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London Marathon 2017: Swansea Harrier Josh Griffiths stuns everyone with sensational 13th place finish

Club runner starts with the masses and finishes 13th to qualify for World Championships

Josh Griffiths, the unlikely star of the London Marathon, spoke of his shock after qualifying for the World Championships in the capital later this year.

The Swansea Harrier came in 13th place overall and was the fastest Brit with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 49 seconds in his first time at the marathon distance. Daniel Wanjiru claimed victory with a time of 2:05:48.

And the Annan Valley school alumni admitted the newfound attention had come as a surprise to him after the race.

He said: “I wasn't expecting this. This is all very new to me. The goal for me today was to try and qualify for the Commonwealth Games team for Wales.

“To actually qualify for the World Championships in the summer is still sinking in.

“I was hoping to run under 2:16 but I knew it would be a big ask as it's my first marathon but I thought I'd give it a go.

“It felt great all the way round. The crowd really helped carry me around and I was passing people. I still can't quite believe it.”

The cameras were trained on Robbie Simpson going into The Mall before they realised Griffiths was ahead of him to finish as the fastest British athlete.

He added: “It means so much because training is hard and for it to pay off like it has today. I can't believe it.”

As a club, the Swansea Harriers were the stars of the day as Matthew Rees carried a stricken runner across the line.

Griffiths paid tribute to his club: “It's a club on the up. They've just won the national road relays. They've got some really good runners and Matt is one of them.”

On whether he'd celebrate with a beer or two, he added: “I'd probably want to go to sleep for a long time after this!”

The shock qualification for the World Championships has left Griffiths excited but he laughed off suggestions that he could even win a medal.

He said: “We'll have to plan and train for that. It wasn't on my radar at all but it's not something you can turn down and I can't wait to get started. I don't want to get too carried away when it comes to medal hopes.”

Griffiths hopes that he can inspire others to take up running as he admitted his phone hadn't stopped buzzing since the achievement.

The athlete explained: “I love the challenge. I started doing it when I was about 13, 14 running with school. I joined a local club and every year I've progressed slightly.”

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