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.

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