By Tom Degun

david-weir marathonMarch 2 - Six-time Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Dave Weir is set for the Silverstone Half Marathon tomorrow, which serves as the official warm-up race for the Virgin London Marathon on April 21.

Weir smashed the Silverstone course record last year to win the men's wheelchair title before then going on to claim his sixth Virgin London Marathon wheelchair crown and race to four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The adidas Half Marathon at the famous Northampton race track is a crucial test of fitness for Weir as he fine tunes his preparations for the full marathon in six weeks' time.

The race comes with Weir looking to overtake Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's record by becoming the first wheelchair racer to win the Virgin London Marathon seven times.

"Last year was a fantastic one for me and it all started at Silverstone," said Weir.

"Breaking the course record by such a big margin was a great boost of confidence with such a crucial year ahead and set me up well for the challenges to come.

"My focus is now on April's London Marathon and Silverstone will give me a good indication of how close I am to hitting the form and fitness I achieved in 2012."

In Silverstone last year, Weir took nearly eight minutes from Simon Lawson's course record when he took the chequered flag in 45min 20sec with Lawson second more than six minutes behind.

Weir went on to break the world half-marathon record in Lisbon a fortnight later, clocking 43:41 - the perfect tune-up for his triumphant year to come.

Lawson will be one of Weir's opponents again in 2013 along with Phil Hogg and Ross Low, who broke the one-hour barrier last year to finish third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile there was a new name on the women's wheelchair trophy in 2012 when Jane Egan ended Nikki Emerson's three-year reign.

The Scot is back to defend her title but it won't be easy with Emerson gearing up to reclaim the crown, and Paralympic track star Jade Jones also in the line-up.

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