I didn't run this race, but saw the comments about possible "over distance". Given that only a 1% margin of error (which I suspect is not unrealistic) would give a possible distance of 13.23 miles instead of 13.1, it seems very unlikely to me that there would have been an error in the course length. Especially here, where the course is tried and tested. In addition, it is very difficult to run the optimum line in a busy race like this unless you are right at the front of the field and that might easily add another 1-2 % to actual distance travelled. If there were consistent reports of, say, a 5% error, then there would probably be something worth looking into. The reports here just don't seem conclusive.
I have done Bath regularly for a few years now but yesterday seemed more congested in the first few miles than I have ever known it. I know they have a phased start but starting in the green numbers it seemd very hard to find any space until after Victoria Park. I can't tell if this is as a result of trying to get first lap runners down one side of the road but it seemd to me to extend the bottleneck.
I know it is done with the elite runners in mind but it seemed to make the first few miles a much trickier proposition.
Yes, I think I'm coming round to the idea that it may be down to not running the race line. As you say, it's only just over 1% that I'm worrying about and through any of the bends it would be easy to run 101m rather than 100. The downside of being a slave to a GPS I guess.
Great day anyway.
I ran the Bath Half for the fith year in a row yesterday with it being my local race (can't get much more local than 2.5 miles from home!)
From a slower runner's point of view (2:16 and proud of it ) starting was as slow as always. I think that the narrow bath streets just aren't made for the number of runners which I think was around 200 more than last year. They did seem to be moving us over to the left earlier on than in previous years I think - at least 5 mins before the front runner came through...
It would be a difficult race to extend to a single lap due to the road layouts in the area. To extend the route east or west would mean closing the only main routes into Bath, or else to start climbing some of Bath's lovely hills
The crowds were as marvelous as ever with support nearly continously all the way round.
The finish line was a lot less chaotic than last year - so that's a really good improvement.
I think I may be back next year...
Really good race, lovely weather. Happy days, just what road running is supposed to be like. Roll on Brighton Marathon....... ere we go, ere we go.......ye haa.
I ran this in 2008 and 2009 and I must say that I decided after the second year of delayed starts and overcrowding that I wouldn't run it again while they insist on accepting so many entries. The comments here show that nothing has improved.
I appreciate that it's a great first HM with a lot of atmosphere and that the fundraising is fantastic, but it's just not organised with the interests of serious/club runners in mind. It seems to me that it would be a congestion-free experience for everyone (instead of just the front runners) if they limited actual runner numbers to about 7,500.
I have learned that there are plenty of other great events out there in March and I am disappointed that the organisers appear to have learned very little over the last five years. Just on this page: "more congested in the first few miles than I have ever known it", "overcrowded and the start was awful", "the narrow bath streets just aren't made for the number of runners", "bottleneck", "even at my slow pace I was dogging [er, dodging, surely?] around people for the whole of the first lap", "I literally was running amongst spectators and swerving around" show how the present set-up seems to have become the norm. It's a crying shame when the entry fee is so high and the experience could be so much better. Several people have suggested a single lap course and this would not really solve the problem, as it wouldn't reduce the traffic over the first few miles, which is clearly an issue. It would also introduce some big hills. The alternative is to reduce the field!
In response to Nath,
I am not knocking the event as I enjoy doing it only that this year the congestion seemed more probleamtic than in the past half dozen years. I will sign up for next year in the next couple of weeks so it has not put off but I wonder if the start could be grouped in time bands as they do in bristol. I am not sayign that is perfect but it could help.
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