Records fell in the 35th Vitality Bath Half Marathon on Sunday morning as Robert Mbithi (Run Fast) did what it says on his vest and front ran to a course best of 1:01:45 ahead of 12,700 elite athletes, club runners and charity fund raisers. Lenah Jerotich (Run Fast, 1:12:24) was similarly dominant in the women’s race.
A veil of fog lifted as the mercury nudged double digits on a beautiful day as Sharron Davies MBE signalled the start of this classic event. The race, as a contest, was over by 10k as Mbithi sped by in 28:45, nearly two minutes clear. Rio Olympics marathon hopeful, Jonny Hay (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 1:04:53) boosted his chances by winning a great sprint for second place by two seconds from Gideon Kimosop (Kenya, 1:04:55).
Jerotich was also on a mission at 10k (33:27) and completed the remarkably flat, two-lap course with two minutes to spare over Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers, 1:14:25) and Hayley Munn (Winchester and District, 1:16:46). Britain’s leading women were chasing 63-year-old Martin Rees (Les Croupiers, 1:13:50) who holds the world best for an over-60 set at Bath in 2013 (1:11:32).
Jonathan Beck (2:03:23) was the mid point runner and the field closed on 4:07:45.
Organisers are hoping that last year’s record of £2.1 million raised for local and national charities will be beaten once again. The crowd support was fantastic as the weather played its part and the Battle of the Bands out on the course helped to create an exciting atmosphere.
Full results are available at runABC South website.