Bath Half Marathon 2020 – Race Recap

THE BATH HALF MARATHON STARTS AT 11 AM! A weird start to a race recap, you may think. And you are correct, but let me explain. I did this race last year, yet the start time still was a shock to me (and others I might add) when I discovered this en-route to Bath on Saturday morning.

Bath Half Marathon Race Recap 2020 @rularuns Click To Tweet

Yes, I did receive all the pre-race information, which obviously stated the start time. Did I read it? Nope! I also had looked at the Bath Half Website MANY times in the lead up to the event, but did I notice the 11 am start? Nope! I even read my last years race recap but still didn’t register the 11 am start. Hence, this year I have started with that fact. Just in case I enter the race again next year. Hopefully, it won’t be such a shock! I also need to start paying much greater attention to detail! This probably applies to ALL areas of my life really. To be honest we are living in crazy times at present and I really did not think that this race would be going ahead.

Pre Race

Had the organisers not sent out an email on Thursday before the race saying that the event was going ahead, then I think they would have followed suit with most other races on FRIDAY 13TH MARCH. Once London and Boston announced that they were rescheduling, cancellations escalated quickly.

Bath Half was not the only race to still take place, but they did appear to be taking most of the negativity on social media. These are unprecedented times and we need to remember to be kind to each other.

It must be so hard for event planners to know what the correct decision is. They can only be led by the Government and Scientist. Public gatherings hadn’t been banned when the race took place. Being honest, I didn’t know if still attending was the correct thing to do. But I did and I know not everyone will agree with this decision but here is my recap. It may be my last recap for a while, so get yourself a cuppa!

River Avon, Bath

After taking part in this race last year and enjoying the weekend (notice, I didn’t say run!!) we booked up again fairly early. The accommodation that we stay in an ideal location, is not too expensive and Bath is such a lovely city it seemed a no brainer.

Saturday

We left early on Saturday morning so that we could have some time walking around Bath as it is such a beautiful city. I had a mini scare on the way down as bath Half released another statement via Instagram. We thought we would be turning around, but they actually said it was too late for them to cancel.

  • Bath City Centre
  • Bath Telephone Boxes
  • Bath City Centre
  • The Ivy, Bath

We had a little shakeout run in the afternoon too. It is nice to be able to stop, look around, and enjoy the surroundings. It’s not always possible during a race as you need to be aware of those around you too.

I had booked dinner at Prezzo’s at the beginning of the year. Thinking that it would be really busy, I tried to be organised and book way in advance.

After lots of giggles and a very enjoyable time with my club mates, we hit the sack. Well, that was the plan. I ended up reliving the past four weeks with Tracie. We cried lots and eventually turned the lights out around 1 AM. Not the most ideal race prep!

Sunday

I haven’t really been sleeping all that well lately, so I was fairly pleased when I slept through until 5 AM. Four hours sleep before a race, what could possibly go wrong!

We kept to tradition and headed to Costa for breakfast. The heavens opened whilst having breakfast and I really wasn’t feeling this race at all. I had almost sacked the race off during the week. With everything that is going on in my life at the moment, my running mojo has disappeared a little.

I had a bit of a funny turn after breakfast, feeling really poorly, so I again questioned whether I should be taking part at all. I finally changed into my kit after ALL the procrastinating possible. Then, as if I didn’t have enough things going on, my period started! Really! Well, at least it explained my funny turn earlier!

Sorry for my bad language!!

With the weather being SO rubbish, we left it until the last possible minute to leave to get to the start. Luckily our hotel is about a 10-minute walk to the race village. The race village was an absolute mud-fest. Is this what Glastonbury is like?

As we were so late getting there, after using the last set of toilets (in the rugby stadium, so they were ok and had no queue!) we walked straight to the start line. We didn’t have to wait in a pen or wait to start. We started our watches, crossed the line and were off.

The Race

The first mile is slightly downhill and the road is wide, so it’s a lovely view of runners ahead. Within the first mile, we got to see our club supporters. We came across a HUGE puddle as we started the first loop, so had to take a little detour. There was a surprising amount of support around this point and around the square section in town. There was less support as you head out of town, but that is not surprising really. We seemed to approach the bridge and turn around point much quicker than I expected. The road on the way back does feel like it goes on forever though.

I was running with Tracie and we were trying to be sensible with the pace. Tracie had picked up an injury recently so her training hadn’t been ideal. We did not want to start to fast. Just after the 6-mile marker, we saw our friends again. We stopped chatted and had a photo taken and then was off again.

Photo Credit goes to “Sparks”.

I was enjoying having someone to run with, but I was also aware that Tracie doesn’t always like running with others. It puts extra pressure to run at their pace, so I kept trying to judge if I was helping or hindering.

I said that I would stick with her until we passed all the hills and then she could tell me to get lost if needed. At mile 8, Tracie needed to stop for the toilet. She told me to carry on and I did. I felt she knew, that had she said to wait I would have.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when off on my own. Would I speed up? Go too fast? Not enjoy it? Get bored? I decided not to look at my watch and just run. I looked at the people around me and tried to take it all in.

A girl at mile 10 answered her phone and I heard her say ‘hello mum’. Well, that was all I needed. My eyes welled up and I had to fight to hold back the tears. Oh, how I wished I could take that same phone call.

I was starting to get period pains, so was finding the run uncomfortable at times. I knew my friends would be around mile 12, so concentrated on trying to find them in the crowd. When I spotted them I stopped to chat. I knew I only had about a mile to go, but I just needed to stop.

As soon as I left them, I tried to speed up. I decided that I wanted my last mile to start with a 9:xx. The last section is uphill and last year. I remember, really struggling up it. This year I felt strong and ran it quite hard. It was quite pleasing passing people. Starting my push for home too soon is a habit of mine, so when I turned the corner and saw the finish gantry, I pushed on again. I probably wasn’t going as fast as I felt I was going, but I was definitely working hard.

My finish time was 2:21:46. Not a fast half by any means, but one that I actually quite enjoyed running.

Finisher photo.

So who knows when we will get to race again. Parkrun is cancelled, my club sessions are cancelled, but try to stay safe and be positive. How do you plan to stay active?

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