When 26.2 miles just isn’t enough...

A few dozen brave souls faced one of the toughest challenges in sport as they tackled the Northumberland Ultra long-distance race on Saturday.

Thirty-eight people finished the gruelling 100km (62-mile) run, starting in Wooler and following a mountainous course that takes in the Northumberland National Park, the College Valley and parts of the Pennine Way.

Organiser Ian Couch, of extreme pursuit company AdventureHub and a veteran endurance sportsman, said the event had been a big success.

He said: “We had a fair chunk of local people, some from further afield, a couple from overseas. We had a much faster finish this year. The winner came in under 13 hours, which is pretty spectacular.”

Just a few competitors failed to finish the race, known as an ‘ultramarathon’, after they suffered injuries – or just ran out of time.

“We had to cut them off after about 20 hours,” Ian said.

A standard-length marathon was also held alongside the Ultra race, which is known as one of the most difficult in the country.

Committed ultra fans race to gain points which allow them to compete in major events around Europe – and the Wooler run is one of just three in the country that carries the maximum three points.

Ian said that, along with safety, his major concern is to make the race as painless as possible for competitors.

“We try to make sure people enjoy a potentially very unenjoyable experience,” he said.

The winner of last weekend’s race reached the finish line first despite never having run an ultramarathon before.