Thousands of competitors gathered at a farm near Wolverhampton on 31 January to take part in what has been described as the world's toughest one-day race. Battling along a mud-sodden 15km course, the competitors must overcome obstacles such as the Brandenburger Gate, a 40ft vertical wall climb, an underwater tunnel and the Anaconda, a series of concrete pipes fixed with hanging electric wires.

The event, first staged in 1987, draws competitors from all over the world who want to test themselves in the gruelling conditions. However, every year hundreds of people fail to finish the course due to its unique demands. This year's competition was won by 22-year-old Conor Hancock who made up for his disappointment at finishing runner-up in 2015. Hancock, who hails from Sheffield, says his victory came from good preparation and your mental spirit on the day.

"You know what to expect. It is just down to your kit and how you are going to feel and there was a guy in second who was really fast, like a whippet, so I had my eye on him all the way. I knew I could catch 'im at the end. I loved it, it was really good," he said.

The money raised by the competitors goes towards the Horse Sanctuary charity, which aims to help unwanted, elderly or injured horses and donkeys.