A total of 69 different people got their hands on the Commonwealth baton in Dundee on Friday and one of them only just made it.
Paul Gibson, from Ardler, who works at NCR and is a youth football coach, started the morning in New York making his way back from work in America.
He said: “I just arrived back home at 11 am.
“I was in Atlanta last night then missed a flight in Newark, but I pleaded to get on another one so I could be back in time.
“It’s great to be involved, It was definitely worth it.”
As crowds of cheering children lined the road waving flags at Camperdown Park, Paul was handed the baton by Erik Cram, who was nominated by the Dundee Pensioners Forum. Erik said: “I was always keen on sport, but because I had polio as a child I couldn’t play, so it is great to be involved in the Commonwealth Games.”
From Cecilia McIntosh, the widow of Olympic Torch Bearer Ronnie McIntosh, to Hazel Taylor, who has raised thousands for children with cancer, plenty of others had their own incredible stories. Among those taking part were foster carer Sandra Smith, who has cared for 180 kids during her life, and Laura Liston, who founded Dundee’s only roller derby league.
Sandy Bremner, a Royal Tay Yacht Club member and a founding member of the Tay Sail Training Association, was the first to get his hands on the baton when it arrived in Broughty Ferry. He teaches sailing to adults and children on a weekly basis and has done for years.
Gerry Cahill, 65, chief instructor of Dundee Wildcats Taekwon Do Club, was the first man to take the baton at City Quay. He set up the club in 1996 in Lochee and it has since gone from strength to strength. He said: “It was fantastic and an absolute honour.”
Supporters turned out at Discovery Point to welcome Rachel Beattie, who took over the baton and posed for photos on RRS Discovery.
The 18-year-old Menzieshill High pupil, who is also head girl, won the McManus Citizen of the Year award. Ian Christie, 17, also from Menzieshill High, said: “It’s nice to see Rachel carrying the baton. She really deserves it.”
Grove Academy pupil Lorna Allan, 17, who was nominated by her school after being runner-up for the Citizen of the Year award, said: “There was a great atmosphere. The baton was really heavy and I kept asking if people had ever fallen or dropped it, but it didn’t happen.”
As the baton made its way up Nethergate and on to the Perth Road, it was carried by 18-year-old Hannah Craig in her wheelchair, accompanied by mum Carole. Hannah said: “It was great. It felt like being a celebrity.”
Cancer survivor Dorothy Lang was surrounded by Ninewells Hospital staff and visitors as she carried the baton into Maggie’s Cancer Centre.
Dorothy, 54, from Broughty Ferry, was diagnosed with paralysis causing pernicious anaemia three years ago. Tests revealed she also had stomach cancer. It was her response to those conditions and her efforts to walk again which made her husband, Dr Stephen Lang, nominate her. Dorothy said: “I count myself blessed and very lucky to be included in the celebration.”
Maggie’s Dundee centre head Lesley Howells said: “It was a huge honour to have the relay drop by Maggie’s and lovely to have the baton carried over Maggie’s threshold by Dorothy.”
Policewoman Sandra McCourt, 51, carried the baton up Balgay Hill, but she made it after the Kirkton Beat literally drummed up support as they followed her on her run with banners and posters.
Sandra, a fundraiser for children’s charity Eighteen and Under, said: “I was hoping for something a little less steep, but it was fantastic.”Take a look back on Friday’s relay in Dundee with part one and part two of our special picture galleries, as well as photos from the Commonwealth Ceilidh in City Square!