A QUARTET of West Fife athletes were in the medals when they went on the run for Scotland at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International.

PH Racing Club pair Ed Norton and Julie Menzies, Pitreavie AAC's Jeff Farquhar, and Carnegie Harriers' Isobel Burnett, all picked up podium places at the event, which was held in Glasgow earlier this month.

Held for the 34th time, each of the competing nations - Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland - host the championship every five years, and Tollcross Park provided the setting for the 2023 edition.

England, with a score of 72 points, were the overall winners, with Ireland - triumphant last year - second with 63, one point ahead of Scotland, who enjoyed plenty of successes.

Some of those were achieved by West Fife athletes, with Farquhar winning team gold in the M65 age category.

He was joined on the podium by PH stars Norton and Menzies, with the former winning team silver in the M70 category, the latter achieving likewise in the W50 age group.

Burnett, in the W65 category, matched her position from last year by placing third in her age group, behind Ireland's Pauline Moran and Scotland's Jane Kidd, and helped the Scots to team gold in that category.

Providing his own reflections on the day, which was hosted by Scottish Veteran Harriers Club, Norton said: "Over 300 masters athletes from the four home nations and defending champions Ireland were congregated for what is the highlight of the year for many masters athletes. There was a real buzz about the place with old adversaries renewing acquaintances.

"I was in the first race for over 65 men and women together. England had a strong team in my V70 category, so our plan was to get as many of our team in the top 10, which would be enough for silver. Ireland were the main threat for silver with Joe Gough, the European 1500m champion, one of the race favourites along with Scotland team-mate Tony Martin.

"After the initial mad rush at the gun I settled down to what I thought was a sensible pace and was in sixth position for the first lap. It was a tough course, with three hilly loops totalling almost 6k. The hills were taking their toll and I slipped back to eighth, but managed to dig in and keep that position for the rest of the race, finishing in 27:01. With Tony taking individual bronze, and team-mate Frank Hurley in ninth, it was enough for team silver.

"Also, massive congratulations to club-mate Julie Menzies who also won team silver in her debut for Scotland, along with V50 teammates Janet Dunbar, Allie Chong and Mary Senior. Running in the second race for women aged 35 to 64, Julie finished second counter for the team, and seventh V50 in 23:39."

In their respective age categories, Norton, Farquhar and Pitreavie AAC's Morna Fleming, who raced in the W70 section, placed eighth, ninth and 13th respectively.