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SHANE FENTON previews the new event and looks back on female achievements in the New Year Sprint

For the first time in the 146 year history of the event, the famous 'New Year Sprint' meeting is to stage a race for female athletes only.


The race will be a 90 metres handicap and run on similar lines to the 90 metres Veterans Handicap in that it will be incorporated into the Open 90 metres event.

The female competitors will compete in seperate heats with the qualifiers going forward to the Women's final which will also be a cross-tie for the Open event thus guaranteeing one female in the grand final itself.

The race will have similar prize money to the Vets final £175 - £85 - £55 - £35.

This will be one of the supporting races to the main event the 146th New Year [Powderhall] 110 metres Sprint Handicap.

The 'Sprint' is widely recognised as the most famous athletics event held in Scotland on a yearly basis, uninterrupted by war or weather the race has been staged continuously since 1870.

The race has been won by many of Scotland's top athletes, it's been won by 16 year olds and 70 year olds, brothers have been successful as have a father and son but what there hasn't been is a female winner...yet!

Despite the aforementioned 90 metres being run for the females they will of course be entitled to enter the 'New Year Sprint.

The race is Open to all, male or female, from 16 years upwards whether you are a club member or non club member.

It's not for the want of trying that a female has never yet lifted the big prize, since the race moved to Musselburgh Racecourse in 1999 females have reached the final 11 times, Scottish & GB internationalist Gemma Nicol has made the final 6 times coming closest in 2006 when runner up to Cumbie Bowers, Karen Steede-Cochrane made 4 finals and was twice 2nd. Edinburgh AC's Fiona Cleat was also a runner up in 2011. In 2007 Gemma Nicol and mother Wendy both contested the final finishing 3rd and 6th and in 2004 for the first and only time 3 girls were in the final line-up.





2014: 6th Jazmine Tomlinson – TLJT.


2013: 3rd Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.


2011: 2nd Fiona Cleat – Edinburgh AC.


2007: 3rd Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.

6th Wendy Nicol – Dunfermline.


2006: 2nd Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.

6th Sandra Mitusch – Dunfermline.


2005: 5th Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.


2004: 3rd Karen Cochrane – Jedburgh.

4th Elaine Telford – Wallsend.

6th Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.


2003: 3rd Gemma Nicol – Dunfermline.

4th Karen Steede – Jedburgh.


2002: 2nd = Karen Steede – Jedburgh.

5th Sharon Wilson – Dunfermline.


2001: Karen Steede – Jedburgh




1995 Mel Neef – Glasgow 7th

Events at this years meeting which will be held on December 31st and 1st Jan

110m New Year Sprint Handicap

Open 90m Handicap [Including Women and Vets finals]

Open 4 Furlongs Handicap

110 metres Short Limit Handicab[by invite only].

Youths [10-15y] 90 metres Handicap.

Youths [10-under13y] 60 metres Handicap.

Youths [13-under 16] 60 metres Handicap.

Youths [10-under 16] 4 Furlongs Handicap  Handicap

For details on how to enter and full list of prize money go to the New Year Sprint web-site which gives you everything you need to know about the event.

Published: 2014-10-18 20:32:38