Bath Half Marathon

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12/03/2012 at 15:12

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.

12/03/2012 at 15:16

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.  

12/03/2012 at 15:41

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.

12/03/2012 at 16:05
Hi all just got back, extended our stay and spent a few hours in the Spa this morning

My first half marathon in 2:10 so happy with that.

Generally I thought the support on the way round was great, however I was disappointed with the congestion, even at my slow pace I was dogging around people for the whole of the first lap, not sure the two lap formula really works, squeezing everyone into half a road width just seems crazy, when a single lap course would solve this. Did the great south run last october with twice as many people and a lot less dogging around.

But must stop moaning had a great weekend and did roughly where I wanted time wise so overall a good weekend

12/03/2012 at 17:12
Hi all, I ran yesterday thought it was very overcrowded and the start was awful, for whatever reason we were held back just inside the runners village for what seemed like ages only to be told to hurry up as the race started 7 mins ago! Did anyone else have problems with the start?

Was really gutted, I spent the first 7 miles battling the congestion! I think this is why my garmin shows 13.34 miles as I literally was running amongst spectators and swerving around! Did my first mile in 9.45mins as I could not move for runners and then had to absolutely go for it to get a 1:38.
Last year was no where near as crowded am sure they didn't block so much of the roads off last time. The course has just got to big now for a two lap race. Crowd support was amazing as always though
12/03/2012 at 19:21

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...

12/03/2012 at 23:08
Great race, in my 30 years of running I dont normally do big city runs but this was a great weekend away, White number start so just a few seconds crossing the line. Great organisation, worth the 500 mile round trip.
I am a course measurer, forget your GPS distance, mapmyrun etc, they are not 100% due to the sampling time, loss of signal, not running the line etc.
Big survey a while back on a large HM, Garmin varied from 13.0 to 13.5 miles, trust your course measurer, why do you think they do NOT use a Garmin, just an old fashioned Jones counter folks !
Not as flat as I expected !!
13/03/2012 at 08:33
Yep great race and a new pb for me! had a great weekend in the sun... my garmin measured 13.22 but ive no doubt the course is correct.. anyways wish i could do it all again this weekend  well done all who ran
13/03/2012 at 09:24

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.

13/03/2012 at 10:02
I always love the bath half, i will be doing it again next year no doubt. now Bring on Milton Keynes Marathon!
13/03/2012 at 17:34

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! 

Edited: 13/03/2012 at 18:16
13/03/2012 at 18:28
All I ever see is people picking holes in great events...fantastic day, wonderful course, great support and Thankyou to all involved..

My little 3 year old took my medal into school the next day as his daddy was his hero..worth 40 quid any day...ran a pb of 1hr 32 mins but that's worth 10 times more.
15/03/2012 at 10:09

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.

15/03/2012 at 12:34
Good idea Simon, perhaps a wave start as in some big events.
15/03/2012 at 21:59
This was first half and I thought it was brilliant. Well organised, loads of water/lucozade, good marshals and great crowd. Similar to BUPA organised runs. Bit squashed at start but you will always get that with big events. I would do it again.
15/03/2012 at 23:17
First time I have grabbed a Lucazade on a race or run, big mistake, a sticky mess on my face and hands at 10 miles. Luckily a water station not far down the road to wash it all off !!
Cant understand people wearing music players on such fantastic crowd support, they wouldnt have heard the ambulances either trying to get through
16/03/2012 at 20:44
PB for me with 1:46:35. Loved it! I agree, crowded at beginning and my garmin too measured 13.22 but had a fantastic time!

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