Metro Aberdeen’s Hazel Wyness produced a gutsy performance to take third position in the women’s division of the Baxters Loch Ness marathon.
The Westhill-based athlete recorded 3:00:27, while Great Aberdeen Run half marathon champion Sheena Logan (Fife AC) won in a personal best 2:51:11.
Wyness, who also picked up the over-40 award, was satisfied with the outcome, but had a slight regret about not cracking the three-hour barrier.
She said: “I was fourth last year, so it’s good to be in the top three, although I was hoping to be under three hours.
“I started too fast, but I think all the leading women did. I was ninth at one point, but was able to work my way back.
“At halfway, I was sharing fifth place then moved into third at around mile 22.
“I was really hoping to get under three hours but my hip was sore towards the finish and I couldn’t do any more.
“I’ll recover then look to do the Brodie 10km and the Fraserburgh half marathon in November.”
There were also some fine performances from north-east runners in the Baxters River Ness 10km.
Kilbrchan’s Euan Gillham won the title in 30:22 after an exciting battle with Moray’s Kenny Wilson who finished 11secs behind.
Metro Aberdeen’s Steve Buchan clocked 35:12 to take third spot in the over-40 men’s age group, while Fraserburgh’s Andrew Blackhall was eight secs behind in fourth position.
New Zealand mountain running international Dwight Grieve was delighted to take the age group prize in a personal best 33:19.
He said: “I really loved this event. It was well set up and there was a great bunch of guys to run with.”
Fraserburgh’s Peter Hall was third in the over-50s category in 38:52, while former Commonwealth Games marathon man, Aberdonian Graham Laing, was third in the over-60s in 39:27 and Brian Urquhart (Fraserburgh) finished 33secs further back in fourth spot.
Another Aberdonian, Colin Youngson (Forres Harriers), was second in the over-70s in 46:22, with Metro Aberdeen’s John MacPherson third in 53:06.
Julie Hendry (Metro Aberdeen) was only a few secs outside her best time when winning the over-40 women’s title in 40:04, while Moray’s Michelle Slater was runner-up in 41:29.
Fraserburgh’s Carol Massie finished third in the over-50s in 46:35 and Lana Hadden (Metro Aberdeen) was fourth over-60 in 53:14.