A HOST of Hawick runners are set to get down on their marks for tomorrow’s opening Border Games meet at Earlston.
The season runs until August and in recent months the town’s running schools have been hard at it in training with only one goal in mind – tomorrow’s event at The Haugh.
None more so than the Drew Bryson/Lee Notman stable. And talking of matters, Bryson said: “The school has been training hard and everyone is looking forward to the new season. Dylan Ali will be running as a senior for the first time and this will be interesting to see. He’s a terrific young runner and although it’s a big step up I think he’ll do well, as will David Rae and Leigh Marshall. I’m also expecting something from my coaching partner Lee. He works offshore and can’t train as much as he’d like, but he’s still very fit and might get some wins under his belt.
“Phillipa Robertson is a very promising young runner and along with Sam Bandeen the pair should both show up well in the youths’ races.
“In the distance events the school has Derek Scott, who is coached by Calum Drysdale. Derek always gives his best and is liable to have a good season.”
Reflecting on his camp’s hopes for the season, veteran coach Billy Edgar said: “Apart from James Parker having moved up from the youths, the school has its normal senior runners. I know what they can do and they know what they can do. So this group more or less looks after themselves.
“My main concern is the youngsters this season. There’s a lot of them and they’re all as keen as mustard. There’s a lot of promising talent, and I’d like to think there are a few winners among them.
“The youth set-up has been split into two age groups this season. This is something completely different and I’m not sure how it will work out. It sounds like a good idea, though, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Although not at full strength yet, the Ross Weir stable is hoping to hit full stride shortly.
Talking to the Hawick News, Weir said: “There are a few runners missing from the school at the moment as they’re at university and can’t train with the squad. Hopefully we will have these guys with us soon, though.
“Greg Bouglas has pulled a hamstring and this is unfortunate, but Callum Whillans and Mark Young have been shaping up well.
Giving his thoughts on his relatively new squad of distance runners, Ged Smith said: “We’re a bit of a mixture as we have Keith Murray, Rory Anderson, Stewart Fraser, Billy Fraser and Derek Murdie, who is making a comeback after three years, as well as myself in the squad, and we’ve all run for a while.
“Then we have Gary Law, who is a novice, as well as Ann Renwick, Glenda McNeil and Pamela Drysdale, all of whom have never run at the games before.
“It’s the veterans and the apprentices, but I think we might do okay.”