The early October dry spell broke with vengeance at Stirling on Saturday for the first round of the East District Cross-Country League with Team Borders defending two age-group titles. The sometimes torrential rain, churned up course and mushy numbers made it a challenging day for runners, officials and spectators alike.
With a good few potential points scorers missing for various reasons – school holidays, illness, injury and other sports – it was also a challenge for Team Borders to field three runners in each age-group and avoid team penalty points.
There were top ten finishes for the Gala duo of Gregor Collins, 8th in the Under-13 Boys race over 2.4km, and Faisal Khursheed, 9th in the Under 17 Men’s race over 6km. Moorfoot Esme Minto also looked to be heading for a top ten finish in the Under 13 girls race until a debilitating stitch brought her to a standstill with less than 200m to go.
Despite these notable performances, and also the welcome commitment and promising improvements from some of those previously confined to a support runner role, across the seven age-group races Team Borders has a bit of catching up to do if any podium places are to be secured this season. But as demonstrated last season by the successful Under-13 Boys team, a round one points deficit can be turned round.
Team Borders team placings were:
Under-11 Girls – 7th (Isla Paterson, Keira McGregor, Holly Hobbs)
Under-11 Boys – 12th (Angus Carlyle, Harris Ross, Cameron Carlyle)
Under-13 Girls – 7th (Christina McGorum, Madeline Collins, Megan Hobbs)
Under-13 Boys – 10th (Gregor Collins, Patrick Cannon, Daniel Ross)
Under-15 Girls/Under-17Women – 7th (Beth Hobbs, Zoe Pflug, Anna McGorum)
Under-15 Boys – 8th (Craig Angus, Lewis Tharme, Ben Reynolds)
Under-17 Men – 5th (Faisal Khursheed, Callum Tharme, Struan Brown)
Photo: Happy bunch of U15&U17 girl despite the weather.