Former Watford Harrier Claire Hallissey told of her joy this afternoon after she was named in the Team GB athletics squad for this summer’s London Olympics.

Hallissey was the first Briton home in yesterday’s London Marathon, posting a time of 2.27.44 – a lifetime best in what was only her third race over the distance.

Her performance will see her line up alongside Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi as Britain’s trio of female marathon runners this summer.

And the 29-year-old revealed that her achievement had not yet sunk in following this afternoon’s announcement.

“I am really looking forward to lining up with the likes of Paula and Mara,” enthused Hallissey.

“It makes all the hard work worthwhile. With marathon training, it is full of highs and lows. There are times when you are forcing yourself out of the door for your second run of the day.

“You make a lot of sacrifices. I haven’t seen a lot of my husband this year.”

Hallissey now lives in Arlington, Virginia, in America but was born and raised in Watford.

And the former Watford Grammar School for Girls pupil admits her inclusion in the squad is a childhood dream come true.

“I think anyone who is really interested in sport grows up watching the Olympics and you dream that you will one day make it. You never really dream it will become a reality,” she added.

“It (competing yesterday) was brilliant. The crowd out there were absolutely amazing all the way around the course. It really lifts you. I can only imagine what it will be like in the summer.”