Spooktators took to the streets as the trickiest (or treatiest) half marathon in the UK returned to town for the first time in four years.

The Oldham Half Marathon, now under the new name of The Halloween Half Marathon, returned to town on the morning of Sunday.

Previously the 'Milltown to Moors' half marathon, it is seen as the trickiest half marathon in the UK due to its challenging course, which starts and ends on St Mary's Way with a tour of the villages of Saddleworth in between.

On Sunday, the men's race was won by Ashley Buckley, from Salford Harriers running club, in a time of 1:17:55 and the women's race was won by Martha Tibbot, from Saddleworth Runners running club, in a time of 1:23:05.

Arooj Shah, the Oldham Council leader who was the starter of the race alongside the Oldham Athletic owner Frank Rothwell, welcomed its return for the first time in four years due to the disruption from the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Shah told The Oldham Times: "When you look at all the sadness around the world on social media and on the TV this is so important to lift our spirits. The last one we had was four years ago so this is significant for people and I am thankful to Oldham Community Leisure for setting up the event and Oldham College and Oldham Council for sponsoring the event.

"We always find the community comes together when we need it to, they're doing fantastic and they're going to have a fun day. 

"It supports the local economy as well, because people are going into the town centre, so this is a win-win all the way around.

"I am envious of all the people who do this. I do 30 seconds and I feel like I am going to have a cardiac arrest but I am going to start the Couch to 5K because it is so important for your physical wellbeing and your mental wellbeing."

The Oldham Times: The trophy for the Oldham Halloween Half Marathon

Mr Rothwell told The Oldham Times: "It is fantastic to see this back in the town. I ran this half marathon years ago and it is hard. 

"It is not running up the hills that's hard it is running down the hills that's hard. 

"When you are running downhill on tarmac you think your teeth are going to go. 

"It is fantastic and Oldham Athletic are happy to be sponsors of this event and I wish everybody all the best."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.