In short: Tough initiation... In full: This was my first ever ultra marathon, and after hauling my wrecked carcass over the line in 6 hours, I have to say that this is one tough event! Brilliantly organised and extremely good value for money, the first half in particular took in some truly gorgeous scenery, from bluebell woods to sweepings vistas across the downs. Once the pain has subsided, I will be able to reflect on a really special race - thanks Marlborough Runners! Date of review: May 12, 2013
In short: Vastly improved In full: Totally agree with the review below - it's nice to see organisers taking note of previous concerns and acting on them. All the issues that often affect races of this size (toilet queues, bag storage) were non-existent, the course was fast and flat and the atmosphere great. The race as a whole has a more professional feel to it this year, and is essentially a scaled down version of the HSBC 10k that Cardiff hosts in September. Congrats to the organisers on a job well done! Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: Much improved In full: As per the last review, I've been moved to comment on this due to some of the frankly bizarre criticisms levelled by some recent posters. Opinions are one thing, stating things that are factually incorrect is another.
For the record, there were plenty of marshals (unless you think that every runner needs a personal assistant), and anyone starting near the front can't have experienced too many issues with slower runners - I started in the blue pen and had no problems at all. The route was generally flat, with a slope or two to make it interesting, and a beautiful run in such nice weather. Having been heavily criticised in the past, it's good to see Cardiff listening to people's opinions and making changes. As for the supposed lack of crowd support, I genuinely don't know what these people are expecting!! I'm a very experienced runner of big city halves, so have plenty to compare Cardiff to, and see nothing major to complain about.
And finally, a technical t shirt at last after years of naff cotton efforts! Date of review: October 19, 2012
In short: Deserves wider recognition In full: The course is genuinely undulating, but since I squeaked a narrow PB I can't really complain too much. It's very scenic, through gorgeous countryside. Good level of support en route,well staffed at the leisure centre. The whole vibe is very laid back yet still efficient - I suppose after 30 years these guys know the ropes! One quibble for me would be the mile markers - as with a depressingly large number of races nowadays, these were well out. I counted 6 or 7 miles that were either long or short, meaning that as I approached the last mile I had no clue where I was timewise. Still, nowhere near enough to spoil a cracking race for a great cause. Thanks! Date of review: May 13, 2012
In short: Ok for half marathoners like me... In full: As other posters have pointed out, cancelling a race in this manner simply isn't acceptable unless there is a MAJOR hazard that genuinely poses a threat. There was a barely audible announcement 3 minutes before the start, which I only heard as I was at the front. The Greenway was absolutely awful, with gloopy mud and puddles everywhere (I went from being 60 secs inside PB pace at 10 miles to missing out by 20 secs), but not DANGEROUS! As someone who'd only entered the half, I personally have no complaints, but friends of mine who'd planned on doing the full were understandably gutted.
The course itself is a really good one, the hill I'd been told about after 8 miles wasn't too tough. Good support from the marshals. Wouldn't hurt to give more than a banana for £26 though, would it? Date of review: April 29, 2012
In short: Challenging but worth it In full: A truly excellent race, smoothly organised and great value. Make no mistake, it's a challenging course that won't give up PBs easily, but takes place in a lovely atmosphere and is well worth anyone's time. Thanks to everyone involved in organising the race. Nice technical t shirt too! Date of review: March 19, 2012
In short: Could do better In full: On the positive side, this race has great potential - the course is flat and scenic, and the organisers did a great job of somehow cramming a full 10k inside Bute Park without bottlenecks. However, the chip timing for this race was rendered irrelevant by the bizarre start. We were marched back 100m behind the start mat because officials told us that the race would be too short otherwise! As a result, timings are all over the place. This didn't worry me overly though, as I trust my watch better than chips. What was a problem were the km markers. After going through 8km comfortably ahead of my PB time, I was shocked to find the I'd apparently dropped 22seconds by the 9km marker! As a result of these being laid out wrongly, I missed out on a PB by 2 seconds as my knackered legs couldn't make up that gap! Accurate markers are an absolute essential for any race that takes itself vaguely seriously. In short, a worthwhile race that could be VERY good if the organisers get their act together next year to iron out these simple problems. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Disappointing In full: Can't really add too much to what other runners have already said. Last year's race was a belter, the result of the organisers having taken on board criticism of previous years' events. Quite why they had to change everything I don't know. In fairness, I did achieve a PB by exactly 1 minute, but given that the course was slightly short I would only just have dipped under if the course had been measured accurately. As others have said, it is absolutely unforgivable to arrange a race like this and not manage to measure it correctly! Other issues:
1) Timing pens. Contrary to other comments, there WERE pens, but selfish individuals were ignoring them. I've waxed lyrical about these blimps before, so won't go off on another rant. I spent the first two miles dodging them (and with some, it's a LONG way round...). A marshalling system has to be employed to keep these people back. 2)Mile markers. I did spot all apart from 1 and 2, but then I am especially eagle eyed in this respect. Bearing in mind that the first couple are the most important for setting pace, this situation isn't ideal. The boards were quite small and strangely located. 3)Location. The Bay simply isn't big enough for this volume of runners, with parking limited and lots of tight roads. Needs moving back to the city centre. 4)Goody bag was poor, loads of superfluous packaging with no real content.
On the plus side, the course was scenic and support generally good. It's a shame that the progress of the past few years seems to have been erased though. Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: Reliable as always In full: My 5th Cardiff 10k in a row, and this time I entered three teams of work colleagues as well to riase some cash for charity. A wide variety of abilities here, and everyone agreed that the race was very special. Goody bag pointless (would rather not have one if that's the best they can do), but that's a tiny issue. Cracking finishing straight too! Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Hard to fault In full: After last competing in this race in 2007, I was pleased to see that its high standard has been maintained. The route is beautiful (easily the most scenic race I can think of), the atmosphere good and organisation very smooth. It's generally flat, and although there are a few sharp turns this doesn't detract from the overall quality of the experience. Considering the size of the field (allegedly 3,250) I didn't notice any of the usual problems associated with large races either. Congrats all round! Date of review: May 16, 2010