Germany's Charles Franzke, 21, won the gruelling 2014 Tough Guy event in the village of Perton, near Wolverhampton on Sunday (January 26).

Franzke, from Saalfeld in Germany, finished ninth last year, said:

"I'm so happy, but very cold, but the track was very hard, unbelievable, so just a nice day."

He won the race in the time of one hour, 29 minutes and 21 seconds.

The obstacle race, which involves a 13-kilometre course through freezing water, fire and energy-sapping mud, has become something of a German affair after fellow countryman Knut Hoehler had won it for the previous three years.

Franzke ran out the toughest against a reported 4,500 fellow competitors, all taking part in aid of a horse and donkey charity in the village of Perton, Staffordshire.

Among the tests, set up like an extreme military obstacle course, were wooden climbing towers, rope walks, barbed wire and a freezing lake.

Organisers of the event, first held in 1987, claim the event is the world's toughest.

Presented by Adam Justice