My Cardiff Half Marathon Experience

The Cardiff Half Marathon was the event I have trained for over the last 7 months. Once I decided to register, I never thought that I would get to this point. I have worked hard for this event and the support from my family as been outstanding, especially with a full time job and with my family wanting some of my time, lacing up the trainers was difficult. Sometimes I would go out after 10pm, running when they would all be sleeping and so that I made sure that they got some of my time and attention.

I arrived in Cardiff at 7:15am, which was really early. With 25,000 runners I wanted to miss all the congestion and get a parking space, which I found easily without any issues at all.

I made my way over to the race village which was fab, with plenty of food outlets and toilets. I went over to the baggage area and it was ever so efficient with a long row of tents.

Made my way over to the starting line about 9.15 to ensure that I would not be rushed. I started at the red pen area which was just on the corner of the castle. Once settled, I took a moment to enjoy the atmosphere and looking around all I could in the distance was runners with many excited & nervous faces. I was anxious to start and was really nervous as I wanted to beat my PB.

We started around 13 mins after the first gun and was on our way and I felt comfortable and decided that my tactics was to take it easy for the 1st 10km then pick up pace and finish strongly.

I had reached the Cardiff City football stadium and was feeling good. Then onto Penarth and giving out many high fives the the supporters, who came out in the thousands right throughout the course.

My running at this point was going really well, I was still feeling relaxed and comfortable. Running towards the Cardiff bay over the barrage I pick up the pace a little and ran past the Doctor who experience, at which point the 2:00 pacer caught up with me. As I was relaxed it was now time to pick up the pace as it was approx the halfway mark.

Pushed on though Butetown, again though the roar and clapping of the brilliant supporters. At this point something was wrong. My legs stiffened quite rapidly and it became difficult for me. I was going to give up. I kept on and although I was now much slower, I was determined to finish.

Up though Roath and the pain in my legs became unbearable and I knew now that I was in trouble and my PB was hanging by a thread. Still I was determined and carried on just thinking mile by mile.

Around Roath was beautiful was supporters everywhere, but the small little hill really took it out on me, but still kept on and I knew that the finish was near. I was now on the route of the Cardiff 10k which I did previously.

At the 12 mile marker I began to get pins and needles in my left arm and I could not shake it off, which now began to worry me. Wanted to finish as fast as I could now and so though all the pain I pushed on at a very good pace and down the final straight I had goose bumps. The support was amazing. Crossed the line at showing a time of 2:17 but I knew then I smashed my PB as I started in the 3rd wave. Found out later it was 2:04:03, which was a confirmed PB by 10 mins. Just a little gutted as at 10k point it was looking very good, but I will take that will such pride.

Walking down the finishing alley, I was so thankful for the water and bananas. The t-shirt and medal are superb. Walking back to the baggage area though the many finisher I began to recover a little and was overjoyed to have finished after a hard fought half marathon.

In conclusion the Cardiff Half Marathon, was truly amazing from start to finish. A fantastic route and the support was incredible. I never felt that overwhelmed before. Such a great feeling and sense of achievement. I will defiantly be coming back with a vengeance in this event.

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