Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon

Grounds and I did the Silverstone Half Marathon on Sunday, on a sunny, blustery day at England's premier motor racing circuit.


Warming up

Before the race. We didn't get to pick the colour of our vests -
Amnesty just chose a couple at random and sent them to us.

There were around 7,000 entrants, so the start was a bit cramped. Better still, I was already fairly aching for a pee, having been conscientiously drinking water all morning.

I wasn't alone either - for the first 800 yards or so of the race, there was a constant stream of blokes running off the track and relieving themselves against the wall. Grounds and I joined them with very little hesitation.

Grounds had brought his iPod with him, so he stuck that on and started singing along to it in a strange, high-pitched falsetto. I remember Heart of Glass earning us a few looks.

Possibly because of his outlandish behaviour, Grounds was moving through traffic a fair bit more easily than I was. He trotted off into the distance while I got hemmed in by sweaty bodies. As there were a couple of hairpin bends, I was treated to the sight of him bounding indefatigably along in the opposite direction on more than one occasion.

I figured there was no point wasting energy trying to bully my way through the crowd too early so I just settled in and plodded along.

I eventually caught up with Grounds at the eight-mile mark, then gave him a taste of his own medicine by running off on him! Haha! Grounds was getting a bit leggy as he actually needed a poo.

The last couple of miles were fairly hellish as the wind was blowing and there was an uphill stretch to the finish. I hung on for a finishing time of 1:42:58 - around a minute outside my target time, but quite cheering in the blustery conditions.

Grounds, meanwhile, had stopped for a poo but still made it round in an impressive 1:47:17.

Grounds then went for another poo while I tried to find the car. Fortunately I had an ace up my sleeve.

Parking officer standing in a huge car park, packed with cars. Up comes Dan.

ME: Hi there mate, I'm looking for a red Rover 400 series. You seen it?

HE: Er...


Silverstone Half Marathon overall:

* Very impressed with the facilities and organisation. Timing clocks on each mile marker a definite plus. Lots of water and Lucozade available on the course.

* A lot of people commented that their pedometers recorded 13.3 miles - I think that may be caused by being pushed wide through the many corners by traffic.

* The scenery was fairly awful. Unless you're a motorsports fan (I'm not) in which case, the scenery was iconic.

* My new running shoes gave me blisters. I also had a bit of jelly bean stuck between my teeth for the last two miles.


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