A bright, breezy but chilly morning greeted the 251 runners who travelled to Lauder on Sunday for the inaugural race of the 2013/14 Borders Winter Cross Country series.  Hills, burn crossings, mud and slippery climbs and downhills welcomed the 82 junior and 169 senior runners from across the Borders and further afield in the first of the 6 event programme running form November to February.  Gala Harriers’ youngsters acquitted themselves well and were soon streaming across the finishing line in top positions both overall and in age categories too. Leading home the junior field in fine style were Thomas Otton (10 minutes 51 seconds) followed by local lad Joe Agnew (11.17) who just saw off James Mercer (11.20) running well to take 3rd place, with Jamie Logan (11.59) and Andrew Hogg (12.01) battling it out for 4th and 5th. Katie Rourke ran impressively to finish as the 3rd girl and 2nd in her age category. 26 other young Harriers took to the hills of bonnie Lauderdale and ensured that a good sprinkling of green and white vests featured strongly throughout the field.

Senior Harriers also ran well and the Gala contingent were led home by Fergus Johnston who was 5th in 27 minutes 04 seconds, with Graham Manczak (28.35) and Mark Bryson (29.33) in 12th and 16th respectively.  Kirsten Maxwell stormed in as the first woman home in 31.57 with Fiona Dalgleish taking first place in her age category in 33.04. Also featuring highly in their age categories were Bob Marshall (2nd in class in 34.14) and Andrea Pogson, 1st in her category in 37.04, with hard-run efforts from 31 other Harriers. (All results can be found on the Borders Winter series Cross country page via the Norham Running Club website.)  Lauderdale Limpers Running Club should be commended for the smooth efficiency and organisation of the first leg of the series.

Just a few days beforehand, two Gala Harrier women took to the streets of Dublin for the marathon there on Monday 28th October, again finding favourable conditions for the 26.2 miles around the city.  Margot Crosbie shaved another few minutes off her already impressive personal best to romp home in 3 hours 29 minutes, a stunning result which gave her 4th place in her supervet age group.  Eileen Nicol never fails to deliver a consistent result and finished in a most creditable 3.47.

First published on 3rd November 2013.