Thornton Highland Games

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Yes, it’s official. I am hooked on Highland Games. Today I went to Thornton where my aunt used to live. I’m sure I must have been to their Highland Games when I was a kid but I don’t remember. There was the usual – dancing, running, cycling, pipe bands, heavyweight events – plus some vintage tractors. I was a bit disappointed when they just did a round of the arena – I was expecting them to race.

Anyway, there were some very conveniently placed benches so I settled down by the heavyweight events. First was the Scottish Hammer Throw – a 16 pound steel ball on a cane handle. Throwers need to use resin on their hands for a better grip and get 3 attempts. Then came the Caber Tossing. The caber can be any length between 13′ and 17′ and must weigh between 70-120 pounds. It’s judged on an imaginary clockface. Contestants throw the caber from 6 o’clock and ideally it flips over and lands facing 12 o’clock, anywhere in between receives less marks. The scary bit is when they lift it up and try to balance before running forward to throw it I felt we were sitting rather close! Finally came the Weight for Height which is a heavy weight which must be thrown backwards over a high jump bar which keeps going up. Several times the weight fell on the bar snapping it in two. They made it look easy but I bet it isn’t! Only three contestants and all Scottish. Sorry, not sure who won but I think the chap with Nelly on his belt.

Despite being such strong men, I noticed that they still used bags on wheels for their luggage. Sweet. But all that throwing must be tiring.

As I left the dancing was still going on ……………..

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~ by marysia on 19 July 2010.

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