Frequently asked Questions for Runners

Please check these FAQs before contacting the Race Director  who administer the entries for the event.

You can also search the website and the FAQs using the Search Option in the menu bar (magnifying glass) box.

1. Is there any information on the course and drinks stations?

There will be an Information Desk near the start area in the town centre at the entrance to Debenhams Store on High Street from 7.00am until 9.00am, where late entries and overseas entrants can pick up runners packs. Please note there are no entries on the day. Maps of the course showing toilets and drinks stations are available and can also be downloaded from the Course Map section of this website.The Information Desk will be moved back to the main marquee on the recreation ground after the start.

The Race starts in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre on Wood Street, CV37 6JF. Please note that this is a new start area that has moved from the previous start area on Church Street.. The race finishes on the Recreation Ground.

The start will be traffic free but soon after runners will be using roads open to public transport. Marshals will be stationed at all junctions and will indicate crossing points etc. and you must obey their instructions. In the interest of safety please read our Terms of Entry concerning the banning of earphones whilst running – bone conductor earphones may be worn.

Toilets will be provided at frequent intervals around the course and they are shown along with Drink Stations on the Course Maps.

Link to Course Map

Link to Town Map

Note: Full Marathon Runners failing to reach the split point at Greenway North (11.84 miles) in 2 hours 30 minutes will be diverted to the Half Marathon Finish. All runners must complete the Course within 6.00 hours and anyone remaining on the course after this time will be withdrawn from the event. The organisers will not accept responsibility for anyone on the course after 3.00pm prompt.

For half marathon runners there are 4 drinks stations plus a 5th at the finish line. For marathon runners there are 4 drinks stations on the first half of the course, then 5 on the second lap (9 stops in total along the course), plus a 10th at the finish line.

As part of our commitment to reducing plastic and water wastage, we encourage you to carry your own drinks. The drinks stations will be providing 330ml water bottles. Throw them in piles if you can, it takes ages to clear up!

Isotonic drinks will not be available. Runners bringing their own isotonic must accept that taking these drinks is entirely at their own discretion and as organisers we strongly advise that runners take medical advice before the event regarding the use of isotonic drinks. If you use isotonic Gel Tubes please don’t litter our beautiful countryside, bins are available throughout the course.

Mile markers for the Marathon and Half Marathon will be displayed throughout the course.

The Marathon course is a double lap, both races finishing on the recreation ground.

Important:  Athletes must not be accompanied by dogs or followed by supporters on cycles, prams and pushchairs are not permitted. Athletes must also discourage friends and relatives from joining them on any part of the course and in particular along Seven Meadows Road and in the run up to the finish.

2. Is there a limit on numbers and when should I enter?

For logistical reasons there will be an entry limit of around 3,700 for both the marathon and half marathon events combined. There are no entries on the day. The limit takes into account an assumed number of cancellations and no shows on the day.

We will refund runners less a £3 admin fee up to March 12th 2023. We regret that we are unable to carry forward or transfer your entry to another year but you can transfer your entry to another runner at any stage although you must let us know. Closing date for 2023 event is 19th April 2023 or when race limit is reached. Entries received prior to 6th April will be sent out in the post. Entries received after this date will be made available for collection on race morning.


3. Can I have more information on Chips and Race Numbers?

Our results service is provided by Tempo Events Ltd and they will use chip timing.  This means that we can provide fast and accurate results and the chip can register every individual start time, even when participants are at the back of the pack. Instructions on the use of your chip will be sent to you with your Race Number and Runners Information. 

It is essential that you keep your race number with Chip in a safe place. If you lose or forget it, it will not be replaced. Unless you wear your chip as instructed you will not get a time or position in the results list.

Race numbers must not be given or sold to anyone else without letting us know. Anyone found to have done this without our consent will be permanently banned from the event and reported to UK Athletics.

4. Must I be a member of a running club to enter?

No. Everyone is welcome. However, if you are a member of a UK Athletics Affiliated Club the cost of entry is discounted as shown at the entry stage.

5. Do I have to obtain sponsorship to enter?

You do not need to obtain sponsorship to enter the event but we are keen that you should do so as charities need all the money they can raise. Visit our page on My Donate and help us raise money for local charities, or raise funds for your own charity – they’ll appreciate it!

