Craig Sowerby had a big smile on his face late Saturday afternoon as did his wife, children, uncles and cousins.
And the family who were out in force had every reason to be smiling for their long trip from their homes deep in the heart of Cumbria to the Scottish Borders had been more than worthwhile.
Sowerby saw to this in producing some top notch running to win the Morebattle Games 110 metres handicap.
From Seaton near Workington, Sowerby firstly cruised to a heat win from a mark of 11.5 metres. The long striding Englishman then emerged a comfortable second in his cross tie but with the first three qualifying, found himself in the final.
Facing Kelso’s Connor Gillan (9.5m), Gordon McPherson of Hawick Sprint Club (15.5m), Eoin Lowther of Jedburgh (10.5m) and TLJT pair Cameron Grieve (10.5m) and Tommy Finkle (17m), Sowerby duly produced his best show of the day in his last run when sailing home in 11.62 seconds, the other placings going the way of Finkle and Gillan.
After being showered with congratulation by his family, Sowerby said: “I didn’t expect to run so well as I have been bothered with injuries and haven’t been able to train as hard as I would have like.
“My uncle Gordon Eland won the St Ronans sprint the other week, so it’s great to have won a Borders sprint just like he did.”
Berwick teenager Nathan Cox gave an excellent account of himself in winning the 1600 metres in fine style.
Competing from scratch, Cox who is coached by Henry Gray, began to eat up the track through some powerful strides from the gun. Running under the banner of Morpeth Harriers, Cox then whittled his way through the field to hit the tape with Hawick pair Rory Anderson (40m) and Bruce Hughes (80m) in second and third.
“I have been running from a tight handicap throughout the season and although trying hard, have not been able to win anything until winning at Ambleside the other week,” said Cox.
“This was my first win on the Border circuit and it was well overdue.”
A talented young runner, Cox who later came in second in the 3,200 metres was also the winner of the Best Athlete of the Day award.
The senior 800 and youths 1600 metres turned out to be a real Sister Act as siblings Sophie and Madeline Collins of Moorfoot AC hit the winning trail.
From a mark of (270m) Sophie was the first to do the business in gaining the honours in the half mile. Ten year old Madeline (375m) then hoisted the winning flag for the Collins family in following in her elder sister’s winning tracks in the youths’ mile.
Sophie said: “I was really thrilled as I hadn’t expected to win it. I then told Madeline to go out and try and win her race and if she did I would buy her a McDonalds.”
Jacob Adkin (90m) also put victory the way of Moorfoot AC by emerging a convincing victor of the 3,200 metres.
Following a heat win in 30.77 seconds, Hawick’s own David Hush (51m) went on to nail his colours to the mast in the final of the one lap handicap (266m) when edging out lady runner Mhairi Henderson of TLJT (55m) on the finishing line.
Phillipa Robertson of Hawick (10.5m) gained victory in the final of the youths’ 90 metres while Samantha Dagg of TLJT (67m) was the winner of the youths’ B race one lap race and Cameron Clamp of TLJT (14m) pipped Cameron Fisher of Jed AC (16m) on the post to win the youths A equivalent.
Ten year old Daniel Ross of Chirnside (240m) was a clear winner of the youth’s 800 metres handicap.