And it snowed !

Sub-zero temperatures did not deter as there was a bumper attendance at the Tweed Striders’ leg of the Borders Cross-Country on Sunday 10 December.  104 juniors braved the cold to line up on the start line with Fraser Kelly (Team East Lothian AC) bettering his time and repeating his 2016 success to take first spot in an amazing 9.01.  Second boy home was Fraser Clyne of Teviotdale Harriers (9.11).  Success in the girls’ race went again to Team East Lothian AC with Esme Callander taking the tape in 10.49, followed by Lauderdale Limpers Running Club’s Ruth Farnsworth (11.03).  Snow brought a very festive feel to the seniors’ race and once again the spoils went to the Edinburgh clubs.  First of the 190 seniors to cross the line in 21.12 was Eoin Lennon of Carnethy Hill Racing Club, thereby making it three wins of out three races.  Second spot went to Hunters Bog Trotters’ Scott James (21.20).  The ladies’ race was won by Lisa MacDonald (Unattached) in 25.40 and, in second place, was Carnethy’s Rachel Newstead (25.48).  Bringing home the 16 Tweed Striders in fine style was Doug Small who finished in 29.36.  Doug was followed home by Steve Flook (29.58) and chasing Steve hard were Mike Bell (30.09), Stuart Birkett (30.43) and Stephen Ball (31.26).  Next to take the tape in 31.33 was Michelle Douglas (first Tweed Striders lady) and following Michelle were Colin Thompson (33.26), David Lauckner (33.31), Paul Brothwood (36.30), Heather Barnes (36.57), Ceri Leather (37.14), Will McDermott (37.15), Pamela Toward (37.33), Karen Bagley (40.46), Susan Howlett (42.50) and, fresh from Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park, Gill Brownlie (43.34).  Caroline and Jud extend their sincere and grateful thanks to everyone (marshals, timekeepers, recorders, funnel controllers) who made the day’s races such a great success.  The XC now takes a break until Sunday 14 January when Norham Running Club host the fourth leg in the grounds of Paxton House.

Foxlake and more - much more !

The weekend’s running kicked off at 6 pm exactly on Friday 1 December with Michelle Douglas and Pamela Toward setting the trend for Tweed Striders in the FoxTrail Night 5k at Foxlake, Dunbar.  Michelle ran an outstanding race to finish 1st lady and 4th overall in 23.38, with Pamela taking the tape in a very good 30.52.   The following day the action returned to Foxlake for the inaugural FoxTrail Nocturnal Ultra Marathon.  Starting at 4 pm, the aim of this race is to run, in the next six hours, as many laps of the 5k course as possible over a mixture of different and challenging (muddy, soft, slippy) terrain.  Melanie Ellis was the Strider up for this challenge and she did brilliantly : 10 laps - 50k - in the six hours.  Sunday it was the turn of Emma Jones-Watson, Tracey Dick and Steve Flook to fly the flag for Tweed Striders.  Tracey and Emma were in Edinburgh to run, respectively, in the Christmas 5k and 10k which took runners in and around Inverleith Park.  It was an early Christmas present for Tracey who returned home with a PB of 32.54 and so nearly one for Emma who crossed the line in 45.40.  Meanwhile much further south Steve was running in the Nottingham Christmas Marathon.  Steve put in a very sound performance to take the tape in 4.06.33.  Next dates in the Tweed Striders’ diary is our Christmas Night out on Friday followed by our XC on Sunday at Spittal.

So so cold

Glorious sunshine accompanied by a bitterly cold wind and low temperatures greeted Emma Jones-Watson and Jenni McCraw at Kirkley Hall for RunNorthumberland’s Big 10 Miler on Sunday 26 November.  Both ran a super race, with Emma taking the tape in 1.14.47 and Jenni in 1.32.15, to return home with a PB apiece.   Meanwhile at White Sands, Dunbar identical conditions awaited the 12 Tweed Striders who took part in the 2nd leg of the Borders Cross-Country Series.  Steve Flook brought the club home in 33.56, followed by Mike Bell (34.28), Stuart Birkett (34.41), Stephen Ball (35.05), Michelle Douglas (36.37), Colin Thompson (38.01), David Lauckner (38.39), Paul Brothwood (39.55), Pamela Toward (44.26), Karen Bagley (47.10), Gill Brownlie (50.27) and Judith Thompson (50.35).  Well done, everyone !