If you’d like to tell us about any charities or worthy causes which you intend to raise money for then please let us know by email or social media: @OfficialShakespeareMarathon @Shake_Marathon  You can see how local charities have benefited from your entry and fundraising by visiting our Charities Page.

6. Can we enter as a Team?

Yes but you will need to enter as an individual first. Please see the Terms of Entry on our website.

Team results are provided as a bit of fun but there are no team prizes awarded.


7. Can I transfer my entry to another runner?

Transfers of an entry to another person are permitted at any stage but you must inform us for safety reasons

8. Can I switch between the Marathon and Half Marathon events?

Any requests to switch from the Marathon to Half Marathon, or visa versa, should be sent via email.  If you have entered the Marathon and feel that you cannot complete the full distance on the day, you should let marshals know at the cut off at Greenway North, 11.84 miles and they will direct you to the Half Marathon finish.  When you cross the finish line, you should let marshals know so that we can ensure your results are correctly published.

9. Can I check that my Entry has been received?

After completing your purchase online your screen will show confirmation of your payment and order details. You will get a confirmation of entry after that.

10. When will I receive my Race Number, Chip and Runners Information?

You will be sent your race pack by post – you will be notified by email when they have been sent

For overseas entrants, race packs must be collected on the day from our Information desk situated on the High Street. The presence of the timing chip prevents us from sending race packs overseas.

11. What charities do you support and do I need to be sponsored to enter?

We’ve been raising money for charity through this event for 39 years. Because we use volunteers to run the event and we have some sponsorship, we pride ourselves on being able to make donations to many charities and good causes.

The main charity supported is the Shakespeare Hospice, but multiple other charities and good causes also benefit throughout the year.

You do not need to obtain sponsorship to enter the event but we are keen that you should do so as charities need all the money they can raise. Visit our page on My Donate and help us raise money for local charities, or raise funds for your own charity – they’ll appreciate it!

If you’d like to tell us about any charities or worthy causes which you intend to raise money for then please let us know by email or social media: @OfficialShakespeareMarathon  @Shake_Marathon  You can see how local charities have benefited from your entry and fundraising by visiting our Charities Page

The Race is organised by the Rotary Club of Stratford-upon-Avon (the Organisers) on an entirely voluntary basis. Members of the Club and many others help. The Organisers reserve the right to allocate no more than 2.00% of the gross income from the events for general expenses associated with the Club’s future fund raising activities. After this deduction and payment of necessary expenses monies raised will go to charities and good causes.

12. What are the Car Parking arrangements and availability of public transport?

Car parking is available throughout the town with multi-storey parking at Bridgeway and NCP off Rother Street and a large car park at the Leisure Centre. There is further parking near to the finish area (see map) but is extremely limited. It is entered by the Swans Nest Hotel at CV37 7LT and only accepts card payments. There may be delays in leaving this site. For those who wish to leave promptly, several multi-storey and other car parks are available near the site. Parking charges are the same in all car parks. 

For Public Transport on trains and buses see:

13. Where can I obtain information on accommodation?

Visit the Holiday Cottages website for hand-picked holiday cottages across Stratford-upon-Avon and across the Cotswolds. Contact the Tourist Information Centre  01789 264293 or visit We recommend that you book early if you need accommodation.

Travelodge Stratford Upon Avon  

14. How do I find the Results?

Provisional results will be going up live to the website

 It can be assumed that these are final after approximately 48 hours when queries should have been resolved.  

16. What are the changing facilities?

Changing and shower facilities will be available at the Recreation Ground – men at the District Council Changing Rooms at the Pavillion opposite the Sea Cadet Hut, ladies at the Boat Club. Storage of clothing bags (male and female) will be available at the Sea Cadet Hut.

The Organisers will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to the contents of bags whilst in the storage area.

See the Town Map on our website for locations.

17. What is the course like?

It is a predominately flat course, and many who enter our event are first time runners. There is an ascending incline as you enter Luddington (1:48 for 220m) and another as you leave (1:30 for 400m). There is a steeper incline as you leave Welford towards Long Marston, which is the most significant hill on the course, and rises approximately 31m over some 1100 meters (1:35 average – 1:15 steepest part for 150m) and descends some 28m over some 450 meters (1:18 average – 1:10 steepest part for 150m).

