David Weir took his sixth successive win at the 2017 adidas Silverstone Half Marathon today as part of his build-up towards the London Marathon in April. The multiple Paralympic champion was the first racer across the Finish Line at the world-famous Silverstone circuit in a time of 47:30 on a damp and drizzly day that saw thousands of runners race at the home of British motorsport.
In the women’s wheelchair race, Nikki Emerson took her fourth Silverstone win, finishing in 65:38, while in the mass race David Hudson took the victory in the men’s race in 72:15, with Tori Green first woman in 82:21.
“The conditions were tough today,” Weir said moments after crossing the Finish Line. “This was my first race since Rio and it feels good to be back.
I felt a bit rusty, to be honest, so it was nice to get out here and race.”
Weir will target his seventh win at the London Marathon, which would make him the race’s most successful ever competitor.
“I will get on the Start Line in April and do the best I can do. I’ve got a training camp in Portugal and then I’ll race in Paris before heading to London.
Marcel Hug is the man to beat at the moment and we’re all going to try to stop him winning in London.”
In the women’s wheelchair race, Nikki Emerson was delighted to take her fourth victory, after winning the first three editions of the event between 2009 and 2011.
“It was very wet out there but I really enjoyed it,” she said afterwards. “The adidas Silverstone Half was the first race I ever did after I broke my back so it has a special place in my heart.
I love it here because all the races organised by London Marathon Events are so easy and fun to be a part of; it was enjoyable rather than fast today.”
Once the wheelchair races had got underway, the indie-rock group Scouting for Girls were the official starters of the mass race. After dropping the chequered flag, the three bandmates – Roy Stride, Greg Churchouse-Gold and Peter Ellard – joined the field to run the race as part of their build-up to the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 23 April. The band will complete 10 challenges in 2017 to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society after Stride’s mother was diagnosed with the illness in the last years of her life.
Another famous face taking on the half marathon challenge today was actor Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale in the hit BBC soap EastEnders.
“It was a really enjoyable experience,” the actor said after crossing the Finish Line. “The marshals and people helping out around the course were brilliant.”
Woodyatt is also preparing to run his first marathon in London in April, when he will run alongside his son Sam to support the Air Ambulance Service.
In the mass race, David Hudson was the first man across the Finish Line. The 36-year-old was a latecomer to running, taking up the sport 18 months ago after tipping the scales at 13 stone and deciding that he needed to lose a bit of weight.
In the women’s race, Tori Green of Rugby and Northampton Running Athletic Club, finished in 82:21, inspired to put in a fast time by the hallowed Silverstone racetrack.