Today I ran Silverstone Half Marathon. I hadn't particularly been looking forward to it as I prefer trails and this was all tarmac. Also though I feel fitter than ever I've not managed to be very consistent recently, and done very little speedwork, so had no idea what pace I could achieve. I've also had a calf niggling away since last June, and I wasn't sure how it would cope with pushing. My PB was 1:46 something, so I decided to stick with the 1:45 pacer and see how things went. The weather has been interesting the last few days, very foggy in the mornings and then lovely later in the day, and today was no exception.
It was foggy when I left home at 9 and just got thicker and thicker. The race was at Silverstone Grand Prix track. I'm no racing fan, but arriving at the course with amazing buildings and stands with the track running through all shrouded in mist was pretty cool. The sun started to burn through the fog, and we had bright sunshine for most of the race, but it was cool, about 10 degrees: pretty much ideal race conditions. I was running with a few friends from work, all with different goals, one for whom this was his first half.
The siren went, and we were off! I was pretty good at sticking to my plan, tucking in between the 1:45 pacer for the first 6 miles. I felt largely comfortable, so at the halfway point I forged off on my own. I pushed quite hard, trying to stay balanced and with a strong core. I managed to keep speeding up till the last mile where I definitely ran out of steam and slowed down a little. My final time 1:43:23. To say I'm chuffed to bits would be an understatement.
I then funnelled out and went to see the others finish. I managed to miss them, partly because I saw someone collapse right before the finish line! He came down hard and was bleeding from the side of his face. Now I'm a first aider and perhaps should have leapt the fence and come to help, but three runners were with him straight away and then paramedics and a doctor so I kept back, somewhat guiltily eating dried fruit and nuts. The guy next to me however filmed it all on his phone the prick. The casualty ended up having CPR and they brought a defibrillator. Very bad. However he started moving again thank God. They took him away in an ambulance. Crazy stuff.
I managed to miss all my friends, but then we met up and it had been a bit of a mixed bag. The guy who was running for the first time managed 2:10, very impressive, but the others were less happy.
Still a good day running-wise for me, with some unexpected and shocking drama to chew on. Hope that guy was ok.
Then it took an hour to leave my parking space cos of the traffic queue! Srsly Silverstone, that was crap! Anyway now home with lovely wife and daughter trying to process. Nanu nanu.