In short: With some decent signposting it could be great. In full: 26 miles of mud, hills and more hills with no shade on a hot, sticky day is tough enough without adding the extra complication of an almost completely unmarked course. Even the helpers at the drinks stations didn't seem to know which way to go. It's just too demanding a route to have runners going 3 or 4 miles overdistance.
Sort out the route and it could be great race. Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Great race; scenic, friendly and challenging In full: There are 3 separate runs during the day; Team Challenge, 2.5k junior and the 10k race. Very scenic run in the palace grounds on closed roads, mixture of tarmac (start and finish) and forest roads. Steep hill approx 1k long starting at about 3.5k mark with a more gradual descent. Challenging but makes the race. Another minor blip about 7k mark but otherwise downhill thereafter. Great atmosphere, well organised and all abilities welcome. Food, running equipment and, sponsors stalls, static birds-of-pray display, ferret assault course! Great day out for all. Recommended. Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Good race - especially nice to run over the barrage. In full: Race had a nice atmosphere outside the Millennium Centre. Marshalled well and was nice to have the chance to run over the barrage.
The finishing area was a little chaotic and unorganised - the medals could have been placed in the goodie bag.
Plus a few more toilets would have been appriecated what with the big crowds. Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Fast and Flat with Superb Start, Glorious Middle and Spectacular End In full: As flat as they come outside Holland. Starts and ends in Cardiff waterfront café quarter. Excellent for family, friends and spectators. Junior 2k first which was a Joy to watch. The middle 2 miles take you out on the seafront and the finish is a wide spectator-lined sprint in front of some snazzily designed municipal building. Got my medal, didn’t even know there was a goody bag which apparently there was, but hey what a nice race. Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Good day out, if a bit hilly! In full: Well-organised event. Didn't join in the pre-race aerobics session! Only snag was after crossing start line, came to grinding halt for a couple of minutes as we all tried to get through bottleneck at stadium exit. Water in cups caused a few delays. Hills not as bad as expected and matched my PB to the second! Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Tougher than I anticipated, but great atmosphere with start and finish in the stadium In full: Living in Sheffield, I felt obliged to enter this to show my support. Even though I train on hills and know most of the roads on the course, I still found the hilly bits testing. I'm rather thanksful, though, that the last 5 miles are largely downhill or flat. As far as organisation goes, the course had good marshalling and the closed roads certainly made things a lot easier. The crowds were great even those small pockets of people when you were out towards the stadium side of the city. On the negative side, the mile markers were rather random - I missed the first two completely only to find at the third that I was running a fast 10k pace instead of half marathon pace. I paid for that later in the race! The 4 mile marker was never a mile from the 3 mile marker - more like 3/4mile. The 5 mile marker was over a mile from the 4-mile marker, bizarrely. I'm pretty sure that the last 3 miles were conutry miles though, but maybe that's because I was cream crackered from my unexpectedly fast early pace. The only other course negative were all of the twists and turns and the use of underpasses. Whilst I appreciate the desire to minimise road closures, they are do add unnecessary turns and short hills. As someone else commented, the goodie bag was rather naff, although my kids were impressed with the sweets - can't think why? On a final positive note, the medal was very well made and impressive - far better than the one I got from Bristol last year, and the finish in the stadium was uplifting - despite having to run around the top before we could actually enter it. Date of review: May 2, 2005
In short: Shocking to have water station withdrawn before all runners had gone through the first lap. In full: I saw markers for miles 1, 4 and 5 - where were the rest? Didn't like running through the busy shopping area. As I approached the water station at the end of lap 1 it was being dismantled - why no water for slower runners on such a warm day? Big hill was good. Would have been nicer to have a stadium finish rather than the dirt path behind it.
In short: Great atmosphere although challenging at the start In full: Nice race for a beginner although the start is tough. Once you get over that, the rest of the course is glorious and excellent support all round. Date of review: May 2, 2005