A NUMBER of Gwent people were among those to complete the 35th London Marathon today.

They included staff from Harding Evans Solicitors in Newport, the Islwyn prospective parliamentary candidate Chris Evans and Pontypool & District Runners, all of whom pounded the streets of London for charity.

Harding Evans solicitor Lauren Watkins, 31, of Newport, was joined by trainee solicitor Joy Baker and accounts clerk Martin Jones.

Lauren raised an amazing £2,500 for Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales. She finished in 4 hours 31 minutes.

She said: “It was an amazing day, there was an amazing atmosphere and it was an amazing run. I ran the whole way.”

Meanwhile, 17 members of Pontypool & District Runners entered the marathon, a record for the club.

Sean Taylor was the first Pooler home, in a sub-three hour time of 2:56:57, an excellent result as he is carrying a back injury.

Amberley Morgan was delighted to have beaten her personal best by more than 45 minutes, running a first ever sub-four hour marathon – she crossed the finishing line in 3:59:37.

Sammi Toop also smashed her 3:15 target by more than two minutes, running a seriously impressive 3:12:26.

Holly Janes-Thomas ran a fantastic debut marathon to finish in 3:46:25.

Grant Whiteside, pictured, also ran an excellent time of 3:28:30.

Chris Evans joined the marathon for for Contact a Family, a charity for families of disabled children.

Blackwood man Dafydd Weetman ran two marathons including the London one in seven days in memory of a dear friend.

The 40-year-old completed the Llanelli Marathon on April 19 in 3:56 and the London Marathon in 4:12 in tribute to Blackwood resident Bethan Sims who lost her lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis last September. She was 20.

Ms Sims, who was the niece of Mr Weetman’s sister, Jennifer Sims, had been on the waiting list for a lung transplant before she died.

Mr Weetman has only been running for 18 months. He said today: “It was really great. There was a brilliant atmosphere.”

Argus journalist Chris Seal also completed the London Marathon in 3:42.

He said: “I can honestly say that this was the most amazing race I've ever taken part in.

"The weather might have been drizzly and overcast, but it didn't stop the crowds coming out to support more than 35,000 runners.

“Personally I'm delighted with a 10-minute personal best and finishing my first marathon without walking any of it.

“I was aiming for sub 3:30 and was on course up until around mile 20, but I'm still chuffed to bits to achieve 3:42:26.

“Despite hobbling across the finish leg with a seized up leg - and my legs feeling like lead right now - I still can't wait to sign up for next year's London Marathon."