A record field of 195 runners took on the stiles and dew pond of the annual Gaddesby Gallop cross country challenge.
Runners also had to negotiate a drainage pipe over the five-and-a-half-mile as well as particularly muddy conditions caused by a mild, wet spell of weather.
Geoff Beetham (Barrow Runners) skipped through the slippery conditions to clock a brilliant 33min 55secs and take the win, 20 seconds ahead of a furious battle for second place which saw David Frankland (West End Runners) pip team-mate Mark Lambell at the line 34.15.
Claire Fitzpatrick (West End Runners) took the ladies’ prize, coming home in 38.23, well clear of her nearest rival Rhiannon Baxter, of the Syston-based Wreake Runners, in 44.08.
Barrow Runners member Louise Harman completed the ladies’ top three in 45.37.
The men’s local runners’ prizes went to Thomas Snowdon, who recorded a time of 39.14, and Martin Troop in 43.43.
The ladies’ local runner prize went to Rebecca King in 63.54.
First back for the healthy Stilton Striders contingent was Michael Atton in 23rd place overall after clocking 40min 23secs, followed just two places and 40 seconds later by clubmate Ian Drage.
Next home for the Melton running club were Paul Geeson in 43.10, followed by Darren Glover (44.31) and John Houghton (44.47).
Striders race debutant Vicki Hurrell crossed the line in 45.52 followed by Dan Giblett and Daniel Howley who both clocked 52.32, Ross Jackson (53.36), Lou Houghton (53.52), and Sarah Lawrence (60.47).
Deb and Jon Wilson ran together to finish in 67.08, while Kaye Mead finished in 68.44.
Wymeswold Running Club also fielded six runners in the event, headed by Nick Hando who finished 22nd overall in 39.58, and Niall Gardman who was two places back in 40.44.
Steve Evan was 65th in 48.21 followed by Mark Dunton (74th – 48.44), 99 51.57 Richard Cooper (99th – 51.57 and Alyson Hunter (187th – 71.27).
Gallop co-ordinator Lance Shaw said: “Thank-you again to everyone who took part, and to the numerous volunteers that helped to make this the most successful Gallop to date.
“We look forward to seeing you all again next time.”
Top 20 results: 1 Geoff Beetham (Barrow Runners) 33.55, 2 David Frankland (West End Runners) 34.14, 3 Mark Kambell (West End Runners) 34.15, 4 Ash Payne (Desford Striders) 34.43, 5 Dan Leake (Leicester Tri Club) 34.49, 6 Stephen Jelley (Race Hub) 35.32, 7 David Pearce (Leicester Corinthian) 35.57, 8 Christopher Papues-Balen (Owls RC) 36.04, 9 Ross Tyrrell (Desford Striders) 36.29, 10 Stephen Hobday (Grantham AC) 36.44, 11 Tom Johnson (Royal Air Force) 37.07, 12 Ryan Henry (Oakham Gardening) 37.46, 13 Mike Oxbig (West End Runners) 37.54, 14 Damian Cartland (BRAT) 38.11, 15 Claire Fitzpatrick (West End Runners) 38.23, 16 James Jesson (Wetherby Runners) 38.47, 17 Gavin Speed (Wreake Runners) 39.08, 18 Thomas Snowdon 39.14, 19 Alex Toll (Barrow Runners) 39.43, 20 Jonathan Male (Barrow Runners) 39.52.
* A Stilton Striders quartet travelled to Leicester for the third round of the Leicester 5k Winter Series.
First back for the club in fourth place overall was Luke Eggleston in 18min 18secs.
Natalie Teece was first lady finisher and sixth overall in 19.57, and Matt Gayton was seventh in 20.28, while Liz Goodbourn was first vet 50 lady in a time of 24.53.