Rotary Shakespeare Marathon

Forgetting last year - who has run this before and any chance of course info please?

 Thanks in advance,




  • The course is mostly flat with a few minor inclines and one hill (the descent can just as hard as the ascent) to keep things interesting. The half marathon is one lap, the marathon is two.

    The first lap includes a loop around Stratford-upon-Avon town centre, the second includes a longer stretch along the Greenway (disused) railway line. The Greenway can be a bit soul-destroying if you don't have much in the tank or you don't have many runners with you as there is hardly any crowd support along that section.

    It is a nice enough route without being spectacular. There are pactches of support although these are few and far between. The second lap does feel lonely as the majority of entrants do the half and, as I said, the Greenway is not the most exciting place to run. Once you are over Rumer Hill you don't have any undulations to contend with, which is nice.

    The loop around town can be congested but at that stage of a marathon there's never much room for manoeuvre at any venue. The route along the river towards in the final half a mile is very pleasant and the finish is opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, usually attracts a fair crowd.

    It is genuinely a runner-friendly course and although my comments are maybe a tad downbeat on review, I did actually enjoy the race.

    The course map is on the website, although I know maps don't often help very much!

  • Hi. I ran it in 2011 and really enjoyed it.

    Can't remember too much about the course except the last 4 miles which was alongside an old railway line on a bit of white gritty road/path which was a killer as the sun was beating down on and off it.

    Unfortunately they didn't have a water station at this point either which was a bit of a kick in the nuts.

    Remember it been mostly flat as well.

    Stratford a lovely place to have a post race drink as well.
  • Thanks ever so much for the info chaps. Most informative and a change from the VLM by the sounds of it.
  • Hi Dave

    Danny has it spot on  one really - i live here - bit tougher for me as i push my son in his wheelchair - but it is as stated by Danny

  • Thinking of doing this one as I live fairly local.

    Couple of questions, 1/2 marathon is my longest distance to date, do you think I have time to train for a full one by 28th April?

    I am doing the Warwick Castle Half on March 17th, aiming for sub 2hours (I'm not fast!) previously 1/2 times have been nearly 2hrs on the dot.

    The jump from a half to a full seems such a big leap - but for those who have done it - is it really that bad?

  • Hi Lee

    If you're half-marathon-ready at the moment then I think you've got time to train for the full one.  I think its 13 weeks until Stratford - if you were starting from scratch then I think that would be hard going but if you are currently comfy with a 10 miler or longer then I reckon you'd be fine - most marathon training plans that I've come across last 12-16 weeks.  The Warwick Castle Half would probably fit in nicely as preparation for Stratford - and you may find that the full marathon training will give you a good time for the half anyway as by mid March you'd be used to running more than 13.1 miles  (I've PB'd on a half several times when building up to a full).

    The training is much more for the full than the half - but imho is more than made up for by the satisfaction of finishing the big one.


  • I've just entered!

    Hi there Mick, and say Hi to Phil for me.

    10 weeks from now and it will be all over bar the re-hydration.

    I wonder if I should train for this, or just ad-lib it?

  • I've signed up to stratford too. Will make a change as I've only ever done big city marathons, but I am looking forward to the challenge of running the second half of the marathon almost like a long solo run...

    good luck to all those training for this, hope the training goes well.

  • I'm in for the Warwick Castle half and thinking about whether to do the half version of this too.... Warwick Castle will be my first ever half so don't want to over-commit and sign up for this one already!

  • First 20+ miler banked for the campaign. (Actually it's my second for this year). I'm going to have to work out how to balance 20 mile runs with 60 mile bike rides with the club. Believe me, it's not funny when you try and do a big bike the day after a big run. 

  • Hi I've entered this years Marathon, but unfortubately I've picked up an injury which is going to prevent me taking part. If anyone is interested in purchasing my entry I would appreciate it-make me an offer!Thanks, good luck to all who are taking part and hopefully I'll see you next year. Chris
  • I Can't find a link to actually enter the race. The link to the organisers website just gives a link back to Runners World. Is it full? If so there is no mention of this on either website.
  • Hi Book Fairy - previously there was an 'enter online' button on RW page - but that's disappeared.  Hoping that's not because it's full as I haven't got round to entering yet either.


    I entered via RW last Friday (22nd), I know it fills quickly because of the half marathon I guess

  • i asked FR Systems if it was full.  Looks like it was a glitch on RW page which they've now fixed as you can now enter online from RW again.  Happy days image

  • How's folks' training going?

  • Hi Blisters, it's all v quiet here!  I've just banked the first 20 miler - vaguely following the P&D 12 week 'up to 55 mpw' schedule which only suggests 2 20 milers, the first one being only 5 weeks before the race.  Have been doing a fair amount of v hilly medium-long runs though which I think have been useful preparation.  How about you?  All going according to plan?

    I'm hoping Lee has signed up for it and my comments back in Jan (from someone who is still learning how to not mess up a marathon) didn't put him off!


