In short: Brilliant New Route with great scenery and personal best potential!! In full: This is the 3rd time Ive run in the Cardiff Half Marathon and this was by far the best route and best organised by far! The route strated outside the beautiful Cardiff Castle and took you along the route past cardiff city football stadium and all the way to penarth marina and the barrage, back through the city and up toward Roath park lake and back through the city to the finish. It was challenging especially from the 8th mile as its a long gradient all the way to 11 miles and then slopes back downhill. The route was treelined and a great running surface with no cobbles nor slippery surfaces. Support was fantastic in many areas and Im sure that if they keep this route next year the support will be even better. This has to be put on your running calender and is a must run. Nice t shirt medal and goody bag. Date of review: October 16, 2012
In short: Excellent city half marathon In full: Really enjoyed my second half-marathon. It probably helped a lot that the weather was superb, but about as good a course that Cardiff can muster. Good support and a fast course - I took 50 mins off my PB!
Didn't have any problems with congestion as I was doing a sub-1.30. One improvement I'd suggest is having a gun clock half way round so you have a good idea of timing. Also the bag at the end could really do with some sort of energy bar. And a Cardiff marathon would be good too! Date of review: October 16, 2012
In short: Lovely Route- Need to Smarten up the organisation In full: Lovely Route (especially around Cardiff Bay- helped by perfect weather of course) but some improvements needed.
The race needs staggered starts. Very congested at the start and, from all accounts, those in the sub 2 hour category were subject to congestion/ zig-zagging runners all the way round. Some narrow bottlenecks, in part caused by crowds- a la Tour de France. More robust marshalling needed
Also- where were the race pacers?
Some more music/ bands en route might have been more uplifting
Missed some of the water stations cause not given adequate advance warning. Couldn't find the A,B, C, D family meeting point after the race. Asked a marshall who then sent me off in the wrong direction. Again, basic signage would have done the job
Hand out of medals, T-shirts and goody bags at the end was a real mess, with 15 minute waiting times. The medal and the T-shirt were good though
Support excellent in some places, in centre of Cardiff but lacking elsewhere
In conclusion, Cardiff probably has one of the best half marathon routes in the country BUT compared to the GNR or to Reading for organisation and atmosphere it still has some way to go.
In short: Flat, fast, nice t-shirt & medal In full: Well, mostly flat, two early shallow hills to sort the pace out and one suprise on the 12 mile mark, where you get to hear rather a lot of choice Welsh swear words!
It's definately a fast course, the only problem being there are a lot of runners... So plenty of ducking, dodging, diving and dodging for the first couple of miles.
Lots of water, energy drinks and gels on offer, a race worth doing more than once for sure! Date of review: October 15, 2012
In full: a big improvement on previous years,better course,better organization and a super race all round,not as flat as they claim but pb potential all the same. a much better t shirt but a shocking goody bag,mostly leaflets,nothing to eat! Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: A good race thats got even better In full: This race exceeded my expectations, with a good course and good support from the locals. I ran in 2009 and 2010 (missed last year due to injury) and both races left me annoyed/frustrated with simple mistakes that marred an otherwise good course and atmosphere. This year the organisation seemed much slicker, and although there was a little congestion this is to be expected with 13 000 runners. The course itself was also improved, adding some more scenic parts of Cardiff and much less winding through back streets etc. The crowds were also much improved from previous cheers, with more people and more vocal support along large sections of the course. I'll willingly be back next year, compared to previous years where I've reluctantly signed up due to it being relatively close and my favourite distance. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Beginner friendly, PB potential, thoroughly enjoyable. In full: This was my first HM so i'm probably not qualified to pass judgement.
However the fact that I already want to return next year tells me that it was a great experience for a first time, poorly prepared competitor.
The meandering runner was incredibly annoying at times - but then I didn't see any notices of race etiquette in the information provided.
n.b. if it hadn't have been for the potential loss of the entry fee (no deferment available) I probably wouldn't have run. Therefore the high entry fee is in itself motivational ;-) Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Overall very good but a few problems caused by numbers/organisation In full: Overall, I thought this was a good race.
This is my second Cardiff half (first in 2011) and I thought the route was much better than last year's. The support was very good, especially in Roath, Cathays and city centre, but a bit patchy.
My only gripes relate to the crowd control element. It's obvious that the organisers have intentions to make this a big event and to use it to make more big events in Cardiff. I've absolutely no problem with that. But I think they will need to sort out two issues:
1) Race route - a few too many bottleneck points at corners, after the barrage and crowd-induced bottlenecks with supporters going right into the road, Tour de France style. The support was appreciated but some robust marshalling is needed - for their safety and ours.
2) On the issue of the 2hr+ runners I would agree with other reviewers that organisers let too many off at the start in one go. I saw a quote on Walesonline.co.uk from the chairman of Run 4 Wales saying they'd got everyone through in 11 mins! But it's also up to runners to be realistic and honest with their timings. Far too many in front of me were running slowly at three, four, more abreast. And I don't like to pick on anyone but I ran past a chap at mile 1.5 who was carrying a wooden CROSS. I'm sorry but if you're doing that you will definitely not finish sub-2hr. I'm not a very seasoned runner and I'm sure it's an issue in every race and in all the pens but I'd like to see runners take on their own responsibility to gauge their pace during training and be realistic about where they start.
But like I said overall I thought it was very good. Date of review: October 15, 2012