Hundreds turn out for annual Donkey Brae race

Donkey Brae Race
Donkey Brae Race

SUNDAY’S Donkey Brae Race has been hailed as the best yet after hundreds of runners of all ages took part in Aberdour ‘s flagship event.

Race organiser Hazel Williamson praised the “brilliant job” done by scores of volunteers who ensured the smooth running of the race despite the decision to revert to manual timing in order to reduce costs.

Hazel told SportsPress: “I was a bit worried about the manual timing apsect but we had a lot more volunteers this year and they all pulled their socks up and did a great job.

“A lot is asked of the volunteers and it’s a long day from setting things up at eight in the morning to tidying up the rubbish at 4.30 in the afternoon, but the support was really good.

“It’s lovely for a wee village like us to get a lot of visitors, and we’d had a lot of positive feedback. It’s been the best year yet.”

The event is split into three races, with the main seven mile race, proceeded by a two-mile dash and Fun Run.

The seven-mile winner, and Donkey Brae champion of 2011, was Robert Gilroy (Cambuslang) with a victorious time of 36 minutes 54 seconds.

Basking

The first local man over the line was Billy McNeil, who was involved in the organisation of the original Donkey Brae Race back in 1984.

“He’s been basking in the glory all around the village!” Hazel revealed.

Steve Clark in a fine fourth led home the Fife AC contingent, while Kinghorn veteran Janet McWhinnie placed 38th overall , second female.

There was local success in the shape of Aberdour schoolboy Finlay Williamson who was the first runner over the line in the two-mile race.

Finlay, who also plays for the village shinty team, recorded an excellent time of 12 minutes 28 seconds.

However, the biggest cheer of the day was saved for the last runner to cross the line – local pensioner, Richard Croats, who at 79 years of age was taking part in his final Donkey Brae in memory of his wife Maureen who died two weeks ago after losing her battle to the rare and terminal disease PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy).

Richard has never missed a Donkey Brae run in the event’s history, and hoped to raise funds and awareness for the illness and the sufferers from his final run.

“It was very emotional,” Hazel added. “Running is his way of relaxing and he looked very fit. It was a fitting way to finish the day.”

FULL RACE RESULTS PRINTED IN THIS WEEK’S FIFE FREE PRESS.