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Record breaking year at the 2015 Vitality BATHALF
March 2, 2015 // Andrew
Runners and spectators filled the streets of Bath on Sunday 1st March with record attendances and results at the 2015 Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF), now in its 34th year.
Nearly 13,000 runners pounded the streets of Bath for a multitude of different reasons, from those striving to achieve a personal or charity challenge, to elite athletes aiming for a new course record, the streets were filled with ambition this morning.
Over 30,000 people came to support the runners taking part in the Vitality BATHALF and almost 1,000 runners who took part in the family fun run.
New records were set at this year’s event, with the British stealing the show in the elite field, taking first place in the men’s and women’s races. For the first time in 12 years, a British male took the top spot, with Paul Martelletti finishing the 13.1 mile course in 65 minutes and 28 seconds. Paul also recently won the 2015 Vitality Brighton Half Marathon.
Paul said: “I struggled on the second lap and the wind was quite strong and that didn’t help, but the crowd were so supportive throughout and really spurred me on to the finish.”
In the women’s race, Emma Stepto took first place and is the first British female to win the Vitality Bath Half Marathon since 2010. Emma said: “It wasn’t far off my PB but I’m training for the London Marathon at the moment which is a lot of mileage so I wasn’t expecting a PB. I wanted to have a training run to see what form I was in, and wasn’t expecting to win.”
Amongst the 13,000 runners were celebrities; comedian Russell Howard, Radio 1 DJ Greg James and model and presenter Ashley James, running in aid of charity.
Prior to the race, Russell Howard said: “As many people know, I am a regular to Bath and have family living close by, but this is my first time running the Vitality Bath Half Marathon. I chose to run in aid of Time is Precious, a great charity which my cousin Lewis introduced me to, as he is close friends with the founders, Neil and Nicky Halford who lost their five-year old son to brain cancer.”
Greg James and Ashley James said: “We’re both running in aid of the charity, CopperFeel! and are keen supporters of the breast cancer charity. The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is a great event with a fantastic atmosphere and we’re excited to be running again.”
This year, runners from across the UK raced to raise money for over 100 different official charities, plus hundreds of other charities chosen by general public entrants, plus the Vitality Bath Half Marathon Fund, funded by runners donations which helps raise money for local community projects in and around the City.
Almost 1,000 people took part in the Family Fun Run, raising money for Jamie’s Farm. First to finish was 13-year-old Max Davis, who said: “I came second last year and didn’t expect to win today.”
Andrew Taylor, Race Director from Running High, said, “It has been a recording breaking year and I am delighted with the smooth running of this year’s event.
“The new Battle of the Bands competition has received phenomenal feedback from runners and spectators. With a record number of charities and finishers this year, there is every prospect that last year’s fundraising record of £2 million pounds will have been broken again this year.
“We would like to thank all our 100 official charity partners, our 750 local community volunteer RACEMAKERS, the residents and spectators, and our contractors and partners for all their contributions in making the Vitality BATHALF such a special sporting and community event. And of course not forgetting centre stage our BATHALFERS, our runners, whose performance today and their incredible fundraising are a inspiration to us all.”
Speaking for Vitality, title sponsors of the Run Series, Neville Koopowitz, CEO, said: “We believe in the power of sport to help inspire people to live a healthy life, which is why we partner with leading events to help us share the Vitality message. The Bath Half is one of the longest standing run events in the UK and Vitality are very proud to be the title sponsor. The historic course attracts people of all abilities and it’s great to see so many people getting involved from first-time runners to the professionals. We are excited that Vitality is helping more and more people to get active.”
Entries for the 2016 Vitality BATHALF are now open, and it has been confirmed that Macmillan will be the lead charity for the event on Sunday 13th March 2016.
Kayley Waller, Challenge Programme Manager, said: “We are incredibly delighted and proud to be announced as the lead charity for the Vitality Bath Half 2016 and cannot thank Running High Events enough for choosing us.
“On average every year 983 people are diagnosed with cancer in the BANES area so this partnership is vital towards helping us make sure no one faces cancer alone. We want to reach and improve the lives of every one of those people but we cannot do this alone, we need the runners of Bath and beyond to put their best foot forward and join Team Macmillan in 2016.”
1. Paul Martelletti 1:05:28
2. Dean Lacy 1:05:42
3. Tadella Geremew 1:06:15
1. Emma Stepto 1:13:50
2. Jenny Jagger 1:15:14
3. Rachel Felton 1:15:21