Congratulations in triplicate !

To our wonderful warriors who took on the challenges of Total Warrior and returned undefeated : on Sunday Team Tweed Striders – Gill, Julia, Michelle, Mike, Nicole, Paul, Sarah, Susan, Tom and Will and, on Saturday, Mel.

To our Kelso 2 Bridges octet : Colin, Doug, Gill, Jud, Julia, Liz, Pamela and Richard.

To our BARC running trio : Michelle and Mike (who beat the cyclists !) and Steve, the intrepid wanderer.

Simply the Best

Conditions were simply perfect in Newcastle for the 33 Tweed Striders who travelled down to Newcastle for Sunday’s Simplyhealth Great North Run.  All made the most of them and a third returned home with a PB under their belt.  Stuart Black put in a superb run to bring the club home in 1.30.01 (PB) followed by Paul Trotter who finished in 1.34.27.  Melanie Ellis was the first Tweed Strider lady to cross the line (1.40.08), followed closely by Steve Flook (1.41.27) and Nick McCreath (1.46.33 PB). Next to finish were David Lauckner (1.50.38 PB), Emma Jones-Watson and Karen Roughhead (both 1.55.56), Michelle Douglas (1.55.57), Nicole Parkins (1.57.16 PB) and Ceri Leather (1.59.14 PB).  Putting in great runs but just outwith the magical two hour mark were Susan Rutherford (2.03.29) and Andrew Mavin (2.05.41 PB).  Susan and Andrew were followed home by Nadine Karolewski (2.11.06), Claire Etherington a mere whisker in front of husband Wayne (2.16.22 and 2.16.23), Sam Armstrong (2.20.53), Susan Howlett (2.20.53 PB), Keighley Walton (2.21.10), Donna Bowers (2.21.39), Nicola Stebbing (2.21.54 PB), Louise Black (2.25.56), Maureen Aitchison (2.30.04), Linda Grieve (2.37.15), Emma Mowbray (2.37.22), Dianne Johnston (2.39.50), Rosie Purves (2.42.32 PB), Nikki Robertson (2.44.49 PB), Laura Percy-Doolan (2.48.45 PB), Julie Riley (2.54.09), Sarah Turnbull (2.55.31 PB), Lorna Patton (2.55.39 PB) and Jodi Mace (3.48.56 PB).  The day before belonged to junior runners with Tweed Strider Laura Robertson’s daughter, son and niece taking part in the either Simplyhealth Mini or Junior Great North Run.  Faye Robertson ran in the Mini Run (8.29), while her cousin Leah Patterson and brother Ryan took part in the 4k Junior Run (24.12 and 24.13 respectively).

August Round-Up

August got off to a flying start for Tweed Striders courtesy of Melanie Ellis’ super run in the Northumberland Coastal Marathon on Sunday 13 August.  Mel’s time of 4.49 meant she finished 4th lady overall and 1st in age category.  As Melanie tackled the sands of Northumberland, Ross was testing out his swim, bike, run skills in the Live Borders Kelso Come’n’Tri and he was in fine form as he placed 1st in 47.15.  Some three days later and Mel was back in action once more in RunNation’s rather hilly Nunnykirk 10k.  Mel, once again, produced another superb run to cross the line 1st lady in 45.45.

Saturday 19 August was less about running and more about having fun doing something different – in the morning at least when Michelle Douglas, Julia Keddie, Karen Roughead, Susan Rutherford (aka the Wizard of Oars), Mike Bell, Kelly Mamara, Julie Riley and Lydia Simpson took to the River Tweed in Berwick Rowing Club’s annual Trade 4s.  Weather conditions were less than ideal so all had to contend with very choppy water and strong winds and they did so admirably.  Mike Bell and Julie Riley were both in the winning crews but Wizard of Oars did not go away empty-handed as they won the prize for best costumes.  However, late afternoon it was more serious competition down in Bamburgh where Steve Flook competed in the Bamburgh Sprint Tri (750m open water swim, 20k bike, 5k run).  Steve, too, had to contend with choppy waters, as well as strong winds on the outward legs of both the bike and run) and he finished in 56th spot (out of 157) in 1.24.29.  The next day, Sunday, cakes were the main attraction … Gill Brownlie, Colin Thompson and Judith Thompson all headed to Edinburgh for Edinburgh Running Network’s LP run at Meadowbank whereby, firstly, you run as many laps of the track as you can in 33.3 minutes (the length of a LP) and, secondly, afterwards you consume as much cake as you want or can – and by all accounts the cakes were good!  Colin ran 15 laps, Gill and Jud 12 each and Gill won the prize for Star Baker!

