Anna Ostojitsch Reports: Once again whilst everyone else was running Leafy 10k I was pounding the streets of Cardiff because I had forgetten that the Cardiff Half Marathon is the same Sunday as Leafy (I promise not to do it again next year). This year was a grudge map between me and Cardiff and it was going to let me say never again lightly.
Advertised as flat, fast and iconic this years Half Marathon had a record 25000 runners. Iconic it definately is taking in the sights such as Cardiff Bay’s Norwegian Church, Roald Dahl Plas, Cardiff Castle. It is one of the fast half’s I have done as well but flat it is not. I have checked Strava – the elevation is 650ft and it is a almost continuous climb from mile 5 to 12.5. That said the people of Cardiff line the streets of the city and surrounding streets to cheer the runners around their city. At no point are you more than 100 yards from jelly babies, jelly beans, orange segments etc. At mile 8.5 a local church hand out water to those feeling they need it.
The route starts at the castle with flames leaping into the air to see runners off before heading out of the city past Cardiff City’s Football ground, it then heads out to Penarth before crossing the barrage connecting Penarth to Cardiff Bay and Cardiff docks. The route then passes the Dr Who exhibition the aforementioned Norwegian Church and taking you under Road Dahl plas. Heading back towards town it then heads around some the local streets before heading up (literally) past Roath park and Roath park lake before turning back down the otherside of the park and into town. One final short sharp hill before the drop into town to the 5 or 6 people deep crowds to cheer you home.
I truly love this event even if in recent years it has nearly torn my achilles, landed me in hospital with the aforementioned achilles, seen me have to run in brand new trainers bought on the day, chafed my skin to a point I was dressed for a week afterwards, rained on me, been too hot for a me and made me cry (twice). One that is worth doing once just to say you have done it in my opinion.