More than 40,000 people put on their running boots to raise money for a good cause at the London Marathon on Sunday.
And many people from around Dacorum were amongst them. Here we share just a few of their stories:
Runners raise massive £10k for local hospice
London Marathon runners have raised a whopping £10,000 for the Hospice of St Francis this year.
Nine runners representing the hospice successfully crossed the finishing line on Sunday for the Berkhamsted-based charity.
The runners, many of whom were running in memory of someone special, were among the 38,000 people who tackled the world famous 26.2 mile course that takes in many of the capital’s landmarks.
Paul Dennison, 46, from Flamstead, who was running in memory of Philip Latham, finished in four hours and 20 minutes and has so far raised £2,395 for the Hospice.
He said: “I was amazed at the level of support throughout the course. It really inspired me to carry on.
“Even when cramp set in with 400 yards to go, the feeling of the difference it makes to the hospice and anyone who uses its services got me over the line.”
Lucy Hume, 28, is the community fundraising manager at the hospice, and also finished the course in four hours and 20 minutes,.
She said: “The atmosphere is amazing, from the camaraderie of fellow runners to the fantastic crowds cheering you.
“For me, crossing Tower Bridge was definitely the highlight of the course and trying to beat, or at least get close to, my husband’s time of four hours and 12 minutes is what inspired me to keep going!
“When it got really tough at around mile 21, I also thought about our patients and their families; often the challenges they face are much tougher than a marathon so the least I could do was keep running!
“Running for a small charity like the hospice is very important because you know the money raised has such a huge impact on the services they’re able to provide.”
Other Hospice runners included Annette Howard, 47, from Hemel Hempstead, who finished in five hours and 27 minutes; John Prender, 35, from Hemel, who finished in four hours 43 minutes; and Jo Imms-Ribeiro, 29, from Berkhamsted, who finished in five hours 35 minutes.
Runners from outside the area, but also running for the hospice, included Bryan Mills, 48, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, Lee Crocker, 36, from Harlow; Mark Holdworth, and Duncan Cameron.
The hospice said: “We want to thank all our runners for their superhuman effort.”
Thousands raised in memory of father
A man who lost his dad to a rare form of dementia has raised £3,000.
James Westcott, from Pitstone, was cheered on by his family on the run in memory of his father Peter, from Hemel Hempstead, who died in 2014 aged 72.
James raised £3,708 which he is sharing between The National Brain Appeal and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The 33-year-old, who completing the marathon in four hours and 30 minutes, said: “The support from the crowds was immense.
“My family went to a couple of different points along the route to cheer me on. I spotted them at mile 23 and that gave me a lift, as did the team from The National Brain Appeal at mile 25.
“It was a massive boost at a point where I really needed it.”
Back from brink to finish biggest run
A survivor of a serious brain injury has finished his first ever marathon.
David Maloney, 29, from Bovingdon, was attacked on a night out in Watford seven years ago.
The 26-year-old somehow survived despite his extensive injuries, and he still suffers from fatigue. But he manfully battled on to finish in four hours and four minutes, and raised £4,641 for the National Brain Appeal.
David said: “The marathon was such an amazing experience, really life-affirming and life-changing for me.
“It was good fun, but also really tough. When I reached Canary Wharf I hit a low point. I knew I had to battle through it.
"And 24 miles in I got such bad cramp that I had to stop for a bit. But I did it and I’m really proud.”
‘It was an incredible experience - I hope it makes a difference’
A runner helped raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory of his girlfriend’s father.
Joe Walsh, aged 27, from Hemel Hempstead, finished the marathon course in 3 hours 25 minutes.
Joe took on the challenge in memory of his girlfriend Jen’s dad who died of a heart attack, and is hoping to raise around £1,000 for the BHF’s life saving research.
He said: “Running the London Marathon was such an incredible experience.
“The atmosphere on the day was fantastic. Knowing that I was running for such a great cause, raising money for their vital research, really spurred me on to finish.
“Hopefully the money will help make a difference.”
Kings Langley woman Joanne raises some awareness of Sands
Joanne Booth, age 36, from Kings Langley, raised over £400 for Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) when she laced up her trainers on Sunday.
Joanne completed the 26.2 mile challenge in 4 hours and 43 minutes and joined a 47-strong team of runners who ran for Sands.
Sands hopes to raise over £100,000 from the event that will be used to support bereaved parents, improve bereavement care received by parents and families and to promote research to reduce the number of babies dying. Fifteen babies die every day in the UK from stillbirth, during labour or within four weeks of being born.
Chloe takes on fifth marathon - this time with help from her sister
Finally, taking on an impressive fifth marathon was Chloe Newland, who helped along her sister Hannah, taking on her first London Marathon.
They both finished in just over five hours, raising nearly £3,500 for the National Osteoporosis Society in memory of their grandmother.