Olympics inspire Shrewsbury's first ever marathon event

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

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

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).

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