Running legend Paula Radcliffe, who grew up in Oakley, took part in her last London Marathon on Sunday.
But this time she took on the 26.2 mile challenge among the event’s general runners and not the competitive race.
The 41 year old, mum or two, who now lives in Monaco, completed the famous course in 2:36:55.
She still holds the women’s world record for the fastest marathon. Set in 2003 with a time of 2:15:25, to date no-one has even got to within three minutes of it.
The runner, who has won the London Marathon three times, moved to Oakley with her parents when she was 12 years old where she joined the Bedford and County Athletics Club.
>The marathon’s oldest runner was 87 year old Iva Barr from Bedford, who completed the route in 7:26.
She is a member of Bedford Harriers and took part in the marathon for the third time while raising money for Whizz-Kidz.
The charity provides disabled children with the right wheelchair to support their needs and enable them to lead an active and independent childhood.
>A total of 40 Bedford Harriers took part in the marathon and were supported by the usual large number of helpers and supporters from the club, who marshalled the race and encouraged the runners.
The first Harrier over the finish line this year was Ian Hammett, who finished in a superb 2:42. Two other sub three hour finishers were Kevin Shelton-Smith, setting a new club record of 2:51 for his age group, and Jamie Hawthorn. First female Harrier to finish was Kirstie Meeten, running a 3:06 time.
The finishing times for other club members were: Neil Loader, 03:04:53; Paolo Basso, 03:05:37; David Sharman, 03:13:58; Richard Baldock, 03:14:21; Adam Hills, 03:16:21; Craig Watt, 03:17:53; Renee Allen, 03:22:13; Nick Williams, 03:27:56; Dean Newman, 03:34:10; Stuart Snelson, 03:36:35; Helen Etherington, 03:37:23; Carla Rose-Hardman, 03:42:47; Juliet Smith, 03:47:58; Jose Ariza, 03:53:13; pb, Sarah Wanden, 03:55:12; Ian Bell, 03:55:59; Simon King, 03:58:46; Amber Deardon, 03:59:43; Jenny Lovesey, 04:00:41; Stephanie Lill, 04:03:15; Ian Williams, 04:26:27; Kate Williams, 04:31:44; Chas Fisk, 04:34:55; Veronica Singleton Lawley, 04:44:39; Becky Cummings, 04:51:46; Michelle Davis, 05:00:09; Mandy Pullinger, 05:04:54; pb (by 65.10 mins), Val Bird, 05:12:24; pb, Ian Sturdgess, 05:21:29; Lesley Gaunt, 05:23:37; Steve Gaunt, 05:29:07; Lorena Henderson, 05:54:57; Neica Louise Morrow, 05:56:02; Tasha Jones,
05:57:13; Iva Barr, 07:26:46
>A runner attracted television attention while running the London Marathon dressed as The Mona Lisa.
Bedford mum-of-three Gemma Kirkham’s unique running outfit attracted attention from the BBC on the day and she has raised £4,700 for The Lullaby Trust.
Despite the restrictive picture perfect attire, Gemma completed the famous course in 4:50.
Gemma said: “I ran every mile and loved every minute.
“I missed out on the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon as a framed portrait but I am the first and only person to run as a portrait.
“It was an unforgettable experience with 26.2 miles of smiles.”
>A mum-of-two charity chief is considering more marathon running in the future after taking on her first at London and finishing in an impressive 3:06.
Youth at Risk’s chief operating officer Ellie Garraway, of Bedford, has so far raise £2,600 for the good cause where she works.
The 42 year old said: “It was just amazing, right form getting on the train to going to the start line, being surrounded by people and just running along streets that were just lined with supporters. The noise was amazing.
“On the day my running just totally came together and I just felt really, really good. I overtook 500 people in the last 7km, so it worked out really well for me.”
Ellie had at first pledged to do just one marathon but said now she’s considering more.
“I think my husband might kill me if I do. I did say this is a one time thing for me. It was for the experience but now that I have done it, there is a little part of my brain that thinks I wonder if I could go quicker if I did it again. So never say never.”
> Parkinson’s UK Bedford & District Branch has been supporting Lee Pither, 42 year old mum of two from Upper Shelton, on her fundraising first Marathon run.
With the help of family, friends and children from Church End School where she works, she raised more than £1,100.
Amidst the special atmosphere of the London Marathon Lee even forfeited some of her run time to help two other flagging runners, one a Parkinson’s sufferer, to cross the finishing line.
Bill Brady, chairman of Bedford Parkinson’s, said “This is a wonderful achievement, and a great fundraising effort. It will go towards research for treatment and the advancement of an eventual possible cure for this debilitating neurological condition. We thank Lee very much and are very proud of her”.