Gala Harriers’ annual lung-busting cross country race at Ladhope took place on Saturday with a great turnout of over 30 club runners all keen to build up an appetite for the Christmas Night Out in the evening. The handicapping of this race means that anyone can win it, and starting well back but bursting through to finish first was Mark Bryson, with Fergus Johnston in second place. Mark was rewarded not only with the win but later learned he had won a coveted place in the 2015 London Marathon, along with lucky Anne Weir and Fiona Dalgleish.
The next day, Fergus was on a roll and finished as the first Gala Harrier home and fourth overall in the latest round of the Borders Winter Cross Country series, this time run by first-timers Chirnside Chasers. The fields around Chirnside were as muddy as you could get but Fergus led home the club runners in a grand time of 29 minutes and 8 seconds. Dianne Lauder was the second woman home in 29.52. (All results can be found on the Borders Winter Cross Country website.)
Just earlier, there had been success for Callum Tharme (13.16) Corri Campbell (13.39) and Andrew Hogg (13.41) who came in a hard-fought first, second and third in the junior race, with good runs for many other young Harriers, male and female in their age categories.
Susannah Godfrey-Faussett was the first girl across the line in a superb 14.19 and Rhiannon Fagan (16.04) Cara Hogg (16.11) and Elena Heger (16.27) all posted high placings which will be a good investment to take forward into their own categories in the new year’s remaining rounds. (As above, all junior results can be found on the same website.)
Selection for East District representation was announced last week and we await confirmation of Gala two seniors while knowing for sure that Gavin Bryson, Thomas Otton, Jamie Logan, Callum Tharme, Susannah Godfrey- Faussett and Rhiannon Fagan have been selected to race in Holyrood Park, where they will be hoping for some inspiration from Mo Farah who has posted his intentions to run.