Matt Brown and I took part in the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon today, a run that took place across the famous Grand Prix circuit.
The event was well attended with an estimated 8-10,000 runners and organisation was good for an event this size, the fact that the Grand Prix circuit caters for larger numbers probably helped here.
The weather was cool (almost cold) and breezy prior to the start of the race as we lined up at the start. The pre-race plan was to pace Matt around for a close to 2hr finish with myself breaking off for a quicker couple of miles at the end.
The race started a couple of minutes after 12 as the masses of runners started to make their way around the circuit. The number of runners made it a “busy” race in terms of space and pacing which sometimes impacts your own chances of a quick run.
The first few miles went to plan with splits of 8.50, 8.49, 9.13, 9.00 but the pace slowed the next few miles with splits of 9.30, 9.44, 9.58 and 10.11. The course covered the actual circuit and then around the outskirts and was undulating but nothing too severe. There were plenty of marshalls throughout although the number of supporters tended to the grandstand areas. What I did enjoy was the music and commentary on the PA system on the way around and each mile point was well marked with a large digital clock giving you the overall time, good to keep people informed of progress if you’re not wearing a watch.
We got past the 8 mile point and it was clear that the pace was slowing and we were going to finish over 2hrs by about 5-10 mins so we agreed to part company (in a friendly manner!) at that time.
I put in a bit of a burst of effort and started to hit my normal “race pace” and had to weave through the traffic a bit as I put in splits of 7.47, 7.21, 7.13, 7.21 and 6.21 for the final straight part of the mile to finish in around 1hr 56mins. My Garmin has recorded a distance of 13.3 miles so I obviously hadn’t taken the racing line!
Matt came in a short while later, pleased to finish but perhaps slightly disappointed with a finish of around 2hrs 10mins.
The event was good value for money with a goody bag including some food, drink, a t-shirt and medal for your entry fee of £15 (which is half the cost of the expensive Reading Half). Water and energy drinks were also in plentiful supply both before and after the race.
A well organised and enjoyable event which was good value for money but not necessarily a “must do” again.