“Ecstatic”. “Amazed”. “Thrilled”. “Delighted” ... these were just a few of the adjectives used by Ryan Trimby when being asked by TheSouthern how he felt about winning the 90m handicap at Langholm Games.
Yes, you could well say that the Hawick athlete was a more than happy man.
And Trimby had every right to be, for not only had he blazed his way to glory in the Castleholm track sprint and lifted its £1,000 first prize, he had also won his first event on the Border Games circuit.
What’s more, Trimby’s timing had been just perfect, for come September he is off to Australia to begin a new life down under along with his wife and young family.
Coached by Billy Edgar, former junior rugby player Trimby began his day to remember by storming to a heat win in 9.88 seconds, from a mark of 9.5m. Trimby was then beaten in his cross-tie when coming in second to David Hush of Hawick (18m). But with the first three qualifying, he found himself in the final, alongside Hush, Jedburgh pair Luke Lowther (14m) and Darren Tomlinson (9m), plus Peter Denholm of Melrose (6.5m) and Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (17m).
After getting off to a great start, veteran runner Hush seemed to be doing the business. Around the 60m mark, however, his bid for glory came to a sudden end as he pulled up with a hamstring injury.
And in an exciting finish it was Trimby who tasted triumph, surging through the tape in 9.80 seconds, Armstrong emerging second and Denholm third.
Reflecting on his winning show, Trimby said: “It’s been a long time in coming, but at last I have won a final on the Border Games circuit. Crossing the finishing line and knowing I had won was a great feeling.
“With me and my family off to Australia shortly, I thought my chance had gone, as time was running out. In the final I knew I would really have to go to catch Davie Hush and when I saw him pull up out of the corner of my eye I felt I was in with a chance of winning.
“It was just brilliant to win, but Hushie was very unlucky and I honestly feel for him.”
Lining up against a top-class field, Craig Fleming of Belgrave AC displayed superb form to win the coveted Edinburgh Woollen Mill 90m sprint championship.
Greg Turnbull of TLJT and Steven Charters of Dolphinton came in second and third respectively.
Following his fall in the latter stages of the 800m handicap at St Ronan’s Games the previous week, Dean Whiteford of Innerleithen (110m) rose to great heights to take the honours in the 1,600m handicap. After going into the lead on the last lap from Selkirk’s Alistair Lowrie (350m), Whiteford strode on to emerge a clear winner from John Thomson of Coaltown (125m) and Darrell Hastie of Kelso (10m).
Speaking of his win, Whiteford said: “I managed to stand up and keep my feet this week and it was great to get a win at Langholm. Sometimes I am a hit or a miss, as my body often makes its mind up before my head, but I got everything right today.”
Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (77.5m) ran a perfect race to win the 800m handicap.
As the bell sounded for the last lap, Keith Redpath of Wishaw (160m) led the field with Graeme Gibson of Dunfermline (25m) and Thomson tucked in behind him. Gibson then took the lead, but the Brian ‘Chico’ Woods-trained Thomson was close on his tail. Winner of the St Ronan’s Games 800m handicap the previous week, Thomson then moved up a gear to hit the front and remained there to cross the finish line first.
Gibson gained second place and Mark Young of Hawick (60m) third.
Seventeen-year-old Thomson said: “When Graeme Gibson went past me I wasn’t worried as I knew I had plenty left and I just stuck on his shoulder before deciding to go for it and everything just went to plan.”
Selkirk’s Geoff Keen (24m) gave an excellent account of himself, winning the 200m handicap. From Charlie Affleck’s Edinburgh-based running school, Keen soared home in the final. Dylan Ali of TLJT (15m) came in behind Keen, but was disqualified for barging. Second place then went the way of Bruce Scott of TLJT (33m) with Ian Heard of TLJT (40m) getting third place.
Flying Fifer Michael Burns of Dunfermline (16m) produced a great finish to gain the honours in the 400m from Ewan Dyer of Pitreavie (16m) and Dundee runner Susan Young (58m).
Nine-year-old Michael Smith of Leithenburn (205m) emerged victorious in the youths’ 800m handicap. In a thrilling race, Smith emerged a popular victor.
Showing great grit and character, Smith held off challenges from the back in the run-in to come out on top. Cameron Burnett of Gala (50m) was second and Ruaridh Britton of Moorfoot (110m) third.
Coached by Darren Dougal and John Motion, Smith told us: “I always try hard, but I always get caught near the end of a race.
“Today, I got a good start and although I could hear the big ones coming behind me, this time they didn’t go past me and I was very pleased about that.”
In-form Jason McIntosh of Kelso (140m), from the Addie Gray school, continued what has been a golden season, notching up yet another win in the youths’ 1,600m handicap. The other placings went to Joey Brown of Gala Harriers (320m) and Fraser Clyne of Teviotdale Harriers (310m).
Sixteen-year-old Jenna Gillan of TLJT (32m) produced some tip-top running to take the youths’ 200m handicap. Following her heat win, Gillan did it all again in the final when sailing home ahead of Mhairi Henderson of TLJT (32m) and Megan Shiel of Hawick (31m) for her second win of the season.
Hawick’s Brodie Graham (5m) pulled out the stops to lift the junior 90m handicap. After having caught the eye with an impressive heat win in 12.36 seconds which was the quickest time of the opening runs, 11-year-old Graham turned on the style again in the final, winning from Cameron Fisher of TLJT (4.5m) and Ronan McKean of Hawick (6m) in 12.58 seconds.
Barrie McLean also produced the goods for Hawick in a five-star show in the junior 200m handicap. Competing from a mark of 18m, 12-year-old McLean produced a barn-storming finish to overhaul fellow Hawick youngster Hamish Murray (25m) on the tape.
The youth’s 90m handicap ended in a dead heat. Despite consulting the camera, the judges could not separate Craig Smith of TLJT (6.5m) and Logan Gordon-Woolley of Hawick (12m) in a humdinger of a final and the honours were shared.
Grant Goodfellow of TLJT (15.5m) got the other place.