VIDEO: Thousands enjoy rain-soaked Leicester Marathon

By Matthew Chandler

Almost 4,000 runners braved torrential rain to take part in the Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday.

The course, which began at Victoria Park at 8.45am, was fraught with abysmal weather throughout, but not even that could dampen the spirits of the participants, who were supporting either a charity or their own running clubs.

Simon Birch, of Hinckley Running Club, was the first to return, completing the Half Marathon in an excellent time of one hour and 11 minutes.

An exhausted Mr Birch had taken part in the Leicester Half Marathon several times before but had never previously finished first.

After the run, he said: “[I’m] very tired indeed, [it was] awful conditions out there. The bit at New Walk as well was pretty awful, but [I] kept going.

“[It is a] really nice course and if anything, I went too quick, I think, at the start and [I was] just hanging at the end.”

Representatives of the NHS were also present, with 26 running on behalf of Leicester’s Diana Community Children’s Service, a provider of care and support for youngsters and families needing special nursing care.

Julie Potts, a nurse at the service, and Kris Munsey, were there in support of their colleagues, who have each raised at least £150, and praised their heroic efforts.

“It’s our 20th anniversary this year so we’ve rallied round some support,” said Julie. “Some are doing half, some are doing the full [marathon], so we’re here to support them.

“[It is our] first time, probably an annual event now, maybe, but yeah, it’s been fantastic, really, really emotional actually, seeing everybody running for us [is] really special.

“Everybody’s exceeded that [£150], so I think it’s around the £6,000 mark at the moment, which is pretty amazing.”

Richard Lewis was one of countless volunteers at the event, and highlighted the important work done by LOROS, a hospice charity caring for more than 2,500 people each year in Leicestershire and Rutland.

He said: “I did the marathon last year [as a volunteer] but it was [a] bit better weather, nice and sunny. I’m here till about four o’clock this afternoon, so [it] should be lovely.

“[The marathon is a] good fundraiser for LOROS, [you] can’t do enough for LOROS so [it is] great.”

Leicester Marathon 2018 – Top 10

1 Emil Meijer 2:37:11
2 Andrew Quigley 2:37:38
3 Glen Winning 2:39:54
4 Martin Lewis 2:42:34
5 Pieter Vermeesch 2:42:34
6 Ben Harris 2:43:20
7 John Orgill 2:46:39
8 Simon Allen 2:47:16
9 Byron Edwards 2:52:03
10 Paul Veitch 2:52:17

Leicester Half Marathon 2018 – Top 10

1 Simon Birch 1:11:13
2 Alistair Mcdonnell 1:13:13
3 Tom Whitmore 1:13:24
4 Jake Harrison 1:13:56
5 Paul Miles 1:17:05
6 David Brewis 1:18:43
7 Tom Corby 1:18:48
8 Daniel Leake 1:18:48
9 Paul Gowdridge 1:18:49
10 Justin Phillipps 1:19:11

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