Shrewsbury Marathon



  • Cheating would have been easy, and its best to remove the possibility - I'm pretty sure I lost 2 places in the first time through the switchbacks and no one overtook me there.  Must admit it was tempting, especially the state I was in, as I was going for a good for age time and wasn't too bothered otherwise (just have to go for a charity place now image, good for the sole I suppose ) - mind you I would have won a prize then (were there prizes) and I couldn't have lived with myself for that, one thing cheating yourself another thing cheating others image

    To avoid some of the possibility of cheating having a timing mat at each lap would have been good and no switch backs.  It was difficult to judge where you were supposed to be on the road, must admit I just keep as close to the inside as possible.

    And Shrek, you are absolutely correct its the course that was at issue, though a little curtesy leaving some room from some of the larger groups going 3 abreast would have been nice.

    Mile markers were terrible as previously stated, in that lost seemed to be missing, I thought they were reasonably accurate though.

    On the plus side, everyone was really nice, marshalls, hotel etc, lots of support during the race an sympathy for my limping sorry carcas afterwards.  Great to have bottles of water, but you could tell they were going to run out, people at the beginning just grabing a mouthful then chucking it, pretty wasteful but there was no choice, I can see why most events use cups (hopeless for me, I just spill down my front).  I'd suggest smaller bottles next time. 

    I hope they do it again, it could be a great event, the elements are there.  Thoughts a bit of a treck for me so probably wouldn't be back.

  • On radio this morning organizer said they wanted to do one next year but would alter the course

  • Overall I thought it was a good marathon - for a first attempt. Lap courses are either love or hate, personally I like them, mentally helps on the maths side. though the switchbacks weren't good at all, but at least you got to see people and say hello to a few you knew. Cups would be fine with 2-3 water stations each lap, bottles not really needed or maybe lap 3 or 4 only.

    I did say hello to Shrek on lap 3 and also hello to Welsh Rob as he went past in other direction. I was pacing someone (see Darren above) and we were bang on aim with 3:44. I think the 4 lap course helped a lot.

    Interesting Foxy, noticed in the switchbacks that the tape was broken in 2-3 sections... would be obvious place to cheat and wondered if any had done that. Ditto the little loop out at 4 miles, cutting off 1-2 miles. Just cheating yourself though. Silly.

  • Anybody get a Garmin measurement on it?

    Any pics yet?

  • James B73James B73 ✭✭✭

    my garmin came in spot on 13.1 miles

  • Vic31Vic31 ✭✭✭

    Ran the half yesterday and beat my last half marathon time by 12 minutes woohoo! 02:18:58! 

    Thought the start was bad not being on time, especially when people have fuelled ready for the start time. 

    I would have liked more mile markers, i feel like i only saw 2, 6, 12 and 13!

    Course very narrow in parts, found myself going up kerbs or i would have ended up going flying over the traffic cones!!

    Apart from that i liked the route (apart from the quarry bit?!) felt challenged on the hills and chuffed that i seemed to be passing others on the hills who were walking. Felt like i had done the right training!

    I will be back next year hopefully!

    Anyone know where there are some photos?

  • Vic31Vic31 ✭✭✭

    Thanks tony smith 21

  • wrexhamrobwrexhamrob ✭✭✭

    Perc72 Chris yes it was a pleasure to share some banter. If that was your first marathon - don't worry that you may have difficulty walking down stairs today - I certainl am taking stairs slower today. You'd be more than welcome to join my 4:45 pace group at Chester- but maybe you should be in 4:30. What was your finish time ? Sorry missed you at end 

  • I thought it was a shambles! It was organised by a specialist company who have apparently organised races before tberefor should the teething problems be as bad as they were? Will not be going to any other of their races and as the running community word spreads, i doubt many others will either! Not Shrewsburys fault, im sad for it but will probably go on next year as a fun run to raise money for charity, not a bad thing but dont dress it up as a race for elite also! The things that went wrong are too numerous to mention, are you aware the marshals were paid by the hour, but they cant even raise the funds to pay the winners of both races entry! At times it was even dangerous! I hope the poor efforts from the company havent blighted any runners accompishments and should be very proud they managed to finish shrewsburys only ever marathon!

