SCORES of runners from West Wiltshire were among the 15,000 people who took part in Sunday’s Bath Half Marathon to raise funds for charitable causes dear to their hearts.

Local charities represented included Jamie’s Farm, Dorothy House Hospice, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the Wiltshire Music Centre.

A four-strong team from the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon ran to raise funds to support its activities.

The volunteers, led by Rosalie Luff, tackled the 13.1-mile course in Bath to raise £2,000 to support the centre’s work.

Miss Luff, 17, said: “I joined the Wiltshire Music Centre team for the Bath Half to help give back to them.

“They’ve supported me with my music from the age of 11, to now being joint first horn in the West of England Youth Orchestra at 17.

“So many young musicians rely on the service that’s the music centre provides, and I want to help as much as I can to keep it going for as many people as possible.” 

Team Dotty also ran the Bath Half Marathon to raise funds for the Dorothy House Hospice at Winsley.

A spokeswoman said: “The Bath Half Marathon is Dorothy House’s second biggest annual fundraising event and is extremely important to us.

“Dorothy House Hospice Care has been privileged to have charity places in the Bath Half Marathon since 2002.

“Over the past 17 years we’ve had 2,037 amazing runners taking part for Team Dotty. These legendary runners have raised an absolutely phenomenal £665,000 for the charity and we are so proud of every single person who’s been part of the team.”

More than 100 local people  ran for the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

Forever Friends Appeal volunteers and staff cheered on its team, which included 40 members of RUH staff.

Each runner pledged to raise a minimum of £175 sponsorship – and the overall amount will benefit a number of areas across the hospital, including wards and departments.

The money will go towards funding life-enhancing equipment, facilities, research and new buildings such as the Dyson Cancer Centre and RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “It’s fantastic that we have so many people from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire running for our charity.

“Many of our colleagues at the RUH will be joining us at our dedicated cheering point near Green Park.”

Forever Friends Appeal ambassador, Ed Jackson, a former Bath rugby player and RUH patient, greeted runners before the race to offer some last-minute coaching and encouragement.

After the race, the runners attended a celebratory 20th anniversary-themed party in a marquee as this year the charity is marking its 20th year of fundraising for the RUH.

Josephine Wildridge, 41, who grew up in Trowbridge and now lives in London, said: “I’m doing the Bath Half to raise as much money as possible for the RUH’s Intensive Care Unit and to say thanks to everyone who looked after my mum, especially Doctor Georgiou and the Intensive Care Unit team. My mum was in Intensive Care for 18 days at Christmas after emergency surgery.

“Every evening I ate in the canteen, and saw the posters for the Bath Half Marathon. During those very dark and uncertain days, I started to think about how I could give something back to those caring for my mum.

“It doesn’t seem enough to say thank you to those who saved my mum’s life, but I’m doing the Bath Half as it’s the only way I can say thank you. The NHS is the best in the world.”

This year’s race went ahead as planned after last year’s event was cancelled due to the heavy snow which affected the build up.

Great Britain international Christopher Thompson was the first runner across the finish line at the end of the 2019 Bath Half Marathon.

The 37-year-old led the field in 1:03.09, 1:25 clear of Nick Goolab. Peter Le Grice (1:04.55) finished third, with Aaron Richmond (1:05.44) fourth and Tom Merson (1:06.23) fifth.

2008 Beijing Olympian Kate Reed was the first woman across the finish line in Great Pulteney Street.

The 36-year-old who runs for Bristol & West finished in 1:12.44 in her first race of the season, 3:09 ahead of Rachel Felton.

Phillipa Williams (1:18.11) was third, Hayley Munn (1:18.30) fourth and Emma Pooley (1:19.35) fifth.

Race Director Andrew Taylor, from Running High Events, said: “The 2019 Bath Half Marathon has, once again, been an absolutely brilliant year for us with an huge turnout of runners, with some of fastest finisher times we have seen.

"It also looks likely to be yet another record-breaking year for charity fundraising. We would like to congratulate the winners and everyone who crossed the finish line.

"The Bath Half is a much-loved event within the community and attracts a large number of runners from further afield for its flat, fast course and incredible atmosphere.

“Our thanks go to all the runners for choosing to run the Bath Half, the spectators for their unfailing support, and all the local volunteers, contractors and partners who work so hard behind the scenes to make the event the success that it is.

"I would also like to thank all the bands who gave their time for free to support the event, and to all the venues who generously donated the use of their premises. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2020.”

The date for the 2020 Bath Half Marathon has been confirmed as Sunday, March 15 2020, and early bird entries for the 2020 race are open from Monday, March 19.