Charity fund-raisers put their heart into 29-mile challenge

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A STRONG Teri contingent showed they had plenty of heart for an epic cross-country charity event.

The annual Poppyscotland Hearts & Heroes Challenge saw some 270 people take to the hills over a 29-mile section of the Southern Upland Way from the bottom end of St Mary’s Loch to Melrose.

And among teams from the worlds of military, rugby and business, along with charity supporters, was a group from Hawick Rugby Club, Hawick Knitwear and Hawick Albion coach Ewan Simpson.

Billy and James Clamp, David and Gary Lowrie and Graham Tait represented the Mansfield Park outfit and completed the race in six hours and seven minutes.

Billy said: “It was a very challenging event. This was the third time I have completed but it was the second time for the other four members. I can’t wait till next year.”

The challenge was in aid of the rugby charity Hearts & Balls and veterans’ charity Poppyscotland.

Ewan, who ran the event, while Rory Graham, Alistair Cummings and Dougie Hyslop walked, crossed the finish line just minutes later in a time of six hours 15.

And although he admitted to subsequent aches and pains, they were numbed somewhat by the overwhelming sense of achievement.

In what was his third year of participation, he said: “I have to admit that until the day after I never realised getting up from a chair could be so uncomfortable!

“However, having met some of the guys that the two supported charities are involved with as well as hearing the stories, I am in no way comparing myself to them, my discomfort and reduced mobility will improve relatively shortly.”

The hardy Hawick Knitwear team, which comprised employees Raymond Wood, Rhona McLeod, Pippa Bell and Ian McLeod - as well as Andrew Dobbie - completed the course in eight hours 54 minutes and hope to raise over £1,000.

Raymond said: “We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us for the event, especially Benny Hartop and Hawick Knitwear employees, JW Taxis, Lyle & Scott and Dobbie & Michie. And if anyone would still like to make a donation they can contact any team member.”

All money raised will go to help injured rugby players as well as veterans and their families living in Scotland.