IT was a family affair on Sunday for Lauder's Mark Sutherland as he set a new Feel the Burns course record.

The 24-year-old Glasgow University student stripped 29 seconds off the previous best time by Paul Faulkner for the tough 13-miles hill race above Selkirk.

Sutherland led from the first mile and extended his advantage to more than two minutes, with a time of 1.33.30, from last year's winner Doug Tullie at the finishing line.

Mark, who won the Three peaks Ultra Marathon in Jedburgh earlier this winter, told us: "I went for it from the start and opened up a bit of a lead.

"I was second last year and was determined to stay out in front this time.

"Last year it was firm running with compact snow along the top but this year it had mostly melted so it was pretty muddy and slippy in places."

A delighted Mark stayed on at the finish to cheer home both his parents and his sister.

Dad Graeme crossed the line in 136th with mum, Susan, and sister, Sarah, another half hour further back in 197th and 198th, respectively.

Mark added: "I have ultra marathons coming up at Leeds and then the Highland Fling so this is good preparation for them.

"I like coming down to the Feel the Burns and I'm thrilled to beat the course record."

Despite losing his title Doug, who runs for Hunter Bog Trotters, still enjoyed his day in the Selkirk hills.

He told us: "This is great preparation for the national cross country championships.

"Last year I got the better of Mark towards the end of the race but I never got close to him this time.

"He took off from the start and I only got the occasional glimpse of him in the distance when we were coming back down."

Improving teenager Jacob Adkin from Peebles finished a minute further back in third.

Alistair Thurlbeck from Glasgow University raced home for fourth just ahead of Lauder's Gavin Bryson, who had been competing at the national indoor championships the previous day.

Amongst the highest placed other local runners were Rory Anderson from Hawick in 14th, Tim Darlow of Gala Harriers in 19th, Innerleithen's Darin Dougal in 21st, just ahead of Gala Harrier Fergus Johnston, and Colin Williams of the Moorfoot club in 26th.

Trainee doctor Sophie Horrocks won the ladies' race by almost a minute from Morgan Windram-Geddes of Fife AC and Clara Horswell of Shettleston Harriers.

The Rossendale Harriers athlete from Burnley in Yorkshire is currently on placement at Borders General Hospital.

And she was the first to admit her surprise at winning.

Sophie told us: "I have my finals at the moment and I've not done any training at all.

"It's my first time over the course and I loved it - I'm buzzing now to have some haggis."

All of the finishers were treated to traditional Burns fare at Selkirk Rugby Club ahead of the prize giving.

Fiona Dalgliesh from Gala Harriers, who won last year, finished fourth lady and first Over 40s veteran with a slightly quicker time.

And other notable runs from local ladies included Anya Campbell from Gala Harriers in sixth.

Graham Nash of Carnethy was the first Over 40, William Breckenridge of Shettleston first Over 50, Haddington's Frank McPartland won the Over 60s trophy and the Over 70s title went to Frank Birch of Teviotdale Harriers.

Val Houston from Westerlands was first in the women's Over 50s with her team-mate Helen McPherson first Over 60s.

The first Selkirk athlete home was Ian Bethune.

Phil Morris was awarded the Spotty Dog prize for most improved runner after knocking more than 20 minutes off his 2016 time.

Sheila Cochrane from the organising committee told us: "I’m chuffed to bits with the race which seemed to go very smoothly, and that was down to all my loyal helpers on the day – as usual they were amazing!

"We will have raised a substantial amount of money for Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue yet again this year.

"We would like to thanks Selkirk Coop and Selkirk Sainsbury's local for donating shortbread and supplies.

"Thanks also to local Selkirk butcher Darren Hoggan at Waters Butchers for making 250 delicious haggis pies."

Of the 221 starters a total of 219 runners finished the course.