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Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon

Event details
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Escape to the country plains of Stratford upon Avon for this unique marathon. Ideal for first timers, this predominately flat course will see you wracking up the miles in no time as you run past legendary Shakespearean sites and charming hamlets. Come for a truly British day out and memorable experience.

Review summary

33 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Ian D
"This is my fifth year doing this course. I like it as it takes you on a..."
"It was my first marathonI fully recommend it Good organisation lots of water..."


Ed W
"Great day at the shakespeare marathon, lovely place to start and a great course..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon

  1. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    Event passed
  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Event passed

Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon routes

Both the Marathon and Half Marathon routes are recognised as officially measured routes of 26.2 miles and 13.1 miles respectively.

Each mile will be marked out along the route to count you down to the finish line.

The majority of the course is flat and tarmac road, making it the perfect event for those athletes wishing to complete their first ever marathon. Where the running route is off road, such as Greenway, the surface is still solid, smooth and safe to run on.

The town centre of Stratford-upon-Avon marks the start of the race and from there, you will loop around this picturesque town before heading out in an anti clockwise direction into the English countryside. Aid and refreshments stations will be positioned along the course to quench your thirst. You'll then return back in the town centre to roaring cheers from friends, family and well-wishers encouraging you along the way for those final few miles to the finish line!

Please note that those runners competing in the Full Marathon must reach Greenway North (11.84 miles) within 2 hours 25 minutes. If not, they will be re-directed to finish the Half Marathon instead. There is a cut of time of 6 hours to complete the route. If you are still on the course after this time, you will be withdrawn from the race and are subject to your own responsibility.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Medals to finishers
  • Prizes to winners of specific age categories
  • Aid and refreshment points
Raceday Logistics

If you're travelling to the event by car, please allow 15 minutes to walk from the main car parking area (near the recreation ground) to the start area in the town centre.

Start Location - Church Street, Stratford-upon Avon Town Centre

From 7am to 9am there will be an Information Desk located near the start line, on the High Street, at the entrance of Debenhams Store.

Please note that the Information Desk will be relocated to the Main Marquee on the recreation ground once the race has started.

Race pack information

Runners packs are all sent in the post, unless an entry is from overseas or they enter after lunchtime on the 24th in which case you can collect from the Information Desk.

Please remember your chip and number, as without these you cannot participate. Make sure you number is visibly fastened to the front of your top.

Accomplished runners are advised to arrive early should they wish to secure a front spot in for the start of the race.

Kit List

Your most comfortable running gear!


All spectators are welcome. With so many things to do and see in Stratford-On-Avon, why not make a weekend out of it!


Is there a cap on entries?

Yes, for safety and logistics, numbers are capped at circa 3,700.

When should I enter and how?

Given the entry limit and fact that no entries are taken on the day, we'd recommend entering as soon as possible.

The easiest and quickest way to enter is online.

Please note that no refunds are possible, nor can entries be transferred or extended to the next year.

Are there refreshments along the route?

Yes, every 2 miles or so there will be drink stations. Whilst bottled water will be available, isotonic drinks will not be handed out.

There will also be refreshments available at the finish line.

Can I wear headphones?

For safety reasons, running headphones are not permitted. Anyone found to ignore this request may be disqualified.

Do I get my race number, chip and information in advance?

Yes, all of these items will be sent to you in the post ahead of the event and you should receive them by Thursday 25th April 2019. If, by Friday, you haven't then please get in touch.

Please note that if you enter the race after 12pm on Wednesday 24th April 2019 then you will need to collect your race pack at the Information Desk (outside Debenhams) on race day.

Those who are entering from abroad are also required to collect their race pack from the Information Desk on the event day.

What facilities are available on the day?

Showers and changing rooms are provided at the finish line. For Men, these are at the District Council Pavillion and for Women, these are located at the Boat Club.

Bag storage is also available at the Sea Cadet's hut and any items left here are subject to your personal responsibility.

Toilets are available at both the start and the finish line.

Health and Safety

  • As much of the course takes place on public roads, please be conscious of any hazard such as traffic or road works.
  • No headphones are allowed.
  • Both toilets and water stations are located throughout the route.
  • Self propelled wheelchairs are not permitted along the route.
  • Subject to the Race Director's decision, athletes who wish to push wheelchairs may be allowed. Please contact the Race Director to discuss further.

