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 – but, sadly, was just outside the required placing.  The dream continues ...

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 !

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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.

July Catch-Up

The final race of July on Sunday 29th was Alnwick Harriers’ Northumberland Coastal Half Marathon.  After weeks of baking sun, Paul Brothwood and Michelle Douglas were expecting more of the same but, no, they had to contend with driving rain and head winds instead.  Paul was first to cross the line in 1.56.47 with Michelle seconds behind in 2.00.15.

Sunday 22 July saw the Two Nations 1.8k Fun Run and 7k move from their evening slot to a morning one.  With hindsight this was possibly not the wisest move as Sunday proved to be another baking hot day.  In the 1.8k Fun Run, Jessica Wallace, who took the prize for First Junior Lady in the Curfew Run, finished 7th in 12.44;  following Jessica over the line, were Nikki Robertson (14.05), Stuart Whitehead (15.03), Alisha Black (17.44) Karen Short in her fist ever race (17.45), Louise and Sophie Black (both 21.10).  In the 7k race Stuart Black was 3rd overall (30.07).  Next to finish was Colin Blackburn (35.42) then Laura Jeffrey (5th female 36.45), Mark Short (38.28), Steve Lauder (41.27), Stephen Whitehead (43.14), Heather Barnes (45.16) and Helen Hudson (48.11).

Mid-week it was RunNorthumberland’s Wallington 10k on Wednesday 18 July.  This is quite a hilly course but that did not deter the three Striders who travelled down.  First home was Christian Young in 42.54 followed by Mark Short (50.56 PB) and Jenni McCraw (56.29 and 5th in age group).

Not One, Not Two but Three New Races …

Saturday 14 July saw a brand new event on the Edinburgh calendar - the Breaking Strain 24.  Breaking Strain offers the runner a variety of race time periods (24 hours, 12 hours, 6 hours) and options (individual, pair, team) but, in essence, the three time periods follow the same format : to see how many laps of the looped route around Holyrood Park you can physically run in your chosen time period.  The 6 hour race started when the sun was at its zenith so it was a very brave – and hot - Stuart Black who lined up to tackle this challenge and didn’t he do well ?!  In six hours with temperatures in the mid 20s, Stuart ran 56.1.k to finish first in the Individual event, 3k ahead of his nearest competitor, and 3rd overall behind two teams. 

It was another new race for Tweed Striders on Sunday - the Dundee Half Dram Half Marathon (albeit with not a drop of whisky in sight !) - with, this time, Emma Jones-Watson on the start line.  Not only was there relentless heat to contend with, it was also a very hilly course but, nevertheless, Emma took it all in her stride, putting in another superb performance to finish in 1.41.59, 3rd in age group and 7th female overall.

Much nearer home and facing equally hot and demanding conditions, Stephen Ball and Heather Barnes ran in the multi-terrain Kelso 10k;  Stephen finished in 44.56 and Heather in 60.13.

Moving south Laura Jeffrey was in action in the Dalby “Conquer the Forest” Trail 10k – yet another new race for Tweed Striders. Along with the off-road course, Laura also had to contend with the heat but one has to hope that, as it was a trail race, she did benefit from some shade.  Like Emma, Laura took all in her stride and put in a great run to finish 1st in age group and 31st (out of 146) in 61.57.

The final event this past weekend for Tweed Striders was Race for Life in a very hot and sunny Newcastle.  Lynsey Jardine and Jodi Mace ran in the 10k, whilst Maureen Aitchison, Kirstie Mulvey and Laura Percy-Doolan (straight from the Pretty Mudder 5k the day before !) ran in the 5k.

