IT’s a 25-mile route through some of the North Pennines’ most beautiful countryside.

But whether you walk it or run it, the Allendale Challenge is renowned for being as tough as they come.

Yet for three decades, the annual event has attracted eager competitors from far and wide.

Hundreds of fell runners and walkers are set to take part in a special 30th anniversary Allendale Challenge on Saturday.

As usual, it will be organised by the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, and will raise vital funds for the voluntary-led team’s work.

The circular route, which will start and finish in Allendale, is not for the faint-hearted, and will take in some of the finest peat bogland in the area.

It covers 25 miles (40 km) through rural areas, including Hard Rigg, Black Hill and Kilhope Law, before returning to the town via Spartylea, the Drag, and Ladelwell.

The weather on the event can sometimes be as challenging as the terrain, and the stretch between Hardrigg and Blackhill is often particularly boggy.

There will be checkpoints offering refreshments along the route, with mountain rescue team members acting as marshals.

Participants are set to receive 30th anniversary t-shirts, as organisers look to mark the milestone.

The mountain rescue team was first established in the 1970s in response to an increase in the number of incidents on hills and fells in the area.

It is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers, and is funded by charitable donations.

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