Silverstone Half Marathon – 13.3.16
report by Kelvin Elliott
This Half Marathon was a bonus for me as I had a free entry for this race as I was running for the Brain and Spine Foundation in the London Marathon. I was given a place along with Nathan Bignall and Rachel Brock. As I journeyed down to Silverstone leaving my house at 8.30am it was lovely hazy sunshine as soon as we got to passed Banbury the weather had changed to heavy fog and very chilly. We had to be at Silverstone before 10.30m to allow for parking and the walk to the start although the race did not start to 12noon. We arrived at Silverstone in good time and got parked and it was time for first toilet pit stop. I made my way to the race village with my support crew Eunice.
I had about 2 hrs to wait before the run so it gave opportunity to visit the Adidas shop and get a cup of tea and have further toilet stops. About 11.15am I made my way to the starting pointing removing my fleece and gloves and saying farewell to Eunice and she will look out for me at miles 3 and 10. I started off in the 2.20-2.30 pen put we were moved forward all the time, It was a long build before the run and the fog had lifted and the sun was shining with a slight coldish breeze. Eventually the race started and as I was moving to the starting line Angela and Dave McKay and Rachel Brock caught up with me.
We then started the 3 biggish laps of the formula one circuit. My pre-race plan was not to go off like an express train at the beginning but that totally went out the window. I started to make my way weaving through the runners and keeping up with Angela and Dave and Rachel as we made are way on the first 3 miles. I didn’t realise I was going too quickly until I noticed the mile time on my Garmin read 9.27 for the first mile and that was the similar story all the way to mile 3. As I made my way to the first drinks table and took a few sips I saw Eunice in the distance but caught her unaware as she wasn’t expecting to me there so quickly. The first three miles I ran were under 10 minutes which meant I had ran my quickest 5k so far this year unintentually. As I was making my way to the next mile I wasn’t able to keep with the Angela, Dave and Rachel as they went off into the distance. I automatically knew that I would be in trouble if I go off like an express train at Ashby or London Marathon I wouldn’t last the distance so I needed to slow down.
The course started to loop at times and you could see other runners who were ahead of you. I was still making good progress through the miles 5 and 6 and the course started to change again as there were more inclines starting to appear. I went through some water and Lucozade stops taking in sips of fluids. I got mile 7 and we started to run around the back of the track and it was starting to get tough as there were more inclines, as I reached half way on mile 7 the 2.15 mile pacer overtook me as well as a Dragon. The scenery was back of stands and walls not very inspiring.
Once I passed mile 8, I started to count the miles down as well as taking a gel to give me a boost. The miles were starting to feel very long as I passed mile 9 and 10. I saw Eunice and lobbed a Lucozade bottle towards her which landed by her feet at mile 10 and I was thinking it is only a parkrun to go. I got to mile 11 and during this mile I felt a blister pop on my toe I was determined not stop and carry on.
Between mile 10-11 the paramedics were been kept busy treating runners on the side of the course also I noticed later in run that paramedics were treating a runner who was seriously unwell at the side of the finish line. Fingers crossed that runner was going to be okay after receiving medical treatment. Back to the run I noticed that my energy levels were dropping and miles I was running were getting slower. I got to mile 12 and I knew it wasn’t long to go, I ran passed many runners who were struggling and walking at this point. I made my way overtaking them.
The last mile seemed to go on for ever as I went around the corner I could see the see the 13miler marker and the finish line. I made my way into the home straight but I felt I was on my last legs as I finished the race. I collected my goodie bag and medal, also gathering my energy for a picture from the race photographers then it was time to meet up with Eunice and go home. I was pleased with my time as it turned out to be my quickest half marathon of 2016 so far beating my time from Coventry. I am pleased I have done this run and I can cross Silverstone Half Marathon off as a one off experience so when I watch the British Grand Prix later in year I can say I ran all around there.
Well done to everyone from Massey who took part in this run although it was difficult to spot each other as there were large volumes of people at Silverstone.