Two Striders  -  Kirstie Mulvey and Julie Newton  - did manage to make it to the Supernova Kelpies 5k but on the Sunday (11 November).  Both put in good runs with Kirstie finishing in 32.40 and Julie in 33.18 (PB).  Earlier in the afternoon 23 Tweed Striders turned out to run the club’s Poppy 5k to mark 100 years since the end of World War One.  Everyone was bowled over by the thoughtfulness of Laura Robertson who, unbeknown to all, took time out from her packed Remembrance Day schedule to pipe the runners off along Quay Walls at the start of their run – it was a very moving moment.  Afterwards it was off to Lowry’s at the Chandlery for very welcome tea and cake and a chance to dry off !

From High to Low …

Saturday 10 November started on a high and ended on a low.  The first high … to the south in Wooler Stephen Ball, Mike Bell, Paul Brothwood, Sarah Capes and Michelle Douglas all took to the Cheviots for the Trail Outlaws’ famous – or infamous ? – half marathon … infamous because, at 14+ miles, it rather exceeds the standard distance of 13.1 miles but, regardless of distance, all always enjoy.  Mike and Stephen took the tape virtually side-by-side but it was Mike who just pipped Stephen to the post by a mere four seconds (2.30.50 and 2.30.54 respectively).  A similar number of seconds separated Michelle and Paul, with Michelle crossing the line in 2.40.15, 3rd in age group, and Paul in 2.40.19.  Sarah, newly returned after a prolonged period of injury, put in a super run and finished in 3.18.51.  The second high … to the north in Edinburgh Stuart and Louse Black were running in the MoRun 10k and 5k respectively.  Stuart’s time of 44.42 meant he returned home with a PB and in the 5k Louise coped well with the demands of the course and crossed the line in 37.17.  The low … nine Striders set off mid-afternoon to run in the Supernova Kelpies 5k near Falkirk.  However, a tragic and fatal accident closed the A1 and brought their journey to an abrupt halt at Haddington.  Tweed Striders would like to extend their sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the accident.  Two Striders are due to run at Falkirk later today;  race report to follow tomorrow.

From Dunbar to Edinburgh to Newcastle to Lauder…

The first weekend of November saw Tweed Striders in action in a variety of locations and on a variety of terrains.  Saturday it was Dunbar (off-road) with Race 1 of the Foxtrail 5k and 13k Series being the race of the day.  Three Striders ran in the 5k and two in the 13k and all had to contend with some very serious winds.  In the 5k Colin Thompson brought the trio home in 26.26, followed by Julia Keddie (28.06) and Judith Thompson (34.57).  Stephen Ball was first to take the tape in the 13k (1.06.17) followed by Emma Alexander (1.18.00).  On Sunday Edinburgh (road), Newcastle (road) and Lauder (XC) were the destinations of choice.  Ray Karolewski ventured north to Edinburgh where he was the only Strider running in the Men’s Health 10k.  Running solo did not trouble him in the slightest as he flew round the course in a great 42.46.  Heading down to Newcastle for the MoRun 5k were Heather Dickson, Kirstie Mulvey and Julie Newton – a good choice as all returned with PBs.  Heather led the trio home in 28.32 (1st in age category) with Kirstie and Julie finishing in 32.05 and 33.25 respectively.  And, meanwhile in Lauder, it was the opening leg of the Borders XC Series hosted by the Lauderdale Limpers.  Tweed Striders was represented in the junior race by Euan Watson.  This was Euan’s first venture into cross-country and he put in a super run to finish in 18.53.  264 seniors lined up the for “main event” and it was Mike Bell who brought Striders home in 36.15 with Stephen Ball, fresh from Saturday’s Foxtrail 13k, mere seconds behind (36.58).  They were followed across the line by Rick Davie (38.18), Paul Brothwood (38.52), Stuart Birkett (38.58), Michelle Douglas first Tweed Strider lady (40.10), Laura Jeffrey (41.35), Steve Flook (41.58), Andrew Douglas (42.08), David Lauckner (43.14), Will McDermott (44.08), Emma Alexander (44.19), Heather Barnes (45.20), Susan Howlett (54.19), Gill Brownlie (54.58) and Judith Thompson (59.01).  Commiserations to Colin Thompson who took a tumble on the last descent.

