Following a morning of torrential rain, of biblical proportions at times, the clouds eventually gave way to blue skies and sunshine and a fair crowd made their way to Recreation Park for the 136th Birnam Highland Games.
Unfortunately the ground conditions within the games arena and surrounding areas were badly affected by the earlier downpours. The sodden,muddy conditions however didn't detract from an excellent day of competition in running, cycling, heavy events, highland dancing and solo piping.
The running events were well contested and saw winners from the Highlands, Borders and over the Border.
The biggest prize of the day on the track is the £150 which goes to the winner of the Open 200 metres handicap which was won in fine style by Fraser McDonald, Dingwall who came through the field from the back mark to win on the line from Angus Bryce, Morebattle and Ramsay Sloss, East Kilbride. McDonald currently leads the SHGA league for sprint events.
McDonald also reached the final of the Open 90 metres handicap but had to settle for 5th place behind winner Ben Lyall, Kelso. The winner actually started the season as a youth, winning a race at Helensburgh before joining the senior ranks on his 16th birthday. Dave McKay made it a Kelso 1 - 2 with Lewis Hunter, Pitreavie AC taking third place.
Wallace McGown, Sauchie made it three wins in three weekends, following victories at Crieff and Glenurquhart he held off all challengers to take the top prize in the 400 metres from Jacob Aubrey, Kendal and Sean Bates, Tullibody.
There was a good field of 14 runners in the Open 800 metres which was won in determined fashion by seasoned campaigner Craig Bell, the Forfar vet, who is enjoying a fine vein of late season form held off the challenge of Sean Bates, Tullibody with Grant Kennedy, Auchterarder in third..
There was a thrilling finish to the 1600 metres handicap, British and Scottish veteran champion John Thomson, Glenrothes looked to have run the perfect race as he hit the front in the home straight only to be collared in the last few strides by the fast finishing Gary Crush, City of Norwich AC. Angela Bell, Forfar who looked the winner for a spell finished close up in third.
For the second time in three years the final of the Youths' 90 metres was dominated by Leithenburn runners who filled all six bibs. Victory went to Robyn Keddie who was winning her first ever race on the Highland games circuit, powering through strongly she took the tape ahead of her training companions Tiegan Gibb and Elly Baker.
The old adage of waiting for ages for a bus then two come along at the same time well that could apply to winning races as far as Robyn Keddie is concened, after years of trying she won two in the same afternoon, following up her 90m win with victory in the 200 metres which also won her the Sword of Birnam for Athlete of the Day. Tiegan Gibb was again second with Aaron Glendinning third.
There was also a long awaited win in the Youths' 800 metres for Thomas McCaskill, Hawick who was signing off from competing in the junior ranks by coming home ahead of Georgia Wood, TLJT and Matty Fleming, Kelso. The latter is enjoying a fine season and turned the tables on McCaskill in the Youths' 1600 metres with a comfortable win, games debutant Samuel Bryan East Sutherland AC finished in third.
The scrathc 100 yards race was won by Douglas Young, Kelso with Finn Douglas, TLJT taking the Youth eqivalent. Finlay Murray, East Sutherland was a good winner of the 800 metres scr with David McKay racing to victory in the Veterans 90 metres.
Not for the first time this season the cyclists had to endure treacherous under-tyre conditions. The opening 800 metres was won by Craig Hamilton Edinburgh from Paul Gallacher, Kirkcaldy and James Melville, Alexandria. The 1600 metres which carried a first prize of £100 was won by Melville with Gallacher again runner up and Hamilton third. Melville quickly made it a double with a win in the 3200 metres handicap, this time Davy Mathieson was second with Gallacher third. The final race of the day , the Deil tak the Hindmost saw Craig Hamilton claim his second win of the afternoon with Gllacher and Melville filling the minor placings.
The crowds were treated to fine competition in the heavy events, Lukasz Wenta East Kilbride won the 16lb and 22lb shot putt competitions as well as taking first places in the caber and weight over the bar.Not for the first time this season Kyle Randalls was the main man in the hammer competitions winng both the 16lb and 22lb contests, the Falkirk thrower was also the victor in the 28lb for distance. Jamie Gunn Halkirk, Jamie Dawkins, Aboyne and Stuart Anderson were all among the second and third place prizes.
Published: 2019-08-31 22:03:43