MORE than 100 runners braved rocky footpaths and steep climbs to compete in the first Sandstone Trail Challenge in five years.
In the early hours of Saturday (May 21) morning runners of all ages travelled to Whitchurch to cross the starting line of the 33 mile Sandstone Trail.
The ultra marathon saw 112 runners battle through harsh pathways, rocky hills and climb 3700ft before reaching the finish line in Frodsham.
It took Helsby Running Club champion Adair Broughton just over four hours to finish the 33 mile race, breaking the former record by just under 40 minutes.
Runners flocked from across the region to join in the marathon, which wound through Whitchurch, Nomansheath, Bickerton, Beeston, Willington, Delamere before finally finishing in Frodsham.
Teenagers and pensioners took up to 12 hours to reach the finish line at Frodsham Community Centre where they were greeted by cheering crowds and a pie and pea supper for their hard work.
Organised by Helsby Running Club the weekend race was the first time that the Sandstone Trail Challenge has gone ahead since Frodsham Fire Service pulled out in 2006.
Speaking after the race Helsby Running Club member Steve Riley said: “There was a tremendously good vibe about the race, for the first run I can see very little that could be improved.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere the whole way around the course, even through it is incredibly tough at times, with steep hills and fences to climb.
“The views are stunning as the trail follows the Sandstone Ridge. This year’s race could not have been possible without the hard work of volunteers especially Andy Robinson who organising the whole thing.”