A veteran of the North East’s ultimate obstacle course is hoping to continue his race success when the event returns next month.

Chris Henderson is a Muddy Mayhem regular having won the 5k race every year for the last 4 years. A keen runner and fitness obsessive, Chris says it’s the ever-more challenging course and the competition from other runners that draws him back each year.

Competitors are invited to run, climb and jump their way around a course of over 40 challenges, including cargo nets, climbing walls and tunnels on Sunday 30 September in Hardwick Park, Sedgefield.

Chris said: “The first year I decided to enter was with a group of 14 friends and, as lads do, it became competitive, each of us putting on a wager to beat each other. I went a step further and committed to winning the whole event, which I did. I go all out with it, but you don’t have to, people of all different ages and abilities can take part and that all adds to the great atmosphere on the day.”

Everyone from professionals to amateurs are welcome to take part and shouldn’t be put off by Chris’ intensive training routine of three runs a week, including long runs, interval training and hill runs for two months before the race. Chris’ preparation paid off when he recorded a winning time of 32:19 last year but those who want to take it easy can enjoy a less competitive run.

Entrants need to be aged 16 or over and have a reasonable level of fitness to take part but no runner will be left behind as race marshals will give a helping hand to anyone struggling with an obstacle.

Chris said “I love to take part because it’s a local event. It’s fun, muddy and it’s got some great obstacles. Every year the course is improving for the better! But overall the thing that keeps me entering is the fear of knowing there’s potentially going to be someone quicker this year.”

For anyone wanting to knock Chris off the top spot, looking for a laugh with their friends or wanting to raise money for charity, Muddy Mayhem promises a day of fun.

Places, costing £43 for the 5k course and £48 for the 10k, are available to book online at www.durham.gov.uk/muddymayhem or by emailing muddymayhemenquiries@durham.gov.uk