A FIELD of more than 700 runners descended on Devilla Forest to take part in Carnegie Harriers' annual races recently.

Competitors from across the country – which included 64 from Dundee Road Runners alone – descended on West Fife for the popular event on February 17, which saw the 15K race sell out within 25 minutes of entries opening.

With weather conditions suitable for winter trail running – and an unusually dry course underfoot – fast times were posted and saw a number of personal bests recorded in both the 15K and 5K races.

The main event was the 15K – open to runners aged 17 and over – and the early pace was set by Edinburgh University's Gregor Malcolm, and Portobello Running Club's Matt Bird, with the former taking the race in 53 minutes and 56 seconds – the second-fastest time in the event's history.

Bird remained second and crossed the line in 55:23, with Paul Kieran, from PH Racing Club, just missing out on third place to Haddington's David Woods (57:51) in a time of 58:19.

PH did, however, claim age category winners in the shape of Iain Taylor (M50) and John Crookston (M60), while Chris Russell, of Falkland Trail Runners, Peter McGavigan and Lothian RC's Kyle Williamson claimed the M40, M70 and junior titles respectively.

In the female race, PH's in-form Kristin Lownie led a club one-two as, after winning the race in 1:01.48 – the third-fastest time in the race's history – team-mate Alison McGill finished second in 1:03.15.

Fife AC's Rhona Van Rensberg was third (1:05.02) while last year's winner, Julie Menzies, from BMF Dunfermline, was fifth in 1:06.55.

The host club had a winner in the female junior category in the shape of Arianne Holland while PH pair Mary Western and Isobel Burnett, and Dundee Road Runners' Allison McNeily, took age group prizes in the F50, F60 and F40 categories respectively.

The team prize was won by PH Racing Club (Paul Kieran, Robert Sellar, Wright Beveridge and Iain Taylor), who finished ahead of Dundee Road Runners, while more West Fife success arrived in the 5K races.

Alastair Gudgin, from Dunfermline but representing Fife AC, finished second (17:27) behind Central AC's Telfer Gray (16:58) in the men's event, which saw Falkland Trail Runners' Jamie Lessels place third in 17:55.

In the female race, Pitreavie AAC's Erin Macfarlane ran a superb race and only just missed out on second place to Strathearn Harriers' Kerry Sweeney (21:08) by 0.10 seconds, as Dundee Road Runners' Jennifer Massive crossed the line first in 19:30.

Following the event, Carnegie Harriers also presented a cheque of £750 to the Ochil Mountain Rescue Team, while they are also set to donate a similar amount to the Scottish Police Benevolent Fund.