‘Alternative’ Edinburgh Festival boasts award-worthy performances from the Borders

Mhairi Henderson (library picture)
Mhairi Henderson (library picture)

The City of Edinburgh Running Festival turned out to be a capital athletic meeting at Meggetland last Friday evening.

Teenager Murray Blair of Lasswade AC blazed his way to victory in the programme’s main race – the 110 metres handicap – which had a winning prize of £1000.

Blair looked the part when sailing home in his heat in a time of 11.75 seconds.

The 17-year-old followed this up with a cross tie triumph in 11.76 seconds.

Also tasting sprint victory was Earlston’s own Mhairi Henderson, who gave an excellent account of herself in taking pride of place in the ladies’ 110 metres invitation handicap.

Having previously reached the cross ties of the 110 metres handicap, as well as having run well in the 200 metres handicap, it was third time lucky for Henderson.

In a thrilling race, which brought about a photo finish result, she edged out Rhianna Sterricks of Lasswade and Emily Dagg of TLJT (19m) in 11.72 seconds.

It was fitting that Henderson got into the winning frame, as she regularly competes on the games circuit.

She said: “I was a little disappointed in not doing better in the 110 metres and the 200 metres races. Winning the ladies’ race has made up for it, though. It’s my first win for a while and I’m thrilled to have got one.”

The Hawick-based Alex Corbett running school chalked up a very impressive double on the Meggetland track.

Rory Anderson was the first to do the business when taking the 800 metres handicap.

Anderson (55m) showed up well in his heat and pulled out the stops to win impressively.

Come the final, Sarah Ross of TLJT (165m) was out in front as the bell went for the last lap.

Sauchie’s Wallace McGowan (130m) in turn took the lead.

On hitting the home straight, Anderson hit the front and strode on to hit the tape first.

McGowan finished second and Ross third.

In the 1600 metres handicap, Ryan Milligan of Langholm (160m) also came out on top for coach Corbett, winning from Andrew Gibson of Boness (285m) and Graeme Gibson of Dunfermline (120m) in 4 minutes 24.71 seconds.

Youngsters Jason White of TLJT and Aaron Glendinning of Leithenburn shone in the youth racing.

White ran a brilliant race to win the youths 800 metres handicap in 2 minutes 4.27 seconds.

The Earlston youngster said: “That’s five times I have won this season. Like all the races I run in, I try my hardest and I just love my running.”

Coached by John Motion, 12-year-old-Glendinning (51m) soared to victory in the youths 400 metres handicap.

Like White, it was his fifth win of the term. Glendinning’s wins have been of a great variety, as he has won 90 metres, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 metres events.

Neco Lennie of TLJT (20m) won the youths 90 metres ‘B’ race handicap, while Rebecca Grieve of Pitreavie (9m) weon the ‘A’ equivalent.

Hawick pair Hope Stewart (49m) and Sean McMichan (22m) were the winners of the youths ‘B race and ‘A’ race 200 metres handicap.

Lea Stevenson of Tyndale (18m) gained first place in the senior 400 metres handicap.

Victory in the 200 metres handicap went to Euan Smith of Central AC (17m).