Bob Hope is among Eyam competitors

Emmerdale actor Tony Audenshaw was among nearly 400 people who ran the Eyam Half Marathon the weekend.

The keen runner – who plays Bob Hope in the ITV soap – completed the gruelling course, known as the ‘rat race’ in a respectable time of 1:37.47.

Tony joined runners from throughout the country who lined up in the historic Peak District village on Sunday to take part in the 20th running of the race.

Over the last 20 years, it has not only become one of the most respected and well-loved road races in the country, but helped the ‘plague village’ of Eyam raise more than £120,000, largely for cancer charities and local community organisations.

The half marathon was won by Matthew Battensby from Burges Salmon Running Club in a time of 1:19.36. He was followed home by Stuart Maycock from Hallamshire Harriers in 1:21:24 with East Cheshire Harriers athlete Howard Oldham third in 1:22:34.

The first lady home was Jenny Featherstone from Totley AC in 1:34:27 with unattached runner Nicola Gleadhall second in 1:35:49 and another Totley athlete Debbie Clark third in 1:36.

Totley AC also picked up the ladies team prize with the men’s team award going to Guilford.

The first local runner home was Mark Innes, generational pastor at Eyam Church in 1:42.31, followed five minutes later by Eyam rector, the Revd Mike Gilbert.

The first local lady was Louise Boatswain in 2:10:40.

The half marathon course takes runners on a beautiful, but gruelling course involving more than 1,200 ft of ascent.

A single loop road circuit, it passes through the hamlets of Bretton and Abney, skirts around Eyam Moor and returns to Eyam via Sir William Hill.

The race was started by retired Premier League football referee Uriah Rennie who also got the 1.3 mile fun run underway. All youngsters completing the course received a certificate signed by Olympic swimming star Rebecca Adlington.