Runners race through rain and wind as Leicester Half Marathon returns

By Luke Williamson

Runners braved the elements to take part in the Run Leicester Half Marathon this weekend for the first time since 2018.

About 1,600 runners took to the streets of Leicestershire on Sunday [OCT31], racing to raise money for a variety of charities.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions with the previous year’s race falling victim to flooding.

And the elements threatened to play havoc on Halloween with this year’s edition of the race with rain falling from the start for the majority of the race.

Halil Tamgumus, headteacher at Braunstone Community Primary School, said: “The fact it rained as hard as it did for as long as it did came as a bit of a surprise.

“Parts of the race were like what I’d imagine the steeplechase to be like as some of the puddles were really deep.

“It wasn’t ideal,” he said.

Rain-soaked runners head past Leicester’s Clock Tower as the conditions improved on Sunday. PICTURE: Shivani Maisuria.

Ron Ashby, another runner in the race, took five minutes off his personal best in the conditions.

He said: “The transition from dry to wet was horrible.

“It was cold too, which didn’t help, however, as always, once you get going it was okay.

“In fact, splashing through the puddles was fun, and certainly better running when it is too hot.”

Halil said he found motivation through his father, who passed away about six years ago from cancer.

“He was the strongest man I know and the thought of him really helped me push on,” he said.

The Half Marathon Route courtesy of Google Maps.

Ron spoke with a fellow runner on Sunday who said that running saved his life.

He said: “He had been through some proper rough stuff in the last five years.

“While I wouldn’t go that far, I would say it’s probably helped with my sanity, especially during Covid when it was the only thing we could legally do.”

Both praised the efforts of the stewards who stood around in the rain and wind, cheering on the runners around the full course.

Martin, a steward by Leicester’s Clocktower said: “The weather has been inclement, but it has been good to give something back to the running community.

“There are a lot of good causes, and it is good to be here supporting the runners.”

The weather did improve as the day went on, meaning the runners finished in the dry.

A massive congratulations to everyone who took part this year.

Covid rates in the first month of university: 2020 vs 2021

By Kira Gibson

In the month of October 2020, Leicester had just come out of lockdown, but there were still restrictions in place.

Both the city’s universities had brought in a blended learning environment for students, and the rate of Coronavirus throughout the city skyrocketed as the month went on.

Students tried to socialise with one another and get work done in class which unfortunately helped the Covid-19 rate across the city rise.

The rate per 100,000 people rose as well, leading to another lockdown (tier 3, and then tier 4) for the city and county.

In the month of October 2021, the entire country has been out of lockdown for several months, with few, if any restrictions still in place.

The Leicester Covid-19 rate however seems to stay the same, with roughly 1,000 or more cases each week.

Since university students have been back on campus, as both universities have allowed most students to learn face-to-face with a few classes still being online at teachers’ discretion, the rate of Covid-19 has not fallen yet.

The rate per 100,00 people has been rising as well, but still under the country’s rate per 100,000.

Leicester City FC: Five years on from winning the league, are the Foxes improving?

By Thomas Carter

This season marks five years since Leicester City’s historic Premier League title win, but with the team observing an inconsistent start to the 2021/22 campaign, their progress is being questioned.

Currently, the Foxes sit at 11th place in the league table, achieving 14 points from their opening ten games.

With that said, the most effective way to evaluate the team’s performances is to look at four key aspects of their game: shooting accuracy, pass accuracy, clean sheets, and a comparison of goals scored and conceded.

Goals (scored v conceded)

In the title-winning season (2015/16), Leicester scored 68 goals, conceding 36, and after a few years of more turbulent scoring records, the team seem to have returned to their high-scoring ways.

Last season, the team scored the same amount as they did in the year they won the league, showing an improvement in attack. However, the more alarming statistic is that they conceded 50 goals, ultimately finishing the campaign in fifth place.

(Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

Shooting accuracy (%)

When it comes to shooting, Leicester’s accuracy is one of the more positive statistics of their game, having shown relative consistency in the last six seasons. Last season, the Foxes had an accuracy of 38 per cent, which is an improvement on their title-winning year (34 per cent).

(Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

Passing accuracy (%)

Similarly to shooting accuracy, the team has seen steady progress in the last six seasons. Though a slight decrease on the 2019/20 campaign, the Foxes’ most recent season produced a passing accuracy of 82 per cent – a major improvement on five years ago.

(Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

Clean sheets

Just as the number of goals conceded has risen, Leicester have struggled to keep clean sheets in recent seasons. The two seasons following their title success were especially difficult, going from keeping 15 clean sheets in 2015/16 to nine. Last year saw some improvement, as the team look to regain some consistency in defensive performances.

(Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

Luke Pawley, freelance sports writer and lifelong Foxes fan, said: “It’s been a poor start to the season for Leicester given the standards we’ve come to expect over recent years.

“The squad has definitely moved forward since the title win, despite our struggles so far this season.

“We’ve made it difficult for ourselves, but I believe this squad is more than capable of reaching the top five again and getting out of our Europa League group.”

For more stats on Leicester’s season, visit https://www.premierleague.com/clubs/26/Leicester-City/stats?se=274

Lights, Camera, Action: Leicester Fashion Week returns to Leicester

by Abigail Beresford

The fashion industry is set to take over the Mercure Leicester, The Grand Hotel this weekend, as Leicester Fashion Week returns to the city.

Independent designers from around the UK can finally see their creations come to life on the runway and be celebrated by fashion fanatics.

The event is finally returning to the Mercure Leicester, The Grand Hotel on November 7, after being postponed for the last two years, due to coronavirus restrictions.

“Leicester Fashion Week is dedicated to cultivating the fashion industry in Leicester and positioning the city as a high-quality fashion hub” said a spokesperson for the event.

“We are proud to promote and celebrate designers and creatives. The event is solely dedicated to showcasing and encouraging the fashion industry in Leicester.”

Many brands are set to participate, including AndRealToni TexturesAristocrats, and many more, including some that have been featured in Vogue and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“I am really excited for Leicester Fashion Week, where I will showcase my newest ‘Myrna Marble Art’ leather handbag collection,” said Andrea Benahmed, the designer and creator of AndReal, with designs prepped and ready for the runway.

“Design and creating for me are a form of art where I can get away with expressing myself in my truest form. The designs work in conjunction with each other to create a maximalist explosion of colour, or individually as a statement piece.”

Designers are able to see their masterful creations finally come to life, after the two-year wait. 

“We are so excited to showcase our first ethnic collection ‘Love Letters 2K21” at Leicester Fashion Week on November 7,” said Fa Rukh, the lead designer for Aristocrats.

“The collection represents modern silhouettes, keeping values of different ethnicities in mind, designing for women empowerment, LGBTQIA+ acceptance and celebrating the body.” 

More events are set to follow this weekend’s occasion, including the free talk on ‘How to Feel Empowered Through Fashion’ at John Lewis, Leicester on November 10, and a runway show at Lexus, Leicester on November 13. 

To buy tickets for the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/designers-showcase-tickets-156677170635.

#LeicesterFashionWeek #SS22 #Leicester

The Government funds Leicester City Council to transform railway station

By Shantelle Gondo

Leicester City Council has been funded with almost £18million of Government funding to transform the Leicester railway station.

Leicester Railway Station – Picture by Shantelle Gondo

In alignment to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund towards a £22million scheme to remodel the train station’s main entrance, the city council has successfully bid for exactly £17.6 million.

The transformation is expected to begin in early 2023 and be completed by mid-2024.

Leicester railway station will be reinstated to its Victorian glory, as a new entrance will be formed facing the city centre, as well as booking halls made smaller to create space for passengers.

The City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The award of almost £18million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund is a tremendous endorsement of the importance of this project.

“The railway station is a beautiful building but badly in need of improvement to meet the modern needs of a city the size of Leicester.

“This exciting project will make a huge difference, helping to transform the area into a vibrant gateway that will make a major contribution to Leicester’s prosperity.”

The area outside the old train station entrance will be transformed, as ramps and steps will be inserted leading to a new main train station entrance.

The other station entrances located near London Road will be transformed into a new retail plaza as well as food and drinks.

The Head of Infrastructure & Property at East Midlands Railway, Mark Lambert, said: “This is fantastic news for the people of the city and our customers that use Leicester station, we look forward to working closely with those involved.”

As well as the railway station transformation, the city council was awarded another £8.5million to develop and remodel old factory buildings at Pilot House and £19.4million for three other projects.

For more information about this scheme to remodel the railway station, visit: https://news.leicester.gov.uk/news-articles/2021/october/leicester-s-railway-station-revamp-plans-get-major-cash-boost/?fbclid=IwAR2EAVpIDWo4MolNndK7CSTfrZ_lou9WK8u5L9NdP6oX8fPwVOOEHSv8oXg