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On Sunday 9th February, Carnegie Harriers once again welcomed runners from across the country to nhe Scottish Police College at Tulliallan for the Devilla Forest Trail Races. The races (a 5k and a 15k) are a very popular fixture in the running calendar, always selling out well in advance.

The impending arrival of Storm Ciara had been a talking point in the build up to the races and heavy rain overnight had added to the already waterlogged ground, resulting in some decidedly wet and muddy conditions in parts. This only seemed to add to the runners’ enjoyment judging from comments on Facebook. In particular the infamous “bog” section of the longer race did not disappoint, being knee deep in places.

With overhead conditions on race day better than forecast, the races went ahead with only a slight route change  meaning the longer race was 14k rather than the usual 15k.

Storm Ciara did not prevent the 15k being one of the closest and most exciting in the event’s history. A group of three runners, consisting of James Waldie (HBT), Gregor Malcolm from Edinburgh University, both of whom were previous race winners, and Carnegie Harrier’s own Stuart Paterson, made an early break away from the rest of the field, swapping places for most of the race.

The leading group reached the finishing stages at the Scottish Police College together and it was only in the last few yards that James Waldie pulled away to cross the finish line first in 49 minutes and 30 seconds, a mere 5 seconds ahead of Carnegie’s Stuart Paterson, taking part only a week after winning the Falkirk 8 Hour Trail Ultra. Last year’s winner, Gregor Malcolm, was third in 50 minutes and 21 seconds. Such was the quality of these three that it was almost five minutes before the next runners came into sight.

There was also a high quality field in the women’s race with Scottish Ultra internationalist Lynne Allen first woman home and 14th overall in 59 minutes and 27 seconds. Last year’s winner, Kristin Lownie from PH Racing Club, was second in 61 minutes and 49 seconds with Ochil Hill Runners’ Edel Mooney third woman, exactly 1 minute behind Kristin.

The age category winners were spread across a number of clubs as follows: V40 Chris Russell (Leven Las Vegas), V50 Walter Henderson (Shettleston Harriers), V60 John Crookston (PH Racing Club), V70 Iain Thomson (Strathearn Harriers) and Scott McClung (Kirkcaldy Wizards) 1st male junior.

The female category winners were F40 Judith Turner (Falkland Trail Runners), F50 Joy Gudgin (Carnegie Harriers), F60 Isobel Burnett (Carnegie Harriers) with Alice Wilson (Garscube Harriers) 1st female junior.

PH Racing Club quartet Craig Paterson, Wright Beveridge, John Crookston and Graham McInnes were convincing team winners, 40 points ahead of second placed Lothian Running Club.

In the 5k race, it was a PH Racing Club first and second with Jamie Lessels first in 17 minutes and 37 seconds, followed by club mate Andrew Thomson in 18 minutes and 37 seconds. Fife AC’s Ben Kinninmonth was third in 18 minutes and 27 seconds.

Again there was a good spread of clubs across the various category winners as follows: V40 Colin Wylie (Giffnock North), V50 Derek Newport (Penicuik Harriers), V60 Paul Sutherland (Fife AC), V70 Tommy Lawlor (Wee County Harriers) and Aaron Bennet (PH Racing Club) 1st male junior.

There was another local winner in the women’s 5k race. Pitreavie AAC’s Kirstyn Suttie took first place in 20 minutes and 22 seconds followed by Carrie Banks (Central AC) in 20 minutes and 34 seconds. Third was Sandra Reid in 22 minutes and 50 seconds.

The female category winners in the 5k were FV40 Ruth Harrison, FV50 Monica Anderson (Falkirk VH), FV60 Debbie Cooper and Millie O’Neill (Springburn Harriers) 1st female junior.

The trio of Jamie Lessels, Andrew Thomson and Aaron Bennett completed a PH Racing Club team double by winning the 5k team prize.

A full set of results for both races and links to race photos are available elsewhere on the website.

At the post-race prize giving, Carnegie Harriers Club President Alan Murray presented the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team with a donation of £750 in recognition of their providing race first aid cover for the event. A similar donation was made to the Scottish Police Benevolent Fund.

Carnegie Harriers would like to thank Run4it and Harviestoun Brewery for their continued support of the event, the Scottish Police College for the use of their facilities, and Forestry and Land Scotland for their cooperation in allowing the event to be held within Devilla Forest.

A huge thanks also to all club members, friends and family who gave up their time to make such a valuable contribution to the success of the event.