In full: I had originally got a place in the FLM in 'good for age' and it was to be my 8th time, but was told they had 'lost it' and for that I am thankful as the Stratford Marathon was a far better experience. The scenery was great, the weather was perfect and the support (spectators and marshalls) was also very good. I enjoyed the course, even the 'green-way' at the end, but the best point was the organisation. Not having to go to an 'EXPO' to get numbers, use tubes, be kept waiting etc was great. The prizes & medals were also well received. The only criticism was the cost of parking. When I received the '6 hour pass' I thought it would be free but even a resuction (for runners) would be welcome as we're running for charitable causes. Have already decided NOT to run FLM next year, I'm doing this one again. I did win it though so I may be biased !! Date of review: May 6, 2010
In short: Great event. Not too crowded but still plenty of atmosphere. Who needs London? In full: First ever road marathon and this one was great. After a night of lashing rain the day looked overcast and cold but the sun came out and it became hot and muggy - quite sapping, but then that's what you have to deal with. Don't really understand why people seem unable to read race intructions. They were VERY clear about loos (of which we thought there were ample around the town), water stops and energy drinks so there should have been no surprises at all. Two of us, running together, carried over a litre each of energy drink - and got through the lot. The point about cups is valid but experience tells anyone who has been involved in organising a race event that the majority of on-course provided bottles get thrown to one side with something like 80% of their contents still in them ! 26 miles of plastic rubbish to clear up !! A better way of managing the cup thing is to use paper cups, which can be squeezed together without breaking like a brittle plastic cup, to create a usable dispenser. The water is retained and easily drunk without excess wastage. Paper cups are more environmentally friendly too, and tend to be discarded within easy reach of the water station clear up teams.
It was great to have the sponges, and the locals with the water pistols, hose and music were a treat !
The Greenway was sapping, as others have said - and as you might expect of any last five/six miles of a marathon, isn't that one of the reasons we choose to take up the challenge ? Isn't that why we all do it - the first 20 miles is just 'transport' (in the words of Liz and Martin Yelling)! It hasn't been suggested elsewhere but we would advocate splitting the marathoners from the halfers after the big hill on the first lap - that way the tortuous 'worst' of the Greenway is dealt with sooner (although we thought it was a delightful part of the course - much better than running in the thick of juggernauts and caravans travelling at upwards of 50mph elsewhere on the course). The miles would still be the same, of course, but the pain would have been more evenly distributed, and possibly helped the separation of runners at the end of the first lap.
This was a charity run ... let's remember that and try and benefit charities to the max. There was no mention of a goody bag on the race instructions so why expect one? The medal was nice although we did feel a little cheated by the half/full being the same medal. Finish area was excellent - no probs with the banana and bottle of water and the ladies in the tea tent were charming (the tea was free to runners). There will always be a few moaning minnies but in our view this was a very well organised race with largely very friendly and supportive marshalls, and good roadside support around the course where you would expect it - there was one lady resident in Luddington who was still clapping everyone who passed on our second time around.
In terms of the start, we weren't troubled by the congestion that others have spoken of, but it shouldn't be difficult to set off the halfers 15 minutes earlier should it, and as the event grows in attraction, as it surely will, the organisers might think about that. 30 minutes would put even the slowest runners well over 2 miles ahead, and well spread out along the Luddington Road by the time the leading marathon runners caught them.
The cost of car parking is frankly obscene for an event attracting thousands of visitors to the town (We travelled 150 miles), but there is free car parking a little over half a mile from the start. It's the same at every race, but why do so many runners feel the need to park next to the start ? Date of review: May 4, 2010
In short: Great support along the whole route and great atmosphere In full: as with all mass running events, hard to get into a reasonable rhythm in the crowded first 2 miles. Other than that, great race and I got a PB - but the organisers seem to have steepened and lengthened the hill out of Welford..... Date of review: May 3, 2010
In short: Great event, Well organised but a little hot thisyear. In full: Great event quite a challenging course with several hills that were ok on the first lap but quite draining on the second, I loved this event unfortunately the weather was very hot so I found myself way of my target time and incredibly exhausted at the end.
