The morning of Wednesday 8th May 2013 I woke up feeling rather apprehensive and slightly nervous, my legs were feeling tight at the thought of what was to come in the evening, bracing them selves for their first ever competitive race on one of the worlds most famous sporting venues.
Silverstone the home of the British Grand Prix, where the grey tarmac has been graced by the fastest cars in the world, Ferrari Maclaren, Mercedes and Red Bull as well as legend drivers such as Senna and Schumacher.
I arrived at the venue 45 minutes before the start of the race and there were already hundreds of runners there all getting prepared for the challenge ahead, I walked to race control heart beat slightly raised with adrenalin as I collected my race number. 437 apt as these numbers add up to my favourite number and the day my Daughter was born on 4+3+7 = 14 a sure sign that my daughter was watching down on me cheering me on. After nervously attaching my number to my shirt after originally trying to fasten it with 2 safety pins instead of the required 4, I was interviewed by the race MC, who wished me well after I told him that this was my first ever race in preparation for the Great North Run. I then rather sheepishly headed to the race track to warm up with some dynamic stretching.
At this point the heavens opened and for at least 20 minutes my skin was lashed with the purest of rain water, many people headed for cover, not me this was my element, for me running in the rain is a far more pleasurable experience.As the clock ticked down to 7:30 I became focused and ready to enjoy this event. There were a total of 1050 runners to compete with, many coming from running clubs from across the country, I headed towards the back of the pack and with one final shake of the legs and shoulders waited for the start.
7:30 pm and the sound of the klaxon starts the race and 1050 runners head off. I pass a few people at the start and settle into a rhythm that I have been running at comfortably over recent weeks. I soon found a running partner a woman who was part of a running club named Bedford Harriers and for the first lap I matched her pace as she pushed on a bit so did I, running in this environment does have a lot more compared to running alone, whilst running it was quiet amazing to think how long the track is and gives you a real appreciation for how fast those f1 cars go, truly unbelievable.
Through out the course there were many volunteers who would clap you on and tell you how well you are doing, that sort of thing really does help to motivate you. It soon became that I had finished my first lap with a time of 30:32 on schedule to beat my personal best. At this point I decided to kick on and I left my pace maker and picked up the pace, passing people in a race did make me feel good, there were people in running clubs that I would overtake and I guess I was quite satisfied with myself as I had only been running 17 weeks and only achieved this distance within the last 4 weeks or so. The competitive streak in me is certainly growing and I felt this in the last 3k, my legs were now well and truly warmed up I looked in front and got my legs moving faster as I entered the home straight I think I ran the fastest I have ever run and over took about 5 people just at the finish line, what a buzz that I had the strength to power home really made me quite proud, running past a crowd and the MC highlighting my final sprint wow what a feeling. I finished the race in 58.18 seconds so a massive 5 minutes off my personal best and finishing 878th out of 1050 pretty good for my first ever race and I felt I have more in the tank. Now I can not wait to run my next race.My sprint finish was so fast I made the photo blur