A 71-year-old running star from Cirencester finished second in her age group at the London Marathon.

Only 70-year-old Yuko Gordon, an Olympian and world record holder, finished ahead on Sharon Smith in the 70-74 age group category.

Sharon bagged a personal best time of three hours and 32 minutes, just seven minutes behind Gordon.

It was made all the more remarkable by the fact she almost decided not to take part, having been ill the week before the race.

Sharon said: "It was a beautiful day in London and wonderful running conditions.

"Of all my marathons this is the one I enjoyed the most and I will be back next year trying for an even better finish time."

Sharon has already qualified for a 'good for age' place in next year's race when she will challenge the world record for her age category.

Pauline Tilbury, chair of Cirencester's Running Somewhere Else running club where Sharon trains, said: "Sharon is an absolute star, she trains hard and reaps the benefits and we are all so proud of her.

"She is a wonderful inspiration to everyone in our club."