by Arthur Smith ...
David Cummings was born in Bridge
if Weir in 1894 and shortly after, his family moved to Kilbarchan, where
he stayed in New Street and attended the local primary School. He was
always keen on running and joined Paisley Harriers. He later joined
Glenpark Harriers and Maryhill Harriers.
David won representative honours
for Scotland at Cross Country and was also a Great Britain
International. and in 1924 was selected for Great Britain to compete at
the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, in the Steeplechase, where he won a
team Bronze medal. It is also recorded that he competed in the 1920
Amsterdam Olympic Games, in the 10000m.
Also in 1924, David was involved
in the formation of Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club. After the 2nd
World War, the club disbanded in 1955, was resurrected briefly from 1963
to 65 and when some local residents got together to reform the club in
1974, David was again involved and was elected Honorary President, a
position he retained until he died in 1986, in his 92nd year.
David presented the Club with the
David Cummings Trophy and also the George Cummings Trophy in memory of
his brother who died in the first World War. George was also a Scottish
International Cross Country runner.
With Davidís approval, the Club
decided to use the David Cummings Trophy for annual competition and it
was agreed that the event should be a 7mile handicap chase, to be run in
the Spring, around the hilly figure of eight course which is still in
This was all decided in 1977 and
in fact the first running of the race took place in September in order
that the Trophy could be formally presented at the Clubís AGM and Award
Presentations later in the month. The original proposal was to start and
finish at the Park fountain but in fact s&f was at the Park Gate
directly up from the Fountain.
Starting at the Park gate, the
trail went down New St, over the Cross, down Church St, turning right,
up the Dampton Brae, to the Crossroads which was about 1.8miles.
Continuing along the twisting, undulating road to Clochoderick Stone
(2.6ml), turning left and left again toward Howwood, left again up
Crossflats hill (lone tree on the right marks the halfway point), back
up to the Crossroads at just over 4 miles, across and continuing up past
Meikle Burntshields Farm, down the Big Dipper and up to Lawmarnock Farm
with just under 2 miles to go. Turning right and down the Law Brae,
past the Gas Station with just over a mile to go, turning right into
Shuttle Street, down to the Cross and sharp left back up New St to the
Finish at the last post at the Park gate.
11 runners took part in that first
race on 21st September 1977 with 17 year old Alan Holmes who
stayed in Kilbarchan, the first winner.
Arthur Smith 51.46/43.16,
Norman Howitt 52.26/52.26,
Jimmy Gibson 52.39/50.09,
Gerry Fairley 52.49/39.49
Myles Rafferty 52.54/46.54;
Robert Barr 54.16/53.16,
The race has
been run every year since and in the 31 years so far, around 150 runners
have taken on the challenge of this arduous circuit. In these 31 years,
Robert Barr has won twice, in 1979 and 1996 and Dougie Biggart also
twice, consecutively in 2003 and 2004. Robert has also the distinction
of the most number of appearances, no fewer than 29 times, only missing
2000 and 2003. Arthur Smith has run 20 times (won 89), Jimmy Gibson (won
92) and Sandy Ross (won 83), both 16 times. For the Ladies, Margaret
Moore has taken part 8 times (won 90). Only 5 ladies have won the
Trophy, the last, Shona Allan in 1995.
SENIOR MEN Robert Quinn 35.10 1988
U20 Robert Hawkins 37.56 1982
o40 Gerry Fairley 37.06 1996
o50 Jim McMillan 42.25 1996
o60 Jim McMillan 46.37 2004
SENIOR WOMEN Eileen Masson 42.19 1991
U20 Susan Crawford 44.28 1982
o35 Eileen Masson 47.27 1996
o45 Jane Murray 52.11 1994
Margaret Moore 54.05 1991