SOME of Helensburgh Amateur Athletics Club’s more adventurous members geared up for another wet and muddy trail run in the Glentress Forest in the Borders recently.

Held before this week’s coronavirus lockdown, and before the advice against holding sport events was issued, the Glentress Trails event featured three things some runners in Scotland apparently now hope for: a forest, a muddy trail, and a storm.

The beautiful views provided by trail runs are what attract people to sign up to these events, and Glentress did not disappoint with views over the Caddon Hills and Tweed Valley.

To appeal to a variety of running abilities there were two routes on offer; a 10k and a half marathon, with Helensburgh having entrants in both events.

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In the 10K event, Helen Leigh ran an astounding 51 minutes and nine seconds, securing a superb placing as the event’s second overall female finisher. This is itself a fantastic feat as this was Helen’s first race since returning from injury.

The half marathon, or 21K, had a much bigger representation from the club with six Helensburgh runners braving the conditions.

One, Laura Johnstone (pictured), even said “the underfoot conditions were the hardest I’ve run in”, and if you know Laura, that means something.

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Wind, hail, snow, and even temperatures hitting -3 did not stop the intrepid Helensburgh runners from doing what they enjoy.

Not even a cracked-open knee stopped Michelle Melville; a quick gel, and a pep talk from Laura, and away she went determined to finish, and finish she did in an impressive time of two hours, 34 minutes and 12 seconds.

Michelle said of the day, “It was great fun – I even want to do the half in November!”

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The fastest male Helensburgh runner on the day was Phil Sumner, who finished in 59th position with a time of two hours, two minutes and 21 seconds, in a field of 475 runners.

David Howells finished in 99th place, closely followed by Michael Impey in 102nd position.

Finishing first for the ladies was Laura Johnstone, coming in at 221st; not far behind was the injured Michelle in 236th place, and Victoria Shepard rounded off the club entrants with a great result in 323rd.

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