Well done to all our Bath Half stars!
Congratulations to all of those who participated in the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday.
Team 50 was made up of over 100 students, staff and University friends – from very experienced runners who were out to smash previous personal bests on the 13.1mile course, to those who courageously started from scratch for their first ever race.
What an achievement! Over £15k has been raised already for the chosen charities: Bath Rugby Foundation, CLIC Sargent, Cry in the Dark Romanian orphanage, The Forever Friends Appeal, Trauma Recovery Centre, and Zambia IDEALS – and it’s still possible to donate if you didn’t have chance before the race.
The rain in the morning before the race cooled the air, so conditions were perfect for the run. As the sun came out and sparkled on our giant golden 50, our duck mascot provided lots of photo opportunities for runners and their supporters.
As the atmosphere was building, Team 50 runners gathered in our tent before the race and Olympian Heather Fell handed out certificates:
- Student Highest Fundraiser – Gavin Dodla-Bhemah (Pharmacy & Pharmacology) – £677
- Staff Highest Fundraiser – Charlotte Parkin (Development & Alumni) – £1,070
- Running Hero Student Award was awarded to Panna Farkas (Psychology) for her varied efforts to hit her fundraising target, which included bucket collections in Bath city centre and running a cake stall on the Parade during Refresh Week
- Running Hero Staff Award was given to Tom Stanton (Internal Audit), who organised weekly training runs leading up to the race.
Special mentions for fundraising involvement and team efforts went to Hannah Crosby (Mathematics student) and Ben Hutchinson (Development & Alumni staff).
Many thanks to the VTeam and RAG volunteers who helped set up the Uni tent on Saturday and also to the fantastic gang of 60 students and staff who formed a cheering squad for our runners round the course, helped out marshalling the race and manned our tent on the day.
Topping off the brilliant team effort, volunteers from Team Bath came and gave free massages to our runners after the race.
To get the full flavour of the event, read what people said on the day:
Chris Burling (Sports Development and Recreation) was our first Team 50 man back:
“As with every Bath Half, the support is phenomenal, it does keep you going. It’s great to be running for some good charities and see a load of people out there supporting you – there’s a good spirit. That said, anything from about 10 miles onwards was pretty horrific. I said last year I wouldn’t do it again but I could be convinced to run it again next year. I must break 1 hour 30 on this course! One day!
Dr Steve Cayzer (Mechanical Engineering)
“The crowd was really good. The real target is the fundraising, isn’t it? And it’s nice that we’ve done it as a community, staff and students together. The training runs on campus were great, I was really impressed with the level of engagement.”
Carley Symons (Sports Shift Manager at the STV) gave her all:
“This is only my second half marathon and I enjoyed it. It was a great crowd and a good atmosphere, and that helped us get round. I ran in 1hr 54 and 41 seconds. It was my PB!”
Louisa Peters (Volunteer Support Coordinator, SU oversaw organisation of Team 50 at Bath Half and ran on the day as well:
“It was fantastic, I’m really glad I did it; it’s really great to be part of a team and all work together. It’s a lot of fun and not as bad as you think but it was funny: the professional runners were whizzing by – I got to mile two and I was being lapped, half an hour in!”
Dr Marjorie Gibbon (Biology & Biochemistry), while enjoying a welcome massage from a Team Bath volunteer masseur:
“It’s my 50th birthday this year and I wanted to do something special for it. And of course it’s the University’s 50th too. Last June, I saw the news article on the Staff Homepage about Team 50 running places being available and signed up straight away.”
Pardeep Japper (Physics with Astrophysics)
“It was good, better than I’d expected. The atmosphere was great. All the music and the chants were great; there were so many bands. When I’d run the first circuit, I thought ‘oh no I have to do it all over again.’ I got tired and slowed down, but as I crossed that second circuit and I pushed forward and thought ‘you can do it again, you’ve done it once’. I talked my way through it. University’s changed me! This is nothing like me last year. After school you just want to crash and not do anything. I fill every bit of free time with doing something rather than lounge around. At university, literally the whole of your day is doing stuff to further yourself. And further the world!”
Ethan, an Economics student from China, managed to complete the course in just under two hours:
“Last year I saw people running, and I felt kind of left out. I thought I should try to do something more interesting and more meaningful. It’s been a great opportunity to support some interesting charities: the Trauma Recovery Centre does good work supporting children.”
Gavin Dodla-Bhemah (Pharmacy & Pharmacology finalist) went to Romania with VTeam in his first year to work at ‘Cry in the Dark’ orphanage. He ran the Bath Half this year to raise money for the project:
“Romania was easier but I’m alive! I thought: ‘Before I graduate, I have to do it.’”
Heather Fell (2008 Olympic silver medallist, modern pentathlon)
“I’m training for iron man in three weeks, so I couldn’t taper my training. My last three miles were 20 seconds faster than the first three! I didn’t think I had the confidence to go quicker, but now I know I can.”
Christine Gibbons (Bath alumna and member of University Council) has done the Bath Half four times now. When asked why she ran for Team 50 this year:
“I’m representing Council. As I was the only one that stepped up, I’m hoping they’re going to give me lots of money! I’ll be sending the fundraising link round again.”
Mike Gibbons (Electrical & Electronics Engineering – 1979) started running eight years ago and completed the Bath Half in 1 hour 43:
“It was great, lovely weather, great audience. I’ve done other races and I’m running the Boston Marathon this year. This is my second time here at Bath. It’s an OK course, you know what to expect. It’s always once you come round that final corner at Newbridge – it’s the ten mile mark with three miles to go. I always want to do it slightly faster, but the last mile is hell as you’re climbing!”
Vanessa and Zoe (VTeam student volunteers) helped out on the day:
“It’s been an exciting experience getting so many students and staff involved. We’ve been there in spirit with the runners! It’s good that it’s sunny, we were so nervous this morning when it was raining.”
VTeam/RAG member Chris, an Economics finalist, who volunteered to come and cheer on the runners:
“I’ve run the Bath Half myself and I appreciated the support so much. The feeling that you get crossing the line is amazing. I didn’t have the time to train this year, but it’s great to be here and experience it all; and as there were so many people running, I wanted to support them on their big day. The fact we have raised over £15k so far as Team 50 is fantastic, and the donations will keep on coming in.”
Huge congratulations and heartfelt thanks to everyone: runners, helpers, donors – feel proud!