Bath Half was back with a bang with a new sponsor, perfect running weather and a return to to the old race route yesterday (Sunday 17 March). Over 12,000 finished the 38th edition of this much-loved race after extreme weather conditions had forced its late cancellation last year.
Chris Thompson (Aldershot) and Kate Reed (Bristol and West) were the individual winners, watched by an estimated 40,000 spectators. A bright, dry and cool morning greeted thousands in Great Pulteney Street as Ian Smith, chairman of the new headline sponsors Bishop Fleming, started the main race.
Thompson dominated the men’s race from the start, claiming the title in 1:03:09, some 32 seconds faster than his time at London Big Half last week. Half marathon debutant Nick Goolab (Belgrave Harriers, 1:04:34) and Peter Le Grice (Bristol and West, 1:04:55 PB) were distant runners-up but both were faster than the 2017 winning time of 1:05:16.
The excellent conditions were also evident in the women's race, won by Kate Reed (1:12:44 PB) from Rachel Felton (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, 1:15:53) and Phillipa Williams (Bristol University, 1:18:11 PB).
The Family Fun Run saw 1,200 participants run 1200m of the half marathon course, starting 20 minutes into the main race. The atmosphere brings out the best in young runners, who are able to experience the thrill of race day. Dan Wood (Avon Valley Runners, 4:34) was first.
Race director Andrew Taylor from Running High Events said: “The 2019 Bath Half Marathon has, once again, been absolutely brilliant for us, with a huge turnout of runners and some of the fastest finisher times we have seen. It also looks likely to be yet another record-breaking year for charity fundraising. We would like to congratulate the winners and everyone who crossed the finish line.”
The date for the 2020 Bath Half Marathon has been confirmed as Sunday 15 March and early bird entries open on Monday (18 March). The race sells out each year and organisers are expecting places for the 2020 event to sell out quicker than ever before.