ALMOST 1500 athletes braved the conditions on Saturday to take part in the 2019 Mighty Deerstalker around Innerleithen.

After last year's event, which starts and finishes in the grounds of Traquair House, was cancelled due to the Beast from the East, there were fears early in the day that snow storms could also lead to the 2019 race being cancelled.

But organisers decided to plough ahead - and they were rewarded with bumper fields of athletes and changing weather which melted most of the snow.

Over the past 13 years the Mighty Deerstalker has gone from strength to strength with fancy-dressed competitors coming from all over the UK.

As well as man-made obstacles along the way, athletes have to brave freezing water crossings, tunnels and forest scrambles mostly in the dark.

The main Deerstalker race, which is just over 10 miles in distance, was won by James Dunn in a time of 1.12.35.

Runners-up spot went to Peter Gardener with Kieron Ross claiming third.

Emma Mcgilp was first lady home in 1.22.08, followed by Anne Browne and Anya Lawrence.

A total of 1378 competitors completed the 2019 Mighty Deerstalker.

Martin James headed the 78-strong field to win the Double Deerstalker in a time of 3.03.31. Andrew Baxter finished second and Scott Brown was third.

Monique Sapla was first lady home in 3.59.55 - just ahead of Ellie Holland and Alice Mcara.

Richard Hazel was the comfortable winner of the Half Deerstalker in a time of 42.19.

Zoe Murray was second overall and first lady with a time of 1.21.51.

A total of 58 competitors completed the shorter Half Deerstalker.

Ahead of this year's races going off organiser Jim Mee, of Rat Race Adventure Sports, told us: "We're thrilled to be back for 2019 after our hiatus caused by the unseasonably extreme weather of March 2018.

"With our biggest field ever, it is clear that the event is much loved and cherished.

"When we set out to create the legend of the 'Stalker back in 2006, we never thought it would become quite as legendary as it has."