From Half to Full and From Trail to Road

This weekend has belonged to the long distance and to be precise, on Saturday 18 November, to trail long distance with Michelle Douglas, Mike Bell and Sarah Capes all running in the Wooler Trail Half Marathon and Stephen Ball in the Glentress Trail 21k.  However, the name Wooler Trail Half Marathon is rather a misnomer as it is, in fact, some 14 miles through the Cheviots complete with some 2,434 feet of ascent.  Michelle and Mike ran the event together, putting in great runs to finish a mere three seconds apart – Mike took the tape in 2.34.18 (PB) and Michelle in 2.34.21 (PB).  Sarah also put together a good run to finish in 3.23.18 (PB).  Meanwhile in Peebles Stephen tackled terrain of a slightly different but no less demanding nature – the forest trails of Glentress – and crossed the line in 2.30.31 (PB).  Sunday saw the running back on the road with Melanie Ellis racing in the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon, a seven lap race on footpaths through and around Newcastle’s historic Exhibition Park and Town Moor.  Mel ran a well controlled and soundly paced race to finish in 3.43.40.

One Busy Saturday !

Holyrood Park and the Edinburgh MoRun was the place to be the morning of Saturday 11 November.  Seventeen Tweed Striders in total took part, 15 in the 5k and two in the 10k.  In the 5k Emma Jones-Watson and Karen Roughead put together super runs to bring the club home, as 2nd and 3rd lady respectively, in a time of 26.50.  In addition Emma was 2nd and Karen 1st in their respective age categories and, overall, they placed 28th and 29th out of 246 – fantastic running from them both !  Next to take the tape was Jenni McCraw (28.31 PB), followed by Paul Summers (31.31 PB), Nicola Stebbing (31.33), Sarah Turnbull (33.02 PB), Maureen Aitchison (33.19), Laura Robertson (33.30), Sam Armstrong (33.50), Liz Howlett (33.51), Susan Howlett (34.11), Tracey Dick (34.19 PB), Jackie Gray and Lorna Patton (both 35.21 and PB), Linzi Middlemist (37.43), Laura Doolan (38.20) and Jodi Mace (43.46).  Heather and Kevin Dickson represented Tweed Striders in the 10k.  This was Heather’s first 10k and, encouraged by Kevin, Heather put in a super run to finish in 66.23 (PB) exactly one second in front of Kevin (66.24).  One 5k in the bag, Emma, Karen, Liz, Sam and Susan then hit the road and joined Gill Brownlie and Julia Keddie to run in the Supernova Kelpies 5k in Helix Park near Falkirk, the place to be in the evening – at 7 pm to be precise.  This 5k offers runners to explore the home of the two Kelpies, mythical creatures (in essence, two 30-metre high horses each weighing over 300 tonnes) which love to play at dusk.  Julia Keddie took the tape first (25.17), followed by Karen Roughhead (25.35), Emma Jones-Watson (25.36), Gill Brownlie (30.50 PB), Liz Howlett (32.43), Sam Armstrong (32.43) and Susan Howlett (32.44).

A Great Weekend On and Off Road !

Michelle Douglas and Pamela Toward got the weekend’s racing off to a flying start on Saturday 4 November at the Foxtrail 5k in East Lothian.  Michelle literally flew round the course in 23.13, thereby finishing 1st lady and 3rd overall, with Pamela putting in a very sound run to take the tape in 30.07 and on Sunday Stephen Ball flew the flag for Tweed Striders in the Edinburgh Men’s 10k (45.50).  Also on Sunday, but somewhat closer to home, it was the first leg of the Borders XC Series in Lauder with 14 Tweed Striders taking on the challenges of this demanding course.  Steve Flook, fresh from his exploits in Snowdonia, was first home for the club (36.43).  Next over the line were Douglas Small (37.53) and Mike Bell (38.54).  Michelle Douglas, in action for the second time in two days, was first lady to take the tape for Tweed Striders (38.54) and following Michelle home were Colin Thompson (42.22), David Lauckner (43.15), Paul Brothwood (43.38), Ceri Leather (45.16), Heather Barnes (45.33), Pamela Toward (49.01), Karen Bagley (51.34), Gill Brownlie (55.27), Judith Thompson (56.16) and Susan Howlett (57.52).  Well done to all !

