Connor sprints to the £3,000 first prize

Hedley Connor breaking the tape. Picture by ALASTAIR WATSON.
Hedley Connor breaking the tape. Picture by ALASTAIR WATSON.

THE rain fell, the thunder crashed and the lighting flashed, but Jedburgh Border Games nevertheless rolled on and one runner from Bedlington for one was delighted.

Although the games were held up for a spell due to the atrocious conditions, it took more than the elements to bring this historic event, which was celebrating its 158th anniversary, to a complete standstill.

And the wet weather certainly did not dampen the running of 18-year-old Connor Hedley, of Bedlington.

He conjured up his own brand of sunshine by taking pride of place in the Jed-Forest sprint and lifting the £3,000 first prize.

Competing from a mark of 12m, Hedley won his heat on the rain-lashed Riverside park track in 11.63 seconds

Come his cross-tie, however, Hedley was beaten, but qualified for a final spot as a fastest loser, lining up against Craig Grieve (8m) and Angus Stanners (9m) plus Iskan Barskanmay, of Jed AC, (6.5m), Ross Weir, of Hawick, (22m) and Sean Harris, of Edinburgh, (7.5m).

As if by call, the rain eased off, but the storm was not quite over.

Metres from the tape it appeared as though front-runner Weir was going to hold on to his lead, but Hedley ruled this out by coming in like a bolt from the blue with a storming finish to gain victory in 11.35 seconds. Weir finished second and Grieve third.

Hedley said: “I come from a running family, my grandfather Brian, my uncle Eddie and my cousin John have all ran at Border Games in the past years, so it’s a great thrill for me to have won the Jedburgh sprint.

“I felt good when winning my heat, but then lost my cross-tie and thought my chance had gone until hearing I was fastest loser.

“It was a second opportunity so I had to really go for it and I managed to pull it off, but it was a really close final.”