Stratford Shakespeare Marathon – 7.5.17

Race report by Dave Phillips.

Well how things change as the years roll by. What used to take 3.30 at Stratford now takes 6.00 ish. Just maybe they’ve lengthened the course? Added more hills? Anyway today was my 34th Stratford and as I know every step of the way then just maybe my earlier comments don’t ring true as it was the same course and as hilly as before.

Loads of runners started at 09:00 hrs in the town centre with the half and full all going off together. Soon we were off the main road and passing the racecourse where all was quiet and traffic free, several long tough hills and then we eventually got to the Greenway (used to be the railway line). Very flat, straight and boring as you can see for ever in front of you.

Then towards the end of lap 1 disaster almost struck. There was a time cut off of 2hr 28 mins just before the 11.8 mile mark. I was on 2.25 so OK there I thought but the cones and marshals had blocked off the full route and said we had to do the half (what’s a half I asked?). I pointed out that my watch showed 2.25 but it had taken my about 4 mins to cross the start line so I was inside “my” cut off time but not “theirs”.

Anyway I ignored them, went through the cones and was well and truly on my own.

Even the tail bike was in front of me with who he thought was the last runner. when he turned round, saw me and cycled back so act as my sweeper.

Close thing but as it was  “MUST DO AT ALL COST.” I’d have taken of my number and done it alone had there been any descent but fortunately all was OK but I was the last runner. Apparently quite a few marathon runners had to do the half as they didn’t make the cut off.

Actually I was alone until 18 miles then I caught up and overtook 3 runners so the “biker” fell back and swept these 3 along.

I saw no one else ‘till 22 when I passed a chap who was in trouble. Think we all were with the 20 degree heat but I plodded on determined to finish marathon 478.

Eventually the end was in sight and my grandkids joined me for the last 50 yards and dragged me over the line.

Shattered now and the planta fasciitis in the left heel is killing me and was a real problem during the run

Never mind there are only 5 fulls in the next 7 weeks plus the Kingsbury Water Park 10k at 1930 hrs this Tues 9/5 so we plod on in hope and pain.

Massey time:

Dave Phillips 6hrs 5 mins.