From the Highest Peak in England and Wales to the Rolling Border Hills

Steve Flook and David Lauckner were, metaphorically, first to bat for Tweed Striders on Saturday 28 October.  Steve was in Wales for the demanding and spectacular Brooks Snowdonia Marathon.  This event is an extremely challenging 26.2 miles run over road and farm tracks.  The course encircles Snowdon and encompasses a total climb of 838m as well as the rugged and demanding terrain of Snowdonia itself.  Steve finished in a very good 4.00.19, putting him in the top 25%, and, in the process, successfully achieved his personal goal of running a marathon in each of the home nations.  Meanwhile, slightly nearer to home, David opened the account for his team, One Gene Pool, in the  Jedburgh Three Peaks Ultramarathon Relay by running the first (10 mile) leg before passing the baton safely on to family members.  Jedburgh was once again the place to be on Sunday with Ceri Leather, Emma Jones-Watson and Karen Roughead running in the very popular 10k.  Emma brought the trio home in fine style - 45.04 (PB), 6th in age group, 8th lady and 35th (out of 328).  Next to take the tape was Karen Roughead with Ceri Leather in hot pursuit (52.14, 4th in age group and 52.45 PB respectively).  Great running from everyone over the weekend ! The Jedburgh Running Festival traditionally signals the end of the summer road running season and the next date in the Tweed Striders racing calendar is cross-country - Sunday 5 November and the first leg of the Borders Cross-Country Series at Lauder.

Blustery Bamburgh

It was left to the girls to represent Tweed Striders in the Castles Half Marathon and Marathon in Bamburgh on Sunday and, whilst Storm Brian did not materialise, there was, however, a stiff wind to contend with over these longer distances but this did not deter.  Emma Jones-Watson put in a super run over the 13.1 miles and, whilst she was desperately unlucky not to bag a PB, her time of 1.41.56 meant she finished 6th in age group and 11th lady overall.   Next to take the tape in the half marathon was Jenni McCraw who also put in a cracking run to finish in 2.05.57, thereby taking some 8 minutes off her PB.  Jenni was followed over the line by Liz Howlett who ran so very well in her first ever half marathon alongside sister-in-law Susan (2.32.42 PB and 2.32.43).  In the marathon Melanie Ellis once again put in a solid performance crossing the line in 3.55.37 (1st in age group) and making one little boy very happy as Layton was able to run the last 400m with Mum ! 

A Bridge Too Far

Tweed Striders Will McDermott, Julia Keddie, Johnny McMurchie, Doug Small, David Lauckner and Colin Thompson joined some 100 other cyclists to brave the gales – a precursor to Hurricane Ophelia -  which were a constant of Sunday’s “A Bridge Too Far”.  Now in its third year, this Sportif, brilliantly organised by Jim Blythe, starts and finishes in Norham and criss-crosses the Scottish English border taking the cyclists over some 18 bridges spread out over the 45 miles.  Gales aside, all showed a good turn of speed and thoroughly enjoyed their cycle.  Meanwhile, in Cumbria’s Eden Valley, Stephen Ball benefitted from much less windy conditions in the Heart of Eden Half Marathon (1.49.27) and enjoying positively benign conditions yesterday was Colin Blackburn who took on the uphill downhill challenges of the 3 mile Alwinton Show Fell Race.

Trail Trail All the Way !

