In short: Nice race, good atmosphere. In full: It was my first time doing bath but my 6th half overall.
It was congested at the start, yes, but not unusually so for a big race.
The marshals seemed on the ball shepherding people into the correct start area (though this was annoying for me as I was using someone else's number - naughty naughty - and he had a slower projected finish time, twas fine, I just lept the barrier, escaped my pen and walked into the next one with my friend!), but otherwise a good system.
Yes, it's hilly. Unfortunately I couldn't use that that first hill to my advantage as it was too narrow and busy to overtake and power past.
Great atmosphere though, regular music and big turnout of spectators. No PB for me, and it is hilly though I guess there is potential.
No problem with queues at the finish, though I can't comment on bag collection times as I didn't use the bag drop.
The one way system with all the barriers was really annoying at the start as I was trying to meet someone in a pub to give them by bag but got sent back and for by so many marshals who wouldn't let me past when the pub was right there!
Oh well, i'm sure I'll be back in a year or so! Date of review: March 14, 2011
In short: Superb race, very well organised In full: I don't know what's go on in previous years, but I thought this race was superbly organised and the only let down was Network Rail/First Great Western.
Yes it's busy, but that's why it draws the crowds, which is why a lot of people do this one in the first place. You can't have you cake and eat it, so to speak.
I thought the seeded start worked very well, there were plenty of toilets and the post race water/medal/goody bag/t-shirt conveyer worked very well.
I was nervous after reading reviews of previous years, but those concerns were unfounded. See you next year! Date of review: March 14, 2011
In full: Flat? Hmm . . . not so sure about that. Maybe those who claim it's flat should lobby for next year's course to include some of the river on the basis it's merely "damp"? But nasty inclines compensated by fab live music (more please). -drumming was sensational - and a great atmosphere, although I found it dispiriting to be overtaken by a girl juggler. I could take the humiliation of being passed by penguins and bananas as they were probably 25yrs younger than me, but a juggler?! Organisation at the race finish was woeful. Goody bag was (to be charitable) eccentric, but a great medal. Date of review: March 13, 2011
In short: much improved organisation in a welcoming city In full: Fourth time of running the Bath Half. After giving it a wide berth last year after horrendous organisational difficulties in '09, we were tempted back again because the atmosphere is fab. Found the organisation to be much improved, got to P&R early, and there seemed to be a greater no. of P&R buses. One criticism about organisation is that I was in the white pen (B) with an estimated finish time of 1:55 and my OH *behind* me in the green pen (D) with est. time of 1:40. What's that about? It may help to explain the frustrations at the start. Needless to say, I didn't dare go as far forward as my bib indicated!
Great support on this race, there is a wonderful atmosphere and I love that the good citizens of Bath pour out onto the streets. Great having some extra bands on the route. Only room for improvement here is to do something on that industrial stretch (Upper Bristol Road?) .. the radiocars didn't quite cut the mustard.
I know many people run with MP3s, but it's just not safe with the numbers that Bath attracts, and I appreciated the 'ban', def. noticed fewer runners plugged in in comparison to earlier years.
In short: Love Bath so will be back but not sold on the race yet In full: I have to say if this had been my first race I probably wouldn't have ever done another one. Way too crowded at start and for most of the first half of race. Lots of bad tempered competitors crammed into lanes that were too tight for at least the first lap. All you energy is taken up with finding gaps round people who have quite clearly lied about their estimated finish time. The only option left is to hurdle the cones and risk being shouted at. The whole ban on binbags to kepp warm meant that most of the course resembled a badly organised jumble sale. Having said all that, specators were great (if a little bit too keen to stand on the edge of the pavement) music was fab, bath is beautiful and atmosphere at the end of a big race is unbeatable. My advice is make a weekend of it and don't expect too much from the race. Date of review: March 10, 2011