Time for Cross-Country

The Jedburgh Running Festival on the last weekend of October, accompanied as it is by the end of British Summer Time, marks by and large the end of road racing for the year and, on Sunday 28th, the weather, with the complete change in conditions, signalled that summer was well and truly over.  For those running in the half marathon and the 10k, the question was what to wear : vest ?  vest + short-sleeved tee ?  vest + long-sleeved tee ? vest + tee + jacket ?   Tweed Striders had no-one running in the half but five lined up on the start line of the 10k : Emma Alexander, Lucy Grieve, Steve Lauder, Caroline McDermott and Nikki Robertson.  The Jedburgh 10k is not without its challenges and, by and large, is not PB material but all five acquitted themselves well on the undulating course and two returned home with a PB.  Steve was first home for the club in 54.23, followed by Emma (58.24), Lucy (58.25 PB), Nikki (60.47 PB) and Caroline (61.24).  No sooner had the five collected their medals then the heavens opened and the hailstones came down.  The previous day David Lauckner took part in the Jedburgh Three Peak Ultra Marathon Relay alongside family members.  David had offered to run the demanding third leg.  His offer was – naturally ! - accepted so he took on the 11 mile section which started at Rhymer’s Stone, went up over the three Eildons then finished in Maxton.  Well done to all !  The next dates on the Tweed Striders’ calendar are the FoxTrail 5k and 13k on Saturday 3 November and the opening leg of the Borders XC Series at Lauder on Sunday 4 November.

Half Off and Half On … Road that is !

Tweed Striders headed for one of two race destinations this past weekend : four to Peebles on Saturday 20 October for the Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run and, the following morning, seven (plus cheerleaders en masse !) to Bamburgh for the Castles Half Marathon.   Saturday’s Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run is a beautiful 20k off-road race which takes runners through a stunning natural environment and comes with a very special twist in the tail : the trail leaves the autumnal beauty of the woods and dives into underground awesomeness - the Neidpath Tunnel  to be exact, a 600m railway tunnel, complete with lighting effects !  The quartet finished in very close succession.  Colin Blackburn was first to take the tape in 1.52.59, followed by Stephen Ball (1.58.26) then, mere minutes apart, Paul Brothwood and Michelle Douglas (2.01.05 and 2.03.36 respectively).  Sunday saw Striders back on terra firma – namely the roads and byways around Bamburgh for the Castles Half Marathon.  Neil Stalker and Laura Jeffrey were first home for the club in 1.41.26 and 1.49.24 (PB, 2nd in age group) respectively.  Next to cross the line was Stephen Whitehead in 1.59.07, followed by Laura Robertson (2.29.22 PB), Judith Thompson (2.32.19, a PB by 11 minutes), Lynsey Jardine (2.32.21) and Jodi Mace (3.15.27 PB).  Well done to all !  The other outing of the weekend was Sunday’s breakfast run organised by Steve Lauder.  Starting at Café Maelmin in Milfield, Steve took David Lauckner, Caroline and Will McDermott  along the Maelmin Trail, a circular 6.15 miles out through Fenton, up Fenton Hill and back to Milfield for the customary bacon roll and coffee.  Thank you to Steve and Café Maelmin.

PBs All Round !

Saturday 13 October saw Stephen Ball head to south-west Scotland for the Dark Skies Run @ Galloway – a unique and challenging 14 miles around the Cairnsmore of Fleet and Murrays Monument area of Galloway Forest under some of the darkest skies in the UK.  Running at night obviously suits Stephen as he finished 2nd in age group in a very good 2.20.18 (PB).

