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Marathon finish for blinded officer

Blinded Pc David Rathband completed the Virgin London Marathon alongside tens of thousands of charity runners, celebrities and record-breakers.

The 43-year-old Northumbria Police traffic officer was guided by a friend around the 26.2-mile course, which he finished in six hours and 49 minutes. He said he used the memory of Raoul Moat's gun attack to get him to the finish line.

"During the race I took myself back to the night I was shot, it hurt that much - but not as much as when I was shot - and I literally ran in my mind from the car to the local hospital up the road just to finish the last three miles," he said. "People will use whatever things they need to get them through pain barriers."

Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai set a new course record in winning the elite men's race with a time of two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds, beating the previous best by 30 seconds. It was a double success for the east African country, as Mary Keitany claimed a commanding victory in the women's race, clocking a time of two hours 19 minutes and 19 seconds.

One of the London Marathon's most popular features is that fun runners compete in the same race as the elite athletes, and an eclectic group of people took full advantage of the limelight to break 34 marathon world records.

Fastest ever times for a super hero, cartoon character and marching band were among the Guinness World Records broken.

David Stone, 41, from Exmouth, Devon, ran as Superman in 2:42.46, while Jon Morgan, 43, from Sheffield, dressed as Fred Flintstone to become the fastest cartoon character in a time of 2:46.59.

Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell was one of the first celebrities over the finish line. He was running for brain injury charity Headway after suffering brain damage when he was hit by a truck in a cycling endurance race in America last July. The 38-year-old clocked in at three hours and three minutes, and said he had not been able to train hard enough to achieve an even quicker time.

"You've got to put the running in and I haven't had time since the accident to put the running in. I went to the locker to get some extra energy at 20 miles and it was empty."

Meanwhile a couple from Brighton took time out from the race after 20 miles to get married. Andrew Ford and Katrina Scaife tied the knot at the London Marriott hotel in West India Quay before completing the remaining six miles.

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