This is great news for all the food outlets in the area, because between 14,000 and 15,000 people take part in the event every year, and most of them bring their entire families along for support. This means that if you fancy going for a quiet bite to eat in a local restaurant or pub this sunday, forget it.
They start thronging at around 8 in the morning, all heading for the same start-line, but because there are so many of them, they all have to take differing routes, adding an extra mile or two to the 13 that they are just about to run. Roads are closed off and unless I strategically park my car the night before, it remains trapped down a cul-de-sac until 7 in the evening, so we cannot drive out of Bath. The traffic would be horrendous anyway, so I leave it trapped.
I have no interest in almost any sport, but I feel compelled to lean out of the window to watch the competitors as they walk or jog by, and my mind usually wanders in the direction of the fitness of the female ones, and which of them I find the most attractive.
Of course, this is a pointless thing for me to speculate about, because I find most sportswomen unattractive, and the few that I do can easily outrun me, so the exercise is academic - unlike theirs.
I have a 62 year-old friend who is running today, and he has been training for a couple of months now. He reckons he can do it in about 2 hours 10 minutes - about half the speed of the Kenyan who will certainly win again this year. My friend is the male I know who has been the most hard-hit (psychologically) by growing old, and he often bemoans the fact that he will 'never get off with a willing 18 year-old again'. I find his use of the word 'willing' a little sinister, and I hope I don't read about him in the newspaper one day, for any reason other than that he completed the Bath Half Marathon along with about 14,000 others again this year.
When I was at school, I was always being forced to run the cross-country event because the teachers thought I had the physique for it - I was very gangly and over 6 foot in height. I was bloody useless, and always came in last - so far behind the others that I was once mistaken for the winner of the following race until the headmaster announced over the Tannoy that I was hopelessly slow and everyone should stop applauding me. The applause turned to laughter and ridicule in an instant.
Very few people have seen me even break into a trot, let alone run for 13 miles.
Oh well, I had better go and change into Lycra - I see they have begun. I wish I hadn't drunk so much last night - it's going to be hard keeping up with the Kenyans.