This weekend has been a weekend of “doing something a bit different”.  Sunday 8 October saw eight Tweed Striders travel to Kielder to take on the challenges of either the Kielder Half Marathon or the Kielder Marathon, both made that much harder as both were trail races so a first for most of the eight.  Post-race opinion, bar “my favourite half ever”, ranged from “very tough” to “unbelievably tough” to “that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” but, regardless of how tough it was, everyone did incredibly well.  In the half Steve Flook was first to finish in 1.39.55 and 7th in age group, followed by Emma Jones-Watson (1.50.06) and Louise Black (2.24.07).  In the marathon Stuart Black ran a truly amazing race as he took the tape in 3.28.38 and smashed his PB – in a trail event ! - by some 5 minutes.  Next to finish was Melanie Ellis (4.05.57) chased right to the line by Michelle Douglas in her début marathon (4.08.52 PB).  They were followed home by Rick Davie (4.16.03) and Andrew Douglas (4.27.30).  David Arnold, meanwhile, was chasing – but not quite catching – his dream in the Chester Marathon (2.56.11).   The day before proceedings were kicked off by Ceri Leather and Stephen Ball.  Ceri met the demands of the EDF Energy Doon Hill 10 Mile Race, an uphill downhill mix of road and off-road around Dunbar, head on and crossed the line in 1.40.50.  Stephen, meanwhile, was in Peebles for the Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail 20k Race.   This relatively new addition to the racing calendar takes runners along riverside paths, through woodlands and on to the hills above the Tweed Valley;  it also has a surprise for runners as it takes them through Neidpath Tunnel, a 600 m railway tunnel complete with lighting effects.  Stephen took it all his stride and finished in 2.11.41 (PB).

A Fab Start to October !

Spring is long gone but there was definitely a spring in Emma Jones-Watson’s step on Sunday 1 October at the Prudhoe Miners 10k.  Emma flew round the course in 46.23 to finish 3rd in age category, 6th lady overall and bag a PB to boot – brilliant running !  Meanwhile over in Glasgow Stephen Ball and Susan Howlett took on the longer challenge of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Half Marathon, with Stephen crossing the line in 1.49.36 and Susan in 2.15.48 (PB).  Slightly closer to home Gill Brownlie, Sarah Capes, Julia Keddie and Colin Thompson ventured into pastures new aka the Borders Fenwick to Wooler Trail Race.  This was actually a 12 mile race but the route was so scenic and it was so peaceful that the quartet, along with almost half the participants, decided to extend the distance to some 15 miles.  Colin and Julia were first to take the tape for the club in 3.12.25, followed by Gill and Sarah (3.34.55).

Let’s Celebrate !

The fourth Tweed Striders Summer Social and Awards Evening took place on Friday 29 September at Berwick Rugby Club.  Before the presentation of awards, Club Coach Caroline McDermott paid tribute to the efforts and achievements of all club members over the past year as these, along with the support, encouragement and friendship offered by all members, are the reason Tweed Striders is the successful and happy club it undoubtedly is.  Then, in front of some 70 members, the following presentations were made :

Strider of 2017 : Judith Thompson

Unsung Hero of 2017 : Steven Flook

Junior of 2017 : Georgie Scott;  runners-up Alisha Black and Katie Thompson

Walk-Jog Graduate : Jodi Mace

Ladies’ Team : Alison Brown, Michelle Douglas, Emma Jones-Watson

Men’s Team : Ross Bagley, David Arnold, Stuart Black

Cross-Country Champion : Christian Young;  runner-up Paul Trotter

Time-Trial Champion : Heather Barnes;  runner-up Stuart Black

Most Improved Runner : Louise Black

Outstanding Performance : Susan Howlett

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

The Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi Trophy for First Tweed Strider Senior Man at the Curfew Run : Ross Bagley

The Tweed Striders Jus-Rol Trophy for Athlete of the Year : Melanie Ellis

Tweed Striders would like to thank Derek Lambert of Café Crema for a superb buffet and Berwick Rugby Club for the excellent venue.

PBs a-plenty !

The Scottish Half Marathon route is advertised as being perfect PB material and, with nigh-on perfect running conditions, so it proved for the seven Tweed Striders who took part on Sunday 24 September as there was just about a clean sweep of PBs.   David Arnold smashed his previous PB by almost 3 minutes to cross the line first for the club in 1.17.43.  Next to finish was Christian Young (1.37.27 PB), followed by Emma Jones-Watson (1.41.31 PB), Nick McCreath (1.43.14 PB), Bob Coull (1.46.39 – a whisker outside his PB), Nicole Parkins (1.53.16 PB) and Jenni McCraw (2.14.06 PB).  Up in Inverness, meanwhile, Melanie Ellis also enjoyed perfect conditions as she took on the longer distance of 26.2 miles in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon where she had the Highland hills to contend with.  Mel, as she always does, put up a good fight and took the tape in 3.56.44.  Superb running all round !

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.