In short: Great improvement on last year and PB for me! In full: A fabulous excuse for a weekend in Bath. Organisation was much better this year and seemed to run very smoothly - the finish area could be a bit better though but that is my only complaint.
In short: Can we please have a medal or t-shirt next year and not a rubbish glass In full: Well marshalled, perfect running weather this race continues to be a great prep race prior to spring marathons. Date of review: March 23, 2005
In short: Good well organised race, Didn't like turning right angles on grass after 20 miles of gently curving tarmac tho. But a great measure of how the marathon training is going. Date of review: March 23, 2005
In short: Vastly improved, excellently organised half marathon (like a mini London marathon now!) - thoroughly recommended for beginners, charity runners and serious PB-hunters alike In full: A complete success, and highly recommended (with a provisor - read on!). Make no mistake, 2004 was a shambles, and wouldn't have made it into my top 50. Timing was a joke, they cut corners on everything, there were queues for bags and delays sending out numbers and (as in every previous year) the race was run with traffic still flowing (or more accurately grinding to a halt and pumping out fumes) in the opposite lane. This year, in 2005, the Bath Half Marathon makes it into my Top 5 with ease. I'm hesitant to pile too much praise on the organisers because frankly it should always have been like this: it's finally lived up to its potential.
The Start: 10/10 The start was on time, and had a great atmosphere, with a PA system keeping everyone well informed, an excellent start gantry and fantastic crowds lining the awesome start down Great Pulteney Street. The comments someone made about having to wait to get through the line are plain daft; with 6500 people of course it will take some time to get through the line. Look at London for example! The comments someone made about Gun -> Tape times used to determine results are silly too: if you used chip -> tape times you'd have to do it for everyone, which means the winner of the race could start 10 minutes after the gun, treat it as a time trial, and then win the race despite finishing 9 1/2 minutes after the first person over the line. Think about it.
The Course: 9/10 The course itself was *totally* traffic free, along some of the widest roads you are ever likely to be lucky enough to experience in a race. A pure pleasure. Air felt clean too; not a hint of pollution. First mile is steady downhill slope; last mile is back up same slope; otherwise very flat. Everything well-signed (apart maybe from mile markers - I don't recall seeing any except for 4, 6 and miles - then again I was running quite hard!). Car-mounted clocks at 10km and 10miles, and a chip checkpoint at 10km.
Water Stations: 9/10 The water stations were numerous and well-manned, and interspersed with Lucozade Sport and sponge stations. I never once went wanting for a drink; indeed I turned some down! Someone criticised that water wasn't bottled. If that's important to you then fine - but for most of us water in cups is perfect!
Marshals & First Aid: 10/10 The course was plentifully marshalled throughout; a mixture of volunteers and Army. First aid posts and ambulances at posts along the route, and because the roads were so clear no race could have a better emergency response time.
The Finish: 8/10 Fantastic run in down Great Pulteney Street, crowds lining both sides. Breathtaking. Beyond line, very efficiently organised, if somewhat impersonal. Would like to see them hand the medal to finishers rather than have you walk along and having someone drop it (still in its wrapper) into your goodie bag!! Walk back to "Athletes' Village" much improved over previous years.
Results: 6/10 Provisional results posted online and published in Bath Chronicle by the next day. No sign of the 10km (and 10mile?) checkpoint splits though. Also only gun -> tape times provided; would be nice to give chip -> tape times too for informational purposes as in London.
Value: 6/10 Still pretty pricey. This year they ended the tradition of free T-shirts and replaced them with medals. The medals are excellent quality, though. Maybe a choice of T-shirt or medal would be nice. Goodie bags very average.
OVERALL: 9/10 First class race, highly, highly recommended - this is what the Bath Half Marathon should always have been had they not messed up so badly previously (last year especially). Great weather this year (as usual) too! I would thoroughly recommend it for charity runners, beginnners and PB-hunters alike - with one provisor - that they now maintain the standard. They aim to increase the number of runners from ca. 6000 to 8000 next year - I really, really hope they now maintain the standard they set this year!! Could be one of the UK's Top 5 races if they keep it up. Date of review: March 23, 2005
In short: please please mke the start bigger for next year so all competitors have a fair chance In full: dont understand why everybody is chiped?, but official times are on gun to chip times, even though it took all of the competitors 6mins to all cross the start line Date of review: March 23, 2005
In short: A great training run. Brilliantly organised. Good mix of scenery and plenty of flat and hill sections for maximum workout. In full: A great 20 mile training run. Perfect timing for London marathon training. Very well organised - plenty of mile and direction markers, marshalls with words of encouragement at every junction, drinks stations every few miles and even jelly babies somewhere in the haze between 18 and 20 miles! Tea and copious amounts of cake at the finish. A good mix of scenery and plenty of flat sections as well as some long hill sections for added stamina! Date of review: March 22, 2005
In short: Marshalls need to help beginners more In full: As last runner in the pack, felt it would have helped more for marshalls to not remove 'Runners in Road' signs while I was still on the course, and also to hang around long enough to help ensure I went the correct route, instead of missing the last 2 miles, as actually hasppened to me. Date of review: March 22, 2005
In short: Good race with improved facilities and feed stations from last year. In full: This years route was opposite way round to last years, which resulted in a slight crush and slowing down at the start. Musn't grumble though, as I knocked twelve minutes off last years time. So I'll probably be back next year. Date of review: March 22, 2005
In short: Very well organised, lovely scenery, interesting course and being a fairly slow novice wasn't a problem. Even got a mention by name as I crossed the finish line. Just not sure how far I actually ran!! One to do again. Date of review: March 22, 2005
In short: Good enough race – didn’t go for the scenery so was not disappointed during the race. The only problem was the cups of water... it can’t be that hard to get bottled water to the runners! sort that out and i may be there next year. In full: Why was the water in cups!! You grab a cup while running and by the time it has got to your mouth there is nothing left. Get sponsored by a bottled water company. Apart from that this race is good. Didn't have any problems with organisation and the course is challenging but not too hard. The nice weather helped make the day special but they should have filled the goodie bags at the end as I nearly didn't get a medal. Date of review: March 22, 2005
In short: More parking please! In full: Turned up full hour before the race, and could not park anywhere. Finally got parked and then queued for the baggage handlers (who worked their socks off). Just managed to make the start time. Please open the main car parks next year! Get there in plenty of time. Date of review: March 22, 2005