Cardiff Half Marathon is back on the double
Nearly 12,000 celebrate the long-awaited return of Welsh classic
You wait 903 days for a Cardiff Half Marathon and then two come along within a few months!
Yes, our old foe Covid-19 has been playing havoc with mass participation fixtures again and the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday (27th March) was the delayed 2021 event with the 2022 version scheduled for Sunday 2nd October – entries available here
Cardiff Half Marathon is Wales' largest mass participation running event and many of the 11,647 finishers on Sunday had entered up to two years earlier as the 2020 and 2021 October races were virtual affairs. And so it was with a huge sense of relief the mass field set off in front of Cardiff Castle on a warm and sunny spring morning.
This event has hosted the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and the records show the quality of the predominantly flat, fast course:
Kenyans Leonard Langat ran 59:30 in 2019 and Edith Chelimo whizzed round in 1:05:52 in 2017 – just a minute outside the world record.
Cardiff Half Marathon is also a founder member of SuperHalfs – a brand new international half marathon series introduced here by runABC – with races at Prague (2 April), Lisbon (May 8), Copenhagen (September 18), Cardiff (2 October) and Valencia (October 23). This initiative was due to launch in 2020 but now commences this Saturday in the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic.
The long-awaited 2021 live race, which was postponed to Sunday 27th March this year, produced the first Welsh winner of the women's race since Helen Yule 18 years ago. Natasha Cockram (Micky Morris Racing Team, 1:10:47) breezed through 10K in 33:02 on her way to victory by more than three minutes from Wales' Bronwen Owen (Leeds City, 1:14:04) and Elle Twentyman (Taunton AC, 1:14:58).
In contrast to the dominance of the British marathon champion in the women's race, there was a late surge from Ethiopian Kadar Omar (Birchfield Harriers, 1:02:46) to claim the men's title by six seconds from English cross country champion Mahamed Mahamed (Southampton, 1:02:52). Mahamed's brother Zakariya (Southampton, 1:04:04) was third after starting to drift off the searing pace at 10K, passed by the leading pair in 29:36.
Matt Newman, Chief Executive of organisers Run 4 Wales said: “This Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon has been 903 days in the making, but it was well worth the wait to see the city come alive with the runners and spectators who make the Cardiff Half a truly special event. Together, we showcased just how important sport, and especially mass-participation running, is to our country whilst showing off what our fantastic capital city has to offer."
Full results can be studied via runABC South's race listing here
Image courtesy Cardiff Half Marathon on Twitter