Searching for the Stig. Some say…
This week’s race was a unique opportunity to run at the Mercedes Benz World Circuit organised by RunThrough Events. It was advertised as a chip timed run, with the possibility of a personal best, on a smooth traffic free tarmac motor circuit.
The venue and race details
The run was located at what had been Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit site in Weybridge. Different distances were available, for example, 5k, through to a half marathon. Included in the entry fee was; a unique themed medal, a limited-edition finishers t-shirt, chip timed results, and post-race goodies. Furthermore, the event boasted free official race photographs, a free pre or post-race massage, and also free parking.
My friend Darren had also entered (we often pick the same races) so we decided to travel together. On arrival, parking was simple, and there were ample places. We then proceeded to the race HQ to collect our bib numbers and use the secure bag drop, also free. The toilet facilities and Portaloos were a short walk away. Music was playing and there seemed to be an upbeat atmosphere…. We even found the Stig!
The route and recap
The different lengths of races had staged starts; the half marathon was away first, then the 10k, and so on. Each distance was based on laps, with each lap being 5km long. I should add, the route did not just follow the racetrack which had quite a few turns. All the straight parts of the course were bisected down the centre. As a consequence you ran down one side, literally turned on the spot, then back along the other, which of course slowed you down.
As per the event advertising, it suggested you were able “to race your way to a new chipped time personal best on this smooth traffic free tarmac motor circuit!” This is all well and good, however, with the number of twists and turns, this would most likely make a personal best attempt more difficult. It didn’t bother me as all I wanted to do was to get round. Furthermore, the start and finish were not on smooth tarmac, in fact, somewhat rough concrete.
Above all, I am not a tremendous fan of routes based on laps because I tend to find them quite monotonous. In contrast, I actually quite liked this one and didn’t find it so tedious. It just depends on the venue, and support around the course.
The smaller nature of the racetrack and race layout, meant, wherever you were on the track, a fellow runner was nearby at all times.
During the run, plenty of marshals were positioned on different parts of the track. All of whom were very encouraging, some even had tambourines. I always find a cheer or words of encouragement never goes amiss, and have probably mentioned this in previous race reviews. In addition, uplifting steel drum music was being played at the opposite end to the start.
The Stig was waiting at the finish line congratulating the runners, and also available for a quick snap on the camera phone. You collected your finishers medal, which was large, and had a design of chequered flags and the Mercedes Benz building portrayed on it. On top of that, you received a limited-edition technical t-shirt, water, a few goodies, flapjacks, snack bar, etc.
I finished with a time of 01:15:07.
All in all, the event was reasonable value for money. Would I do it again? Difficult question,… not if wanting to shoot for a personal best. Perhaps, is the answer. But for fun, the medal and t-shirt, why not? Unless of course, there was a better race on the same day and not too far away.
I’m going to give the Mercedes Benz World Running Grand Prix a score of 3.75 out of 5 on the Runiversity of life™ Runometer™.
Route and elevation profile
Check out my other races and parkrun recaps and reviews.
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