151st Famous Alva Games

Saturday 14th July 2007

After the huge success of the 150th Games it would have been difficult to have achieved a similar atmosphere in the Johnstone Park on 14th July. But that is precisely what the Committee managed – and with great aplomb. Apart from a little shower just as Guest of Honour, Willie Murray, prepared to make his opening speech, the weather was set fair for a magnificent day under the shadow of Torry which itself saw some great races later in the day.

A truly international field of competitors attended once again proving that Alva possesses a draw virtually unrivalled on the Games circuit. A group of travelling Australian runners (male and female) accompanied by their trainer John Henry, diverted from their intended meeting at Jedburgh and illuminated the sprint events with their magnificent efforts in the sprint races. A special invitation race was put up exclusively for them and sashes were presented to each of them as a memento of their visit. (See photo on the gallery) Ken Telfer walked off to New South Wales with the £400 first prize in the 90 metres and Victorian Athletic League runner, Craig Brown did the honours in the Open Invitation Sprint, having fallen just short of the line in his heat of the Open 90 metres and failing to qualify for the final. Matthew Callard, a finalist in the Stawell Gift at Easter 2006, got a hard won place in the 400 metres.

Craig Robertson (Pitreavie AC) got a fantastic double in the 400 (undoubtedly his favourite distance) and 800 metres, in the latter race having to run off a “minus” mark!! Borderer Wayne McIntosh made the 180 mile round trip worth the while taking victory in a gruelling two mile handicap while local runner Michael Wright (Central AC) did the honours in the mile.

Jimmy Bryce’s DWF Club reigned supreme (again!!) in the youth events and the Committee owe a huge debt of gratitude to the former resident of Alva for his annual support of the games. Douglas Paul from this club was awarded the James Hunter memorial trophy as Young Athlete of the Day after his performances on the track, keeping it “in house” as fellow DWF man, Owen Miller, took that prize at the 150th games. Owen was not to de outdone totally however as he earned a gallant victory in the youths 1600 metres.

Youth Athlete of the Day, Douglas Paul, DWF AC

No Evan Oliphant meant that there would be a new name on the Scottish 3200 metres cycle championship trophy and that fell to Neil Withington who had travelled up from Carlisle to snatch the prize from the large field of quality cyclists. Fellow Englishman Darren Howitt, now a resident of Glenrothes, took the Deil while fellow Fifer, Brendan Roe from Valleyfield won the two handicap races on offer. Youth cycling turned up with a vengeance and great races were witnessed by the enthusiastic crowd with the girls outdoing the boys in the overall positions.

American Sean Betz was the overall winner in the heavyweight events, taking all of the prizes except the caber, where the competition came to an abrupt and unexpected end when it snapped in two after a toss from Glasgow man Willie Falconer. Heavy wieght field assistant Duncan Shand officially pronounced the caber "dead" after it landed on the field!

The hill races produced some magnificent spectacle with the overall BOFRA winners for the season at Under 12 (James Knox) Under 17 (James Mountain) and seniors (Alistair Dunn) all winning their respective events at Alva. In the under 14 category there was a rare upset for the eventual under 14 champion, Sam Till, who finished in second place to Rory Addison. Under 12 girls’ champion Lorna Jo Nunwick also took the title at Alva proving that the best of the BOFRA runners make their way north of the border even if some of them were literally washed out of their camp site the night before. That won’t put them off for 2008, we are sure.

Dancers from around the globe stepped up to the boards for our highland dancing contest but it was, in the main, the home grown talent who took the prizes with Craig Johnston and Angela Ramsay of Forfar taking joint top spot in the Adult contest.

Once again the attractions of the fun fair pulled in the crowds from the Wednesday evening and the finals of the football returned to the arena on the Thursday swelling the numbers in the Johnstone Park and bringing back the memories of football contests of yesteryear. 

The children’s races were hard fought (see the picture) with one young man winning for the second year in succession. Will he make it 3 in a row in 2008? Come along and find out!!

Winner of the Boys' race for 5 to 7 year olds sprinting to victory.