2500 competitors tackle Bupa Great Winter Run in Holyrood Park

MORE than 2500 amateur runners were treated to mild winter conditions in the Bupa Great Winter Run in Holyrood Park.

Hundreds of spectators gathered amid the splendid scenery to cheer on the entrants as they completed the 5km course on Saturday.

The mass participation event was be followed by the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry, widely regarded as one of the world’s best annual cross-country events for elite runners.

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Philippa Morrow, spokeswoman from event organisers Nova International, said: “Saturday’s Bupa Great Winter Run was a huge success, a capacity field of 2500 runners of all ages and abilities took part – as well as around 300 junior runners. 2012 was a truly inspiring year for sport in the UK and it’s encouraging to see so many people take part in one of the first mass participation events of 2013.

“The backdrop of the city and the iconic Arthur’s Seat ensure this is always a special event, and the cool, bright weather made for perfect running conditions. We’ve had some great feedback from our runners who enjoyed starting the year on the right foot; they were treated to enthusiastic support from the local crowd.”

The first two male finishers of the Great Winter Run were Shaun Lyon, 26, from the Isle of Bute, with a time of 17 minutes 16 seconds followed by 37-year-old Patrick Duffy from Tyne and Wear, 37, in 17 minutes 33 seconds. Amond the women competitors, 17-year-old Isobel Seidel came home first in 19 minutes 18 seconds, followed by 32-year-old Charlotte Fortune from Bo’ness in 19 minutes and 30 seconds.