In short: Pleased with my first HM, but definitely room for improvement in the race organisation In full: Arrived in the bay at about 7:30 and there was plenty of room in the 2-story car park (top floor was completely empty still), paid £8 for about 6 hours.
Needed to ask for directions to the starting area (maybe it would have been more obvious had I checked a bag). Though watching pedestrians and racers battling each other on the pavements I think I wasn't the only one who was a bit confused.
I thought there was a lengthy queue for toilets, but had budgeted this into my time frame.
My only real complaints were the bottleneck in the last mile, the lack of sports drink and the size of the shirts left when I reached the finish. The section on the dual carriageway was dreadful, made worse by the heat and the lack of volunteers or marshals. I'd love to have run through the parks, but realise that's not a realistic option for a race of 15,000.
It is a flat race. (Listening to people moaning about the hills really improved my mood during the race)
My OH thought it was abysmal from a spectator's point of view. Couldn't get anywhere near the finish line and was only able to see me near the very beginning and once more at mile 8-ish. Date of review: October 28, 2011
In short: Not as flat as described, flyover dull, but will definately do again In full: First half marathon so haven't really got anything to compare it to. Overall it was a good experience, however the lack of organisation at the start - too many spectators (maybe need a runners village past a certain point?) and the dull boring flyover bit coupled with no sports drink left when us fun runners came through, made the 6 - 9 miles bit extremely hard. On the positive side the marshalls were very supportive and the woman with the jelly babies in Penarth was a godsend!!! Disappointed with my time, but that only makes me more determined to go back and beat this course. Til next year! Date of review: October 28, 2011
In full: Good course this year on wide roads so nobody should have got held up. Lets hope they keep it the same ( i've done this race last 3 years and route has been altered each time ). Would still much prefer start to be in the centre as much more parking is available and start easier to get to. Date of review: October 27, 2011
In short: Not up to normal cardiff standars - very sramped start, pedestrians blocking acess. Start should be in a much wider road. Very boring run back and for along dual carriageway. Acceptable run but a capital city shoudl be able to do better Date of review: October 27, 2011
In short: A good city run worth the experience In full: This was my first Cardiff Half, and I did enjoy the experience of a city run. I was bit surprised with the crowds of non-runners around the runners village, this could be kept clear for the runners only. The lack of toilets was a bit of a problem, luckily I found a shopping centers open but still had to queue. The race start was congested due to the narrow road and also getting into the pens due to the number of non runners being in the way. It was hard to hear the start of the race, even being a short way back. it was hard to get into a pace until after 3 miles, The water stations could have been better prepared and organised and I believe the energy drinks ran out. The use of the city roads but the drag up and back along the dual carriageway was a bit of a drag but the crowds managed to get to places you least expected. The shirt and medal was good but the tube of toothpaste made the race worth running. More medium shirts next year though! I so enjoyed this race, that I came home and booked myself a final half for the year. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In full: Having been always too late to register for the last couple of years and even though I was pretty ill the week before I had no intention of not running this year!
The start was a little cramped and where I started behind the 2:15:00 marker we weren't even sure the race had started for a good while. But when things got started it was a very open run with definite potential of gaining PBs. Even being a little worse for ware I still ended up with a respectable 1:56:14.
Although the lack of crowd on the bypass made that bit a little quiet, the most difficult part was running past my house at the 4 mile mark!
Overall, a great race. If you don't know Cardiff, it's a great way to see the city. Date of review: October 24, 2011
In short: Great day out In full: For first half marathon, was a little apprahensive, but the crowds of spectators cheering you along was great. Not particularly scenic but then with 15,000 runners it was always going to be a practical route that fitted everyone in, over the park of other years. Too much of a bottle neck though for my liking in the last mile. Where I wanted to stretch the pace and push for the finsh it came down to a narrow fenced path that could only fit 4 abreast at best, slowing me right down so I didn't trip myself up. Date of review: October 23, 2011
In short: An enjoyable well organised race In full: After the anti-climax of last year(in terms of the short course)I was hoping for better this year. I wasn't disappointed. Of course the dual carriageway is not as scenic as the parks but was required to accommodate the size of the field. Unlike last year I found I had plenty of room to run and didn't encounter any bottlenecks. There was a slight incline along the dual carriageway but nothing to be unduly concerned about and it was still possible to run a pb (why i did in just outside 1.45 :-)). Over all a well organised enjoyable run. I will be back next year Date of review: October 21, 2011
In short: A trip down memory lane In full: I went to university in Cardiff 25 years ago. I never thought I'd be back to run a half marathon. I enjoyed the race, seeing all my old haunts and although I didn't get a PB due to a dodgy knee, the race definitely has PB potential. Plenty of crowd support, well marshalled, well organised. HINT. Stay in the Travelodge Atlantic Wharf and you can roll out of bed and onto the start line, with no need to queue for the toilets! Date of review: October 21, 2011