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Shane Fenton previews the Recreation Park event

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

Pitlochry is fast becoming a favourite games amongst the competitors, whether it's for the wide range of events on offer or to soak up the amazing atmosphere generated by the big crowd usullay 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 Club relays for junior athletes, it has proved to be a great success with heats being run last year for the first time due to the numbers wishing to take part, that will be the scenario again on Saturday with already a record number of clubs having declared.

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 record entries, from Inverness in the North, Argyllshire in the West as well as the Borders in the South, with some notable names including internationalists Jamie Bowie and Gemma Nicol. There will 8 heats in the Open 90m handicap and 10 heats in the Youths 90m, there is an amazing entry of 85 athletes in the Youths 400 metres handicap, the event is already split into seperate races for girls and boys, however heats may also have to be run to cope with the numbers.

The games also stage the Scottish 1600 metres championship, Josh Kerr who recently broke Glen Stewart's 27 year U-17 1500m record heads a strong Edinburgh AC entry for the race.

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 relays.

The bikers have a full programme of events including the 3200m Championship of the Highlands. Youth cyclsts are also catered for.

As well as the aforementioned Junior jumps competition there is also a full Open programme of Long, High and Triple Jump, remember in the latter last year Alan Hamilton failed by only 4cm in breaking the Scottish record.

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. And to top it all off the weather forecast looks favourable with the dry warm conditions we have had all week set to continue, hope to see you all there.

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


Published: 2014-09-11 17:21:27