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Vicki Ball of Grantham Running Club competes at Leicester’s Running Festival

Whilst most of Grantham Running Club were chasing PBs at one of the club’s GP events at West Pinchbeck, Vicki Ball chose to enter a longer distance at Leicester’s Running Festival.

With a choice of a 10k or half marathon distance, Vicki chose to enter the half as a test, having not ‘raced’ the distance for two years.

The half marathon route started and finished at Victoria Park. Heading through the city and out along Leicester’s golden mile, runners then looped back through Watermead Park and Abbey Park, before the final push up the idyllic New Walk, all the way to the finish line.

Vicki Ball
Vicki Ball

Vicki was hoping to secure another run under two hours, requiring a 9:09 minute mile average pace. Vicki felt strong for the first half of the race, noting at each mile her pace, maintaining under the required time, and a halfway time check saw 59 minutes on her watch; she knew she just needed to hold the pace.

The second half of the race saw four of her miles under 9:00 minute mile pace and Vicki had a brief moment of joy until she hit exited Abbey Park. From there, the final two miles were an unrelenting uphill climb through the city.

Determined not to undo her hard work and knowing hills were not her strong point, Vicki pushed ahead.

Her fellow runners made her not feel quite so alone in the pain as they expressed some choice words towards the never ending hill.

One final push to the finish line and Vicki was very happy to finish in a time of 1:58:48, averaging a 9:00 minute mile.

The half marathon was won by Mo Hussein in 1:06:59 and the 10k by Jack Chennell in 34:17.

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