In short: My first half-marathon and I really enjoyed it. In full: The day was beautiful, the course was interesting and picturesque and the people were friendly. I enjoyed every minute of my run and am looking forward to tackling another 21K. Would suggest more loos and water stops next year. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Great race, great marshalls, great stadium but let the people in! In full: Thrird time doing this one and again an enjoyable race. The marshalls on the course are great but as others have pointed out, the stadium end could have been much better. The specrators were only allowed on the upper level and it was very hard to see the finish! Where are the medals? Where the hell is the water?? Where to I put my chip? how do I find my family??? Just a few questions on the lips of some very knackered runners! But despite all this the Cardiff people are wonderful on the course and the stadium is one hell of a finish. Back next year?? Damn right!! Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Very well organised event - Good atmosphere, good marshalling, plenty of water - well done! In full: What a contrast to the Great North Run!! It is hard to believe that they are 'organised' by the same group!! The wave start was a huge success ensuring that at no time did I feel 'hemmed in' as was the case in Newcastle both before the start & during the run itself. I would agree with previous comments regarding the mile markers being difficult to spot but this is a small criticism which could be easily remedied next year. In summary a very enjoyable event for myself as a runner & my family as spectators who had the opportunity to see me at the start, 6 miles & approaching the finish.
PS.Thank you to Jo from the Brighton area who I ran with for the first 4 miles - sadly I couldn't keep up with you on the day but good luck for your forthcoming Marathon!
In short: Does what it says on the tin! In full: Glorious winter stomp through mid-Herefordshire woodlands. I first entered in 2004 and it is forever part of my running calendar. Great downhill section 'slaloming' through pine-trees, then trudges through several boggy bits - my abiding memory in 2005 was storiming through the sludge to overtake a fully-kitted member of HM forces who was inconsequentially pussy-futting around on the edge of the mud! Watch out for your shoes at this point (seriously - you will need to tie them very closely or you WILL lose one).
What goes down must come up - after a plunge into the brook at the bottom of the valley, a brutal uphill section (2 or 3 miles?) reduced to walking pace in sections. Have to lever up final ascent by grabing hold of trees. Final flat stagger to finish.
PLENTY of hot tea and doughnuts at the end. Pity no memento for finishing what is a great race, but this is a minor point - the Muddy Woody challenges the half-marathon (and even the marathon?) in terms of exertion - organised brilliantly and very friendly. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Scenic course, special Stadium finish In full: First time at this event, loved the route as it had places of interest as well as parkland, unusual for a city half. Also not too crowded, except for the tight Stadium finishing track.
Marshals/helpers excellent and very supportive, drinks etc perfectly available.
Only down side the fiasco at the finish receiving medals, and lack of water at the finsh when we all needed it.
Otherwise well worth doing, thanks to all involved. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Great varied course - definite PB potential In full: Fantastic race this. A big city race which still gets you out to the docks and in the park. Finishing in the Millenium Stadium was a real buzz. Could have done with some bands en route and some music inside the stadium to pump up the finish and a ribbon would have been nice for my medal - i can't hang it anywhere!! But overall definitely a race to do again and recomend... Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: third time i've done it and it remains my favourite race In full: glorious weather, smooth organisation, fantastic support (best yet i think) - would definitely recommend it to a newcomer - it was my first ever race three years ago and i've no regrets only one complaint - why do faster runners have to be so rude? surely the main aim of the day is to have healthy fun and help raise money for charity, yet some men shoved their way through as though they were aiming for a world record! Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Corner-cutting takes edge of a potentially outstanding event In full: At first sight one could not imagine a more attractive event: super-flat and fast, great town with a wide range of scenery and a spectacular finish in the Millenium Stadium. However, non-runners in the start area and wandering over parts of the course, inadequate marshalling, ambiguous mile markers and no organised razzmatazz took the edge off the day compared to the Edinburgh Marathon, my only other race at this distance. Positives however included the amount of water/energy stops which were frequent and well-manned and the terrific support of those who turned out to cheer everyone on through the city’s streets.
Improvements that could be made for next year would, firstly be to take more care in providing runners with an indication of where to start 2 groups at <4hours and >4 hours is not good enough. Also, mile markers were more frequent at the finish of the course but only every 3 - 4 miles in the early stages. It would be much better to mark every mile to help settle into a steady pace. More stewards are definitely required if the course is not to be marked more carefully; thankfully I ran in the middle of the pack but even so we nearly took some wrong turns. Switchbacks in particular need to be better marshaled - I saw at least two competitors cutting over switchbacks on the barrage and in the park (they may have only cheated themselves, but psychologically this is tough to take when you've run 22 miles and are on your last ounce of effort!). The marshals also need to be more authoritative: on the second lap of this two-lap course the general public with their bikes, dogs and kids were wandering all over the route. The Millennium stadium was an awesome place to finish and, apart from the fantastic support on the streets of Cardiff, was the highlight of the event. However, the promise of Dragon Radio organising some entertainment did not seem to materialise. The stadium therefore had a hollow quality to it with little atmosphere, particularly for runner's family & friends waiting patiently to see their sweaty heros! Once inside the stadium there was little access to vital water supplies, the goodie bag was very stingy (and why did the medal not fit in it's case.. and where was the ribbon?!), and there were no refreshments available for purchase by either runners of spectators in or around the ground. With a little more attention to detail this could be a brilliant event, what did they spend the (rather steep) entry fees on this year?!
In short: A fantastic race!! In full: Great fun from start to finish, this is the sort of event that keeps me running..A big thank you to everybody involved, the organisors, the marshalls, the youngsters giving out water and medals without you kind people events like this would not happen. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Fantastic! In full: A brilliant event that was very well organised and executed. Plenty of drinks along the way and a nice flat course for a PB. A little disapointing to do a long 'out and back' on the same road, but this was forgotten when re-entering Bristol centre. The crowds were brilliant and as the roads are a little narrow it feels like the crowds are right on top of you! A most enjoyable event and will certainly be back here in favour of the Great North Run anytime. Date of review: October 10, 2005
In short: Actual race was ok, BUT......... In full: Enjoyed actually running the race but the before and after organisation let it down. The expected fishing time boards were too low down so could not be seen once a few people had lined up. I was in the 2.30+ band but didn't see it until it was too late to move forward. The 2.00 - 2.30 box was only about 20 yards long. There was no dicernable PA at the start so it was not possible to remind people to be realistic about starting position so had to make way through walkers within the 1st half mile. Enjoyed the course and would like to thank all the marshalls and first aiders for their help and encouragement to runners. The nature of the course though does mean that the front runners in the marathon will catch up the middle of the half marathon field. I was lucky that the lead vehicle caught me up at the back of the castle but what happened in the cycle/footpath between Blackweir and North road? The finish was chaotic. I was directed up the first set of steps to collect medal etc. This brought you out in the massage area and into a massive queue to get the medal, banana, chocolate and water. But no, the water was back down at pitch side, after the set of steps that I was directed up. As I had plenty in my bag in the secure storage area it wasn't worth going against the flow to try to get a bottle. I stayed on to watch the Marathon finish and that was inspiring, but I think that there should have been a marshallat the top of the ramp warning slower half marathon runners to keep to one side on the lap around the pitch. Despite all the above I did enjoy the event and plan to be back next year. Date of review: October 10, 2005