Kirkcaldy holds a half marathon in 1988

Runners at the start of the Kirkcaldy's half marathon in June 1988
Runners at the start of the Kirkcaldy's half marathon in June 1988

Over 500 keen runners took to the streets of Kirkcaldy in May 1988 for the town’s first ever half-marathon.

And the event was such a success that the organisers, Kirkcaldy College of Technology, promised an even bigger and better spectacle for 1989.

Younger runners in the Forbo-Nairn three mile fun run on the same day

Younger runners in the Forbo-Nairn three mile fun run on the same day

It was a day of serious fun and good-natured rivalry with seasoned runners meeting up with the have-a-go first-timers.

Starting off from Dunnikier Park, the runners covered a total distance of 13.1 miles, finishing in the appropriately grand setting of the Town Square, greeted by the rousing cheers of the assembled crowd.

The weather on the day was kind to the competitors staying bright, without becoming uncomfortably hot.

First across the Nissan-sponsored half-marathon line was Dundee Hawkhill’s Charlie Haskett, a top class runner who had been involved in the sport since the age of 15.

With a time of 1:06:51 Charlie said he was pleased and proud to be the first man home in the first-ever Kirkcaldy half-marathon.

“It was actually a very difficult course compared with most of those I have run,” he said.

“There were lots of turns and rough paths, and at times it was difficult to see where you were going.”

To the delight of the hundreds of assembled people at the finishing line, it was the Lang Toun’s John Mudie who came in second place with a time of 1:08:17.

John (23) from Lomond Gardens was running with Fife AC after a year’s absence from the sport.

“The course itself was alright, but I took stomach cramps after the first four miles which made things a bit awkward, and the hill at the end was a killer,” he told the Fife Free Press.

“I am very pleased at coming second, and I hope to make it a first next year.”

In third place position was Terry Mitchell from St Andrews, also running for Fife AC, just 23 seconds behind John, whilst the first woman across the line was Rose McAleese from Bathgate, running for Shettleston Harriers.

First veteran home was Archibald Duncan of Pitreavie.

“The half-marathon is a good thing for Kirkcaldy to take part in after the troubles of the past year, and it gives the people something to look forward to,” said race organiser Crawford Mackie.

“I was delighted with the way things came together on the day, although there will be a few points of change before next year.

“We were all so pleased that we have tentatively decided on May 28 for next year’s race which, with a bit of extra marketing, should hopefully attract over 1000 competitors.”

For those not quite up to the 13 mile run, there was the alternative of the three-mile Forbo-Nairn Fun Run on offer.

An annual event on the Kirkcaldy calendar, the Fun Run had been taking place in Dunnikier Park since 1984 and had became part of the road race calendar.

On Sunday, May 29 over 200 people donned their running shoes, or fancy dress, to do their bit for the two nominated charities – Happy Hands, and Rotary’s Polio Plus Campaign.

“It was a very happy occasion, and indeed a real fun run,” said Roger Strugnell of Forbo-Nairn.

“We are hopeful that a great deal of money will be raised from the fun run, and by the looks of things we could have over the £2000 mark which is a great effort.”

The first man over the line was Danny Kerr from Selby in Yorkshire; first lady was Phidelma Harghty, first girl was 13-year-old Kirsty Lindsay from Dunfermline; and first boy Chris Russell from Glenrothes.