Harriers take advantage of conditions

MEMBERS of Gala Harriers enjoyed near-perfect racing conditions in the Jedburgh Run 4 It Festival.

In-form Mark Bryson was the first of the Harriers home over the 10k distance in an impressive 37 minutes 13 seconds, giving him 15th position overall and a much-deserved third place in the 40-plus age category.

Only one runner in that age group separated Mark from Sinclair Hill who claimed fifth place (38.04), with Steve Martin not far off (38.28).

The two Davids, Moffat and Nightingale, finished within nine seconds of each other in 40.30 and 40.39 respectively.

Gina Allen (48.53) led the Gala ladies home, with Vicky MacDonald (51.30) achieving third position in her age category.

Pauline Ballantyne (53.10) and Lisa Hogg (55.20) finished strongly, with Jill Grainger (58.20) in the Gala colours for the first time producing a steady run.

The half-marathon attracted 577 runners from all over Scotland and northern England, amongst whom were 13 Harriers, led home most competently by Fergus Johnston with another solid run of 1 hour 24 minutes and 26 seconds to claim 17th place in the large field.

Only a matter of seconds passed before Colin McCall scampered home (1.24.33) and a bare minute before Bob Marshall (1.25.36) stormed in to take first place in the 60-plus group on his home turf.

Good runs also came from Billy McCulloch (1.31.08), which placed him fourth in his age category, Tony Westbury (1.31.45), Martin Clarke (1.33.12 and fifth in his age group), Graham Manczak (1.33.20), Derrick Brydon (1.34.06), and Graham Pogson (1.42.07).

Rachel Fagan brought home the ladies (1.33.58) with a well-deserved fourth in her age section, with Carole Fortune (1.41.45 and third in her age group), Andrea Pogson (1.47.37) and Ruth McCann 1.50.29 running well.

In sunnier climes, Iain Bell completed the Venice Marathon last weekend in 3.33.10.

This Sunday sees the start of the Winter Cross-country Series in Lauder.