Friday 25 August saw the racing much closer to home for the Eyemouth Twilight 5k.  This event, which raises money for local charities, is an increasingly popular one – the Giacopazzi ice-cream at the finish is the common denominator of pre-race conversations! – and this year 44 Tweed Striders were among the 168 who lined up on the start line.  Ross Bagley faced some extremely stiff competition and put in an outstanding run but, in the end, had to settle for a very good 2nd place in 17.51 behind Marcus D’agrosa.   Michelle Douglas also had some extremely stiff competition but some superb running meant she finished in 22.31, 4th lady and well up the field.   Also running were Maureen Aitchison, Juliana Amaral, Sam Armstrong, Karen Bagley, Stephen Ball, Heather Barnes, Louise Black, Gill Brownlie and grandson Brodie, Sarah Capes and son Sean, Liz Howlett, Susan Howlett, Helen Hudson, Helen Huntly, Laura Jeffrey, Gail Jones, Derek Lambert, Steve Lauder, Jenni McCraw, Caroline McDermott, Will McDermott, Jodi Mace and twins Andrew and Oliver, Kelly Marmara, Andrew Mavin, Lorna Patton, Dools Percy-Doolan, Tracy Renton, Helen Richards, Laura Robertson, Karen Roughead, Joanna Ryan, Lydia Simpson, Wendy Scott, Nicola Stebbing, Colin Thompson, Judith Thompson, Katie Thompson, Pamela Toward and Sarah Turnbull.

Queensferry in Edinburgh and Aberdeen were the race venues two days later on Sunday with Gill Brownlie, Julia Keddie, Colin Thompson and Judith Thompson in Queensferry for Pitreavie AAC’s Forth Road Bridge 10k and Stephen Ball in Aberdeen for the first ever Simply Health Great Aberdeen Half Marathon.  In Queensferry, Julia and Colin brought the quartet home crossing the line together in 57.55, followed by Gill (69.18) and Judith (73.59);  meanwhile in Aberdeen Stephen had a good run to finish in 1.51.24.

A Sizzling Summer … of running that is !

Without a shadow of a doubt July’s weather was an extremely damp squib but the same most certainly cannot be said of Tweed Striders as July saw some truly stunning performances.  For the club as a whole, Thursday 20 July has to be the highlight of the month with Tweed Striders making it a clean sweep at Norham Running Club’s Castle Bank Challenge.   In the one lap junior race the sole Tweed Strider was Alisha Black.  This was Alisha’s first-ever race and she ran really well to cross the line as second girl in 26.36 (PB).  The senior event saw 25 members take part, all determined to do well.  And do well they did – Ross Bagley and David Arnold made it a one two in the men’s race - 20.22 and 20.25 respectively with both placing first in their age categories.  These times, along with Stuart Black’s 23.13, meant the trio also took the trophy for first England Athletics attached men’s team - “I Don’t Mind” in 1.04.00.  However, the ladies were not going to be out-done : Alison Brown (24.25), Michelle Douglas (25.35) and Emma Watson (25.56) were the first three ladies to finish so they too went home with a trophy for first attached ladies’ team – “Tweed Striders Girls A” in 1.15.56 – with Alison and Michelle placing first in their respective age categories.  Also running were Will Davidson (23.52), Rick Davie (24.09), Steve Flook (25.11), Steve Lauder (25.43), Andrew Douglas (26.07), Stephen Ball (26.39), Laura Jeffrey (28.03), Susan Rutherford (29.44), Ceri Leather (30.05), Heather Barnes (30.43), Colin Thompson (31.10), Susan Howlett (33.37), Helen Huntly (34.08), Louise Black (35.28), Karen Bagley |(35.29), Helen Hudson (35.30), Liz Howlett (36.10), Gill Brownlie (38.59) and Judith Thompson (42.14).

Earlier in the month, on 16th July, five members travelled the short distance to Kelso for the very popular Kelso Crawlers’ multi-terrain 10k where all five ran very well indeed.  Mel Ellis was first home for the club in 43.47, followed by Doug Small (44.32), Steve Lauder (46.42), Stephen Ball (47.15) and Michelle Douglas (47.42).   Jenni McCraw was next to pull on her racing shoes for Run Northumberland’s Wallington 10k held on the evening of 19th July; Jenni put in a super run to finish in 58.39, a whisker outside her PB. 

One week later, 22nd July, Mel was back in action once more but this time she ventured into unknown territory - and emerged the other side as an ultra-runner.   The race in question was Run the Blades, a 50k ultra-marathon set within the UK’s largest windfarm, Whitelee Windfarm just outside of Glasgow, which takes runners over moorland and through forests.  Not only did Mel finish her first ever ultra in a superb 5.15.15 (PB) but she also placed 3rd in her age category.  Eight days on, Mel travelled to Fort William to revisit the marathon distance.  After the ultra the previous week, Mel’s sole aim was to go sub four hours and this she did - 3.56.38.

