Shakespeare Half-Marathon - A Report From the Ground by Stagetext Deputy Chair Tim Hardy
"It’s not just elite runners these days who have to cope with off-course distractions of media commitments, meeting the sponsors and the rest, over and above getting to the start on time, making sure one’s wearing the right shoes, taken on board the right amount of carbs, liquids etc and generally ready for the challenge ahead.
It was amazing how easily Izzie, Amelia, Simon and Sophy, sporting Stagetext colours for the day, each seemed to take things in their stride last Sunday, especially when for the three girls they were both course and distance debutantes, but then Team Harrison-Hall was providing some intrepid back-up!
While Giles was undertaking team support duties, navigating the perils of both the course, the river and jostling with other competitors for elbow room, all upon a fifty-year old pedal cycle, Liz, having ensured her charges were duly delivered to the start line, still found time, also wearing a Stagetext T-shirt, to take coffee with Stagetext CEO, Melanie at the RSC’s The Other Place, overcome the disappointment of an aborted pre-start BBC Midlands interview broadcast with the team, and yet still secure a plug for Stagetext over the race announcer’s tannoy, all reported by pre-race text to myself and Angie as we shot our way up the M40 and being directed faultlessly to the crowded, sun- drenched green swathes of the banks of the Avon and to the finishing line where the runners were expectantly awaited.
With almost indecent haste, but looking cool as a cucumber, Simon was the first of the four home, with a remarkable time of 1hr 43 minutes for the 13 plus mile course, modestly informing those enquiring that he had been pretty pleased with his run, which happened to be his personal best over the distance. So he should have been. It was not long before Izzie, then Amelia each sneaked home ahead of the 2hr mark: Izzie with a beaming smile (saying she could have managed a bit further) and Amelia also smiling (just!). Perhaps the most heroic performance came from Sophy with more effort than would have been summoned by most, overcoming a painful injury to her leg, but completing the course just the same in a still highly commendable time.
With over £1,000 raised from generous sponsors (twice the original target) it meant that for every mile each of the runners managed they raised an invaluable £20 for Stagetext funds. Equally importantly, across the Avon from the RSC in the heart of Shakespeare Country, where Melanie had been attending a captioned performance of Julius Caesar
the night before, the name and role of Stagetext was made more familiar to many more in the area, which may hopefully serve as a boost to the awareness of, and attendances at, many a captioned performance in the future. All in all quite a performance in itself, for which Stagetext is both hugely grateful and proud and one hopefully inspiring more of its kind from well-wishers and supporters in the coming year."
- Tim Hardy, Deputy Chair, Stagetext Board of Trustees