It was once more unto the breach as Rob Beers and Dan Valencia headed to Stratford upon Avon for a crack at the Shakespeare Marathon. There certainly were quite a few thousand running it but it seems to have been strangely overshadowed by some other Marathon going on today?
So a good performance was needed to burn the odd pound of flesh but very heavy traffic in the early going as runners from the full and Half Marathon are not sorted out in any order and the streets aren’t overly wide. Finally after three miles were out in the country and not people dodging, Dan has set an impressive split pace given his Ashby 20 time and although the course isn’t as flat as I’d believed(at all) it’s very scenic and enjoyable.
Water stops throughout the course are very numerous (actually so are WC`s) however Gels/Mars bars or similar nutrition nope. It’s a two lap course but slightly different on the second lap, Dan hadn’t been well in the few weeks leading up to the race and tells me to push on at the halfway point, he had been running superbly the first half.
The worst part is the offroad compacted trail which is bad enough the first lap is the second lap it goes on forever and compared to the earlier scenery is as dull as dishwater. Last three miles become more of a struggle but I get in at 3:30 I clocked which made my brow bound with victorious wreaths, Dan was a bit miffed at himself at 4:04 but given his first run for a few weeks and illness I thought it mighty credible, its 26.2 miles!
Good performance from Stuart Gregory the only Strider running the Half Marathon, running 2:12 and jangling his Car keys in his back pocket throughout!
As a race, they claim 40% goes to charity (doesn’t 100% of Leicester?) it’s very meagre on the goodie bag given the entry price (Banana/Water/Medal) but it is a nice race although there are parts of it I don’t feel are suited to the outright Road Runner(sharp turns along the canal, the trail parts) , very scenic and enjoyable I think possibly even a PB course for those running the half marathon (PB or not PB that is the question). [Rob]
Shakespeare half marathon
With Rob and Dan running the full marathon, Stuart was the only Strider to take on the half marathon, after a steady start Stuart began to lift his pace from mile 3, completing the first half of the course in just over an hour, Stuart then maintained his pace to the finish to compete the course 24 minutes 3 seconds faster than last year in a course PB of 2hr 12m 56s, only 5 minutes 1 second slower than his PB for the distance set in Nottingham last September. [Stuart]