In between time, on 23rd July, Paul Brothwood took on the challenges of the Northumberland Coastal Run, some 14 miles along the coast starting in Beadnell Harbour and finishing at Alnmouth Estuary.  A strong performance saw Paul cross the line in 2.02.41(PB).

The final event of July for Tweed Striders was the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge Two Nations 7k Run on 26th July.  Ross Bagley and David Arnold finished in second and third places respectively (27.57 and 28.57) and Alison Brown was once more first Tweed Striders lady to cross the line (34.27).  Also running were Rick Davie (33.26), Steve Flook (34.37), Steve Lauder (37.51), Stephen Ball (38.35), David Lauckner (41.27), Derek Lambert (41.27), Rosie Purves (58.26), Gill Brownlie (60.28) and Judith Thompson (60.29).  Taking a break from the long distances was Mel Ellis who ran with son Layton in the 1.8k event.  Layton obviously takes after mum as he showed Mel a clean pair of heels from start to finish, pipping her to the line in 11.51 and 11.53 respectively !

Chevy Chase and More …

The first nine days of July were action-packed for Tweed Striders.  Kicking off events on 1 July were the intrepid three musketeers of Mike Bell, Will Davidson and Paul Trotter who took on the challenges of the Chevy Chase Fell Race - a 20-mile journey through some of the finest upland scenery in Northumberland which summits both Cheviot and Hedgehope (2676 and 2348 feet respectively).  Will brought the trio home in 4.10.20 to claim 48th spot out of 196;  Paul was next over the line (4.24.03 and 71st) followed by Mike (4.38.40 and 98th) – and it was PBs one and all  The following day Paul Brothwood, in Tweed Tri colours, took on challenges of a different sort, namely the 70.3 Ironman in Edinburgh – a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56.2 mile cycle and a 13.1 mile run.  Paul put in a super performance and finished in 6.49.52.  Wednesday 5 July was the Curfew Fun Run and Curfew Run where a total of 272 runners took to the Elizabethan Walls of Berwick (see separate report).  Twenty-four hours later and Tweed Striders were off to Duns for the Reivers Week 5k.  In the men’s race Ross Bagley, not surprisingly given his hard run of the previous evening, was very narrowly pipped into second place but, in the ladies’ race, it was a one two for Mel Ellis and Michelle Douglas.  Also running were : Sam Armstrong; Karen Bagley; Heather Barnes,; Stephen Ball; Claire Etherington; Liz Howlett; Susan Howlett; Helen Hudson; Helen Huntly; Lynsey Jardine; Laura Jeffrey; Emma Jones-Watson; Jenni McCraw; Steve Lauder; Ceri Leather and, in the junior event, son Charlie; Helen Richards; Laura Robertson; Karen Roughead; Susan Rutherford; Doug Small and Sarah Turnbull.  Finally, on Sunday 9 July Helen Huntly and Julie Riley travelled to Gateshead to run in the Simply Health Great North 10k.  Helen was first to finish in 1.04.36, with Julie just a few minutes behind and bagging herself a PB to boot (1.15.39).  Super running from all !

A Busy Night on the Elizabethan Walls !

The weather forecast in the run-up to the 2017 Curfew Fun Run and traditional Curfew Run did not augur well but good fortune shone favourably on Tweed Striders as, whilst conditions on the evening were a tad cool atop the Elizabethan Walls, it was dry.

166 runners of all ages took part in the 7.30 pm Fun Run with Charlie Stewart of Chirnside Chasers putting in a phenomenal run to take the trophy for First Junior Boy in 7.46.  The trophy for First Junior Girl went to Leah Patterson, niece of Tweed Strider Laura Robertson, who finished in a very good 10.20.  The children of Tweed Striders’ members who took part and ran so well (and in one case very bravely!) were : Chloe and Lucas Armstrong (with mum Sam); Charlie Joe Crawford (with mum Yvonne); Layton Ellis (with mum Mel); Charlie Etherington (with mum Claire); Abigail and Ethan Huntly; Andrew, Oliver and William Mace; Jayden Mavin (with dad Andrew); Rory McCreath; Marti Riley (with dad Stuart); Faye Robertson (with dad Tony); Riley Robertson (with dad Jamie); Frankie Scott (with mum Wendy); Samuel Vassie and Euan Watson.  Richard Simpson, from main sponsor Simpsons Malt, also donned his running shoes to run alongside daughters, Freya and Isla.  

