Runners from West Norfolk raised thousands of pounds for charities when they completed the London Marathon on Sunday.
JoAnne Rust, who ran for the NSPCC and finished in four hours and 53 minutes, said: “It was an amazing experience, incomparable to anything I have ever done before. I smiled all the way round.”
Ms Rust, 47, a trades union activist from Gayton Road, Lynn, raised more than £2,000 for the charity doing something she never dreamed she would be able to do. Less than a year ago she almost died following complications from a gastric-band fitted to help her lose weight.
She said: “The human body is amazing. To think that ordinary people can run 26 miles is amazing and makes you respect what you are capable of. To know that I was able to challenge myself, my family really enjoyed the day out and at the same time we were helping children - how good is that?”
Fellow runner Andrew Howell, 40, of Gayton, completed the marathon in four hours, 41 minutes and 14 seconds in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. Mr Howell is completing a year of challenges to mark his fortieth birthday, in memory of his father Neville who died of bowel cancer in 2009.
Mr Howell has raised almost £1,700 for the charity so far and is also planning to take part in the Grand East Anglia Run next month, and a 100-mile cycle ride in August.
He said: “It was an amazing event. My wife Honor and step-daughter Ashleigh (17) were there to cheer me on. The London Marathon is above and beyond anything else, it was such an amazing day.”