Hot and Hotter

During winter, as we struggle through wind, rain and snow dressed to ward off the cold, we dream of running in shorts and t-shirts in the summer sunshine but running in a heatwave can be just as challenging as those racing this past weekend will no doubt testify.  On Saturday 7 July it was the Thompson family of Colin, Judith and Katie who pulled on their racing shoes to take part in the Decathlon 5k which had moved from its 2017 venue of Holyrood Park to the Meadows – this was probably a fortunate move as parts of the Meadows offered some shade, so respite, from the intense heat.  The trio ran en famille to support Katie in this her first 5k, which also formed one of her Duke of Edinburgh Award targets, and they crossed the line in a very commendable 38.04.  The following day the quartet of Susan Howlett, Helen Huntly, Julie Riley and Nikki Robertson lined up on the start line of the Great North 10k and faced the intense heat that a city always generates.  Susan was first home (57.28), followed by Nikki (62.21), Helen (68.18) and Julie (82.18). 

Wow – Two Busy and Very Successful Evenings !

Record temperatures and a record turnout of 307 on Wednesday 4 July meant two out of three records were broken at the annual Curfew Fun Run and Curfew Run.  The only record that didn’t fall – and this was not through lack of effort - was that of the Curfew Run itself.  7.30 pm signalled the start of the Curfew Fun Run and, with a maximum turnout of 175, this was full to capacity.  First boy and first girl to cross the line were Conal Ham and Amber Eden.  Amongst the other 173 were Tweed Strider juniors Alisha and Sophie Black with mum Louise, Cerys and Finley Bowden with mum Deborah, Lily and Sean Capes with mum Sarah, Maisi Coulter with mum Jenni, Charlie Etherington with mum Claire, Chloe Ferguson, Abigail Huntly, Lola Jardine, Rory McCreath, Jayden and Rebecca Mavin with dad Andrew, Jenson Mitchell with dad Craig, Marti Riley with mum and dad Julie and Stuart, Faye Robertson with mum Laura, Frankie Scott with mum Wend, Laila Turnbull with mum Sarah and Euan Watson.

8 pm then heralded the start of the Curfew Run with all 132 (a record turnout and close to the maximum of 150) runners aiming to beat the bells.  The field were led home by holiday-maker Simeon Bates who took the tape – and the trophy for First Senior Man - in 6.24, some 19 seconds adrift of the course records.  It is not outwith the grounds of possibility that should Simeon return to the area next year then the record could fall as he would race with the advantage of knowing the course.  The winner of the trophy for First Seniors Lady was Annabel Lillico who finished in 8.56.  First Junior Man and First Junior Lady were James Gilhome and Tweed Striders’ Jessica Wallace (7.07 and 11.07 respectively).  Tweed Striders who finished In the top 20 were Stuart Black (8th in 7.34), Rick Davie (15th in 8.01 – a pity about that pesky second !) and Dave Watson (18th in 8.24). They were followed over the line by Stephen Ball (8.32), Colin Blackburn (8.33), Neil Stalker (8.43), Doug Small (8.44), juniors Bobby Scott (8.45) and Stuart Whitehead (9.11), first Tweed Strider lady and 3rd lady overall Laura Jeffery (9.28), Mark Short (9.29), Stephen Whitehead (9.25), Colin Thompson (10.03), Will McDermott (10.11), Heather Barnes (10.19), Laura Walton (10.28), Paul Summers (10.38), Nicola Stebbing (11.19), Heather Dickson (11.38), Helen Huntly (11.41), Laura Robertson (11.44 – her second run of the night !), Lynsey Jardine (11.52), Jo Payne (11.57),  Gail Jones (11.59), Nikki Robertson (12.05), Claire Johnston (12.09), Cheryl Scott (12.11), Jennifer Greenwood (13.00), junior Katie Thompson (13.06), Lydia Simpson (13.07), Julie Newton (13.15), Caroline Mullins (13.24), Gemma Patterson (13.36), Megan Meldrum (13.53), Di Renner (14.09), Joan Nisbet (14.27), Ailsa Wedderburn (14.52), Susan Meldrum (15.06), Laura Percy-Doolan (15.11), Anna and Stuart Richardson (both 15.24), Susan Whyte (13.52), Tracey Dick (15.35) and Joanna Ryan (15.48).  Many congratulations to all !  Tweed Striders would like to express their grateful thanks and appreciation, firstly, to Simpsons Malt for their continued sponsorship of the Curfew Fun Run and the Curfew Run and, secondly, to Borders and Berwick Touch Therapies, Fantasy Prints, Morrisons, Silvery Tweed Cereals, Tesco, Travis Perkins and Tweedmouth Service Station Mitsubishi for their support.

