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8000 run through Central Park as US, Canada mark Tartan Day

Almost 8,000 runners pounded the streets of New York today in the city's annual 10k celebrating Tartan Day.

Alex Salmond meets the female winner of the run, Liz Costello in Central Park
Alex Salmond meets the female winner of the run, Liz Costello in Central Park

Several saltires could be spotted in sunny Central Park where athletes of all abilities took part in the 10th Scotland Run event.

Pipers played at each kilometre marker and First Minister Alex Salmond was on hand to present prizes.

April 6 is celebrated as Tartan Day in the US and Canada. The date of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath was chosen to recognise the contribution made by Scottish Americans and Canadians.

Race organisers said 7,838 people completed the route.

Mr Salmond met eight runners who have competed in every Scotland Run to date and presented them with a commemorative quaich.

The First Minister said: "It's remarkable that our country has captured the imagination of so many to turn out today and over the last decade who take part wearing tartan, saltires and celebrating their roots.

"Scotland has many iconic runs of its own - from the Loch Ness marathon to the Mighty Deer Stalker 5k in the Borders - and through our partnership with New York Road Runner club we've invited all these runners to come and run in Scotland."

Mr Salmond travelled to the US for a number of engagements marking Scotland Week, a seven-day programme of events promoting Scotland as a holiday, business and study destination.

Last night the SNP leader officially opened an exhibition by Scottish photographer and former Barlinnie prison officer David Eustace in New York.

Highland Heart, featuring images of the Highlands and islands of Scotland, is on show at the Hudson Studios in Manhattan.

During his career Mr Eustace has photographed Sir Paul McCartney and Sophia Loren among others.

The photographer who splits his time between New York, Edinburgh and Glasgow, said: "It is an honour to be exhibiting photography of my home Scotland, in my second home of New York during Scotland Week."

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