Rotary Shakespeare MARATHON

It's that time of the year again when I feel optimistic about my running and toy with the idea of entering my local marathon. Last year I gave into temptation and took the plunge. I really enjoyed the race but said at the finish that, having made it round and performed reasonably well, there was no reason for me to ever do another one. Hmmm....

 Anyone going to enter this?!

 (sorry about the obligatory Shakespeare quote)



  • I'm doing VLM but as there is more of a gap next year between the two then I might give this a go. 

    I ran the half back in 2005 and it is still my PB (hopefully rectify that in just over a week).  Lovely course apart from one hill about half way around and great support.

  • Yep doing it again. Please don't be as hot as last year!
  • I'm in. I got my 7th consecutive rejection from London and decided I should look for an alternative. This is my first marathon and I'm not getting any younger. I have done lots of halfs but have been, does it sound weird if I say "saving myself" for London?
  • Martin H said about 1 hill. How is the rest of the course? Is it PB territory? If not how much longer than your PB would you expect to take?
  • just like mat its going to be my first full marathon after doing several halves ive heard the greenway section is a soul searching 6 miles can anyone enlighten me on this?. oh well enjoy christmas then the work begins!!
  • not particularly hilly but the second lap on the greenway in the heat was a killer last year
  • I've heard about the Greenway, what kind of surface does it have?
  • i think its gravel but im not sure
  • Ahhh... I found this on the official site:

    13 - What is the surface like on the Greenway?
    The track is fine bound grit – not loose. It is a level surface.

    There's also info about the profile, which doesn't look too bad. Just one hill which you do twice.
  • nice 1 mat ive been reading the race reviews on this site for this year and most people mention the greenway so it looks an interesting challenge!!
  • Believe me it was. Just look how many non finishers there were. The greenway was like running in glue with heat reflecting up at you under a hot sun. I was thirty minutes faster in my next marathon. Despite the difficulty it with out doubt a brilliant marathon and one I will always run in.
  • Matt - its a beautiful course and a great event. Its not especially hilly, but it had more uphills than I was expecting. Last year we had a headwind on the outbound (uphill section) and quite a hot day (I was warned many times that this race is ALWAYS held on the "hottest day of the year so far" ).

    With good training, you could get a good time out of this course if you knew what to expect, but do factor hot weather and a few inclines into your planning.
  • Last year's RSM was my first. The hills were a bit of a test but not too bad. The Greenway was awful. Not so much soul-searching as soul-destroying. It's just a long straight track which I reckoned I would take in my stride. The first circuit was OK - I was feeling fresh and confident and it didn't seem too long. The second time around you join it further out and it seems to stretch out ahead of you as if it's going on forever. Add the heat to that and you begin to see why it was such a beast. Not only did a lot of people not finish but even those that did nearly all said their times were much slower than expected. Given that this year's race is two weeks later I confess to being very nervous about entering again. I'll make my mind up by the end of the year but I suspect the prospect of the Greenway in the heat of early May will make me enter something earlier in the year instead.

    As for the Greenway surface, it was absolutely fine in dry conditions. If it rains a lot before the event or on the day I guess it might be a bit stickier, but it should be fairly well drained given that it's on an old railway line.

  • Does anybody know the lengh of each of the laps in RSM? The map on the website suggests one lap is longer than the other but I could not find details of how many miles each one is.  Thanks.

  • I did the half last year and I didn't think it was a particularly tough course physically, the hill was hard but if you keep on thinking 'the pain will stop at the top' you'll be ok.

     The Greenway is an old railway line and was white crushed stone. Ok in the dry, might be a bit sticky in the wet.  It is soul destroying though, largely straight and flat, you don't feel like you are moving.  It's awful. The colour reflects the sun back at you too.

    Katy I beleive the spilt point is at about 12 miles, and on the 2nd lap you join the Greenway a couple of miles further back. 

     I'm tempted next year, but reckon the Greenway may be enough to make want to end it all if it's hot

  • that greenway section really sounds dreadful but ive entered now so theres no turning back now!!!
  • Thanks for your advice.

     I have ran London 3 times yet I still felt I was not real marathon runner. I thought it was time to do one without the hype to see if I have what it takes. From what you all say about the greenway this could be just the challenge I need. image.

  • Hi folks. Booked hotel and entered for race. Have run new york mara in 3.20. Is this harder?
  • I ran this as my first marathon last year and managed 3:40.  I agree with everything said about the Greenway but it is a great challenge.  The Greenway on the second lap takes you nearly to the end and with the heat last year, people were suffering and many were walking.  The big challenge for  me was pacing and not going at the speed of those doing the half marathon who do the one lap instead of  the two for the marathon.  The tempation  is to keep up with them but then risking exploding on the second lap !

    The atmosphere and the satisfaction of finishing this as my first marathon however is still something I will never forget  !  Failed again to get into the VLM again so will be entering the Shakespeare again this year. Good luck everyone - I can definately recommend it....

  • All signed up. Just looking around for accommodation now, any suggestions very welcome.
  • Stratford has lots of guest houses and b&b's within walking distance of the start, most are on Grove Road, Evesham Place or Shipston Road. Alcester Road also has a few, slightly further from the start. There is a Travelodge about a mile from the town centre on the Birmingham Road (main road into town). The Travelodge will no doubt be a topic for discussion on this forum! Stratford is a small town so you're never far away from the middle!

    Could I be less specific?! 

  • Great,

    Thanks Danny, did not realise Stratford was not that big!

  • Have entered this one again.  It was my first M in 2002 and ran it in 2003 & 2004 as well.  Haven't done a M for 2 years.  Had to pull out of 2 due to injury.  Glad to see it's a more reasonable start time.  Started at 1.00pm when i last did it.
  • Anyone doing any interesting prep races for this?
  • Marathon race comments:

    • Lots of loo's at start (don't just use MacDonald's!!)
    • Good parking nr Finish
    • Great for supporters (loads to do whilst you are out)
    • Greenway: Its all been said (more mental than stamina - but hard if its hot).
    • 2nd Lap: The Big hill is bigger on the second lap!!!
    • Greenway is a longer route (official) on second lap
    • Good Marshalls & Local support
    • Only one Energy drink (18 miles for Marathon) : MAKE SURE YOU WORK ON NUTRIENT INTAKE STRATEGY....(Unless see contrary advice on website regarding availabilty) - See last years reviews for comments.
    • See you there!!!
  • Hi guys,

     Im thining of doing this next year (the half, not full). I ust did the brum half marathon which was my first ever 'real race' having never done a half, or full, or even 5 or 10k before.

    I did brum in 2hr 15 and wondered if people have done this one before and if they think it is 'better' than brum, if I should be aiming for a better time here etc.

    I know it is a combination of on and off road which sounds fun.

  • Just entered, so see you there, I did the 25th anniversary in 2006 so thought be nice to return for 30th. image

    Wiil be a good preperation race for stokholm marathon end of may and 3 weeks after London, it beats having to do a long lonelly long run.


    Its a good run, not really off road, its a trail slightly gravelly nothing bad. From what I heard about brum half its was a bit chaotic, well done on ya 1st race, hooked now!?

  • Hi all, looking for my next target and was checking out flights, hotels etc. for a European marathon next year being another London reject.

    Realised this is 40 mins drive away image  so I'm in.....

    Just started training again after Amsterdam so will keep things ticking over till after xmas.  

  • E.C.N.E.C.N. ✭✭✭
    i enterd last night thinking GREAT...... until i realised this afternoon it is on the same day as Muller 10k in Market Drayton. but hey ho supposed i had better get some distance training in now :-0
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