And there's more ... to mis-quote a film title of many moons ago : It’s Thursday so it must be … another one two for Tweed Striders.  And it was.  Ross Bagley and Emma Jones-Watson were First Man and First Lady in the Reivers Weeks 5k hosted by our friends RunDuns on Thursday 5 July.  Many congratulations to them both and to all Tweed Striders who took part – super running from everyone – and thank you to Julia for organising yet another great 5k in Duns.  

Dreams...

Sunshine and high temperatures are a wonderful thing but they also destroy dreams.  If you had to race on Sunday 1 July, short was definitely the preferable distance as Christian Young discovered in the RunNorthumberland Coquet 5k in Rothbury where he finished in 2nd spot in 20.37.  However, for those with dreams over the longer distances, the 10k was most certainly not the way to go as Kirstie Mulvey and David Arnold found out to their cost - both were destroyed by the heat.   Kirstie ran in the RunNorthumberland Coquet 10k and was very disappointed with her time of 1.12 and David was truly devastated with his time of 37.30 in the Lincoln 10k.  Doug Small probably got it spot on in the Ponteland Sprint Triathlon – a 400m swim to keep him cool at the outset, followed by a 20k cycle with a nice cooling breeze, both of which set him up nicely for the 5k run at the end.

In a Word – Awesome !

June ended in a blaze of glory for Tweed Striders at the Norham Castle Challenge (beautifully organised by Les and his team on Thursday 28th).  Ross Bagley was the overall race winner (21.10) with Stuart Black 2nd in 22.27 and, along with Stephen Ball who finished in 24.47, the trio won the Trophy for !st Attached Male Team (1.08.24).  Emma Jones-Watson won the prize for 1st Lady (25.33) and, together with Laura Jeffrey (27.07) and Heather Barnes (30.19), this trio returned home with the Trophy for 1st Attached Female Team (1.22.59). All Striders ran extremely well on what was an exceptionally hot evening (25° at the 7 pm race start);  the others racing were Neil Stalker (26.28), Stephen Flook (26.38), Will McDermott (30.23), Colin Thompson (31.03), Paul Summers (33.15), Susan Howlett (33.18), Karen Roughead (33.30), Keighley Walton (33.56), Nicola Stebbing (34.37), Karen Bagley (35.19), Nikki  Robertson (36.48), Laura  Robertson (37.03), Liz Howlett (37.49), Louise Black (38.43), Gill Brownlie (39.21), Judith Thompson (40.37) and Jodi Mace (46.51). 

Heat and Hills

It was all heat and hills for Emma Jones-Watson, Jenni McCraw and Kirstie Mulvey in the Kirkley Hall 10k last night but neither deterred.  Emma was first of the trio to finish (46.12, 3rd in age group and 5th lady), followed by Jenni (58.07, 5th in age group) and Kirstie (63.13 PB, 6th in age group). 

In the Footsteps of the Romans …

Those Tweed Striders in action this weekend all travelled back in time – to the days of the Romans in fact.  On Sunday, with temperatures soaring. Poppy Frater donned her running shoes to take part in the Hadrian’s Wall Half Marathon.  This race is a mix of grass paths and forest tracks, with a mere 4.4 miles on road, and offers runners a unique opportunity to run close to a section of Hadrian’s Wall – a World Heritage site.  Poppy took the tape in 2.27.09.

Saturday going into Sunday, Gill Brownlie, Julia Keddie and Colin Thompson cycled through the night from Carlisle to Cramond (Edinburgh) as they took part in the 100 mile Ride to Sun.  This overnight challenge follows the footsteps of the Roman legions who marched from Luguvalium (Carlisle) to the garrison camp at Caer Amon (Cramond) … but the Roman soldiers did not have the luxury of the fish’n’chip pitstop in Moffat nor were they greeted with bacon rolls as they arrived in Cramond.  One suspects they probably wouldn’t have been overly fussed about either, nor about watching the sun rise over Cramond Beach !  Colin and Julia completed the 100 miles in 7 hours 10 mins and Gill in 7 hours 35 mins. 

