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.

Happy New Year to all Tweed Striders Members and Friends

The Downhill  Charge of 197 …

One week on and Sunday 11 December saw the Borders XC move the short distance inland from Spittal to Chirnside with 297 runners descending on the Berwickshire village to take part in the fourth leg organised by Chirnside Chasers.  98  juniors lined up on the start line and it was Team East Lothian Athletics Club’s Fraser Kelly who repeated his success of the previous week to cross the line first in 13.14.  Second boy home was Finlay Ross of Harmeny Athletic Club (13.39).   In the girls’ race it was yet another triumph for sisters Emma and Katie Johnson who took the first two spots for Edinburgh Athletic Club in 15.02 and 15.16 respectively.   In the Seniors Race Tom Martyn of Hunters Bog Trotters was another to repeat his success of the previous week.  He charged down the hill then took the challenging terrain in his stride, all the while showing the rest of the field a very clean pair of heels, to finish in 25.21.  Gala Harriers’ Faisal Khursheed took second place in 26.03.  The honours in the ladies race also went to Hunters Bog Trotters with Georgia Tindley crossing the line in 29.42, followed by Megan Wright (30.34).  Nathan Cox brought Tweed Striders home in 30.03.  He was followed over the line by Christian Young (32.46), Will Davidson (34.12), Rick Davie (34.44), Mel Ellis (first lady in 35.13), Stuart Birkett (36.10), Douglas Small (36.31), Michelle Douglas (37.08), Mike Bell (37.54), James Blair (38.21), Colin Thompson (40.23), Paul Graham (41.42), Will McDermott (41.49, Ceri Leather (44.14) and Judith Thompson (56.46).  The Borders XC Series takes a break now until 8 January and the fifth leg hosted by Norham Running Club at Paxton House.

Splendid Success at Spittal !

It was a cool, gray and rather overcast Spittal that welcomed the 87 junior and 169 senior runners who ran in the 3rd leg of the Borders XC Series hosted by Tweed Striders.  The junior race was a pure beach run – 1.6 miles of hard running.  However, beach running must suit Team East Lothian Athletics Club as they took the first four places in the boys’ race : Fraser Kelly (9.16), Joe Donnelly (9.26), Eric Gallagher (9.27) and Angus Wright (9.39).  The honours in the girls’ race was another one two for sisters Emma and Katie Johnson of Edinburgh Athletic Club who finished in 10.08 and 10.37 respectively.  The senior race shares the same start and finish as the junior race (the beach) with the middle section being run through the fields railway side of the clifftop then returning along the clifftop path.  Whilst the course proved to be very challenging for most, it wasn’t for Tom Martyn of Hunters Bog Trotters who romped home in 21.45.  Trying hard to catch him but having to settle for a very good second place was local athlete and Gala Harrier Marcus D’Agrosa (22.52).  The ladies’ race brought yet more success for Hunters Bog Trotters with Georgia Tindley and Clare Gordon taking first and second spot respectively (25.25 and26.04).  Tweed Striders were represented by 17 members with Nathan Cox being first home for the club in 24.23.  Nathan was followed over the line by Paul Trotter (26.22), Christian Young (27.31), Will Davidson (28.27), Rick Davie (28.55), Mel Ellis (first lady in 29.19), Steven Flook (30.30), Stuart Birkett (31.07), Mike Bell (31.54), Michelle Douglas (31.56), James Blair (32.09), David Lauckner (33.33), Colin Thompson (33.44), Will McDermott (34.29), Paul Graham (37.28), Ceri Leather (38.21) and Gill Brownlie (43.57).  Tweed Striders would like to thank all who helped make the event such a success, with particular mention going to John Whiteford, along with Alan and Douglas Carruthers.  The fourth leg of the series is this coming Sunday (11 December) at Chirnside.

From Kirkley Hall to Basel

In a word wow !  Many congratulations to David Arnold who, with his time of 1.01.17, was 4th overall and 1st in age category in today’s RunNorthumberland Big 10 Miler at Kirkley Hall.  Congratulations also to father and son duo Richard and Nathan Cox who ran in yesterday’s Basler Stadtlauf in Switzerland.  Richard took nearly 4 minutes off his 2015 time to finish in 23.12 (PB) and Nathan crossed the line in to take a good 6th spot in the U20 Men’s Race.

Glorious Running in Gala but oh so cold !