  • Señor Spam

    Well done on the 20, it sounds like a get-you-round schedule to me. I’ve done a few of these before but not as many as SHADES (Hi there, how are you!). I’m not really on a focussed schedule, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of (in)security. I’m only doing this marathon for fun, a 20+ with a number pinned on. A confidence booster. I was ready in January, but haven’t been keeping the 20’s going in very much since. It’s a shame that my January one got axed.

    SHADES, long time no see, I’ll look out for you. I’ll be in full Pirate gear. Now that’s nailed my colours to the mast.


    Blisters - I can't remember the last time I saw you!   I guess you're training for an Ironman then?

  • Like I said, it's been a long time. Dartmore Vale I think, you ran with Blind Dave.

    My Iron distance race is in Henley in September, but 12 months ago I was pretty much a non-swimmer and only had an old commuter/tourer bike. Oh yes, and I'd been retired from running for a couple of years. It took a while to break the addiction to marathon training for peak performance. Now my motto is to "Complete not compete".

    I reckon I am ready enough to complete a marathon at a moment's notice, I actually managed to swim the 3.8km this week, albeit in a pool, but the bike is not yet up to distance. Of course, one has still to put it together.

  • Impressive!  I've sometimes thought I'd love to complete an Ironman - but then I wonder how on earth I'd fit in all the training and how I'd be able to run 26 miles after all that swimming and cycling.  Plus, like you were 12 months ago, my swimming is nothing to shout about.  I used to do a fair bit of cycling years ago but since kids haven't done more than a few miles here or there.  Reading your post makes me think maybe its not so unachievable after all - although obviously I have no idea how much effort it took to get the swimming sorted, or what kind of level of running you were / are at! 

    re my training plan - I can see why it sounded like a 'get you round' job. Its actually a compressed version of their 18 week schedule, for when you've left it a bit late to start ramping things up.  Even the 18 weeks only does 3 20 mile runs - makes up for the others with longer tempos and longer midweek runs than other (eg RW) schedules I've seen, plus 'marathon pace' runs of eg 16 miles with 12 at mp.  Anyway I'll see if it works!

    Looks like RW still need to bestow the pirate logo on your postings - or do they only do that after you've completed the IM?



    Blisters - that was years ago that I guided blind Paul round DMV, my arm was sore for weeks dragging him up that good Devon hill at Chudleigh.

    I'm sure you've got your IM training planned to perfection so it will all come together on race day.   I'm not temptedimage

  • Planned? Sorry, I just need to pick myself up from the floor I was laughing so much.

    Triathlon is even more an all inclusive sport than HM/10k/Parkrun running. Especially at the 400m swim type events. The HIM and IM ones have cut offs, just like marathons. That way the marshalls are allowed to go home.

    Oops. Email from the Boss. Please can I finish today's work. Must go.

  • hi there - is anyone driving through from Birmingham?  I am trying to avoid buying a hotel room as there's only a short distance from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon.  I would be happy to pay some of the petrol or recovery lunch after!    Can anyone get in touch if they fancy being environmentally friendly and car-share?  Thanks!  Ewan

  • Hi suedeheadscot, I will be driving down from central Birmingham for the full Stratford-upon-Avon marathon, and I would be happy to give you a lift. A recovery lunch sounds superb! Send me a private message with your number and we can arrange a meet-up point in Brum. Cheers!

  • Quick update.

    Who's in for the fulll marathon? How's training going?

  • I'm in! Training was going pretty well until the beginning of March. Ran a PB in a HM of 1:49 then got the flu so missed nearly two weeks of training, just when I was meant to be ramping up the miles. I feel okay now, I've done a 14 mile XC race and 17 mile off road training run since then. I'm doing my last 20 miler at the weekend. I so want to break 4 hours but my confidence has taken a knock so we'll see. I've missed quite a bit of speed work, I just hope the stamina is there!

    How about everyone else?
  • Tiny request - if you are doing the Shakespeare Marathon would you please consider participating in my study which you can find on the Spring marathon thread as MSc Research Project requires marathon runners - no electrodes!

    It's about using a positively focused self-talk technique to increase your resilience and positive affect (that's the strong positive moods that you can control).

    It is straightforward and might just provide an additional tool to conquer the mental aspects of tackling  a marathon. Drop me a line if you would like more details.


  • Well, Im in, entered on Friday. 

    Been doing some long runs so hoping to complete it, done the Rhayader 20 last month. 

    The good news is, you won't now be last image

    Does the course go along by the Race course past them train carriage caffe? 


  • Less than 2 weeks to go!

    Yes, Paul, it's straight along the Greenway.

    Top tip for running the Greenway; wear sunglasses if it's sunny then it's not dazzling at all image I've never understood whty this section comes in for such grief; it's pretty much all gently downhill for the last 6 miles image

    If anyone wants to look at the route, there's a public copy on Fetch

    With Blisters in, I won't even be first Pirate image

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