A GRUELLING race dubbed the 'marathon with mountains' will return to the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday.

The Three Peaks Race covers the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough and features 1,609 metres of ascent.

The 23-mile race was cancelled last year amid the pandemic. The 66th edition of the event was then going to take place in April but was delayed.

Three former winners of the race are among the 821 entrants - Ricky Lightfoot, of West Cumbrian club Ellenborough, Ian Ferguson, of Bingley Harriers, and Tom Owens, of Shettleston Harriers, Glasgow.

The record of 2-46-03 for the current course was set by Andy Peace, of Bingley Harriers, in 1996.

Victoria Wilkinson, also of Bingley Harriers, holds the women's record - a time of 3-09-19, set in 2017.

However, Ms Wilkinson is not running this year due to injury.

Sara Willhoit, of West Midlands club Mercia Fell Runners, is being tipped to take the trophy.

She was part of the Great Britain team at the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia, but Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn, the Lakeland 50 record-holder, of Keswick Athletic Club, and Hatti Archer, of Sheffield-based club Dark Peak Fell Runners, will provide stiff competition.

The event will begin at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, near Settle, at 10am on Saturday.