Cold and frosty – so ideal  – conditions greeted the 364 runners who descended on Galashiels last Sunday for the second leg of the Borders XC series hosted by Gala Harriers.  The junior race was fast and furious and it was Fraser Kelly of Team East Lothian Athletics Club who just pipped Gala Harriers’ Yousuf Khurseed to the line (10.24 and 10.27 respectively) thereby denying  Yousuf a repeat of his success at Lauder.  One two in the girls’ race went to Edinburgh Athletics Club’s Emma Johnson (11.39) and Katie Johnson (12.08).  The seniors race was equally fast and furious with Alexander Chepelin (Edinburgh University Hare & Hounds) repeating his Lauder win by showing a clean pair of heels to the other 253 runners  to cross the line first in 22 minutes dead.  The honour of first lady to finish went to Claire Gordon of Hunters Bog Trotters (25.58).   First home for Tweed Striders was Paul Trotter in 27.43.  He was followed over the line by Will Davidson (29.43), Mel Ellis (first Tweed Strider lady in 30.55), Steven Flook (31.18), Mike Bell (31.21), Douglas Small (32.51), James Blair (33.31), David Lauckner (33.52), Colin Thompson (36.13),Will McDermott (36.24), Julia Keddie (37.19), Paul Graham (37.44), Ceri Leather (37.54), Gill Brownlie (44.53) and Judith Thompson (48.14).  The third leg of the series is hosted by Tweed Striders on Sunday 4 December.

Marvellous Movember !

The girls did good !  In Saturday’s Edinburgh MoRun 5k Mel Ellis (5th overall in 21.15 PB) and Michelle Douglas (13th overall in 23.09) finished as 2nd and 3rd lady and first in their respective age categories, with Mel also taking 1st in the fancy dress.  Sam Armstrong and Donna Bowers raced each other to the line in 32.32 and 33.33.  In the MoRun10k Maureen Aitchison was also first in age category (62.58 PB), just ahead of Liz Howlett (66.59 PB) and Stuart and Louise Black (70.38).  And today Tracy and Steve Dick ran in the Glasgow MoRun 5k (34.44).  Well done to all! !

Lashing Down in Lauder !

Sunday 6 November saw the start of the 2016-2017 Borders Cross Country Series.  The first leg was hosted by Lauderdale Limpers and whilst their organisation was, as usual, exemplary, they were not able to “fix” the weather which was truly horrid.  Undeterred, however, 124 intrepid juniors lined up on the start line, with Gala Harriers’ Yousuf Khursheed making light of the sticky conditions and torrential sleety showers to finish first boy in 11.33.  First girl home in 13.14 was Emma Johnson of Edinburgh Athletic Club.   Conditions did not improve for the 261 equally intrepid senior runners.  Alexander Chepelin of Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds brought the field home in a very good 25.30, with Georgia Tindley of Hunters Bog Trotters taking the first lady spot in 30.39.

Christian Young was the first Tweed Strider to finish in 32.29.   He was followed home by Paul Trotter (34.27), Will Davidson (35.44), Stuart Birkett (36.11),  Steve Flook (36.21), Melanie Ellis (first lady in 37.44), Mike Bell (38.38), Paul Graham (43.49), Julia Keddie (45.10), Ceri Leather (46.03), Karen Bagley (52.20) and Gill Brownlie (54.19).

The Borders Cross Country Series has a policy of supporting worthy local causes.  This year it was the turn of the Borders Search and Rescue Unit to benefit so, in between junior and senior races, representatives of BSARU were presented with a cheque for £1,000 by Caroline McDermott, Chair of the Committee.  As a gesture of thanks, BSARU’s Alistair McDonald (29.09), Damon Rodwell (29.26). John Harrison (37.26), Peter Gibson (38.35), Bob McKeand (39.11) and  Angie Kinghorn (44.07) all braved the deplorable weather to take part.

As runners in Lauder were slip-sliding uphill, downhill and through swathes of mud, some 30 miles to the north in Edinburgh Richard Cox enjoyed slightly more favourable conditions when he ran in the Men’s Health 10k (44.43).

Christian Young was also in action the day before in the first of the three trail races which comprise the FoxTrail 5k Series.  Christian put in a superb run to take a very well deserved second place in 21.30.

A Great Road Racing Finale - Bring on the Cross-Country !

