Borders athletes take centre stage at running festival

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Athletes from Roxburgh and Berwickshire stole the show at Sunday’s Jedburgh Running Festival 10k and half marathon events.

Hundreds of eager runners gathered in the Borders town for the 11 o’clock start at Jedburgh Abbey in cool bright conditions.

Jed Running Festival. First woman in the marathon Diane Lauder.

Jed Running Festival. First woman in the marathon Diane Lauder.

Just over 35 minutes later it was Eyemouth’s Marcus D’Agrosa who crossed the finish line first as the 10k racers completed their event with Edinburgh’s Chris Poxton in second and Berwick youngster Nathan Cox in third. Both D’Agrosa and Cox are members of the successful Henry Gray running school.

“I’ve been 8th and 10th the last two times I have competed in this event so I’m really chuffed to have finally won,” said D’Agrosa.

“I feel better now that I am finished but it’s a good course and I enjoyed the run.”

Newcomer Cox was equally enthusiastic, being used to a shorter 800m distance.

Jed Running Festival. Half marathon winner.

Jed Running Festival. Half marathon winner.

“I wasn’t looking for a time or anything, I just went out to see what I could do. It was great.”

In the ladies 10k it was Jedburgh orienteerer Kirsten Maxwell who took the honours with Catrina Probert and Anna Galbraith in second and third respectively.

“It’s really nice to win at home,” said Maxwell, “the support was brilliant.”

Next came the half marathon runners with Hunters Bogtrotters duo Murray Struan and Patrick Gieruatowicz battling it out for pole position. Struan found that extra kick however to beat off the challenge of his Edinburgh team-mate, and 2014 winner, in a time of 1.11.14.

Jed Running Festival. First in the 10k.

Jed Running Festival. First in the 10k.

Hawick police women Dianne Lauder continued her excellent season by taking first place in the ladies half marathon in a time of 1.22.23 with Megan Wright and Fiona Ramsay in second and third.

“I think being injury free has helped a lot this season,” explained Lauder.

“Today’s race was quite tough as the wind was strong at the turn and I’m pleased to have won.”

Slightly earlier Simon Lawson and Jade Jones proved to have smoking wheels in the Jedburgh 10K Wheelchair Race setting new course records.

Jed Running Festival. Third in the 10k Nathan Cox from Berwick.

Jed Running Festival. Third in the 10k Nathan Cox from Berwick.

Lawson from Maryport is bidding to qualify for the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and the Cumbrian’s training was in evidence as he flew around the Borders roads in a record time of 20 minutes and 25 seconds to win and scoop the ‘Best Performance’ trophy.

He was tracked, however, by Callum Hill from Leeds, who finished second in 23:52, and his partner GB 2012 Paralympian Jones who was just five seconds behind in 23:57, a new course record for female athletes.

Lockerbie athlete Sean Frame came in fourth in 25:24, to lift the ‘Best Scottish Male’ medal, with Jedburgh’s Gemma Scott flying the Borders flag and finishing in fifth spot on 27 minutes flat, to scoop the ‘Best Scottish Female’ award.

GB coach Ian Thompson also took part at the weekend in the similarly competitive hand cycle race, finishing third in 20:42 behind David Wise from Workington (20:22) and Edinburgh athlete Mike Thomas (20:41).

The organisers of the Wheelchair Race would like to thank sponsors Randolph Hill Nursing Home Group and the British Wheelchair Racing Association, who also presented Jed Thistle RFC with a cheque for £450 for their help over many years in staging what has become a hugely popular event.

Jed Running Festival. First woman in the 10k.

Jed Running Festival. First woman in the 10k.

Jedburgh wheelchair racer Gemma Scott competing in the Jedburgh Running Festival Wheelchair 10k

Jedburgh wheelchair racer Gemma Scott competing in the Jedburgh Running Festival Wheelchair 10k