I was not too sure what to expect from the Shakespeare Half, as I was told that it was not the most exciting…
Turned up with thousands of others trying to squeeze into Stratford Upon Avon, luckily they is loads of parking spaces, just not that many working pay and display machines…
The start was in the middle of the town on Church Street, with tudor buildings either side of the crowds, we proceeded to do a loop of the town centre, coming down along the river, before heading west out of the town, running down past scores of supporters out cheering us on, we then turned down a lane towards Luddington, a very wealthy looking hamlet, with big posh houses. By this time the sun had come out and I had joined for a while with fellow FoDAC runner Claire Morgan. From here it appeared to be a slow but gradual incline, twisting around the lanes, until reaching the main road again, after a short stretch a sign appeared “Concealed brow ahead”, which could only mean one thing – DOWN HILL.
It was a good sight from the top, out across the fields, but more importantly down, down and down.
Another left turn down a lane over a little bridge and through the picturesque village of Welford on Avon, dodging all the cars and vans trying to get past us.
Here again the countryside opened up, to the fields and beyond, turning onto the Greenway, an old railway line, which was covered in light gravel, Stratford was in sight, again there were loads of supporters out on this section of the route, and as we neared the end of the race course the sprinklers were on, and the slight shower was well received, as by now the sun was out and the temperature was getting hot.
On arriving back into Stratford, there was a short section back on the road before doubling back down a track and into the playing fields, and snake around to the finish.
Here there were thousands of supporters all cheering, not sure if the commentator was awake he didn’t sound it!!
A great course which I would do again, slightly crowded towards the start, loads of water stations, supporters and very well organised, another medal to hang on the wall, no t-shirt and no goody bag here, but there was a very welcomed free cup of tea.
Oh and the bacon and egg buttie after went down a treat.
Another Personal Best for me taking three minutes of my time 1 hour 56 minutes.
So next run is Market Harborough 10th June……