Race Report 2012
Runners go for gold at 2012 Bath Half Marathon
Almost 12,000 runners took to the streets of Bath today (Sunday 11 March) to take part in the 31st Bath Half Marathon. In addition to thousands of participants running for their own reasons, be it a fundraising challenge, a fitness challenge or a chance to achieve their personal best, there was also a strong elite field this year, which provided a gripping race from start to finish.
Leading the runners to the finish from the beginning was Kenyan runner, Edwin Kiptoo, who completed the 13.1 mile course in 62 minutes and 1 second, breaking the current course record by 8 seconds.
In a tense finish, it was touch and go whether Kiptoo would cross the finish line in time to beat the previous record of 62 minutes and 9 seconds, set by Kenyan Tewodros Shiferaw in 2007.
Kiptoo said: “It was a really fast course in Bath and I’m really pleased to have set a new record and also a personal best for me. I took the lead from the start and after the first mile, I broke away from the other runners, maintaining my first place position right to the finish line. Having the crowds cheering me on right around the route really made a difference to my performance”.
Andrew Taylor, Race Director from organisers Running High said: “We’re thrilled to have a new course record, demonstrating the speed of the course here in Bath. We had a top quality elite field taking part today, with some great performances by runners from across the globe”.
Second place in the men’s race went to Tadele Geremew Mulugeta, with English runner Chris Powner taking third position with a time of 1 hour 4 minutes and 44 seconds.
Victory in the women’s race also belonged to Kenya, with Jane Muai taking first place, but Brit, Susan Partridge was hot on her heels in second, finishing in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 34 seconds. Helen Davies (nee Decker) took third spot, with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and 34 seconds.
Jane commented: “I had a good run today. The course is so quick, I really liked it. Susan Partridge was catching me up in the last few minutes, so I’m really pleased that I still managed to finish first”.
The elite women’s field was packed with top runners today, using it as a warm up race for the Virgin London Marathon, where the final selection for the one remaining women’s place in the GB women’s team will be made ahead of London 2012.
Susan Partridge added: “I was really pleased with my run today and achieved a personal best which I’m thrilled about. I’m really on target for the Virgin London Marathon now and the Bath Half was a great test event ahead of this.
“It was really good to be competing against Louise Damen and Liz Yelling and even better to do well against them. I’m looking to take this forward and qualify for the GB Marathon Team now. All in all, the organisation today was fantastic, with a really great course and I’d love to come back and run it again”.
Nell McAndrew also formed part of the women’s elite line-up today and achieved a personal best, finishing the course in 1 hour, 21 minutes and 53 seconds. She commented: “I’m absolutely overjoyed to have got a new personal best in Bath today. The course was superb and the fantastic support around the whole route really spurred me on. Once you’ve done one loop of the course, you know you’re halfway to the finish line, which really helps push you to the finish line.
“I’m dedicated to helping people get fit and healthy and would encourage anyone who wants to challenge themselves to a half marathon to take part in this great event. I’d love to come back and run it again in the future”.
Aside from the elite field, almost 12,000 half marathon runners turned out to enjoy Bath’s biggest sporting event, facing ideal conditions with bouts of glorious sunshine between some clouds throughout the morning.
Now in its 31st year, the Bath Half Marathon is the biggest fundraising event in the South West; raising £1.5million last year and on target to exceed this yet again this year.
Hazell Moore, aged 21 from Bath completed the race in 2 hours and 45 minutes. She said: “I’ve only recently started running and having heard such good things about the Bath Half, I decided to set myself the ultimate challenge taking part myself this year. It was a great day for it, with really nice weather for running. The support from the crowds was overwhelming and that, along with the entertainment around the route gave me a real boost and kept me going right to the finish line”.
The 1.5 mile Family Fun Run, which was completely sold out this year, attracted over 1,000 runners, and raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The first finisher across the line was Will Peppercorn, who finished in 4 minutes and 34 seconds.
Dermot O’Leary ran the 2012 Bath Half for breast cancer charity, CoppaFeel!, with over 100 runners dressed in giant boobs costumes. He said: “The welcome we’ve had here in Bath has been amazing. People seemed to appear from nowhere out on the course to cheer everyone one. Fearne obviously ran last year and we did the Million Pound Drop for CoppaFeel! a few weeks ago, so being able to run today and continue to raise awareness of this fantastic charity is amazing.
“I’d definitely run the course again, the organisation was second to none and although tough in parts, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it”.
Race Director, Andrew Taylor from Running High said, “Today’s event was a great success. We have put a lot of hard work and planning in to ensuring things ran smoothly for all the runners today, and it has definitely paid off.
“We’d like to thank all the event team, volunteers and sponsors for working so tirelessly, as they do every year to make the event a success. The event wouldn’t be the same without the thousands of participants who have pushed themselves to the limit and raised a lot of money for charity, along with the spectators around the route who create such a buzzing atmosphere. They make the event what it is and we thank them for their continued support.”
1st Edwin Kiptoo 1.02.01
2nd Tadele Geremew Mulugeta 1.04.32
3rd Chris Powner 1.04.44
1st Jane Muia 1.11.19
2nd Susan Partridge 1.11.34
3rd Helen Davies (nee Decker) 1.12.34
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