The final two weeks of the 2004/05 cross country season has been a busy period for adult and junior athletes from the club. The last two rounds of the Borders and District Cross Country Series have taken place as well as the Scottish National Cross County Championship at Irvine.
The penultimate round of the Borders and District series was held, for the first time, at Wooler. Severe winter conditions with driving snow, hail and freezing temperatures made this a race that many will not forget. A full contingent of senior and junior Dunbar runners braved the weather conditions to compete and try to secure vital points before the final race to be held two weeks later at Dunbar. A number of athletes recorded good finishing positions. Ian Rowland achieved his season’s ambition by being the first male vet (40-45yrs) runner and was placed 2nd overall behind in form Brian Marshall, a senior runner from H.E.L.P. This result secured a podium position for Ian regardless of the results from the final round. This was the first Borders and District race Brian had competed in and even though he finished an impressive second place by just 10 seconds in the previous days Carnethy Five Hill race he showed his class by winner the Wooler round by a significant margin.
Dunbar Running Club hosted the final round of the Borders and District series on Sunday 27th February. The route, set by the club, took athletes from the beach at White Sands, around the Barns Ness Light House then along the beach for a mile. Runners then turned back through the dunes to finish in the White Sands car park. The conditions were favorable making this one of the fastest races in the series. Many of the senior runners where on marshalling duties however Dunbar still managed to take the seniors team price with Colin Menzies placed 2nd, 35 seconds behind Brian Marshall, Grant Noble 5th overall and Subhar Anwar in 23rd place. A number of junior runners took part with notable finishes by Lauren Smedley making it seven wins out of seven races, Lauren Peffers recording her 4th win in the four races she took part in. Megan Gaffney was 3rd in her age group 12/13 year olds, Anna Dobson was also 3rd in the under 11 category.
After the race all runners were invited back to HallHill Healthy Living Centre for soup and sandwiches and the series prize giving ceremony. Dunbar athletes of all ages took a significant number of the podium places but all runners who ran in at least four races of the seven received a momento for their efforts. In the adult categories Colin Menzies not only won the senior under 40 age group but also took the overall winning prize for the series. Ian Sills was 4th and Ross Combe 10th in the senior age group. Ian Rowland was 2nd in the 40-45 age group with Stuart Hay 6th and Kevin Smith 10th. Grant Noble only managed to run in three races however he was placed in 12th place in the same age group. In the 60 – 65 age group John Landells was placed 2nd and in the 60 and over category Joe Bourhill was 1st and Bob Wilson 3rd. For H.E.L.P. Sandy Wallace was placed in 2nd position in the 50 –55 age group and Paddy McDonald 4th. In the ladies age groups Karen Page was 3rd under 35 year old runner with Clarissa Berry in 4th place in the 35-40 group. Ann Hay took 2nd prize in the 40-45 age group and Amanda Thorntonsmith was placed in 4th position in the same category. Dunbar Running Club, with a total score of 78 points, won the senior team prize for the second year almost 100 points ahead of second place club Moorfoot.
In the Junior Categories Anna Dobson was second in the under 11 year old with Abigail Twist 4th in the same age group. Lauren Smedley was 1st in the 12/13 age group and Megan Gaffney 2nd and Nicola Craig 4th. Eve Baillie only managed to run three races but was placed 7th in this age group. In the 14/15 age group Lauren Peffers was placed 1st with Lisa Menzies from H.E.L.P. 3rd and Abigail Dobson of Dunbar 4th. Daisy Sherwood only took part in three races and was placed 6th. For the boys James Thortonsmith was 5th 14/15 year old, Liam Barclay 8th and Toby Sherwood, only having completed three races, 11th. The team 1st price for the juniors went to Eyemouth with Dunbar taking 3rd position.
All athletes thanked the clubs for their hard work in organising the series. Dunbar Running Club was thanked for hosting the prize giving with particular thanks to Abigail Dobson for providing a cake sale with all proceeds going to Comic Relief.
Four Dunbar Senior Runners traveled to Irvine to compete in the Scottish National Cross Country Championship on Saturday 19 February. A three lap, 12km course for the senior men and a two lap, 8km route for the ladies was set out to test athletes from all over Scotland. Over 100 lady runners finished the race with Anne Hay being placed in 70th position. In the senior men’s race 375 athletes completed the testing course. Ian Rowland led the Dunbar runners finishing inside the top 100 by taking 92nd position; Ian Sills was 123rd and Stuart Hay in 229th place.
The next race, and the start of the road running season, for Dunbar Runners is the Inverness Half Marathon on Sunday 13 March with a number of club members making the long trip to compete.