The traditional Curfew Run at 8 pm attracted a strong field of 106 runners.  Taking top spot this year and the trophy for First Senior Male was Colin Welsh of Kelso who crossed the line in 6.26.  Local runner Marcus D’Agrosa (trained by Henry Gray) chased Colin right to the line to finish second in 6.32 and, a mere 28 seconds behind Marcus, was Ross Bagley who put in superb run to claim 3rd place for Tweed Striders in 7.00.   The trophy for First Senior Lady went to Tweed Striders’ Alison Brown who romped home in an excellent 8.09.  Tweed Striders also took second and third place in the senior ladies race courtesy of super runs from Mel Ellis and Michelle Douglas who crossed the line in 8.29 and 9.01 respectively.  The trophies for First Junior Man and First Junior Lady went to Will Darling (7.03) and Mya Patterson (11.48).   Also running for Tweed Striders were Rick Davie (8.19), Colin Blackburn (8.22), Steve Lauder (8.24), Doug Small (8.25), Nick McCreath (8.51), Stephen Ball (8.59), Derek Lambert (10.03), Nadine Karolewski (10.06), Laura Jeffrey (10.08), Colin Thompson (10.22), Heather Barnes (10.25), Liz Vassie (10.56), Susan Howlett (11.31), Helen Huntly (11.38), Jenni McCraw (11.42), Maureen Aitchison (11.59), Helen Hudson (12.00), Lydia Simpson (12.04), Laura Robertson (12.18), Rosie Purves (12.28), Nikki Robertson (12.29), Jenny Robinson (12.29), Georgie Scott (12.32), Katie Thompson (12.37), Gail Jones (13.02), Sarah Turnbull (13.06), Dools Percy (13.23), Tracy Renton (13.26), Julie Riley (13.37), Lynsey Jardine (13.47), Kelly Marmara (15.22), Jodi Mace (15.41) and Joanna Ryan (16.09).

Tweed Striders would like to thank Simpsons Malt for their on-going and generous sponsorship of the Curfew Run; also Fantasy Prints, Go Outdoors, Morrisons, Silvery Tweed Cereals, Tesco, the Curfew Micropub, Travis Perkins and Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi for their support;  and, last but definitely not least, all those who gave up their time so willingly on the night – plus the Berwick bell-ringers!  This level of generous and committed support made the evening the undoubted success it was and to quote the UK Athletics Race Adjudicator “you (Tweed Striders) have now got an event that has a real community feel to it, covering a broad age range, with club runners through to joggers and, no doubt, some people may have run in a race for the first time last night and will hopefully be hooked to our sport!”

Lightning Strikes Twice in Lauder !

With David Arnold taking the prize for first male guest and Melanie Ellis that of first lady guest, it was a clean sweep on Tuesday 20 June for Tweed Striders at the annual  4.77 mile Lauderdale Limpers Two Pubs Race.  David was 3rd overall (out of 74) in 29.13 and Mel 10th in 34.51;  Mel was also the first lady home.  David and Mel were followed over the line by Mike Bell (36.29), Steve Lauder (36.44), Michelle Douglas (37.10), Stephen Ball (40.43), Colin Thompson (44.42), Gill Brownlie (53.40) and Judith Thompson (58.35).  Good running on a glorious summer evening!

Brilliance in Bamburgh !

The weekend of 10th and 11th June started gently with, on Saturday, Liz Howlett, Steve Lauder and Doug Small travelling the short distance to the very picturesque village of Stichill for their annual 10k which is now a well-established fixture on the summer race calendar.  All put in super runs : Steve took 14th spot (out of 81) in 45.42,  Doug was two places behind in 46.23 but it was Liz who went home with a PB (65.53).  Meanwhile, slightly further afield in Peebles, Julia Keddie and Colin Thompson were taking part in TweedLove’s Skinny Tweed 75km, a circular cycle starting and finishing in Peebles by way of Biggar.  Sunday, on the other hand, was Super Sunday with 36 Tweed Striders travelling to Bamburgh for RunNorthumberland’s increasingly popular 10k.  The weather, being as it was relatively cool with a gentle breeze, was ideal for running.  The rain also stayed away and it wasn’t exactly raining men either as, of the 36 Tweed Striders, only two were men !  Bringing the club home in her usual fine style was Mel Ellis who crossed in the line in 43.36, taking second place in her age category to boot.  Earning a well-deserved PB as she chased down Mel was Michelle Douglas who also finished second in her age category in 46.06.  Then came Steve Lauder (50.36), Karen Roughead (50.38), Derek Lambert (51.05 PB), Nadine Karolewski (51.57 =PB), Laura Jeffrey (52.44 PB), Susan Rutherford (53.11), Heather Barnes (54.51 PB), Juliana Amaral (56.11 PB), Shirley Thackray (57.36 PB), Susan Howlett (57.40), Jenni McCraw (58.31 PB), Louise Black (58.32 PB), Caroline McDermott (59.41), Helen Huntly (60.50 PB), Maureen Aitchison (62.18 PB), Sam Armstrong (62.30), Sarah Capes (62.50 PB), Helen Hudson (63.48 PB), Jackie Raeside (64.33 PB), Tracey Dick (66.23 PB), Laura Robertson (66.24 PB), Rosie Purves (66.41 PB), Helen Richards (66.58 PB), Nikki Robertson (67.02 PB), Linda Grieve (68.02 PB), Sarah Turnbull (69.46 PB), Emma Mowbray (71.48 PB), Dianne Johnson (71.48 PB), Dools Percy (72.44), Jackie Gray (72.54 PB), Lorna Patton (72.56 PB), Lynsey Jardine (75.45 PB), Lindsey Thompson (76.03 PB) and Jodi Mace (85.29 PB).  Fabulous running from everyone but special mention must go to the class of 2016 – the Autumn Walk-Jog graduates. 

