Event preview: Countdown to Vitality Bath Half Marathon 2016

March 4, 2016 // Rachel Ellis


The award-winning Vitality Bath Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 13th March and promises to be a day of sporting greatness, lively crowd support and record charity fundraising, alongside a thrilling backdrop of music for runners and spectators alike.

The Bath Half is enjoyed for being a fast and flat course, suitable for all abilities and one where PBs can be achieved. The two-lap 13.1 mile course starts and finishes in Great Pulteney Street and straddles both sides of the River Avon, making the Bath Half one of the UK’s most popular road races which sells out well in advance. The Runners Village is located behind Bath Sport Centre on North Parade Road.

Back for a second year due to popular demand is Battle of the Bands, a competition for local musical talent to perform in front of the many runners, spectators and residents, with the runners voting for their favourite band after the race. The entertainment is a popular element of the Bath Half, ensuring a carnival atmosphere along the route and giving welcome encouragement to the runners as they pass by each band.

The following bands will be playing at nine locations around the course: Harlem Rhythm Cats (The Ayrlington), The Red Boot Band (Green Park), The Corporations (Victoria Pub & Kitchen), The Somerset Paddies (Andrews Estate Agent), Trenchard (near the Boathouse Pub), The Disfavoured Party (Way Ahead Care), The Edsel Furys (The Carers’ Centre), lDestroy (The Royal Oak Pub), and Bath Folk Youth Band (Platinum Toyota Bath). Please go to http://bathhalf.co.uk/the-event/battle-of-the-bands/ for the details.

In keeping with the race’s appeal to all ages and abilities, the 2016 Bath Half again features a Family Fun Run. Open to all ages, the sold out Family Fun Run is a ¾ mile course along a traffic-free route, starting and finishing under the Half Marathon gantry in Great Pulteney Street. In aid of Bath Rugby Foundation, this is a brilliant way for children and adults to get involved in the experience of race day, with a free Bath Rugby t-shirt for all entrants, plus a medal and goody bag to all finishers.

Key race day key timings:

  • 08:00:   Help desk opens in Runners Village (Bath Sports Centre)
  • 09:00:   Church service in Runners Village
  • 10:00:   Runners called to start
  • 10:55:   Elite wheelchair start (provisional)
  • 11:00:   Half Marathon start
  • 11:20:   Family Fun Run start
  • 12:05:   Half Marathon winner crossing the finish line
  • 13:00: Half Marathon prize giving at finish gantry
  • 16:00: Help desk closes

The race brochure with all the race details and maps can be downloaded from the website http://bathhalf.co.uk/the-event/race-day-guide/.

The full details regarding road closures with important information for residents, businesses and churches is available online at http://bathhalf.co.uk/race-day/information-for-residents-businesses/

Recommended viewing and entertainment points include the start and finish of the race at Great Pulteney Street, Churchill Bridge, Green Park, Queen Square, Royal Victoria Park, Station Road and Weston Lock Retail Park.

The Vitality Bath Half Marathon attracts a good field of British elite runners, as well as a number of celebrities including Russell Howard, Will Thorp, Greg James, Lewis Moody, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Rob Deering, Paul Tonkinson, CJ de Mooi, Sophie Rowarth and Chrissie Wellington.

The 2015 race was won by Paul Martelletti in 1:05:28 and Emma Stepto in 1:13:50.

Recognised as one of the most iconic and longest established city centre races in the UK, the Vitality Bath Half Marathon is also the largest single day charity fundraising event in the South West, raising a record £2.1 million in 2015 and making it one of the top three fundraising road races in the country.

Some 30% of the 15,000 participants will be raising money for the race’s 120 official charity partners. The Lead Charity for 2016 is Macmillan Cancer Support, with other featured charities including The Forever Friends Appeal, Time is Precious, Bath Rugby Foundation and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Of note about this year’s Bath Half is that the 2016 race will be the last using the current course. Due to redevelopment of the Green Park area, the road will be diverted behind the bus station from 2017 onwards, which means it will be the first adjustment to the route since 2006.

Vitality is the title sponsor for the Bath Half Marathon. Other sponsors and partners include Brooks, Intersport John Moore Sports, TomTom, Lucozade Sport, BBC Radio Bristol, Bath Chronicle, Heart FM, Total Guide to Bath, marathon-photos.com, BMW Wellsway Bath and Virgin Money Giving.

All half marathon entries for this year’s race closed several weeks ago. Entries for the 2017 race will open on Monday 14th March.