A FITNESS instructor from Sale has been crowned champion of a notoriously gruelling obstacle course dubbed 'the world's hardest endurance test'.

Lisa Foley, who lives on Lynn Road, took part in the winter Tough Guy challenge held in Wolverhampton on Sunday. She was forced to scrabble under barbed wire clad netting, swim through freezing water filled tunnels, and run through a field of burning straw.

The super-fit personal trainer was the first woman to complete the eight mile course, which attracted around 5,000 competitors, some from as far a field as Japan and even New Zealand.

It’s not the first time the 30-year-old has attempted the physically demanding course in remote West Midland countryside, having finished third two years ago.

“After I’d completed the course in 2008 and came third I set myself the challenge of finishing first as I new it was possible. I’m into that kind of thing anyway which obviously helps,” the super-fit personal fitness trainer said.

Aside from the physical training, Lisa prepared for the shock of entering freezing water by wading through parts of Sale Water Park, and has also done some hill running in Alderley Edge to get used to running over uneven terrain. The only thing she could train for was running through burning hay.

“To be honest it warmed me up,” she said of the fiery challenge all competitors in the race have to go though. “It comes after the water sections so it was quite welcome in a way.

“The whole experience was amazing, and I achieved what I went there to do really,” she added. “What I’d always said was start off slowly and don’t burn myself out. I really enjoyed it all actually.”

Lisa, who entered the race as part of an eight-man team and helped raise £1,500 for the charity On Side - which helps underpriveleged children - says she’s already planning to defend her title at next year’s event.