Silverstone half marathon – Race Review 2016

Lots of my RunMND group was signing up for Silverstone half marathon, but for some reason, I didn’t. I think I had entered lots of races in a short space of time, and my bank balance was telling me no! Then I got an email from the MNDA that said that I could have one of their places for a drastically reduced price. At the same time, I saw how many MND runners were going, so I signed up. It’s always so much nicer to run events with friends!

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Silverstone was turned blue and orange!

My training plan said that I needed to run 18 miles the same day as Silverstone, so I planned to get there early to run 5 miles. I thought this meant a very early start, so was shocked when I read on twitter that the race didn’t start until noon!

My preparation for the race was not ideal, as my husband and I had tickets to a theatre show in London on the Saturday night. So my fuelling and nutrition was not brilliant the day before, and then our train was cancelled on the way home, so I didn’t end up getting to bed until 1:15am! I was relieved for the noon start now.

I left early as planned and parked up at 9:30am. I was surprised how many people were there that early. I wasn’t sure where to run, and when greeted by dense fog, I decided to walk to the start to try to get my bearings.

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I couldn’t even see the road in front of me!

Suffice to say, when I got to the MNDA charity tent, and met up with friends the 5 miles did not happen! I used the main toilets, and there was no queue. I wasn’t sure if this was because I was so early or there were lots. There were vans where you could get hot drinks, and food if you wanted. It was cold, but we were lucky the charity stand was inside and had a single toilet next to them, which we could all use! We also didn’t need to use the baggage drop, as MNDA let us leave our bags with them.

By the time we had to make our way to the start, the fog had lifted and the sun was shining. Lots of people were stripping off, but I still found the wind very cold! Even though, there were lots of people taking part, it didn’t feel crowded at the start.

IMG_8890I started towards the back with other RunMND runners, and it took us about 8 minutes to cross the start line. I really wanted to run a slow/steady pace and then put in some marathon pace miles, but at present my pace seems to be out the window. I am really struggling to run the pace I want too. My first mile started with a 9:xx, which was what I didn’t want to do! I was consciously trying to slow myself down, but it felt hard. Considering how many other people I knew there, I ended up running from mile 3 on my own! I found the course bizarre, as I really didn’t know where I was. At times there were people running on both sides of me, yet I didn’t have a clue if they were ahead or behind me! I had been told it was much more hilly than most people realise, and there were some bridges to go over, but I didn’t mind that too much. It was a very quiet half marathon, not only are there not supporters all round the course, the runners were actually quite quiet too. I am used to chatting away to people in the first few miles, but this just didn’t happen. I finished in 2:12, but felt disappointed, as the race felt much harder than I wanted it too. I wasn’t running too fast, it wasn’t hilly, but I think my poor nutrition, hydration, lack of sleep and the heat, was making me pay.

I thought about doing the extra 5 at the end, by I was shattered and again didn’t!

Pros

  • Huge amount of parking.
  • Noon start.
  • Easy access to toilets. For anyone that worries about toilets on the course, there were lots!
  • Being part of a huge team.
  • Meeting up with my friends I have made through RunMND, and meeting new people who have joined the group.
  • Raising awareness for MNDA
  • The support and encouragement from MNDA
  • Amazing marshalls.
  • Runners world paces were available if you were going for a time. I think the 2:29 pacer was quite pleasing on the eye too, according to some of the other runners!!
  • The start was totally stress free.
  • My favourite Protein nuts from Graze in my goody bag.
  • Medal
  • I have to put this in here, as she would be very upset if I didn’t – JOSIE!

Cons

  • Noon start – I know I have put it in both as I like the lie in, but I was very hungry by mile 10!
  • Long stretches without any support.
  • Quiet race, almost eery at times.
  • Not completing my 18 miles, as the plan said.
  • I know that you should expect this when running on a F1 racecourse, but you did feel like you were going around in circles. I was totally disoriented for most of the race.
  • Queues to get out of the car park at the end of the race. (I know this can’t be helped when so many people take part, but I think it took me 45 minutes to get out of the car park!)
  • A cotton T-shirt given at the finish. When a race is sponsored by Adidas, I at least expected a technical t-shirt.
  • Race photographs are so expensive. £19.95 for a single download seems ALOT!
  • The goody bag at the end of the race contained nuts – for me I like this, as they were my favourite, but another runner raised the point that for others who have a nut allergy that could have been dangerous.

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So, would I do it again? The course did not inspire me, but the amazing feeling you get from being part of such an amazing team might just persuade me again.

Please donate www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

Anyone else race at the weekend? How did you get on?

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