NEW course records were set at the Great Langdale Marathon and Half-Marathon, which attracted their highest combined turnout for ten years, and Eden Runners’ Steve Bennett finished a battling fourth in the full distance event.

There were 302 finishers for the shorter race, while 60 completed the marathon over the additional lap of a slightly altered course, which this year took in exceptional views around Loughrigg Tarn.

A battle royal ensued in the half-marathon before Paul Muller (Horwich RMI) mastered the reigning record-holder Ian Fisher.

Veteren Muller was registering his fifth successive win in the race, and he also set a new best mark of 1hr 12min 32sec.

Fisher was 1min 19sec adrift at the finish line in second place in 1-13-51, with a further gap of almost five and a half minutes to third-placed Alasdair Tatham (Darlington) in 1-19-15.

Erica Johnson (Ellingstring) was the first woman in an another new record of 1-31-04. It was a family affair for her with her father Eric Nutter winning the O65 vet's award and her husband Richard Johnson sixth in the men's race.

Les Hill from Dumfries, a regular at this fixture, won the marathon and was the only entrant to finish under three hours in 2-59-30.

He beat Peter Bates (Bury), who finished second last year and did so again, while Graham Cunliffe (Clayton le Moors) was third. Elizabeth Sowter (Leyburn) set a record in the women’s race in 3-38-41. Next year’s races will be held earlier on August 22.