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Last Updated: Sunday October 26 2008 16:24 GMT

Stranded mountain runners found

Mountain runners (Picture from video supplied by mountain marathon competitor Jeremy Webb)

Thousands of runners who took part in a mountain marathon race which was hit by extreme weather, have all been found.

About 2,500 were taking part in the two-day Original Mountain Marathon in the north west of England on Saturday, when strong winds and heavy rain hit.

Hundreds of runners were left stranded, and had to find shelter or camp out on the hills overnight.

Organisers said many didn't know the race had been called off at midday, when the bad weather set in.

The extreme weather and severe flooding made it difficult to get the message to all the competitors scattered across the hills.

Competitors from the Original Mountain Marathon take shelter at Cockermouth School (Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Many runners found shelter overnight
Mountain rescue teams searched the hills until after dark on Saturday, with more than 1,700 people missing.

But race organisers said many had found shelter in farms, old mines, and a school, and all of them had tents and food with them.

On Sunday morning, Cumbria police called in a helicopter to search for those still missing, and in the afternoon the last six athletes were found.

More than 12 people were taken to hospital for treatment.