In the women’s wheelchair race, Jade Jones took the victory in 64:52, while in the mass race William Mycroft and Hannah Turner were the men’s and women’s winners, finishing in 70:59 and 84:12 respectively.
TV sports presenter Charlie Webster dropped the chequered flag at 12 noon to set more than 6,700 racers on their way around the world-famous Silverstone track before she joined in herself. Like many of the runners who took on today’s 13.1-mile challenge, Webster was using the race as part of her training for the Virgin Money London Marathon in April.
At the front of the race, Weir’s victory was never in any doubt. The 35-year-old led from the start, putting on a great show of strength for the enthusiastic crowds lining the course.
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Weir, affectionately christened the ‘Weirwolf’ at the London 2012 Games, was hoping to break his own course record of 45:20, set in 2012, but found the cold and windy conditions against him today.
“The wind was tough today but I’m really pleased with my time,” Weir said afterwards. “I feel like I’m back to my best; I felt stronger than ever out there today – stronger even than in 2012 when I set the course record. That year there were parts when I struggled but I felt strong all the way round this year – it was just slower into the wind.
“It’s taken me a couple of years to get over the Paralympics in London but I’m really motivated to do well again. I’m quicker than I’ve ever been in training. I have the buzz back and I’m really happy with my preparation ahead of the London Marathon.”
He added: “I’ll be back to have another crack at the course record next year.” Who knows, by then Weir could have become the first ever seven-time winner of the London Marathon.
Jade Jones won for the second time at Silverstone, having finished second to Shelly Woods in 2014, a year after winning on her debut in 2013 in a course-record time of 62:09.
She was a couple of minutes outside that time today, thanks to the tough conditions. She said afterwards: “It wasn’t ideal for wheelchair racing but it was a good start to my season so I’m pleased with that. Everything is going well and I’m looking forward to London. It will only be my second marathon.”
Still only 19, Jones followed up her Virgin Money London Marathon debut last year with a bronze medal over 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and she will take to the streets of London once again next month, looking to improve on her 2014 time of 1:59:59 as she looks ahead to the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“Rio is coming round so quickly,” she said today. “I haven’t decided what I’ll race there – probably the 800m and 5,000m. I’m not sure about the marathon.”
In the men’s race William Mycroft of Cambridge and Coleridge AC was first across the Finish Line in a time of 70:59. A great run, given the conditions, but well outside Chris Thompson’s course record of 65:08, set in 2014.
The 24-year-old Mycroft said afterwards that it was the first time he’d raced the half-marathon distance, after targeting shorter races in the past.
"It was a bit lonely and windy out there at times but it was fun,” he said. “I want to do the London Marathon in the next couple of years so this was a chance to test myself at a longer distance than I'm used to and I really enjoyed it.”
The first woman to finish was Hannah Turner of Harpenden Arrows in 84:12. The 36-year-old was delighted to improve on her fourth-place finish at last year’s adidas Silverstone Half Marathon.
“I felt really great out there today and enjoyed good support from the crowds along the course,” she said.
“I knocked three minutes off my PB, and ran about a minute faster than I expected to, so I’m pleasantly surprised.” Turner is training for April’s Virgin Money London Marathon, where she is hoping to finish in under three hours.
Further back in the race, there were plenty of famous faces running alongside charity fundraisers and committed club runners. Former world champion and TV presenter Iwan Thomas finished in 1:37:16 while Laura Aikman, who is currently starring in the final series of the BBC’s Waterloo Road, completed the race in 1:49:31.
Despite the cold, dull conditions (6C with a wind speed of 15 mph) the runners and supporters created a colourful carnival atmosphere to ensure another great day of racing at Silverstone.
Entries for the 2016 race will open in late May 2015 at www.adidashalfmarathon.com.
Top Five Men (Wheelchair race)
1. David Weir (Weir Archer Academy), 46:18
2. John Smith (Weir Archer Academy), 56:05
3. Dillon Labrooy (Weir Archer Academy), 59:43
4. Callum Hall, 60:32
5. Jabari Knight (Weir Archer Academy), 66:46
Top Three Women (Wheelchair race)
1. Jade Jones (New Marske Harriers), 64:52
2. Martyna Snopek (Weir Archer Academy), 71:33
3. Meggan Dawson-Farrell (Red Star Athletics), 75:11
Top Five Men
1. William Mycroft (Cambridge and Coleridge AC), 70:59
2. Adam Soley (Tipton Harriers), 74:02
3. Tom Charlton (Tyne Bridge Harriers), 74:15
4. Dean Bate (Tipton Harriers), 74:49
5. Richard Spooner (Barnsley Harriers), 74:56
Top Five Women
1. Hannah Turner (Harpenden Arrows), 84:12
2. Giedre Drake (Garden City Joggers), 87:00
3. Rhian Martin (Burnham Joggers), 87:34
4. Hayley Manning, 87:52
5. Sarah Rock (Bournville Harriers), 89:08