Impressive performances from two runners new to the Dartmoor Discovery (DD) on Saturday meant that the men’s and ladies’ trophies went to debutants for a second successive year.

Torbay AC runner Simon Longthorpe – the overall winner – completed the challenging 32-mile course in a time of 3.48.01, while Holly Rush of Avon Valley Runners took the ladies’ trophy in 4.03.15.

Saturday’s DD was Longthorpe’s first ultramarathon, while Rush was tantalisingly close to the female course record of 4.02.36.

The conditions, in true Dartmoor style, asked much of the runners. The race started with cool temperatures and an overcast sky. But, after two hours, the temperature and humidity rose significantly, taxing the resilience of participants.

Michael Robinson, of the MudCrew Trail Runners, was second overall, in 3.56.23.

Robinson and Longthorpe had tussled for the lead before Longthorpe eventually drew away after the marathon point. Marshall Milton Keynes athlete Gary Blaber came third, crossing the line in 4.02.48.

First lady Rush claimed fourth place overall, underlining the high quality of her performance.

The DD, which starts and finishes in Princetown, is organised by south west running club Teignbridge Trotters. Renowned for breathtaking views, equally breathtaking hills and weather that always surprises, the DD is the UK’s longest single-lap road race. The event has been steadily growing in popularity since 2010, when the Trotters took over its organisation. This year, 195 finishers crossed the finish line, out of a record starting line-up of 217 runners.

Trotters’ chairman Roger Hayes, who is also the DD’s race director, said: ‘It was great to see local man Simon win the race. His achievement was all the more impressive because this was his first DD.

‘I had high hopes that Holly, a GB international runner, could crack the ladies’ course record, but the final hill up to Princetown reduced her to a walk and she missed it by just 39 seconds. She’s got the DD bug, though. She told me she’d be back next year to have another go!’

The DD’s hard-fought team competitions always generate excitement and interest.

This year, the Teignbridge Trotters’ men’s team brought home the trophy for an impressive seventh time, thanks to great performances from Garry Smart (4.15.37), Mike Hooper (4.23.23) and Kurt Read (4.42.37). The MudCrew ladies of Isobel Wykes (4.19.38), Diane Roy (4.34.03) and Sharon Daw (5.09.11) retained the trophy they won in 2015.