The Pitlochry Highland Games once again provided a fitting finale to the 2017 games season. Bathed in warm autumnal sunshine for most of the afternoon an appreciative and enthusiastic crowd of around 8000 surrounded the Recreation Park arena cheering every heavy, runner, cyclist, dancer,pipe band and probably the loudest for the tug o war teams.
Nowhere on the circuit do the crowds interact with the competitors like they do at Pitlochry, this year they made good use of the refurbished terraced area which was packed to capacity.
They were treated to an action packed afternoon of entertainment which over ran until about 6pm.
The biggest prize of the day is the £200 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres handicap, and for the fourth year in succession it was won by a female athlete with Rianna Sterricks[20.75m] winning her first ever big sprint since joining the senior ranks. The Leithenburn runner held on by the narrowest of margins to edge out the rapidly closing East Kilbride AC duo of Calum McWilliam[8.75] and Greg Kelly[5.5] in 9.60s.
McWilliam[27m] who broke his sprint duck at the recent Stirling Games went one better in the Open 200 metres handicap when in another equally close finish he inched out Greg Kelly[24m] and Tony Daffurn,Wishaw[28m].
Ewan Bradley,Inverness[38m] has had an amazing season and that continued at Pitlochry as he came home ahead of a good field to win the Open 400 metres handicap in 50.23s from recent Birnam and Blairgowrie winners Fraser Neil,Kelso[38m] and David Allan,Balloch[44m].
Games stalwarts Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen and Willie Bates,Tullibody had the crowd on their feet as they had an eyeballs out battle to the line in the finish of the Open 800 metres. It was Bates who prevailed getting up in the last stride from his Border rival with Ewan Bradley in third.
The SHGA 1600 metres Championship was won in good style by Colin Welsh. The Kelso athlete who has enjoyed a successful season at the North games this year came home a clear winner from previous winner Craig Robertson,Logierait and Fraser Logan,Belgrave. The latter, who has also had his best season on the circuit went on to land the 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicap double, on both occasions Dean Whiteford followed him home in second. Females filled the third place spots through Sarah Ross Pitreavie AC in the 1600m and Maria Crawford, Perth Road Runners in the 3200m.
[Report will be continued on Sunday]
Published: 2017-09-09 22:07:19