Some additional notes on the course:

  • All runners should keep to the far left on any roads which you are sharing with traffic, except for a short stretch along Milcote Road where you will be directed to use the right side in a traffic controlled area. The town centre is closed to traffic but shared with traffic when joining Evesham Road after Sanctus Road (prior to 2 miles). 
  • When overtaking other runners, please take care and consider other runners and road users. 
  • If using the on-course toilets on the opposite side of the road, please take care crossing and ensure you look both directions. 
  • Prior to Milcote Road, you will be directed by marshals from the left side of the road to the right side for a short stretch in a traffic controlled area. 
  • The Greenway surface is firm compacted gravel. However, certain weather conditions can quickly deteriorate the surface so all participants should look out for any uneven surfaces. In addition, there are some bollards/posts along the Greenway which will be clearly marked and signed. 
  • Around mile 12, the route goes across Wetherby Way. Please follow marshal instructions here and be aware of where the route goes. 
  • After turning off Seven Meadows Road, the route follows a path the River Avon then turns right under the road. At this junction be aware of a narrow gap and slight dip. 
  • For the marathon runners only on the second lap, as the route turns left onto the Greenway around 20.4 miles, plus be aware of the slippy (if wet) old disused railway tracks on the road. 

A height profile of the course is available (the vertical scale is exaggerated).

Link to Course Height Profile

18. What is the surface like on the Greenway?
The track is fine bound grit – not loose.  It is a level surface.
19. What medical support do you have?

A medical back-up will be available throughout the course. Doctors will be in attendance at the Recreation Ground, as will First Aid teams. Paramedics and First Aid teams are also sited around the course.

You must ensure that you are medically fit to undertake this event and that you are adequately covered by your own insurance. Do not expect to achieve what you have not trained for. If you have not trained or have a heavy cold, do not run in the event.

The fitness, training and medical condition of each entrant are matters for his or her own personal concern and anyone in doubt about their ability should not start. The Course Doctor will have the final say and anyone instructed to leave the course must do so.

The medical team will be at the finish to help those who have sustained injuries during the race or are suffering from dehydration.

Note: It is essential for runners to fill out the information required on the back of their runners bibs, including any relevant medical conditions. Please include who to contact in case of an emergency, with a telephone number. Please use waterproof ink.

20. How should I go about training?

Your health and fitness to run a long race are your own responsibility.

There is extensive advice on the web from Run Britain and others about training regimes before a race and fluid intake etc during a race.

If you are a novice runner, you would be wise to study these and if in any doubt, consult your medical advisor before running. Even if you are an experienced runner, it makes sense to err on the side of caution and continue to monitor your health and performance; overconfidence can be your enemy.

We have provided “Training tips for runners” which you should view well before the race and you can join our social media groups for shared tips/advice from other runners. 

21. What happens if I stop on the course and cannot go further?

There is a communications system round the course via the marshals, and there are courtesy cars available to take you to the finish area.

22. Are there official Event Photographs and T Shirts, and where can I get them?

The officially appointed photographers for the event are ‘’, see their web site for more information Your Race Day ( a donation is made to the Marathons charities for every photo purchased.

Our official T shirt supplier is Sporting Print who make the T shirts special by printing the names of the runners on the back, T shirts can be ordered in advance or on the day, see their website for more information  A donation is made to the Marathons charities for every T shirt purchased.

23. How can I make a comment?

If you have any comment you would like to make about the organisation or other aspects of the event, you can use the Contact Us section.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for breaking news and chat to stay up to date with current topics, ask the odd quick question and enter discussions with other runners.  @Shake_Marathon   @OfficialShakespeareMarathon

Although we shall try to respond by social media, please use the Contact Us section where a fuller question or response is required.

We have tried to make this a well-organised and enjoyable day and we are always open to listen to the views of the participants.


24. Where can I find information about the prizes?
We have a Prizes page giving information about the prizes and their values. You can visit the Prize page here.
25. Can I wear Earphones?

Much of the course is on public highway and you should be aware of the usual hazards such as traffic, public works and poor road surfaces. For safety reasons under the UK Athletics directive, the wearing of earphones is banned and entrants not complying with this directive may be disqualified. A supplementary UKA rule, however, states that headphones that work by conducting sound through bones and do not sit in the ears are acceptable. To clarify, bone conductor headphones are permitted but we ask all runners to give their full attention to marshal instructions, the course environment and other runners.

If we still haven’t answered your query, you can get in touch with us here.