Cardiff Half Marathon, 16 Oct

Ed: Helen Watkinson reports on one of the South Wales group’s meet-ups on Sunday, 16 Oct at the Cardiff Half Marathon where 7 members where running:

Cédric David, John Morgan and Myself made our way to the race with a 5 mile cycle ride leaving the house in the bare light of day and the drizzle. By the time we had got to Cardiff Bay, where the start was, it had dried up and lightened up. It seemed a bit more organized this year with allocated pens based on your predicted finish time and generally a bit more space. The race also had a new route this year. Although last year’s race was very scenic, we where dodging pedestrians in town and the small paths in the park were a bit too crowded. As this has now grown to a race of 15000 then the route had gladly been altered to cater for this.
We set off from outside mine and Cédric’s workplace of the Wales Millennium Centre, a building which Kevin Jones’ company designed. We did a small loop around the bay coming back on ourselves, before heading off towards town. We passed the train station and the southern edge of the town centre before arriving at the Civic Centre at mile 3. Just after the water stop at mile 3, I could see a fellow Vegan Runner just ahead. I introduced myself and found out it was Steve Penny. The route then looped back towards town, being serenaded on the way by students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, passing the castle and the northern edge of town. We then headed out on a long straight stretch of road, eventually passing the new Cardiff City Football Stadium before reaching the furthest point on the course. Here, we took the slip road up onto the elevated dual carriageway that lead straight back into Cardiff Bay. This was the bit I wasn’t looking forward to – a long boring stretch of road. But actually, I was pleasantly surprised. With 15000 runners, it wasn’t too crowded, but not too empty and the time seemed to fly by. Just before we got back to the Bay, we looped round the roundabout and returned on the same road to a previous junction. This out and back was great for spotting fellow runners. I saw Kevin, shortly followed by Cédric on the way out, then Steve Penny on the way back. We then dropped down to go underneath this road before joining another dual carriage way around mile 11. This stretch of road was a killer, with a pretty steep incline to the top, before we headed for the final stretch over the barrage with the beautiful landscape of Cardiff Bay ahead of you. I was pleased to get a new PB of 1.43.49. Other times include: Cédric David – 1.40.07, John Morgan – 1.27.05, Kevin Jones – 1.32.01, Michelle Rivett – 2.06.44, Claire Fullbrook-Scanlon – 3.02.17.
Photo attached from the meetup after the race.