Selkirk runner Keen races off with top sprint prize at Burntisland Games

A close finish in the sprint race
A close finish in the sprint race

Burntisland Links was bathed in glorious sunshine for the 362nd celebration of the town’s annual Highland Games.

The biggest prize of the day was the £250 which was up for grabs for the winner of the 90 metres handicap which was won by Geoff Keen, Selkirk[12m] who was following up his win in the 110m handicap from 48 hours earlier at the St Ronans Borders Games.

Keen broke the tape in 9.60s to hold off Lewis Hunter, Pitreavie AC[10M] and John Hilditch, Australia [13m], Nick Mitchell Ewan Dyer and Sarah Ross.

It was roles reversed for the first two in the final of the 200 metres with Hunter [19m] negotiating the notorious Burntisland hairpin bend the better as he strode to victory in 22.81s with Keen [17m] runner up and John Lowis, Kirkcaldy [18m] third.

There was a thrilling finish to the 800 metres with Hawick duo Stewart Fraser [55m] and Jordan Taylor [75m] flashing over the winning line in unison.

Both were given the same time of 1m 57.79s and under former SGA rules the two runners could have been asked to run again as the old rules stated ‘all dead-heats must be run off’.

Fortunately for the runners that is no longer the case.

The 1600 metres was won in fine style by John Thomson, Glenrothes [195m], the Fife veteran was following up his win from 12 months ago as stopped the watch at 4 minutes 24.98s.

Front marker Alistair Laurie, Selkirk [370m] finished runner up with backmarker Matthew Turner, Shettleston [40m] in third.

One of the performances of the day came from Rory Muir in the 3200 metres handicap.

The Dundee Hawkhill Harrier strode through majestically from the backmark of 125m to win in 10m 06.82s.

There was a sprint finish for the runner up spot with the younger legs of Jason McIntosh, Kelso[200m] denying fellow Borderer Dean Whiteford, Innerleithen[230m].

There was an Australian 1 - 2 in Veterans Invitation 90m with Sonya Pollard [17m] coming home ahead of her fellow compatriot John Hilditch [4m] in 10.79s with Geoff Keen[2m] in third.

Running from the backmark Ewan Dyer[6.5m] raced to victory in the 90m Invitation race, Mhairi Henderson, TLJT[21m] finished second just ahead of Glen Murray, Cairneyhill[10.5m].

The local Binn Race saw Ben Potrykus retain his title in a time of 24 minutes 59 seconds, Jim Stevenson and John Christensen followed him home in second and third.

All six runners in the final of the Youth’s 90 metres were athletes who had mede the trip up to Fife from the Borders.

Victory went to Caris Brus, Gala [23m] in 9.62s.

Angus Bryce[39m] went one place better with victory in the youth 200 metres with Jake Houten[46m] again runner up with Eve Huxley, Pitreavie AC [14m] in third.

Sean Bates,Tullibody [235m], who currently leads the SHGA points league for events over 400 metres, put more points on the board with victory in the youth 800 metres after getting the better of Adam Canavan, Bannockburn[235m].

Conditions were ideal for the cyclists as they whizzed around the fast Links terrain thrilling the crowds in the process.

The four races produced three different winners; James Melville, Dumbarton took the opening 1600 metres, Dougie Shaw, Edinburgh the 4800 metres with backmarker Craig Hardie doing the 3200m and Deil tak the Hindmost double.

There was an international field of four competitors in the heavy events Heisi Geirmundsson (Iceland) Sebastien Huys (Netherlands) and brothers Sebastien and Lukasz Wenta (Poland).

It was the brothers who dominated with Sebastien winning the 16lb shot putt, 28lb weight for distance, 22lb hammer and 56LB weight for distance and sharing first with Lukasz in the 56 for height and caber.