In short: An above average big urban half marathon In full: A pretty flat course and in theory should have plenty of PB potential but there were too many narrow stretches where overtaking was difficult, it was 5 miles before I was able to run at my own pace and without weaving around other runners. Some of the signage around the start could be improved to make it more visible, there's no point putting signs at waist height when you have 14,000 people milling around. The bag storage though was well organised and manned. Date of review: February 25, 2013
In short: good, organised race with no major difficulties In full: I have also read some of the previous reviews and felt Cardiff was judged harshly. I had a belter of a time- the bag drop was ok, the atmosphere was friendly and the drinking stations were nothing to complain about, although they ran out of lucozade/sports drink at mile 8. The weather was great at least, surely the least organisable factor worked out well for the organisers? There were no signposts but that was taken care of with the brochure which told me what to do and where to go (?)
As for support, well, I wouldn't get up at 9 am to cheer lunatics running through Roath! The Barnados support group made a lot of nopise though. Medal was very nice-surely the most important part- and the goodie bag had some useful bits but agreed, apart from the t-shirt it was underwhelming. Course was flat-ish- can't believe minor bumps in the terrain are described by some as 'hilly' by some though. Date of review: October 21, 2012
In short: A class act. In full: A very good event. I've run halves in Prague and Amsterdam as well as locally (Glasgow and Edinburgh) and this is right up there. Attractive course but I would not say PB material - significant rises at miles 3, 10, 12, 13 put paid to that.
Positives: Loved the National Anthem (I would, being Welsh). Fabulous scenery esp. around the Bay but also later e.g. Roath Park - a route which very nearly makes the best of the City (see suggestion below). Generous with drinks, gels. Huge support team, very warm and supportive.
Constructive criticism: (1)Does drink have to be given out in such huge bottles? Decanting into paper cups (as Amsterdam) is less wasteful and easier for the runner. (2) Ridiculous pinch point on the way up from the Bay, which surely could have been avoided. (3) Organisers - Go for gold and amend the route to finish in the Millennium Stadium - lose one of the boring miles between 7 and 9 and extend the finish to the ground. Now that would be really classy. Date of review: October 20, 2012
In short: Much improved In full: As per the last review, I've been moved to comment on this due to some of the frankly bizarre criticisms levelled by some recent posters. Opinions are one thing, stating things that are factually incorrect is another.
For the record, there were plenty of marshals (unless you think that every runner needs a personal assistant), and anyone starting near the front can't have experienced too many issues with slower runners - I started in the blue pen and had no problems at all. The route was generally flat, with a slope or two to make it interesting, and a beautiful run in such nice weather. Having been heavily criticised in the past, it's good to see Cardiff listening to people's opinions and making changes. As for the supposed lack of crowd support, I genuinely don't know what these people are expecting!! I'm a very experienced runner of big city halves, so have plenty to compare Cardiff to, and see nothing major to complain about.
And finally, a technical t shirt at last after years of naff cotton efforts! Date of review: October 19, 2012
In short: first cardiff h/m and will definately be back In full: thought i needed to add my review of this race after reading the strange previous 3 reviews which contradicted every other review iv read on this race and was very harsh on this race.weather was cool and ideal for running.was a nice scenic start in the middle of the city next to the castle.welsh national anthem being sung at the start was a nice touch.maybe a big screen wouldv been useful to see who was being interviewed and who sung the national anthem.running pens and baggage area was clearly labelled so didnt have any problems.run had plenty of support around the course even out at cardiff bay area which was very scenic and a lovely view.only a few minor hills made this a pb potential course and sounds like the organisers have made great strides to the previous years.very nice medal and a tech tshirt was great.some food would have been nice in the goody bag but as your in the middle of a major uk city and food outlets a few feet away wasnt a problem.my 29th race of the year and enjoyed it.gels and water passed out regularly and nice friendly atmosphere.well done cardiff! Date of review: October 19, 2012
In short: Very poor organisation In full: This was the worst organised race I have been to. There was no extra parking or extra public transport on the day, and when you finally managed to get to the race, there were no signs directing you to the bag drop off area or the start! The starting pens were very badly organised and I spent a lot of time overtaking people the whole way around. The water stops in this race were awful, they were not frequent enough, and they were very short so by the time you realised there was one, amid all the congestion you had missed it (luckily I had a water bottle with me). The lack of marshals and first aid on hand during the race was very worrying. All in all the atmosphere here was very disappointing and even hostile. Topped off with an extremely mundane 'goody bag' and a non-existent runners village this was a very poor effort from Cardiff. Date of review: October 19, 2012
In short: Most badly organised race I have been to. In full: The atmosphere here was a bit lacking, and not much support until the last 2 miles. As I was near the front of the field at the start, I spent the first 4 miles overtaking people who were much slower and should have been further back. The runners village at the end had none of the usual shops to buy running gear or new products. It was a joke, consisting of basically a few burger vans. The goody bag was pathetic with leaflets, nothing at all to eat and a crappy t-shirt. There was a worrying lack of marshals on the way around the course and no sign of any first aid, which was potentially dangerous. I ran the Reading half earlier in the year which was fantastically organised, and puts Cardiff to shame. Date of review: October 19, 2012
In short: Very poorly organised. In full: No extra parking or public transport organised. Complete lack of marshalls. No signs directing us to the start or baggage area. Anyone with a predicted time of 2 hours or more was lumped together in the same start area. Chaos! Very crowded course and chaotic start led to a slightly hostile atmosphere throughout the race. Goody bag was very poor. I have run 20 half marathons, mainly in the UK and have enjoyed all of them apart from Cardiff. Date of review: October 19, 2012