In short: Fantastic first Ultra In full: This was my first Ultra and although I had read a lot I was very apprehensive about what to expect. Registration was very different from most other races as everyone looked as if they meant business, but there was a great friendly atmosphere. The race was really well organised with well stocked checkpoint and marshalls at the few confusing sections. The course was really easy to follow and signposted. The first 8 or so miles were undulating, with a long gentle 7 mile climb past the beautiful Talybont reservoir. After this it is generally downhill with another long steady climb near the last checkpoint, finishing with around 5 miles of flat coming into Cardiff. Conditions were perfect at the start, but got really hot and sunny between 15 and 35 but thankfully clouded over again for the finish. Can't wait to do it again next year! Date of review: May 21, 2012
In short: Good race with a few minor problems In full: The course was not as scenic as previous years, but had to be changed from the 2010 route as you cannot have that number of people running through the city centre and park.
Previously I would always class it as a fast course, but this year it was average speed at best due to a lot of running up and down slip roads. However, some of it was quite fun particulaly the hairpin at the Bute tunnels. The barrage crossing at the end makes it all worthwhile, particularly as it was such a nice day. I had no problem with the toilets and there was plenty of water on the course, although screw caps should have not been used. I finished in around 1:44 and even when I passed there were hundreds of discarded tops, and my feet were soaked by the spilled water. Why do some runners throw almost full bottles across the road at knee hight?
Baggage storage was the best I have known, and there were loads of food and drink available at the start. No large T-shirts at all which was strange, but a nice medal.
I have never seen so many people collapse during a half-marathon, particularly as the conditions were perfect. I saw at least 5 people in serious trouble, all of whom looked like experienced runners. One chap span off in front of me straight into a road-side bush just before the 9 mile marker. Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Great run on a great course! In full: As usual a cracking race over a glorious course with good organisation. The atmosphere was excellent and the course the best ever, with many of the old twists and turns ironed out and almost completely flat. Some have complained about the organisation, but I did not have any problems. There could have been a larger baggage storage area and more toilets, but this is the case with most races. The only obvious problem was the lack of water on the course which I believe was down to the water supplier pulling out just prior to the race. Luckily it wasn't particularly hot. The race t-shirt included in the entrance fee was a proper running shirt not a cheap cotton effort, and the medal was excellent quality. The race cost is quite high, but I feel is justified by the quality of the medal and shirt, and it is a charity race at the end of the day so no one is profiting personally. Looking forward to the Cardiff 10k 2012. Date of review: September 13, 2011
In short: Fantastic, fast, well-organised race. In full: Fantastic organisation, all the problems of previous years seem to have been completely resolved. It would have been nice to cross the barrage as usual, although it wasn't possible due to building work. However, the replacement segments were pretty good. Although the more interesting finishes in the Castle or the Stadium of previous years were great, a field of this size just has to finish on a road. My only minor grip is that a lot of runners cut across the field just before the 12 mile marker which is plain cheating. Date of review: October 20, 2008
In short: Great organisation and great course for a great cause! In full: The course is mainly flat and fast and was well marshalled and organised. I will definately do it again next year However, they really do need to sort out the distance markers which were way out. 3:50min/km then 5:23min/km for the next when I felt as if I was running a consistent pace. It is frustrating as I was well under my PB up to 8KM, then spoiled by a long 9th km with no time to make it up. Date of review: September 8, 2008
In short: Great race, but too hot for me! In full: Overall a great course in a very scenic location. It was suprisingly undulating with very little flat. Excellent start/finish area with plenty to do for any family members joining you, and good visibility of the running circuit. Minor downsides were that the directions to the event were completely wrong, and the drink stations could have been better places (8k is too late). Date of review: June 26, 2006
In short: Tough race, but great fun! In full: Overall a fantastic day out. Generally great organisation but I agree with other posters that runners late to the start line should join from the back, not from near the front. It can be difficult to overtake if you are behind lots of slower runners.
Great fun to be had scrambling up and down almost vertical hills, then splashing/wading through endless water. I thought my legs were going to burst when I finally got out of the swamp! The cold and smell really wakes you up.
Then just when I thought it was all over and you could hear the announcer at the finish, I turned the corner to be confronted with sand dunes for as far as I could see. You just have to laugh! Date of review: October 24, 2005