RUNNER Kate Jayden has spoken out about the horrifying moment she was sexually assaulted mid-race but still managed to win.
The brave 29-year-old from Chester was attacked by a stranger 50 miles into the 24 hour race when a man came up behind her and groped her breasts as she ran.
Kate was competing in the Buff Joust race in Worcestershire in September when the sickening assault took place.
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She said: “At first I thought it was a friend running up behind to give me a bear hug.
“I very quickly realised it was something a lot more sinister because your friends don't do that.
“A guy jumped out and ran up behind me. He grabbed my chest.
“Before I'd been listening to my music, enjoying the race.
“Someone I don't know then grabbed my breasts.
“He ran with me for what must have been only a few steps.”
Kate turned around and sprinted in to the darkness back the way she came guessing the next runner was about 2 miles behind her.
She even tried to turn off her head torch, her only source of light, because she was terrified her attacker may be following her.
She said: “I could still feel his hands on me.
“It was like a horror film, that's the only way I can describe it.
“The fight or flight kicked in and I just kept going.
“When I caught up with the next runner, I broke down in tears.”
Officials suspended the race at 11pm so Kate could give evidence and take officers back to the location of the assault while other runners went to rest in their tents.
The race restarted at 6am the following morning and despite getting just four hours sleep determined Kate claimed first place.
She managed to force thoughts of her ordeal to the back of her mind and completed the 82.2 mile course in 16 hours and 24 minutes.
Keen runner Kate has taken part in over 200 long distance events and raises money for the eating disorder charity Beat having overcome anorexia and bulimia herself.
Undeterred by her frightening experience Kate competed in another 24 hour race just three weeks later, claiming second place.
She said: “I'm an ordinary person, I'm not an athlete.
“I'm no different to the next person.
“But if it does inspire others, that's an amazing thing.”
She will next be competing in May raising money for beat on her Just Giving page.