The Jedburgh Running Festival held over the final weekend of October traditionally signals the end of the road racing season and this year it brought the 2016 season to a very fitting end indeed.  It kicked off on Saturday with the Three Peaks Ultra Marathon and Relay – 38 miles off-road over challenging and demanding yet very beautiful Borders terrain.  The latter was Tweed Striders’ first foray into the ultra scene and the team did not disappoint.  Running as Berwick Bounders Steve Lauder, David Lauckner, Colin Thompson (on the hard - three peaks - leg) and Will McDermott ran supremely well to take 13th spot (out of 25) in 6.39.08.  The next day saw Stuart Black running in the Half Marathon with Louise Black, Richard Cox, Melanie Ellis, Steve Lauder (having swapped off-road for road shoes) and Ceri Leather in the 10k and there were good performances all round.  Stuart Black was aiming for a sub 1.30 half marathon but some pesky 48 seconds meant he’d to be content with a very good 1.30.48 PB.  Over in the 10k Melanie Ellis brought the club home in 42.30 and stood proudly on the podium as 3rd lady.  Mel was followed over the line by Richard Cox (45.28 – 8 minutes off his 2015 time), Steve Lauder (48.36), Ceri Leather (52.54 PB) and Louise Black (71.35).  Meanwhile some 50 miles to the south Gill Brownlie and Steve Dick were in Whitley Bay for the N2N (North Tyneside to Newcastle) Half Marathon.  The super fast course obviously suited as both came away with well earned PBs.  Steve was the first of the duo to finish.  He took an unbelievable 15 minutes off his time to cross the line in 1.48.32.  Gill finished in 2.28.59, thereby going under two and a half hours for the very first time.  The club’s focus now turns to cross-country, specifically the first leg of the Borders XC Series hosted by Lauderdale Limpers this coming Sunday. 

Brilliance in Bamburgh !

The old adage of “decide in haste, repent at leisure” most certainly did not apply to Tweed Strider Melanie Ellis when she entered the Bamburgh Marathon at the very last minute as Mel put in a storming performance on Sunday 23 October so crossed the line as first lady in a super 3.25.03.  Steve Flook also ran and, as this was his second marathon in as many weeks, he should be very proud of his time of 3.48.27 particularly Steve was first in his age category.  Running in the half marathon were David Arnold and Sam Armstrong.  David was the first of the duo home in 1.25.00, followed by Sam in 2.15.39.  Meanwhile back in Berwick fifty-six runners took part in the People’s Run 2 Remember hosted by Tweed Striders.   With its aim of raising money for extremely deserving causes and being as it is untimed, this event is the epitome of “fun run”.  Tweed Striders Steve Lauder and Michelle Douglas flew around the cross to finish one two for the club but they were not the sole Tweed Striders as Maureen Aitchison, Sara Bebbington, Louise, Alisha and Sophie Black, Gill Brownlie, Claire and Wayne Etherington, Freya Deans, Nicola Foggon, Jackie Gray, Helen Huntly, Billy Johnston, Derek Lambert, Ceri Leather, Lorna Patton, Diane Renner, Karen Roughead, Colin and Katie Thompson and Suzanne Wilson also “ran to give for those who gave”.  They were joined by runners from Berwick and Kelso plus members of JogSelkirk, Gala Harriers, Fife AC and Chirnside Chasers.   Also showing their support for deserving causes, in this case the Great North Air Ambulance, were James Blair, Elaine Blair and Julia Keddie.  All three took part in “A Bridge Too Far” with James and Julia cycling the 43 mile route and Elaine the shorter 15 mile course.   All-in-all a very successful and charitable weekend for Tweed Striders.

Success All Round on Sunday

A superb weekend for Tweed Striders both north and south of the border on Sunday 9 October.  David Arnold ran in the British Masters Half Marathon in Glasgow and came away with a Bronze Medal after finishing 3rd in the M45 category in a time of 1.21.32 on what proved to be a rather challenging – namely hilly - course.  Meanwhile a couple of hundred miles to the south Steve Flook completed the York Marathon in 3.33.10;  this was some running as it proved to be his fastest time in 30 years.   Christian Young also put in a sterling run in the Matfen 10k – his first 10k six months – and crossed the line in 30th spot (out of 255 ) in 42.37.   Putting a more light-heated – but equally important – spin on their running were Stuart and Louise Black who travelled to Edinburgh to run in the Big Fun Run 5k.  Well done to all !

From September into October …

It was long distance all the way for Tweed Striders these past two weekends.  Perfect conditions on Sunday 2 October awaited Stuart Black, Richard Cox and Melanie Ellis in Kielder for the Marathon and Half Marathon.  This was Stuart’s fifth marathon of the year and he put in a sound performance to finish in 3.37.35.  Melanie and Richard were both running the shorter distance, with Melanie finishing a superb second lady in 1.36.54 and Richard not far behind in 1.50.25.

