Olympics inspire Shrewsbury's first ever marathon event

Like millions of others I spent a glorious summer swept up in that wonderful disease that was Olympic fever writes Dave Burrows.

Mo Farah
Will Mo Farah inspire you to try Shrewsbury's new marathon?

My miserable, cynical facade fell away as I screamed at the TV over things like rowing - a sport I would never normally consider watching on TV even if the only alternative was Celebrity Pets Do The Funniest Things On Ice (I won't even go and watch Shrewsbury Regatta if it's raining).

I was on the edge of my seat when Peter Wilson put perfectly innocent clay pigeons to death with his shotgun and even sat gripped as Charlotte The Garden took Gold in Strictly Come Horse Riding.

When it came to events in the Olympic Stadium, I pitied my poor neighbour. The cheers I reserved for Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah were deafening.

But then it ended. And what were we left with?

The Olympic legacy was supposed to be to 'inspire a generation'. But did they?

Well yes, it seems it did.

We have already seen reports of sports clubs enjoying a surge in membership and now, such is the popularity of running, it seems, that Shrewsbury is to host its first ever marathon.

You only have to look at events like the London showpiece and the Great North Run half marathon to see how popular these events are. I'm not suggesting Shrewsbury's will be as big, but I have no doubt all places on offer will be swallowed up.

And the organisers have come up with a route that is about as spectator-friendly as its possible to be. Whilst I'm kind of disappointed that there will be four laps (as an old distance runner I can tell you that what you want is different scenery, not the same scenery several times) I can't see how organisers could have done it any other way.

The event will start and finish in the Quarry, which I think everyone would agree is the town's greatest asset and which I believe is woefully underused and take in pretty much all of the town centre. That should give thousands of people the chance to encourage the hundreds of people I would expect to be pounding the streets. And let's be honest, there aren't many more picturesque town centres than ours.

It is to be hoped the Olympic legacy - those great days when we all started believing in real role models and not pseudo-celebrities - will inspire the people of Shrewsbury - and Shropshire - out onto the streets, whether it be to take part or simply to cheer those taking part on. Remember lining the streets for the Olympic Torch when that came through the town? Remember how much FUN that was?

Hats off to the organisers. I've been involved in the most minor of ways in organising races myself in the past and it is no mean feat.

Let's all get behind this event and make it an annual date on the calendar.

Who knows. I might even have a go myself.

(I wish I hadn't said that).

Comments for: "Olympics inspire Shrewsbury's first ever marathon event"

Dawley Dave

Personally, I have no interest in sport and didn't even care about the Olympics. I was in Shrewsbury centre just before the torch came through and rushed home to avoid it. I'd seen fire before and wasn't going to stand around to cheer a flame!

On the other hand, a Marathon in Shrewsbury!

This is the sort of thing I would expect the town to do well. It should be good for the town too, bringing in people to take part nd showing off its charm.

I haven't run for years and am not sure my body could ever be ready to run a marathon again. I ran the Telford ones in the 80s, but now I would be considered a "veteran", if not "geriatric". Yet, having just heard about this, I can feel my pulse racing (I assume that's what it is. It's been a long time).

I hope other people feel as excited as me and that it lives up to my expectations.

Teresa Tanner

I hope this works for Shrewsbury, having been involved with the Potteries marathon, they have now gone to half marathons for whatever reasons. The Stoke ones were always held around Father's day, so the week before this one is. Increased the number of casualties no end as it was always too hot!! I think though we've seen the last of Flaming June in England.

Good luck!!