In short: My first Half and what a great way to start. Crowd support was fantastic and couldn't fault the organisation. In full: Great setting. Great crowd. Great organisation. My first Half and I'll be back again next year. No trouble getting into or out of the City centre by car. It was crowded for the first mile - didn't expect anything else, but I still managed to set out too fast. Downhill start for the first mile was welcome - but not so good coming back into the finish! Not pancake flat, but who wants to run a boring flat race anyway? No problem following the route or spotting the mile markers - except the first one. Incredible support from the crowd, which stretched almost all the way around the course. A great event to start with and keen to come back next year and repeat the experience. Date of review: March 17, 2012
In short: Has a better reputation than it deserves In full: I've done this race twice, '08 and '12.
It's not that quick - as others have mentioned there are plenty of courses out there that are quicker.
It's not that accurate - a common gripe from GPS wearers is that a particular course is short, long etc etc. Bottom line is that everyone on connect.garmin has this race as long by ~100-300m. I've no doubt the course was accurately measured, I just think that there's no way to run the "racing line" owing to the fact that the course is divided on the second lap.
It's not that cheap - in fact, it's not cheap at all, the only reason I did it this year is because I could get a free entry because I'm an old git. Absolutely astonishing that any half in the UK could charge roughly 10 quid more than the London marathon. Is it really more expensive to put a 1/2M on in Bath than it is to put on a marathon in London???
It's not that well marked - maybe I'm blind, but the only mile markers I saw were 3M, 10M and 11M, hardly ideal, unless you're wearing a GPS, in which case you're bugg3rd in any case (see above).
Other than that, great race, see you all next year, providing I can get a free entry ;-) Date of review: March 16, 2012
In short: UNDULATING! And queue up for the start EARLY if you don't want to get stuck in the 4-mile long bottleneck In full: I too would like to emphasise the fact that for a city run, this can not be labelled flat!! I did get a PB - but it was my first ever half marathon (1hr50)! but i was stuck in the bottle-neck at the back for the first 4miles, attempting to weave in and out where possible, eventually mounting the pavement and running full-pelt into the side of a portaloo... results could be displayed better online, as you are ranked by the big clock and not your chip, but we didn't cross the start line till 9 minutes past. the data should either be manipulable by the 'sort' button, or rank you in terms of time actually taken to run the race. i thought it would be the best day ever but i couldn't connect with the race on the day. Date of review: March 16, 2012
In short: Great race... not so sure about value! In full: This is the third year i have run bath, and i came out with a great PB! The race and the atmosphere is great. The one problem is the cost, and value for money. I know races are getting more expensive as the popularity increases, but only a few years ago this race was £30, now next years event has been advertised at an 'early bird discount' of £39! There was not a lot in the goody bag, and i actually think the medal has got worse, they do give a top, but this year all they had was large cotton ones (and this is not what was left over, this is all the started with). Lucazade were there sponsors again but did not have their tent this year as it was at Silverstone, they gave out drinks, but were in very short supply of bars/gels, in fact i did not get any and i turned up 2 hours before race start! Overall, i am not entirely sure if this race is worth it any more... UNDECIDED for next year! Date of review: March 14, 2012
In short: Brilliant race, getting expensive though In full: This was my fourth year running the Bath Half and it is definitely one of my favourite races. The atmosphere and organisation is always great and it is definitely the course to run a PB on (not pancake flat but no major undulations). However, the race is getting very expensive. In 2010 the entry fee was £30, 2011 it went up to £34 and this year it increased to £37 (even more if unaffiliated). For this kind of money you would expect a technical t-shirt, but all you get is a size large cotton shirt that is too big to wear. If the price increases again I definitely won't run it next year- shame really because every other aspect of the race is spot on.
In short: Excellent sunny race but a bit congested In full: My second running of bath half marathon and two things stand out from last year. This year it was subtropical where as last year it was pure brass monkey weather. Last year it was less congested in the first few miles where as this year it was rammed. I did not enjoy the near self inflicted orchidectomy I nearly suffered about mile three from a hidden cone. That said it was a wonderful day made by the bordering on the bonkers support from the locals who are the best crowd anywhere in the country for running. The organization is superb and everyone is friendly. Why people have iPods on for this race amazes me as there so many great things to see and music all over the place why shut your self off? I was slightly slower this year than last probably because of congestion at the start and will certainly be in my pen earlier next year(bladder allowing). Thanks bath and thanks to bath race course park and ride as well. I expect snow next year if the weather is anything to go on! Date of review: March 14, 2012
In short: Favourite half, in my favourite city! In full: Another brilliant Bath Half this year. Course, as many have said is not exactly flat, although is definately designed for speed! The atmosphere along the way is superb, and the people of Bath turned out en masse to cheer us 12000 on (the fact it was a beautiful March day didn't hurt I imagine)Kicking back in Thermae Bath Spa afterwards further helped to round off a top race. Back next year without fail! Date of review: March 13, 2012
In short: Great atmosphere, lovely city, fab crowd support, dull, NOT FLAT course In full: 1st time at Bath Half and will be last. Main points summarised above. Too expensive, too crowded, even for the elite runners, of which i was one, and yes, too narrow and dangerous in some areas, as others have said.
Having said that, the 'runners village' was well stocked and everything in terms of organisation for getting around seemed quite good. Always gonna be diffcult to get perfect for an event of this size and in a major, busy city.
The course route is DEFINITELY NOT FLAT. I had to emphasise that, as reading other comments one would assume that it is flat and good PB potential. It isn't! I've races in many events and on all terrain and distances over many years. I know the difference in flat and undulating and hilly. Be warned! If you are a serious club runner or someone who really wants to achieve a good time, there are many other events out there that will offer you the chance to achieve your goal. And they are definitely flat and a fraction of the entry price for Bath Half.
Fab atmosphere and brilliant crowd support make this a really enjoyable event for the majority of non-competitive and charity runners.
Final issue: if you planning on doing the event, then plam to make a day or weekedn of it as trying to get out of the city using any form of transport that has to negotiate the course an absolute nightmare!! I used the park and ride. I finished the race in 80 mins. I didn't get out of the city until after 3pm. The Council refused to open parts of the course to allow buses, etc to cross, even though there were clearly no runners in sight on the course. Bad decision-making on their part caused a great deal of unnecessary delay and frustration, made worse by having to sit on a bus for almost an hour as the fantastic driver attempted to get out of the city. Yes, i could have walked, but would anyne really want to walk 2-3 miles all uphill after this event? Very few would.
In short: Good course, great support In full: I've run this race for 6 of the last 7 years and always enjoy it. As most have said the support is excellent for most of the way round and the water stations were very well run. Even the start was ok for those nearer the front. A couple of niggles, they seem to have tried to divide the course up at more places to allow for the second lap runners to come through and this has actually made things worse. In Queens Square it was really tight and my family who were spectating there said that runners were falling over the cones and trying to go over and under the tape as the main bulk of people were forced to a walking pace. This is no good at nearly 2 miles into the course and previously it hasn't been a problem at this point. Another point, the pre race leaflet said that mile markers would be sprayed on the road which I thought was a really good idea. Were they there? I didn't see them and if they were there I would say they were too small. The mile marker signs are still too small as well, can we have them bigger please, maybe a column of balloons or something similar. The course always records long on GPS watches so proper mile markers are really important for those runners running to a pace. Date of review: March 13, 2012