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Regional journalists complete marathon challenge

A number of regional press journalists were among the 36,500 runners taking on the challenge of the London Marathon on Sunday.

Among three Archant journalists taking part in the 26-mile race was Welwyn and Hatfield Times news editor Chris Lennon, left, who running in his third London Marathon and smashed his personal best by more than 23 minutes to record a time of 4.09.23.

He said: “I was chuffed to bits with a PB, but that elusive sub four-hour time remains – which means I can’t announce my retirement from marathon running just yet!

“I was just glad to make the start line having missed three weeks of training in February after doing my back in.”

Archant Norfolk sub-editor Daren Francis completed his first-ever marathon, running to raise funds for Care for the Wild International, and finished with a time of 4:06:38.

He said: “I was hoping for a slightly quicker time, but it was way too hot and my final week’s preparation of illness and a skiing holiday probably wasn’t ideal.

“The last 10 miles were hell on earth, but the crowds were amazing, and I was very happy just to finish without walking or stopping in the end. At the moment I’m definitely saying never again!”

And chief reporter Emily Dennis, who works in Archant Norfolk’s Beccles office completed her first London Marathon in four hours and 35 minutes, saying she would never forget the experience.

Meanwhile, Alex Morrison, below, the news editor at the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, managed to raise nearly £1,500 for WaterAid by taking part in the famous race, achieving a time of three hours 33 minutes for his first marathon.

He said: “The whole 26 miles of the course was lined with cheering supporters, which is a surreal experience for someone whose previous biggest sporting fixture was a school football match.

“I’ve raised about £1,500 for WaterAid and am deeply grateful to everyone who sponsored me – I even got a fair few journalists to dig out some cash!”