MORE than 100 runners took on the challenge, pushing themselves to their limits against some of the toughest terrain on Portland.

This May saw the launch of the revamped Hard Way Half, a running event that included a half marathon and a five mile route, hosted by the Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club (RMPAC).

With 96 runners lined up for the half marathon and 30 runners for the five-miler, it was a significant increase on previous years.

The testing event started at the Blues Club with runners from both races heading down incline towards the sailing academy after which they ran along Chesil beach and up Lankridge, challenging runners mentally and physically. After a welcomed water at the top of the hill the five mile runners then headed along Old Hill, past the High Angle Batteries and finished back at the Blues Club with Portland man and RMPAC runner, Tony White, winning in a fantastic time of 35 minutes and 51 seconds.

The half marathon runners continued along Westcliff, around Portland Bill and through Church Ope before tackling the infamous Goat Path and then joining the others at the Blues Club.

Jim Kenderdine from RMPAC said: "The atmosphere on the day was amazing with runners travelling from both near and far and running for a variety of reasons, including club runners and some first timers. I met some truly inspirational people, such as Jack, who has battled mental health problems since the age of 14 and was raising funds for CALM, a charity dedicated to preventing male suicides in the UK and Jo, who is attempting to run a marathon a month in aid of Action for Kids. All the runners I spoke to couldn't get over how beautiful Portland was and how amazing the views were around the coastline, with nearly all of them saying they would be returning next year.

"The winner of the half marathon was Jonathon Cooper, from Weymouth's Egdon Heath Harriers, who completed the course in an amazing one hour and 33 minutes and first female back was Stephanie Slade in a time of one hour and 49 minutes and RMPAC's very own Julie Orton secured the third female trophy.

"The support we had from the local community was amazing and on behalf of RMPAC I would like to thank the many people who gave up their time to marshal, volunteer and support the event and the runners; without them the event simply couldn't have happened.

"If this year is anything to go by then the Hard Way can only go from strength to strength, we already have plans for next years event on May 14 to make it even better, and with only 150 entries available we advise people to book early, entries should open late September."

RMPAC meet at the YMCA on Portland every Tuesday at 6.15pm and welcome runners of all abilities and experience. Visit their Facebook page for more information.