Meanwhile, over on the west coast, conditions were rather hot and sunny so not so perfect for Craig Mitchell, Colin Thompson and Susan Howlett who were running in the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon.  Nevertheless there were good performances all round with Craig being first to cross the line for the club in 1.23.51, followed by Colin (1.58.15) then Susan (2.13.20 PB).

The day before five Tweed Striders made the short journey to Wooler where they exchanged Shanks’ pony for two wheels.  Elaine Blair, Julia Keddie, Will McDermott and Johnny McMurchie all took part in the Wooler Wheel 50k Sportive, with James Blair racing in the 100k Sportive.

The previous weekend Gill Brownlie had travelled up to Inverness for the Loch Ness Marathon.  It was definitely worth the journey as Gill’s time of 5.25.03 meant she returned home with a well-earned PB. 

In between the two weekends, on Friday 30 September, Tweed Striders held their annual Presentation Evening in Magdalene Fields Golf Club and the 2016 winners were as follows : Orienteer of the Year  – Steve Lauder;  Unsung Hero – Alec Walton;  Walk-Jogger – Angela Tait;  Strider of the Year – Melanie Ellis;  Junior XC Champion – Freya Deans;  Senior XC Champion – Nathan Cox;  Time-Trial Champion – Liz Howlett;  Most Improved Runner (Runner-Up) – Karen Roughead;  Most Improved Runner – Michelle Douglas;  Athlete of the Year – Melanie Ellis.  Congratulations to all the winners!

Full Marks – 6 out of 6 !

Conditions were ideal for the Scottish Half Marathon on Sunday 18 September being as they were cool with a hint of sunshine.  This course is virtually pancake flat so ideal PB material and, with a clean sweep of PBs, Tweed Striders most certainly did not disappoint.  David Arnold was first to cross the line for the club in 1.20.42 (PB).  He was followed home by Paul Trotter (1.33.06 PB), Melanie Ellis (1.34.32 PB), Richard Cox (1.40.38 PB), Gill Brownlie (2.32.21 PB) and Morven MacKinnon (2.36.14 PB) – an outstanding run from all.  Also running on Sunday, but in the Sunnyhills Farm 4 Mile Fun Run, were Ross Bagley and Judith Thompson.  Ross was first overall and Judith first lady.  The day before conditions were very hot and sunny, so not ideal for Kelso’s Two Bridges 5k with its rather demanding hill midway.  Colin Thompson ran a good race but the honours went to the ladies - Liz Howlett, Judith Thompson and Katie Thompson - who won the prize for first ladies team. 

Running in the iconic Great North Run alongside the great Mo Farah …

Sunday 11 September was probably the most eagerly awaited day in the running year being as it was the Great North Run, complete with the opportunity to line up alongside Mo Farah fresh from his successes in Rio.  Twenty-three Tweed Striders headed down to Newcastle for this iconic race with Steve Flook putting in a super run to cross the line first for the club (1.38.33 PB), albeit with Melanie Ellis hot on his heels (1.38.41).  Next to finish were Steven Atkinson (1.42.56), Michelle Douglas (1.43.57), Richard Cox (1.47.53), David Lauckner (1.51.17), Karen Roughead (1.55.03 PB) and Susan Rutherford who, with her time of 1.59.46 (PB), broke the magical two hour mark for the first time.  Susan was followed home by Emma Watson (1.59.56), Claire and Wayne Etherington (both 2.02.30), Nick McCreath (2.04.18 PB), Ceri Leather (2.08.09), Nadine Karolewski (2.08.09 PB), Andrew Mavin (2.08.14), Sam Armstrong (2.13.41 PB), Derek Lambert (2.14.17 PB), Maureen Aitchison (2.23.47 PB), Jenny Hope (2.26.48), Steven Potts (2.29.23 PB), Nicola Foggon (2.32.49), Susan Howlett (2.34.53 PB) and Deborah Bowden (2.37.42).  The weekend’s events, however, had kicked off the previous day with the Junior Great North Run in which Tweed Striders were represented by sisters Freya and Isla Deans.  Both ran really well but, age and experience won out, with Freya finishing in 22.41 and Isla in 24.51.  Also taking place on the Sunday but much nearer to home was the Norham Bike Fest.  Julia Keddie, Will McDermott and Colin Thompson swapped trainers for two wheels to race in the 12.4 mile time trial, where they finished a very creditable third place.