Back to Bowhill for the Highland Games
Aside from the Argyllshire Games in Oban last month, they were the only games to have taken place anywhere in Scotland in the past two summers.
After the flowers were laid at the war memorial and cemetery, the Chieftain Parade, led by the groups from Lochgelly HS and Burntisland & District, proceeded to Wallsgreen Park where an afternoon of running ensued. , cycling, heavy events and Highland dancing. .
There was also a full program of fun races for the kids as well as their parents while halfway through, solo flute player Greig Canning paid tribute to conductor John Gilfillan.
When the action on the track started the first event was the 800 meter cycle handicap, for hungry budding track bikers it was their first event in two years due to all games being canceled due to the Covid pandemic.
The victory went to Craig Hamilton (Edinburgh) who came home ahead of Paul Anderson (Perth) and Paul Gallacher (Kirkcaldy).
The latter then triumphed in the 1600 and 3200 handicap meters before Hamilton won the final, the Deil took the Hindmost.
There was quality competition in the running events, two-time New Year’s sprint winner Greg Kelly (East Kilbride AC) was the scr man in the 70-meter handicap.
He qualified for the final but narrowly missed the podium with the victory of the impressive Douglas Young (Kelso) who dominated Kieran Kivlin (Lasswade AC) and Scott Tindle (TLJT) in 7.31 of the 1.5 meter mark .
Young achieved a double in the sprint by winning the 70 meter all scr invitational event with Kelly and Kivlin filling the minor places.
There was an exciting end to the Open 200m Handicap with Jacob Aubrey making the long trip north of Kendal fruitful as he stood up in the shadow of the winning post to turn down double New Years 90m winner Nina Cessford (TLJT) , with the fast finishing Greg Kelly in third.
In the Open 400 meters, Rory McDonald (TLJT) produced one of his best performances of all time to clinch the worst ahead of Natasha Turnbull Stirling United who edged veteran Selkirk Colin Bruce for second place.
However, the veterans were at the forefront in the handicaps of the 800 meters and 1600 meters.
Eternal Donald Bradley (Inverness) took out Jacob Aubrey and Rory McDonald’s 800 while in the 1600 Juhn Thomson (Glenrothes) knocked down longtime leader Angela Bell (Forfar) with 100 yards to go for the victory.
Bell held on for third place, while counter-scorer Sam Aitken (Edinburgh AC) grabbed third place.
There was a Borders 1-2 in the 3200 meters with Tam McCaskill (Hawick) who put in a polite performance to come home with a clear winner from Dean Whiteford (Innerleithen) with Angela Bell again on the podium in third square.
There was female dominance in the youth events winning all four races. Within 70 meters.
Tess Renwick (TLJT) withstood the latest challenges from Daniel Lawson (Kelso) and Evie Renwick (TLJT).
There were some notable successes in the youth 200 and 400 meters with nine-year-old Evie Leonard (Kelso) scoring a brace.
In the 200, she came back home comfortably ahead of the chase platoon led by Lewis Fleming (Kelso) and Ava Lewis (TLJT).
Although she raced from a reduced start in the Youth 400, she was not to be caught and touched the line ahead of Evie Renwick and Rachel Barrett (Dunfermline Track & Field Club).
The latter achieved the youth performance of the day with an impressive run to win the Youth 800 meters with Harry and Mattie Fleming taking minor honors.
In the middle of the field, the trio of Kyle Randalls, Craig Winslow and Stuart Anderson entertained the crowds with competitions of Shot Putt, Weight for Distance and Tossing the Caber.
Outside the main arena, Fiona Gallagher’s Highland dancers kept the crowds entertained throughout the afternoon.
It may be 69 years since the previous Bowhill Games, but the competitors, officials, spectators and traders were all happy to pick up on what they love to do.