If It Divides by 3, It Must Be a PB !

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May was THE weekend – the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Weekend.   The 5k kicked off events on Saturday with Jodi Mace, a graduate of the Autumn Walk-Jog programme, flying the flag for Tweed Striders – not to mention revisiting the infamous hill she first encountered in January at the Great Winter 5k.   Jodi put in a super run and finished in 42.40. 

Sunday was about the longer events – the half and full marathons.  Twelve Tweed Striders lined up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at 8 am for the half marathon.  Stuart Black was first home for the club in a very sound 1.39.21 with Michelle Douglas, first lady home, in hot pursuit.  Michelle crossed the line in 1.40.33, thereby bagging a PB of some 3 minutes to boot.  Next to finish was Stephen Ball (1.53.59) followed by Nick McCreath who smashed his PB by some 9 minutes so took the tape in 1.55.21.  Just over a minute later Derek Lambert crossed the line (1.56.32 PB) followed by Karen Roughead (1.58.20) and close on Karen’s heels was Nadine Karolewski (1.59.21 – another PB smashed by, again, 9 minutes).  Nadine was followed home by Susan Rutherford (2.03.40), Donna Bowers (2.12.58 PB), Shirley Thackray (2.13.41 PB), Louise Black (2.18.04 PB), Maureen Aitchison (2.26.21) and Lynsey Jardine (2.52.50).  

At 10 am, two hours later, it was the turn of “old hands” David Arnold and Melanie Ellis along with debutante Emma Jones-Watson to line up for their event - the full marathon.  David paced it sensibly to finish in 2.59.08 (just outwith his PB).  Next home was Mel in 3.39.33 followed by Emma who put in a super run in this her first marathon to cross the line in 4.31.50.  Awesome performances all round - well done and many congratulations !  Your club is very proud of you all.

It’s All About the Marathon

This weekend has been predominantly about the marathon with, on Sunday, Steve Flook running in the Asics Windermere Marathon and Andrew Douglas, Gill Brownlie, Rick Davie and Susan Howlett all running in the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon in the very exalted company of Liz McColgan and Zola Budd.  All benefitted from the favourable - cool and rainy –  conditions in their respective venues.  In Stirling Rick and Andrew were first home for Tweed Striders.  As training for both had been beset with injury – they did well to make the start line at all – they were deservedly very pleased (not to mention relieved) with their respective times of 3.52.05 and 3.56.09.  Susan was next to cross the line in this her first marathon and she put in a super run to finish in 5.13.14 (PB).  For Gill this was her third marathon and she too put in a super run as her time of 5.17.43 was a PB by some 8 minutes.  As the four cantered from Blair Drummond to Stirling Castle, Steve Flook meanwhile faced the challenges of the hilly one-lap course around Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, and he did so with aplomb, crossing the line in 3.49.05.   Huge congratulations to our five marathon runners ! 

The previous day Steve Lauder, along with Sam Armstrong and family, took on challenges of a different sort in the form of the Lifespan Colour Run 5k.  This event, which was held in the grounds of Longridge Towers School, is all about running a 5k whilst dodging (or perhaps not in the case of kids regardless of age !) the paint balls that are fired at you as you run.  However, the paint didn’t prove to be too much of a handicap for Steve as he finished second.  The next event on the Tweed Striders calendar is the Edinburgh Marathon Festival next weekend – good luck to all who are running !

