In short: Great race and atmosphere but probably too expensive for the experience. In full: My home Half-marathon and a really enjoyable experience with a PB :)
Lots of regular info in lead up to the race via facebook and email, so kept fully informed about conditions etc.
Race day was very chilly but plenty of supporters to cheer you round - thanks to all the volunteers you really make the difference!
I like the two lap course as you really know what to expect and seeing the elite go whizzing by is always impressive. I do feel though that there should be more colour bands according to predicted times - the congested first mile doesn't doesn't help this as there was lots of weaving and overtaking not great for the faster or slower runners.
Finish was well organised and I was able to collect my bag quickly.
Loved the experience and want to repeat it but it all depends on the price!
Husband and children took part in Family Fun Run and enjoyed the experience - kids were slightly disappointed that they did not get a goody bag as they previously have done, although they were grateful for the sweets.
Hope to be back next year :) Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: fantastic day! In full: this was my first half marathon and i have to say how much i enjoyed it! i was really dreading it on the morning of the race but loved it as i got into the zone. was so cold at the beginning but soon warmed up after mile 2! beautiful scenery and energetic crowd. definitely coming back next year! Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: I had high hopes but overall felt a little disappointed In full: I had high hopes for this, but felt a little disappointed at the end. It's the most expensive half I have done but I didn't feel a sense of value. For me, negatives which the organisers could address would be the lack of pacemakers, a very congested course and splits at 10k only. I felt I could have posted a quicker time but due to the two lap arrangement the course feels pretty narrow throughout and there are several points where it's so congested you are held up by other runners. There were quite a few supporters, but they weren't exactly vocal and versus others I have run the atmosphere for runners was the weakest, but of course the organisers aren't responsible for that! Bath is a gorgeous city but the route doesn't show it off much (twice along the dull Bristol Road), but at least the inclines are gentle...
Plusses - at the finish it was very easy to have your chip removed and collect your goodie bag. Glad I've done it but don't think I'll do it again. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Lovely busy race In full: What a chilly morning, but a splendid race. Park and ride worked well, maybe too well as at one point the guys managing the queues said there were 600 people waiting to get on buses - and at 9.30 they made the sensible decision to prioritise runner rather than let the supporters on. Well done whoever made that call! The race was very well supported, lovely amount of people cheering on. Only annoying part was that by every one of the Heart FM gazebos the floor was absolutely deep in discarded jelly babies that you could either try to dodge around (and crash into other runners) or run over and end up with them mashed in the bottom of your shoes ...eughhh. I chose the latter. Super race though, I'll be back next year
In short: Worth doing at least once in your life In full: First of all, this is the most expensive race I have ever entered and I've run plenty of half marathons over the years. What you get in return is a pretty well organised race with plenty on offer.
I found the 2 lap course both an advantage and disadvantage. It was a positive because after the first lap, my buddy and I found we could push much harder in the second lap because we knew what was coming up, taking full advantage of the downhill sections and so on. My spectators that came to watch me also preferred the system because they were able to see me twice; there was also a constant flow of action to see without any large gaps in between. The big disadvantage is that the system wasn't enforced so people were all over the place with one idiotic marshal actually riding his bike right in front of the Lucozade station, blocking loads of runners from grabbing a bottle!
The course had far more undulations than I expected, though I still felt it was a fast course and certainly PB potential to be had. The start desperately needs sorting out, perhaps into waves and people need to put themselves in the right pens when starting out. I was in the last white pen and there were people around me clearly running slower than 9 minute miles when I was running at 7:30 minute miles, bang on target pace to get into that group.
The goodie bag was decent and the system to get people away from the finish area and de-tagged was also efficient.
It is quite an expensive event to enter and is currently the priciest event I've run at so far. You do get a lot for your money and I imagine the road closures are probably the most expensive element, especially with all the cars I saw being towed away on Saturday!
All in all, I'm very pleased I decided to enter and it's one of the best spring half marathons in the UK at the moment. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Good but expensive In full: Second time I've done this and enjoyed the day again. Probably the fastest half-marathon course I've run and another PB confirmed that. Fantastic support and really good atmosphere. Pretty expensive for a half. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Course was 13.24 on Garmin In full: My main problem was that my Garmin measured the course at 13.24. I posted on their FB page and 6 others had exact same distance. This means it couldn't be due to weaving. Same happened last year at Brighton 1/2, all the Garmins were correct, eventually they admitted course was 0.4 miles too long. Apart from this fairly major alleged problem, it was well organised, a bit congested and really cold even after 10 miles of running. I got a good PB so am chuffed. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In full: Support around the course was great, especially the bands and HeartFM cars. Slightly more undulating than expected, and definitely longer than 13.1 miles by my watch anyway. Not a big deal for those running for fun, but important if you are trying to carve seconds off your best. I had it 400m long - maybe a bit of GPS error, maybe I lost the racing line somewhere - or maybe the course really is a little bit long. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: An OK race which could be better! In full: I was fortunate to receive a good for age free place, so thank you for that. As someone who is also involved in organising a race there are a few things which I do hope will be seen as constructive. With such a large field over two laps the mile markers are very small, & often not even close to the markers on the road! There is an accident waiting to happen unless ALL the marshalls work together & keep the guys on the first lap to the left of the cones when some of us hit the second lap. Hats off to everyone, from the quickest to the slowest, but much of my second lap was spent watching other runners as I tried to run the shortest line! Race info could be much improved. The little race day guide had a map of the village which told us where the rugby ground was but not the baggage tent! I was lucky enough to pick up an age group prize, & had emailed the organisers beforehand with questions. I was rather peeved to find that after waiting around in the cold for ages that only the elite awards were being presented & the rest would be posted. Hats off to these fast guys, but hey, you wouldn't have much of a race with the other 9000 plus runners! Yes, I will come back, & the support on a freezing cold morning was amazing. Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Great race but busy In full: The only down side to Bath is the number of entrants mean the route can get congested and the start is slow. If you can get over that a really good run with a lot of support Date of review: March 3, 2013