Hampton Hill marathon runner, Jo Lodge, finished in a valiant 39th place representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the IAAF World Championships, held in Paris last Sunday (writes DALE HARRY).

Jo crossed the line in 2:37:56, a tremendous effort for an athlete whose season has been hampered with a back injury.

The 35-year-old was a little way off her personal best time of 2:34:16, recorded in Berlin last September, but her real target was to finish below sub 2:40.

The Windsor, Slough, Eton, and Hounslow athlete said: "I didn’t want to go off too quickly but was perhaps a little cautious for around the first five or 10 kilometres.

"My best spell came at around the 30 kilometre mark, as I continued to progress up the field - from 64th I forced my way up to 39th spot."

But with the temperature reaching 30 degrees centigrade it was not ideal conditions for marathon running.

"I am somewhere between reasonably happy and happy, with my performance," added Jo, who teaches at Gunnersbury Catholic School, Brentford.

"It was my first real major, besides the half marathon in 1999, and I can now go into my next championships with a lot more confidence."

The event was won by Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba in 2:23:55. - a new championship record.