Bath Half 2016
After checking the weather somewhat obsessively for the last week and a half, we were greeted with a lovely sunny day. It was a chilly start but once we were up and running the temperature was pretty perfect, and the wind was minimal.
Transport via the P&R’s was easy and very quick and when we got to the runners village (next to the Rec), we had access to proper toilets with actual basins which pleased us enormously! Bag droppage was also very smooth. We went out to the main road to warm-up but it wasn’t clear from the pen access whether a warm-up was possible so I think a few runners perhaps missed out on a warm-up (which was much needed due to the chill).
We started on time but it was a bit congested at the start as there is a sharp turn at the end of Great Pultney Street. The route follows the A36 before crossing the River Avon over to Broad Quay. There is a short but fairly steep incline up to Queens Square before heading along the A4 towards Newbridge. There are a couple more short inclines before turning back and heading along the Lower Bristol Road which is described as flat but feels like a long, very slight incline. The Bath Half is a two-lap course so the section from Broad Quay is repeated. The final mile is another small but long incline before turning back into Great Pultney Street and the finish line. We were rewarded with a medal, techie-t and a surprisingly pleasant goody-bag 🙂 We picked up our bags after a very short wait and headed back through town to catch our bus.
The Bath Half is often used as a Spring marathon warm-up race and this proved the case for three CRC members. Lee Woodland stormed to a new PB in a time of 1:34:07 in advance of the Manchester Marathon in four weeks time. Jill Wring recorded a time of 1:47:12 and Andy Gillett just missed a PB on his birthday with 1:49:30. Both Jill and Andy are training for the London Marathon.
This race was Rachel Flinders’ Spring ‘A’ race and she has been training over the last five months alongside Sarah Landen with the aim of securing a sub-1:45 time. The numerous longs runs battling 45+ mph winds in the orchards at Sanford, the thorns outside Biddisham and the final few miles of each run where conversation mostly revolved around “my legs/feet/arms/soul hurt” paid off as Rachel earned a seven minute PB with both ladies finishing with seconds of each other (1:40:13 and 1:40:19) and in the top 4% of female finishers.