SHANE FENTON reports Taymouth Castle
This years Kenmore Highland Games is being hailed as the best ever. The games which are the only evening fixture on the SHGA calendar attracted it's biggest ever crowd and this was reflected with those participating with record numbers taking part in the events and races.. The weather stayed dry with the sun making the odd appearance, and the midges stayed away!.
I've been attending Kenmore Games for over 40 years now and I have never experienced a crowd or atmosphere to have matched that of Wednesday night. The multi national audience were enthralled by the spectacle, cheering every step of the dancers, every throw of the 'heavies' and every stride of the runners.
The total number of youngsters taking part in the junior races must have numbered between 250 and 300 with an average of 30 in each race. Normally I would just shout out the various age groups for the races, however on this occasion with there being so many different countries represented, and me only knowing the Scottish tongue I had to use hand signals to determine the age groups!
Organising the under-12 sack races was a sight to behold, with competitors numbering over 80 lined up almost the length of the home straight awaiting to be sorted into various heats which numbered five.
The ever-popular heavy events and highland dancing which took place side by side attracted huge numbers of spectators. Many of the countries leading throwers including Lukasz Wenta, Lorne Colthart and Craig Sinclair were in action.
On the track the current leaders in all three of the SHGA points league were running. The Open 90m attracted enough competitors for four heats, one interesting competitor who came out to run was James Cunningham of Haddington who won the famous New Year Sprint 20 years ago in 1997. James ran in his bare feet and dug out his starting holes in the turf before running, just like the old days!
The hill races were boosted by some high quality runners from the Bushflyers Club in Australia.
There members won both the junior and senior races, with the senior winner less than a minute away from beating the record held by the great Fred Reeves of Coniston in the Lake District set back on the early 80's.
One of the organising committee commented;''What a fantastic night. Thank you to everyone who came along to our Kenmore Highland Games tonight, it was one to remember, Tremendous crowd, brilliant atmosphere and no midges!.
The events promote themselves as being a traditional highland games, open to all, and fun for all the family , it was certainly that in 2017.
Full results to follow.
Published: 2017-07-06 10:47:23