Garston housewife Joyce Smith won the hearts of millions on Sunday when she set a new British and Commonwealth record at the first London Marathon.

The 43-year-old mother of two was cheered all the way round the 26 mile course by more than a million people who lined the streets, to cross the finishing line near Buckingham Palace in two hours, 29 minutes, 59 seconds.

“The crowds and the atmosphere was just so lifting. I was carried along by them. I did not think I was fit enough to set a record but the crowds just kept me going,” she said.

Joyce, who seems to get better with every marathon, may now aim for the 1984 Olympics.

But she said: “I am not thinking that far ahead. I will be taking each marathon as it comes."

[From the Watford Observer of April 3, 1981]

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