A beautiful day in Shrewsbury, saw thousands line up for the second Shrewsbury Half Marathon.
The weather would surely take its toll on many, but as the elite runners and subsequent fun runners passed by my position on Wyle Cop, all I could think was "Go on.. keep up the great work". Something I myself have never attempted - I salute you all.
Eventual winner Paul Ward, someone I've met several times in my normal work life, arrived all alone and glided effortlessly down the tricky Wyle Cop. He was followed a few minutes later by more elite runners, and ultimately everyone else... in due course. Whilst I was there to take pictures - and I did take several as you'll see from my gallery - I found myself yelling words of encouragement and support to those coming towards me. The age range too, was vast, not that I'd even hazard a guess as to the eldest..
I do though have to commiserate, with the poor runner (from the head of the race) that was unfortunately taken the wrong way on the course. At time of writing I'm unsure what the outcome was. He was brought back up the Cop, not up Beeches Lane on to Town Walls as per the route. I mention this to raise a point - what of the runner? But also, how must that guide rider and the marshal be feeling, knowing their action (or lack of) caused one of the runners to go off course and presumably disqualified.
I have it on good authority that other marshalling faltered - with "Road Closure" marshal having no backup - one lady even being threatened, and others ignored - with cars becoming part of the live running lane..
As with all big public events, the organisers will learn from this; and I hope they do. Not from a point of ridicule, but to make this event even better. Events like this, like the recent Shrewsbury Grand Prix and even the Shrewsbury Carnival; they ALL learn whether by mistake or by committed people joining forces to help.
So to end this piece I'll summarise, Yes things to learn, Yes more patience by other road users and YES to more great events like The Shrewsbury half Marathon in this most beautiful town.