Rain fails to dampen spirits as supporters turn out for Kirkcaldy’s fifth Beach Highland Games

Runners taking part in events on the sands at the 2019 Kirkcaldy Beach Highland Games. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.
Runners taking part in events on the sands at the 2019 Kirkcaldy Beach Highland Games. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.

Locals, spectators and competitors headed down to the waterfront in Kirkcaldy on Saturday to enjoy the fifth Beach Highland Games.

They turned out to show their support for the annual event, despite the warnings forecasted for wet weather.

Cyclists competing at Saturday's beach games in Kirkcaldy. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.

Cyclists competing at Saturday's beach games in Kirkcaldy. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.

However, due to the threat of heavy rain the Highland dancers were moved indoors to The Mercat - a move which proved popular with townsfolk who took time off from visiting the shops to enjoy the performances.

Organised by the town’s business improvement district company Kirkcaldy4All, Kirkcaldy Beach Highland Games claims to be the only beach Highland games in Europe.

It kicked off after 10am with a parade along the waterfront led by Leven and District Pipe Band before the event was officially opened by Fife Provost Jim Leishman.

Cyclists and runners competed on the sands at the Esplanade, where the children’s races were also held.

Due to the heavy rain forecasted, the Highland dancers were moved indoors to the Mercat Shopping Centre. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.

Due to the heavy rain forecasted, the Highland dancers were moved indoors to the Mercat Shopping Centre. Pic credit- WALTER NEILSON.

And members of the public joined in to have a go at some of the strong man challenges following an absence of competitors for the heavy events.

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Fortunately the rain stayed away until the end of the games and organisers said they were pleased with how the event went.

Christine May, of Kirkcaldy4All, said: “We were absolutely delighted and thrilled with how the event went on Saturday.

“I have to confess that the night before, given the forecast we were all very worried and we did lose some sleep, but thankfully we had a largely dry day.

“We took the decision to move the dancers indoors on the Friday and although the rain stayed off for most of the day, we still think that was the right decision.

“We had the bulk of the day in the dry until about 12.30pm when the heavens opened but our intrepid athletes continued running and biking on the beach.”

She said while the lack of competitors for the heavy events was disappointing this year, organisers were impressed that townsfolk stepped up to have a go themselves.

Christine continued: “The dancers in the Mercat were an enormous crowd puller and the units in the centre were packed with spectators watching some extremely talented dancers. The local scouts were also fantastic - they took part in the parade and stayed on to help litter pick for us throughout the day.”

She added: “You are always at the mercy of the weather - you can’t always legislate for that. You have to plan and make alternative arrangements incase of heavy rain and normally we would have an alternative date to hold the games but that just wasn’t possible this year due to the lack of suitable tide times and you also don’t want to clash with other Highland Games events.

“But despite the forecast, we were really pleased with the turnout of entrants, competitors, the crowd and the people who came along on the day to support us.”