In short: Love Bath, love the crowds, good for a PB In full: I live in Bath and so I'm a little bias! The organisation was really good, it is well signposted to the runners village, lots of facilities, good entertainment coverage on the route.
I never noticed the mile markers but I know the route so I didn't really need them. The course follows the main road in and out of Bath (towards Bristol) so not the prettiest in Bath and you don't take in the sites en route but you can enjoy all that Bath offers after the race!!
I was in the white section but must admit there were many runners in this section which were much slower and perhaps shouldn't have been in there. It made it a little tricky at the start where I would have expected to go out fast but instead had to duck and dive around lots of people!
Lots of drink stations, jelly babies littered the streets afterwards and a nice goody bag to follow. I like the medal and the fact you are sent you name and time to stick on it afterwards which is a nice memento especially if you get your PB which I managed to. The t-shirt is a tent though. It's a size large, but seriously it's wide enough to fit two of me in there!!
In short: Only Bath can get away with steep prices and oversized T shirts In full: For a half, it is very expensive, but there is something very special about the Bath Half - i've been running if for 9 years (yes lets not mention 2008). Lovely atmosphere, great crowds and the pre and post shopping and eating in the city is second to none. My BIG bugbear is the size of the T shirt - do they think runners are all super sized? I've been throwing my out every year and complaining every year. For the entry fee can't you sort out small sizes for normal runners? Date of review: March 8, 2013
In short: Excellent race, brilliant atmosphere but expensive In full: Really enjoyed this race, mostly due to the huge crowd support. Really made my day - spectators along nearly all of the course and 3-4 deep in some areas. The two laps were fine and it was exciting to watch the elites come past on the other side of the road. Organisation seemed fine, I did not have to queue long for anything such as baggage drop or chip removal. Only thing was that the little information booklet mentioned a Sunday Church service in the runner's village yet no'one seemed to know where this was help so i missed this. Great course, mostly in the city but some quieter areas out of the main roads. Only issue which probably slowed a lot of faster runners was the orange start line was huge and did not have any "sub-pens". Those nearest the start were simply the people who got there first, not the faster orange runners. Probably a lot of later arrivers getting slowed down by people in front! Plenty of drinks (lucozade sport orange 350ml bottles and water, 330ml bottles) although it was a bit frustrating that if you were running the first lap, you were not allowed a drink from the station on the other side of the road where the 2nd lap runners came through. Can see why they did this, but saw a lot of thirsty runners get refused a drink because it was "2nd lap runners only!". Goody bag was nice, the tee-shirt was a large one-size cotton. Medal is a nice smart one. Also got a space blanket, lucozade and water.
I think perhaps get there early as I did as, as it did appear to get very busy later on.
Expensive but well worth it. It was nice to have 2 nights in Bath and I recommend going to the thermal spa afterwards!! Date of review: March 8, 2013
In short: Excellent Half!! In full: I am surprised to see some of the negative comments here. I wondered if I ran a different race. I absolutley loved this half marathon. From the moment I arrived at the station it felt very organised. Sign posted all the way to the runners village. Overall I felt it was quite flat with a few little challenges along the way. The crowds were brilliant. I thought the goodie bags were good too. I got a PB which I wasnt at all expecting so I will most definitely will be back next year. Date of review: March 7, 2013
In short: Awful organisation In full: I am new to half marathons and put down an honest appraisal of my expected time (1h55), although following training realised I could do it a lot quicker. Based on this I found myself in the orange group and spent all 2 hours of the race queued behind the hundreds (if not thousands) of 3+ hours runners (having to walk at stages cos the route was so crowded). A total waste of all my training and my time reflected this. Surely anybody doing 2 hours or less should not be lumped in with the charity 3+ hours crowd. Date of review: March 5, 2013
In full: Positives are mostly good organisation, very good crowd support especially given how cold the day was, and a fairly flat course. The most irritating thing for me was it was so crowded so often that I seldom got into a rhythm. I was an orange start but keen and capable of breaking 2 hours. I was dodging some people already walking within the first mile. Easily solved by more colours or signs for different times at the start. Date of review: March 5, 2013
In short: Quick course, good organisation, expensive. In full: I was placed in the "white" section hoping for a fast getaway, and this was what happened. No problems with bunching, straight into a good pace. I've seen the other comments on garmin GPS estimations on length of course and mine also read it as 200-400 metres over. Interestingly my garmin read 2.2 miles at the 2 mile mark and maintained the extra 0.2 right to the end. I did get a PB however so I'm pleased. The crowds were good and would have been greater but for a very cold day. The course was lovely in the city,less scenic elsewhere, but I'm pleased it didnt head up towards Lansdown which would have blown the PB! My experience was that this was a well organised flattish city half-marathon with definite PB potential. It is very expensive however. I wonder whether the organisers could say more about the measurement of the course, given the number of comments about its accuracy. Date of review: March 5, 2013
In short: Very very very expensive!!!! In full: Its difficult to give this an accurate review as I was running with a friend who was completing her first half, and so I had a steady jog round rather than a real race. However, it ticked all the boxes for a first half marathon experience a lot of crowd support, a big race feel etc.
However, £46 entry is far too steep. No technical T Shirt, nothing special in the goody bag, and a very boring and small medal. With the exception of a couple of bottles of lucozade on the course, I didn't see where the extra pounds on the entry were spent. Especially with a 2 lap format this even limited the amount of road closures required. I can see the potential for a PB on this course but there are other significantly cheaper halves that offer comparable courses.
For the entry fee I would expect a much better post race experience, long queues for bags, dechip and having to grab a space blanket (if you spotted them) rather than being handed one. Then to top it all off we ended up having to get a taxi back to the park and ride as the queues for the bus were staggering (and we weren't the only ones!)
If I'd spent £25 on this race I would be happy, but given the price I expected a lot more, sorry Bath! Great for those running there first few halves, for everyone else I'd look for something cheaper! Date of review: March 4, 2013
In short: Expensive. Crowded at start. Doesn't really show-off Bath. But fast and fun! In full: I've run this a three times now and it was probably the smoothest running edition. (Let's not mention 2008...) Great atmosphere, brilliant crowds on most of the course and the route is genuinely quick. Really crowded at first though, so if you want a fast clock time then make sure you're as close to the front as possible! Had to queue for just a little too long to get my bag back - it was cold, wind it up! It's expensive too... But I still really enjoyed it! Date of review: March 4, 2013