As part of the track and field events, held at all Highland Games, the 90m handicap remains one of the most coveted events to win, for competing athletes. The fast paced sprint has been prominent throughout the games history. Competitors can face handicaps, based on their performance, which levels out the playing field for those of lesser ability or athleticism, making the race a really fierce competition. The distance being run could well be over 100m, and at flat out speed.
There are so many things to hear in this recording, other than the obvious commentator, including pipers warming up in the distance, the nearby fairground, children enquiring to their parents as to the sound of a bell, police radio chatter, the very loud starter pistol, and a whole host of other sounds, which you would never hear at the time. Only through the recordings can you fully take in what is going on around you. It even sounds like there were “two new stands” at the games in 2018.
Imagine the scene: Colourful pipe bands, elegant highland dancers, huge strongmen tossing the caber, and a multitude of other events, stalls and entertainments,spread out in a picturesque and historic setting.
Bridge of Allan Highland Games, (also known as the Strathallan Meeting ), has held a central place in traditional Scottish sport for 167 years. Prior to 2018, its origin can be found in the sports gatherings of ordinary country folk, when the Lairds met to play ‘Tilting at the ring’, under a charter granted by James I in 1453. A link to the old Wappenschaws (a kind of medieval ‘Home Guard’), where every grown man had to show his weapons in good order, define clearly that by the early 19th century competitive sports were taking place at Bridge of Allan on a regular basis. William Litt, of Cumbria, referenced in 1823:
“The famous old school of wrestlers in Strathallan, Stirlingshire”
Bridge of Allan is one of Scotland’s premier Highland Games, attracting crowds of between 8,000 and 10,000 people. The games field, Strathallan Games Park, nestles between Stirling Castle, Scotland’s grandest historic attraction, the beautiful Ochil Hills, and the National Wallace Monument. The games themselves offer a packed events programme of traditional cultural and sporting events. Crowd-pleasing heavyweight competitions, almost two hundred highland dancers and more than a thousand pipers, making the highlights of the day.most