Marathon Runners take to City streets despite soaking conditions

The finish line as Simon Birch wins the half marathon..

By Alex Murray

Runners took to the streets of Leicester on Sunday, October 14, to take part in the 2018 editions of the Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon, despite treacherous conditions.

The heavens were well and truly open for the event, with runners getting soaked by the rain and having to deal with the challenging conditions on offer.

Runners began the journey early, with the race starting at 8.45 am at Victoria Park and then ran the route of the race, taking them around the city streets and various landmarks.

Several volunteers lined the streets of the race, helping runners in need and generally assisting the competitors.

Ken Richardson, a marshal at the event, said: “I’m just marshalling, I’m just helping out.

“I’ve done many years of running in the past and I appreciate the marshals and the volunteers that come out and help us out so I’m paying back. Now I don’t run so much I can help out.”

Many runners were taking part for charitable causes such as LOROS and other Leicestershire based charities.

Julie Potts, from the Diana Service, spoke about how the race helps to raise money for their cause.

Mrs Potts said: “The Diana Service is a community children’s nursing service in Leicester and it’s our 20th anniversary this year so we’ve rallied around some support and got 26 runners running the marathon for us.

“Everybody had to raise £150 each to enter but everybody’s exceeded that, so we’ve raised around the £6,000 mark at the moment which is pretty amazing.”

As the runners took part in the marathon, they had to deal with the conditions as well as the race itself.

Competitors will have put hours of training into getting themselves ready for the event.

Simon Birch was the first runner to cross the finish line and was the winner of the Half Marathon, after he finished in a time of 1:11:13.

Mr Birch sad: “It feels really good, really pleased.

“I just went off a bit too quick because it’s downhill initially for the first couple of miles and you tend to forget you’ve got 11 more miles to go and you’re hanging in after that, but I’m very pleased.

“I think it [the weather] took a few seconds off to be honest.

“It was very slippery at times, some of the leaves had you slipping a bit, but I tend to run better when it’s cool but not raining.”

The event was a success, despite the weather, with money being raised for charities and runners looking to set their best times.