Marching ahead…

The fleeting twenty-eight days of February have flown past, taking with them Valentines Day, Half Term, Pancake Day and (hopefully) the worst of winter’s chill. Now it’s time to march into March – quite literally! – starting on the 1st with the Bath Half Marathon.

Taking place as always on the first Sunday in March from 11am, the 2015 Vitality Bath Half Marathon is a spectacle not to be missed. So if you’re already in Bath, be sure to make some time to watch the race – if you’re quick you may even bag a spot near the finish line on Great Pulteney Street to cheer on the runners as they complete the course!

If you’re travelling to Bath on Sunday, whether you want to watch the race or not, it will certainly impact your travel time and route into the city, so please be aware and plan your journey accordingly. We always recommend guests travel to Bath by train rather than driving, as parking and negotiating the city centre one-way system can be somewhat of a challenge – and we want you to be nice and relaxed so you can enjoy yourself as soon as you get here! This holds especially true on race day, as the route includes several main thoroughfares which will consequently be closed for most of the day. Information about traffic restrictions, including times and a map of the race route, can be found here.

Every year, sponsored runners raise thousands of pounds in donations for their chosen charities, often boosting awareness of lesser known causes and organisations through their participation in the race.

A full list of charities involved can be found on the Bath Half website and includes a host of local causes as well as national, overseas and global organisations like Support for International Change (SIC) and Send A Cow. Children’s charities include the Rainbow Trust and I Can (helping children communicate), and many social and medical charities are represented, ranging from People Against Poverty to the Soundwell Music Therapy Trust; Mind (better mental health) to Marie Curie Cancer Care; Julian House to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. But it’s not just people who benefit: animal lovers will be pleased to see the Bath Cats & Dogs home on the list, along with environmental charities like Tree Aid and Rainforest Concern.

Here are the five Bath Half featured charities for 2015:

  • Teenage Cancer Trust (Lead Charity) is dedicated to improving quality of life and survival outlook for cancer sufferers aged between 13 and 24. “Thanks to local community support, including previous runners of the BATHALF, Teenage Cancer Trust has recently opened its first specialist unit in the South West for local young people with cancer.”
  • Jamie’s Farm (Family Fun Run Charity) offers a short-stay residential programme with follow up, “to help vulnerable children from inner-city schools flourish in education, at home and in the community…through a unique combination of family, farming and therapy”
  • Bath Rugby Foundation (Local Charity) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. “The Foundation strives to motivate, raise self esteem, increase confidence and improve life skills, by imparting the values found in rugby – camaraderie, loyalty, discipline and respect.”
  • RUH (Royal United Hospital) Forever Friends Appeal (Appeal Charity) began in 1999 and each year fundraising has been aided by Bath Half Marathon runners. “Our current fundraising aim is to raise £8.5 million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH, which balances our clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.”
  • Laureus Sport For Good Foundation (Official Vitality Run Series Charity) “uses sport to change disadvantaged young people’s lives in the UK and across the world.” Laureus supports and assists a worldwide programme of sports-related community projects, working to educate children, protect the vulnerable from illness and bring people together.

It’s for a good cause, and it’s impossible to ignore – so get into the spirit, come along and cheer. I’ll see you at the finish line!

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