SHAKESPEARE HALF MARATHON, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON 11.11.2017

Before anyone starts to think of a romantic run around scenic Stratford-Upon-Avon, think again. Instead picture the historically significant Long Marston Airfield. During the 2nd World War Long Marston Airfield became the home to hundreds of Royal Air Force personnel who operated the RAF’s Group of Ferry Commands. It also hosted the Global Gathering electronic Music Festival. This was to be the last ever running event on this course so a privilege to be there and it being Armistice Day the venue provided a fitting finale.

The Flat One

This run was not originally in my schedule of 20 half marathons but due to some clashes next spring, and the thought of running 5 half marathons in 6 weeks, this was the logical choice as it is known for being flat. After tackling the very hilly Worksop Half (over 800 feet up and down!) two weeks ago - flat running was a more attractive proposition. Trying to pace this run was a challenge as it consisted of 4 laps of the airfield in a star shape coupled with a mix of 5k & 10k runners alongside half and full marathoners. In addition the wheelchair racers were a sight to behold and truly inspirational as they whizzed by at a tremendous pace.

Best Moment – The screams of encouragement from the marshals on the far reaches of the course who singlehandedly tried to emulate the noise of the large city marathon crowds I experienced in Nottingham, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Best Decision (# 1) – To stay in the car with the heating on until the very last minute before getting to the starting area (I hear that Twitter has a hashtag for this -  #lightweight). Ironically the sun came out as I was walking back to the car after the run.

Best Decision (# 2) Giving Up Smoking - A personal milestone today as it was 16 years ago that I gave up smoking. I can’t quite believe that I have gone from that addiction to running two half marathons in 13 days and both under 1 hour and 45 minutes.

So -  a couple of weeks to recover the legs before a two- in- a- week challenge on the flat Holme Pierrepoint course at the Nottingham Christmas Half Marathon, followed by the not so flat ‘Turkey Trot’ in Keyworth!

I have some big news about next year’s Ikano Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham which will be my 20th and last of this challenge. More on that one soon.

Five down – Fifteen to go – thanks for reading.

If you would like to join me in running for the Charity’s 20th Anniversary please email me [email protected] or if you would like to make a donation to the campaign please click here