Braving cold temperatures and muddy terrain, fearless fitness fanatics and fun-runners alike were waved off on the gruelling 13.1mile Brooks Hell Up North route through the forest with a soundtrack of Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell and AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
Groups of glam-rockers, action men and Where’s Wally impersonators took their places on the start line, many of them fundraising for charities.
Superheroes Bananaman and Superman even made appearances.
Among the competitors was Weaverham mum-of-two Zoe Dixon, 42, who broke her back three years ago and was told she would never run again.
The aforementioned Where’s Wally impersonators clad in their best stripy tops were healthcare professionals from the Countess of Chester Hospital, running to raise £10,000 for a new family room at the hospital.
The Hell up North course is 100% natural, relying on Mother Nature to provide the challenge.
Tests include a chest-high wade through Lucifer’s Lido, the Bog of Doom and a hose wash.
The HellRunner series is now in its 12th year with other events in the South and Buckinghamshire.
Paul Magner, founder of Hell Runner, said: “Today is about having fun and taking on a challenge.
“Delamere Forest is a magical venue for this event, which is a great celebration of off-road running but at the same time we have promoted it as the most difficult half marathon and we stand by that.
“It is great to see so many groups using the event for fundraising.”
Paul added that he believed around 1,500 ‘victims’ took part.