In short: The race has out grown itself. To many runners for the organisation to cope with. In full: Been going to the Bath half since mis 1900's. was a great race encouraging fast times. Now too large for the organisation. Points 45 minute walk to the start because of numbers. 30 minute wait to get through th efinish process. It was cold and runners really suffered. Why not give foil blankets with medals. Over bearing security staff stopping non runners from going to restaurants/cafes. Felt sorry for business near the race start. Why have a drink station in the last 800 metres?
A great race that is now over ambitious. There are better races this time of year. But that would not be difficult Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Not a bad big-city race but perhaps a bit too big In full: Most of the organisation I thought was pretty good - the marshals were great, especially in keeping the first and second lap runners separated and warning us of the kerb as we started the first of the two loops, and the extra drink stations on the right for the second lap were much appreciated. Crowd support was good for most of the course, and especially towards the end. The course isn't hilly, but not quite as flat as I was expecting, and the cold wind made it hard to go for a PB.
There were a couple of points where I felt the organisation could have been better. First of all, the arrangements for the White start seemed different from the others. When people were being called to the start, we weren't allowed to go through until about 30 minutes before the race began; not a problem if you know. We had the chance to warm-up on the first bit of the course, which was great; I'm not sure if there was a warm-up area for the other starts, it would be nice to know about this sort of thing beforehand, as warming up in the runners' village was difficult. The final point is the race results - the website was unusable until the early hours of this morning, even now it's slow and with limited search functionality. Surely they get the same sort of demand every year, I would have thought they would have a site that could cope, as London does.
I agree with some of the other comments: runners should line up in time order, not all club runners at the front (start time boards would have helped too), chocolate or similar would have been nice in the goody bag, and if you say you're going to ban iPods, then do so. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: A good race with a PB at the end but organisation could be better In full: Dont blame the runners for where they started. I am a 2hr30 half marathon runner and was put in the white start. Why? Was this because I am an affiliated club runner, I stated quite cleary in my application my estimated time and expected to be in the last pen as is usual for me. It puts a lot of pressure on me knowing there are 12000 runners behind me, many of which will be frustrated by my pace. Please, organisers, use estimated times when allocating start pens.
Finish a disaster! over 25 minutes from finish line to leaving the medal/goodie bag funnel, and I didn't even see any blankets so got very cold.
No where near enough toilets in the runners village, or maybe there were but they were too well hidden.
Why were the no MP3 rules not envoked? What is the point of a rule if you are not going to uphold it?
Good crowd support and marshalls around the course, nice medal and T Shirt and always pleased to get a PB! :-) Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Okay! In full: This was my first half marathon and I got 1.48.20, so I was really pleased. I haven't got anything to compare it to as it's my first, but there were some things I didn't think were great they've already been pointed out by a lot of other reviewers. I don't think it's very suitable for a 15,000 entrant race to have two laps. It means bottle necking for the first lap being repeatedly told to keep left and trying to avoid tripping over cones. I'm not the fastest runner and put myself pretty much at the back (orange E), but found myself really struggling to get past a lot of other slower people. The end also seemed pretty silly regarding getting the foil blankets - it was the second last thing to collect and it was a very cold wind blowing, surely they should be given out immediately? Also, we were told there would be more trains laid on, but the one I went home on was a crush. And considering Bath is such a beautiful city, the route was relatively drab if I'm honest! Good things were a pretty informative e-mail update service from registering. And the crowd. Thanks crowd! Great support. The medal was pretty nice too! I enjoyed it as a whole and may be back as it's pretty close to me! I do appreciate these things are hard work to set up and it's easy to criticise, but hopefully the organisers will read the reviews and learn. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: The crowds as always make this race. No delay this year so that was a plus. Signage was poor. In full: Thankfully they managed to start the race on time this year. Sounds simple but the last two years have been delayed. Finding my way to the start line was the biggest problem, start/finish sign posted here but it actually wasn't there but here :S The start was fine for me, goody bag needs a snickers or mars bar for me to like it! getting out of the runners village was a pain in the bum as my legs were so tired and again there was no signage. My parents got stuck on the inside of Queens Square so missed me finish while they waited for a break in the runners, so don't watch from in there unless you want to be there for the entire duration. But all in all a good race and much better that previous years. Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Loved it despite a few organisation problems .... In full: Well I loved this race, the atmosphere & support was incredible & made the race fly-by for me. Think I was in the right pen for me, although did spend a lot of time weaving around people. I think there's always going to be a few problems with such a large race, but I got to the start in plenty of time, with old warm clothes on so not too bad. My only major gripe was at the end, shuffling along like sheep for 20mins to get back into the runners village, managed to pick up water & lucozade, but was freezing cold & watched the last foil blanket being handed out - not happy! Foil blankets are as essential as water, hand them out immediately, the chips & goody bags can wait! Having said that, I'm still on a high & will definitely do it next year :) Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Too many people - poor organisation In full: I managed to do a PB 1:38 so I missed most of the bottle neck other reviewers mention. I friend finsished in 1:52 and got stuck behind the Rugby Club in the cold for 45 mins, like sardines freezing cold. People collapsing because of cramp.
Garmin said 13.25 due to zig zagging to get some space, first 3 miles really held me up. Agree with another reviewer not as flat as most claim, although Bath is very hilly in the main, so cant complain about that.
Medal and Tee are good quality but rest of goodie bag was crappy free bees that end up straight in the bin.
Excellent atmosphere - huge thanks to the crowds and the massive numbers of Marshalls - thanks!!
Enjoyed the experience of big numbers and big crowds but will be sticking to smaller club organised events in the future - much better organsation and less hanging around before and after.
In short: Glorious blue skies ,an interesting race ! In full: My first Bath half , loved it , somehow managed a pb ! Lack of signage at start , loads of toilets , no queues i think people missed them . My shoes got caked in mud getting to orange start ! Held back for 10 mins , not a problem so long as you keep your old clothes on ! Once waited 40 mins to start the great north !! Really enjoyed the route , more undulating than i was expecting . Cones ??!! really dangerous hazard No lucozade left when i really needed it !! Crazy lady with tannoy driving past too quickly to hear, very distracting !! No blanket at end , stuck standing still in bottle neck !! Loved warming up in the park , watching some guys warming up ! One turned out to be the winner !! Date of review: March 8, 2010
In short: Yet again the organisers got it wrong spoiling an otherwise good race In full: The course is great, the atmosphere is great, but the access is terrible. Yet again, after running a half marathon you are herded like sheep with no room to stretch out and recover properly. Getting in and out of runners village is difficult, especially now with the one way system, and there was nowhere near enough toilet provisions within. The organisers know how many people of each sex have entered; how hard can it be?! It ruins what would otherwise be a tip-top event. I won't be running again next year. Date of review: March 8, 2010