A great day for human race as runners find charity feet

Banbury Cake: Runners close in on the finish line as they pass Buckingham Palace in yesterday’s London Marathon Runners close in on the finish line as they pass Buckingham Palace in yesterday’s London Marathon

THEY may not have crossed the finish line with Olympian Mo Farah but each Oxfordshire runner deserved their London Marathon medal.

Dozens of challengers from across the county joined around 36,000 competitors to finish the gruelling 26.2 mile run to cheers, as they crossed the finish line of the 34th London race.

Among them, Oxfordshire can now lay claim to two world record breakers.

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Sarah Dudgeon, above,  from Wallingford, has set a new record for running a marathon in a wedding dress.

She ran the course in three hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds, smashing the record of 3.41.40.

Mrs Dudgeon, 37, said: “It feels fantastic, I even beat a rival bride.”

She has raised £240 for the British Heart Foundation and Action Medical Research.

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And programme manager Gill Begnor, above, from Banbury set the record for the fastest marathon carrying a 20lb backpack, finishing in under five hours nine minutes.

The seasoned marathon runner wanted to give herself an extra challenge and decided to run carrying the backpack.

To get herself ready for the challenge she was out training each morning at 6am.

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Mrs Begnor, 48, has also raised £1,251 for Cancer Research UK, for which she also runs a local fundraising group.

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Erika Dallimore, 30, above, from Wheatley, finished in six hours 20 minutes to raise more than £5,000 for the Haematology Ward at the Churchill Hospital, where her mum Anne Lynch is being treated for cancer.

She said: “My world was turned upside down again last year as my mum told me the news that her cancer has returned for a third time.

“I felt numb as my worst nightmares had come true. But instead of worrying, my mum continues to remain strong and is determined to battle the disease.

“Mum’s strength and bravery are truly remarkable, and I wanted to embark on this marathon challenge to do something pos- itive during this difficult time.”

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Cathryn Kozlowski, above, who overcame a debilitating heart condition in childhood, ran for the British Heart Foundation and has so far raised more than £650.

Marathon veteran Eileen Naughton, of Didcot Running Club, ran her seventh marathon.

She finished in 3.41.03, crossing the finish line to the sound of friends chanting the Dexys Midnight Runners number one Come on Eileen. She said: “I had the most amazing marathon.

“The crowds were just incredible, I saw my mum and dad, friends from the Olympics and so many more.”

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