Success at the end of the road in Jedburgh Running Festival

Wheelchair race entrants check out the course beforehand (picture by Bill McBurnie)
Wheelchair race entrants check out the course beforehand (picture by Bill McBurnie)

Good weather and growing numbers of entrants signalled a hugely successful weekend for the 2017 Jedburgh Running Festival.

Two days of races across the town included the Ultra 38 Mile Race, Canicross, featuring canine and human competitors, Half Marathon and 10K Road Races, plus the Jed Renilson wheelchair and handbke races.

Len Wyse, chairman of one of the organising groups, Jedburgh Events Forum, said: “The comments we got back on email and on our Facebook pages have all been positive – I think more folk are going to come next year.

“The weather was on our side – we had well over 700 entries for the Half and 10K, while the Canicross had 80-90, about the best they have had.”

The winner of the Half Marathon was Darrell Hastie, in 1 hr 12 min 11 secs, while the 10K was won by Guy Bracken in 34 mins 23 secs.

Fine weather, in the form of blue skies and minimal wind, also greeted entrants for the Jed Renilson 10k Wheelchair and Hand Cycle Road Race, which, like its compatriot events, began in 2003.

Retired Jedburgh doctor, Graham Cook, who organised the event along with Borders Disability Sport, said: “Interestingly, after last year’s tail wind, the crosswinds this year resulted in slightly slower times for the top racers, with no new course records.”

First male was Simon Lawson in 21:15, fresh from winning the Great North Run in Newcastle. “No-one was able to stop him recording his ninth win in Jedburgh, which is a record,” said Mr Cook. Second male, Ben Rowlings 23:27, was enjoyhing his first time in Jedburgh and, having recently moved to Stirling to university, the organisers hoped to see him back next year.

Sean Frame 23:35 was the first of the Scottish racers, while both Kyle Brotherston and Luke Deighan recorded personal bests of 25:58 and 27:23 respectively.

Also, Gareth Brown was making his return to racing after injury and finished in 51:08.

First lady, Lizzie Tench 32:32, a paratriathlete, was also competing in Jedburgh for the first time and hopes to return next year to defend her title.

Samantha Kinghorn, last year’s winner and course record holder (22:00) was unable to race this year because of injury but turned up to support and kindly presented the prizes.

The hand cycle event saw “a fast and competitive race”, said Mr Cook, with winner Alastair Corps-Bell recording a time of 17:36 in an outstanding performance. This was his seventh win and he has been a frequent competitor over the last 11 years.

Runner-up was Mike Thomas 19:06, who just beating Ken Talbot 19:16 after an epic tussle, while in fourth place was David Wise 21:23.

Mr Cook said he was delighted by the high quality of the racing and the continuing support from volunteers and local people who turn out year after year to support the race.

The event was started by Findlay Calder, former Scottish international rugby player and ex-British and Irish Lions captain, while thanks were extended to the sponsors, Randolph Hill Nursing Homes Group, Jed-Forest RFC and Border Merangue.