Strathearn Harriers got their hill-racing year underway at the weekend with four teams competing in the Devil’s Burdens relay race on the Lomond Hills in Fife.

This 20 mile race is run in four legs, starting from Falkland and run anti-clockwise via changeover points in Strathmiglo, Kinnesswood and Maspie Den, with a finish back in Falkland.

Two of the legs, over West Lomond to Kinnesswood and back from Kinnesswood to Maspie Den, are run in pairs with navigation skills needed to negotiate the best lines on difficult terrain. Runners from all over Scotland make the trip, including some of Britain’s best hill runners.

Fortunately, running conditions on Saturday were well-nigh perfect, with the ice and snow that had been lying the previous week all thawed.

The snow melt did lead to an interesting water hazard that took the Leg 1 runners by surprise, and one or two of the Leg 3 runners saw more than their fair share of mud.

The men’s race was won by an outstanding team from Shettleston Harriers, repeating their 2015 victory in a blistering time of 2.37.21, while the women’s race was won by a strong team from Deeside Ladies in 3.24.03.

Strathearn Harriers Womens’ team improved on their 8th position last year to finish in 7th position in the women’s race, in a fine time of 4.03.07.

The team, consisting of Kerry Sweeney, Emily Greaves, Cathy Tilbrook, Ruth Clark, Maddy Watson and Angela MacKenzie, ran a consistent set of legs with top-10 finishes over every stage of the race.

Angela MacKenzie was making a very welcome return to racing for the Harriers and the club is looking for ward to seeing her back in the blue-and-white in more races this year.

Strathearn Harriers Men’s A team were first Harriers home, finishing in 12th position in the men’s category in a time of 3.06.32, up three place from 2015.

Colin Lamont was making his Devil’s Burdens debut for the club, running the difficult Leg 3 from Kinnesswood to Maspie Den with Andy Greaves.

The rest of the team was Wattie Mackay, Will Manners and Roger Goddard and Phil Mestecky.

The Men’s B team of Tony Wayte, Phil Tipping, Gary Brock, Andy Aitken, Ben Murphy and Mark Dillon ran well 71st position in a time of 3.58.41.

The Mixed team of Ali Manners, Iain Thomson, Nigel Hetherington, Julia Greenlees, Fran Loots and Rowan Dillon completing the race in 4.30.18.

Strathearn Harriers welcomes runners of all ages and abilities.

The club has a variety of weekly activities suitable for all, and offers a supportive environment for anyone taking up running for the first time.

If you’re interested in running and want to know more about the club, visit the website at strathearnharriers.org.uk.