From Two Wheels to Shanks' Pony

Congratulations to all who were out and about over the past weekend.  Swapping running shoes for two wheels to take part in Saturday’s Wooler Wheel Borderlands Cyclo Sportives and contending with some fierce winds to boot were, in the 100k, Paul Brothwood, Steve Dick, Julia Keddie, Will McDermott, Johnny McMurchie and Colin Thompson and, in the 60k, Will Davidson.  Also battling Saturday’s fierce winds was Mel Ellis who took on the demands of the Evrotas Burnmouth to Holy Island Trail Marathon.  Sunday saw Judith Thompson take part in the Decathlon 5k in Edinburgh’s beautiful Holyrood Park, alongside husband Colin who used the opportunity to stretch off tired legs. Well done everyone !

From A to E and Back to A !

The first week in May saw Tweed Striders concentrate their efforts in two locations - Alnwick and Edinburgh.  First out of the blocks on Tuesday was Steve Flook who travelled down to Alnwick for the Les Allcorn 10k where he ran very soundly to cross the line in 45.15.  Friday saw Mel Ellis travel to Edinburgh to take on the crème de la crème of Scottish club athletes in the Run & Become Self-Transcendence Scottish Championship 5k and come away with a PB of 20.49.  Sunday it was back to Alnwick for Tweed Strider triathletes Paul Brothwood,  David Lauckner (along with most of his family) and Claire Nixon who all represented Tweed Tri in the Alnwick Sprint Tri (400m pool swim, 21k cycle, 5k run).  It was a close battle between the seasoned triathletes, David and Paul, with David’s time of 1.24.32 being just fractionally quicker than that of Paul (1.25.23).  Claire, who has only a handful of triathlons under her belt, put in a super performance and finished in 1.58.05.  Finally, nearer to home, 14 Tweed Striders and friends met at Duns Pool for the second breakfast run of the year – some opted for Gill’s off-road through Duns Castle Estate, some for Caroline’s road alternative and a couple took to their cycles as preparation for next Saturday’s Wooler Wheel.  All then met back at Pearsons for refreshments and chat during which it was discovered that not all the road runners had spotted the path which would take them over Langton Ford without getting wet feet …

Didn’t they do well ? 

An extremely well-deserved first place for Ross Bagley and an equally well-earned fourth for Steve Dick in Sunday’s RNLI Burnmouth Brae Combined Events with a total time of 24.29 and 29.23 respectively.   For Ross this breaks down to a 19.05 5k (first place), a 2.48 Brae Cycle (fourth) and a 2.36 Brae Sprint (fourth);  and for Steve to a 29.23 5k, a 3.23 Brae Cycle and a 3.49 Brae Sprint.  Also representing Tweed Striders in the 5k were Steve Lauder and Gill Brownlie.  Steve crossed the line in 23.45 and, claiming the prize for 3rd in her age category, Gill in 36.56.  A very good afternoon for an endurance running club !

April Round-Up

A Tale of Two Capital Cities was a very fitting end to April for Tweed Striders.   Melanie Ellis and Colin Thompson both travelled to London to run in the Virgin Money London Marathon (VMLM) on Sunday 23 April.  Melanie’s training for this event was hampered greatly due to illness at the start of the year, with her participation being in doubt at one point, so she did well to take up her “Good for Age” place and line up just behind the élite athletes in the blue start.  Melanie went on to put in a very solid run to finish in 3.48.20.  Colin, along with fellow club athletes, was also in blue start just behind the élite athletes.  His training focus of consistent pace undoubtedly paid off and he crossed the line in a very sound 4.42.59 so went home with a PB to go with his medal.  As Melanie and Colin were running in London, five Tweed Striders were running in the Simply Health Great Edinburgh Run.  This 10 mile undulating route gives runners the perfect sight-seeing tour of Edinburgh – as the VMLM does of London – as it skirts past some of the capital’s must-see attractions.  Michelle Douglas made light work of the course challenges and flew round in 1.16.53 (PB).  Following Michelle over the line were Derek Lambert (1.26.32 PB), Ceri Leather (1.29.13 PB), Nadine Karolewski (1.30.25 PB) and Pamela Toward (1.30.30).  Two weeks earlier David Arnold was back in his home town of Brighton for the Brighton Marathon.  David had a very specific reason for targeting this race so his marathon plan, both with regards to training and nutrition, was faultless.  However, one cannot plan for the weather as that is in the hands of the Gods and on Sunday 9 April the Gods were not kind seeing as they decreed Brighton should be bathed in 23 degrees of sun.  Sadly, whilst David’s time of 2.58.11 was a time most of us can only dream of, it was not quite enough so David’s dream has yet to come true.  Melanie Ellis was also in action that same day - but much nearer to home – and completed the Edinburgh 13.1k Kilomathon in 56.38 (PB).  The first race in April for Tweed Striders was the Cragside 10k on April Fools’ Day.  Sam Armstrong, Karen Bagley and Ceri Leather took on the challenges of this very scenic but very hilly 10k with Ceri being the first of the trio over the line in 54.19, followed by Sam and Karen (60.16 and 64.11 respectively).  Also running that day was Steve Lauder but in the much more relaxed and gentler environment of the Gala Harriers 5k Easter Challenge in and around Tweedbank and Gunknowe Loch where he finished 10th (out of 120) in 21.51 - and got a crème egg to boot!

