In short: Well organised race held nowhere near London but worthy of its association with the FLM nevertheless In full: Silverstone, a circuit so unfairly lambasted by Bernie Ecclestone (I have been to 16 of the current F1 circuits and it is nowhere near the worst), has a reputation for poor facilities for holding an F1 race, yet get it to host a medium to large running race there and instantly you have access to an ideal venue for a seamlessly organised event.
I aimed to be at Silverstone for 10:30 (12pm start). I was a little disconcerted to see the traffic backed up on the A43 bypass, but thankfully the well organised marshalling ensured that I was in my parking spot by 11:05 (Although next year I will allow at least two hours to spare).
Once there everything was well laid out - toilets relatively plentiful for a running race, plenty of space to warm up with a jog, the baggage storage looked efficient (Although I didn't actually use it), and the wide start/finish straight on the circuit made it easy to line up in a position relevant to your predicted finishing time.
I've run the 10K race here before so I knew roughly what to expect - ultra smooth tarmac on the circuit itself - hugging the corners, taking the racing line, desperately trying to shelter from the wind on one of the numerous occasions when it was full on into your face.
If the entire race was run on the F1 circuit, this would be the surest bet for a PB circuit in the country. This is not possible due to the numbers running and issues with lapping backmarkers, and so it is necessary to go on a rather convoluted 6-7 mile section on the infield and then on the outer perimeter road before greatfully returning to the F1 circuit for the final 3 miles.
I found these miles tough - especially with the oft inhibiting headwind, although the marshalling was supportive and excellent and vocal crowd support better than I expected. One minor quibble - mile marker 6 was definately 45 or so seconds too early (The painted marker on the road was that far up on the course). This made for an unbelievably quick mile 6 followed by a depressingly slow mile 7.
Mention at this point must go to the radio piped out all around the circuit on the tannoys. This must be unique to the Silverstone race and made for a real morale booster - not only with the tunes being pumped out, which made it feel like a surreally large outdoor gym, but gave updates on the leaders that spurred you on.
All in all I ran 1:20.30 which is my second fastest ever time. If I had concentrated more between miles 7-11 and had not been mindful that this was a marathon preparation race, this would have been a PB for sure.
The end was well done with photographers, a goody bag with medal and t-shirt, and facilities to change and grab a bite to eat. I cannot comment on how easy it was to leave the circuit as I hot stepped it out as quickly as possible. At £14 or so this is extremely good value compared to rival city half marathons and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good PB course.
In short: First half marathon - mostly flat, through fab parks and liverpool's world heritage site. One hill no problem and good opportunity to use alternative muscles for half a mile. Supporters could have been better (e.g. there) but atmosphere great overal Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: Parkland start & finish. Good run. Crowd needed geeing up In full: For first time run not bad. Organisation great. Crowd need educating to cheer all the time not just as their relatives pass. Advance warning signs a bit sparse but overall nice day out Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: Quite tough in places but very enjoyable all the same In full: Very enjoyable race that was extremely well organised - from the sing posts on the way in to the numerous marshalls that were very friendly all the way round! Plenty of drink stops also helped! Legs hurt now but was very good preparation for London in a few weeks. I would definately run this race next year. Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: Crackin! In full: First time here at Ashby, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! A superb challenging rural course, although I think somebody made the hills steeper on the 2nd lap, or was it just me...
Fantastic marshalling, was greeted in the carpark by about 20 young army cadets all wishing me a good race.
It said in the programme that the drinks stations would be water and sponges, but to my surprise and appreciation they handed out much needed isotonic on the 2nd lap (thankyou!)
Excellent preparation for london, I think if u can manage 20m here then 26 on the new sleek and flat FLM course should be managable.
Lovely race, this is what its all about I think. Well done Ivanhoe, and i'll see you all next year, and hopefully 4 mins quicker to brake 3hrs! Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: A lovely race, well organised, very friendly, very scenic, and a really nice run, a steady but not overly challenging climb for most of the first half and then a very long and very enjoyable downhill run to the finish. A race I will do again! Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: Challenging but the perfect warm up for London! In full: Well organised and friendly, supportive marshalls. Very well signposted and easy to find and a wide mix of people of all abilities competing. Will be back next year! Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: First ever half marathon and would like to run it next year. Good atmosphere, well organised and pretty quick. The medal and t-shirt you get at the end are worth having. Cold but a great day. Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: Good Run In full: This is my Third Half marathon ( normally do Windsor) and I really enjoyed it. Not much to look at but that did not both me,plenty of toilets on route and the organisation was fab, took about 10 -15 mins to get in to silverstone and maybe 15-20mins to get out - staff at Silverstone where great. I got a PB so I am very happy. Date of review: March 13, 2005
In short: a well organised race, well worth doing! In full: They had some music playing during the race, but you couldn't hear it all the way round which was a bit disappointing. Apart from that it was great! Nice medal Date of review: March 13, 2005