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Keen runners shine in London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 18:06 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:10 05 July 2010

THERE was joy and a sense of fulfilment as local athletes, first time entrants and charity runners all succeeded in completing the London Marathon.

Of the 35,044 that started Sunday's race, over 34,000 finished - making the event the third-biggest finish in the race's history.

THERE was joy and a sense of fulfilment as local athletes, first time entrants and charity runners all succeeded in completing the London Marathon.

Of the 35,044 that started Sunday's race, over 34,000 finished - making the event the third-biggest finish in the race's history.

But having started the event, and enjoying the initial first couple of miles, the heavy rain stopped play and hampered 78-year-old Billy Hansford's attempts to complete the 26.2 mile course.

Battling Billy looked the part as he entered the race dressed as a city gent. But walking the route in memory of his wife Kath he was forced to retire from the race on medical advice after just a few miles as he was “soaked and shivering” from the downpour.

Back with his feet up at home this week, Billy was in a reflective mood … but for others from the town and north Suffolk there was plenty of muscles being rested.

Lowestoft Road Runners athlete, Roger Mawer, has seen it all before - having completed all 28 London Marathons.

And Sunday was no different - as he finished 149th in the over-65 age group - completing the course in a time of 5.13.04.

Fellow club member Simon Bunting meanwhile finished in a time of 4.16.32.

Four Waveney Valley Athletics Club members also performed well. Seasoned campaigner Steve Kenyon, 43, was taking part in the marathon for the ninth year, despite being profoundly deaf.

Raising funds for his chosen charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, he started with the celebrities, and completed the course in a time of 3.52.51.

Steve Warman, 37 - who ran in his first marathon and raised funds for Sheringham based charity Break - completed the course in 4.55.38 while keen runner and fellow club member Paula Lambert - who was raising funds for Lowestoft Mencap Society and the newly formed Friends of John Turner House - completed the course in 4.22.04.

Completing the WVAC quartet, David Lewis finished in a time of 5.07.11.

First time entrant Jamie Godbold meanwhile followed his Lowestoft Town FC managers' advice in not over-exerting himself - as there's an important Wembley appearance for the midfielder in the FA Vase Final, on May 11.

But after completing the race in a time of 4.52.00 and raising close to £1,000 for Westminster Pastoral Foundation Counselling, he told The Journal this week: “It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I was under strict orders not to go all out for it, but it was tough. I kept having to remind myself about Wembley as I'll never forgive myself if I had to miss out on the final.”

Beccles-based Mark Hurren, completed the marathon for the fourth time and he was delighted to break the magic four-hour mark in logging a personal best of 3.59.26 as the 24-year-old raised funds for Sensenal Deaf-Blind.

Running for Barnados, Reydon-based James Samkin completed the course in 4.10.00.

But arguably the performance of the day, came from Great Yarmouth Road Runners Carole Spong who “did very well indeed,” according to a club spokesman.

Carole, from Carlton Colville, was first in her age group (the female vet 65+) finishing 20 minutes ahead of the next competitor to finish, and was just ten minutes short of the best for that distance.

The 65-year-old completed the course in a time of 3.38:29, finishing 6,140 overall, and was raising money for Cancer Research and school music room.

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