Bearbrook Running Club’s Emma Curtis-Smith, 29, made history on Sunday by running the fastest-ever marathon time for a woman at the Preston Guild Marathon in Lancashire.
The 26.2-mile race was Emma’s debut marathon but she showed her class to stop the clock on 3:00:26.
Her time was good enough to clinch 26th place overall out of 4,500 runners and to claim the honour of being the first woman to finish in wet and windy conditions.
“I’m in a state of shock,” she said.
“I was hoping for three-and-a-quarter hours but I got my head down and said to myself that I’d just keep running and see what happened.
“The last mile was uphill and agony but when I saw my time all the pain quickly went away. I’m thrilled and hoping my time will win me a ‘good for age’ place at the London Marathon in 2013.”
Curtis-Smith’s time was almost 13 minutes faster than the previous best recorded by Helen Mulhall at the Halstead & Essex Marathon in May.
Emma’s sister, Victoria Broadbent, also put in a good performance in Preston as she completed the half marathon race in 1:29:07.
She was the second woman home and also recorded a new personal best time over the 13.1-mile distance.