Bath Half Marathon 16th March 2008

Matthew Cole and Karen Morgan report on an interesting time at Bath…

The day started with what must be the worst possible preparation – an hour standing in freezing rain waiting for the park and ride bus into Bath for the start of the race!
Despite the conditions, everyone queuing for the bus was in surprisingly good spirits – especially when the message was passed along the line that the start of the race had been delayed by an hour (we would have missed it otherwise). When we finally arrived at the Runners’ Village and negotiated the muddy quagmire to drop off our bags, it was almost time for the race to start. Luckily by this time, the rain had finally stopped and conditions were much improved although everyone was still soaking wet and very cold. Most people at the start were wearing bin bags in order to keep warm – causing a slight hazard for those further back as people in front started discarding them. We had already decided that our fitness levels weren’t good enough for us to be able to achieve any personal bests and that we would just enjoy the run as much as possible. Being so cold at the start would probably have made PBs difficult anyway. The Bath half marathon is a two lap course – which means the elite runners are going past on their second lap as most of us are plodding our way around for the first time. It’s inspiring to see the front runners go by, but after a while becomes a little dispiriting when you realise just how far you still have to go when others are close to finishing. It must also be difficult for the fast runners having to overtake slower runners who sometimes forget to keep to one side of the course.
We kept a fairly steady pace most of the way round – averaging about 10 minutes a mile, however by the time we got to the ten mile mark Karen was struggling and had to slow to a walk for a short distance while Matthew kept on running. In the end, Matthew finished with a chip time of 2hrs 15mins and Karen with 2 hrs 24mins.  Definitely not our fastest races but in a way, given the atrocious starting conditions and lack of sufficient training, it seemed a bigger achievement than other races that we’ve completed in faster times.