In short: A really great big race feel without the excessive crowding of an event like the GNR. In full: Every time I do a race it astonishes me on the runners world website how we love to moan, wrong sort of water, wrong size bottles, no bottles at all, start not organised,finish not organised - it goes on and on.
Whilst constructive criticism is alway good we must bear in mind that marshalls and organisers are largely volunteers and really can do without the vitriol - otherwise they won't continue volunteering so we can enjoy their towns and cities.
As a result of the above I always try to look on the positive with a race.
With the Bath Half I don't need to try to look - everything was great, the runners village, the time pens, the course, the marshalls, the reggae band, the support, the finish, everything.
Would I do it again, no, but not not because I didn't enjoy - I feel that these races are something that should only be experienced once (it's a way of seeing the country / world) but it's one I would strongly recommend to anyone who said they wanted to do a half. Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: A must do race if your running London in the near future. In full: A fantastic race for me as knocked 8 minutes off my pb running in at 1:42:53! Very cold day and a big blustery wind that stalked you around the course, and suddenly appeared in your face on all the uphill sections?? which made you have to dig in hard. The scenery was very dull and even though the spectators and marshalls did their best it lacked the big race atmosphere you would expect with 5000 plus runners held in a city, Did the goody bags vary as mine had tshirt,medal,water,lucozade drink and recovery bar,and a fruit bar, which i thought was well good, so dissapointed for those who had less in their bags, Overall a well organised race with good facilites and fantastic as a pre-London build up run. Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Excellent Well Organised Race In full: Excellent Well Organised, Plenty Of Water And Lucozade, Great Atmosphere, Fast First Half, But Challenging Hill After About 8 Miles, Ideal Race For A PB, Highly Recommended Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Well organised and great support. A top day out!! In full: My first half and everything I hoped a big event would be. Very well organised with plenty of water stops, and an enthusiastic crowd to keep you going. Nice goody bag at the end and a medal to be proud of!! Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Great way to spend Sunday lunchtime! In full: Really enjoyed it today; true there could have been more water stops and also true that the nature trek through the woods to the start, whilst not unpleasant probably wasn't totally necessary. Overall though a nice race, very smooth organisation, above average support (for a town marathon) and some really nice countryside to race in. Didn't get a PB but that's probably more to do with a heavy day at the footie yesterday rather than the course's time potential. Then took advantage of one of Fleet's Asian restaurants for a delicious carbo replenishment session. A great way to spend a Sunday lunchtime, oh and a nice medal too! Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Great First Half In full: Nice country lanes, only minor undulations. Pleanty of spectators over first/last half-mile, and a few enthusiastic groups dotted along route. Well marshalled, drinks stations etc. Small quibble was the queue for the loos (took me 20 mins, and nearly missed the start!). Only took 30mins to get off car-park afterwards, which I thought was quite good considering. Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: A great race with a congested start !!! In full: Found the start a bit choked with runners who should have been further back on the start queue but other than that this race was great race for speed and a change in scenery ie town and country and even a wee bit of canal too. Definate next year !!! Date of review: March 20, 2006
In short: Good race, good weather, I wonder if the race is hitting it's maximum number of entrants. In full: I had a great time,my second at Bath. I was running with a deafblind friend which gave me a very different perspective. I felt that with the much increased number of entrants over previous years that the runners village on the rec became very congested. I might not have thought so had I not been guiding a deafblind guy but worth comment anyway.
I thought the start worked great for us. We did make a concerted effot to get up there early so we were not fighting for our place but I didnt find it as congested as I had feared.
I may just be a boring old git, but I find the aerobics style warm-ups a complete waste of time other than a bit of a laugh. I giess it will settle nerves for first-timers and helps pass a bit of time whilst everyone waits to get going but not convinced of the physical benefit when it finishes 10 minutes before the race gets underway.
There are certainly more drinking stations than my last entry in 2003 which is good even if I didn't use them all. Better to have the option. I can appreciate that some would feel there was a certain amount of wastage but that is a very hard balance for the organisers to find.
There seemed to be more complete road closures too i.e. both lanes instead of only one side. This was great for the most part but I couldn't help thinking how out of proportion it becomes when several thousand of us move over tight into the left side to allow a tiny handful of elite runners through. I've no idea what the answer id for that as they need to get through just like the wheelchairs and ambulances but just means that for 99% of the time only half the road is congested with runners while the other half is completely empty. Any ideas anyone?
Mile markers could definitely benefit from being raised.
At the drink stations is there ever any opportunity to sweep up between laps as they did seem to get very messy and potential trip hazards scatterring the road. This was certainly true for Charlie, my deafblind friend as I had no chance of weaving him a clear path! I guess the wheelchairs would have found this tricky too.
Finally, race director is there any chance you can keep the great downhill section in the first mile as we descend Pulteney Road and then reverse the gradient on the return as plodding up the hill towards the end is horrendous. I'm sure lots of people will disagree with many of my points but everyone would like to see a miracle of engineering for the last half mile!!! Date of review: March 19, 2006
In short: Flawless organisation In full: The London Marathon organisation just gets slicker and slicker... Across the start line in under 10 seconds, and off. Sefton Park is a good venue - be nice if the council resurfaced the roads though - bit pot holey at times.
Nice fast first half - and thanks to the Steel Drum band - didnt see you, but it was a good atmosphere. Hill coming back up was a good test of the legs, and then back into the park, so you knew what to expect.
The cadets looking after the bags were fantastic - bag back in seconds, and they wish you luck at the beginning too. Shuttle buses were good - the council should do a bit more for visitors though - put up some great big signs to the car parks from the major routes into the city perhaps ? And also do something to get the runners into the city - pasta party or summat the night before. Grab them whilst you can. Definitely do it again. Date of review: March 19, 2006
In short: A tough race - 20 miles a long way for me. Hills gradual rather than challenging - but they gave the lungs a workout! Really friendly marshalls and fantastic goody bag. Thank you! Date of review: March 19, 2006
In short: Great race shame about the T shirts In full: Once again my home town has come up trumps. My only gripe is that all the T shirts are extra large. Are all runners oversized Date of review: March 19, 2006
In short: Brilliant day. Well organised. Great support. In full: My 1st half after a year of doing 10K'S. Really enjoyed it. All very well organised with lots of spectator support - electric atmosphere. Would definitely do it again. Date of review: March 19, 2006