Help Fund The Shakespeare Hospice by Taking Part

By choosing to run The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon 2018 for The Shakespeare Hospice will give much needed help to fund our services. The Hospice has to raise over £2m each year to finance its activities, we only receive 8% funding from the NHS. Your support is vital to enable us to continue to offer palliative and support care for which The Shakespeare Hospice is known.

The Shakespeare Hospice provides exceptional palliative and support care to over 1000 patients and their families across the South Warwickshire and North Cotswolds, via our patient and family support services and in the local community through Hospice at Home. The Children and Young People’s Service provides support for bereaved children and young carers, as well as a Transitional Care Service for those between 16-24 with life limiting illness. Our services are free of charge.

 

A family we supported recently said:

‘Because of you all, Mum’s wish to die at home was made possible and she was treated with such care and consideration by everybody involved. Mum was able to have a dignified, pain free death with her husband by her side which is how she would have wanted it to be.’


NEWS RELEASE

26 January 2018
 IT’S ALL CHANGE AT THIS YEAR’S SHAKESPEARE MARATHON

 Whilst Stratford Rotary Club’s Shakespeare Marathon & Half Marathon has been going strong for 37 years, this year the popular race will see a few ‘firsts’ of its own as the club rings the changes with a new lady Race Director, Samantha Wheeler at the helm, and a new sponsor on board – Grenfell James, who joins a host of loyal and seasoned corporate supporters.  Also for the first time, world record breaking multi-marathon runner, Steve Edwards, will be officially opening the marathon on 13th May.

Samantha Wheeler takes over as Race Director following several successful years of leadership by Cliff Armstrong.  Last year, Samantha, a local business woman who moved to Stratford in 2015, was awarded Stratford Rotary’s President’s Award, (previously the McWhinney Prize) in recognition to her contribution to the Stratford charity.  She’s well equipped to take on her new, having previously worked as an Operations Manager.  Samantha said: “The Marathon is one of Stratford’s biggest events for raising money for charity; the whole community gets involved and apparently the runners call us ‘the friendly race’. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to be more involved, especially in our club’s 90th Anniversary Year. It takes an incredible amount of planning to put on a Marathon of this size – we’re expecting over 3,000 runners on the day, but as Stratford Rotary Club has been staging the Marathon for so many years, I can draw on the experience of many Rotarians and volunteers, some of whom were here since its very beginning.”

Samantha instigated another first this year; a competition was held by students from the King Edwards VI school to design the Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon medals for the 2018 race, and students were given the criteria of celebrating Rotary’s 90th Anniversary in Stratford and including an image or text that they believed best represented Rotary, the Marathon or the town of Stratford upon Avon.  The winner has been chosen, and will be announced in due course.

The races are again being sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau, who are also entering several runners, NFU and Listers.  New sponsor, Grenfell James, is providing the equipment in the refreshments tent run by Inner Wheel, for the runners and their supporters.

Opening the event is multi-marathon man, Steve Edwards. Steve has set many world records, his most recent for running 800 official marathons in the fastest average finish time of three hours and 17 minutes for each one. He is now chasing the ultimate multi marathon world record by aiming to become the first person to run 1,000 marathons averaging under 3 hours 30min.  Steve will be motivating the runners before the race and officially opening it before running himself.  This will be his 21st time running the Shakespeare Marathon (his first was in 1985) and he confesses it’s one of his favorite marathons.  He said: “After London, Shakespeare is my next most run race, it’s pretty local to me and always has a good atmosphere with the finish in the park near the town centre.”

Entry is now open for the Stratford Rotary’s Shakespeare Marathon & Half Marathon 2018, taking place on 13th May, so runners still have plenty of time for planning and training.

Runners will enjoy a mainly flat course which starts in the centre of the town, and they will run through pretty Warwickshire villages, including Welford upon Avon and Long Marston, taking in sights such as the River Avon, the Greenway – Stratford’s disused railway path, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatres.

Samantha Wheeler said: “Many of our runners enter year after year and we’re

looking forward to welcoming back many familiar athletes.  It‘s well known for its superb marshalling and outstanding safety record.  As marathon training usually takes about three months, entrants still have plenty of time if they sign up now.”

The Shakespeare Marathon has been awarded the Barr Gold standard, reflecting the high standards achieved in every aspect of its organisation.  As some elements of the event are sponsored and it is organised and marshalled solely by volunteers, an absolute minimum is spent on administration and facilities.

The Shakespeare Marathon raises on average £98,000 a year which is distributed amongst local charities, including The Shakespeare Hospice, Stratford Samaritans, Lifespace Trust and ESH Works.

Athletes you can enter at: www.shakespearemarathon.org.uk and can follow marathon news, updates and inspiration on Facebook: @OfficialShakespeareMarathon and Twitter: @Shake_Marathon.

– ENDS –

Steve Edwards is opening our 90th Anniversary Marathon!

