There was much ado about running in Stratford-upon-Avon at last Sunday’s (7 May) Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon. Over 3,000 runners took part to answer that all-important question – PB or not PB?
Favourable weather conditions, a historic course, first-class organisation and professional marshalling contributed to a successful 36th outing of the popular event, held on the weekend closest to Shakespeare’s birthday when possible. It has a BARR Gold Standard grading, awarded for the highest standards of race management and acts as a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, with many local charities benefitting as a result.
Elite athlete and 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon runner Amy Whitehead was the official starter, sending the packed field on their way at 9am. She also acted as a mentor for 20 runners from one of the main sponsors – Shakespeare Martineau (law firm) – as part of their corporate wellbeing programme.
Noel Kindon of Cornwall AC won the marathon in 2:46:56 with Melissa Venables of Spa Striders RC fastest female in 3:11:19. In the half marathon, Toby Spencer was first across the line in 1:08:30 with Nic Sykes of Bournville Harriers winning the women's race in 1:19:00.
Among the field was Steve Edwards, the ‘Godfather’ of marathon running, who ran his 780th race and 20th Shakespeare Marathon, finishing in 3:09:40.
One runner who showed that age is no barrier was 75-year old Harold Gleave from Staffordshire who crossed the line in 4:29:32. He has completed nearly 70 marathons despite being a late convert to running at the age of 60.
Full results are available on our race listings page.