In short: Best route so far In full: My thoughts (this was my fourth Cardiff Half):
1. The white pen should have been divided up. I couldn't work out where to start from - there's a big difference between someone hoping to run 2 to 2.15 and someone (like me) who knows they run 2.25 every year! I don't quite need a 'start here Maggie' sign but a 2.30 start would have been handy.
2. So many spectators dashing across the road and not all of them made it unscathed. I saw several near misses and was then hit by a woman crossing the road with a pushchair just before mile 12 (ouch!) Nothing the organisers can do about that one though - but runners beware!
3. I thought the atmosphere was better than ever this year. Cardiff is learning how to cheer on and be proud of its half marathon. So funny to see people leaning out of their bedroom windows in their pyjamas.
4. Plenty of water/gels/sports drink even for the slower runners. Thank you.
5. The organisers do seem to listen to the points made by runners. Things that were suggested last year were implemented this year so thank you for that. You'll never please everyone but as a slow back of the pack participant, I noticed improvements and was grateful for them. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Cardiff Half - different every year! In full: This was my third Cardiff half. I didn't get a PB this year (I'm just an average slow runner!) but the race is really welcoming for the likes of me. My husband and kids enjoyed the atmosphere too. We're definitely coming back next year and they'll be doing the family race.
I enjoyed the different route, the long dual carriageway bit was perhaps boring but I was able to switch off and just plod along.
PROS: Less congestion, good support all the way round (even on some of the dual carriageway bits). I had no problems at the start and the race seemed to move off quicker this year.
CONS: Loo queues were ridiculous as usual. Fortunately I don't need to use them or the baggage area. I saw other runners struggling to get into the pen; the start needs to be a runners only area. I'm not a big fan of the race t-shirt (the towel was much more use).
I LOVED: The atmosphere, the Tardis, the supporters.
THANKS TO: The organisers, the supporters, the First Aiders, the marshals, the banana lady and the good humoured fellow runners. Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Great atmosphere - loved the new route In full: I loved the new route - I really enjoyed running across the barrage and back towards the finish. Some congestion at the start and in the park but I'm used to running on grass, so no real bother. Too many started ahead of their ability. Perhaps there were a lot of first timers there this year? I did find the route blocked by people walking four abreast and I had to run head on into traffic to dodge round them. Despite this I beat my PB by eight minutes. The sun shone and everyone was smiling. Can't ask for more. Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: Great first time half In full: This was my first half and I enjoyed every minute. Great atmosphere, great scenery. Nice chunky medal. Goody bag not as nice as Race for Life, but handy to have a jar of cranberry sauce ready for Christmas ;-)
On reading other reviews, I'm so glad I didn't bring a bag. (Fortunately the fleece I abandoned by the start was still there when I got back, so I didn't get cold. - Hi to the guy who was starting at it!)
My one big problem was that I got stuck in traffic and nearly missed the start. The loo queues were too long at that point, so I couldn't have a wee before the race (or during).
Water stations were good, lovely friendly volunteers. Great 2.30 pace guy (thanks!).
If you are reading this and planning to run 2010 as your first half - be realistic about your race time. I was (I aimed at 2.30, ran 2.25). I had a clear run all the way and I didn't hold anybody up.
Also If you're running with an iPod please turn it down and only use one earpiece so you're a little more aware of your surroundings.
Otherwise it was an enjoyable and friendly race and I hope to be back next year. Date of review: October 19, 2009
In short: Great day out In full: This was my first 10k and I really enjoyed it. We got there early, parking was easy and close to the start, plenty of loos handy too.
As a newbie I lurked at the back, and so missed any congestion others have complained about. I found other nice friendly runners to chat to as well.
It WAS hot, especially running down the Oystermouth Road at the beginning (wierdly silent - some music would have been nice for that bit!). I also found the warm-up a bit dissappointing as I couldn't really hear.
It was great to hear shouts of encouragement from those watching, but I also appreciated the spectator-free gaps where I could just plod along admiring the scenery.
I did get a T-shirt, and I did have to queue for 20 minutes for the goody bag, but it was quite sociable and worth it for the useful water bottle.
My main complaint was that my kids weren't able to watch me cross the finish line, but only because my husband wasn't able to drag them from the beach in time!
What I would say to anyone reading this and wondering if it would be a good first 10k is go ahead. It is chip timed, so there's no need to line up at the front with the faster runners, you'll have a really good time if you hang back at the start and let the faster ones go ahead. Get there early (about 11 am) and just enjoy the day.
I'll definitely be back next year. Date of review: October 2, 2008