Our brilliant resident runner Hannah the Runner talks to us about all things Bath Half and what motivates the folks taking part… plus there are some great ideas for supporting all the runners!! Read on for more…

Have you spotted all the preparations going on around town? I don’t think you can miss them. The Bath Half Marathon is happening this month! All over Bath and far beyond runners are in the final stages of their training — pounding the pavements and cycle paths to get that last run in. And on Sunday 15th March around 13,000 people will line up on Pulteney Street — nervous, probably, and a bit cold, but ready to run 13.1 miles.

If you’re not a runner, you might wonder what the attraction is. After all only a handful of elite-level athletes stand a chance of finishing first. What motivates someone to train on a freezing winter morning or a dark evening, to run further than they ever have before? I asked my runners to tell me why they’re running the Bath Half, and here’s what they said:

I’m running the Bath Half because I wanted to challenge myself at 40 and see if I could, because I want to make my family proud and because I want to be a positive role model for my children.”— Anna

“I’m running the Bath Half because I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind too.” — Amy P

“I’m running the Bath Half for a challenge and to keep myself motivated to run 🏃‍♀ (and I love a medal!).”Nicki

“I’m running the Bath Half because I pulled out 2 years ago and I regretted it so much. I thought my running wasn’t good enough and now I realise how silly that was! I am so lucky to be able to run and I want to run for as long as my body will allow and at any speed. I also want to be a good role model for my son and our family.” — Amy D

“I’m running because I got talked into running for the charity I work for. I agreed because I have put on loads of weight and lost all my fitness after a tough two years with abdominal surgery twice and various other issues. I thought this could be the push I needed to get me back on track! I’ll be far slower than last year and my training is really behind but my mindset is very different now. Lots of mindful running for me! I can’t wait!” — Sarah S

“I’m running the Bath Half because it has been on my bucket list for two years and I don’t want to give up trying. I also want to keep fit and to prove myself that I can do it.” — Milla

“I’m running the Bath Half because it’s something I promised to myself I would do 2 years ago… then last year was cancelled and I was ready… now I’m terrified! But apparently I have palindromic number so that’s good. Right?” — Sian

“I’m running the Bath Half because I was talked in to doing it by Hannah to be part of an amazing team to raise money for Time is Precious. I have however enjoyed the training and surprised myself at how long I can actually run for. After entering and not running 8years ago I will be please to finally get the T-Shirt and medal 🏅.” — Clare

“I’m running Bath Half to show my kids if you put in the effort you get the results. It is not about fast times but doing what you put your mind to even if you never thought you would ever be able to do it. Plus raising lots of cash for charity!” — Lyndsey

“I’m running the Bath Half because I’m forever grateful for my health and fitness 😁. Having missed three years due to snow and injury I’m so excited to be out there amongst clients and friends this year. I also owe this to everyone who donated to Countess Mountbatten Hospice… and for Dad ” — Sarah L

“I am running the Bath half to prove that the impossible is possible!

My family suffered a terrible ordeal and it opened my eyes at how very precious life is, that we should never take for granted our amazing bodies no matter the shape or size, that we should try to live the healthiest version of ourselves to allow us the most fulfilling life and that life is short and you only get one shot!

I run to be free of the demons that I had in my head, to show my beautiful boys and my amazing niece that with hard work and determination anything can be achieved, I run to show them that the sky is the limit we should have no fear and not put barriers in our way!

I will run with some of the most supportive and selfless people that I am now proud to call friends, who have whipped me into shape, allowed me to ask thousands of questions, motivated me and most importantly understood me

We run to raise vital funds for a charity that I passionately believe in and hope that their work will always continue! You never truly understand the benefit of a charity until you are faced with using them!

We do it as a thank you, to the thousands of people that supported my family in a very dark hour… to give something back!

I do it for Kairo, Benz and Harmonie ” — Hannah

“I am running the Bath Half because I love a challenge. I also want to be a good role model for my kids.” — Katherine

“I am running the Bath Half – ‘because I can’ … so many people cannot do many of the things that I take for granted – walking and running amongst them – I have suffered tragedy and the sadness of seeing what Diabetes can do to someone very close to me.

I also want to inspire my kids and running makes me such a happier, and therefore nicer (I hope) person. Oh, and I want to be around for a long time and see my kids grow into the lovely folks I know they will be!” Vicki

So on Sunday 17th March I hope you’ll come and line the route. Wave flags, bang drums and generally make a big noise to cheer on all the runners from first to last! If you want some suggestions of brilliant ways to be supportive, you could…

  • Make a funny sign (google “funny marathon signs” if you need inspiration. Smiling makes you feel great even when your legs hurt.
  • Pick a quiet park of the course — the Lower Bristol Road from Twerton Fork to McDonalds is a low-point for a lot of runners on the second lap. They need your cheers.
  • The race numbers have names on this year, and a lot of runners will have their name on their top too. Hearing your name shouted as you pass is really motivating.
  • Phrases like “Well done” and “You can do it” are perfect. “You’re nearly there” is only appropriate on the final straight when the runners can see the finish.
  • If you want to start your supporting after lunch head to Pulteney Road and cheer the slower runners home. Some of them have been on their feet for 3 hours. That’s an epic feat. Save some jelly babies for these awesome athletes.

On behalf of all the people running the Bath Half, a heartfelt thank you to the crowds who make this race so brilliant. We are lucky to run in a city full of such wonderful people!