One Mighty Run !

Huge congratulations to Gill Brownlie who completed the Rat Race Mighty Deerstalker on Saturday 11 March.  The Mighty Deerstalker is a 15k race (give or take a kilometre or two – but what’s a kilometre between friends ?!) held at Traquair House, Innerleithen, at night - head torches are esssential.  The course is entirely off-road and involves running up and down a mountain or two, traversing forests and crossing rivers.  It is also famous for the Mighty Beerstalker Party.  Gill completed this monster of an event in 3.52.10 and we hope she enjoyed a well-deserved refreshment (or two!) at the after-party …

Success all round on Sunday !

Nine graduates from the Tuesday Walk-Jog programme made their way to Edinburgh to take part in the Meadows 5k and, for the majority of them, this was their first ever race.  However, inexperience did not get in their way as all put in superb runs with everyone coming away with a PB.  Nikki Robertson was home first for Tweed Striders in 33.04 (PB), followed by Helen Richards and Helen Hudson (33.35 PB both), with Laura Robertson and Tracey Dick mere seconds behind (33.44 PB both).  Linzi Middlemist was next to finish (34.57 PB), followed by Jackie Gray and Lorna Patton (36.17 PB both) and Jodie Mace (39.46 PB).  Many congratulations to all – Caroline, Judith and Helen are very proud of your achievements !  Also running on Sunday were Colin Thompson and Will McDermott who took on the challenges – and the endless mud – of the 3 Eildons 10 Mile Trail Race.  They slipped and slid their way round the course – with occasional tumbles to boot – and finished, covered head to toe in mud, in an extremely creditable 2.10.34.  They were smiling too !  Well done, guys !

Well done Tweed Striders !  You can put the XC shoes away for a bit…

The Borders XC season drew to a close in fine style at “Sunny – albeit windy - Dunny” on Sunday 19 February.   Of the 87 juniors who lined up on the start line at 11.30, it was Gala Harriers’ Yousuf Khursheed and Team East Lothian’s Fraser Kelly who, as they have done all season, raced each other from start to finish, with Yousuf crossing the line first by a mere 2 seconds (12.20 and 12.22 respectively).  The girls’ race was less hotly contended;  Rosie Mitchell (Edinburgh Triathlon) was first in 14.59 and Esme Callander second in 15.35.  The seniors race was very well supported with 177 taking part.  Tom Martyn (Hunters Bog Trotters) and Alexander Chepelin (Edinburgh University Hare & Hounds) led the way home to take the first two spots in 24.11 and 24.33 respectively.  In the ladies’ race it was a Hunters Bog Trotters one two : Claire Gordon one (29.56) and Megan Wright two (30.15).  Christian Young brought Tweed Striders home in 31.14.  He was followed over the line by Will Davidson (33.20), Stuart Birkett (34.30), Steven Flook (35.11), Mike Bell (36.27), Colin Thompson (38.49), Will McDermott (39.06), Ceri Leather (41.18), Gill Brownlie (49.59), Judith Thompson (54.09) and race sweeper Caroline McDermott.  The Borders XC Committee would like to thank all host clubs for making the series the success it is and also all runners (junior and senior) for supporting the event.  See you in the autumn!

