Resolute Richard Start was the toast of North Derbyshire Running Club (NDRC) among the thousands of athletes at the 39th Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.
Start nursed a hamstring injury during most of his training for the race, and was considered both a doubtful starter and unlikely finisher.
But he was the first to cross the line for the club, clocking a terrific time of two hours, 59 minutes, which was his second consecutive sub-three-hour finish.
NDRC’s second runner home was Denny Lau, who posted a personal best (PB) of 3.23.56, trumping his previous record by almost four minutes. Not far behind him in 3.37.54 was London debutant Alex Steenson.
The club’s first lady to finish was Bec Broughton, who achieved a 3.46.22 PB that was six minutes up on her previous record and raised a good amount of money for a cancer care charity.
Ruth Toyn also beat the four-hour barrier, crossing the line in 3.56.15, and she was followed by seasoned London marathoner Julie Cooper, who clocked 4.33.35, and London debutant Martin Pearce, who ran 4.50.13 in making money for the Nottingtham Ear Foundation.
Another PB was recorded by Sharon Collis, who posted 4.54.35, ahead of teammates Katie Pearce, Pippa Wish, Clare Evans and Glyn Botfield.