Athletes have a real Highland fling at Thornton Gathering

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ATHLETES from across Fife and the rest of Scotland arrived at Thornton’s Memorial Park over the weekend for the annual Gathering.

The crowds were treated to all the traditional highland games events, running, cycling, highland dancing, pipe band contest and the ever popular heavy events.

1328037 - Cyclists in action at the Thornton Gathering.

1328037 - Cyclists in action at the Thornton Gathering.

Children’s races for all ages were also staged during the afternoon’s entertainment, which also included displays from the ‘Clan’ a bicycle stunt team.

Surrounding the arena was an array of trade stands, side shows, stalls and funfair.

The beer tent was extremely busy with the heat forcing many to quench their thirst.

Chieftain was Pipe Major Bob Shepherd MBE.

Six strongmen contested the heavy events with Bruce Robb, Oakley, emerging the overall champion with wins in all seven disciplines including shot putt, hammer throwing and tossing the caber, in fact he was the only one of the competitors to toss the Thornton caber.

The top prize in the athletic events is the £200 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres Handicap, and was won by Kevin Eddy, Kingseat, with the judges having to consult the photo finish equipment to confirm he was the victor in a time of 9.30.

There was a Glenrothes 1-2 in the 200 metres handicap when Ross Friel chased home Billy Martin.

Martin qualified for the final as a heat winner and Friel as a runner-up.

Martin took the honours in the six runner final breasting the tape in 19.97 seconds just ahead of Friel.

The latter also reached the final of the open 90 metres Handicap where he finished in 5th position behind winner Kevin Eddy, Kingseat.

Markinch athlete Ewan Paton led for a long way in the 3200 metres handicap but was overhauled in the closing stages by winner Rory Muir, Dundee Hawkhill and 2nd placed Wayne McIntosh, Kelso and had to settle for third place.

In the Youths 90 metres Handicap, Dylan Lindsay,Glenrothes won his heat before going on to finish in 5th place in the final.

It was a good games for the runners who had made the trip up from the Borders, Dylan Ali, Hawick won the 400 metres, with Colin Welsh victorious in the 800 metres. Craig Bell,Forfar took the 1600 metres and Rory Muir, Dundee Hawkhill the 3200 metres.

For once the track at Thornton was riding faster for the cyclists. Ian Hepburn, Cairneyhill won the 1600 metres, Lewis Oliphant,Wick the Deil tak the Hindmost with Allan Clark,Thurso doing the 3200 metres and 4800 metres double.

Coaltown of Balgonie’s John Thomson was in action at the inaugural City of Edinburgh Running Festival at Meggatland where he finished runner-up in the Open 1600 metres handicap.

Brian Cruikshank won the St Andrews Parkrun, covering the 5k course in in 18:16.