We have now gathered all of your reports of the London Marathon – and it appears plenty of runners from Dacorum took part! All of your pictures will be printed in the Gazette tomorrow, so make sure you don’t miss it. And here’s how you got on...
Andrew Cracknell finished in the brilliant time of 2hrs 36mins 56secs, coming 118th in the non-elite race. About 36,000 people took part in Sunday’s endurance challenge in total.
The Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runner shaved seven minutes of his personal best (PB) marathon time with the result, setting a new club record.
The father and sister of a Tring soldier who was killed in Afghanistan less than four years ago were also there.
Steve Barnsdale and Vanessa Lonergan ran in memory of their beloved Dave, who was killed by a roadside bomb on October 19, 2010.
This was 60-year-old Steve’s third consecutive bash at the event, while Vanessa, 30, was taking on the challenge for the first time.
Both completed the challenge in around 4 hours and 30 minutes, though a late leg injury for Steve meant they did not pass the finish line together.
Steve said: “We both really enjoyed the day, the atmosphere from the supporters is unbelievable.”
The pair raised more than £6,000 for ABF The Soldier’s Charity, and have racked up around £40,000 for charities in total since Dave’s death.
The family are now taking a break from fundraising. Steve said: “We will never forget Dave, but we know we don’t always need to raise money to remember him.”
Former Berkhamsted School student Chloe Newland, 22, of the town’s Kingsdale Road, is aiming to run 21 marathons in 21 years in memory of her grandmother.
Chloe said: “I was incredibly close to her and was greatly affected when she passed.
“She suffered from osteoporosis and so I run for the National Osteoporosis Society raising, each year, at least £1700.
“Why 21? I ran my first marathon, last year, aged 21, on the 21st of April, and my Grandmother suffered from the disease for roughly 21 years.
“By the end of the 21 years, I should have raised over £35,000 in her memory.”
Hemel Hempstead’s Gade Valley Harriers sent 16 people to take on the 26.2-mile challenge.
Experienced runner Thomas Langdown decided running the marathon in normal clothes would be to easy – so he ran it dressed as a Lucozade bottle, finishing in 4:07:00.
Member Dave Wise said: “The weather started off kind, but soon became very hot in the enclosed streets of London and the heat was taking its toll on many of the 36,000 runners.
“Two of the Harriers, Simon Wallis and Andy Terry ran the race after completing the Brighton Marathon just the week before and showed huge determination and resolve to get round.”
First from the club over the finishing line was men’s captain Ed Price in 2:58:00 a new PB, closely followed by Bill Hawes in 2:59:33.
Fellow Harries Steve Boyd finished in 3:13:46, Simon Wallis in 3:22:00, Vince Ellerby 3:24:22, Matt Watt 3:34:25, Andy Bishop 3:42:57, Andy Norton 3:42:57, Tom Langdown 4:07:59, Andy Terry 4:17:08, Dave Wise 4:23:00, Kate O’Reilly 4:23:05, Tina Searle 4:43:49, Chrissie Hillier 4:49:24, Karis Thomas 4:54:19 and Lesley Halvey 5:24:11.
Berkhamsted’s The Hospice of St Francis sent a contingent of six competitors, who have so far raised £4,351.03 between them for the good cause.
Richard Ellis, who raised £1,435 of this, said: “I ran in memory of my friend Anthony McCann and as a thank you to The Hospice of St Francis whose support provided great comfort to him, his family and his friends.
“Everyone has been hugely generous in their financial contributions to my fundraising efforts and in providing me with the vital moral support to keep me motivated throughout the long months of training!”
Paul Owen, who hosts running club session with proceeds going to the hospice, finished the marathon in a cracking time of 3:11:10.
But then the 46-year-old dad-of-two, who is a partner at Berkhamsted’s Sumner & Tabors Solicitors, has already completed 52 marathons and ultra-marathons.
Mr Owen took up running eight years ago after his brother Michael died aged 53 and received hospice care.
He said: “Until you have been to a hospice and understand what they do, you just don’t realise how essential they are, helping people going through the most difficult experience they will ever face.
“I hope by pounding the London streets I have given something back to this wonderful support network.”
Contact Mr Owen on 07876 556863 to join the Hospice Running Club, which meets mainly on Wednesdays at 9.30am.
The running fundraisers included Tring-based runners Sue Cox and Richard Lambert, Hemel-based Sam Hawkridge and Rennie Grove worker Gemma Martin, who lives in Apsley.
Sam, who is also a Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runner, took one hour ten minutes off her previous PB to complete the marathon in 4:11:51.
But Rennie Grove spokesman Gemma Baxter said: “They all did brilliantly.”
Verna Burgess from Tring Running Club came 10th in the category for 50 to 54-year-olds out of 857, finishing in 3:18:37.
The club’s Claire Doherty came 30th in the 40 to 44 age group out of 2,147, finishing in 3:8:45.
Also from the club, Tom Hallett finished in 4:18:37, Tom Griffin in 3:38:52, Kingsley Basson in 4:47:44, Rachel Simkin in 4:21 exactly, Clara Willett in 4:38:16 and Lydia Holmes in 5:54:19.
Meanwhile, Tring Runner Harriet Purchas beat a PB time she set 20 years ago, finishing in 3:36:24.
Second place in the Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners went to Victoria Samson, who finished in 3:22:.56.
Next came Ania Gabb in a new PB of 3:26:56 and Kelly Du Buisson in 3:44:13.
Steve Russell, running in his first-ever marathon, crossed the line in a very respectable 3:44:26. Next over was Rupinder Mahil in 4:02:25, a new club record for the women’s V40 category.
First-timers Jessica Tanner finished in 4:12:08, Alex Dean in 4.15.24 and Richard Smith in 4:16:19.
Anya Higgins scored a new PB with a time of 4:34:56, while first-timers Hannah Cracknell and Jason Hawkridge crossed the line in 4:41:36 and 4:42:58 respectively.
Kirsty Russell, meanwhile, finished in 4:47:56, completing the fourth of her Five Races in Five Months challenge to raise money for the SANDS (stillborn and neonatal death) charity.
Lee Bryant was forced to stop twice to receive medical attention for a back problem, but carried on to finish in 4:54:16 as his young son Arthur was waiting for him at the line.
Thirteen of the club’s 15 runners were raising money for various charities, and have so far managed to collect a whopping combined total of close to £20,000.