BUCKINGHAMSHIRE runners hit the streets of the capital yesterday for the London Marathon.

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Bucks Free Press: london marathon

Penny Stopps, from Gerrards Cross, completed the course in just under five-and-a-half hours to raise more than £6,000 for Help a London Child.

Children Harry, 14, Kari. 11 and Ellie, seven, came out to support her with husband Kevin. The charity helps disadvantaged youngsters.

She said: “It feels amazing, I really feel that I was part of something incredibly special.

“Throughout all the months of training you don’t know if you’re going to be able to do it and I am so happy that I did.”

James Woodisse from Gardens Close, Stokenchurch ran the marathon in an impressive 3h9m23s and has raised £1,100 and counting.

Mr Woodisse, 34, who trains with the Handy Cross Runners, held a charity evening the week before in Radnage with live music.

He said: “I am pleased to have raised so much for charity. I was on track in the first half but the second half was really tough. At 23 miles it was just a battle to the end.”

Former Handy Cross runner Samantha Amend, who now runs for the London-based Belgrave Harriers, was the 15th lady to cross the line – finishing in two hours 47 minutes and one second.

The 30-year-old mum-of-two was 360th overall out of more than 37,000 runners despite suffering from muscle pain and sciatica in the build-up.

Speaking of the occasion, she said: “It’s about the fun runners that travel around the 26.2 mile course raising money in fancy dress for charities which are the ones that truly should be cheered.

“On this note I would like to congratulate a friend of mine called Angie Childs who ran for Leukemia on behalf of her nephew Tyler aged 11, she finished in a time of 4hrs 48.”

Eight of her ex-team mates at Handy Cross also completed the race. Margaret Moody was first home in four hours three minutes, with Ellen Haynes (4hrs 21), Grace Wilson (5hrs 40), Phil Hutchby (4hrs 23mins), Mike Blowing (4hrs 42) and Craig Atkins (4hrs 36) also finishing.

Cheryl Sayer and Donna Howlett, who went round in fancy dress, completed the course in 4hrs 36. Comedian Russell Howard, who was raising money for the National Society for Epilepsy in Chalfont St Peter, finished in four hours 15 minutes.

The 'Mock the Week' star said the crowd was "fantastic", adding: "I had a running dual with a man dressed as a banana for 20 miles and eventually he beat me."

Bucks Free Press: marathon bucks

William MacDonald, above, finished with 3h32mins for the Free the Children, Indian Village Project. He is from Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

Other runners are:

Paul Andrews High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire Charity: Virgin Unite Finish time: 5:01

Avni Mashru Iver Heath Buckinghamshire Charity: Free the Children, Indian Village Project Finish time: 4:15

Paula Lipscomb Marlow, Buckinghamshire Charity: Free the Children, Indian Village Project Finish time: 5:37

Wendy Naisby Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire Charity: Virgin Unite Finish time: 5:01

Phil Spalton, 62, ran his 16th marathon this year and raised cash for British Heart Foundation.

The Chalfont St Peter resident took up the challenge after his daughter died of cardiac abnormalities aged two.

He finished in 4h19mins to raise £700 for the charity.

He said: “Running the London Marathon was a massive challenge and an incredible experience. The atmosphere on the day was brilliant.”