More than 50 runners from sister clubs St Albans Striders and St Albans Athletics Club descended on the capital to take part in the 2023 London Marathon.

For many it is the highlight of the calendar, with those taking part having endured many months of preparation.

But even the drizzly conditions on the day could not dampen the spirits or impact on the level of achievements.

Herts Advertiser: Andrew McKillop of St Albans Striders at the London Marathon. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOODAndrew McKillop of St Albans Striders at the London Marathon. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOOD (Image: Richard Underwood)

First home for the Striders and finishing in the top 500 out of the near 49,000 field was Jacob James in a time of two hours 37 minutes 47 seconds.

He was followed in by Jonny Pennell in 2:42:22 with Jim King the third from the clubs in 2:46:14.

Alex Smith (2:48:54), Patrick Hayes (2:49:50), Andrew McKillop (2:52:58), Stefano Federici (2:54:09), Jon Hall (2:54:23) and Andy Jordan (2:59:34) all successfully finished under the esteemed three-hour mark.

For Hayes, this was a family affair as his mother was also participating.

Herts Advertiser: Lucy Waterlow of St Albans Striders at the 2023 London Marathon. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOODLucy Waterlow of St Albans Striders at the 2023 London Marathon. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOOD (Image: Richard Underwood)

Megan Walker ran a very impressive race finishing in 111th place out of more than 20,000 females in 2:56:05.

Other females coming under the highly respected three-and-a-half target time were Lucy Waterlow (3:08:27), Hannah Burkhardt (3:11:38), Catherine O’Connor (3:12.29), Joanna Parker (3:18:44), Alexandra Kett (3:19:28), Laura Hicks (3:22:03), and Ruth Martin (3:25:48).

Parker was also a notable 38th in her age category.

Lily Tse from St Albans AC was running her debut marathon and came home with a more than impressive 3:34:23.

Others, who had felt the London tarmac under their feet before, were able to record PBs.

Jim King, Ruth Martin, Robin Newby, Kate Tettmar, Paul Gwynfor and Howard Bull all went quicker than they had in previous editions with the last three improving their times by a considerable margin of around 20 minutes.

A large proportion of Striders also achieved the 'good for age' time which greatly increases their chances of a place in next year’s event which is otherwise greatly oversubscribed.

A number of Striders who were not competing joined in the fun by travelling down to London with banners to cheer on their team mates along the route.

A celebration took place later in the evening back home at the Peahen.

Some had tried to secure a place in the ballot but been unsuccessful.

Clair Drage and Andrew Maher were two of them but they consoled themselves by running the aptly named Not the London Marathon at Waltham-on-Thames, covering the same distance but inevitably with far fewer people watching on.

Herts Advertiser: Jethro Offemaria with his London Marathon medal.Jethro Offemaria with his London Marathon medal. (Image: Jethro Offemaria)

Another running at London was Jethro Offemaria.

He said: "I went to the start line and jogged for the first five miles until I got a nasty cramp on my calves.

"I was trying my best to finish it and I almost gave up running but I still continued - walking and sometimes jogging.

"I passed Tower Bridge and my mum Maria and friends followed me and I stopped and stretched my calves and continue walking.

"I finally finished the London Marathon with a time of 7:33:24."

He raised £1,000 for the National Autistic Society and gave thanks to the pageant community as well as St Albans Striders athletes, his Ceroc dance friends and footballing team-mates from St Albans Inclusive as well as close friends and family who all helped him with preparations for the big day.