IT WAS a case of blood, sweat and tears as more than 300 runners braved the cold to run a gruelling 50-mile ultra-marathon.

They took between five-and-a-half and 13 hours to run from the Prince of Wales pub at Iffley in Oxford to Henley, in the Cure Parkinson’s Trust Thames Trot.

John Gilman, 43, from Tackley, managed a time eight hours and 44 minutes despite having a nose bleed for 17 miles.

He said: “It wasn’t too bad. It’s a lot of pain but it was strangely enjoyable. The first 30 miles weren’t too bad but then I had to knuckle down.”

Saturday’s event raised money for the trust, which funds research into Parkinson’s disease.

Oxford University Press director Peter Marshall said the run was a personal challenge, having turned 50. He said: “I’ve run a few marathons in the past but this is my first go at an ultra.

“The biggest challenge for me leading up the race has been finding the time to put in the increasingly long and painful training miles, while maintaining something resembling a normal life.”