Margaret, the oldest baton bearer in South Ayrshire, was one of the founding members of Troon Tortoises in 1976, a club formed to foster and train running enthusiasts to a very high competition standard. She has coached young and old, especially women, from 10-mile races to marathons. Margaret has run for the Scottish Veterans, been their Captain and held the Scottish 1500m record for 50 plus Veteran Women.
There was a feel-good Friday Feeling in the air as the Queen’s Baton relay rolled through South Ayrshire’s market towns, rural villlages and long beaches on the seventh day of the domestic relay. On the baton’s coastal path today were the towns and villages of Maybole, Mossblown, Dundonald and Troon to name but a few.
The day kicked off on the mouth of the River Stinchar in Ballantrae before the relay team paid homage to iconic Scots poet, Robert Burns, in Alloway before finishing in Ayr for a night of festivity.The seaside county has a real link to the Queen’s Baton. The granite gemstones that adorn the top of the baton were carved from South Ayrshire’s solitary island Aisla Craig. The island situated in the Firth of Clyde is renowned for its unique type of granite and the atoll’s contribution to the Queen’s Baton is a source of local pride.
The remarkable scenery was matched by some remarkable batonbearers. Peter Smith, a former Scottish National Champion and record holder on 3m Spring Board Diving (1989) competed at two Commonwealth Games; Edinburgh 1986 and Auckland 1990. The record-breaking Scot beamed as he was greeted with cheers from the crowd in Symington.
Following Peter was the inspirational Margaret Robertson, the oldest baton bearer in South Ayrshire, was one of the founding members of Troon Tortoises in 1976, a club formed to foster and train running enthusiasts to a very high competition standard. Seemingly with an endless reserve of energy, Margaret has run for the Scottish Veterans, been their captain and held the Scottish 1500m record for 50 plus Veteran Women.
Grant Young capped the end of a great day by carrying the baton into Ayr. Grant has dedicated much of his time to raising funds for charity and encouraging physical activity through Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club. As committee member at Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club, Grant has undertaken the role of race organiser, encouraging young Ayrshire triathletes to strive for national selection. Fitness fanatic, Grant completed a solo cross-Europe cycle ride raising funds for Ayrshire Hospice.
As the sun set on South Ayrshire the baton reached the green fields of Ayr’s Low Park. A mass of Commonwealth flags lined the batons final run of the day as it entered the park and the Ayrshire locals turned out in force to close a fantastic day.