Shane Fenton reports from Glamis Castle
Apart from a short sharp torrential downpour midway through proceedings Strathmore Highland Games at Glamis Castle enjoyed a fine afternoon of weather and one of the biggest crowds in recent years thronged around the arena.
The running/cycling track had to be increased from 300 metres to 320 metres to cope with the large number of stalls and trade stands in attendance.
Similar to recent games there was an increase in entries in the running,cycling and heavy events.
One of the biggest cheers of the day came for local runner Scott Douglas from Forfar, after 4 years of trying he finally won his first race on the circuit with victory in the Open 800 metres handicap. After a promising 3rd place run at Markinch the previous week Scott finally got his head in front to come home ahead of Ewen Bradley ,Inverness and Willie Bates ,Tullibody.
There was a photo finish to both the Open 90 metres and 200 metres handicaps, Inverness sprinter Eleanor Briggs was involved in both. In a thrilling finish to the 90 metres she was just edged out by Cameron Smith,Central AC who broke the tape in 9.41 seconds with Briggs runner up and the veteran Colin Christie,Livingston in third.
There was better fortune for Eleanor in the 200 metres final when the jugdes gave her the decision over David Allan,Balloch after the pair had flashed over the line in unison, Cameron Smith finished in 3rd place.
Allan had too settle for the runners up spot once more,this time in the 400 metres handicap chasing home winner Ewen Bradley,Inverness with Craig Robertson,Logierait in third.
The first two places in both the Open 1600 metres and 3200 metres went to games debutants John Wright Banchory AC and Sheena Logan,Fife AC. The latter looked to have the 1600 within her grasp only to be reeled in by Wright on the last lap, There was a great race for third place between Craig Robertson,Logierait and Willie Bates,Tullibody, the judges couldn't seperate them and a dead-heat was called.
Despite running from a reduced handicap Wright again worked his way through the field to claim victory in the 3200 metres handicap with Logan again runner up and Craig Robertson in third.
In the Youth's 90 metres handicap Euan Smith,Central AC Jjust failed emulate his father who won the open 90 when he finished second to Steven Bates,Tullibody, this was a reversal of the result in their heat, Callum McGillvary,Aberdeen took third place.
Gaspard Lecrivain,Aberdeen produced a fine piece of running from the backmark to win the Youth's 1600 metres from Steven Bates and Reece Nuttal,Anstruther.
The upsurge in cycling on the circuit continued with 12 bikes in the Open races and nine in the Youth races, the latter events were only confirmed a few days before the games took place owing to the good numbers who took part in previous games over the last few weeks. It is hoped other games will add youth events to their programme.
The Open 800 metres was won by Paul Anderson, Perth in what was a new best time for the distance on the Glamis circuit There was a great finish to the 1600 metres with Stevie Jackson,Glasgow all out to hold off 16 year old Alex Ball,Linlithgow and Paul Gallacher, Kirkcaldy. Young Ball is already showing signs he is going to be a force to be reckoned with on the grass track circuit.
With so many riders taking part and five races on the card some are now choosing to sit out of certain races. Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey did just that deciding not to contest the 800 metres or 1600 metres. It proved to be a correct decision as he went on to win the remaining three races, the 3200 metres,4800 metres and 8000 metres handicaps all after giving away big starts. Similar to Markinch the previous week the 8000 was one of the best races of the day as it developed into a threeway battle between Alex Ball,Stevie Jackson and Fletcher. In the now rain softened ground it was the latter who prevailed to complete a treble.
The two youth cycle races the 800m and 1600m were won by Isaac Small,Grampian Tigers. The Tigers were well represented at the meeting.
10 competitors took part in the Open heavy events and six in the junior, i still await the results for the heavy events and tug o war.
Published: 2018-06-10 22:21:16