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The demise of the athletics programme at Rothesay is noted below in the article on Bute Highland Games, but the loss at Cowal is even greater, if that is possible.   One of the real favourite meetings of athletes now has no athletics at all.   There is an addition to the page on the Cowal Games with a link to the programme for the 1971 meeting, results too.   Go   here .

Once very popular, Bute Highland Games does not have a proper athletics programme any more.   It is a bit of a loss on the circuit – at one time it had Scottish native and all-comers records set by athletes in a range of disciplines.   Scottish, Irish and British internationalists ran there.   We have a short profile of the meeting at this link.

Colin Youngson has written an account of the short lived (but really missed in the area) Motherwell Marathon.   Lots of good runners raced there – Tony Bird (Wellpark), David Fairweather ‘owned’ the vets race, Donald Ritchie raced there too – and you can read about it   here   .

We have done a count of the number of visits to the website and have listed the top most-visited sites over the past 12 months.   The link is   here  and there are the top ten individuals whatever their distance, be it the mile or the marathon, the top events as visited in the course of the year as well as the most visited sections.    The most viewed profiles might surprise you – the second name will certainly be one such!    We also have a page of the ‘most viewed’ runners over 1500m/ Mile, 5000/10000 and steeplechase which is  here .    These are not merit rankings – they are an indication which pages are proving most popular to those who visit the website.

Donald Ritchie was winner of five of the first six Moray Marathons – the longest running marathon in the country.   Read about it by clicking on the link. 

You really MUST see this video of a truly remarkable man – Lachie talking about his operation, his prosthetic in a video clip that will give hope and heart to many people in a similar situation.   Click on   

   https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/53898182

Whither the marathon?   We all know just how successful the marathon event was for Scotland in the 1970’s.  It started with the Empire & Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970 with the above trio of Fergus Murray, Jim Alder and Donald Macgregor representing the country so well.   It went on with hugely increasing numbers competing in the event in marathon races all over the country from the North to the Borders and from Argyll to Fife.   The amount of talent that was discovered was immense – is the same amount of hidden talent still there unsuspected in the Scottish population in the 21st century?   In 1975 there were 20 Scots under 2:30 with six under 2:20; by 1982 the figures were 51 and 9 with another 4 on 2:20.   In 2017 there were nine and three, in 2010 there were eight and two.   In recent years the figures have improved somewhat but although they are on an upward roll, there is no sign of a return to the 1970s or 80’s.    

 On the grounds that anybody can do something about anything, no matter how little, we have decided to investigate the situation.   Neither Colin nor I is really up to date with our knowledge of the event so we seek help.   There is a new set of four pages on the marathon and road running generally.   It looks back at the scene in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, asks why it was so successful and the looks at the changes that have taken place followed by a look forward.   The pages start with this one, other links from the foot of the page.   If you have any thoughts on the matter, no matter how short or how long, could you contact either of us?

We all know what the British Milers Club News Magazine looks like nowadays – a shiny magazine packed with articles, statistics and photographs that it is a joy to hold and read.   It was not always like that though.   In the beginning it was a simple collection of roneo-ed sheets stapled together and sent out free to BMC members.   It had the seeds of what it would become though.   We have the covers of the first 11 magazines with a note of their contents  here   and issues 12 to 29 are  at this link   .   The link to the complete magazines is at the top of that page.   The intention is to track the development of this superb publication from its humble beginnings to the present.   Cover pictures only for the 1980’s are   at  this  link  , those of the 1990’s are  here ,  2000-2009 can be found here  and finally 2010 to date are here .   

There are a few weel kent faces in the picture above – one of several University teams added to the page of club group photographs  on the club groups page.   Just click on this link

Alistair Douglas of Victoria Park AAC was related to George McCrae who was a postman from Banknock who was one of the best distance runners of  his time – he was running at the time of the First World War and the 1920’s and  he held the title of World Professional 10 Mile champion.    His career is covered in an extract from ‘Powderhall & Pedestrians’ in Part Three of this wonderful historical book.   We are now two thirds of the way through Part Four and you can use this quick link for a chapter about Fred Lumley. Although about Powderhall, the content ranges far beyond the historic stadium and covers all the major developments during its lifetime.  

‘Powderhall & Professionalism’ is one of the most important books to be produced on professional athletics but it is more than that – everything that went on at Powderhall Stadium is included.   Published in 1943 it is still regarded as a very important document.   We are fortunate t have been given a copy and it will be reproduced over the coming weeks.   We have now passed the midway point and the story is of the time when Fred Lumley was in charge.   See The Professionals  pages.     

On all these pages, the link bar is atthe bottom. 

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