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Pitlochry 'on it's marks' for a big day.

Shane Fenton previews the Recreation Park event

This Saturday's Pitlochry Highland Games has once again attracted one of the largest entries of any highland games on the circuit in recent years.

Pitlochry is fast becoming 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, usually in the region of 8000.

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

An innovation at Pitlochry a few years ago was the Scottish Athletic Clubs relays for junior athletes, it has proved to be a great success with heats being run for the past 2 years due to the numbers wishing to take part, That will be the scenario again on Saturday with already a dozen teams/clubs having declared, entries for the relay are open up to the day of the games.

Last year the games introduced the Scottish Junior Jumps Championship which was popular amongst the junior athletes and will be repeated again this year.

The track events have attracted entries from all over the country. There will 8 heats in the Open 90m handicap and 10 heats in the Youths 90m, there is a mammoth entry of athletes in the Youths races, the 400 metres and 800 metres handicaps are already split into seperate races for girls and boys.

The games also stage the Scottish 1600 metres SHGA championship,

There will be Open handicap races over 90-20-400-800-1600-3200 and for the Youth's 90-400-800. There is also Open and Youth relays, and to add to the camaraderie on the day the cyclists also include a team in the relay at the close of proceedings on the track.

The bikers have a full programme of events including the 3200m Championship of the Highlands. Youth cyclsts are also catered for. The destination of the SHGA points league titles for both Open and Youth bikers is still up for grabs, although it looks as if it may go right to the wire at Invercharron next Saturday.

As well as the aforementioned Junior jumps competition there is also a full Open programme of Long, High and Triple Jump.

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 the leading duo in the SHGA league Lukasz Wenta and Lorne Colthtart will once again do battle.

The Tug o War at Pitlochry is always one of the best competitions of the season, add in the childrens fun races, schools relay, highland dancing, pipe band contest and solo piping a great days entertainment is in prospect.

To whet the appetite have a look at this short video from the 2013  games.

TRAFFFIC WARNING:If your travelling to Pitlochry on Saturday give yourself extra time as the A 9 is expected to be very busy with not only the crowds heading to Pitlochry but also to the European Equestrian Championship taking place further up the road at Blair Castle.

Published: 2015-09-10 21:35:48