In short: Expensive, but good fun.T-shirt issue sorted! In full: Had a great time despite the no so great weather. The crowds really made the event, cheering all the way and more jelly babies than you could eat in a month! Slight grievance about being stood around waiting in a long queue to get medals and goody bags/ T-shirt. The goody bag was fantastic though, with plenty of food and drink. Shame the price is so steep, but worth doing at least once, with a really quick course! Date of review: March 5, 2014
In short: Best Half Going! In full: I have run quite a few big city 1/2s (Brighton, Birmingham, Royal Parks, Reading, Run to the Beat, Ealing) - but Bath is by far and away the best half marathon of them all! 2014 was a cold, drizzly day - but in no way did that dampen the fantastic atmosphere, incredible support from the people of Bath (the full way around the course) and the PB potential.
The start was smooth and efficient, and didn't feel too crowded. I liked the 2 lap course, as I knew exactly what was coming up in the second half of the race. Drinks stations were sufficient and well spaced out. The course ran through Bath (though not the very centre), and then out into the countryside a little. So although I'd class this as a city race - it was nice to see some scenery! There were a few short, shallow inclines - but overall a very fast course - which resulted in me getting a surprise 3minute PB! Great medal, decent goody bag with food/drinks - the Finishes t-shirt is cotton, not technical, which is the only thing letting it down really.
Okay, so this might not be the cheapest half on the market - but definitely worth paying for and making the trip to Bath. You certainly get what you pay for in Bath - and more! Three days after completing the race, I am still riding that runners/race high, and the memories of Bath Half 2014 will be fondly remembered for a very long time to come.
In short: A great first half marathon In full: Loved the Bath Half, great atmosphere and organisation was pretty good considering the numbers of people. For the price, a technical t-shirt should really be included in the goody bag rather than a cotton t-shirt.
Definitely back next year to shave 10 minutes off :-) Date of review: March 5, 2014
In short: Good race but very pricey In full: I keep coming back to run the Bath Half and my experiences are almost all good.
For me the wave start worked like clockwork and it only took me half a minute to cross the start line. I do however understand how runners further back can have problems with congestion. I had no issues collecting my medal and goody bag, but the baggage area seriously needs altering. It seemed every runner predicting to finish under 1hr 45 had a similar number and therefore had to go to the same baggage area. This meant queuing for over 20 minutes in the rain and wind. At the very least foil blankets could have been supplied to help keep us warm (the entry fee was £40+ after all).
Another minor issue is the race t-shirt. Is it still too much to ask for a technical t-shirt that we can actually run in? At least there was a choice of sizes this year and not a 'one size fits all'.
In summary, great atmosphere with the crowds not being put off by the rain and a generally well organised event.
In short: Missed most of the hassle In full: 3rd time in Bath and a GFA place eliminates the cost but having paid for the first 2 I think it lacks value for money. Even close to the front it was pretty crowded for the first few miles. And having to wait for a slower colleague at the end I witnessed the queues to get off the course and get t-shirts and then for the baggage reclaim. Not good. What makes this race for me is the fast course and the support which is always amazing and I thought was even better this year despite the weather. Thanks also to all the marshalls who I thought did a good job sometimes in trying circumstances. Not a standing around day. Will probably be back next year with the GFA. Whether I would if I had to pay £40+ is another matter. Date of review: March 4, 2014
In short: fast race if you get to your pen quickly In full: My third bath and having experienced freezing and boiling hot weather in previous Bath half's it was the turn of rain. There was very few places to avoid the rain I love bath, the people of Bath provide fantastic support well done. I like others probable due to the rain didn't get to my pen quicker enough. I did feel they were more packed than normal. The speaker system would have more chance of being heard if he had used a road cone. I ran 13.29miles with the first two miles over a minute slower due to having dodge slow ipod wearers running 3 or 4 in a line. I feel using cones in parts to section off the elites from the rest of us allows too little space and the congestion is awful. however, though not a scenic course it is largely flat and is very fast. I do think its to expensive will likely be back Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: My experience was not as bad as other posts. This is my 9th Bath Half and I will be back. In full: I enjoy the Bath half every year, mainly because of the exceptional crowds the event attracts. Well done the people of Bath.
After running the event 9 times I know you need to get to the start earlier than most events and when it is wet, to avoid the runners village and baggage area. I am surprised after so many years the organisers cannot improve the long wait for warm clothes and putting down more temp walkways on the rec when wet. It was obvious after a very wet couple of months that the rec was going to be an issue with so many people. Saying that I have seen it worse.
I started in the white E pen which was too packed. I think the organisers could look at how many people they pack in each pen and try to make the experience more comfortable.
The speaker system at the start was poor. I could not hear a thing. Normally a lot better.
I am not too sure the organisers can do too much about the ridiculous number of people who have put unrealistic times down to get further forward at the start. All I would say is that their actions are selfish and dangerous. May be the organisers need to start a wave system to make the experience of the first mile or two more comfortable.
Final small gripe is the T-shirts are not as good as what we get from other events.
A nice touch for such events but I am guessing unrealistic is that special gold t-shirts are given to those runners who have run the event 10 or more times, so that they can wear the t-shirt with pride in future years. Of course I'm just after a nicer t-shirt :-)
Overall I will be back for next year, great event, but organisers need to keep looking for improvements. The people of Bath do their bit, the organisers need to step up a bit more. Date of review: March 3, 2014
In short: Good if you like dodgy and weaving In full: My issues with this race in order of annoyance 1) Spent the first four miles dodgy and weaving among slower runners, killing any hope of a decent time; 2) roadblocks and diversions meant it was impossible to find anywhere to park, no clue what to do beforehand except dump the car miles from the start and run in 3) race itself was basically through 60s suburbs and industrial estates 4) queue for bags after race. Crowds were awesome tho, and if weather had been better I might have had a better day, but not sure I'll return. I honestly don't think the course is really set up for a 11,000 person race. Date of review: March 2, 2014