HILL country on the Ox Drove near Tollard Royal marked the start of another new race in the region, reflecting the growing number of runners wanting to put themselves to the test in challenging endurance races and it was trialled by City of Salisbury’s off-road quartet.

Phil Smith continued his good recent form in the 35-mile ultra marathon version of the event, and his time of 6hours 33mins 12sec demonstrated what a tough combination of long climbs, long stretches of mud and kneedeep puddles went into the distance.

In the 26-mile version of the course, also featuring plenty of gradients and equally difficult conditions underfoot, Liz Roberts added to her impressive total of marathons she has conquered when she crossed the finishing line in 5.33.02.

On the slightly more manageable half marathon trail, Andy Robbins, pictured left, and Lizzie Guasch shared the pace and drew the benefit from that to clock 2.40.42.

This Sunday sees the climax of the Hampshire road race league season at the D-Day commemoration 10k race in Portsmouth. The men’s team tussle between last year’s title winners Salisbury and strong challengers Stubbington Green will finally be resolved, the women’s team second place should be confirmed to be Salisbury’s and in the individual tables, Faye Parker, Sally Greenslade, Stuart Holloway and Ben Brewster are expected to be the stars.