ANDREW Merrick has just produced an epic display in the ultimate long-distance mountain race - the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc (UTMB).

It is the holy grail for the world’s best mountain runners, with almost 10,000 taking part in the seven events from Chamonix.

The UTMB is the feature - over 170km in total around Mont Blanc, with more than 10,000 metres of elevation.

Glaciers, torrents, valleys and alpine passes need to be negotiated as the challenge passes through France, Italy and Switzerland.

Running non-stop and through the night, just under two-thirds of the 2,347 starters made it to the finish, including Merrick.

And not just that, but his time of 41 hours, 55 minutes and 14 seconds placed him a superb seventh in his age category.

Not a million miles away, Ilkley clubmate Petra Bijsterveld made a welcome return to the Nendaz Trail event, based around Haute-Nendaz, a village in the Swiss mountains.

She had enjoyed the 30k race in 2019 and was delighted to be able to tackle it again.

She knocked seven minutes off her previous best time as she crossed the line in a fraction over six hours for the route, which contained nearly 2,000 metres of climbing.

A little closer to home, Hilda Coulsey set a new all-time club record for five miles at the Portrush 5 in Northern Ireland.

She stopped the clock in 40 minutes and 40 seconds for the far-from-flat route and not only did that beat her own previous LV65-69 age category mark, but it was also faster than the records for LV55-59 and LV60-64.

Sally Armitage had another first place at the Brighouse Humpday 10k.

Part of a road-race series Run Able had been holding throughout August, she won in a time of 40:56.

The same night, Claire McLoughlin set a new personal best for 5k at the August EvenSplits at the Brownlee Centre.

Her time of 21 minutes exactly saw her finish sixth lady overall and first in the LV35 category.

The weekend saw the latest English Championship Fell Race - the Black Combe Dash in the Lakes.

And Kate Archer produced another stellar performance in a top-class field as she was fourth LV40 in 55:38 for the up-and-down 4.5-mile test.

Fellow Harrier Dan Dry was 25th overall in 43:56, while Jim Ryder was only just outside the top 100 in 57:08.

A busy day on the parkrun front on Saturday saw two particularly notable displays.

Nick Kealey bagged his maiden first-place finish at Myrtle in 18:50 while Geoffrey Howard topped the age-grading charts from nearly 400 runners at Fountains Abbey, with his time of 22:05.

And the closest parkrun so far to Ilkley has launched, as the first-ever Chevin Forest parkrun took place.

The inaugural edition was superbly organised on a glorious day.

A fun, free event, it promises to be a fantastic addition to the local running calendar and starts at 9am every Saturday - 5km off-road for all abilities and ages.