A 68-year-old has become the first woman to complete the full 48-and-a-quarter miles and 6,171ft ascent of the Bradford Millennium Way in one day.

Hilary Wharam, a veteran of 20 marathons, including 11 London Marathons – despite only having taken up running in her 50s – completed the challenge in an amazing time of 14 hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds.

“I had hoped for possibly 15 hours, but this was beyond my wildest dreams,” said Hilary, of Rawdon.

The Horsforth Harrier set off at 2.50am on Sunday from Beckfoot Lane in Bingley, choosing the day because it coincided with the Bradford Millennium Way Five Stage Relay Race, organised by St Bedes AC, where teams of ten runners race in pairs round the route, starting and finishing at Bingley Rugby Club in Wagon Lane.

Hilary said she enjoyed a lot of support along the way, being accompanied by different runners on each stage of the course.

“It was amazing,” she said. “There was a bit of rain on the first leg, then it was a beautiful day until we got to Ilkley – then it absolutely hammered down. It was a great event.”

Hilary used the event to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Prior to her retirement, Hilary worked with disabled people, advising them of services available to them. In the course of this employment she met many MS sufferers and witnessed at first-hand the devastating effects of the illness on the patients and their loved ones, which is why she chose to support the MS Society.

“I have raised at least £450, but there is the promise of quite a bit more,” she said.

Hilary completed the event with the help of medication taken for a bad back and says the challenge may be one of her last.

“I now challenge younger women to do better!” she added.