Lilliesleaf to host fundraising six-mile race this weekend

Jane Macdonell at Leaf Green, the starting point for Sunday’s race (Photo: John Smail)Jane Macdonell at Leaf Green, the starting point for Sunday’s race (Photo: John Smail)
Jane Macdonell at Leaf Green, the starting point for Sunday’s race (Photo: John Smail)
One of the most popular events on Lilliesleaf’s sporting and community calendars takes place this Sunday and will see runners and walkers gather at Leaf Green for the village’s annual 10km run.

All funds raised by this year’s event will be donated to the Harris Trust, a charity set up in memory of Lilliesleaf teenager Harris Macdonell following his death in August 2020.

The run was started in 2015 by Harris’s mother, Jane Macdonell, as a fun community event doubling as a fundraiser for various good causes.

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“We’ve had another good entry, with over 70 runners signing up online,” she said.

“We also accept entries on the day, with a registration desk operating in the village hall from 10am. The run itself starts at 11am.”

Walkers, allowed to bring along dog so long as they’re on leads, will set off at 10am. No entry fee is required for walkers, although donations are welcome.

Around 100 to 120 runners are expected at this year’s event.

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The defending men’s champion is Mark Wilkinson, having finished the 2020 race in 44 minutes and 47 seconds, with Katie Nimmo the first female home that year in 57m 43s.

Helping Mrs Macdonell organise the run is Andrew Grant of the Riddell Estate, over whose land the majority of the route passes.

Glass medals have been created for the event by local artist Inge Panneels, helped by her daughter Amber, a fifth-year pupil at Selkirk High School and volunteer with the Harris Trust.

Members of the village hall group will serve soup there, an added attraction being home-made bread baked by Mrs Macdonell’s husband Dave.

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The Harris Trust was set up earlier this year to help improve the lives and mental health of neurodivergent young people.

Its three trustees are Jane and Dave Macdonell and Selkirk High School rector Jamie Bryson.

The trust’s aims are to raise awareness and provide training on mental health and neurodiversity, specifically to support the development of mentoring and peer support programmes for young people and promote respect, acceptance and a sense of belonging.

For further details, go to​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​