  • I measured it on my Garmin 13.25, my time was 1:23 and finished 20th, not a PB for me but was not after one, just about recovered from my Manchester marathon so needed a race to gauge fitness, felt well all race and finished strong. Did not like the switchback section one bit, got very congested a times and sometimes general public crossing my path, good course though.

  • I had a Garmin 10 on one wrist and a Garmin 210 on the other, interestingly the 10 clocked it at 13.11 miles but the 210 clocked 13.2. 

  • My Garmin clocked 26.16. Makes up for London being 26.55 and Edinburgh being 26.36.

  • WonaWona ✭✭✭

    my Garmin clocked 26.6
    yeah shame...water stations ran out of water after about 2 hours, tap water was offered ( i do not drink tap unfortunately ,so that took some effort to get a bottle) also, am i correct in saying that after and before even 2 hours was passed from start time that many of the water stations packed up completely?
    The start was more then delayed...what was it ? 20 mins?
    The loop backs near the start where a bad idea in my opinion.
    And who sponsored the race? high 5? so where were the high 5 gels etc?
    Seems this race catered for the half marathon ok but then wanted to pack it up..
    Shrewsburys people and support were great though, and the route wasnt too bad other than the loop back part.
    The medals were not good imo...  full marathon same as half ,with wording half and full marathon??   no no no ...full marathon should have a better quality than that, especially for entry fee price...i think they must have spent alot on the coaches supplied for park and ride to half a mile from the start.!
    Nice start area , but shame we couldnt run past the portaloos each time, then alot of people wouldnt have to have either gone behind bushes or spent many minutes going off to them and then back to the course.
    A good idea would have been a half way timing chip mat too.
    A big big medal would have appeased me.

  • Agree with many of the sentiments on here. I was born and Bred in Shrewsbury and the crowds that came out to support on a cold and damp morning made me proud! However, the organisers do need to learn so valuable lessons and I do think they should seek feedback from all entrants. I was pleased with my time for the half marathon on a tough course and carrying an injury, but it was frustrating for a number of reasons. There should definitely be starting 'pens' for running certain times to avoid having to dodge the slower runners or walkers for the first few miles and when the course became narrow. The organisers should consider asking local Army cadets to help with drink stations/ marshalling-I have seen them used in lots of previous events (including Chester Half) and they are usually very good. The finish was a debacle and actually quite dangerous-many people increase their pace in the last few hundred metres and to suddenly stop running at such a high intensity to meet a wall of queuing people is not good for the body-I was surprised not to see more people collapsing/feinting at the finish line. Have long taped-off funnel that runners walk down post finish line to keep them moving and give them their goodie bag etc. without the public encroaching and causing a backlog of runners. Gels would be useful at a station rather than in post-race bags!


  • James B73James B73 ✭✭✭

    I enjoyed it. It was Shrewsbury's first one and I'm sure they will learn from this one.

  • I really enjoyed it. No problems with the course at all- interesting! Some of the problems mentioned here could easily be sorted. However I think the bigger question is is it feasible to run a half and a full marathon simultaneously on this course? I am not sure it is. 

    Anyway thanks people of Shrewsbury for your support. Hope the event becomes established in whatever form. I will be back.

  • I enjoyed it but there were so many obvious flaws. Personally, I think it would be an absolutely belting 10k course. If they want to keep longer runs, someone suggested asking Shrewsbury School to allow access to some of their grounds.

  • Wrexham Rob, yeah first mararhon! Finished in a time of 4.33hrs, so not too bad, just kinda fell away a little over the 2 miles or so. When's the Chester event??

  • wrexhamrobwrexhamrob ✭✭✭

    A good time Chris well done, Chester is 9th October ( i think) there's a busy forum already here You'd be most welcome, city and rural, v well organised, good support , but sparse in places. Goes into Wales ( and out again image to finish in front of grandstand at Chester Racecourse

  • Chester is 6th October - my daughters birthday, got to decide whether to be a bad Mum & enter it ...... I probably will though image

  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭

    Chester goes like clockwork    loads of portloos  and never waiting a long time to the support at each village    must tell you there is a small hill at mile 17 and a long one at 24

  • wrexhamrobwrexhamrob ✭✭✭

    Hi chaps - I've had useful email discussion with the organiser via their website, here's my email to him 

    Dear organisers - thank you for organizing the first Shrewsbury marathon.