Finally, congratulations to all who took part in Race for Life over the weekend.

The next event on the Tweed Striders’ calendar is Norham Running Club’s Castle Bank Challenge on Thursday.

Two Pubs

The Lauderdale Limpers’ Two Pubs is usually blessed with welcome June sunshine but not last night – it rained from start to finish.  However, whilst this was probably welcome news for the farmers, it was not quite what the 60+ runners wanted, nevertheless it did not put a damper on the evening in the slightest.  Tweed Striders were represented by 10 members : 8 runners and 2 officials (Doug Small as first responder and Caroline who, as a practice run for the XC series, scanned number barcodes of runners as they finished).  Of the eight runners, it was Stephen Ball and Michelle Douglas who led the way home (33.33 and 35.26 respectively).  They were followed over the line by Paul Brothwood (37.44), Will McDermott (40.50), Gill Brownlie (51.54), Judith Thompson (52.40), Sarah Capes (52.40) and Colin Thompson (52.41).  Many thanks to Graeme Sutherland and his team of Limpers for another great Two Pubs Race – we’ll be back !

Summer in Stichill

After the pollen-laden days of late, pleasantly cool and refreshing – ideal in fact - running conditions greeted the thirteen Tweed Striders who travelled to Stichill, just outside Kelso, on Saturday 16 June for the Stichill 10k.  This is a popular and very friendly 10k so one is perhaps lulled into a false sense of security as the course, with its numerous undulations, is rather challenging.  In the event, however, all Striders coped admirably.  Ross Bagley was front runner for the club, taking 4th place (out of 86) in 39.01. Next to finish were Doug Small (43.32) and Michelle Douglas (45.51 PB and 4th lady).  They were followed home by Steve Lauder (49.12), Hannah Bagley (52.39), Heather Barnes (53.59 PB), Ceri Leather (58.29), Nicola Stebbing (59.18 PB), Liz Howlett (63.25 PB), Lorna Patton (63.25), Gill Brownlie (66.03 PB), Judith Thompson and Colin Thompson (both 67.01).  Also in action on Saturday were Brian and Deborah Bowden, Rodney Morrison and Julie Riley who faced challenges in the form of obstacles imaginable and unimaginable, gut-busting hills, dark wooded trails plus the ubiquitous mud all of which make up the 10+ miles that is Tough Mudder at Drumlanrig Castle.  Sunday saw David Arnold and Stephen Ball on the west of Scotland for the Men’s 10k Glasgow.  The course definitely suited as both returned home with PBs.  David took the tape in 35.49 so placed 1st in age category and 10th overall, followed by Stephen in 42.05.  Much nearer to home Strider Paul Brothwood flew the flag for Tweed Tri as he swam (750m), cycled (19.14k) and ran (4.66k) his way round the Live Borders Eyemouth Sprint Triathlon.

Hot and Humid in Haddington …

Haddington in East Lothian was the destination on Saturday 2 June for Christian Young and, fresh from his marathon début in Edinburgh on Sunday, Stephen Ball.   Christian elected to run in Haddington Running Club’s 5k and Stephen the 10k and both coped exceedingly well with the very hot and very humid conditions.  Christian took the tape in the 5k in 20.31, whilst Stephen completed the 10k in 43.46 (PB). 

Temperatures dipped somewhat on the Sunday so brought welcome relief from the heat and humidity to the veritable platoon of Tweed Striders who took part in the Bamburgh 10k, enabling many to return home with a PB.  First home for Tweed Striders was Ross Bagley who stormed round the course to take 9th spot in 37.39 (PB).  Also bringing the club home in very fine style was Laura Jeffrey who took the tape in 48.49 (PB).  Following Laura over the line were Andrew Mavin (50.15 PB), Dave Watson (50.20 PB), Emma Jones-Watson (50.20), Mark Short (52.29 PB), Heather Barnes (54.25 PB), Karen Roughead (54.40), Jenni McCraw (55.11), Keighley Walton (57.20 PB), Ceri Leather (57.32), Sarah Capes (57.54 PB), Helen Hudson (60.42 PB), Lorna Patton (61.45 PB), Nikki Robertson (61.45 PB), Laura Robertson (62.04 PB), Maureen Aitchison (63.17), Kirstie Mulvey (63.37 PB), Lesley Wright (66.27 PB), Julie Newton (67.49 PB) and Joan Nisbet (71.50 PB).  Younger runners were also catered for and Faye Robertson took part in the 2k race which involved a lap of the cricket pitch, followed by a loop through the village and two further laps of the cricket pitch. 

