THE sun was shining in West Dunbartonshire as more than 2,500 participants, along with world-class elite swimmers, took on the challenge of the Great Scottish Swim at one of the country’s most iconic locations- Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Swimmers of all ages and abilities took on a variety of distances, ranging from the beginner’s half-mile, all the way up to the gruelling marathon 10K swim in Scotland’s biggest open water event.

The elite race in the afternoon saw some of the world’s best open water swimmers battle it out in a fast and furious one miler.

In the women’s race 2016 Olympic finalist, Isabelle Harle, of Germany, took first place, while University of Stirling swimmer Danielle Huskisson, the 2016 European 5k open water champion and 2017 World 10k open water championships finalist came second, junior swimmer Masie Macartney, of Thanet in Kent, clinched third.

Five time German 25km champion and FINA World Cup winner Alex Studzinski won the men’s race in a close battle with his countryman, 2015 25K World Champion Christian Reichert.

And 2017 World 4x200m champion Steven Milne, of Perth City Swim Club, took third.

Alex Jackson, Great Swim Series event director said, “It’s been another incredible weekend here in Loch Lomond. Swimming in one of Scotland’s most iconic locations, against such a memorable backdrop is an amazing experience for our swimmers.

“We’d like to say a big well done to everyone who took part and a big thanks to our fantastic safety team, lifeguards and local volunteers.”

Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “It’s been another fantastic day here seeing more than 2,500 people competing against the spectacular surroundings of Loch Lomond. It’s also been great to see so many people coming out to spectate and support the event and enjoy the local area.

“Well done to everyone who took part. I’m sure the event has inspired lots of people taking part and watching to take up open water swimming and the National Park offers plenty of great places to do that. I would just ask anyone swimming in our lochs to be mindful of all the safety advice available so they can enjoy themselves as safely as possible.

“Once again the Great Scottish Swim has showcased what a fantastic sporting venue we have here and I’m excited to welcome the European Championships to Loch Lomond next year.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “It is wonderful to see so many swimmers of all ages and levels of taking part in the Great Scottish Swim. Of course, major events such as this provide great economic benefits for Scotland but the inspiration it provides for people and their communities is invaluable.

“EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Great Scottish Swim again, ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships where Loch Lomond will once more provide the perfect stage for world-class open water swimming in Scotland.”

The event marked the culmination of the 2017 Great Swim Series, which is celebrating it’s 10th year.

The series gives thousands of participants the opportunity to swim in lakes, lochs and urban docks across the UK including; the Great North Swim at Windermere, Cumbria, the Great East Swim at Alton Water, near Ipswich and the Great London Swim at the Royal Victoria Dock.