ALL running roads lead to Philiphaugh on Saturday as the Selkirk Common Riding Games go under starter’s orders.
And as the Border Games circuit continues with its third event, Souters are pinning their hopes on home boy Geoff Keen to win the 110m handicap, which has attracted stiff competition from all over the Borders, Midlothian, Fife and the north-east of England.
Coached in Edinburgh, by Charlie Affleck, Keen (12.5m) is often fancied to win the Selkirk sprint and has the home support to cheer him on. Other hometown athletes entered for the event are Craig Bruce (16m), Craig Douglas (22.5m) and Colin Bruce (11m).
Handicapper Don Campbell has named Jedburgh’s Greg Turnbull (TLJT) as back-marker for the feature sprint. The flame haired 22-year-old won the Jed sprint last season and will be looking to add to his honours at Selkirk when running off a mark of 3.5m. Turnbull will be breathing down the neck of Jed AC runner Iskan Barskanmay (5m) and the flying Turk will not be easy to pass.
Winner of the Hawick Games 110m handicap last Saturday, Craig Grieve (TLJT) is scheduled to compete from 14m, but will receive a new mark from the handicapper on the day, which will see him pulled back.
Among the 70 entries for the main event are TLJT athletes Callum Murray (7.5m), John Steede (24m), Darrin Scott (8m), David Rae (9m), Greg Turnbull (3.5m), Lee Goodfellow (11m). From Jed AC are Cameron Grieve (8.5m), Martha Douglas (23m), Luke Lowther (18.5m) and Seb Harrison (5m). From Hawick are David Lauder (11.5m), Jack Wilson (14.5m), Sam Bandeen (8m), Gordon McPherson (13.5m), John Paxton (16m) and David Hush (21m). From Kelso John Fleming (8.5m), Andrew Hogarth (11m), David McKay (13.5m). Langholm’s Jordan Maxwell (8.5m) and Innerleithen’s Sean Grant (10.5m) and Ron Sutherland (30m) also run.
Kelso’s Colin Welsh is back marker in both the 800m and 1,600m events with marks of 5m and 10m respectively.
A full card of youths’ and senior events complete the Selkirk programme.