A brand new cross country course around Conundrum Farm near Berwick was the venue for the 5th round of the Borders Winter Cross Country series, organised this year by the newly-named Tweed Striders. The weather for setting out the course the previous day and during the race itself could not possibly have been worse, but nonetheless, 68 junior and 123 senior club runners materialised from the glaur and enjoyed a tough and challenging route, testament to the excellent preparation of the host club.
Gala Harriers juniors made up exactly one third of the field and continuing her cracking form on the country, Susannah Godfrey-Faussett found the conditions suited her and romped home in a stunning second place overall and first in her age category. Also running strongly and sustaining high positions in their own categories were Gregor Collins, Corri Campbell, Callum Thame and Rhiannon Fagan, with all Gala juniors doing well in the shocking weather.
Despite worsening conditions, 123 seniors braved the elements and the 17-strong Gala contingent were led home by a recovering-from-injury Fergus Johnston and Dianne Lauder, who like her junior counterpart was the first woman home and into a hot shower. Also placing in the top three in their respective age categories were Mark Bryson, Andrew Lawrie, Chrys Murphy, Fiona Dalgleish, Rachel Fagan and Eileen Maxwell. With only one race to go in the series, at Dunbar, the club is lying in a good position overall for individual and team success.
(As usual, the complete results can be found on the Borders XC website,) http://www.bordersxc.com/
As previously reported in last week’s paper, the success of the ‘Feel the Burns’ race in the hills around Selkirk was unquestionable. 173 runners took to the slopes of Peat Law, Three Brethren, Browne Knowe and Foulshiel Hill, with 22 Gala Harriers ensuring a grand turnout of green and white vests. Colin McCall was the first male Harrier home in an excellent 1 hour 53 minutes 17 seconds, with Anya Campbell the first Gala lady to get her haggis in 2.11.05. The full results are on the Scottish Hill Running website.