The following day it was all about the girls - Susan Howlett, Jenni McCraw and Julie Riley - and the ASDA Foundation Yorkshire Marathon.  This was a first marathon for Jenni and Julie (both of whom were running to raise money for causes very dear to their hearts) and a second for Susan.  All three put in phenomenal runs.  Jenni was first to finish in 4.44.20 (PB), followed by Susan (4.50.05 - a PB by some 23 minutes), then Julie (6.27.09 PB). 

Many congratulations to all four Striders !

From Kielder in the North to Bournemouth in the South

It was a north south split this weekend with only two Tweed Striders in action.  First to line up on the starting line on Saturday 6 October was Helen Hudson in the Kielder 10k.  Billed as “possibly the most beautiful 10k in the UK” this hilly 10k takes runners around the stunning Bull Crag Peninsula of Kielder Water. Helen put in a good run to take the tape in 65.21.  The other Strider in action was David Arnold on Sunday.  David was chasing his dream in the Bournemouth Marathon.  Described as “running as it should be” this is another race with stunning views - this time of the south coast - and the chance to run the Boscombe and Bournemouth piers.  David flew round and got the time he was after – a fabulous 3.03.07 – and his dream came true  : David has qualified to represent the England Age Group Masters Team in the ASDA Foundation Yorkshire Marathon on 20 October 2019 – in full England kit.


From Glasgow to Thrunton Woods

Glasgow was the place to be for PBs on Sunday 30 September with a trio of Tweed Striders running in the very atmospheric Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Half Marathon and enjoying beautiful autumnal conditions.  Emma Jones-Watson and Dave Watson had a ball as they ran, crossing the line together in 1.42.12 – a PB for Dave with Emma just outside of her best time.  Susan Howlett also had a tremendous run to take the tape in 2.02.21, so returned home having bagged herself a great PB -  by some seven minutes in fact. 

Much closer to home Stephen Ball ran in the High Fells of Thrunton Half Marathon, rearranged from March courtesy of the Beast from the East.  This technical trail race takes runners through Thrunton Woods on trails not normally open to the public and, distance-wise, is a bit of a misnomer as, at 15.63 miles, it is just a bit longer than the usual half marathon 13.1 miles.  Stephen, like the Glasgow trio, put in a superb run to finish 3rd in age group, 26th overall in 2.49.36, burning an astounding 2,394 calories in the process !  Well done to all four Striders – terrific running on Sunday !

And the 2018 Award Winners are …

Tweed Striders held their 5th Summer Social and Presentation Evening on Friday 28 September at Berwick Rugby Football Club.  Almost two-thirds of the membership were present to congratulate the award winners as they collected their trophies and celebrate the success of the club.  The 2018 winners were :

Walk-Jog Graduate : Jo Payne

Unsung Hero : Steve Lauder

Ladies’ Team : Emma Jones-Watson, Laura Jeffrey, Heather Barnes

Men’s Team : Ross Bagley, Stuart Black, Stephen Ball

XC Champion : Steven Flook;  Runner-Up Stephen Ball

Ladies XC Champion : Michelle Douglas;  Runner-Up Heather Barnes

Time-Trial Champion : Cheryl Scott;  Runner-Up Lynsey Jardine

Most Improver Runner : Jenni McCraw;  Runner-Up Lorna Patton

Outstandiing Performance : Emma Jones-Watson

The Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi Trophy for First Tweed Strider Senior Man at the Curfew Run ; Stuart Black

The Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi Trophy for First Tweed Strider Senior Lady at the Curfew Run : Laura Jeffrey

The Jus-Rol Trophy for Athlete of the Year : Michelle Douglas

A great evening was had by all.  Tweed Striders would like to thank Berwick Rugby Football Club for their hospitality, Marie Freeburn for a lovely buffet and Judith Thompson for organising the evening.

