Big crowd at Markinch Highland Games

Markinch Games 2014. All pics: Fife Photo Agency
Markinch Games 2014. All pics: Fife Photo Agency

Markinch Highland Games got the 2014 Fife games circuit off to a glorious start on Sunday.

The warm conditions attracted a good crowd to the event, which is one of the oldest games in Scotland.

Spectators came from far and wide including many overseas visitors.

A full range of events entertained the crowds in the main arena including athletics, cycling and the heavy events.

Outside were all the tartan events which included the oldest pipe band contest in the country, highland dancing which had a huge entry, as well as competitions for the solo pipers and drum majors.

Due to the British Pipe Band Championship the previous day band entries were slightly down however it didn’t detract anything from a marvellous march past by the massed bands at the close of proceedings.

One of the highlights on the track came in the Scottish 8000 metres Cycle Championship with Edinburgh-based professional rider Evan Oliphant, who only days earlier had been selected for the Commonwealth Games, not only taking the title but destroying the record time for the race.

Oliphant, who previously held the record at 14 minutes 04 seconds, produced a stunning performance.

Urged on throughout the race by the crowd he lapped all his rivals in setting new figures of 13 minutes 45 seconds.

The top prize in the running events always goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres Handicap and that went to Eion Lowther, Jedburgh who had only qualified for the final as a fastest loser.

Current New Year Sprint champion Dtlan Ali, Hawick, came from the backmark to win the Invitation 90 metres with his brother Lean taking the tape in the 200 metres.

There was also success for Fife athletes with Rebecca Burns, Pitreavie AC, winning both the Open 800m and 1800m handicaps.

Six athletes competed in the heavy events including Lukasz Wenta and Craig Sinclair who broke four ground records the previous year. There would be no new records this time although both replicated their wins in the 16lb and 22lb shot putt and hammer events. Lorne Colthart also did a double with wins in the Caber and 28lb for distance.

Fun races for children of all ages as well as for their parents attracted hundreds of runners, and adding to the day was an array of stalls, side-shows, trade stands and a funfair.