Accrington Road Runner Sarah Ridehalgh put on a stunning show to finish 28th overall lady in Sunday’s London Marathon.
The 35-year-old runner, who admitted she wasn’t wearing a watch to keep tabs on her time, raced the 26 miles 385 yards in two hours 56 minutes and 39 seconds, smashing her previous best by four minutes.
In a hot day in London, she recorded the fastest ever time for a female runner from Accrington Road Runners and her 28th-place finish was remarkable, considering there were approximately 12,200 female finishers.
Sarah, an IT Analyst, admitted: "It is two years since my last marathon and I have only done five so in many ways I am a novice at this distance.
"Training had gone well over winter and I was quietly confident that I could at least finish with a championship time of sub 3.15 but whether I could break the elusive three hour mark, I wasn’t sure.
"On the day it wasn’t perfect as there was no breeze and it was getting hotter by the minute.
"I ran without a watch but had a few split times that I was hoping to achieve and I did. I ran at a comfortable pace and tried to focus on staying at a constant pace for as long as possible. By mile 24 I was still feeling good so just focused on enjoying the crowds cheering everyone to the finish and smiled all the way.
"It was such a wonderful feeling running those last few hundred metres seeing that two hour time on the clock and knowing I was comfortably inside that time window – I just lapped up the atmosphere.
"Breaking three hours and being in the top 30 women just feels amazing and having done it, and having the feeling that I was strong and within comfort zone the whole way, does make me wonder what time I could have achieved."
Other Accrington road runners results were: Julie Hartley 3.35.40; Julie Brady 3.36.20; Nicola Wood 3.44.01; Carole Morris 3.53.27; Lynn Huxley 3.59.23; Paula taylor 4.03.09; Amy Jackson 4.36.09; Geoff Snape 5.17.14.
Meanwhile Clayton-Le-Moors Harriers over 70 Kitty Garnett completed yet another marathon in 5.29.39. Other Clayton results are: Gary Shaw 2.49.19; Alex Cran 2.57.48; Gordon Barrett 3.17.54; Kevin Davies 3.20.55; Steve White 3.24.19; Colin Shuttleworth 3.28.19; Michael Hogan 3.45.41; Dave Bate 3.45.58; Christine Egerton 4.43.19; Anthony Scott 4.56.15; Martin Riston 5.40.50.
Rossendale Harrier Hilary Farren finished in 3.57 while Ruth Dawson completed the course in 5.03.