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Pitlochry all set to bring curtain down on another Games season

preview by SHANE FENTON

Pitlochry Highland Games is very much a favourite games amongst the competitors and spectators alike. Whether it's for the wide range of events on offer or to soak up the amazing atmosphere generated by the big crowd.The high-banked seated terracing along the home straight was upgraded a couple of years ago and gives the crowds the opportunity to interact with the competitors like nowhere else on the circuit.

Events are always fiercely competitive but there always seems to be great camaraderie between all the competitors, with many just wanting to be there because it is the last Highland games of the year, and to say their farewells until the season resumes next May.

There is always a good entry for the various athletic events and this year the Open competitors will contest races over 90m,200m,400m,800m,1600m and 3200m all handicaps.The runners will also have the opporchancity to compete in the SHGA Scottish 1600 metres Championship where John McFadean's record of 4 minutes 19.57 seconds has stood since 1996. That time has never been bettered anywhere on the circuit since then.

Pitlochry, regularly attracts big fields of Youth competitors. As in previous years the Youth 400 metres and 800 metres handicaps will be split into seperate races for boys and girls. The 90 metres won't be split and will be run-off in seven heats.
Once again the games will stage the Scottish Youth relays championship which this year is open to any athletic club, running school or group of four who wish to enter. Teams consist of 2 boys and 2 girls who are under the age of 16 on the day,
The introduction of the SHGA Scottish Junior Jumps Championship four years ago further emphasized Pitlochry's reputation in encouraging Youth competitors into Highland games. There is also a full programme of Open jumping events.
The curtain comes down on the track programme for another year with the Open and Youth relays drawnf rom the competitors on the day  And to add to the camaraderie on the day the cyclists also include teams in both the relays at the close of proceedings on the track.

The cycling has also attracted a good entry with a total of 25[17 Open/8 Youth] bikes, they have a full programme of events including the 3200m Championship of the Highlands as well as handicaps over 800m, 1600m and Deil tak the Hindmost. The Youth cyclists have races over 800m and 1600m.

 As ever the heavy event competitors will take centre stage, it is the final event in the season long Perthshire competition while in the Open competition many of the countries top throwers will once again do battle over the various disciplines. There will also be competitions for under-18s as well as locals.

The Tug o War at Pitlochry is always one of the best competitions of the season and this year has the added attraction of being the British Championship.The team from Elgin will be defending their title.

Many of the prizes in the season long SHGA leagues are still up for grabs and that will add extra spice to the competition on the day.

Add in the childrens fun races, Highland Perthshire schools relay, highland dancing, pipe band contest and solo piping a great days entertainment is in prospect.

Published: 2019-09-13 10:29:14