In short: The course won't win scenery awards, but it's a fun, well organised race with a fast, flat PB-friendly course. In full: Not an inspiring course, but fast, flat and great for a PB. Some nice touches make this ideal for new runners or occasional racers. A textbook example of great race organisation. Colour-coded bibs this year, but no attempt to enforce this - however, this didn't seem to have resulted in any congestion. In all, a great race if you don't mind the scenery or the out-and-back nature of the course. Date of review: November 22, 2010
In short: A race with lots of potential In full: ...but the 2010 edition of this race wasn't quite good enough in a few too many areas.
* Late start in very cold conditions - bad news for the unprepared. * Starting gun/horn inaudible even a little way back. Note: loud music does not equal a great atmosphere. * Wave starts clearly needed for a race with that many runners. * First eight miles heavily congested, especially Bute Park. * Insufficient barriers and protecting from street furniture (bollards, seating etc.) in pedestrianised areas. * Mile marker signage was inconspicuous. * Route ran deviated from published route resulting in a course short by at least 0.1 miles - in my view, the least forgivable of errors and the most disappointing. I would expect to see some official acknowledgement of this. * Disappointing goody bag for the money. * Having to cross the race route to exit after the finish wasn't sensible, and I'm sorry to say that the marshals at this section were silent and did not exercise any control or otherwise assist those trying to cross.
On the plus side, despite being unsuitable for the number of runners I found the course to be very nice on the whole, and the people of Cardiff gave runners some phenomenal support. Although the shuttle train wasn't running, getting to the start was a breeze.
I'll hopefully run this again, but only after they've run another race where the more important issues have been addressed. Furthermore I'd need to see some acknowledgement, from the race organisers, of the short course, because I wouldn't run any race where I wasn't certain the organisers took the distance issue very seriously. I hope I go back to run this in 2012 or beyond. Date of review: October 18, 2010
In short: By no means perfect, and very dour conditions, but still a good race In full: The surprise of a rolling start and some humongous puddles in the first few miles made for an interesting start. The race was well sufficiently marshalled by some friendly and encouraging folk. A bit miffed that the run in to the finish was shared with pedestrians, and the finish in the gap between two stands didn't seem too clever (although I was very grateful to the marshall who took my chip off for me). Ridiculous queue for t-shirts - more resources definitely needed here for next time. But despite all this, I still enjoyed the race and look forward to doing it again next year. Date of review: November 29, 2009
In short: A truly wonderful, challenging race In full: There's really nothing not to like about this race. The course is a genuine challenge, but shouldn't discourage newer runners. Everything was really well organised, and the marshalling excellent - well done and thanks to all of them. And to top it off, you won't get a more packed goody bag anywhere. There were plenty of really good spot-prizes too. Loved it! Date of review: October 12, 2009