THE SUN shone down on the 3,200 runners who took part in this year’s Stratford Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon.
Sunday’s event was started by elite athlete and marathon runner Amy Whitehead. She was selected to run for England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, and has been mentoring 20 runners from Shakespeare Martineau – one of the main sponsors of the Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon – as part of the company’s wider health and wellbeing programme.
Race director and Rotarian Cliff Armstrong said: “This was our 36th marathon and half marathon, so we’ve had plenty of experience staging the event, which is always appreciated by our runners.
Feedback has been incredible. The runners, who come from all over the UK, commented that they love Stratford and the atmosphere, the stunning course, the friendly and supportive local folk, and the professionalism of the marshalling and volunteers.
“We’d like to thank our sponsors and all of the other organisations who helped to make this year an outstanding success.”
There were many amazing performances and milestones achieved.
One of the heroes of the day was 75 year-old Harold Gleave, who has run nearly 70 marathons. Harold, from Staffordshire, did not start running until he was 60. He completed the race in 4:29:32.
Steve Edwards, who lives in Moreton in Marsh, is deemed one of the world’s most successful marathon runners. On Sunday, he ran his 780th race, and 20th Shakespeare Marathon, completing the course in 3:09:40. Steve has overcome being bullied as a child and a congenital blood disorder which affects his running.
But he has become one of the world’s leading multi-marathon runners, having run over 700 official marathon races in the fastest ever average finish time
Men’s full marathon winners:
1st Noel Kindon, Cornwall AC, 2:46:57; 2nd Ed Rees, Clapham Chasers RC, 2:48:01; 3rd Chris Mason, 2:48:56
Women’s full marathon winners:
1st Melissa Venables, Spa Striders RC, 3:11:19; 2nd Emma Dewhurst , Styal Running Club, 3:19:01; 3rd Alison Hamlett, 3:21:42
Men’s Half Marathon winners:
1st Toby Spencer, 1:14:03; 2nd Orlando Corea, Birchfield Harriers, 1:14:04; 3rd William Joyce, 1:15:31
Women’s Half Marathon winners:
1st Nic Sykes, Bournville Harriers, 1:19:00; 2nd Joanne Mccandless, 1:23:07; 3rd Kate Wright, Stratford-upon-Avon AC, 1:25:24