HEREFORD runner John Miskimmin knocked two-and-a-half hours off his personal best to win a 100-mile running race in 19 hours and four minutes.

Miskimmin, of city based Wye Valley Runners, took on the gruelling Chester 100 Mile Ultra race for the first time recently.

The race proved to be a real challenge for the Hereford athlete as he overcame navigational errors, nettle stings, exhaustion and the trials and tribulations of a tough off-road undulating course.

However, he still ran out winner of the event, which is part of a series ran by GB Ultras.

The Chester 100 is mainly a trail running event taking in a lot of the national trail paths in the area with an eye watering 1,960 metres of elevation.

Miskimmin was using the event as a training run for Spartathlon 2019 - an international race taking place in Greece in September.

“I’ve been lucky to qualify and gain a place in this legendary race and will now run as part of the British Spartathlon Team," said Miskimmin

"It's a humbling honour.”

Miskimmin was inspired to take up running by his wife Gillian also a member of Wye Valley Runners.

“My wife was always on at me to get out running with her as she is an avid runner but I was always saying no," he added.

"I eventually ran my first 10 kilometre race in over 10 years in February 2016 and did okay. And that’s when the running bug set in.

"I spent the next year running races from 5km up to half marathon but I was never up there competing for any podium places - running for my local club has helped me enormously and I’m proud to be a member of Wye Valley Runners”