THE photographs in this week's trip down West Fife's Memory Lane are from the Press archives and feature what was at one time one of the biggest events in Dunfermline's sporting calendar, the Dunfermline Half Marathon. The event started in 1985 under the then Dunfermline District Council and attracted more than 3,000 runners in its early days.

The first photograph shows the runners making their way up Dunfermline High Street from the starting point in Pittencrieff Park in 1990. The event later had a three-year gap before being revived in 2002 by sports management events firm Interloq.

The next photograph shows the Member of Parliament for Dunfermline, Dick Douglas, who took part in the 1994 event. Mr Douglas represented Dunfermline initially for the Labour Party from 1979 until 1992, during which time he defected to the Scottish National Party. As well as following a political career, he was also a keen marathon runner from his youth until late in his life, and once ran from his Dunfermline constituency all the way to Buckingham Palace in a demonstration against the Poll Tax.

The next photograph shows Dunfermline runner Trudi Thomson competing in, and winning, the 1996 women's half marathon. Trudi represented Scotland and Great Britain on many occasions, travelling all over Europe and further afield to such places as South Africa, Beirut, Las Vegas, New York, India, Japan and North Korea.

Tragedy struck the event in 1989 when a promising and popular young player with Dunfermline Athletic, 22-year-old Gary Riddell, collapsed and died during the race. He had been taking part to raise money for the families of victims of the Hillsborough Disaster that had happened earlier that year. At a later commemorative event, Jim Leishman paid tribute to Gary: "Gary personally took on the mantle of raising money for victims' families who had recently suffered such tragic losses. Gary held down a regular starting place in the team alongside Norrie McCathie and was an integral part of the side and part of the team that won the First Division Championship for the first time in Dunfermline Athletic's history. We'll never know how much more he would have inevitably gone on to achieve in his chosen sport."

The final photograph gives a good impression of just how popular the event was, showing the sea of runners setting off in 1994 in Pittencrieff Park.

The half marathon continued until 2011 when it succumbed to the pressure of ever-rising costs. More photographs like these can be seen in Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries (an appointment to do so has to be made at present due to COVID restrictions), and also at 'Old Dunfermline' DVDs are available online from