Cross Country Series is off and running ...

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The 25th Anniversary of the Borders Cross-Country Series kicked off in Lauder on Sunday when the Lauderdale Limpers hosted the first of the seven leg series.

As usual the Limpers’ organisation was superlative to the extent of ensuring glorious weather to accompany the runners when they tackled the traditional – and eagerly awaited - hills, mud and burns.

The Junior Race at 11.30 opened proceedings with the host clubs of Gala Harriers and Chirnside Chasers being very well represented - testament to their commitment to junior athletics.

It was won, however, not by a host club junior but, in fine style, by a junior from Edinburgh - Michael Swinton of Edinburgh Athletic Club in 11.40, with James Logan of Gala Harriers taking second spot (12.08).

First junior girl to cross the line for the host clubs was Katie Rourke of Gala Harriers (13.54). Georgia Davidson found herself to be the sole junior representative of Tweed Striders; nevertheless Georgia gave the race her utmost and finished 4thin her category and 45th (out of 91) with a PB of 15.38 to boot!

The Seniors Race started on a very upbeat note with a presentation by Caroline McDermott (Chair of the Borders Cross-Country Committee and Head Coach of Tweed Striders) of a cheque for £500 to SARDA (Search and Rescue Dog Association) – this represented a distribution of the profits of the 2013-14 series to a charity very dear to the heart of fellow committee member, Mike Pearson of Moorfoot Harriers.

In the men’s race Carnethy did a one-two, with Andrew Fallens and Michael Reid taking first and second place in 26.26 and 26.57 respectively.

In the women’s race Carnethy triumphed again with Charlotte Morgan taking first spot (28.52). It was left to Gala Harriers’ Dianne Lauder, claiming second place in 29.27, to redeem matters for the host clubs. Just pipping Dianne to the post and representing the “new kid on the block” – TSRD (Tweed Striders RunDuns) – was Ross Bagley who knocked almost two minutes off his 2013 time to cross the line in 29.20 (PB) and 21st of 263 runners – a record for the Senior Race).

Next home for TSRD was Christian Young (33.18) followed by Johnny McMurchie (38.17). First two to finish for the TSRD women were Jane Holmes (38.32) and Mel Ellis (43.09). Other TSRD runners were Doug Small (39.28), Colin Thompson (44.36), Julia Keddie (45.49), Nicole Parkins (46.18), Pamela Toward (49.35), Laura Walton (50.02), Karen Bagley (51.28), Laura Thomson (51.30), Keighley Walton 52.53), Gill Brownlie (58.59), Helen Huntly (61.57), Nicola Foggon (62.28) and Judith Thompson (63.51).

This was a super run from all TSRD – particularly as for most this was their first ever cross-country race in what is a very demanding and challenging series.

Gala Harriers host the second leg on Sunday, November 16.