From North Scotland to North Northumberland

Not only did Sunday 23 September herald the first day of autumn, it also heralded two big events on the road racing calendar : the Scottish Half Marathon and the Baxter Festival of Running.  Five Tweed Striders travelled to East Lothian for the Scottish Half Marathon where they benefitted from pleasant autumnal conditions.  Stuart Black broke the magical 1.30 mark to lead the quintet home in 1.28.24 (PB).  Next home was Christian Young (1.32.08 PB), followed by Lisa Nisbet (1.55.38 PB), Jenni McCraw (1.59.53) and Louise Black (2.46.26).  Much further north in Inverness, six Striders took part in the Baxter Festival of Running, two in the Loch Ness Marathon and four in the River Ness 10k where, along with the hills, they had to contend with torrential downpours. The Loch Ness Marathon kicked off first with Paul Brothwood and Michelle Douglas on the start line.  Michelle was first of the duo home in 3.52.00 followed by Paul in 4.04.54 (a PB by some ten minutes).   Richard Toward was the first to take the tape in the River Ness 10k, also bagging himself a PB to boot (55.52 PB).  He was followed over the line by Pamela Toward (56.24), Ceri Leather (59.50) and Lynne Fraser (72.10). Meanwhile much much closer to home and enjoying autumnal sunshine, Neil Stalker ran in the Borders Trail Series Race No 3 (Fenwick to Wooler) where he finished in a very sound 2.05.11.   Finally, ten Tweed Striders met up in Etal Village for the club’s leisurely monthly Sunday breakfast run, this time through the quiet lanes of Northumberland via Hay Farm and Heatherslaw Mill.  This was followed by brunch at the Black Bull.  Many thanks to Steve Lauder for organising this and the Black Bull for their hospitality.  In the afternoon Steve Lauder was back in action as he, Mike Bell and Laura Jeffrey were the Plodders to BARC’s Paddlers and Puffin Cycling’s Peddlers in the race to see who gets from the Chain Bridge back to The Boathouse first.  As the race is organised by BARC, it’s probably fitting that the Paddlers beat the Peddlers.  Just … by a mere minute !  A fun afternoon in the sun enjoyed by all, not forgetting the bacon rolls !

Happy 100th Birthday to the RAF !

It was a new destination on Sunday 16 September for Tweed Striders Stephen Ball, Colin and Judith Thompson -  RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria, a historic base that was part of the UK’s missile project during the Cold War.  The trio took part in the Trail Outlaws’ half marathon celebrating 100 years of the RAF and, with a course which wound its way around and through Spadeadam Forest giving runners stunning views over to the Lake District and Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, it was indeed a fitting celebration.  Stephen brought the trio home in 2.03.23, followed by Judith (2.53.00) then Colin (2.53.03).

It’s over for another year

The SimplyHealth Great North Run is one of the iconic races of our time.  It attracts runners from all over the UK and further afield who want to experience its atmosphere and ambience, with many running to raise money for a very deserving cause. It is a race that is always well supported by Tweed Striders and today was no exception as 36 members lined up on the start line.  However, the flip side to this is that, by and large, it’s not PB material, plus today there was the heat to contend with.  First to take the tape in fine style for the club were Paul Trotter and Michelle Douglas who finished in 1.34.27 and 1.49.05 respectively.  Next to cross the line were Dave and Emma Watson (both 1.56.19) and David Lauckner (1.56.39).  Following this trio home were Emma Alexander(2.03.45 PB), Nick McCreath (2.03.46), Laura Walton (2.09.24 PB), Stephen Whitehead (2.11.15), Mark Short (2.12.54 PB), Nicola Stebbing (2.18.34 PB), Karen Roughead (2.19.13), Jenni McCraw (2.19.22), Andrew Mavin (2.19.22), Nikki Robertson (2.20.21), Keighley Walton (2.21.44), Susan Rutherford (2.23.38), Paul Summers (2.25.44 PB), Deborah Bowden (2.28.03), Liz Howlett (2.31.33 PB), Sam Armstrong (2.31.33), Susan Howlett (2.31.34), Lucy Grieve (2.32.20 PB), Lorna Patton (2.32.32), Maureen Aitchison (2.32.32), Lynsey Jardine (2.32.33), Helen Huntly (2.37.14), Karen Short (2.45.22 PB), Julie Newton (2.58.00 PB), Kirstie Mulvey (2.58.00 PB), Julie Riley (2.59.41), Stuart Richardson (3.07.23), Jodi Mace (3.16.32PB) and Laura Percy-Doolan (3.42.15).  Great running from all !

