Another Ultramarathon Running Blog

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
Stouty and I took part in the Silverstone Half Marathon today; the event was one of the series of charity runs we were undertaking on behalf of Cruse Bereavement (www.justgiving.com/runsuperherorun)

There was no plan for the race today, especially after completing the Thames Path 100 miler the weekend before. We were going to enjoy the run and hopefully promote the Charity on the way.

We arrived in plenty of time and got changed into the Batman & Robin outfits, which went down well with other runners as we were asked to pose for several photographs before the event.

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
With about half an hour to go before the race start, we made our way onto the Silverstone track ready for the start, met a couple of Super Girls and had a picture with them before we headed to the 1.45 – 2 hr start slot which was our estimated time today. The weather was pretty warm and we could already feel ourselves heating up in the suits but there wasn’t much that we could do about it.
We spoke to another runner who had completed the Thames Trot a few weeks ago and recognised us (well Batman & Robin) and had a chat whilst we listed to the Race Announcer and Tony Audenshaw doing a John Motson impression.

We also managed to get a name check on the PA and a cheer from the crowd when we tweeted a picture of us at the start.

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
The start of the race was delayed by a few minutes (I’m sure this happened last year aswell) due to traffic but we eventually set off to the traditional Formula 1 theme music (Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”).
We started out amongst the crowed and settled down into 7.30 – 7.45 m/m pace for the first few miles. It was starting to heat up already and we were both perspiring quite heavily in the costumes. We also spotted Tom Forman near the start and he kindly gave us a cheer as we ran past him.
About a mile in, Stouty needed to make a quick “pit stop” early on but soon caught me up as we motored around the race track (sorry had to be done).
The support around parts of the course were good, there was a bit of banter with other runners and we got a few cheers and “high-fived” a few kids (and adults) on the way round. In fact we were both enjoying the atmosphere of the race without any pressure of a finish time.

We stopped for water early on as we were both roasting in the suits (in fact we drank something at nearly all the stops as a pre-caution and used the water to cool us down) before continuing on at the same 7.30 – 7.45m/m type pace.

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
At about mile 8, we spotted a helicopter parked just off the race course. Stouty looked at me and shouted “Lets get a photo with the Batcopter!”. The marshal looked at us in surprise as we ran off course and I grabbed my camera phone to take a picture. However, another competitor followed us and kindly took this picture of us before we posed with her for another shot with her camera. (Stouty also left a charity card on the windscreen for the pilot aswell)
We ran back on course and continued past a main stand a short while later when Stouty said “I’ve just seen Bernie Ecclestone”. “Why didn’t you give him a charity card then?” I replied. “Shall I? Ok I will” Stouty responded as he ran back 50 yards to hand Bernie and tapped him up for a charity donation as I shot some video of the other runners coming passed us.

We continued on around the track and enjoyed the support from the spectators. At about mile 11, I lost Stouty and couldn’t see him at all. I later learned some lady had offered to make a donation if she could have a picture of Batman with her son to which he duly obliged and so he ended up a minute or two behind me.

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
I slowed the pace slightly and looked around but couldn’t see him but thought he would catch up soon enough. This turned into a bit of fun and games as the spectators kept shouting to me “Where’s Batman?” and then when he passed them they kept him informed that “Robin was just ahead”.
I eventually spotted him behind me and slowed to a walk just after a drinks station to allow him to catch up and we started to jog the last mile and half home.
With about a mile to go, I decided to go for the big finish… no, not a big last mile sprint but a play for the crowd with a tweet directed at the official Silverstone Half Marathon hash-tag with a message to the affect that Batman & Robin were a mile away and would like a big cheer at the finish!
Unfortunately, moments after this we spotted a female runner in a bit of distress. She was walking very unsteadily and gasping for air and Stouty ran to her aid to check she was ok. It looked like the heat and exertion had taken its toll on her but after getting some water from other competitors (thanks guys) and walking with her for half a mile she seemed like she was walking a bit more steadily and would walk it in. She kept insisting that we go one as we were losing time but this wasn’t really a consideration for us today (we had larked about far too much today). Eventually, we went on only to see a couple of ambulances pulling and up dealing with runners who just seemed to be collapsing by the road-side quite close to the end.

With a few hundred metres to go, we picked up the pace. I’m not sure if our tweet was read out or not but we got a fantastic reception on the final straight. I caught a little bit of the finish on camera with Stouty high-fiving the crowd as we crossed the finish line in 1.48. Not the quickest time for us but quite reasonable on a warm day with some time taken away for well just mucking about a bit really.

2012 Silverstone Half Marathon
After the race, we met some of our other travelling companions and shot out the car park as quickly as we could to avoid the traffic which I understand poor old Tom got stuck in.
Overall, it’s a good fun and reasonably inexpensive race (until you see the Marathon Photo prices). We picked up a goody bag which contained a medal, t-shirt, couple of drinks and some snacks so not bad value at all for around £15 I think.

A good fun day overall!

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