FORMER ice hockey professional Yared Hagos skated to victory in the Jedburgh Half Marathon in a new record time.
The Ethiopian, who turned to running two years ago after a career on the ice in the US and Sweden, came home in one hour, six minutes and 29 seconds, breaking the previous record by 48 seconds.
It was one of the highlights of the biggest ever Jedburgh Running Festival, which saw more than 1,200 athletes tackle five different events, all challenging in their own ways.
Half marathon promoter John Henderson said: “Yared’s run was tremendous considering the conditions and his new record will take a lot of beating.
“We are delighted with the turn-out in all of our races.”
Hagos, who led home a record field of 689 half marathon entrants, said: “The wind and rain made it difficult, but I am happy with the time and to have the new course record.”
Sunday’s running began in damp conditions at 8am, with the first ever Three Peaks Ultra Marathon.
More than 120 endurance athletes tackled the 38-mile course, which included all three Eildon hills, via Maxton, St Boswells and Newtown St Boswells.
And there was drama near the end of the race, as Carnegie’s Richie Cunningham went the wrong way, allowing Portobello namesake Craig to claim the inaugural title in just over five-and-a-half hours.
Craig Cunningham said: “I was surprised when I was told I’d won as I knew Richie was in front of me.
“It’s a shame he took the wrong turn, but that’s the way ultras are sometimes.
“It was really tough with the amount of mud, but I still enjoyed the course.”
There was Borders success in the ladies’ section, as Innerleithen’s Isobel Knox, the reigning Scottish 100km champion, added the Three Peaks trophy to her cabinet.
Knox said: “That’s the hardest race I’ve ever run. Going over the Eildons with tired legs is hard and you’ve still got almost 18 miles to go.”
Nearly 500 names were entered for the 10k event, and it was Corstorphine’s Michael Crawley who won in a superb time of 31.12, with Gala Harrier Kirstin Maxwell taking the ladies race.
Gordon’s up-and-coming wheelchair athlete Sammi Kinghorn did not line up on the Jedburgh start line due to injury.
But in her absence two records were broken.
Firstly, Simon Lawson claimed the 10k Scottish Wheelchair Championships in a best time of 22.57 ahead of Paralympian Jade Jones.
And in the 10k handcycle, Alistair Corps Bell smashed the previous record with a winning time of 16.56.
Summing up the event, Len Wise from the organising committee said: “There is no doubt that the 10th Jedburgh Running Festival has been the biggest and best to date.
“The weather wasn’t great, but the feedback from everyone who took part was excellent. We’ve made a lot of new friends and hopefully we’ll see them all back again next year.”