The weather may be doing its best to spoil most people’s fun but Gala Harriers have been in action around the country in a range of events covering indoors, cross country and hill running.
Four Gala Harriers took part in the East Lothian Cross Country Championships in a new event to the calendar, albeit on fairly familiar terrain. The 4.8 mile senior race quickly became a 6.2 mile trek after a marshalling error sent everybody on an extra loop. Undeterred, there were decent performances from Colin McCall (14th, 41.30), Dave Nightingale (20th, 43.11), and Lindsay Dun in 51.18. In the Junior championships, Gregor Collins continued his strong season in the U13 age group with an excellent 3rd in the race and 1st in his age group.
A strong contingent of Gala Harriers made the trip for the annual Carnethy 5 Hill Race, which attracts a huge entry from right across Great Britain. Bob Reid was first Harrier home in some fairly wild conditions. Ian Maxwell ran well in 1.12:40 for 165th place with Colin McCall not far behind in 1.15:27, Dave Nightingale (204th, 1.16:02), Fiona Shepard (289th, 1.22:43), James Purves (364th, 1.30:08). Shelagh King was the final Harrier home in 1.53:27 but her run was more notable than most with her receiving a Quaich from the organisers for being one of only a handful of runners to have completed 21 Carnethy Hill Races, a fantastic achievement.
You might have thought Valentines Day would have reduced numbers of competitios but it seems that the love affair was with running and not partners as huge numbers of Harriers turned out for the final leg of the Borders XC at Galashiels. A cracking day for running on crisp snow covered ground saw 29 juniors (over a third of the entire field) take to the trails.Gala Harriers had a one two finish with Callum Tharme holding off the charge of Faisal Khursheed. James Logan finished 4th in the race but the Gala juniors secured the overall team title with excellent performances at all age groups. Gregor Collins won silver in the Boys 10-11 series and Callum Tharme and Faisal Khursheed won gold and silver respectively in the Boys 14-15 series.
In the senior race, many had completed their four races in the series and were marshalling and volunteering to support the race organisers but 13 still lined up and Marcus D’Agrosa had a strong run to finish 6th overall. Jamie McGowan also ran a great race taking 3rd place in the M40 category. As the overall series results unfolded there were gold medals for Fiona Dalgleish in the F40 series, with fellow Scotland international Anya Campbell picking up a bronze. Their efforts also helped Gala win the overall female team in the series. In the men’s series, Dave Nightingale and Chrys Murphy had a ding dong battle throughout the whole series, with Dave taking the M60 title by the narrowest of margins.
Another veteran Wayne McIntosh made the journey through to Glasgow to run in the National Indoor Masters Championships. He was rewarded with a silver medal in the M40 age group and a new 1500m PB time of 4.34, not bad at all when he has been recovering from the lurgy which has been doing the rounds.
Attention will no doubt now turn to the National Cross Country Champs at Callendar Park, Falkirk on the 27th Feb.”