Tragic young ones remembered in style

Junior winner Cameron Gowans with Rowan's sister Kristin Boland
Junior winner Cameron Gowans with Rowan's sister Kristin Boland

GRAEME Murdoch was crowned the first winner of the Rowan Boland Trust Meigle Race after a storming performance around the Galashiels course, writes Kenny Paterson.

The member of Gala Harriers, who organised the event, completed the hilly course in perfect conditions in around 15 minutes.

overall winner Graeme Murdoch

overall winner Graeme Murdoch

And the active schools assistant manager with Scottish Borders Council said he was fully motivated to win the race named after Rowan, who died last year aged nine.

He told TheSouthern: “My first ever lesson as an active schools coordinator was with Rowan’s nursery class at Balmoral Primary School.

“That gave me a wee boost as I ran round the course.”

The junior winner was Cameron Gowans, while first lady home was Rachel Fagan.

Around 230 people of all abilities took part in the three-mile Meigle Race, starting at Gala Cricket Club, before taking in the former Balnakeil Quarry, Wood Street, Windyknowe Road and finally back to the club.

And 90 children also donned their running shoes for a junior fun run, with both races helping to raise around £1,000 for the Rowan Boland Trust.

z After the dry period the Borders has been experiencing lately, it was almost inevitable that the weather would change to rain on someone’s parade – and it was Gala Harriers’ fun run and junior 3km race on Sunday that bore the brunt of the showers, while the 10km seniors’ race stayed dry, bright and warm.

Netherdale is the usual starting and finishing place, but with the work in advance of the Borders Railway limiting use of the Black Path, a three-lap course had to be devised for the 10km race.

The junior race, however, was just a single loop and it was almost a clean sweep for Harriers youngsters for the top places, from a good turnout of 44 junior runners.

First home overall, and for the local club, was Rowan Marr in a grand time of 10 minutes 23 seconds, with training partner Fraser Wardhaugh just over half-a-minute behind in a well-judged second place in 11.09 and Teviotdale’s Kyle Potts was third in 11.18.

Other times: Thomas Otton 11.51; Kerry Sandilands 12.00 (first girl); Jamie Logan 13.02; Mark Purves 13.13; Jo Arres, 13.20; Casey Bunker 14.07; Rhiannon Fagan 14.28; Max Hastings 14.39; Gregor Shepherd 14.49; Joe Fairgrieve 14.50; Rory Shepherd 15.48; Neil Cameron 16.01; Holly Shepherd 17.21; Darren Boggs 17.37; Jack McDonald 17.47; Gregor Collins 17.47; Andrew Neil 17.59; Caitlin Kapelle 18.03; Danielle Walker 18.19; Alex Hastings 18.24; Eilidh Currie 18.38; Jenni Stevenson 19.57; Lucy Galbraith 21.10; Kirsty Westbury 21.10; Lucy Purves 22.20 and Heather Westbury 23.11.

There were some excellent performances in the seniors’ race which ensured a close finish and some great times further down the field of 83 runners.

First across the line was Bryan Mackie of Edinburgh AC in a superb 32.37, with Robert Gilroy of Ronhill Cambuslang (32.42) and Brian Turner of Lothian RC (33.40) making up second and third spots.

Other times: Dianne Lauder 35.50; Colin McCall 37.07; Sinclair Hill 37.39; Billy McCulloch 39.37; Derrick Brydon 40.15; Paul Daly 40.50; Tony Westbury 41.13; Rachel Fagan 42.24 (first female vet); Tommy Knox 43.51; Billy McBain 45.58; Robin Murray 46.20; Mark Arres 47.44; Alan Murray 48.09; Vicky MacDonald 49.80; Gina Allen 50.37 and Lisa Hogg 54.07.

At the prize ceremony held in the Gala RFC clubrooms, first male team prize went to Moorfoot Runners, while the first female team prize winners were Gala Harriers, with Dianne Lauder, Rachel Fagan and Vicky MacDonald as counters.

Vicky also picked up the first local female home and Colin McCall the first local male.

For the first time, and very movingly, a beautiful new cup was presented by Billy McCulloch to the first Gala Harrier home in memory of his son Ryan, who died three years ago, and this went to Dianne Lauder.

Race organiser Fiona Shepherd thanked everyone for their assistance with the event this year.

In return, the club thanked Fiona for coordinating the race, and thanked Tesco for supplying bananas and hosts Gala RFC.