A Coventry man, Steve Edwards is looking to enter the World Record Books for running 800 official marathon races in the fastest average finish time

Steve Edwards was born with a deformed left hand and was bullied throughout his childhood as a result. He also has a congenital blood disorder that directly compromises athleticism. Yet, despite these obstacles, 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.

Known in marathon circles as ‘The Godfather’, he is revered for his machine-like performances, running marathons consistently in an average finish time of around 3 hours 15 minutes, at the rate of one every 14 days for almost 30 years.

When Steve started running marathons in the 1980s, there were so few official races in the UK that he had to drive hundreds of miles just to run one, catnapping on ferries or in cars – before running 26.2 miles. Occasionally, he also ran into trouble – but it was all part of the adventure!

His book ‘The Man Inside The Machine’ is a personal story of a less than ordinary man who became so much more, will warm and inspire runners and non-runners alike.

‘His misadventures are the stuff of legends!’ – The Daily Telegraph

‘Edwards is the Marathon marathon man.’ – The Independent

‘The man who knows all there is to know about running 26.2 miles.’ Runner’s World

Steve has had coverage in National as well as local papers, BBC Television and Channel 4

Students have designs on Rotary Marathon 90th Anniversary Medals


A competition was held by students from the King Edwards VI school to design the Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon medals for the 2018 race which is to be held on Sunday 13th May. Students were given the criteria of celebrating Rotary’s 90th Anniversary in Stratford and including an image or text that they believed best represented Rotary, the Marathon or the town of Stratford upon Avon.

Over 200 entries were submitted from which 30 were selected for judging. Andrew Smith Partner from local Law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, one of the judges and Sponsor of the Rotary Marathon medals said ‘The standard and creativity of the designs was outstanding. A mixture of hand drawn and computer-generated images showed all the skills of the students and we are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the talent of Stratford’s young people.

All the students were from years 7-9 and (from left to right) Archie Marson-Bacon, Eddie Mitchell, both year 7 and Toby Sartain year 8 show their designs. Behind them the judges stand left to right Ian Reid Rotary President, Bennet Carr KES Headmaster, Andrew Smith Shakespeare Martineau and Rosemary Winter-Scott Chair of Rotary Youth Committee

13.1 Reasons to run the Shakespeare Half Marathon

Last year, a total of 3,200 people ran The Shakespeare Marathon & Half Marathon, ranging from 18 up to 76! Out of these, 2,235 took part in the half marathon, so clearly the latter is a very popular race.

If you need some convincing, here are 13.1 reasons why you should consider running the Shakespeare Half Marathon.

  1. Go (half) the distance: Most new runners with three months of training can conquer a half marathon. There is some commitment needed, but it doesn’t have to consume your life.
  2. Stress less: If you’re new to a half marathon, participating in one on home ground first is a really good idea. Little travelling time and familiar surroundings will improve your enjoyment of the experience.
  3. Location, location, location: You’ll be running through the historic town centre of our beautiful town, starting opposite Shakespeare’s old school, taking in sights such as the River Avon, the RSC and Holy Trinity Church. You can’t say the scenery is boring!
  4. Not ready for the full monty?: Maybe a full marathon is too daunting or you didn’t allow enough time to train or perhaps injury compromised your training or your work schedule is too demanding. Whatever the reason, the half marathon is still a challenging distance and is no mean feat.
  5. Run and raise for local charity: As some elements of the Shakespeare Marathon are sponsored and it’s organised and marshalled solely by volunteers, an absolute minimum is spent on administration and facilities. You can also choose to run for your own charity of course, but you can also run for Rotary at: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/shakemarathon/386730.
  6. You get a medal! The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon medals are iconic – Shakespeare related (of course) and super shiny!
  7. A dress rehearsal: If a marathon is on your calendar, the Shakespeare Half Marathon could be a great warm up.
  8. A speedy recovery: The half marathon is taxing, but even if you run a hard half marathon, recovery time for 13.1 miles is much shorter than the full.
  9. Risky business: Injuries are the curse of most runners at some time or other and the more you train, the higher the risk of injury. You won’t log as many miles prepping for a half marathon versus a full marathon, so risk of injury is less.
  10. Celebration time: When it’s all over, you’ll have a great excuse to raise a glass or two. Stratford is a great place to celebrate, with plenty of wine bars, local pubs and super eateries.
  11. Step it up:5K and 10K races are great entry-level distances for new runners, but stepping up to the half marathon will result in a huge improvement in running fitness due to increases in mileage and the addition of more training.
  12. Burn, baby burn: A mile generally burns about 100 calories. If you’re running 5Ks and/or 10Ks, you’re burning calories, but upping your mileage will boost your caloric burn.
  13. A running kit makeover: If you’ve been eyeing a hot new pair of trainers or stylish running gear, sign up for a half – it’ll be a great excuse to treat yourself.

