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Stratford gears up for Shakespeare Marathon

Runners get underway in last year's Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon. Photo: Mark Williamson
Runners get underway in last year's Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon. Photo: Mark Williamson

Thousands of runners are set to pull on their trainers this weekend for the annual Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon.

The popular run — organised by Stratford Rotary Club and raising around £100,000 a year for local charities — will take place on Sunday (13th May). In a year of firsts, Samantha Wheeler will be the first female to hold the role of race director, Stratford-based accountancy firm Grenfell James is a new sponsor, and Tori Rushton will be the new female commentator.

World record breaking multi-marathon runner, Steve Edwards, will open the marathon on the day, before running it for the 21st time.

A competition has also been held by students from King Edward VI School to design the medals for the 2018 race. 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.

Samantha said: “The marathon is one of Stratford’s biggest events for raising money for local charities; 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.

“Many of our runners enter year after year and we’re apparently known as ‘the friendly race’.

“It’s well known for its superb marshalling and outstanding safety record.”

Entries for this year's event are now closed.

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