Border Games


Towns and villages in the Scottish Borders often hold an athletics meeting, known as a Border Games, as part of their annual festival week. Generally held on a football, rugby or cricket pitch, these games highlight track events from the short sprint, of around 100 metres, up to 3200 metres. The short sprint is normally the main event, with a first prize often in excess of a thousand pounds, drawing a large field. Events are divided into youths and adult races and are open to all.

A key aspect of a Border Games is the cash prizes up for grabs in all events. A handicapping system aims to ensure that runners of differing abilities can compete on equal terms, in the same race, hopefully delivering exciting competition with blanket finishes. So you don't have to be Elaine Thompson-Herah or Usain Bolt to win!

When assigning a runner's start (also known as handicap or mark), the handicapper takes into account the competitor's previous Games' performances and results on Power of 10. In the absence of previous performances, a novice's start is often allocated.

Gone are the days when a throng of bookmakers descended on a Border Games, nevertheless it is usually still possible to place a bet, and with some luck, win a tidy sum on your favourite runner.

The competiton season runs from early June to the middle of August.

Border Games are held in an area bounded by Langholm in the south up to Peebles in the north and west and Morebattle in the east.

Border Games are held under Borders Athletics rules.


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