Rich variety of races served up at Jedburgh Running Festival

Last year's competitors in the wheelchair race (picture by Bill McBurnie).
Last year's competitors in the wheelchair race (picture by Bill McBurnie).

All roads lead to Jedburgh this weekend for the town’s 2018 Running Festival.

This year’s occasion is spread across Saturday and Sunday, with hugely popular events on both days.

Hundreds of entrants are expected firstly on Saturday for the Jedburgh Three Peaks Ultra Marathon – featuring a 38-mile route, 80 per cent of which is on tracks and trails – plus the relay race and individual race.

Sunday should witness the Half Marathon and 2.10km road race which, together, have an entry in excess of 800 runners.

Also on Sunday is the Jed Renilson 10km wheelchair and hand cycle race.

The half marathon and road race start at the abbey at 11am and finish in town just off the A68.

The wheelchair and handcycle race starts at Bonjedward garage at 10.20am and finishes on the A698 just after Mounthooley.

The first half marathon took place in 2002, with 171 runners finishing.

Since then, it has evolved into a festival, over two days, and featuring more than 1000 competitors.

The first wheelchair race was in 2004, when road closures were introduced for the safety of competitors.

It has always been an elite race, featuring such names as Tanni Grey-Thompson, Jade Jones, Simon Lawson and Sammi Kinghorn.

The latter two – Gordon’s own double world champion and Paralympic athlete Sammi, and 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Simon, are due to take part in the wheelchair race.

Unfortunately, Ken Talbot, holder of the handcycle world speed record, has had to withdraw because of injury but still intends to be there.

Residents are advised that the A698 is to be closed from 10am to 2.30pm, from Bonjedward to the Smokery, although both the Caddy Man and Teviot Smokery are open.

The organisers say they will strive to reopen the road earlier, if safety allows.