After bad weather caused the race to be called off last year, the award-winning Bath Half Marathon returned on Sunday 17th March, with over 12,000 runners crossing the finish line and an estimated 40,000 spectators celebrating the 38th edition of this much-loved race. The race started and finished in Great Pulteney Street, with runners enjoying a return to the old race route which had changed in previous years to a minor diversion around the North Quays development.
Chris Thompson dominated the men’s field and took the lead from the start, claiming the men’s title in a time of 1:03:09, some 40 seconds faster than his time at the London Big Half the week before. Runner up Nick Goolab crossed the finish line in 1:04:34, and Peter Le Grice claimed third place in 1:04:55. The women’s race saw the top five finishing within less than a minute of each other. Kate Reed ran a strong race and secured the women’s title in a time of 01:12:44, ahead of Rachel Felton who took second place in 01:15:53 and Phillipa Williams who finished third in 01:18:11.
The Family Fun Run set off shortly after the Bath Half Marathon, at 11.20am, and saw 1200 participants of all ages and abilities run the ¾ mile distance of the first section of the half marathon course. As always, the Family Fun Run was greeted by huge support from spectators, and delighted many young runners who were able to experience the thrill of race day. The winner of the Family Fun Run was Dan Wood, Avon Valley Runners with a time of 0:04:34.
This year was also special as the youngest marathon runner record was set by Bath resident, Harmonie-Rose Allen, who took part in the race supported by her family. Five-year-old Harmonie-Rose made headlines as a toddler after losing all her limbs to meningitis. She told reporters that she was proud to complete her first half marathon, as we’re sure her parents and friends were too! She helped raise thousands of pounds for local charity Time is Precious, who provided her with a special running chair to help her around the course.
Speaking on the Bath Half Marathon website, Race Director, Andrew Taylor, from Running High Events, said: “The 2019 Bath Half Marathon has, once again, been an absolutely brilliant year for us with a huge turnout of runners, with some of 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 Bath Half is a much-loved event within the community and attracts a large number of runners from further afield for its flat, fast course and incredible atmosphere. Our thanks go to all the runners for choosing to run the Bath Half, the spectators for their unfailing support, and all the local volunteers, contractors and partners who work so hard behind the scenes to make the event the success that it is. I would also like to thank all the bands who gave their time for free to support the event, and to all the venues who generously donated the use of their premises. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2020!”
Liam O’Reilly, Events Lead at the British Heart Foundation added: “It has been a privilege to be the Lead Charity for the 2019 Bath Half. We were thrilled to have over 270 runners take part in today’s Bath Half Marathon for the BHF and we would like to thank each and every one of them for choosing to support us. We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and the amazing fundraising efforts by people of all ages who are helping us fund our life-saving research into heart and circulatory disease.”
A list of the charities that benefit from runners fundraising can be found here.
Bishop Fleming was the title sponsor for the 2019 Bath Half Marathon. Other sponsors and partners included Bath College, High Five, Bath Chronicle, Bath Life, BBC Radio Wiltshire, Bath Business Exchange, Total Guide to Bath and JustGiving.
The date for the 2020 Bath Half Marathon has been confirmed as Sunday 15th March 2020, and early bird entries for the 2020 race are open from Monday 19th March. The race sells out each year and the organisers are expecting places for the 2020 event to sell out quicker than ever before. Find out the full race results and how to take part next year here.