HEART surgery and turning 50 haven't prevented a Peebles physiotherapist winning Scotland's toughest footrace.

Endurance runner Ross Grieve was diagnosed with a cardiac problem last year after struggling to scale hills in and around his hometown.

Corrective surgery was carried out at the start of this year - just a couple of months before his 50th birthday.

After a brief recovery Ross had his trainers on once more.

And at the weekend he emerged as the winner of this year's gruelling Glenmore 24 Trail Race.

Having set off at noon the previous day the pilates instructor managed to clock up a remarkable 131.86 miles during his 24 hours in the hills and forests of the Cairngorms National Park.

Ross told us: "I could never work out what was causing me to be so out of breath during hill climbs - after every hill I had my hands on my knees.

"Eventually I went and saw about it and it turned I had a racing heart.

"Getting my heart sorted has made such a difference.

"Having the heart surgery and turning 50 made me even more determined to prove that I wasn't finished."

More than 120 endurance athletes tackled the 24 hour challenge over a scenic four-miles course near Loch Morlich, with a further 49 setting off for the 12-hour challenge.

Ross came second in the 2016 race completing just over 126 miles.

But this time he paced his run better to win by 2.04 miles from runner-up Christopher Cowley and Martin Gordon a further 2.64 miles back in third.

Throughout the 24-hour endurance challenge he had wife, Jackie, and children, Katie and Luke, supporting him.

And the victory was the perfect birthday present for Ross's 11-year-old son.

He added: "As it was Luke's birthday I had little gifts to give him when I completed every couple of laps.

"All Luke wanted for his birthday was for me to win the race and I'm so pleased I delivered.

"The year I was second I went off too slow and didn't get it right - this time I went for it from the start and went through the pain when it arrived.

"It was a great feeling to have won but I wouldn't be able to do it without the support from my wife and children."

Despite near exhaustion at the finishing line on Sunday, Ross still returned to work in Peebles the following day.

And he was even taking his regular pilates class on Wednesday.