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Race day information 2013
February 21, 2013 // Rachel Ellis
Race Day information Blog Post 20 Feb
Thank you to everyone who has asked us race day related questions this week via Twitter and Facebook or who have telephoned Bath Half HQ.
This is a massive post – we’re aiming to answer as many questions as possible and we’ll pick up any others in next week’s race newsletter. That way we hope you will be totally up to speed and ready to really enjoy your race day – which is just over a week away!
Our Bath Half mobile site is now available – we hope that runners and spectators with smart phones will find this a useful resource. The mobile site address is http://www.bathhalfmobile.co.uk or you can find the mobile site via our main site (you will be asked on arrival whether you would like to view the mobile version).
Before the race
Please listen to your body
The most important piece of advice we can give at this stage is to listen to your body. If you’re injured or are unwell (with a fever or vomiting or diarrhoea) 7-10 days before a race then you shouldn’t take part. This is always the hardest thing to say to runners, and it is the last thing that runners want to do, but it is a really important health message and one that should be taken seriously. There are lots of nasty bugs around at the moment – we’ve been suffering here at Bath Half HQ – and some viruses can cause serious long-term health problems if you push yourself for endurance events like half marathons
If you are faced with this decision and decide to pull out then please let us know via our online cancellation form and return your race pack by race day. We can then offer you a guaranteed place for 2014 at the discounted early bird rate – guaranteed until the end of August
What to eat and drink
We’ve had quite a few questions about this and so our main point is not to do anything different for race day than you would when you do your long runs in training. There’s some great information about nutrition and hydration over on the Runners Medical Resource website which is well worth reading
Race numbers and timing chips
Please check that your race number matches the number on the front of the envelope and timing chip. If not please contact the event office email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 422255. The IPICO timing chip that you have received records your race time – if you don’t wear it you won’t be recorded in the results. Tie the chip onto one shoe using the tags provided – see the diagram provided with it. Do not wear or carry your chip anywhere else or it may not work.
Arriving at the race
Trains & Buses
First Great Western has informed us that there will be extra services provided on race day, although these will not show on published timetables or be pre-bookable. They have provided us with a timetable that we have added to our website
We are also very pleased that there will be additional park & ride buses in service from the Lansdown, Odd Down and Newbridge Park & Rides. The Lansdown and Odd down sites have been expanded with extra capacity this year. Park & Rides are a good option for runners but please be warned that the more popular sites at Lansdown and Newbridge are often full by 8.30am on race day.
Bath Racecourse have also let us know that they will be running their Premier Park & Ride Service on race day. You can find out more details from their website.
Road Closures & Parking
There is no parking available at the venue but all Park & Ride sites will be open. In previous years these have all been full before 8.30am so get there early and expect to have to queue to get on the buses. Have a quick look at your race map and identify alternative city centre car parks in case you get to the Park & Ride and it’s already full.
You have all been sent a race day map in your packs (it’s small enough to bring with you on the day). This is also downloadable available on the Bath Half website. City Centre car parks are indicated on this map. You can also view this map on the mobile version of our website.
There will be over 12,000 competitors plus an estimated 30,000 spectators converging on Bath at a similar time so please plan ahead. Be aware that road closures and parking suspensions will operate on streets adjacent to Great Pulteney Street for the entire day, and on the course route from 9.45am to about 2.30pm.
Further parking suspensions will operate on designated access routes for ambulances and buses in Oldfield Park, Bathwick, Walcot and Newbridge. All affected areas have been clearly signposted in the weeks leading up to race day.
So once you made it into Bath be sure to make use of all the entertainment that is provided in the Runners Village. To reduce congestion at the Runners Village there is a one way pedestrian system in operation with footpath closures on some streets around Great Pulteney Street. All access to the Runners Village and the start pens will be from the back of the Sports Centre on North Parade Road.
Follow the red signs to the Runners Village – via North Parade Road.
Follow the blue signs for spectators to the start
Please check your race day maps and plan your route to avoid frustration on the day. Diversion signage and stewards will be in place to assist. There will be toilets in the Runners Village – some for spectators and some for runners. These do get exceptionally busy and you will need to queue. There is a church service in the Runners Village at 09.00am. Changing facilities and the baggage tent are open from 09.00am.
Race Weekend Help Desk
The help desk in the information tent in the Runners Village will be open on Saturday 2 March between 10am -4pm and on Sunday 3 March between 8am and 4pm.
Luggage Tag for Baggage Tent
If you want to leave your kit in our baggage tent please tear off the detachable tag at the bottom of your race number and thread through the end handle of your bag. All baggage is left at the owners own risk and the organisers cannot be responsible for any loss or damage caused by the use of these facilities
Start of the race
To get over 12,000 runners off to a flying start and to reduce congestion at the start runners are seeded our according to their estimated finishing time with the faster runners at the front and slower ones at the rear. There will be seven numbered start pens in three colour blocks– white, green and orange. The pen you have been allocated will be on your race number. Each group will enter their start pen from a different exit off the Runners Village so please take time to look at your map.
You can move back to a slower start pen if you want to, but not forward into a faster pen. We will start calling runners to the start at 10am – it takes us quite a while to assemble all 12,000 of you!
Whichever start bay you are in you will receive your own personal chip time. Bring an old hoodie or jumper to keep your warm, you can discard it at the side of your pen just before the start, and these will be recycled by one of our race charities. Please do not bring plastic bin bags to wear – we have had runners who’ve tripped over these and badly injured themselves. They also just end up in landfill.
