In short: Too many runners!! In full: Far too many runners!! Not sure if they lied on their form, but I overtook thousands of people and I was only in green!! Too congested in getting to the start line. More toilets were needed for ladies - the "extra toilets" they provided seemed to be only for men - I found this out after queueing for 10mins, so I had to go and queue again!!!! Finish was ok for me as I was near the top, so I did get the foil and no congestion at the end. Liked the t-shirt and good to have different sizes - not like FLM or Silverstone where everyone has XXL!! Agree on the food in the bag - needed a snack!! I will probably not be back as I found this too big for me! Glad I tried it though! Date of review: March 9, 2010
In full: Disorganised and slow start. Over-crowding at the end end meaning it was hard to walk to cool down. They ran out of Lucozade at one point and silver blankets at the end. Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Really fun run In full: I had a great time. The crowd are probably the best I've come across in any run that I've done. The other runners were really friendly and I ended up running the whole course with a lady I met at mile 2. This has been the most enjoyable half marathon I've done. There were plenty of drink stations on route and these were generally well organised.
On the downside, the end was chaotic. It was so cold and we had to stand around for a long time waiting for the medals and goody bags. I didn't see any foil blankets and with it being so cold, they really were needed! Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Excellent course, excellent support In full: This year went very well, the runners village one way entry/exit system was very good, maybe a few more signs were needed for those who weren't regulars. Drinks stations and marshalls were excellent, thank you to the cadets and scouts and cubs/brownies etc etc. I finished towards the sharp end so didn't have any problems with crowding at the finnish. A few people have mentioned the cones to separate the faster/slower runners as being a problem and I agree, were they really needed all the way round? The support most of the way around the course was excellent. I've got a pb every year for 5 years at this course I'll be back next year looking for another. Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Haven't enjoyed an event this much since FLM in 2007 In full: First the bad stuff / gripes:
The price. Â£34 to run a half marathon in these straitened times? Not steep enough to put people off though, obviously.
The transport to and from Swindon was a nightmare, nowhere near enough trains laid on. But that's not the race organisers' fault.
Really too many runners given the course but it's an extremely big city event so what do you expect?
The start and finish. Took too long to get to the start and get through the funnel at the end but at least they aren't trying to cram everyone into Great Pulteney Street any more. And why weren't the foils given out at the finish instead of just before the baggage tents?!
Nothing to eat in the goodie bag apart from flaxseed, whatever the hell that is. Where were the lovely chocolate biscuits we had two years ago? :)
The course. Dull as ditchwater best describes the scenery, but it fits the purpose in so far as it is a flat, fast course suitable for newcomers and PB-hunters.
But the positives more than make up for the negatives in my view, which would be:
The crowd support. Probably the best supported event outside of the capital and as I was carrying an injury I decided to run with friends and soak up the atmosphere rather than go for a time. The weather was perfect given the time of year, and I haven't had as much in a race since my first FLM in 2007. A huge thank you to everyone who came along to support and made this event so special.
The drinks stations. If you dehydrate in this event, it's your own fault. Well stocked and well staffed. I do wonder why there's one in the last mile however?
PB potential. The only place I've got a faster half marathon time since Bath three years ago has been at Chippenham about 18 months later.
Medal and t-shirt. The poor quality of the goodie bag notwithstanding, you do get a lovely medal and a quality t-shirt.
Did anyone mention the event takes place in Bath, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe? You might not see many of the sights during the race, but there's nothing to stop you exploring the city before or after the race.
As I say, I do have a problem with the cost of the event but I had such a great day it probably won't put me off returning next year.
And if anyone is interested in seeing what this serial reviewer actually looks like, I'm in the pictures on the bbc bristol website, the chap in the green vest next to the clown who looks like he should be on a rugby field instead of in a distance race. Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Good event. Really enjoyed myself. In full: First time I had done Bath Half. Was towards the front so did not have any problems at the end as mentioned by others, although the filtering did making passing other runners difficult at times. The atmosphere was great and so a big thank you to all the spectators who turned out - it made that last mile a lot easier! Date of review: March 9, 2010
In short: Getting better In full: The Positives: 1. The residents of Bath and supporters for creating such a great atmoshphere. Certainly noticed through the quieter stretches. 2. Ease of bag collection/drop off. 3. A flat course. 4. The water stations - thanks to the volunteers. 5. The finishing straight! 6. A two minute PB.
The Negatives: 1. Too many runners (2007 was the ideal number with about 8000 finishers) 2. No waved start. i didn't know how fast the person in front of me was looking to run so it is difficult to blame the runners for me having to check my pace in the first 2 miles. 3. Poor goody bag - something to eat other than flaxseed would have been appreciated!!!
Enjoyed the day and clocked 1:32 but was slightly disapointed not to have a bit more space to run in due to the excessive numbers. Will do it again because it is so close to home.
In short: Good atmosphere with defininte PB potential In full: The race had a really good atmosphere with big crowds lining most of the route. The course was 2 laps which were mostly flat with some nice downhill sections. The runner's village was well organised with good facilities. Nice medal and goody bag at the end. The only downside was the gathering of runners at the start was slightly disorganised and there seemed to be some very authoritarian/jobsworth marshalls that were on a powertrip. Other than that great day out. Date of review: March 9, 2010