BATHED in brilliant sunshine, thousands took part in the London Marathon today, including a number of Gwent runners.

Joining the likes of Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, former footballer Michael Owen, and 36,000-odd others were charity runners from across the area.

The 26.2 mile race, which saw Kenyan world record holder Wilson Kipsang win the men's marathon race for a second time, saw participants pound the city pavements for various worthy causes.

Among them was Cwmbran man Mike Dodd, who ran in a full suit of armour - including leather boots, chain mail, and even a steel helmet.

He was running for charity Debra, in honour of his 16-year-old nice Hannah Rosser who lives with a “crippling” skin condition. He has raised more than £2,300 on his online site alone, but hopes to exceed £3,500. Despite being burdened with the heavy costume, Mr Dodd finished the race in five hours, 49 minutes and seven seconds, the Virgin London Marathon's official website said.

Also running was a Blaenavon teacher, for Arthritis Research UK, after her son was diagnosed with the disease in a rare case aged just five.

Leanne Jones ran the race once before but said ahead of the event that son William, now seven, would give her added motivation to beat her time – which she did.

She finished with a time of five hours, ten minutes, and ten seconds, with friends, family and work colleagues all turning up to cheer her on.

She said: “It was a wonderful occasion. It was boiling hot and I am delighted with the amount of money have raised. My school alone has raised more than £2,200 in support.”

Caerleon resident Nathan Laing, who was in a medically induced coma just three years ago following a gang attack in Cyrus, took part to raise funds for a brain injury charity.

Despite having to learn to walk unaided again, Mr Laing ran the Cardiff half marathon in October 2012 in aid of Headway – which he called “pivotal” to his recovery – raising £2,450.

He said he hoped to better that by running in London and by conclusion of the race yesterday his online fundraising page had received £4,548 worth of donations.

The London Marathon website said Mr Laing finished in four hours, 46 minutes and 16 seconds.

Craig Lewis, from Newport, joined them too. He completed the world-famous course in three hours 28 minutes and 22 seconds. He was fundraising for Tenovus UK.