Paula Radcliffe established herself as the Queen of Balmoral when she set a world five-mile best through the grounds of the royal estate followed by the woman who has inspired and encouraged her.

Liz McColgan did not enjoy coming second, but it was an inevitable result with Scotland's greatest-ever distance athlete now devoting herself to marathons and lacking the speed to match the shorter-distance specialist. In spite of difficult conditions, Radcliffe, who Brendan Foster predicts can go on to even surpass the world success achieved by McColgan, knocked 15 seconds off the previous record, set by Lornah Kiplagat, of Kenya.

McColgan was 31 seconds behind, but hers was still a tremendous performance that augers well for the London Marathon a week on Sunday.

Blizzards had beset the first-ever Balmoral races, but the skies cleared for the final race - the one in which there was the greatest interest. As expected, McColgan powered into the lead and almost immediately she, Radcliffe, and Yvonne Murray opened up a gap from the rest of the international field.

However, in less than a mile, Radcliffe upped the pace to part from McColgan, who in turn opened a gap on Murray. The front two never eased and McColgan finished a minute ahead of Northumberland Castles Challenge title-holder Irina Mikitenko, but Murray, clearly struggling eventually finishing eighth.

McColgan said: ''You should never really be pleased if you get beaten, but at the start of the race I knew there was no way I was going to beat Paula. She is in the form of her life at the moment and I simply have not done the speed work.

''I am totally surprised that I ran that fast. I felt very very good and strong and can keep that pace going, but I can't go any faster. When I run races like that, I think that, if I did another couple of track sessions, I could be competing with the likes of Paula and Ribeiro, but I am a marathon runner now.

''Gone are the days when you could be a really good marathon runner and also win 10ks. The girls are far too competitive and you can't be successful in both and I really feel in my heart I am about to run a good marathon.

''I actually feel stronger than I have ever felt and I am looking forward to London.''

Only a week earlier, Radcliffe had smashed McColgan's Commonwealth 10,000m record and the Scot predicted that the her rival would take more records, not least because of the quality of competition she constantly faces and which drives her on.

Radcliffe said she initially picked up the pace to avoid trouble because Murray had clipped her heels. She had thought of attacking the world best earlier in the week, but, in the conditions, had forgotten about it on the day and only realised near the end it was in her grasp.

In the men's race, Manuel Pancorbo, of Spain, gained revenge over John Mayock, who had beaten him in a bruising European Indoor 3000m title race in Valencia. Both men, and Anthony Whiteman, were given the same time in a tremendous race for the line.

It was also an encouraging race for Scotland's Glen Stewart, who used it as a warm-up for his first GB vest in a relay in Brazil for where he leaves on Wednesday. Stewart took the lead at one stage, struggled to match Pancorbo's surge, but finished in fifth, just 11 seconds down on the winner. He said: ''It was a bit quick but I am reasonably happy and I know what I have to live with.''

The men's five-mile race was won by 1995 and 1997 world 5000m finalist Abdellah Behar, of France. Results:

Men's International (5 miles) - 1, Abdellah Behar (France) 22min 52sec; 2, Stephane Franke (Germany) 22-52; 3, Lee Troup (Australia) 22-53; 17, Robert Quinn (Kilbarchan AC) 24-00; 22, Billy Jenkins (Inverclyde Harriers) 24-46.

Men's Internatioal (4km) - 1, Manuel Pancorbo (Spain) 10-59; 2, John Mayock (Carnock and Staffs) 10-59; 3, Anthony Whiteman (GEC Avionics) 10-59; 4, Glen Stewart (Mizuno) 11-07.

Men's Open (5 miles) - 1, Alan Puckrin (Tipton Harriers) 24-31; 2, David Ross (Mizuno RC) 24-50; 3, Ross Arbuckle (Keith and District) 25-08.

Under-20 - 1, Ben Hukins (Aberdeen AAC) 26-41; 2, Niall Camerson (Forres Harriers) 26-59; 3. Stewart Mason (Aberdeen AAC) 27-36.

Veterans - 1, Frankie Barton (Keith and District) 25-19; 2, Brian Kirkwood (Mizuno RC) 25-26; 3, Raymond Smedley (Gateshead Harriers) 26-37.

Women's International (5 miles) - 1, Paula Radcliffe (Bedford AC) 24-54 (world best); 2, Liz McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill) 25-25; 3, Irinia Mikitenko (Kazakhstan) 26-25; 8, Yvonne Murray (Motherwell) 27-11; 17, Gail Walker (City of Glasgow) 31-39; 18, Vicky Frew (Edinburgh Woollen Mill) 33-32.

Women's Open (8km) - 1, Janette Stevenson (Falkirk Victoria) 29-37; 2, Sonia Armitage (Aberdeen AAC) 29-59; 3, Ginny Pollard (Fleetfeet Triathletes) 30-58.

Veterans - 1, Jan Thomson (Lochgelly) 31-18; 2, Kim Forbes (Babcock Pitreavie) 31-36; 3, Rosalind Wilson (Metro Aberdeen) 32-42.

Company Challenge (10 miles) - 1, David Knight (Garoad Hogs) 53-13; 2, Fraser Clyne (Aberdeen City A) 53-45; 3, Colin Youngson (Aberdeenshire Council) 55-29. Teams - 1, Marathon Oil 25 points; 2, BT Alba 36; 3, Hot Feet-ARI 46.