A GREENFIELD man is certainly walking tall after trekking the backbone of England and literally emerging as the 'Last Man Standing' in a race regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world.

Ultra-runner Colin Green braved biting Arctic winds and plummeting temperatures to trudge 268 miles across the Pennine Way over seven days and nights last month to conquer the Montane Spine Race.

Sheer grit and determination pushed him over the finishing line as the last competitor as, one-by-one, his fellow contenders dropped out of the brutal race.

Colin completed the epic Derbyshire to Scotland journey in 166 hours with just one-and-a-half hours to spare before cut-off time, finishing in 73rd place with 53 runners dropping out along the way.

For the 48-year-old, a specialist neurological physiotherapist and clinical director of his company, Physio Matters, in Hollinwood, it was second time lucky after he had to pull out of last year's event after breaking his ribs while crossing a river.

But this time not even 40mph winds, -20 wind chill, snow and fog could stop courageous Colin, an experienced ultra- runner who has previously completed over 30 marathons, the 200-mile Trans-Pennine Trail and the 214-mile GB Ultra Race Across Scotland.

"This was the hardest race I have ever run in my life," he said.

"The conditions were tough. By the end I was completely exhausted. The biggest challenge is sleep deprivation. I had 30 mins sleep in the first 48 hours when I covered 108 miles, and a total of 13 hours over the whole week."

Undeterred by last year's experience - after which he stayed on to join the volunteer team and support other runners still on the course - Colin trained for 12 months for the race which this year attracted 126 runners from around the world including the USA, Canada, Japan, Spain and Denmark.

He admitted there were times he was close to pulling out.

"After a short sleep in the woods in Kielder Forest on Day 5, I woke up in a lot of pain, cold and extremely tired and thought "I can't go on"," he said.

"But I'd come so far and this year I was determined to succeed. I told myself to get up and get going. I visualised being at the finish line and focused on just putting one foot in front of the other."

Colin - who set up Greenfield Greyhounds in 2011 to introduce absolute beginners to running and has helped over 500 people so far - said he also started hallucinating towards the end of the race.

"Through sheer fatigue, I must fallen over 50 times on the final descent off the Pennines in the dark to the finish line," he added.

"I even started hallucinating – thinking I could see writing in waterfalls, cars on the moors, and even the faces of old film stars in the fog. It was bizarre and just shows what tricks a tired brain can play on you.

"The race took a lot of mental strength and grit to keep going. Thank you to everyone who supported me and followed my progress on the online tracker. I'm so proud to say I was the 'Last Man Standing' and I'm a Spine Finisher!"