Paul Martelletti ended a 12-year British hoodoo by winning the 2015 Bath Half in a time of 1.05.28, 14 seconds clear of Dean Lacy. Martelletti entered as one of the pre-race favourites and his victory made it four half-marathons in the space of a month after winning in Watford, Wokingham and Brighton during the past four weeks. Ethiopian Tadella Geremew came home third after winning a sprint finish for the bronze medal, 49 seconds down on Martelletti.
In the Women’s race, 44-year old Emma Stepto claimed victory in a time of 1.13.50, making it a British double in the two main races. Stepto eased to victory and finished a full 84 seconds clear of second placed Jenny Jagger with Rachel Felton a further 7 seconds back in third.
The Bath Half is the biggest such event in the South West of England and once again attracted 15,000 competitors and a strong field despite the absence of some top Kenyan athletes due to Visa issues. The field ranged from elite athletes, to experienced half marathon runners to those taking part in their first ever such event.
The Bath Half, now in its 34 year, raises a huge amount of money for a wide range of charities and this year saw celebrities including Greg James and Russell Howard taking part for ‘CoppaFeel’ and ‘Time is Precious’ respectively.
Many University of Bath students also took part in the race to help raise money for their chosen charity. 31 student volunteers representing RAG and V Team, including two of the Student Union Officers participated as well as many individuals from a range of societies and clubs.
Despite blustery conditions and a heavy rain shower about an hour before the scheduled start, many spectators lined the course to cheer on all the athletes and encourage them around the 13.1 mile circuit which both starts and ends on Great Pultney Street. Many of the runners wore fancy dress or vests advertising their charity to help raise awareness of the cause they were running for in addition to the sponsorship raised.
After the Half marathon had started at 11.00, the family fun run took place at 11.20 with parents and children running along Great Pultney Street and Pultney road before turning around and running back. The Fun Run is just a short race, aimed at encouraging youngsters to become active and enjoy doing sport.