Gift is looking good for Borders athletes

BORDERS athletes are sizing up the competition in one of Scotland’s most prestigious events after Monday night’s heat draw for the 2013 Pitreavie Gift festival.

About 200 runners will take part in the second staging of the event, on Sunday, January 27, a showcase of talent in an open competition for all ages and abilities.

Designed by Lochgelly-based Don Campbell, Scotland’s foremost handicapper, the unique format ensures that serious competitors and social athletes alike are evenly placed for a thrilling day of close finishes and compelling sport.

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust will again host the event at its superb facility in Dunfermline.

The heat draw determined the running order for all competitors in the main 100m Gift sprint. In a star-studded field defending champion Darrin Scott from TLJT will face stiff competition from Edinburgh-based Gambian national sprint champion Morro Bajo and last year’s 200m champion, Dunfermline favourite Gemma Nicol, a three-times Commonwealth Games athlete bidding for selection to represent Scotland again at Glasgow 2014. Scott’s accomplished 70-year old clubmate, John Steede, is also in the mix with 28 other Borders sprint hopefuls.

A varied mixture of adult and youth events complete the Pitreavie race-card.

Pitreavie Gift chairman, Ron Sutherland, from Innerleithen, said: “Last’s year’s inaugural event was a great success – from the proverbial standing start! We had a tremendous response from runners keen to maintain a competitive edge outwith 
the traditional athletics season.

“This week’s heat draw has ensured another exciting day of competition – I would urge local people to come to the stadium for a great family day out. Thrilling close-run races are guaranteed thanks to the handicap system.”

See for more information, including “Gift” sprint handicaps and heats, plus details of all the programme of races.