Runners share Bath Half Marathon experiences
More than 11,000 runners took part in today’s Bath Half Marathon.
Many of those taking part were raising money for a local or national charity, but others were completing the course because of the love of running.
Veteran runner Martin Rees, 60 from Cwmavon South Wales, beat a world record as the fastest over 60 in a half marathon, with a time of 71 minutes and 32 second.
Mr Rees, who retired on Wednesday and turned 60 on Thursday, said: “I’m so pleased with what I’ve done. I’m going to celebrate with a couple of drinks.”
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Beating his own personal record was radio and television presenter Dermot O’Leary, who took part in the half marathon for a second year, running in aid of the breast cancer charity Coppafeel! along with Radio One presenter Greg James.
Speaking to the Bath Chronicle before the half marathon O’Leary, who eventually finished in one hour and 40 minutes, said: “I had such a good time last year apart from the one hour 47 I was running. It was really good. I love the city. It’s a beautiful city everyone turns out to support you. It’s a nice city to run around.”
James, added: “I love Bath so much I’ve only ever walked round it and got drunk here, and had nice dinners and stuff.
“I hope I love it as much as I do now afterwards. It’s an amazing place but I feel I may ruin it for myself.”
The Thomas and Hunn families from Bath entered six family members to help raise £500 for the Genesis Trust.
Lucy Thomas, 23 from Weston, who was running her first half marathon, finished in two hours and one minute.
She said: “There were some bleak bits down from the A4, especially the first time but that’s when everyone keeps jollying each other on. The crowd have been amazing.”
Jenny Eaton, from Newbury, was one of 200 runners taking part in the half marathon to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund in memory Jackie Orme, also from Berkshire, who died of pancreatic cancer last summer. The team, who were supported by 100 runners in the Fun Run, hoped to raise £100,000.
Mrs Eaton, who finished in one hour and 36 minutes, said: “We are all here for one reason to remember Jackie, and raise money in her memory for the charity. The crowds were great and made it so much easier to run.”
First time half marathon runner, Danni Chambers, 26 and from London, finished in one hour and 40 minutes.
She said: “The atmosphere was awesome and going past the music and steel band was such a boost. I was here last year watching and I decided I would sign up for this year.”
Sarah Ashdown, 26 and lives in Lower Oldfield Park, completed the half marathon in one hour and 49 minutes wearing a dalmatian costume to raise money for the Bath Cats and Dogs Home.
Miss Ashdown, who volunteers at the charity and raised £150, said: “I’ve bettered myself since last year. It was too hot last year especially wearing this, but this year was good and the support is always awesome in Bath.”
Bath policeman PC Garry Hancock achieved his best time finishing in one hour and 55 minutes.
He said: “It’s a great event every year. The public are brilliant and it just gets stronger every year.”
Jamie Feilden, of Jamie’s Farm in Box, finished the half marathon in one hour and 28 minutes.
He was one of 100 runners helping to raise £20,000 for the charity.
He said: “This is my fifth Bath Half and I’m getting slower. The temperature's lovely and the support been great - it’s been such a great day.”
Don't miss your 40-page special Bath Half Marathon supplement in this week's Bath Chronicle