The City of Edinburgh Running Festival celebrated its second anniversary on Friday evening.
And what a capital occasion it turned out to be – this recent addition to the open athletics calendar was an excellent affair.
Apart from being run like clockwork, there was some tip-top running and exciting racing conjured up on the Meggetland track itself.
Flying Fifer Cumbie Bowers of Glenrothes in particular hit the fast lane, producing the goods to the full by winning the main event on the card – the 110m – which had a first prize of £3,000.
Coached by Jimmy Beattie, Bowers showed he had something special to offer in his heat when breezing home in positive style from his 9m mark. Bowers then clocked up a winning time of 11.50 seconds in his cross-tie.
This victory earned him a final place along with Kelso Games double winner Amy Clancy of Peebles (20m), Craig Grieve of TLJT (6.5m), Leigh Marshall of Hawick (6m), Kieran Reilly of Edinburgh (8m) and Ewan Dyer of Pitreavie (6.5m).
The stopwatch pointed to a Bowers win and a Bowers win it turned out to be.
After getting off to a great start, he showed why he was odds-on betting favourite with a top-notch run that saw him break the tape in 11.54 seconds. Reilly emerged second, while Grieve and Marshall dead heated for third place.
The New Year sprint victor of 2006, Bowers said of his Meggetland triumph: “I have been bothered with a leg injury since the start of the season and was a bit concerned about this.
“After winning my heat I felt more comfortable, though. As I had won my heat in a good time I thought I could go all the way and grew more in confidence when winning my cross-tie.
“I knew I would have to really go in the final to catch Amy Clancy and I had to work really hard for it.
“I managed, though, and it’s brilliant to have pulled off the win.”
Jamie Doris (50m), Edinburgh’s own, gained the honours in the 800m handicap, which had a winning purse of £1,000.
He looked the part when winning his heat and even more so in the final.
Claire Sloan of Corstorphine (175m) was out in front as the bell sounded for the last lap, with Doris and Jason McIntosh of Kelso (60m) in hot pursuit.
Both Doris and McIntosh then moved up a gear to overtake the race leader.
From here on, Doris took charge and went on to win well. McIntosh was placed second and Nathan Cox of Morpeth Harriers (30m) third.
Craig Southerby of Seaton (28m) triumphed in the 200m. After winning his heat well, Southerby edged out Kelso pair David McKay (36m) and Fraser Neil (26m) in a thrilling final.
Lake District man Southerby said of matters: “It took me three hours to get to Edinburgh and it was a long trek. However, it won’t seem as long going back after having won the 200m.”
Rebecca Burns of Pitreavie (270m) showed the field a clear pair of heels to take the 1,600m.
Wins for ladies in senior distance races on the game circuit do not occur often. However, Burns changed the ebb of the tide in sailing to a really fine win.
Showing purpose in every stride, Burns won from Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot (190m) and John Thomson of Coaltown (200m) in 4 minutes and 12.07 seconds.
Border youngsters featured highly in the youths’ events throughout the evening.
Nine-year-old Charlie Rae of Hawick (61m) emerged a real surprise package, doing the business in the youths’ 200m handicap B race. First season campaigner Rae held off strong challenges from the back.
Cameron Clamp of TLJT (24m) gave an excellent account of himself by repeating his win in the same event last year – the youths’ 200m A race.
In the youths’ 1,600m handicap, Matt Dougall of TLJT (240m) emerged an impressive winner, while Moorfoots’ Ailsa Innes (185m) took the youths’ 800m handicap.
In-form Peebles youngster Samantha Turnbull (20m) chalked up her third win of the season when winning the final of the youths’ 90m A race with Lasswade’s Katy Martin (23m) winning the equivalent B section.
Jasmin Tomlinson of TLJT buzzed to victory in the ladies’ invitation handicap.
Hearts emerged the winners of the Sandy Jardine Memorial Football/Rugby Players 300m race. The Hearts representative was Alistair Roy.