In short: My first half In full: As this was my first half and being local (Newport) it was a special day for me. Great seeing the barrage and the 2 parks. The paving just before the castle was hideous on the feet though!
Well organised on the whole I thought. Bit of a drama at the end with the queues but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: A grand tour of Cardiff's diverse landscape (City, industrial, maritime, residential, parklands and stadium) In full: A special race for me as this was my first marathon. As it was my home town, I was able to safely judge my race in relation to local landmarks.
In terms of entries, it seemed dominated by club runners - it seemed a bit like a spill over race for unsuccessful London marathon applicants? So, as a keen but relatively non-competetive runner, my time of 5:36 put me firmly in the Cardiff 'stragglers'.
My marathon attempt was spoiled by a cheating athlete who I can *strongly alledge* to have cheated by skipping the long run up the Cardiff barrage. He was dresed as Scooby Doo and collecting for Barnados. I'm quite sure he skipped another switch-back in the parks. He then proceeded to beat me in a sprint finish into the stadium, thereby milking the applause of well-wishers and spoiling my own race finish - I felt almost violated at the time but have cooled down since. In retrospect, this sour taste which could have been avoided by STRICT marshalling at switchbacks.
As a relative straggler I did not witness the alledged queing chaos mentioned by other runners. However, the medal / goodie bag set-up was extremely off-hand and a bit of an anti-climax. I'm not one to get wound up by this sort of thing but it was strikingly 'average' given the grandeur of the millennium stadium.
Bag deposit not 'secure' as described - but I am very trusting of runners so I wasn't really bothered by this, I always leave cards etc. at home.
On a positive note - friendly and helpful stewards, St. Johns ambulance and policing all the way round, and as I was in no real hurry and running on my own for most of the race, I made a point of thanking many of the stewards who I encountered.
Minor gripe - water bottles too small and screw-capped (glad I brought my own 1 litre squeezy bottle which I topped up with water from the stations). Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: First-time 10 mile race for me and it was excellent! In full: Really enjoyed this race as a first-timer, I felt I pushed myself and the crowds and the other runners helped too. Small gripes: 1. couldn't see the mile markers and I don't think they were in the right place 2. Beautiful medal but would be nice if it actually said "10 miles"! 3. The wave system was good but it should be divided as to estimated times I'm definitely coming back next year - I'll be sure to put on some no-run suntan lotion though as I got slightly singed yesterday... Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Good fast route - organisation in the stadium needs attention In full: Great race and well marshalled, but fell apart in the stadium. Akin to an organised training run, rather than a city marathon. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Good support both inside and outside of the stadium, organisation once crossed the line a bit shambolic. Spectators inside the stadium had great sight lines of the pitch but not the finish Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: FANTASTIC, great atmosphere, weather and organisation In full: Had a fantastic weekend, stayed in Southsea Saturday night. Just a brilliant race. Nice shower! Possibly even beats 2004. One of my favourites. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Millenium Stadium is a great place to finish, but waiting 40 minutes for a medal is far from ideal. Plenty of water, and well marshalled. Would recommend to anyone. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Really enjoyable In full: First half marathon and would do this one again.Wasn't nice standing in a que for medal after 13.1 miles or the cobbles stone path by cardiff castle. Good support around the route though. I cant wait for next year and a faster time. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Good flat course on a clear crisp morning In full: Good race to do for a pb with only a few (very small) inclines. 4000-odd meant that it wasn't too packed either. Only moan is about the baggage tent area - a little thought or planning would have been nice from someone to back up the efforts of the volunteers (Why noy open different sides of the tent folks??) Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Lives up to it's name - a really great race! In full: First time of running this race. Very impressed by the organisation, the organisers had paid a lot of attention to detail. Wave system worked well, although the start was a little crowded I don't see how this can be avoided with such a large field. Atmosphere at start, during the race and at the finish was really special. A nice goody bag at the end - very generous, organisers of the Windsor Half Marathon take note! I enjoyed this race very much. I didn't quite get the target time I had aimed for, but I'll be back next year to settle the score :-)
In short: Really enjoyed the event and the day as a whole. Could be some more crowd participation In full: Was adopted at the start by an amazing bloke called Charlie, an experienced runner, who helped me around in a time 8 minutes faster than I believed I could run. I slowed right down in the last mile and let him go on, had a 200yd walk and saw a guy racing in a standard wheel chair - what was I thinking of feeling tired? Ran all the way to the finish where I saw and thanked Charlie. That's what it's all about. Beautiful weather, nice city - and the cleanest public loos anywhere in the UK I reckon! Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Great race, bit hot though ;0) In full: Minor gripes only - Had to get myself in front of a womble near the front of the first wave! And my first mile pace whilst not really slow, was erratic trying to pass slow runners.
Love the event overall though, just wish it was not so warm, although have to be happy with no wind, so should not complain too much Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Have I finished yet? In full: Hairpin bends with a large number of runners are not a good idea. Stopped at the inflatable. Stopped my watch and therefore don't know what my actual time was.
What was that business with the hadn -wand at the end? I was 'brisked' about 10secs after finishing (and 30 secs after crossing under the inflatable NOt-the-finish-line. Also fifteen quid - a bit much. Fortunately didn't need the water as it was fairly cool - otherwise could have been a problem (Gt North Run should have made organisers a bit more careful - I would have thought.
Still, will probably do it again. Date of review: October 10, 2005