All roads certainly did lead to the 159th Alva Games, with competitors and spectators from all over the World descending on the Johnstone Park where they witnessed a thrilling afternoon's entertainment.
The games organisers had the field for competition prepared to as good a standard as I have seen it in recent years. There was record fields in both the Under-12 and Senior hill races while the track events attracted some of Scotland's top athletes and cyclists.
The ever popular heavy events attracted a quality field and the loudest cheer of the day was recorded when Lukasz Wenta tossed the mighty Alva caber. As ever the highland dancing attacted a large entry.
The day's top prize on the track was the £400 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres handicap and for the second year in succession it was won by Chris Kelly, Edinburgh who breasted the tape in 10.31 secs to edge out Laura McCracken East Kilbide AC and Jack Beattie, Rosyth. Video here
Alec and Kade, Thomas VP Glasgow who are two of Scotland's up and coming young sprint stars finished in 1st and 2nd place in the 90 metres Invitation Sprint with Alec, who ran from the scratch mark breaking the tape in 10.30 secs. Video here
Course and distance winner Lee Goodfellow TLJT notched up another win in the Hillfoots with victory in the Open 200 metres, the former World Haggis eating champion stopped the clock at 22.43 secs ahead of Ewan Bradley,Inverness and local veteran athlete Wallace McGown, Sauchie. Video here
There was plenty for the locals to cheer in the middle-distane races, Willie Bates, Tullibody another over-40 vet turned in a strong performance to win the 400 metres handicap in 51.23 secs, McGown this time took second spot with Liam Halliday, Central AC in third.
Local runner Scott McDonald, Central AC thrilled the big crowd with two back marker winning performances in the 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicaps, Running from the scratch mark in the 1600 metres McDonald worked his way through the field to cross the finish line in 4m 35.39s, Forfar veteran Craig Bell who was making his seasonal debut finished runner up with Corey Smith, Pitreavie AC in third. The 3200m again saw Scott run from the SCR mark, and despite the rest of the field all being 'lifted' from their original handicaps the Dollar man again proved too good as he claimed yet another win in 9m 51.85 secs, filling the minor berths on this occasion was Tyler White, Pitreavie AC and Dean Whiteford, Innerlethen.
The latter who recently won at the Newburgh Games made his journey up from the Borders a profitable won by producing a power-packed run to win the 800 metres handicap from Ewan Bradley and Scott Mc Donald in a time of 2m 01.54s.
There was some good competion in the Youth running events, following a check with the photo finish equipment the decision in the 90 metres went to 13 year old Ross McKnight, Central AC who edged out his club mate Keiran Halliday in 11.11secs with Sean Bates, Tullibody in third. The first two positions were reversed in the 200 metres with Halliday powering through from the scratch mark to thwart McKnight's double bid in 24.97 secs with Natasha Turnbull, Peebles in third.
Pitreavie AC's Campbell Downie turned in a fine performance to win the 400 metres, the recent Cupar and Ceres winner came home ahead of Kate Atkinson, Gargrave and Keiran Halliday in 57.32 secs. There was success for young athletes from South of the Border in both the Youth's 800 metres and 1600 metres events, Will Atkinson, Gargrave who had earlier contested the under-14 hill race was the victor in the 800 metres from Sean Bates with Sam Smith, West Yorkshire in third. The 1600m saw victory go to Smith with Atkinson and Bates in second and third respectively.
The British Hill Race Championship saw a record entry of 99 runners, victory went to Rob Jebb from Stavely who last won 13 years ago in 2002, Dessie Flanagan from Musselburgh was a gallant runner up with Alistair Dunn, Kendal who had previousy won 8 times between 2006 and 2013 in third.
As ever there was a good field of bikers for the cycling events, there was drama in the feature event the 3200 metres Scottish Championship with reigning champion Craig Hardie, Dalgety Bay who was going for a 4th successive win coming off his back with a couple of laps of the race remaining, The mishap opened the race up and it was Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey who raced on to take the title for the first time from Gus Gillies, Peebles and Tim Allan, Tomatin. Hardie gained some consolation with an emphatic win in the Deil tak the Hndmost from Fletcher and Gillies. It was a good day for Cairngorm CC rider Fletcher who also won the 1600 metres and title of 'biker of the day' while Steve Jackson, Glasgow took the opening 800 metres.
There was a quality field of 8 heavy event competitors, the man in form was Lukasz Wenta who chalked up five wins, his successes came in the light and heavy shot putt, weight for height and distance and caber. Kyle Randalls continues to show impressive form in hammer throwing with victory in both the light and heavy competitions.
Published: 2015-07-12 10:53:35