Abbotsford Provides Stunning Backdrop for Successful Harriers Trail Races

21st Aug 2017

Gala Harriers’ inaugural Abbotsford House Trail Races saw more than 150 runners take to their marks against the stunning backdrop of Sir Walter Scott’s home.

More than 70 juniors lined up to compete in the two-mile trail race, with over 80 adults from clubs throughout the Borders and further afield setting off on the five-mile race.

The trails followed a scenic route around the grounds of the house, taking in woodland areas and following the River Tweed, starting and finishing with Abbotsford House as their backdrop.

And it was fitting that a young Gala Harrier was first to cross the line in the junior race. Ewan Christie had a fantastic run, finishing in an impressive time of 15:41, with fellow Harrier Jake Shepherd taking second place in a time of 16:51. Cameron Rankine made it a Harriers 1,2,3 to finish third in a time of 17:03.

First junior girl home was Teviotdale Harrier Iona Jamieson in a time of 17:05, with Gala Harrier Isla Paterson second in 18:02 and Moorfoot Runner Esme Minto third in 19:00.

In the senior race, on-form youngster Faisal Khursheed made it another Gala Harriers win, crossing the line in the five-mile race in 30:28. Faisal’s win came just a day after he competed in the Scottish Athletics Age Group Championships in Scotstoun Glasgow, coming 7th in the U20 men’s 1500m final in a time of 4:18.27.

A further four Gala Harriers followed, with Marcus D’Agrosa eight seconds later in 30:36; Bob Reid in 31:48; Andrew Lawrie in 32:55, and Tim Darlow in 33:06.

On-form young Gala Harrier Faisal Khursheed led the senior race from gun to tape; Sara Green was first female home in the senior race

First female home was Gala Harrier Sara Green who has had a fantastic summer of running, finishing tenth overall in 34:46. Moorfoot Runner Ruth McKean was second in 35:09, with Hunters Bog Trotter’s Briony Curtis third in 36:58.

Gala Harrier Tim Darlow was first M40 runner home (33:06), with Moorfoot Runners Darin Dougal (33.22) and Michael McGovern (33.43) second and third respectively in the over 40’s category.

Ruth McKean was also first F40 female home, with Corstophine AAC’s Gillian Carr second (38.24) and Lesley Jayne Desmuelles third (43.56).

In the M50 age category, Cambuslang Harrier Alick Walkinshaw was first in 34:01, with Gala Harrier Sinclair Hill (35:48) second and clubmate Yan Horsburgh third (36:04).

In the F50 category, Gala Harrier Eileen Nicol was victorious in a time of 43:47, with Anne Watson (no club) second in 47:27, and Catherine Elliott (no club) third in 50:49.

Senior and junior race winners were presented with trophies provided by the club, with medals given to all participants in both races. Local business Tempest Brewing Company provided bottles of beer and baseball caps for race category winners and second and third-placed athletes.

Race winners and prize winners from the senior and junior races

The race is the culmination of months of hard work by the local club’s race committee to organise what they hope will become an annual flagship race for the Harriers.

Race committee member Billy McCulloch thanked everyone for supporting the event and making it such a success. He said: “I’d like to thank Abbotsford House for hosting the races and Tempest Brewing Company for donating the prizes, which I’m sure the winners will all enjoy! I’d also like to thank Tesco for providing fruit for the runners.

“We hope the event will continue to go from strength to strength every year.”

Billy also thanked all the volunteers who had assisted in the running of the races - from the marshals to timekeepers, registration and all other helpers.

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