Going to a run in the park took on a different meaning for Harriers' Matt McLay and Kerry Sweeney last Sunday as they took on the 50k Ultramarathon at North Inch Perth.

The race consisted of 21 laps of North Inch, covering a distance of 50 kilometres (31 miles), or 6 miles longer than a standard marathon. Conditions for running were tough, with a stiff headwind on the riverside stretch of each lap.

The race was won by Ross Houston, of Central AC in a new Scottish record for a 50km road race of 2 hours 56 minutes 37 seconds.

Kerry Sweeney was aiming for a sub-five hour time, and achieved this with a couple of minutes to spare, finishing 13th woman in a time of 4.58.01.

Matt was hoping for a finish somewhere between five and six hours, and put in a terrific performance to finish on 5.05.43. In fact, right up until the last lap, Matt was also on course for a sub-five hour time.

The previous weekend saw slightly more conventional action with the Alloa Half Marathon and the Birnam Hill Race.

The Alloa Half Marathon is turning into one of the biggest half marathons in the Scottish running year, attracting a high quality field.

The winner of the men’s race was Mohamed Abu-Rezeq in the very fast time of 1.05.40, with former Scottish international athlete Hayley Haining winning the women’s race in 1.16.15.

First Harrier home was Will Manners, agonisingly close to a top-100 finish in 101st position in a time of 1.23.17.

Next in were Paul and Wendy Taylor, in training for the London Marathon, in an excellent 1.33.33, a new personal best for Wendy, in 33rd position in the women’s race. Gary Brock finished off the Harriers representation with a fine time of 1.41.44.

Racing the same weekend over different terrain were Colin Lamont and Cathy Tilbrook at the Birnam Hill Race.

This is one of the classic Scottish hill races, and has attracted many of Scotland’s best hill runners in the past. Colin Lamont ran an excellent race to finish in 11th position in a time of 39.54, and Cathy was 3rd FV40 in a time of 49.49.