All roads lead to Thornton for Memorial Park’s games

Thornton Games will again bring together some of the area's leading athletes.
Thornton Games will again bring together some of the area's leading athletes.

The Highland Games circuit in Fife continues this Saturday with the 166th celebration of the Thornton Highland Gathering in the town’s Memorial Park.

A full programme of events is lined up including a pipe band contest, running, cycling, heavy events Highland dancing and solo piping.

Good entries have been received for the track events in which the open competitors will have races over 90m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m and 3200m, all handicaps.

The youth athletes are also well catered for and will contest events over 90m, 200m, 800m and 1600m.

The open cyclists have four races, 1600m, 3200m, 4800m and Deil tak the Hindmost with the youth bikers having an 800m and 1600m.

The heavy events are always popular with he crowds and the strongmen will do battle in seven disciplines, 16lb and 22lb shot put, 16lb and 22lb hammer, 28lb weight for distance, 56lb weight over the bar and caber.

As ever there will be a big entry for the Highland dancing with age categories ranging from five year olds to adults.

Outwith the main arena there will be a licensed tent, fairground, trade stalls and static displays.

Children’s fun races will take place midway through proceedings.

Highland Dancing commences at noon with the track and field events at 12.30pm.

• Half a century ago a young athlete from Leslie decided to give the Highland games circuit a bash.

1969 was the year, the name John Thomson.

John first appeared on a games day programme at Ceres’s Boys Marathon.

Turn the clock forward 50 years to 2019 and that name once again appeared on the Ceres programme.

Thomson, now an over-60 vet and living in Glenrothes, would never have envisaged all those years ago that he would still be turning out on the games circuit - and winning.

On Saturday Thomson raced to his third success of the season following wins at the Games at Markinch and Selkirk.

On Saturday at Ceres John triumphant in the longest race run on the Bow Butts the 15 laps of the 3000 metres handicap.

Since starting out all those years ago John has now won in the region of 150 races on the games circuit.