Note from the Tweed Striders Sports Reporter … if you are an occasional PAYG (Pay As You Go) member, your name and time do not appear in this race report.  This is because you are an occasional PAYG member so we do not have GDPR consents from you.  This can be easily rectified : you need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, giving consent for your name / time to appear in our race reports plus our Facebook good luck posts.

The Magical 3 Minutes !

The Eyemouth Twilight 5k grows in popularity – deservedly – year on year and Friday 24 August saw 152 runners take part in this challenging 5k in conditions that, whilst cool, were ideal for fast running.    Amongst the 152 were 29 Tweed Striders plus a battalion of runners from Team East Lothian (TEL), most of whom are familiar faces in the Borders XC.  The TEL invasion had the effect of shaking things up somewhat but, whilst TEL placed well in the top ten, local runner Marcus d’Agrosa still took first place with ease in a fast 16.11 and two Striders also placed in the top ten : Ross Bagley 4th in 17.54 and Stuart Black 9th in 19.05 (PB).  Next home for Tweed Striders were Raymond Karolewski (21.38 PB), Neil Stalker (22.02), Ciaran Gallacher (22.50 PB) and Laura Jeffrey, first Strider Lady, in 23.06 PB.  Laura was followed over the line by Mark Short (24.03 PB), Colin Thompson (26.13), Julia Keddie (26.15), Heather Barnes (26.24 PB), Karen  Roughead (27.09), Jenni McCraw (27.26 PB), Susan Howlett (27.37 PB), junior Strider Oliver Mace (27.47 PB), Sam Armstrong (28.51), Liz Howlett (28.51 – a PB by some 3 minutes), Gail Jones (29.49 PB), Maureen Aitchison (29.55 PB), Lorna Patton (30.00 – yet another PB by 3 minutes) and junior Strider Andrew Mace (31.56 PB).  Taking the tape next were volunteer guide Steve Lauder (32.01) and Russell Maynard (32.05);  this was Russell’s return to running after a very prolonged absence and what a super return it was !  Following this duo home were Gill Brownlie (32.19), Louise Black (32.23), junior Strider Katie Thompson (33.59 – another 3 minute PB), Judith Thompson (34.02- just pipped to the line by Katie’s sprint finish, some healthy mother and daughter competition !), Karen Short (34.15 PB), Lesley Stalker (34.15 PB) and Jodi Mace (38.20 – a PB by the requisite 3 minutes !).  Congratulations to all !

All By Myself

Lone Ranger ?  No.  Lone Strider ?  Yes.  Steve Lauder that is, running in the Gala Harriers’ Abbotsford Trail Race earlier today (Sunday 19th).  Five very soggy and squelchy yet very picturesque miles in a sound 47 mins (tbc). Well done, Steve !

Nunnykirk 10k

Wednesday 15 August saw Mark Short represent Tweed Striders in the somewhat hilly Nunnykirk 10k organised by RunNorthumberland.  Although faced with rather inclement weather and although under the weather himself, Mark still put together a very sound run to take the tape in 52.54.  Well done, Mark !

One Runner 5 Rowers

All the weekend’s racing took place on Saturday 11 August.  Stephen Ball was the only runner – he raced in the Haddington Half Marathon where he finished in a sound 1.44.05.  Taking to the River Tweed in Berwick Rowing Club’s annual Trade 4s were Mike Bell, Gill Brownlie, Claire Etherington, Julie Riley and Karen Roughead.  All had a great time “messing about on the river” with both Mike and Julie finishing in the respective winning men's and ladies' team for the second year in a row, thereby proving that they are most definitely not one trick ponies.  Congratulations all round !  Sunday was the August breakfast Run - beautifully organised by EyeRun.  Whilst the weather was not the best, the routes were simply stunning and the craic was good too.