More than a thousand runners stared into the face of hell and pushed themselves to the limit after taking part in ‘the toughest half marathon in the UK’ on Saturday.

The gruelling 13.1 mile Hell up North route through Delamere Forest dragged competitors through the legendary Bog of Doom, Hills of Hell and through mother nature at her cruelest.

Battling muddy terrain and the unpredictable English weather, 1528 fun-runners crossed the finish line caked in mud after taking on the Brooks HellRunner – Hell up North challenge.

Related: Hell Up North runners descend on Delamere Forest

Tests throughout the course include a chest-high wade through Lucifer’s Lido, the Bog of Doom and a hose wash.

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Fitness fanatics took part for a variety of reasons from the ultimate personal challenge to raising more for a good cause, some even celebrating a special occasion.

Karen Dunning, from Merseyside who took on the challenge as part of her 40th birthday celebrations said she convinced a group of 30 friends to take part in the hellish affair.

Crossing the finish line in just over five hours, she said: “My friends and I had an amazing time. Somehow it was even more enjoyable than I had anticipated.

“Making memories was certainly achieved and to top it all off I was able to raise around £1,200 with more still to come.

“My target was £100 so I am chuffed to say the least.”

Related: Weaverham mum takes on Hell Up North challenge after recovering from broken back

In first place, completing The Hell Up North course in one hour 46 minutes was Brent Nile.

The fastest woman to complete the route in two hours and ten minutes – coming in 54th overall was Suzanne Eccleston.

Up to their necks in it!

Brooks HellRunner Event Director, Paul Magner, said: “The beauty of our events is the fact that they are all natural.

“There is no shying away from mother nature, our routes take people through to the edge of their comfort zone and provide the ultimate in personal challenges. “This weekend was the second event in the 12th Brooks HellRunner Series and it was great to see so many people take on the toughest half marathon in the UK and still finish with a smile on their face.

The HellRunner series is now in its 12th year with other events in the South and Buckinghamshire.

The finale of the three-strong Brooks HellRunner series will be Hell Down South at Longmoor Camp, Hampshire in January 2016.

Did you take on the challenge? Can you spot yourself in the pictures? Let us know in the comments below