Picture Perfect in Peebles

Peebles was bathed in welcome winter sunshine Sunday 29 January for the penultimate leg of the Borders XC series hosted by Moorfoot Runners.  However, the strong sunshine meant that conditions underfoot were extremely challenging for the 296 runners who took part.  In the shade they had to contend with hard-frosted ground but, where the sunshine had melted away the frost, it was very slippy and muddy underfoot indeed.  103 juniors lined up on the start line and, once again, Gala Harriers’  Yousuf Khursheed and Team East Lothian’s Fraser Kelly took the first two spots in the boys’ race, crossing the line in 8.10 and 8.15 respectively.  The girls’ race was won, fittingly, by the host club’s Beth Hobbs in 9.29, with Esme Callander securing second place for Team East Lothian (9.47).  Leading the 193 seniors home was Tom Martyn of Hunters Bog Trotters.  He put in a storming run to finish in 24.19;  second spot went to Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds’ Alexander Chepelin (24.35).  Hunters Bog Trotters made it a one two in the ladies race.  Georgia Tindley repeated previous success to finish first lady in 29.08 with team mate Jill Stephen finishing  second in 29.24.  Tweed Striders’ Paul Trotter put in a very good run and finished well up the field in 31.21. Following Paul over the line for the club were Will Davidson (32.44), Rick Davie (33.47), Steven Flook (36.50), James Blair (37.55), Mike  Bell (38.07), David Lauckner (39.29), Colin Thompson (42.09), Ceri Leather (43.38), Gill Brownlie (53.15) and Judith Thompson (57.24).  The series moves to Dunbar on Sunday 19 February for the final leg hosted by Dunbar Running Club.

Perfect Pastures at Paxton

Norham Running Club welcomed 91 junior runners and 220 senior runners to Paxton House for the fifth leg of the Borders XC Series on Sunday 9 January, with all greatly enjoying Les Turnbull’s newly revamped courses.   The boys’ race was very hotly contended with Yousuf Khursheed of Gala Harriers just pipping Fraser Kelly of Team East Lothian AC to the line (10.43 and 10.45 respectively).  Esme Callendar, also of Team East Lothian AC, took the honours in the girls’ race (13.03) just ahead of Gala Harriers’ Eilidh Forbes (13.17).  First and second place in the seniors’ race went to Andy Fallas of Carnethy Hill Racing Club (22.22) and Julian Barrable of Corstorphine AAC (22.56), with the first two ladies to cross the line being Jill Stephens of Hunters Bog Trotters (26.25) and Kirstin Maxwell of Gala Harriers (26.32).  This leg was well represented by Tweed Striders with 17 members taking part.  First home for the club was Nathan Cox (27.22), hotly pursued by Christian Young (27.37).  They were followed over the line by William Davidson (28.53), Rick Davie (29.24), Steven Flook (31.59), Stuart Birkett (32.03), James Blair (33,37), Mike Bell (33.49), David Lauckner (35.14), Will McDermott and Colin Thompson (both 36.10), Paul Graham (37.21), Julia Keddie (37.37), Ceri Leather (37.57), Karen Bagley (43.37), Gill Brownlie (45.13) and Judith Thompson (48.51).  The series moves to Peebles on Sunday 29 January for the penultimate leg hosted by Moorfoot Running Club.

The first Saturday in January so it must be … the Great Winter 5k !

Saturday 7 January saw Tweed Striders pull on their racing shoes in earnest.  Seventeen travelled up to Edinburgh for what is now a popular and well-established fixture on the club calendar – the Great Winter 5k with its one mile slog up Arthur’s Seat – and, unlike in previous years, the conditions were very mild indeed.  Bringing the club home in very fine style were Richard Cox and Melanie Ellis who finished in 20.54 (PB) and 21.44 respectively.  They were followed over the line by Steve Dick (24.25 PB), Will McDermott (26.26), Sam Morris (28.15 PB), Donna Bowers (28.18 PB), Caroline McDermott (30.07), Nicola Foggon (30.59), Helen Huntly (31.34 PB), Liz Howlett (32.09), Gill Brownlie (34.10), Judith Thompson (34.39 PB), Laura Robertson and Tracey Dick (both 34.44 PB), Linzi Middlemist (36.44 PB), Lorna Patton (36.45 PB) and Jodie Mace (41.56 PB).  Whilst all ran well, special mention must go to Laura, Tracey, Linzi, Lorna and Jodie as this was their first 5k (and a challenging one to boot) after successful completion of last autumn’s walk-jog programme – well done, girls - Caroline, Helen and Jud are very proud of you !

The Portobello Promathon – a Perfect Start to 2017 !

2017 got off to a flying start for Tweed Striders with six members travelling up to Edinburgh on 1 January to take part in the Portobello Promathon.  This is a well-established and popular New Year’s Day fixture, the aim of which is to raise money for charity - this year’s beneficiary being Motor Neuron Disease Scotland.  Opening the proceedings was the 1.5 Fun Run and first out of the starting blocks for Tweed Striders was Katie Thompson, accompanied by father Colin.  Then followed the main event for the seniors – a 4 mile route out and back along the Prom.  Will McDermott was first to cross the line for the club in 31.55, followed by Caroline McDermott (35.53), Gill Brownlie (41.52) and Judith Thompson (43.06).  The next events for Tweed Striders are the Great Winter Run this coming Saturday followed, on Sunday, by the Borders XC at Paxton House.