Runners often think the season is coming to a close by this time of year, but Strathearn Harriers kicked off November with a busy weekend of activities with thirty-three runners competing at distances from a bit under a mile up to a 33 mile ultra.

First event of the weekend was the Glen Ogle 33 ultra on Saturday November 7. For some in the club, this has become an annual ritual, come rain or shine, and this year was no different.

Six Harriers were taking part in this local event, with Paul Taylor and Ruth Howie making the GO33 debuts, while for Wendy Taylor, Susan Saunders, Nicola Watson and Julia Greenlees, this was familiar territory.

The race starts in Killin and has a nasty first few miles with a steep climb through the Acharn Forest before the first checkpoint at the head of Glen Ogle.

Weather conditions for the first couple of hours were wet, but not too cold or windy, and nowhere the benchmark bad weather year of 2013, when it was truly miserable all the way.

From the head of Glen Ogle, the route crosses the road and follows the old railway down the glen passing above Lochearnhead to rejoin the minor road at Mhor 84 to Balquhidder.

At this point, Ruth Howie was leading the Harriers challenge, with husband-and-wife team Paul and Wendy Taylor a couple of minutes back, with a slightly bigger gap to the trio of Susan Saunders, Nicola Watson and Julia Greenlees running together.

At the next checkpoint at Strathyre, Paul and Wendy had swapped places with Ruth and appeared to be enjoying themselves - as much as you can after running for a couple of hours in the pouring rain - with the gap to Susan, Nicola and Julia growing with the increasing distance.

Positions remained the same to the finish with Paul and Wendy pushing on strongly to finish in a very good 5.08, setting the second-best times for Harriers in this race. Ruth Howie followed in 5.22, while the others came in a wee while later.

The race was won by Robert Turner, in a terrific new course record of 3.36.55, while the women's race was won by Charlotte Black in 4.17.30.

Other local runners competing on Saturday were the Sweeney brothers Levi and Sol running for Perth Strathtay Harriers and Maddy Watson running for Strathclyde University at the Scottish National Short Course Cross Country Championships at a very muddy Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

In a dramatic sprint finish, Sol Sweeney took the very considerable scalp of Scottish Junior international Ben Greenwood to win the Under-17 title.

On Sunday, four Harriers teams contested the Hartley Relays, organised this year by Dundee Hawkhill Harriers. The men's team (Strathearn Stags) were 6th in the men's category, and the women's team (Strathearn Swans) were 5th in the women's category. In a very competitive mixed category, the Strathearn Stoats took 13th place, and the under-12s (Strathearn Squirrels) were 4th. There were some terrific performances, with David Alexander joining the men’s senior team despite only being 14 and producing two of the best leg times. Paul Taylor deserves great credit for stepping in to the mixed team after his GO33 performance on Saturday. Anna Blackie and Dawn Goddard made their club debuts.

Also running on Sunday were five Harriers back at Bellahouston for the Jimmy Irvine 10k in challenging weather conditions. Wattie Mackay successfully defended his V50 title with a time of 36.27 in 17th position overall.

Colin Lamont was second Harrier in 38.53, with Tony Wayte making a return to racing after injury finishing in 43.59, and Andy Aitken setting a new pb of 44.24. Maddy Watson followed her tough short-course cross-country on Saturday with a very good 46.35.

The next Harriers event is the final race of the Championship series on Sunday November 15, with most of the podium positions still to be decided.

Wattie Mackay had the men's Championship in the bag back in July, but Colin Lamont's late push could get him onto the podium with a good run on Sunday.

In the women's Championship, there's just over 1 point separating Cathy Tilbrook and Wendy Taylor at the top, and Rachel Gallagher will have to keep her eyes on Maddy Watson to seal 3rd position.