    I have put my comments on my Running blog ans also on the runners world feedback under my my name of Wrexhamrob   I have tried to be constructive, i enjoyed the day, was nervous about the organisation of a new event  - i have run 26 marathons As it turned out today it went reasonably well.   constructive comments -im unusual - i like laps and swcthbacks, and the route -chip on the number please less fiddly, and no one asked for mine so its here in Mold -please funnel the finish better after the line- nice to meet the mayer - but did he and other people need to be just after the line    you should also view the runners world discussion - and it may be good to constructively participate, that would help, ( dont take critical comments to  heart - sometimes folks just want a moan)    also the map on your website needed logging into a website not best useful.   Please have a chat with Chris at Chester - its runs smoothly.   Overall well done and thanks
  • wrexhamrobwrexhamrob ✭✭✭

    And here's his reply - good for them for taking the time, he also said that thay had approached the school who said no.



    Hi Rob

      Thanks for the email.   Being honest I agree with all your comments and in our de-brief yesterday all are on the list.   Just to give you an insight really as you've sent a detailed email I thought you deserved a detailed response.   The delayed start was a nightmare, we hate a delay as it sets the whole event off negatively.    There were 2 causes, first one was when we went to plug the power in at the quarry the 3 phase connection had been blown, it transpired that the carnival on the 15th had blown it but not reported it, that could of been a show stopper really but we had generators with us as a back up, we didn't have enough petrol due to health and safety so a mad dash took place.   The second and main one really was the traffic management company we used were meant to drop cones off in the quarry at 4.00am so the switch back could be set up, they arrived at 6.30 with only half the cones and didn't return with the rest until 8.30am, I can't tell how much that impacted the event as it literally effected everything, it was a miracle we managed to get the race off only twenty minutes late.   Narrow lanes - We hated the switch back in the quarry but it was simply the only way to get the miles in, when we first approached the council for the event we didn't anticipate the response, it's so unusual to get so many people sign up for the first one. Shrewsbury has a very challenging road system so to take out a route in to the town causes major  disruption and so it was deemed too much of a disruption for the number expected hence 2 way lanes etc..   What we can say is the council have been great and very supportive and we've already talked about changing the route for next year, we are also considering just making it a half marathon to avoid laps and also putting in tighter road closures, due to the length of the closures we had to allow resident access however on a 1 lap system we could put a full closure in place for a set time.   All in all we ended up happy but I think the stress at the set up has knocked years off all of our lives and even if the event was ten years in we'd of still been hit by the delay.   Once we have had a course meeting we should be able to give an update for next year.   Thanks again for the feedback and also for taking part.
  • wrexhamrobwrexhamrob ✭✭✭

    Not perfect by a some  way , but looks like willing to learn.

    I love the Chester marathon I've run it 3 x , twice on the current course, small hill in Farndon at mile 14, in the village , some good support, the hill at mile 24 is very cheeky at that distance, but it's not too long , perhaps 500 yards , it just seems 4 x that long !!! 

    See you on Chester thread - and maybe here next year - especially if there's a 2 nd marathon , im also in Snowdonia take care image

  • Thanks rob. Interesting to read all that.

  • James B73James B73 ✭✭✭

    Very good of them to respond and explain.


    Great response from the race organisers.

    It would be a shame if this event becomes a half marathon only, but I think that's probably the only sensible way they can use that course.   I had doubts before the race that the laps would work, (my comments are on the other thread).   I nearly didn't go to the race at all because of that, however, I needed the marathon for my numbers.

    I think Shrewsbury is a beautiful place and would love to run a marathon there again



  • I must say that I actually liked the laps and being four of them it was easy to chunk the race; the last one was always going to be tough, etc. Also it gave me chance to get support and supplies from my family. The chasing HM was too much though. I don`t think it had a real adverse affect on me but I can see how they must have been a problem for some folk. Again, I`d say what a belting 10k it could be!

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