the use of fields during the race. Thanks also to the Harriers who helped so much on the day and to Galashiels Academy for allowing the use of the school for the presentations.

At the ceremony, Lauder Limper Graeme Sutherland, in his vote of thanks, paid tribute to all the participating clubs, marshalls, timekeepers, organisers, the British Red Cross and in particular Romie Scott for registration and Stuart Hay for the results service.

The previous weekend had seen exceptional performances by three Gala ladies who were competing for the first time at the Scottish Athletics National Masters Cross Country championships in Forres.

Fiona Dalgleish, Rachel Fagan and Dianne Lauder picked up a richly deserved bronze medal, with excellent individual placings. Derrick Brydon was the only male Gala Harrier competing and his time of 34.51 over the 8K course placed him 85th out 
of 119.

Another lone man brought home an excellent personal result last Saturday, boding well for the National Masters Indoor championships next week – Bob Marshall posted a time of 19.31 at the Edinburgh Park Run, placing him 31st out of 393 runners with an age-graded performance of 85%, pretty good for a 60-plus-year-old.