In short: Some Nice Scenery In full: Ran this for the first time. Used to spend my weekends in Stratford and Welford so know the area well. No toilets at the start, had to queue for ages at the public toilets in the car park. Parking was expensive, and if the town council are reading this, PLEASE CAN YOU FIX YOUR PARKING METERS SO THEY ACCEPT FIVE POUND NOTES!!! I guess the guy at the garage was fed up with people asking for change. Either that or have a parking attendant on hand. Race itself was good, spiral round the centre, out towards Welford, some great scenery on the way (it wasn't all lanes and hedges). Final part of the run was along the route of an old railway track which took us across the river. Plenty of locals around handing out sweets for the runners (wine gums), run down the footpath at the end was a bit too narrow with no way to overtake other runners, but a nice straight at the end. One problem afterwards, someone had put leaflets under my front and rear windscreen wipers, the rain had caused the print to come off and stick to the car - it was a rental car which I had to look after. PLEASE DON'T DO THIS AGAIN! Nice to go up into the town afterwards and have a drink in Costa with the other runners. The sweet stalls at the market looked very tempting after the run, but I decided not to in the end. Was very surprised how quickly the Marathon runners finished - well done. Date of review: May 2, 2014
In full: Was worried about having to park far away from the race but the car park suggested (CV37 7LT) seem to have room for plenty of cars. Tip - go all the way to the end & you'll end up right by the finishing line, toilets & changing rooms. Downside of the car park was cost, about a £1 an hour so make sure you bring plenty of change.
The start was about a 5-10 min walk from the car park (took so long because of the sheer volume of people) in the town centre. I do agree that the start could have done with estimated finishing time pens as it was hard to know where to place yourself with some many runners.
You start of by doing a lap of the town centre, it was pretty cool being able to run past Shakespeare's house! Then you work your way out onto quite roads for several rooms with lovely scenery. I agree the last few miles on the greenway was a bit tedious but being homing in on the finish made it bearable. Lots of people cheering on at the finish was great!
There was a good amount of water stops & even the odd toilet along the route. Thankfully I didn't have to make a pit stop but always good to have just in case.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't fantastic but all in all it was an enjoyable race. The medal was great, very unique. The organisers go to the trouble of coming up with a different design each year so will definitely be checking it out each year.
In short: Superb, I'll be back In full: Really friendly, with loads of support. I was taken a back at how nice spectators/ locals and marshalls were at the end, asking me loads of questions about my run. The local people of Stratford-upon-Avon made a massive effort, supporting outside their houses. Also fellow runners were very encouraging, offering me water and jelly babies.
Definite PB potential, I got one despite thinking my old half PB would be extremely difficult to beat. Mostly flat. A few inclines. The 'hill' at 8 miles was barely noticeable, more of a steady incline. If you were doing the full marathon can understand that this would be more challenging the second time round.
Loads of water stations. I usually have to take water at water stations even if I don't feel like it, so was refreshing to take it only when I needed.
This is the first joint marathon/ half marathon I've run and was worried how it would work beforehand. Everything ran smoothly on the day.
Mile 10 - 12 was a bit tedious along the runway and I was wondering if it would ever end! but maybe that had more to do with my state of mind. Finishing straight was amazing, with a big crowd.
A criticism would be the start. It's hard to work where to place yourself as there were no pacers or time indicators. Luckily i guessed right.
In short: Good race, shame about the last 2 miles In full: A good race in general but spoilt by the last couple of miles. Difficult to run down gutter of very busy road section. Route then goes onto off road tracks which become narrow and very twisty in the last mile, then onto grass for the finish. So planned pacing for the last part of the race is ruined. Not PB potential because of that.
Great atmosphere in the town for the start, but the line up is chaotic. A congested first couple of miles can also affect the pace. Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: Lovely race - well organised In full: My second year doing the Shakespeare Half brought a welcome and unexpected PB despite less than perfect training in the lead up. Great atmosphere, well organised, fantastic medal. No goody bag or t-shirt, but I think more of the entry fee goes to charity, so I'm not going to quibble with that. The Girl Guides on the Greenway water station were absolutely fantastic, giving the runners such a lift going into the last mile or so. Lovely, lovely race - a definite favourite. Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: Overall good experience - Nice route and well organised In full: Very pleasant run through pleasant countryside. Well organised and marshalled. Plenty of drink stations. Especially good were the girls on the Greenway - fantastic encouragement, we could hear from half a mile away ! A few annoyed motorists on the closed sections, I suspect but not a problem for runners. A good day Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: A fair course and good PB potential In full: My local 1/2 marathon. A good course with one hill thats more of a long slope but with a steep downhill to catch up lost time. Definite pb potential with a good flat run in. Really well organised. Lots of marshalls. Lots of toilets and drinks stations. Well done Stratford. And I pb'd by 5 mins. Date of review: April 28, 2014
In short: Great race with outstanding support from locals. In full: From banners to jelly beans the supporters were amazing and generous. Big up to them. Sad about having to pay extra £6 for parking but great to have free tea and coffee at the end. Unique medal with the witches of Macbeth on it. A fab race and one I did get a PB in despite the hill at 8 miles. Well done to the organisers a fantastic bunch of marshalls and helpers (including very cheery Girl Guides at the final drinks station of the half). Date of review: April 27, 2014
In short: Nice scenic route , friendly marshals, bottle neck start. In full: Only my second half marathon , got a p.b at 1.43. The start is a little hectic / slow , but as a relative novice I wouldn't know how common this is . There's a off road track at about 10 mile mark. I found that quite easy going , however as there had been alot if rain the day before there were a fair amount of puddles . Well marked, good marshalling , plenty of water and toilets about. A good event in my limited experience. I do prefer a t shirt as opposed to a medal , but that's nit picking really . Would certainly consider doing this course again. R .H Date of review: April 27, 2014