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Bath Half Marathon 2023 final finisher

Olivia Smashes It In Bath

Bath Half continues to defy logic as PBs tumble in the hilly city...

For 41 years the Bath Half Marathon has been an enigmatic fixture in the calendar – defying logic as personal bests are destroyed in one of the hilliest areas in the West Country. In fact, Bath Half Marathon is remarkably flat, utilising a cleverly devised two-lap course that rarely strays far from the River Avon, hugging both sides of the sheltered valley on which the Unesco World Heritage city is built.

Of course, it's not all about fast times and PBs as our photo above shows. Bath Half welcomes all standards and this year's final finisher from 9,242 runners, Olivia Cole (5:05:44 gun time; 4:21:27 chip time) clearly enjoyed her run just as much as the superstars who were more than three hours faster.

First among these unequals was Jonathan Escalante-Phillips (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, 1:04:25 PB) who finished three seconds ahead of Matt Sharp (Ryde Harriers, 1:04:28 PB). Bath Half regular Jonathan Cornish (Hercules Wimbledon AC, 1:05:05 PB) was a close third. Adam Clarke (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, 1:05:20) had led the pack through 10K in 30:45 before dropping back slightly to finish fourth.

The women's race saw a commanding victory for Phillipa Williams (Hallamshire Harriers, 1:13:05 PB) from Charlie Arnell (Milton Keynes Distance Project, 1:16:13 PB) and W40 Anna Harrold (Truro RC, 1:16:37 PB) – the latter with a huge eight-minute improvement on her 1:24:41 win and previous best in the Truro Half Marathon last month.

This year's race started at a new location on Royal Avenue in front of Bath's famous Georgian Royal Crescent, constructed between 1767 and 1774. The route passes the Runner's Village at Royal Victoria Park for an out-and-back tour alongside the River Avon and through the city centre (twice) before the big finish back on Royal Avenue.

Traditionally held in March, the latest two editions have been pushed back to October due to the Covid pandemic, but next year's 42nd Bath Half will return to its favoured spring date (17 March). Entries are already open at the Bath Half Marathon website here.

Results and previous reports are available at the runABC South race listing here.

Image courtesy Bath Half Marathon on Facebook

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