The fourth round of the Borders Winter Cross Country series took place on Sunday in Peebles – and for once, the weather turned into something closer to what we expect at this time of year.
Baltic conditions, along with a chill wind, eased a little as the morning progressed, but it could be described as proper cross-country weather, with the usual amount of mud and the odd shoe going missing in action.
The numbers rise and rise as this popular series moves forward, and there were 70 juniors and 188 seniors competing across the wintry parkland.
Dunbar’s talented runner Andrew Crichton, pictured right, took the senior race while John McLean of Selkirk Track and Field claimed the junior title.
Fourteen Gala Harrier juniors showed that the cold weather didn’t slow them down with excellent all-round performances from the runners to place the boys’ team third overall after four rounds and the girls fourth.
Jamie Logan led the Gala challenge home in eighth position in 10 minutes 7 seconds to clinch top position in his 8 to 11 years category.
Andrew Hogg (10.16) was only a few seconds behind, giving him second place in the same age group.
Becki Couch was the first Gala girl home in 11.03 and just half-a-minute behind her was Jo Arres who stormed home in 11.32 to take second position in her category.
The massive field of 188 seniors included 25 Gala runners – nine women and 16 men - who consolidated their good performances in the earlier rounds to lie first and third in the team series respectively, a strong position to be in as they approach the fifth round at Paxton in the New Year.
Fergus Johnston led the club home in an excellent ninth position (27.05) with Mark Bryson not too far behind in 27.43 and third in his category.
For the men there were other good age group placings, notably from Dave Nightingale (30.50 and first in category) and Bob Marshal (32.05 and also first in category). Gillian Duncan led the determined ladies team in a superb 32.38, with Fiona Shepherd (34.56 and third in category) and Isla King (36.42 and top young woman on the day) following her in.
The next outing for Gala Harriers is this Saturday with the East District Cross Country Championships at Aberdeen.
Borders Winter Cross Country Series - Peebles results: Overall seniors – 1, A. Crichton (Dunbar) 25.11; 2, M. Reid (Moorfoot) 26.21; 3, D. Wright (HBT) 26.30.
Overall juniors – J. McLean (Selkirk Track and Field) 9.01; 2, J. Stanners (Selkirk T&F) 9.26; 3, K. Stevens (Moorfoot) 9.44.