SARAH Cameron wrote her name into the St Helens Striders record books on the opening day of the new marathon season.

She was among a host of Striders who shone at the Greater Manchester Marathon.

After a dark winter of gruelling training, race day brought the chance to step into the emerging spring sunshine and bask in the adulation of the huge crowds.

Performance of the day came from peerless Sarah Cameron, with an astonishing time of 3hrs 05mins for the 26.2 mile course.

Her new club record could stand for many years to come.

Nicola Donovan also excelled to delight her vociferous supporters with a determined 4:33.

Vera Langley and Sharon Swift performed admirably, raising a great sum of money for the Children With Cancer charity in the process.

In her first attempt at the marathon, the tenacious Tammy Gallagher delighted teammates with her 6:07 finish.

Chris Reid was the first male to cross the line in a highly impressive 3:21.

Striders’ coach Ian Wright put his own advice to good use as he knocked an incredible nine minutes off his personal best to finish in 3:28.

Antony Cheers (3:32), Martin Ballard (3:46) and Antony Ellis (3:49) also did themselves proud with personal best times.

John Williams completed the course bravely, despite suffering a calf injury just before the halfway mark.

Meanwhile, an adventurous set of Striders travelled to Prague to take on the city’s prestigious half marathon.

Jo Jackson was the first Strider across the line in 2:03. Tony Horsfall, after pacing Jackson through the race, finished a step or two behind.

Their time was all the more impressive as they showed the true Strider spirit in selflessly sacrificing a faster time in helping a stricken runner on the finishing straight.

Jo Keogh, Mike Brunt, and Mike Cox all enjoyed their run around the majestic Czech capital with strong performances.

Back home, Pete Medlicott scaled the heights of Rivington in the 10 mile trail race and finished in a fabulous 1:32, while stalwart Brian Davies headed to Darwen for the Heritage Half Marathon and impressed with 2:02.