13.1 The start of something big! Once you’ve conquered a half marathon, it’s almost inevitable a full marathon will beckon you to the start line. Who knows, this year half, next year the full!

A New Year, a New Challenge?

Those looking for inspiration for a new challenge for 2017 need look no further than home! Stratford Rotary’s Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon is taking place on the 7th of May 2017, and is now open for entries. See our terms of entry or go direct to the entry page. And, as training for a half marathon takes at least three months for a beginner, now is the perfect time to sign up!

Runners will enjoy a mainly flat course which starts in the centre of the town, and they will run through 26.2 miles of pretty Warwickshire villages, including Welford upon Avon and Long Marston, taking in sights such as the River Avon, the Greenway – Stratford’s disused railway path, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatres.

Cliff Armstrong, Race Director and Rotarian, said: “The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon is now in its 36th year. It has an excellent reputation and many loyal runners enter year after year. It‘s well-known for its superb marshalling and outstanding safety record. As marathon training usually takes about three months, entrants will have plenty of time if they sign up now.”

The Shakespeare Marathon has been awarded the BARR Gold standard, reflecting the high standards achieved in every aspect of its organisation. As some elements of the event are sponsored and it is organised and marshalled solely by volunteers, an absolute minimum is spent on administration and facilities. More than half the money raised from the event goes to local charities including the Shakespeare Hospice (founded by Rotary), Stratford Samaritans, Lifespace Trust and ESH Works.

Follow us on Facebook: @OfficialShakespeareMarathon and Twitter: @Shake_Marathon for news, training tips and inspiration.

For more press information, please call Maria Graham-Martin on tel: 01789 507541/07722 563004 or e mail: Maria@mgmwritingservices.com.

Start training now for Rotary’s Shakespeare Marathon or Half Marathon

Enjoy A Race-cation in Stratford-upon-Avon!

If you’ve never run a marathon or half marathon or if you’re looking for a different race to try next year, why not choose an event which is held in a beautiful part of the UK, rich in culture and history, so that you can take a ‘race-cation?’ The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon, taking place on 7th May 2017, in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, ticks all the boxes for newbie marathon runners or experienced athletes, and is now open for entry.
Now in its 36th year, runners from all over the country take part in this event, organized by the Stratford upon Avon Rotary Club. Many return year after year, and it has become well known for its superb marshalling and outstanding safety record. It’s also a very enjoyable course to run. Runners will experience a mainly flat course which starts in the centre of the town, opposite Shakespeare’s old school, and will run through miles of pretty Warwickshire villages, taking in sights such as the River Avon, the Greenway – Stratford’s disused railway path, Holy Trinity Church (home to the grave of William Shakespeare) and the Royal Shakespeare Theatres.

And when it’s all over, there is plenty to see and do for all the family in Stratford-upon-Avon. A quintessentially pretty English town, the town is internationally renowned for being home to the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare houses: five beautifully preserved Tudor homes and gardens which are linked with William Shakespeare and his family. A stroll around the historic town, or a boat trip down the River Avon are great ways of soaking up the atmosphere of this buzzing cultural town. With its great variety of restaurants, bars and tea-rooms, foodies will be spoilt for choice with the selection of fine dining options on offer, and with weekly farmers’ markets and variety shops from independent retailers, to well-known high street names, there is something to please everyone.

There is also plenty to suit all tastes and budgets in the surrounding countryside and historic towns, from unique attractions, theatres, historic buildings, museums, galleries and stately homes to idyllic villages, cycle paths, boat trips and guided walks.

Cliff Armstrong, Race Director and Rotarian, said: “The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon have become very popular races and the runners often compliment us on the professional organization and marshalling. Many runners bring their families and enjoy not just a great race, but the whole Stratford upon Avon experience.”

The Shakespeare Marathon has been awarded the BARR Gold standard, reflecting the high standards achieved in every aspect of its organisation. As some elements of the event are sponsored and it is organised and marshalled solely by volunteers, an absolute minimum is spent on administration and facilities. More than half the money raised from the event goes to local charities including the Shakespeare Hospice (founded by Rotary), Stratford Samaritans, Lifespace Trust and ESH Works.

Follow us on Facebook: @OfficialShakespeareMarathon and Twitter: @Shake_Marathon for news, training tips and inspiration.

For more press information, please call Maria Graham-Martin on tel: 01789 507541/07722 563004 or e mail: Maria@mgmwritingservices.com.

Rotary’s Shakespeare Marathon or Half Marathon takes place in Stratford upon Avon, where there is plenty to see and do for a weekend. It starts in the historic town centre, opposite Shakespeare’s old school.

Rotary’s Shakespeare Marathon or Half Marathon takes place in Stratford upon Avon, where there is plenty to see and do for a weekend. It starts in the historic town centre, opposite Shakespeare’s old school.