All runners will be asked to show their race numbers included your next of kin and medical details on the back of your race number before entering your start area. It’s a good idea to complete this information before travelling to the race.
2-lap race and the headphone issue
The Bath Half is the only major half marathon in the UK that has a 2-lap course which makes us a little different. Most runners will be lapped by the lead runners – overtaking from behind running three times faster than you. We therefore need our runners to be able to hear our marshal’s safety instructions as the lead runners and escort vehicles approach. You will not be able to hear them if you are using headphones – if you must wear headphone please leave one earpiece off. It’s really important
Bath also is home to the Bath Royal United Hospital– a major hospital serving a wide catchment area in the south west. Occasionally we have to issue instructions to our runners to give way to emergency vehicles. Again, you need to be able to hear our marshals to assist them in helping the emergency services.
There is lots musical entertainment, cheering stations and so much support from spectators as you make your way around the course and we hope you will enjoy this – we get really great feedback from our runners about the atmosphere at the Bath Half.
A major concern for runners is often around being able to use the loo – there are toilets provided on the verge in Green Park just after the 1 mile marker and then at every first aid post and drink station around the course (approx every two-thirds of a mile). Many runners drink far too much on race day – which is unnecessary and can be dangerous. Try to moderate your fluid intake – do as you would do on a training run – you don’t need special treatment on race day.
The exact measured point of each mile mark will be spray-painted on the roadway, but these marks can be difficult to see if you are running in a large group. Signs will also be fixed on the nearest lamp post – but these can be several metres away from the mile mark itself. There will also be digital clocks displaying the ‘gun’ time on the start/finish gantry and at the 10K point.
And of course some race day tips for your hard working support team too…
There will be two signposted meeting points plus a meeting point for children after the Fun Run in the middle of the Runners Village. These are good places to arrange to meet your supporters after the race, avoiding some of the more crowded locations. Look out for the meeting point banners and don’t rely on mobile phones at the event to make your arrangements – at peak times during larger events mobile networks are often overloaded due to the volume of calls.
The Bath Half is well regarded as a family friendly race, and for its fantastic crowd support from local residents and visitors alike. The most popular places to watch the race are at the start and finish in Great Pulteney Street and more accessible points on the course, particularly at Churchill Bridge, Green Park, Park Lane and Queen Square. To get a good viewpoint at these locations you will need to arrive 45mins to 1 hour before race start, and at peak times the pavements may become too crowded for infants, elderly or the infirm.
As an alternative there are some great family friendly viewing spots at quieter locations around the course (for instance the Royal Victoria Park playground) adjacent to facilities such as toilets, cafes, play areas for children and parking. A number of churches on the course route will also be staying open during the race to offer refreshment, shelter or a meeting point for spectators and runners – and to support their own runners. Facilities on offer vary with each church – some include play areas for children, tea, coffee and toilets.
The race venue, city centre and central car parks will be very crowded on race day, so allow extra time for your journey, to get into and out of the Runners Village, for the toilets and to get a good viewing point.
For safety’s sake, spectators must follow marshals’ instructions in crossing the road. Do not encroach onto the carriageway or obstruct either the runners, race officials or the medical team. Please do not smoke near runners or other spectators. Please respect local residents and take your own rubbish home with you or use the bins provided! The toilets in the Runners Village, at first aid posts and drinks stations are designated for runners’ use. Separate toilets are provided for spectators in the Runners Village, but expect these to be busy, particularly before the start of the race.
Crossing the line
The digital clock on the finish gantry will show your provisional ‘gun’ finishing time. The IPICO timing chip on your shoe will automatically record your start and finish time as you pass over the timing mats on the start line, plus your intermediate time at the 10K point, from this we can calculate your actual ‘chip’ running time published in the official results.
The finish line in the Bath Half is busier than the landing runway in an international airport, with over 150 runners crossing the line every minute at peak time! It is also the most likely place for collapse and serious medical problems. It is not the place to wait for friends or enjoy the view. It is essential we keep the finish area clear to avoid runners backing up across the line behind you, and to allow us space to identify and treat casualties and collapsed runners around you. Highland Spring bottled water is provided 50 metres from the finish line around the corner in William Street. Bottled water in the finish area is for medical casualties only.
If you feel sick or unwell at the finish move to the side of the finish area and ask for assistance from the marshals and medical team who are on hand and trained to help you. Otherwise please leave the finish area immediately after finishing the race, and do not linger in the finish area or goody bag area. Runners will not be allowed to re-enter the finish area after collecting their goody bag – and will exit via the Lower Gate into the Runners Village. We recommend that you pre-arrange to meet supporters and fellow competitors at one of the designated meeting points in the Runners Village.
Goody bags will be handed to half marathon in Runners Village just after the finish area. In addition to the medal and an event t-shirt for all half marathon finishers you can purchase other official half marathon race merchandise on the day from the Information Tent.
Post race massage
Enjoy the benefits of a pre or post event massage at this year’s Bath Half by visiting the Massage Tent in the Race Village. In return for a £5 minimum donation to local event charities you can just drop in (no need to pre-book) or you can choose to ‘fast-track’ your post-event massage by registering your details and making your cash donation before the race. Our assembled team of 40 experienced masseurs will be ready to give a relaxing 10 minute sports massage (mostly legs) in a comfortable and friendly environment.
We hope to get race results up on to the Bath Half website by the Sunday evening (3 March).
Bath Half 2014
Entries for the 2014 Bath Half will open on Monday 4 March 2013!