This is what it’s like to run 36km – uphill!

Check out all the action from the UK’s gruelling uphill knockout race.
© Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool
By Ellie Ross

Sheer grit and determination were on display at Red Bull Steeplechase 2016 – the unique 36km knockout running race that forces the best runners to climb over 1830m during its course.

The event – held for the first time along the beautiful coastline of the Exmoor National Park in south-west England – saw almost 400 competitors take on a course riddled with steep climbs, fast descents and peaty sections.

Split into male and female categories, the racers had to run between four different steeples – where at each point the slowest runners in the pack were eliminated.

This format left only the fittest to go head-to-head to battle for the winning position on the seafront in Lynmouth, Devon.

More: Check out the best images from Red Bull Steeplechase

In the men’s category, it was Ricky Lightfoot who came out on top, scooping victory with an impressive time of 2h 41m 22s.

After crossing the finish line, he said: “It was my first Red Bull Steeplechase and it was great! I really enjoyed the course and running along the coastline was stunning. The track had lots of challenges but once you cross the last steeple and you’re heading downhill, you can see the finish line next to the crystal blue water – you can’t ask for better than that!”

Men celebrate with champagne after Red Bull Steeplechase on Exmoor
Male winners celebrate on the podium © Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool

The fastest female on the day was Claire Rogers who crossed the line with a time of 3h 19m 57s.

Victorious Claire, said: “It has been an amazing day. I had so much fun crawling up the muddy steeples but my favourite parts had to be the sections of flats through the forests."

Women celebrate with champagne after Red Bull Steeplechase on Exmoor, UK
Red Bull Steeplechase female winners celebrate © Leo Francis/Red Bull Content Pool

All in all it was an epic day filled with heart-pumping action and burning glutes, and (most likely) a lot of runners thinking 'why am I putting myself through this?!'

Check out the full results list of Red Bull Steeplechase here.

Want to see more runners putting themselves through hell? Check out Red Bull 400 – the most tiring short race in the world.

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