The draw for the 149th New Year Sprint was made earlier this month. As has been the case since Dan Wight from Jedburgh broke the tape at Powderhall in 1870, several Borderers will be looking to make it a festive season to remember at the world’s oldest footrace.

In recent year Jedburgh, Hawick and Galashiels have all enjoyed success. A 16-year-old Craig Robertson was triumphant a decade ago. Leigh Marshall, Dan Paxton and Dylan Ali have all won for Hawick in the succeeding years.

And Jedburgh’s Jazmine Tomlinson became the first woman winner in 2016.

But who can we expect to be the winners and fastest losers at Meadowmill this year?

1 Jacob Connelly - E Kilbride AC 10.5

2 Paul Donaghy - Durham City 17.0

3 Angela Kelly - Giffnock NAC 32.0

4 Greg Kelly - E Kilbride AC 5.0

5 Iain Douglas - Selkirk 11.0

6 Keira Angus - Leithenburn AC 26.5

7 Christie Rout - TLJT 23.5

Last year’s champion Greg Kelly will have his work cut out from a start of just five metres, but if he can reproduce his run in last year’s final he will still qualify for day two. The improving Christie Rout should go close from her handicap of 23.5 metres and Selkirk’s Iain Douglas will also be in the frame for a fastest-loser spot.

1William Hutchison - Lasswade AC 11.0

2 Keiran Halliday - Central AC 11.5

3 Connor Gillon - Kelso 10.5

4 Anthony Daffurn - Airdire 8.0

5 Thomas Bradley - Edinburgh 30.0

6 Kyle Potts - Hawick 12.0

7 Mark McLachlan - Inverclyde AC 10.0

Airdrie’s Tony Daffurn hasn’t been done any favours from the handicapper, but the triple jump specialist still has a chance of progress. Connor Gillon and Kyle Potts both have good Border Games pedigrees but it should be teenager Mark McLachlan who goes through as the winner.

1 Stacey Downie - Edinburgh AC 18.0

2 Richard Eland - Little Broughton 20.0

3 Darren Towart - Tynedale 13.75

4 Sandy Wilson - Edinburgh AC 8.25

5Ryan Clydesdale - E Kilbride 10.0

6Eleanor Briggs - Inverness H 18.5

7 Kevin Turner - Dalkeith 21.5

West Linton’s Stacey Downie has enjoyed an Indian summer since stepping up in distance to 400 metres, and the former Scottish sprint champion could hold on to win this heat from Edinburgh teenager Sandy Wilson and improving Eleanor Briggs.

1 Craig Sowerby - N Masters AC 13.0

2 Josh Abbott - Kelso 11.25

3 Ellie McGinty - Edinburgh AC 19.5

4 Cameron Caldwell - TLJT 9.0

5 James Park - Gala 12.5

6 Max Leslie - Edinburgh AC 10.5

7 Philippa Robertson - Teviotdale H 21.5

Cameron Caldwell has been there or there abouts for the past two years and should yet again reach the cross-ties from his handicap of 9 metres. Philippa Robertson has plenty of experience on the local circuit and should prove difficult to catch, but Caldwell’s biggest danger will likely be flying veteran Craig Sowerby.

1 Leigh Marshall - Hawick 9.0

2 Craig Douglas - Selkirk 26.5

3 Nina Cessford - TLJT 26.5

4 Dylan Ali - Hawick 5.0

5 Cameron Smith - Central AC 14.0

6 Calum McWilliam - E Kilbride AC 9.75

7 Emily Dagg - TLJT 20.0

This is undoubtedly the hottest heat with the well-fancied duo of Emily Dagg and Calum McWilliam going head to head. Throw in two former winners, Leigh Marshall and Dylan Ali, as well as dark-horse veteran Cameron Smith and only one thing is certain – a really fast winning time.

1 Natasha Turnbull - TLJT 24.0

2 Ian Smith - Longniddry 18.0

3 Douglas Young - Kelso 9.5

4 Michael Olsen - Edinburgh AC1.5

5 Oliver Wagner - Ecclefechan 9.75

6 Stewart Harris - Longtown 31.50

7 Doug Donald - Oakham 18.75

Michael Olsen is undoubtedly the fastest man in the field – but the Scottish Under 20s champion will have to produce something special to land the 2018 New Year Sprint title. Peebles schoolgirl Natasha Turnbull could sneak this one from Olsen, with teenagers Oliver Wagner and Douglas Young completing the frame.

1 Colin Bruce - Selkirk 16.5

2 Billy Doyle - Pitreavie AC 10.0

3 Megan Busby-Bell - Carlisle Aspatria 21.5

4 Ryan Houten - Peebles 8.25

5 Euan Urquhart - VP Glasgow 10.0

6 Ronnie Hunter - Crieff 19.5

Ryan Houten has twice finished runner-up and, despite a slight pull in the marks, should eat up the yards to go through in front of Selkirk veteran Colin Bruce and Glasgow teenager Euan Urquhart, who is a regular podium finisher at age-group championships.

1 Sarah Malone - Edinburgh AC 19.5

2 Georgina Morrison - Inverclyde AC 23.5

3 Kieran Reilly - Lasswade AC 10.0

4 Alexander Young - Larkhall 9.0

5 Sophie Elder - TLJT 21.0

6 Albert Eland - Broughton 30.5

Jedburgh’s Sophie Elder faces a tough task in holding off Scottish Schools champion Alexander Young and the ever consistent Kieran Reilly. However, this is a hot heat that could produce two or three fastest losers.

1 Rianna Sterricks - Leithenburn AC 22.5

2 Scott Tindle - TLJT 11.5

3 Steven Park - Edinburgh 10.0

4 Kieran Kivlen - Edinburgh 8.0

5 Samantha Turnbull - TLJT 22.5

6 John Fleming - Kelso 13.5

Borders athletes take up four of the six lanes for this one. East Lothian’s Steven Park will run into the low 11 seconds and Kieran Kivlen is always a danger, but Innerleithen schoolgirl Rianna Sterricks could well edge out her Peebles High classmate Samantha Turnbull to go through as the winner.

1Daniel Paxton - Hawick 11.0

2 Ross Borthwick - Hawick 13.0

3 David Allan - Balloch 13.0

4 Drew McIntyre - Inverclyde AC 7.75

5 Jordan Charters - Dolphinton 10.0

6 Graeme Armstrong - Edinburgh 21.5

Dan Paxton will have to produce his form from 2010 if he’s to even win his heat. Last year’s runner-up Jordan Charters and flying Glaswegian Drew McIntyre should both catch in-form veteran Graeme Armstrong, but it’s anyone’s guess which one will break the tape.

The heats of the 149th New Year Sprint will be run at Meadowmill in East Lothian, on Saturday, December 30. The cross-ties and final are run at Musselburgh Racecourse on New Year’s Day.