Is there any medical support?

There will be doctors at the finish line (recreation ground), along with first aid from St John's Ambulance. A sports injury specialist will also be present for any injured participants at the end of the race.There's also medical support across the course.

Please make sure you are adequately prepared for the race both mentally and physically. If you are questioning your ability then please do not start the race. The Course Doctor will have the final say and if you are requested to exit the course you must abide by these instructions.

It is also advisable to check that you have suitable personal insurance coverage.

Note: It it vital that you write on the back of your race number any existing medical conditions and an emergency contact number. It is is also recommended that all runners write their name and address.


If you're looking to find out your race finish time or how another athlete did, you can check the provisional results which will be posted by the finish area. The official results will also be available to view online at a few days after the event.

If you'd like your results posted, this is also possible for the fee of £1 on the day. Further details can be found at the Information Desk.

Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon weather forecast

Light rain until evening.

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IconModerate wind possible, up to 24mph

Meet the organiser

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The Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon has been an annual event in our Rotary calendar for some 30years. It is the main fundraising event for Stratford Rotary.



Rotary Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon reviews (33)

4.7 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    Great day at the shakespeare marathon, lovely place to start and a great course going out into the countryside. Lots of water points and supporters out to help us round, everyone had a good day. Thanks
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    This was the first time I had run in either of the Rotary Shakespeare races. It is a nice course through a beautiful town, beautiful villages and beautiful countryside, the organisation is good, the Marshal's are fantastic, there are loads of water stations and toilets along the route and the supporters are wonderful. I had signed up for the Marathon but I didn't make the cut off time - 11.9 miles in 2hrs 25 minutes. It is a rigorously enforced cut off - all fine but I think you really do need to be aware when you enter so that you know what you are up against. For my first marathon I would have been better, I think, starting off more slowly and running a steady consistent pace: this race means you race in the completely opposite way. As it was although I didn't make the cut off I was running at a pace that meant I had A PB in the Half Marathon - so not all bad! I enjoyed the route but it is not flat. I quite like hills and there are a few hills /inclines with a long incline at 8/18 ish miles. Again not a problem but I think runners need to be aware. I had read in previous reviews that the Greenway was tough. This year there were plenty of water stations and support and I enjoyed it (Greenway North) . However, it is quite a rough surface especially when you are tired. I did trip and fall so take care. I was really well looked after when I fell: other runners were really kind, the Marshal's were on the case and the St John's Ambulance personnel were quickly with me and brilliant and I finished! This is a great race for your first Half-Marathon but there are definitely pros and cons if it is your first Marathon. If you are confident you can make the cut off it is fine. The advantage is that even if you can't make the Marathon you simply swap one fabulous medal for a slightly different fabulous medal.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Really like the course much more support than I was expecting, lots of water stations just thinking of the environment too many plastic bottle so alternative? Like the medal, would loved a goodie bag and a T shirt makes all the hard work worth it, would also been great with timer runners as its a good course for a PB definitely do it again
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    A very scenic and well organised race. The Marshalls were very friendly.Only slight down side for me was the last bit of the run that took you on a busy road with no room to overtake slower runners. Having said that, the rest of the course was challenging and enjoyable.In my opinion, one of the best runs ive been on. I was so impressed with the organisation and ease of parkung etc that i am seriously considering running this next year. Well done.
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    It was my first marathonI fully recommend it Good organisation lots of water stations and signs with the distance
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    Great close to home race. Did not really feel like two laps. Plenty of water stations and some support although route along a lot of rural roads. Some great scenery and good to start in the heart of Stratford.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    This is my fifth year doing this course. I like it as it takes you on a countryside run. The event isn't too big that it loses its own personality and if the weather is good can make for a great day out.
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    If you are entering the marathon check your time during training that you can do half in 2hours 25mins. Otherwise they close off the marathon 2nd lap. Was unfair for those who have trained for the marathon to have not had the chance to complete the full especially if it is your first one.
  • Did the Marathon in 2019

    I ran this marathon as my first, it was very well organised. The Marshalls were fantastic, lots of water stations and toilets along the way. The free massage at the end was amazing!!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    This was the first Half Marathon I have done, it was a great course to begin on as it was relatively flat. There was a great atmosphere with plenty of support from the locals which kept me going. I would happy do it again.
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