Harriers in impressive form all over Scotland

Gala Harriers' veteran bronze medalists, from left: Steve Martin, Sinclair Hill and Billy McCulloch (missing from photo, Mark Bryson).
Gala Harriers' veteran bronze medalists, from left: Steve Martin, Sinclair Hill and Billy McCulloch (missing from photo, Mark Bryson).

GALA HARRIERS have enjoyed more than a modicum of success over the last few weeks as the Scottish cross-country season kicked off.

Last weekend, the seniors were represented in the East District League at Stirling, with Dianne Lauder leading the Gala Harriers’ ladies’ team home in fourth place in 22 minutes 50 seconds. Rachel Fagan (17th, 25.41) and Fiona Shepherd (39th, 27.50) also ran well to bring the women’s team home in fifth place out of 31 teams.

The senior men’s team achieved 12th. Times: Mark Bryson (34.04); Sinclair Hill (34.14); Colin McCall (35.59); Derrick Brydon (37.57); Dave Nightingale (38.00), Magnus Inglis (38.38); Billy McCulloch (38.44); David Moffat (38.50); James Purves (46.11); David Hunter (47.32).

Also running her socks off, but slightly further north from Stirling, was Gillian Duncan who took on the 13.1 miles of the scenic Aviemore Half-marathon on Sunday, posting a time of 1 hour, 32 minutes and 20 seconds, giving her fifth place in the senior women’s category and 78th runner out of 865.

Camperdown Park in Dundee was the venue for the East District relays. First on the start line were the junior girls (Bethany Wardhaugh 10.55; Anna French 10.49; Kerry Sandilands 9.18) who achieved 13th overall.

In the men’s race, Graeme Murdoch led off for the A team with a 13.07 clocking over the 4km course, with Mark Bryson hot on his heels with an excellent 13.54 for the veteran’s team. Graeme handed over to Euan Jardine (14.05) who consolidated the team in 15th, Steve Martin running a solid leg of 14.27 for the vets.

Leg 3 saw Coco McCall (14.31) run a strong leg to keep the A team in 15th place, while Billy McCulloch (15.41) also dug deep for the vets. The last leg can be a lonely run with most teams spread out, but Fergus Johnston impressed with a 13.43 to give the A team a 12th place finish.

Not to be undone, Sinclair Hill (14.12) in his first big cross-country outing for the club, underlined his improvements over the last few months with a storming last leg to bring the vets home in third place (20th overall).

Elsewhere, a smaller band of Harriers travelled to Dunbar for the annual 10-mile race and despite miserable weather and muddy conditions, Graham Pogson completed his run in 1.16.52 with Eileen Nicol in 1.17.08, and Andrea Pogson 1.20.48.

Earlier in the month, president David Hunter (44th in 26.54), Jo Arres (second girl, sixth overall in 26.19) and her dad Mark (32nd in 24.32) took the road south to Northumberland to the Alwinton Fell Race, where they all acquitted themselves extremely well over the challenging terrain.