Sunday 24th November, we left our hotel at 8.00am. There were 3 scheduled races, all starting at 10.00am. We were only staying a couple of miles away from Silverstone Race Circuit in Northamptonshire, but the organisers had said to allow sufficient time to get to the parking area as it was a mile to walk to the registration area. We arrived at the car park at 8.10am and got parked up with little effort, although there was a slight queue into the car park. Our first impressions were WOW WOW WOW. The whole area was absolutely huge – and we’d not even got out of our car!!
The weather was dry, with little wind and the temperature was 9 degrees. Absolutely ideal racing conditions. We followed the rest of the runners for our walk to registration. We had to cross a bridge where you could see through the base and below us was the racetrack. Even though we lived in Milton Keynes for 20 years, we had never been to the track. Its about 15 miles away.
We got to registration in the Pit garages and collected our numbers. I was given my number and then asked for David Walker. The girl handing them out said “is it Dave or David”. There was no indication on the envelope only Dave and David. No DOB or club name. I couldn’t understand why my number was so different to David’s number. Usually they are consecutive. I did question it, but the girl just shrugged her shoulders. When the results were published, we found out that there were two Linda Walker’s and the other Linda Walker had collected her number before mine and was in fact given my number. She was with Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers. A bit of a let down really. Maybe the organisers will take note and get it right for next year.
So, numbers collected, we headed towards the Silverstone shop full of racing gifts. Outside the shop were Ferrari’s – proper ones. It was a shame there wasn’t an F1 car too.
We then headed onto the track to check out the surface. Well, you’ve got to check for potholes, haven’t you?? That track was smoother than a baby’s bottom. Of course, David had to scrape his foot on the track to check the grip. It was awesome. Absolutely perfect. Stood on the starting grid was amazing. Certainly worth it just to say “I’ve been there”.
All the runners – around 4,500 lined up on the start line and then we were off. It was really good cornering round the first bend. Managed to get the racing line. Picked out Stowe Corner, Brooklands, Nuffield etc etc..
There were a couple of things that weren’t too good. The lack of crowd support and the support of other runners too. I’ve always found that “up North” when I run, I get so much encouragement from others. I reckon it’s a Northern thing. The spectators weren’t allowed near the finish line and it just didn’t feel right. Even going around the track, there were no cheers. The other downside was the course measured long. Even the 5k race measured long.
Next years date will be the 15th November if anyone wants to give it a shot. It is truly an iconic venue especially if you’ve never been. Probably the only chance you’ll get to stand where Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill, Jenson Button etc etc have raced. The medal is fantastic, nice t-shirt and lots of goodies at the end. Well organised bag drop off and tons of changing areas in the pit garages. No queues for toilets either.
I’m going to end now with my “honest head on”. The other Linda Walker was in the same age category as me and finished in a time of 60.14. My time was 65.45. I wrote to the organisers to get them to change our details round. So guys, no PB to shout about this time but what a cracking weekend.
David says it is the fastest surface he’s ever run on and did get a 10k PB but as the course measured long, it is not a PB on Run Britain. He did win the V60 category but there was no prize giving on the day. He has to wait for the postman to deliver it. Let’s hope it’s not a F1 car!!! He would have liked a magnum of champagne to spray over the crowds like the F1 drivers do. Dream on……..