In short: Well done - lessons learned - improvements made. Best Cardiff Half yet. In full: Credit where it's due - past issues have been pretty much sorted.
Course was as good as it has been. Good distance before the first narrowing points. Not TOO much park. Nice regular changes of type of scenery. Not too much of running in one direction while seeing runners two miles ahead of you on the other side of the field. Runner's village was quite nice. Pens worked out quite well (with the help of Red Dragon nagging everyone every two minutes).
Well done Jean et al.
Just a couple of little gripes. 1) Water stations could have done with being 'pre-signed' "Water 200m on left"......and kept to one side, so that there was a clear path on the other side. 2) The 6 and a bit mile water station highlighted these problems by being in a bit of the course where the path was too narrow to accommodate it. 3) Baggage claim - total mess, needs to be rethought. 4) The number of toilets was OK, but with the smaller bank being nearer the runners village, the queues were very long, because many didn't realise that there was a larger bank of toilets round the far side of the building. 5) Repatriation - the race is now getting big enough to give this some thought. The enormous numbers of friends and family waiting just beyond the chip bins caused some problems getting through there.
As I said, fairly trivial gripes compared with some years. Some 'icing on the cake' and some of them are developmental issues to think about as the race has become bigger.
Definitely the best yet and a big race organised in Cardiff to be proud of.
In short: Lessons learnt and previous failings addressed In full: At last a Cardiff HM that does not fall into the 'fiasco' category in organisation. Lessons have been learnt and hopefully can be built on. Organisation was nothing special, but did meet the standard this year. Date of review: October 22, 2008
In short: Really tough - but really fun. In full: Forget PBs, splits, schedules etc. This is purely for those who want to challenge themselves, take on the course, and enjoy hard running just for the pure hell of it. All types of terrain, continuous up and down hills of varying steepness and a bonus mile or so.
(Could do with an extra marshall or two - but they already know that and will address for next year.) Date of review: May 18, 2008
In short: Do not ignore the word Challenge - it is there for a reason. In full: For those looking for a bit more of a challenge than your average 10K, then this is it. No advised for a first timer, or someone feeling a bit below par - because you hit the big hill at 2 miles........and that is a long way to go. Maybe could have done with a second water station in yesterday's heat. Running out of water at the finish and having runners wait while someone goes to get some more should NOT be repeated. Date of review: May 12, 2008
In short: Very well organised, very nice race. In full: Not sure I will be back again. Not that I have anything against the organisation, value, race etc. Just that for me I didn't like the down then up of the course. I just spent the whole time worrying about the hills (esp at 8), rather than getting on with what I was supposed to be doing. Date of review: August 5, 2007
In short: Nice race, more testing than it seems - and better organised than Cardiff In full: The fact that it is downhill for 6.5 miles does raise its own challenges - the biggest of which is pacing yourself. Easy to go too quickly and then blow up over the second half. And there are just enough tricky little uphills in the second half to find you out if you have got it wrong - nothing major, just a few painful reminders about the perils of getting carried away.
Far better from a marshalling point of view than Cardiff (or for the Cardiff 10k come to that). Firstly, there were probably two or three times the number of marshalls compared with Cardiff (although helped out by the number of friendly police doing a bit of marshalling alongside directing the traffic). Secondly, they did their jobs of directing you. And lastly, they smiled and had a word of encouragement for the runners. Thanks to all the marshalls.
The earlier water stations could have done with taking the lids off the bottles - but the third and fourth had this sorted.
And they could do with a new sound system in Blaenavon Leisure Centre - the announcements were not at all clear.
Apart from that £1 per mile, with a medal, t-shirt and sports bag is very good value. Date of review: October 22, 2006
In short: This is now a BIG race, it needs BIG race organisation. In full: do love the Cardiff Half Marathon. Course is nice, flat and fast. Down the barrage, round the parks, through the castle and of course the stadium finish.
But PLEASE realise this is a BIG race that is attracting first timers, while also a potentially flat and fast race that is attracting people seeking PBs.
You need to cater to both, otherwise experienced runners will go elsewhere.
So...............starting pens (get the walkers and plodders into a more suitable starting point), make sure all mile markers are visible and accurate, warnings of forthcoming water stations, marshalls directing runners. Date of review: October 17, 2006