Kenyan runner Edwin Kiptoo took first position in Sunday's (March 11) Bath half marathon and in the process set a new course record. In what was the 31st staging of the event, Kiptoo covered the two-lap course in an impressive time of 62:01, shaving eight seconds off the previous record set by Tewodros Shiferaw in 2007.
Regarded as one of the most popular city centre road events in the UK, around 12,000 runners entered this year's competition. Amongst the club and charity runners taking part were a host of celebrities, including TV presenter Dermot O'Leary, soap actress Nadia Sawalha, renowned chef Alan Murchison and supermodel Nell McAndrew.
Taking a commanding lead from the outset, Kiptoo finished more than two minutes ahead of Tadele Geremew Mulugeta (1:04:32), while UK runner Chris Powner took third position with 1:04:44. Andrew Taylor, Race Director from organisers Running High, commented: "We're thrilled to have a new course record, demonstrating the speed of the course here in Bath. We had a top quality elite field taking part today, with some great performances by runners from across the globe."
Victory in the women's race also belonged to Kenya, with Jane Muai (1:11:18) taking first place, but Brit Susan Partridge was hot on her heels in second, finishing just 16 seconds later. Helen Davies (nee Decker) took third spot, with a time of 1:12:34.
Aside from the elite field, the 12,000 charity and club runners were treated to almost ideal race conditions with intermittent bouts of sunshine. Organisers are hopeful they can match the £1.5 million raised for charity last year. Dermot O'Leary, who was fundraising for breast cancer charity, CoppaFeel! commented: "I'd definitely run the course again, the organisation was second to none and although tough in parts, I've enjoyed every minute of it".