HEAVY rain, cold weather and lots of mud failed to put off hundreds of runners who took part in the fifth edition of a unique race.

The Warrington Way takes entrants on a 40-mile ultra race through the countryside of the borough.

Starting from Lymm on Saturday, November 9, the circuit is completed by solo runners, pairs or teams of four.

The new course record for the pairs was set by Mat Rushbrook and Neil Macnicol who came in just under the five hour mark at four hours 50 minutes taking 20 minutes off last years previous best.

Charlie Sharpe came first in the solos for the second year running and Helsby took the relays crown again.

Mat and Neil, who are regulars to the yearly race, said: ‘This year was particularly hard going due to a lot of heavy rain pre-race.

“But this in no way dampened the spirits of the brilliant Lymm Runners who organise the event.

“As a club they have made improvements to the race each year and it has now become a highlight in my running calendar.

“I live in the area and it’s an event that gets fantastic local support. Each checkpoint has everything you could possibly need, and race HQ exceeds any event I have experienced with more hot food and homemade cake than any runner could dream of.”

Meanwhile, out on the course another highlight was a colourful group of Ooompa Loompas from Warrington Triathlon Club who moved around the 40 mile route surprising and motivating runners with a combination of disco music, dancing and energising high fives.

More than 300 runners competed either solo, in pairs or in relay teams of four. They were supported at Maple Lodge and checkpoints on the route by more than 40 volunteers as well as RTC Medical Solutions who provided medical cover for the event.

Andrew Holland, race director said: “The Warrington Way just gets more popular as the years go on. The race is now in its fifth year and fills up extremely quickly with a good mix of runners for all different walks of life. There is always lots of support from the volunteers who in previous years have participated and understand what the athletes are going through. “

The next Warrington Way will take place on Saturday, November 14 and entries will open on May 1.