Matthew Spencer wins Leicester Marathon in his first race over distance
Matthew Spencer won the Leicester Marathon on his first time over the distance.
The runner, from Ipswich, who only started running a couple of years ago, completed his first full marathon in a time of 2:42:13.
The 28-year-old beat second-place Neil Davison, City of Norwich Athletic Club, who ran 2:43:40 and Dennis Speck, from Pocklington Runners, who finished third in 2:44:05.
Spencer said: "It's a tough course but I'm delighted.
"I've been in training for about six months now, I just thought why not go for it and it's good to see it paying off.
"The fans are really helpful, especially giving you loads of support up that last hill – the crowd really push you on.
"I only started running a couple of years ago and I wanted to push myself and here I am.
"I chose to run Leicester first because I had read lots of reviews about it and they were all really good.
"Hopefully, I will be back here next year to defend my title," he said.
Alex Webster and Tom Drake, both of Wigston Pheonix, were the leading lights of the county's men.
Webster finished in ninth with a time of 2:50:49, while Drake competing the race in a time of 2:56:54 to finish 15th.
Katie Towerton was the leading female, who finished the marathon in a time of 3:06:26.
The runner from Andover Athletics Club smashed her time of 3:12:39 at this year's London Marathon by more than six minutes.
The 29-year-old said: "I had a bit of a disaster at London so it's good to be back here doing well.
"The course is really good and the marshals did a great job. The support was great all the way along with people coming out of their houses to show support – that really gives you that push to go further."
Sarah Lowery, of Sheffield Running Club, was the second fastest female in 3:12:03 and Chilton Harriers' Kirstie Elliot third in 3:19:10.
Helen James and Gill Evans were the best of the county's females. James, of Barrow Runners, completed the course in 3:21:15 and was also the fastest female in the V40 age category, while Evans, Shepshed Running Club, was the quickest in the V50 category, finishing in a time of 3:29:15.
Chris Farrow and Peter Duncan were the fastest males in the V40 and V50 categories. Farrow finished in 2:48:46, while Duncan just missed out on breaking the three-hour mark, clocking 3:01:12.