A tearful Paula Radcliffe admitted emotion almost got better on her London Marathon farewell.
The 41-year-old returned to the scene of her finest hour to bring the curtain down on a glorious career on Sunday.
The world record holder shouted her thanks to the crowds lining the route and linked hands with a club runner down The Mall as she crossed the line in her final competitive marathon in two hours 36 minutes 55 seconds.
The tears could then flow freely as she embraced her husband Gary Lough and children, daughter Isla and son Raphael.
“Part of the reason that I wore sunglasses because I thought it might help me to keep control of my emotions a little bit, but they definitely did hide quite a few tears along the way,” said Radcliffe, who was the 199th participant across the line.