In short: Well organised friendly event In full: Outstanding race run in good weather conditions this year. A little hillier than I expected, but perhaps oddly, still a fast course with the last 3 miles downhill. PB for the season so I can`t complain ! Excellent technical shirt ! Nit picking- could`ve benefitted from a few portaloos - especially near the start area-rather than just relying on leisure centre facilities, but overall an excellent event. Will definitely return next year ! Date of review: November 20, 2011
In short: Uniquely wonderful low key event In full: Superbly organised and extraordinarily well catered for given event size. Friendly and helpful marshalls . Winding course on park paths with opportunity for some duck hurdling or dog vaulting for the budding steeplechasers. And for charity. A couple of sharp turns may make a pb difficult, but on the other hand, it`s pretty flat. Overall, it doesn`t get much better for an event like this ! Date of review: November 6, 2011
In short: Fantastic event overall In full: The contrast between this event and the schoolboy level organisation of Cardiff Half the previous week could not have been greater. Well thought out and supported. Toilet facility provision, bag drop, professional warm up excellent, and multi-wave race start significantly reduced congestion. The course itself was well set up, running through leafy neighbourhoods, with at least 6 water/powerade stations, exceptional volunteer support and numerous street bands contributing to a fantastic overall ambience. A bit of a sting in the tail was the only significant hill on the course between 10.5- 12 miles but PB potential still there. The only minor gripe was the lack of changing facilities (yes people really do want to get out of wet gear after a race!) which would have been easy and innexpensive to set up in the vast space of the NIA main hall, which was otherwise only being partially used for the bag drop. Otherwise, this was easily the best overall event I`ve attended in the last 2 years. Date of review: October 26, 2011
In short: Poor facility provision and organisation for such a big event. Poor course for this city In full: This was the first time I`d run in this event, and I was hoping the notoriety of previous years (particularly last year) would have inspired the organisers to make a better job of things. als this was not the case, and I was can`t help contrasting the poor organisation of this event with that of the Bristol half I ran only a few weeks previously, which had a field of similar size. The main negatives were: 1. Insufficient toilet facilities. I estimated the availability here was less than half of that in Bristol 2. NO changing facilities. This didn`t have to be anything too fancy -just a coulple of open tents just to change out of soaking wet kit would have sufficed. In the event, I used one of the portaloos 3. The start was chaotic. With 11000 people trying to get along a narrow street, as has been pointed out elsewhere, spectators really should have been banned from the access routes. It took me nearly 20minutes to get to my pen, and I only arrived with about 90 seconds to spare. I would imagine many competitors didn`t get there in time. 4. The route. Knowing the area, I can safely say the route chosen was suboptimal to say the least. Cardiff has real potential to provide a very fast course, which would pass through many of the most attractive parts of the city. My overall impression was that the course chosen was motivated more by other interests- ie to minimise inconveience to shoppers -which is almost unforgiveable given the revenue this event must generate for the city.
The few positives were 1. The volunteers were fantastic as usual 2. The last 3 miles were nice, but this finish could also been achieved via a multitude of routes which wouldn`t have included the A4042.
Verdict: I`ll only consider this event if both the organisation and the course improve. Shame as Cardiff really could provide one of the UK`s top events if they wanted to Date of review: October 17, 2011
In short: Generally well thought out event. Better than most In full: This was my first time at this event. The course is generally fast and flat with lots of long straight sections in the first 8 miles and a two wave start, both reducing congestion. Despite this, the number of runners in the event (10000) can lead to the first mile or so being slow. There is plenty of NCP type parking available within a few minutes walk of the start, and the race facility provision and organisation(toilets, bag drop, information, post race drinks etc) is nothing short of excellent I was also very impressed with the sheer number of people who had given up their Sunday morning, clearly on a voluntary basis. As noted elsewhere, the only negative was the absence or poor positioning of markers within the last 2 miles. The 12 mile marker seemed to be absent and as the finish gantry only becomes visible within the last 200m or so, "countdown" markers - 800m, 400m etc would have been useful. Otherwise a fantastic day out ! Date of review: September 14, 2011