Vale of Aylesbury athlete and double Olympian Anuradha Cooray started alongside track legend Mo Farah at the London Marathon and came within three seconds of beating his own club record.
With TV cameras fixed on Farah, Greggs bakery worker Cooray was perfectly placed for some air time.
And he ran a great race finishing in 2hrs 17mins 53secs, just three seconds outside his record, but it did give him the qualifying time for the next Commonwealth Games.
There was joy and disappointment for other Vale runners as Sophie Delderfield reported that the 30 second silence at the start was very emotional, she then ran 2:59:30 – almost a 14-minute PB breaking the 1988 club record and making her the fastest Vale female athlete ever. There were also PBs for Charlotte Steptoe and Jo Card, who broke four hours and is today having her time tattooed on her foot.
Charlie May in his first ever marathon was on course for a time around 2:35 until cramp hit at 23 miles but was happy to cross the line and will undoubtedly run it again having finished in just over three hours. Henrik Hartmann was disappointed with his performance, but Alan Roberts was happy with his time as he was a last minute entry; this was his 29th consecutive London Marathon.
Last but not least of the Vale runners was Richard Bazeley, who was not sure he would be able to run due to injury and had to stop for treatment on his foot, but was eventually able to complete the race.
A number of the club’s runners were raising funds for little Alexander Novakovic for treatment of his rare brain tumour (see news pages 5-7).
Meanwhile, 13 athletes flew the flag for Bearbrook Running Club with four setting personal best times during the 26.2-mile race.
Rob Michaelson-Yeates was the first to reach the finish in an astounding time of 2h 48m 59s. It was a performance that smashed his previous PB by 15 minutes and he was classified 490th out of 34,171 finishers.
“Everything was going to plan until 22 miles when I got a stitch,” the 34-year-old said. “I was in a world of pain and I thought my race would fall to pieces. But I kept going and the support helped to focus my mind.”
Next up was Victoria Broadbent who surprised herself with a time of 3h 07m 03s in her debut marathon.
Mike Lemon raised money for the Children with Cancer charity and wiped 10 minutes off his previous PB by finishing in 3h 20m 27s, while Emma Curtis-Smith was close behind in 3h 25m 27s.
Also completing the distance were Tom Brampton (3h 51m 38s), Kelly Ingram (3h 59m 35s), Selina Jones (4h 09m 00s new PB), Mel Peirce (4h 40m 36s), Mandy Fox (4h 40m 36s), Julia Shepherd (4h 42m 47s), Corinne Rodgers (4h 44m 41s new PB), Ron Simmonds (4h 44m 42s) and Debs Mitchell (5h 37m 16s new PB).