IT will be remembered as an event overshadowed by tragedy.

But for the vast majority of the 1800 or so finishers the 11th Mighty Deerstalker was still a personal triumph.

Athletes of all ages and abilities tackled the gruelling terrain and natural obstacles around Innerleithen during Saturday evening.

Few competitors were aware that tragedy had struck at the first water crossing with Heather Foggo, who was among the second wave of starters, taking ill and later dying.

Almost 1600 runners tackled the full Deerstalker of around 11 miles with a further 256 completing the half Deerstalker.

And they were all rewarded with a party under canvas just a few short hobbles from the finishing line.

Water crossings, forest scrambles and muddy inclines up the likes of Caddon Bank and Pirn Crag, all under the cover of darkness, tested the toughest of endurance athlete.

Experienced mountain runner Kieron Ross led all the way to win the full Deerstalker in an impressive time of 1.27.08.

He was chased home - almost a minute further back - by Niki Worrall.

Peter Gardner from the Hunter Bog Trotters recorded an incredible time from the fifth wave of starters to claim third place.

And there were quite a few recognisable faces from local cross country running who came charging across the finishing line to take the minor places.

Alistair Cox from the Tinto Hill Runners stormed through the darkness to finish fourth, just ahead of Colin Williams from the Moorfoots club.

Penicuik's Stuart Sanderson finished well to take sixth, ahead of Carnethy ultra marathon runner Hugh McInnes and Innerleithen mechanic Dean Whiteford.

Dave Gaffney from the Carnethy club was just behind in ninth with Edinburgh veteran Tim Chad claiming tenth.

Portobello's Nicola Duncan held off the challenge from Laura Hill to take the women's race in 1.43.30.

Edinburgh's Kathleen Henderson was five minutes further back for third.

The first wave of Mighty Deerstalker runners were set off at 5.30pm with the final wave descending into the darkness at 6.40pm.

Closing in on the two hour mark was when the first of the fancy dress runners - many in their tweeds and deerstalkers - began to approach the finishing line.

And the head-torched runners continued coming down off the hills for the next three hours with Mark Mcgrogan and Adam Bainbridge crossing the finishing line in last with a time of just over five hours.

Many of the fun runners were raising funds for deserving causes with more than a few wearing vests for the race's official charity, Children with Cancer UK.

Although the Half Deerstalker is around five miles shorter than the Mighty race, it still tests the best.

Accomplished half marathon runner Stuart MacPherson from the Central club, was first home in a time of 58.58.

Peebles-based nutritionist Ruth McKean was only nine seconds further back in second with Lee and Dean Walkingshaw taking third and fourth, respectively.

Maeve ni Bhuachalla was the second woman home in the Half Deerstalker with Melanie Riley holding off the challenge of Claire Mathieson for third.