In just over a week’s time, on Sunday 12th March 2017, Bath will be filled with the sound of pounding feet and cheering crowds as the race on Sunday this year will be Bath Half Marathon’s 36th year. It promises to be a fantastic event!
Last year thousands of runners took to the streets of Bath and raised thousands of pounds for all sorts of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and Bath Rugby Foundation. This year there will be another 15,000 runners (incidentally, all 15,000 tickets sold out in record time this year!), all taking part and enjoying another Battle of the Bands - with seven bands stationed around the course to entertain the runners and those cheering them on. This year the bands includes (among others) a Vintage style Boogie-Woogie and Blues band (Harlem Rhythm Cats), an alternative rock band (Cobolt Collision), and the Rosa Gray Band who specialize in jazzy pop with a strong soul vibe. It’s set to be a great party atmosphere!
Once again, Dukes Hotel is proud to be the VIP and Media Centre for the Bath Half Marathon, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the preparations for Sunday. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen the road restriction signs going up all over the city, the notices warning residents not to park on certain streets being put into place (though no matter how thorough the signage is every year there are some cars that need moving on the day!), and the excitement around the whole event mounting. Most recently we’ve been watching with interest as the runner’s village in Bath Rugby Ground has been going up; we’ve got a great view from our windows.
So since we’re getting really excited and have been living and breathing Bath Half for the past couple of weeks we wanted to share a few facts about this year’s race.
Time records to break:
Last year Robert Mbithi won the Half in an incredible time of 61 minutes and 45 seconds! Not long after, the first woman over the line was Lenah Jerotich with a time of 72 minutes and 24 seconds. With such fast times, can these records be beaten?
The start times are staggered (imagine trying to get all 15,000 runners to start at once!) but accurate information on completion times are being monitored by neat SportSystems gadgets called IPICO Sports Tags, which attach to the laces on the runner’s shoes.
Fundraising records to break:
The 2016 Bath Half raised over £2.2m for charity! It’s hoped by all that this is a record that will be beaten this year. With so many runners and all those sponsorship forms it’s certainly possible.
Charities this year:
The lead charity is Cancer Research UK, while Cancer Research UK Teens & Kids is, appropriately, the charity for the Family Fun Run. The official local charity is Dorothy House Hospice Care, which provides quality of life to those with life-limiting illnesses. They support over 550,000 patients and their families across Bath and parts of Somerset and Wiltshire. These are the lead charities, but in total there are 126 official race charities.
We wish everyone taking part the very best of luck! See you at the finish line!