A "truly majestic" experience was one Garden City Runners' description of a very different marathon.

Anna Lillie got 2023 off to a great start by taking part in the Tromso Polar Marathon.

In total the run had 80 participants in an event that had no markers, no marshals and a five-hour cut-off time.

Runners were simply dropped off in a tiny hamlet and told to follow the road back. The only signs of life from the race organisers was the occasional passing of an ambulance to check everyone was OK.

Lillie said: "I stupidly carried water as the drinks stops weren’t frequent, but my water froze and my gels nearly did too.

"I was fortunate enough to find a British lady to run the whole way with which helped.

"It was freezing when you stopped and sometimes there was no-one in sight in front or behind.

"And despite being right next to the British lady, when there was windy snowy gusts we couldn’t see each other at times. Her company was very much appreciated."

She completed the course though in four hours 27 minutes 40 seconds despite running through icy conditions and with spikes on.

And it was a race she will never forget.

"It was truly majestic," she added. "The full moon and clear skies with the snow, made for something truly magical and there was no need for a head torch.

"Whilst there is around 21 hours of darkness here, so much revolves around the light."

Others from the club were due to be running closer to home at Royston as part of the Sunday Cross-country League.

That was cancelled but they organised a race amongst themselves around Tewin, 26 taking part.

Peter Harvey led them home ahead of Bruce Judge and Dom Thomas, the front three separated by 25 seconds, while Lucy Iles and Sharon Threlfall led the female contingent.

Asa Moberg-Grout was third for the women, completing the race with her canine friend.

Parkrun action on Saturday saw a group head to Wendover Woods to celebrate Barbara Kubis-Labiak.

The run is held on a one-lap hilly and forested trail course just outside of Aylesbury.

The birthday girl herself also ran with her dog, Luna, clocking 31:04.

She said: It was a great route and comes highly recommend for anyone who is after a hilly woodland parkrun.

"It was lovely to run with friends and celebrate, especially that Willow Gibson also brought a chocolate cake."

Daniel Pudner was not only the first GCR to finish but was also third overall in 20:33, two places and 28 seconds ahead of Rob Casserley.

Richard Somerset, Johan Preis, Paul Gatens, Colin Grace, Ali Eroglu and Ann Hayden were the others to join in the celebrations.

Elsewhere, Alex Faulkner was second lady at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough while Chris Baylis was third at Stevenage.