A BEAUTIFUL spring day provided the perfect conditions for this year's Alloa Half Marathon at the weekend with organisers thanking the many supporters for cheering runners on.

The favourable weather was a welcome change for runners and organisers alike, who were hit by snow the year before leading to the postponement of the race.

Those taking part – around 2,500 – gathered at the Alloa Leisure Bowl starting line on Sunday, March 31, with the gun going off at 10am.

First home on the day was Fife AC's Kevin Wood with a time of 1:08:23, followed by Michael Wright of Central AC in 1:10:11, third came Inverclyde AC's John Sharp with 1:12:23.

Fastest female on the day was Morag Millar of Central AC in 1:16:65 and 24th overall, her team mate Jennifer Wetton was second female in 1:20:15 and 39th overall, while Edinburgh AC's Chloe Cox was third in this category with 1:20:01 and 46th overall.

Race director John O'Malley, of organisers Alloa Round Table who used the annual race as a major fundraiser to support the Wee County community, hailed this year's event as "the best year yet".

He said: "We could possibly look at closing more roads next year just to make it a wee bit tighter, but other than that, runners gave great feedback, volunteers were happy and we were really happy.

"It was a great day, we had great weather for it, no issues with the course and all the support around the course was actually exceptional.

"So many runners were telling me that they never ran before, but they were so surprised with the amount of local support – people were out on the roads, cheering them on and giving them the best support."

The distribution of water saw improvements this year with a palletised truck and leftover bottles had been donated to the Scouts, who received praise for their help on the day.

There were also some surplus rolls and bananas left following the event, these were donated to The Gate charity.

Joining various charitable runners on the day was local MP Luke Graham, with Conservative colleague MP John Lamont, who was raising money for Reachout with Arts in Mind.

He managed to collect more than £1,100 for the charity, which aims to help people experiencing mental health, wellbeing or disability issues in Clackmannanshire.

The MP thanked everyone who kindly donated and said: "I would also like to pass on my congratulations and thanks to the organisers and volunteers for arranging another fantastic race today, which I am sure was enjoyed by everyone.

"I really enjoyed the race, and I am already looking forward to running it again next year!"