Some of South Wales’ bravest runners have battled the elements to complete an extreme running challenge in aid of Wales Air Ambulance.

The Darth Mannion Beach & Swamp Run Challenge takes place on the picturesque Gower and this year raised a record-breaking amount.

The course is not for the fainthearted and sees runners tackle 13 miles of mud, hills, rivers, sea- entries and swamp conditions. 500 runners rose to the challenge this year, taking in the best of the Gower’s breath-taking views whilst wading through the boggy course.

This year’s event raised £24,000 for the charity and has been running since 2009. 

Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, Mark Stevens said: “Having first-hand experience of the brutality of the Darth it’s certainly an event for the brave. This year will go down in history as one of the most brutal with runners tackling sub-zero temperatures and even snow blizzards.

The event sold out in seconds, despite warnings on the website as it being a “run for idiots”.

Race Director Ian Joslin said: “It’s great to see that the Darth has increased in popularity with more and more people joining in every year. Being able to support Wales Air Ambulance through the event gives us a great amount of pride and we are grateful to all the participants for the money they have raised.”

Participants flocked from all over the UK to take part in the unique endurance challenge, in aid of the helicopter charity. Many participants not only rose to the physical challenge but also set themselves fundraising targets to help generate a substantial donation.

Mark added: “This year’s coveted award for biggest fundraiser went to Fiona Noble from Cardiff who raised £2,000 on her own. We cannot begin to explain how important the Darth Mannion is to us as a charity. This truly unique challenge generates more donations than any other organised fundraising event for our charity.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the Darth Mannion 2018 for making it another successful year and we are already looking forward to celebrating the 10-year anniversary in 2019.”