Sunday, 15 March 2009

Silverstone Half Marathon

Split Total Time Total Distance Average Speed Max Speed
1 00:09:54 1 09:54 08:57
2 00:09:38 1 09:38 08:59
3 00:09:46 1 09:46 08:53
4 00:09:38 1 09:38 08:48
5 00:09:32 1 09:32 08:30
6 00:09:50 1 09:50 08:27
7 00:09:36 1 09:36 08:06
8 00:09:16 1 09:16 08:22
9 00:09:21 1 09:21 08:26
10 00:09:33 1 09:33 08:27
11 00:08:55 1 08:55 08:08
12 00:08:29 1 08:29 07:47
13 00:08:20 1 08:20 07:32
14 00:02:28 0.32 07:41 06:36
Summary 02:04:22 13.32 09:20 06:36

adidas London Half Marathon at Silverstone 2009
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Please note; these results are provisional until fully ratified

Pos. (Gender) R. No. Name Time
3832 (3074) 9726 Neale, Ulen 02:04:20

The sun shone today, the race was delayed a little (due to congestion reaching the circuit, they postponed the start time by 15 minutes to allow all the runners the chance to get to the start line!), the sky was blue and there was a gentle breeze so it wasn't too hot. En route to the start line today someone commented on my gloves, which I've been used to wearing all year. I decided to ditch them into my kit bag, pleasantly surprised that it's finally warm enough to run barehanded. What a change compared to last Sunday!

After a warm up on the start/finish straight, we shuffled off. I started my Garmin when I crossed the Start line, about 2 minutes after the start. Whether it was bad planning, laziness, or just plain nerves, but when I rounded the first corner, there was already a long line of blokes peeing at the side of the track! I couldn't see any sign of a pace runner, so I judged my own speed, checking regularly on my Garmin that I was keeping it down to a 10-minute-mile. I'm aiming to complete the Half Marathon in around 2h10m-2h15m (ideally 2h11m!), so don't want to set off too fast. It's surprising to see how many other runners are all overtaking me. It kind of makes me want to speed up, as it feels I must be going too slow, but I stick to my plan. The miles tick by, and I try to keep it steady.

The drinks stations are well manned, and I keep topped up with water, and then lucozade sport. And I take my first gel around 5 miles. I'm feeling good, and again I want to speed up, but know that although I'm feeling good, there are still 8.1 long miles to go, and I must conserve my energy reserves to get me through the whole race. I note that my Garmin is measuring the miles a little earlier than each official marker comes up. Around the 6.5 mile point, I look out for a "half way" sign, but don't see one. Still, I'm happy that I've managed the first half in around an hour, so I'm still a little ahead of plan, in spite of my efforts to keep my pace down.

But now I'm over half way, it seems to get easier. I'm really in my stride now, and my legs are on autopilot. I just hope they can hold out, but the more I run, the more confident I'm feeling that I can keep it up right to the end. On Mile 7 I can hear the commentary from the Finish line. The winner has just completed the race. And I still have about an hour still to run! Through Miles 8 & 9 I dig deep, keep my head up and keep pounding away. I take my second gel after completing Mile 9 and feel a surge of energy as the glucose kicks in.

I'm looking forward to Mile 10, as then it's just 3 miles to go, and that seems easy. It's a final lap of the F1 circuit, so it will be better than the running around the inside and outside of the circuit we've been doing since finishing the F1 lap at the beginning of the race. And sure enough I get a psychological boost at this point, and shift up a gear. Now I'm passing the runners in front of me, and continue to do so for all of the last three miles. I'm tapping into the reserves I laid down by keeping my pace down in the first half of the race, and instead of flagging, I just get stronger and more confident with each runner I pass! I know I'm going to surpass my 131 minute target time, and work out that I can even make it in 2h05m if I can just keep it up to the end. Before I know it Mile 12 has gone and I'm into the final mile. The crowds are lining the circuit cheering us all on. There's the 20km marker, we cross a red strip across the road, bleeping away furiously as our transponders mark our time. Round the corner and there's Mile 13, with the Finish line just ahead. I smile for the cameras, and put on a spurt as I pass Dave Bedford standing by the Finish line to welcome us all home.

I'm amazed as I stop my Garmin. I've done it in 2h04m22s. My first ever Half Marathon, and I've beaten my target time easily. Perhaps I had enough in me to have broken the 2 hour mark after all, but I'm not disappointed as I hadn't expected that I could get that close! We queue up to have our chips removed, pick up our finishing goody bag, and then head off to stretch, eat, drink and get changed. All in all a fantastic day. I'm so chuffed that not only have I done it, but I've done it so well, finishing strongly, with a negative split as I comfortably run the second half of the race faster than the first.

I kind of want to hang about and see if I can meet-up with the other runners who I know are there today that I've met on Twitter and Facebook, but I'm pretty done in, and really want to get home. I do bump into one girl I know, and manage a brief hello, but other than that I make my way back to the car. The only downside to an otherwise great day is the time it takes to leave the circuit. I queue up for over 1.5 hours to get out of the car park. It seems a bit odd to think that I've just run 13.1 miles in 2 hours, and then spend almost as much time again driving less than half a mile to leave!


Mum & Dad said...

We are really proud of your achievement and hope this bodes well for the full marathon next month. It obviously is important to train well and have a plan at which to aim. If, as you did, you do better than you hoped then that is a bonus and we fully understand your pleasure in how well you did.

Heidi said...

Well done 'lil bro'! We're all very proud of you.

Big Sister said...

We are all proud of you, well done. Lots of love, and best wishes for your 'run' up to the London Marathon. Rebecca, Graham, Sara, Chris,Brandon, Christopher and Emily xx xxx xx

Running 13.1 miles in memory of Carl

I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on 15th March 2009. I managed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Not a bad effort for my first Half Marathon! I returned in 2010 to run it in 1 hour 54 minutes, and plan to do it again in 2011. I decided to run this in aid of The PSC Trust and PSC Support in memory of my brother Carl, who died from liver failure in November 1997. If you'd like to sponsor me for this - please email me at PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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