MORE than 100 runners from across the country signed up to tackle the first Liverpool-to-Manchester ultra marathon, an event organised by Warrington-based GB Ultras.

Competitors ran a gruelling 47-mile course that passed through Warrington, the equivalent of almost two regular marathons back-to-back, negotiating rough terrain on the TransPennine Trail before finishing at the Old Bedians Sports Centre in Didsbury, Manchester.

Having started at the North End Sports Club, opposite Aintree Racecourse, runners passed through several checkpoints in Warrington, Thelwall and Dunham Massey before finally reaching the finish.

Winner Matthew Rushbrook, who was first in Warrington's English Half Marathon in 2013, completed the course in 6hrs 18mins.

Organiser Wayne Drinkwater, himself an experienced ultra-marathon runner from Old Hall, hopes these events can inspire people to push beyond their limits.

“I’m hoping this race and future Ultra Great Britain races will change British running and keep people questioning their limits,” he said.

“I hope to challenge the long-held concepts about athletic limitations that suggest runners reach the limit of their endurance after 26 miles.”

The top three male and female runners each received a painting inspired by the Trans Pennine Trail from Winwick artist Jenny Drinkwater.

The next GB Ultras event in August rejoins the Trans Pennine Trail and Warrington as runners attempt to complete 200 miles in 100 hours, starting in Liverpool and ending in Hornsea, near Hull.

Anyone interested in competing should go to