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Mum's marathon triumph

PUBLISHED: 10:26 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 07 July 2010

THE muscles were aching and she was dying for a cuppa, but Mid-Norfolk mum Sally Lloyd was running on sheer adrenaline after finishing her debut London Marathon - at her very first time over the distance.

THE muscles were aching and she was dying for a cuppa, but Mid-Norfolk mum Sally Lloyd was running on sheer adrenaline after finishing her debut London Marathon - at her very first time over the distance.

An injury in training meant the 47-year-old Mattishall mother of two never made it anywhere near the full 26 miles of the real thing during her preparations.

But, amid the noise, emotion and clamour of 35,000-plus fellow contenders on Sunday, she rose to the challenge and crossed the finishing line in a time of five hours, 22 minutes.

Sally is surrounded by a sports-mad family - husband Cefyn and sons Rhys and Gareth - but only took up running when she hit 40 years old. Running in a London Marathon was a long-cherished ambition, and it lived up to expectations after she finally secured a place in the open ballot.

"The atmosphere was amazing, and it was quite emotional," said Sally, a secretary and receptionist at Honingham building firm H Smith and Sons. "The crowds were fantastic, cheering me on when they saw my name on my T-shirt, and at times the noise was deafening.

"I stumbled once and nearly went down but kept going. I was OK until about 14 miles and then I started to flag, and the next five miles were hard. But when I got to the end I made a point of sprinting for the line. Back home, I had a cup of tea and a hot bath, but it was the cuppa I really needed!"

Sally has raised just over £500 in sponsorship for the East Anglian air ambulance and £800 for Cancer Research UK. You can still add to her tally by calling 01362 850722.

Sally travelled to the capital with seasoned London Marathon contender Peter Cappuccio, who lives just a few doors away in Moorfield Road. He crossed the line in a fraction over four hours and was raising money for the Norfolk-based Break charity.

(blob) Mattishall's "Fast Freddie" French earned his fifth London Marathon medal but wasn't quite as nifty at the age of 50 as he had hoped for and now plans to give the race a rest for a while. Freddie, of Cedar Rise, clocked five hours, seven minutes, compared with his personal best of four hours, 40 minutes. He said: "I had been looking for four-and-a-half hours but it was very, very warm. When it comes to running I'm no Ethiopian, but the conditions suited some people and there were some fast times."

Consolation came from the realisation that Freddie expects to have raised £3,000 for the Children with Leukaemia charity, taking his overall marathon total for various causes to about £13,000.

For the 2009 race, Freddie had his running gear imprinted on the back with a picture of close pal and Welborne community stalwart Jon Harvey, who died suddenly earlier this year.

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