Ben Fish, from Blackburn Harriers, made his 200 plus mile journey south worthwhile by taking the Vitality Bath Half Marathon title from 12,748 finishers in 1:05:16 on Sunday (12 March). The men's race was spread-eagled from the start by the leader's pace but a much closer women's race was won by local favourite, Ruth Barnes (Avon Valley Runners, 01:15:32).
Fish Thrives In Bath
The award-winning Bath Half Marathon returned for the 36th year with a record number of entries, starters and finishers and a huge crowd estimated in excess of 40,000 enjoying the dry, mild but overcast weather.
The conditions were perfect for fast racing and the results were littered with personal bests. The overall winner made the most of the flat, fast course that straddles River Avon to trim 11 seconds off his previous best set in 2013. The men's podium was completed by Peter Huck (Run-Fast, 1:06:35) and Dominic Nolan (Croydon Harriers, 1:08:28).
The women's race was always close with the top five finishing within less than a minute of each other. Ruth Barnes took an amazing four minutes off her PB with an inspired effort to improve from 16th in Bath in 2015. The runners who kept the champion honest all the way to the line were Amy Clements (Kent AC, 1:15:55), Rachel Felton (Run-Fast, 1:16:10), Hannah Walker (Run-Fast, 1:16:21) and Rebecca Hilland (Team Bath, 1:16:26).
There were 540 runners inside 90 minutes and 4,620 were home inside 2 hours. Many were running to raise an expected £2 million for charities and race director Andrew Taylor from Running High Events said: “The 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon has, once again, been an absolutely brilliant year for us with the biggest ever turnout of runners, and it looks to be yet another record-breaking year for charity fundraising”.
The Family Fun Run over the first three-quarters of a mile of the course attracted 930 starters and was won by Max Watson (4:15). Full results and race information are available at the Vitality Bath Half Marathon website, on Twitter #bathhalf and Facebook.
The 2018 date has been confirmed as Sunday, 4 March and early bird entries are available now for this guaranteed sell-out event.