Well, that was highly enjoyable and another excellent effort from the Rotary Club of Stratford-Upon-Avon for this, one of my very favourite half marathons in the running calendar, this year commemorating the would-be 450th birthday of William Shakespeare.
Perfect conditions (for the runners at least) prevailed with overcast skies, a light breeze and occasional ‘spits’ of rain, so there could be no complaints for those runners seeking a good time and… a good time.
Talking of which…
One of these days, I’ll put together a training schedule and actually stick to it; post winter malaise has been severe this year, but I had enough in the tank today to just sneak inside my previous best time, set, strangely enough, some years back on this very course, with a new personal best of 1:47:18*
*Unconfirmed officially yet, but there or thereabouts.
I’ve not run this course for a few years now and a few things have changed since last I was here. The start has moved to Church street and the finish threw me a little, taking a slightly different route through the park, but still very much the same, enjoyable course around the town and the surrounding, undulating countryside.
Finally, two big thank yous:
Firstly, to Tina and Gary Taylor and their very excellent bed and breakfast ‘First-Night’ in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I’ve been staying there for years now and they always go out of their way to make sure everything is just as YOU need it. A 7am breakfast, especially for race day was a lovely touch and above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you Tina!
Secondly, a big thanks to Mick and Phil who took pity on this shivering Londoner as I made my way into town early this morning giving me a lift in their van to the race start area.
For those unaware, Mick and Phil are the awe-inspiring, Dad and Son marathon running team from Stratford-Upon-Avon. Phil is disabled and Mick runs each course, pushing Phil’s wheelchair. I’ve encountered them on a few occasions (often as they’ve passed me en route, mid-run!) They’re an inspiration to us all, Find out more at:
Incidentally, Shakespeare himself crossed the line today in 2 hours, 11 minutes or so, or at least someone dressed in Elizabethan regalia vaguely resembling him did; it was hard to tell though, he had a hat on.
Wonderful occasion. Wonderful day.