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London marathon stars from Barking and Dagenham complete course

PUBLISHED: 17:53 24 April 2017

Runners make their way off Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon    Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Runners make their way off Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Months of hard work and training all paid off as runners raced their way round the capital in the London marathon yesterday.

Alexandra ColleyAlexandra Colley

William Bellamy Primary School teacher Alexandra Colley completed the 26.2 mile course in five hours and 13 minutes in what she described as “quiet overwhelming”.

The 24-year-old, who raised more than £2,300 for charity, Whizz Kids, who provides disabled children with essential wheelchair and other mobility equipment, was “really pleased” with her run and how much she raised.

“I wasn’t going for a time, but I was really pleased,” she explained.

“It was quiet overwhelming, I got there early and it was just a really good atmosphere.

Barry Tavener and his girlfriend KayaBarry Tavener and his girlfriend Kaya

“Just seeing parents, friends, family and in laws on the way round was great.”

While, seasoned marathon runner, Barry Tavener was “disappointed” with his run but was pleased to finish the annual event.

The Dagenham-based facilities assistant, who has run the Paris, Berlin and Bournemouth marathons and the Brighton one twice finished in five hours and 40 minutes.

“I finished not the ideal time, but got round in the end,” he said.

Liza VallanceLiza Vallance

“I got an injury at around nine miles, so had to make do and just get round.

“It was a lot worse then a normal run of mine, but I’m still alive that’s the main thing.”

Liza Vallance, the head of Barking art charity Studio 3 Arts, thought her first-ever marathon was “absolutely incredible” and is “amazed” that she managed to finish.

She took up running three-and-a-half years ago after she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and was keen to raise £2,000 for her charity by tackling the run.

“It was really good, just being part of the event was so overwhelming,” she said.

“I think I under estimated how good the support was going to be along the way.

“It was absolutely incredible, I had my name tag on and people were cheering my name and I kept thinking how do they know my name, before I realised.”

Liza doubled her target by raising £4,000 and completed the run in just over six hours.

“It’s absolutely incredible to know that people are that generous,” she added.

“Running round the corner at the palace and crossing the finishing line and getting a medal, no one can take that away from me.”

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