I may be back next year to give it another go great alternative to LONDON
In full: Pretty good run tho if it wasnt for the great marshalls if could be lonely in places.Shame there was only 1 energy drink on a pretty warm day.2 would have been nice specially for the folks at the back.Really nice feel to the town .Could be back next year!!!!!!!!on Sunday i said this was me last marathon. Date of review: May 2, 2010
In short: Remember Me? No! Let me jog your memory. My name is Karen Samuel; rejected 6 times from LVM. In full: Relatives, Friends and fellow Runners please lend me your ears.
I just ran Rotary Shakespeare Marathon on 25th April, 2010 in the clean and beautiful city of Stratfordâ€“upon-Avon in Warwickshire. The same place in which William Shakespeare, the great playwright once lived.
I was umming and arring on whether to run the race because of the travelling distance. My darling Romeo was away. However, I decided to do the Shakespeare Marathon because I was desperate to run the London Marathon. My damaged groins let me down once again. Shakespeare once wrote â€˜The course of true love never did run smoothâ€™. â€“ that applied to my painful run.
I liked the course but it was quite a bit undulating and more hilly, especially on the second half. I have never seen so many supportive Marshals and the locals were as loud and cheerful as Hastings half Marathon. I knew it was going to be good race because Jand Results chip timing were involved. Although I must say Jand there is difference with my time, I actually made my time 4.25!!! Just one problem I had with the race, I was unable to find any portaloos at the start and the finish but there were plenty of toilets en route. However, it was not a major problem as I used the local pub toilet. There were also lots of water stations en route. The announcer at the start of the race, Iâ€™m not sure if that was the lady Mayor, (I could not see her) was a barrel of laughs and had a great sense of humour. At the finish the Mayor actually handed out the medals out to runners. I preferred her medal thy one which she was wearing!!! Can we swap???? Were there any goody bags? All I received with the medal was a small bottle of water, and a banana.
This was a great marathon. I would love to run it again, but I seriously need to sort my legs out. It took me 3 hours to drive there and 4 hours home (traffic).
Well done everyone involved!! I loved all the flags that were displayed in the town especially the Grenadian flag, but could not find the Jamaican flag!
To run or not run the Shakespeare Marathon??? That is the question. I loved ye city, locals and thee atmosphere. Shakespeare, this was no doubt in my mind one of thee greatest marathons I ever ran, but please more toilets before and after thee race and more energy drinks during thy race.
Now I have just got to wait with baited breath to see if I got a place for LVM 2011. (Itâ€™s not looking good â€“I think I am doomed:(
When: 25th April, 2010 Where: Stratford upon-Avon in Warwickshire. Time: 09.30 The half marathon is also ran at the same time (1 lap) NB: The marathon is a 2 lap course which is undulating in places. The cut off time is 6 hours!!!
Dedicated to William Shakespeare baptised in Stratford-upon-Avon (birth date unknown) baptised 26 April 1564, died 23 April 1616 at the age of 52 years. Poet, playwright and actor - considered as Englandâ€™s greatest rater, oops writer that ever lived. â€œO Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on thee?â€ (From A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream.)
In short: Well organised and scenic race. In full: My first time for the full, always hard to keep going when others turn off at half way in a 2 lap race. Good marshalls, enough water stations. Start through town very congested and also at a cuple of points through the course. Nice medal and a bargain compared to the half. Date of review: May 1, 2010
In short: 3rd run at this event, as well organised a race you will find anywhere In full: A highly proffessional and well managed race, good marshalling all over the course, good system of drink stations, and sponges on hot days always welcome. Still comes up with a unique medal at each race, and remains one of the best Marathons in the UK....Keep it up.! Date of review: April 29, 2010