PERSISTENT drizzle and low cloud didn’t dampen the spirits of the hardy souls who completed the Philiphaugh Hill Runs on Sunday.

Exactly 100 athletes braved the conditions to tackle the trails above Selkirk.

And first home in the longer seven-miles race was Hunter Bog Trotter James Dunn.

The 23-year-old, who was racing the normally scenic route for the first time, admitted his recce earlier in the week had been a waste of time.

James told us: “I came down to Selkirk on Thursday to have a run around the course as I haven’t done this race before, and it was a beautiful day.

“When I arrived this morning it was like I was in a completely different place.

“It wasn’t too bad up on the hills once the rain abated half-way round and I enjoyed the descent back to the finish.

“I’d like to come back next year to defend my title.”

Despite the slippy underfoot conditions and restricted visibility, Dunn was narrowly outside Murray Strain's course record of 42.36 minutes with a time of 43.25.

Graeme Murdoch of Gala Harriers held on for runners-up spot with Colin Donnelly a few metres further back in third.

Dundee's Fiona Plain finished strongly to win the women’s race.

Sophie Collins from Peebles, who runs for the Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds team, was second just ahead of Lauderdale Limper Jenny Hartley.

The shorter four-miles race was won by Gala Harrier Sam McKinnon.

But the 16-year-old from Midlem was quick to admit that a fall by leader Gregor Collins, who came in second, allowed him to claim the prize.

Sam said: “It was tough out on the hills – some places were really slippy.

“I saw Gregor go down and I just managed to keep my feet to get ahead.”

First girl home was fellow Harrier Katie Rourke.

The 18-year-old said: “I slipped coming down a slope and kept sliding for about 10 metres.

“It was an eventful run and I’m happy to have come home just behind the boys.”

Archie Hendry from Gala Harriers was third male home with Esme Minto from Moorfoots and Jessica Hendry of Gala Harriers taking the minor places in the women's race.

The races helped raise a total of £908.28 for the Selkirk play park.

Organiser Sheila Cochrane was delighted with the turn out and support. She said: "It wasn't ideal weather but the runners still enjoyed the races.

"We are overwhelmed each year by the support we get from the running community as well as the many locals who attempt both races.

"We are grateful to our main sponsor - Drew Bradshaw Building & Roofing Contractor - as well as Tesco, Sainsburys and Bookers Cash n Carry for supplying the water, bananas and biscuits for all the runners."