2015 Arisaig Highland Games: Race Report

TBH youngster Leodhais MacPherson recently reached an important landmark in his young life… beating his dad in a race for the first time. Take it away Leodhais.


The Arisaig Highland Games have been held annually for years and years, they always take place on the last Wednesday of July.

We drove up on the Tuesday, not knowing whether to do a session or compete at the games! Last minute we decided to compete at the games, athletics kit all packed. We entered the arena. Arriving could not believe how many people were there, as it was also the clan MacDonald’s gathering.
We sat down in our portable chairs waiting for the race to start. My dad could not sit still, nerves were starting to kick in! The track  was approx 200 metres and was undulating with crowds of eager tourists thronging the sides trying to watch events. Heavyweight events to place within the track whilst pipers and dancers showed their skills nearby. This made for a gladiator style arena and my Dad was feeling the pressure.
Then the mile race was announced ” would competitors go to the start line!” I could see the whites of his eyes as he always told me you didn’t know who who would turn up at these events.
Leodhais (when he was still a wee boy)

Leodhais (when he was a wee lad)

My plan was to to out hard and try and shake the old man off. We stood like clansmen at the start line. The gun went off, the crowds cheered, the heavyweights stopped and the pipers cheered us on. I was approx 10 feet ahead of him and a couple of inexperienced runners went away like they were doing 100 metres but they soon died. 800 metres gone and I could feel the old fox breathing behind me. He was tracking my every move! I took a quick glance behind me only to see the huge highlander flying towards me with flailing limbs! I was hoping he would take me so I could bide my time sheltering from the wind. Shadowing his every move. 600m to go he took me on a tight corner, nudging me. The crowd gasped, he thought he had me, he thought I was slowing. However I only thrived on his dirty tactics, 200m to go I took him on the downhill part of the track! With a surge or pace I was making a move for home! 40m I could feel his breath on my shoulder! His long gargantuan stride becoming level with mine! Keep working, keep working, I thought to myself.

He was pushing me all the way. I had given everything and I could feel him coming at me again. We crossed the line with little between us but most importantly I squeezed past to win. My first time winning and it was in front of a 1000 people in his home turf. The whole village is talking about it. Wee Mac came out on top…

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