Jenson Button has completed his first London Marathon in a shade under three hours, raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

The 2009 world champion and current McLaren F1 driver recorded a 2hrs 52mins 30secs time for the 26-mile course around the capital, coming home just 16mins behind women's world record holder Paula Radcliffe.

Button is no stranger to the long-distance run, and comfortably beat his previous personal best of 2hrs 58mins as he campaigned on behalf of his chosen charity. The 35-year old was involved in a head-to-head with former Olympic rowing champion and London Marathon regular James Cracknell, running for brain injury association Headway, who eventually finished a little way up the road.

Related Articles

"I've done a lot of training and think I'm pretty fit, but there were so many people ahead of me," Button told the BBC as he marvelled at the kaleidoscopic field.

Button and Cracknell were joined in the race by a host of other sports stars, including 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medallist David Hemery, now 70, Welsh weightlifter Michaela Breeze, rugby star Shane Williams and Cracknell's fellow rower Zac Purchase.

"Oh my, that was a tough day," Button tweeted later, "Loved the London Marathon though and very happy with my time. Thank you so much to the crowd today, what an amazing atmosphere.

"Got beaten by a rower, which my engineer Tom Stallard will find hilarious! James is a machine - well done fella!"

Button was also far from the only F1 representative on the course, with several teams featured amongst the runners, none less than Manor-Marussia's Graeme Lowdon, who crossed the line after 4hrs 27mins.

Button's wife, Jessica, meanwhile, was still on the course as he was being interviewed by the media, also aiming for a finish in around four hours....