ELEVEN MEMBERS from Dudley Kingswinford (DK) Running Club members took part in the London Marathon which finally returned in force after a 889-day break due to Covid.

Over 36,000 runners completed the 26.2 mile course from Blackheath to the Mall on October 3 as the crowds, albeit in reduced numbers, returned to the capital’s streets.

Proudly wearing the DK blue and white hoops on behalf of the Black Country were Lisa Avery, Lisa Brindley, Jan Burbie, Gemma Dhaliwal, Claire Hancox, Farrah Hunter-Coley, Bob Jones, Helen Noke, Julie Pearson, Kathryn Purslow and Ray Selwood.

The runners had to do battle with the elements during the long distance race which started in sunshine but strong winds and heavy showers made for a punishing finish.

Many of the DK runners were taking on their first ever marathon. The first female to cross the finish line for the club was Gemma Dhaliwal in four hours, 51 minutes and 27 seconds, while Ray Selwood was the first male Hoop back in four hours, 34 minutes and nine seconds.

Several of the DK runners supported each other during the race with Jan Burbie and Lisa Brindley crossing the line together in five hours, 27 minutes and two seconds while Lisa Avery and Claire Hancox also ran in tandem finishing in five hours, 50 minutes and 26 seconds.

DK Running Club meets at Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Groups leave for runs at 6pm and 7pm with a range of paces to suit everyone. There are also Sunday morning runs for those who want to run longer distances.

The club caters for all running abilities, from beginners to more regular runners, and is open to potential new members, email to dkrunning@gmail.com with your current pace per mile and the club will pair you with a suitable running group.