NEWS of the postponement of the 2022 Bath half marathon will have come as a huge blow to hundreds if not thousands of runners.
From club to fun runners, with a fair sprinkling of elite and charity fund-raisers also thrown in, plans for the race on Sunday March 17th would have been well advanced by now (or should have been!).
But now those plans can be ripped up as the date has been axed and the race moved back to Sunday May 29th.
Why? Because of roadworks.
Seriously that’s the reason race director Andrew Taylor – who must be pulling his hair out – has been forced to drastically change his plans.
On behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for children, young people, communities and culture, said:
“The council works with many event organisers.
“Part of the planning considerations event organisers have to consider is balancing the pressures on the highways such as utility companies digging up roads, planned works and so on, alongside the safety those taking part.
“Event organisers are also responsible for providing the council with an agreed event plan in a timely manner such as an agreed route and impact mitigations.
“The Bath Half is considering some changes to the event route so needs to work these through with communities and members of the Safety Advisory Group for Events.
“These various factors have led to the change in date being necessary with Bath Half requesting the date chosen in May.”
That’s classic bureaucratic-speak with a little dig at Taylor and his team for considering changes to the route that have thrown up extra problems.
Who knows exactly is to blame but it is another blow to the race’s reputation after it was cancelled last year and was severely criticised in 2020 after it was held on the cusp of the first national lockdown.
Then in 2018 it was cancelled at a late stage due to heavy snow in the area.
Sadly, for an event that is among the premier races in the West County it has been cursed with problems in recent times.
In a statement, the organisers said: “We regret that this year’s Bath Half Marathon has had to be rescheduled to Sunday, May 29 with the agreement of Bath & North East Somerset Council, to take into account pressures on the highways network.
“We will send an email to all our participants on Friday morning setting out your deferment and refund options.
“It’s heart-breaking to have to postpone the Bath Half Marathon again and we know that many people will be disappointed by this decision.
“But with the support of our entrants, community and partners we are determined to return on May 29 with a celebration for our 40th anniversary.
“Thank you so much for sticking with us.”