PORTLAND staged the inaugural running of the Hard Way Half-Marathon, an off-road race organised by the Royal Manor of Portland Athletics Club.

The course was an anti-clockwise run round the coastal and cliff paths of Portland. It also included a tough 800-yard spell on Chesil Beach.

Mike Tizard, the race organiser said in his pre-race brief: “You are going round the island anti-clockwise so the sea is always on your right-hand side, if it’s on your left you’re lost.”

At the same time a shorter five-mile race was also staged.

The competition started off in glorious sunshine with a light breeze which proved to be a brilliant for cooling the hard working runners after they had warmed up.

First across the line was Tony White of RMPAC in one hour 33.16 minutes followed by Lee Dempster and Gary Trow of Lytchett Manor Striders.

The first lady to reach the finish was local runner Juliet Culbreth in 1.45.08 with Janet Sealy and Louise Harper second and third respectively.

Robert Palmer claimed the five-mile race and Lauren Webber was the first lady home.

A RMPAC spokesman said: “We would like to thank sponsors Quick Pave Revive. A big vote of thanks also goes to all the volunteers who gave up their time to assist in the organisation of the race.