Overall to star in Silverstone Half

Scott Overall  - the current men's leader of the runbritain National Ladder - will kick start his Olympic marathon preparations next Sunday when he leads a field of 10,000 runners past the chequered flag at the home of British motor racing in the official warm-up race for April’s Virgin London Marathon.

Overall will be favourite to win the 10th adidas Half Marathon on Sunday 11 March when runners from all over the UK head to the iconic Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire to test their engines over the 13.1 mile course just six weeks before the 32nd London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April.

Overall is the only man so far selected to Britain’s Olympic marathon team after he achieved the qualifying time on his debut at the Berlin Marathon last September. He was fifth in 2 hours 10 minutes 55 seconds and later named alongside Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi in the British squad for the London Olympics.

The Silverstone half will be Overall’s second race since his Berlin breakthrough and marks the start of his build-up towards the Olympic men’s marathon on 12th August. With a half marathon personal best of 63 minutes 21 seconds, the 29-year-old Londoner will have his eyes on Matt Smith’s Silverstone course record of 65:23.

“I’m looking forward to racing at Silverstone,” said Overall. “My preparations for the Olympic Games are just beginning and this event will give me a chance to see how my fitness is progressing.

“It will be fantastic to run at such a famous sporting venue and be part of the build-up to this year’s London Marathon.”

Salford’s Andi Jones won the men’s race last year in 68:27 while Kirsty Gallagher of Wootton Road Runners took the women’s in 1:23:20, almost 11 minutes slower than the course record set by Liz Yelling in 2008.

Jones and Yelling are not in the line-ups this time as they concentrate on targeting Olympic selection at the Virgin London Marathon where Overall will run as a pacemaker for the leading British men.

Also revving up for London will be multiple World Champion David Weir. The five-times London Marathon wheelchair champion will be the overwhelming favourite to win his first Silverstone title as he gears up to defend his London crown the following month.

The men’s field also includes Simon Lawson who took the title 12 months ago in 56:23, although Weir is likely to target the course record of 53:00 set by Brian Alldis in 2010.

Nikki Emerson will target her fourth consecutive women’s wheelchair title.

Among the other notable names who will come under starter’s orders at 12 noon will be TV sport presenter Charlie Webster, and racing driver Christian Horner of the Red Bull Formula One team, while Holby City’s Amanda Mealing, and Coronation Street’s John Michie will be just some of the numerous soap stars in action.

Alongside them will be many of the country’s best club runners plus throngs of fun runners, fund raisers and fancy dress joggers enjoying a day out at one of the country’s most famous sporting venues while tuning up to play their part in one its greatest sporting events.

Are you running?

Get involved...this year's runbritain Reward Running competition started on 1 March and is a monthly format to see which runners, across a range of standards, can improve their runbritain handicap score by the most points each month from March to October.

There is an adidas mi-coach system (RRP £125) to each month's overall winner and nine runners-up prizes of Sennheiser headphones.

To take part you need to claim your free handicap score and register at www.runbritainrankings.com - you also need to race at least once this month, including parkruns.

Good luck!