Much closer to home Doug Small ran in the Wobbly Bridge Trail Race which took place in the beautiful Roxburghshire countryside around the village of St Boswells.  Doug completed the slippy, twisty, tree root lined 8.5 miles in 1.11.07, observing as he finished that “the Tweed Striders vest has a magic quality!”

Also in action on Sunday were Gill Brownlie, Julia Keddie and Colin Thompson but on two wheels as they took to their bikes for the Tour de Forth, a 60k cycle ride which embraces both sides of the River Forth.  Colin and Julia were first to finish in 4.02, with Gill not far behind in 4.31.  Strider Richard Toward was also out on his bike flying the flag for Tweed Tri in the Druridge Bay Standard Triathlon (1,500m swim, 37.5k cycle, 11.5k run).  This was Richard’s first standard distance triathlon and he was deservedly delighted with his finish time of 3.12 (PB).

It’s EMF Weekend !

The last weekend of May is Edinburgh Marathon Festival Weekend.  It kicked off on Saturday 26th with the 5k and 10k events.  Tweed Striders was represented in the 10k by David Arnold.  David put in an exceedingly swift run to take the tape in 38.05 so finished third in age category and 16th out of a whopping 3,109 runners.  The following day 20 Tweed Striders travelled up to Edinburgh, 17 to run in the Half Marathon and three in the Marathon itself.  Due to their 8 am start, those running the 13.1 miles benefitted from slightly cooler conditions.  This was a first half marathon for Heather Dickson so she was one of the 11 Striders who returned home with a PB !  First home for the club was Raymond Karolewski (1.38.51 PB).  Ray was chased right to the line by Neil Stalker who finished less than a minute behind (1.39.49 PB).  Emma and Dave Watson were next to cross the line finishing, respectively, in 1.44.36 and 1.44.37 PB (by 14 mins), with Wayne Etherington mere seconds behind - 1.44.53 PB (by 16 mins).  Following this trio home were Nick McCreath (1.55.30) and Jenni McCraw who was very unlucky with the 33 seconds (2.00.33).  Claire Etherington was next to finish in 2.06.29, followed by Heather and Kevin Dickson (2.11.30 PB and 2.11.31 respectively).  Just minutes behind came the trio of Lorna Patton, Maureen Aitchison and Nikki Robertson, all of whom saw their PBs tumble.  Lorna finished in 2.15.35 PB (by 40 mins), Maureen in 2.15.41 PB (by 8 mins), Nikki in 2.16.03 PB (by 28 mins).  Gill Brownlie crossed the line next (2.26.29 PB) followed by Lynsey Jardine who took the tape in 2.28.45 PB (by 24 mins).  Julie Riley was next to finish (2.55.55) followed by Jodi Mace in 3.33.20 PB (by 15 mins).  

Next up the Marathon … the trio running the full 26.2 miles – Stephen Ball, Paul Brothwood and Michelle Douglas  – lined up on the start line in the knowledge that temperatures were already on their way up at the comparatively early hour of 10 am.  Whilst all had prepared for this, for Paul and Stephen, this was not the ideal introduction to the marathon distance;  nevertheless all three put in outstanding runs.  Stephen was the first of the trio to finish in 3.35.38 (PB) – an excellent time for his first marathon.  Michelle was next to cross the line in 3.36.19 (PB) and saw her PB tumble by 32 minutes.  Paul then brought the trio home in a superb 4.14.22 PB.  Huge congratulations to everyone who ran in the EMF – your club is so very proud of you !