I was in two minds at the beginning of this race as to how I was going to run it. Last week I ran my worst race of the 1000km challenge so far, but still managed to knock a massive seven minutes off my PB and finish in under 1:40:00. I was also aware that the majority of my races from now until the London Marathon are 10ks, so I would benefit from running today’s race at Marathon pace. Ultimately I let curiosity get the better of me, if I could run as fast as I could last week despite all the issues, how fast would I be able to run on a course almost designed for PBs?
The Silverstone Half Marathon is becoming is familiar ground for me and my family, this year was my fourth time running the race but my 6th time there in total, having missed two years due to injury but going along to support family members who were running. At one point or another my Mum, Dad, both my brothers, my brother’s girlfriend and myself have all ran the 13.1 miles around the famous Silverstone track. This year however, I had just my Dad for company.
It was an early start on Sunday morning despite the 12 o’clock race time, organisers warned that all cars should be in the Car Park by 10:30, so alarms were set for 6am, porridge eaten and by half 7 we were on our way. I foolishly didn’t fuel my body sufficiently before the race, only eating a banana between my bowl of porridge at half 6 and the start of the race at 12. Aside from a handful of jelly babies and some gels this was to be all I ate until 6pm, which was to have its effects on me later on.
Last year I had tried and failed to achieve a sub 1:45 Half Marathon time at Silverstone. My preparation leading in the race last year wasn’t the best, I was running through a hip and knee injury and was attempting to knock almost 10 minutes off my current PB. A couple of days before the race this year I found an old playlist I had created for the Silverstone Half Marathon last year, I had hand picked songs which would help me keep the required pace and chose Accept’s ‘Fast as a Shark’ as my song to cross the finishing line to. However, last year it didn’t go to plan and with a mile and a half to go to the finish I heard this song play and felt defeated.
This year however, things were different. I had decided before the race that if I felt fresh enough I would go all out, take advantage of the flat course and see how fast I could run. I was able to keep my average pace down to 7:00 min miles for the first 5/6 miles so knew I was on target for another PB. Unfortunately around this time I also started to need the toilet and had to make the decision whether to stop and hope that any time lost would be made up, or keep running and hope any discomfort wouldn’t slow me down. I opted for the latter. This decision had an effect on my average pace, although probably less than time that would have been lost if I stopped.
As I entered the last mile Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller’ started playing on my MP3 player, not only an awesome song to run to but a song that has a big personal attachment to this challenge as it is one of Jenny’s favourites. The euphoria I felt crossing this finishing line to the sound of Rob Halford screaming in my ears may explain the massive smile on my face, that and the two and half minutes I knocked of my PB that I had set only last week.
Distance: 21.39 km | 13.29 miles
Official Time: 01:37:03
Average Pace: 04:32 min/km | 07:18 min/mi
Goodie Bag: T-Shirt, Medal, Eat Natural Bar, Bottle of Water and Bottle of Lucozade.
View my run: