Active weekend for Borders athletes

There was a feast of athletics over the weekend across Borders hills and race tracks.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 9:40 am
Updated Saturday, 28th August 2021, 9:40 am
A good crowd of runners for the start of the Abbotsford two-mile race (all pictures by Bill McBurnie)

Borders Athletics staged episode three of its four part series of events at Tweedbank with, as always, some excellent times and performances recorded.

Continuing the 250th anniversary commemorations for Sir Walter Scott, Gala Harriers presented the 5K run and two-mile challenge on Sunday at Abbotsford, which was also successful.

A spokesman said: “Borders Athletics was delighted with Series 3, held at Tweedbank on Saturday. Despite the damp conditions, there were some terrific performances from the athletes, resulting in some extremely close finishes. In particular, a cracking finish to the adults 200m saw Scott Tindle just hold off the fast-finishing Douglas Young.

Callum Murrow won the 400m and was second in the 90m youths at Tweedbank

"Similarly, in the 400m, Craig Bruce held off John Fleming with a lung-bursting finish. Emily Dagg was a very good winner of the 110m.

"A healthy number of athletes contested the 800m, with Conan Harper taking the honours,” continued the spokesman. “In the youths’ events, the 90m saw Jess Knox take first place. In the 200m, Ava Lees just held on from Ramsay Blair. Callum Murrow was victor in the 400m, winning from Connor McLeod. In the 800m, it was Charlie Robbie taking first place from the ever-consistent Aaron Glendinning.

The spokesman added: “The finale of the Tweedbank Series takes place on Saturday, September 4 and it’s been great to get the athletes out competing again, in what has been a difficult time for them during the pandemic.”

Over near Melrose, the five-mile Abbotsford trail race was completed in warm and muggy conditions overhead but conditions were good underfoot, promising some fast times.

At Tweedbank, Craig Bruce won the 400m ahead of John Flemming

Thanks to generous prize sponsorship from Quins of Galashiels restaurant and the Tempest Brewing Co., there was added incentive for the 50-plus athletes who toed the start line to give it their best effort.

Overall race winner was Marc Wilkinson, of Lauderdale Limpers, in 29:22, followed closely by Gala Harriers’ Clark Scott. Colin Smith completed the men’s podium places in third overall in 30:58.

The women’s race winner was Josie Wren Golder in an excellent 32:58. She was followed home by the Gala Harriers duo of Sara Green (34:25) in second and Pamela Baillie third in 36:36.

Age group victories went to Pamela Baillie (Gala Harriers, F40), Elaine Timoney (Penicuik Harriers, F50), Jocelyn Richard (Gala Harriers, F60), Gary Trewartha (Gala Harriers, M40), Scott McDonald (M50) and David Nightingale (Gala Harriers, M60).

For the juniors, the course for 2021 was a challenging two-mile trail run, again around the beautiful Abbotsford Estate. Borders clubs were well represented, with around 30 young runners toeing the start line.

First across the finish was U17 Robbie Welsh from Teviotdale Harriers, closely followed by Cameron Rankine and Archie Hendry from Gala Harriers. For the girls, it was again close, with the Harriers this time taking a clean sweep of the podium. Erin Gray (U15) was first, with Kirsty Rankine and Kacie Brown (U13) next.