Returning to the streets of Bath this spring is the award-winning Vitality Bath Half Marathon. Affectionately known as the Bath Half, this is one of the longest established and most popular city centre road racing events in the UK, and a true favourite among runners from Bath and all over the UK.
For local residents, the Vitality Bath Half Marathon is one of the sporting highlights of the year. Taking place on Sunday 12th March 2017, the race will see 15,000 runners and 40,000 spectators gather for the 36th edition of this much-loved event, and final preparations are under way.
Many runners return year after year to complete the two lap, 13.1-mile traffic-free course around our beautiful World Heritage city of Bath. Renowned for its brilliant atmosphere, fast flat course and fantastic location, this is a great race for all abilities of runner – from beginners wishing to complete their first course to serious runners looking to smash their PB. The start line always includes a strong British elite field and a large number of celebrities who are attracted by the stunning setting, fantastic crowd support and the promise of a good finishing time.
As it to be expected from such an iconic race, the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon sold out months in advance, as it has done for the last 18 years. The good news is that anyone still wishing to run this amazing race in their home town can do so by running for one of the official charities. The Vitality Bath Half Marathon supports over 130 different charities and in 2016 alone it raised an impressive £2.2 million for all kinds of worthy causes, confirming its status as the largest single day charity fundraising event in the South West and one of the top three running charity fundraising events in the UK.
The race is certainly one that gives back to the local community, as Cancer Research UK will be committing all money raised at the Vitality Bath Half Marathon to research and education in Bath and the South West. Over the next year, the charity will be making a difference to our local area by inspiring local school children to lead a healthy lifestyle, educating local people about healthy living and bringing the brilliant CRUK Roadshow to Bath.
The Bath Half Marathon Fund continues to support local charities and voluntary groups, with race entrants being invited to make an optional donation to the Fund during the registration process as a ‘thank you’ to the local community for their support for the event each year. The Bath Half Marathon Fund, established in 2003 and administered by the Quartet Community Foundation, distributes cash grants to local community groups and charities.
The Bath Half Marathon Fund has made a real and valuable impact providing £180,000 in grants for local sport, play and active lifestyle projects, with 162 local community projects and 102 local community groups funded by runners’ donations since 2003. A total of nine grants were awarded from the 2016 Vitality Bath Half Marathon and they went to Sporting Family Change Foundation, Wansdyke Play Association, Age UK B&NES, Percy Community Centre, Mentoring Plus, B&NES Carers Centre, Make a Move, SWALLOW and Bath Rugby Community Foundation.
The Family Fun Run is always a highlight of race day, and a chance for entrants of all ages and abilities to experience the thrill of a big sporting event. Starting and finishing under the official Vitality Bath Half gantry in Great Pulteney Street, this is a ¾ mile fun run along the first section of the half marathon course, and a great way to get the kids involved in their local race! Every entrant receives a free t-shirt and all finishers receive a medal and goody bag too. The 2017 Family Fun Run is now sold out.
The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is truly a day not to miss – so make sure that Sunday 12th March is in your diary! It’s a day to feel proud to live in Bath and to celebrate the sporting achievement of people young and old, from near and far. Entries for the 2018 race open on 13th March.
Go to www.bathhalf.co.uk for further race details, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/BathHalfMarathon and follow @bathhalf #bathhalf on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news about the Vitality Bath Half Marathon.