In short: Beast of a course In full: Excellent day, mountains a plenty and free cake at the end. Weather was brutal on the tops but cleared enough to see the views from the top of Tylorstown Tip. Very well organised. Had a blast! Date of review: May 12, 2013
In short: Decent run through the forest In full: Had a nice morning running through the forest. Scenery wasn't as good as I'd hoped but the route was decent and race nicely organised. It was a bit of a drive to get there so I'm not sure if we'll be back as there are lots of other races to try. Good overall and a nice one for anyone looking to give trail running a go. Date of review: April 10, 2013
In short: Some bits better, some bits worse. In full: Have run this race multiple times before but this was the first time I have run with someone else (PB, well done Mrs!) and it gave me a different perspective on the race.
The route - It is a tricky thing for the organisers trying to get lots (too many) of people around Cardiff. The park is pretty but has lots of bottlenecks, the bay and Penarth excellent but connected to the city by miles in industrial estates/flyovers. The city centre is relatively small. It must be a battle with the council to get the roads shut. This year’s route was the best for a while, only a couple of boring bits and one or two ridiculous bottlenecks (the one by Tiger Gate just after the barrage was a joke). I think on balance this is probably as good as it will get for a few years, pushing the number of participants really hampers the routes they can use. Water stops were good and well placed. The energy drink stop had run out long before we got there and the road was littered with bottles from which only 1 sip had been taken (surely of they can get mini water bottles they can get mini energy drink bottles). Personally I would suggest taking out the energy gel station and doubling up the energy drinks. If you are using energy gels in training then surely you have a way of carrying one or 2 with you on the run, if you have never used gels before then race day is not the time to try them out! Thought the bit around Roath lake was excellent. Mile markers 6, 7 and 8 either missing or invisible, poor show. Crowds were great towards the end but pretty non-existent towards the beginning.
Organisation – I’ve lived in Cardiff for a while now and so I knew exactly where to go and the places to park. This was however, the first race I’ve been to for a while that didn’t have any obvious signage on the roads to help people looking to park up and get to the start. Bag system worked great. Running pens for the first time but no waved start so very frustrating run for the first few miles, especially from towards the middle/back. Runner’s village and post race area very congested but not bad overall. Marshalls seemed fairly sparse on the run, but those at the start/finish were very helpful. Thanks to everyone who volunteered.
Value for money – It is a very expensive half marathon. Personally I don’t care about the goody bag, I have too many ill fitting race t-shirts but for others who will probably only do this length of race once it IS a big deal.
Overall, it is a decent race but not worth the money. I wish that they would show off a few more of the city landmarks but as the numbers climb this seems unlikely. Also, bring back the marathon. Please.
In short: Too many bottlenecks In full: 15000 runners and too many areas of the course which resulted in either bottlenecks, running in traffic or at one point around shoppers! Water stations better positioned than in previous years and the run over the barrage is very nice (the 10k does a similar route through Penarth, although I seem to remember having to delay the start last year because the barage was OPEN!). The finishing mile was a little cruel....
Start/Finish and runners village facilities were very well organised to give them credit but my freebie t-shirts from previous years far outweight the bit of cloth (is it a towel?) in this years pack. No PB, but I did discover a new level of tendon pain!