ATHLETES from all over Ayrshire and beyond have helped a local voluntary organisation raise more than half a million pounds for research into cancer.

The fantastic achievement was announced by Butterfly Events, organisers of the Hillbilly 10K cross-country race in Dalmellington on Sunday.

More than 320 athletes took part in the event, with Kieran Cooper of Cambuslang Harriers the first man home in 36 minutes and 3 seconds.

Kenneth Neill of Ayr Seaforth Athletic Club led the Ayrshire contingent home, finishing second in the men’s race, while Hannah Terrance of Shettleston Harriers won the women’s event in 44:19, eight minutes clear of Galloway Harriers’ Nicole Bygrave.

The first Ayrshire woman home was also from Ayr Seaforth, with Laura Wallace crossing the line in 53:08.

Butterfly Events has been organising fun, exciting and affordable events to raise money for, and awareness of, Cancer Research UK for the last 17 years and Sunday’s event saw them realise the goal of raising £500,000 for the charity in that time.

A spokesperson for Butterfly Events said: “Massive thank you from me for fulfilling my dream to reach this total to everyone who has ever come along, donated, run an event, Marshalled, helped in any way.

“Biggest thank you to my family and extended family of committee members, you are the best.

“Twenty years ago a friend of mine died aged only 32 of breast cancer and I wanted to make a difference.

“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. Our funds have gone a long way in supporting new treatments in Scotland.”