In short: More inclines than I expected ..... and windy ! In full: I didn't enjoy the 3 laps - sometimes it doesn't help to know what's coming up around the corner! Organisation was very good - I suffered through lack of training and my body did not work in the latter stages !!! Very good facilities for changing, showering, recovering etc. I personally won't do it again - it's a long way from Chorley and makes it an expensive race for me. Thanks for the experience though. Date of review: December 4, 2006
In short: Could of and Should of been so much better ..... In full: First time for me doing the Cardiff Marathon - my 11th Marathon though so I have other race experience (not always a good thing when writing reviews!)
The good points for me were:
- Running around the Millennium Stadium. - Running through the castle grounds. - The second lap (when the half marathon runners had finished!) - Flat, fast course - A nice medal.
The downsides: - Organisation was shocking - the start was a shambles - too many people converging on such a busy area; no splitting of pace times - so having to run past people walking in the first 200 yards (!!!); mass start of full & half runners; marshalls sparse - and many had lost interest (I saw one poor guy at the end wasn't give indication of where to go to get into the stadium as the marshalls were facing the spectators & chatting; a marshall was messing around in the tunnel leading into the stadium and ran straight across the path of a runner in front of me; there were no marshalls splitting the runners on their return up the barrage - so the leaders were fighting their way through the mass pack; very little marsall encouragement - although a handful were supportive) - There could easily (if there wasn't) have been a serious accident due to restricted track width around the barrage area - runners were spreading onto the rocks and putting themselves & others in danger. - I didn't get water until 9 miles - the water stations were abysmal on the first lap - not long enough & the people at the stations were not prepared - runners were teaing into packs of water bottles to help themselves - it wasn't worth the risk. - The runners - they mayt be excited, it may be their first half - but DON'T put me at risk by stopping dead in front of me, running across the pack to greet family / friends in the crowd - have some care for the people around you. (I saw the worst examples of poor running etiquette that I have ever seen at Cardiff yesterday) - T-Shirts - or should I say what t-shirts ? They ran out !!! I didn't get one and my marathon time was good - fortunately a Barnardo's worker took the initiative and was taking names of those who had missed out to get t-shirts posted out ? We will see! - Championchip - mine came home with me as there was no system to colect them in and as they had to be secured on your laces it was not an easy thing to remember to get rid of after 26 miles !
I expected a great race in Cardiff - it has som much potential but really needs a re-think.
It's a great flat course with plenty of PB potential (if you can have a safe run!) - but needs serious re-thinks for next year.
I'll only do this again if there are changes - plenty of runners in the race but not a lot of care for their safety ?
Split starts ? Organised start ? Course re-think ? More and better marshalling ? Improved drink station organisation ? Enough t-shirts (and better quality goodybag !)?
These things need addressing. Date of review: October 16, 2006
In short: Don't blame Ron - blame God ! Great fun race. In full: I too was disappointed that this was not 10k - BUT - I spoke to the orgsniser - Ron McAndrew (who has the most terrible luck !) who told me that the race had to be shortened due to water conditions on the beach south of the southern turning point - and had the race have been a day earlier it would not have happened at all due to the beach being completely flooded.
Ron did most of the organising / setting up for this race himself - and the organisers should be tahnked for making this one happen at all.
I loved the "water jumps" and different nature of this race - made a nice break from the pavement pounding.
Also it is a shame the momento was changed to a t-shirt - as I have enough cotton t-shirts and prefer medals / other momento's, but for the price I'm not complaining.
I WILL be back next year for more fun - and hopefully God will allow Ron to lengthen the run to it's true 10k distance (my Garmin measured 4.79 miles) Date of review: September 3, 2006