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Only in Cardiff

An introduction to the Cardiff Half Marathon

27 May 2022

The Cardiff Half Marathon is a relatively flat 13.1-mile-long tour of the city and occurs on an annual basis, with runners competing on all levels, whether that be to beat their friend’s time or to raise money for a charitable cause of their choosing. The event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the event held in their place was carried out on 27th March 2022 instead. Usually, the run occurs sometime in October, so students will likely sign up for the following year upon their arrival, rather than going straight into it, though some dedicated runners will obviously be keen to get their teeth into it early. The race was established in in 2003, alongside a full marathon which was eventually dropped following the 2006 race due to a strong preference of runners for the half distance event. Around 27,000 people sign up to the race each year, packing the streets of Cardiff with not only the competitors, but also their supporters and members of the general public who want to cheer them on.

The route starts outside the oldest structure in Cardiff, the castle, and then goes over the River Taf to the west, into the Riverside area. Following this, the runners head south through Grangetown to Penarth, and subsequently run along the barrage and over the locks until the reach Cardiff Bay. Here they pass such monuments as the Millennium Centre, the Senedd, and Ianto’s shrine (for all of you Torchwood fans out there). The race then continues North, heading past the city centre and into Roath, eventually doing a loop around the lake at the top of Roath Park. The final leg of the half marathon leads the runners back south towards the university, finishing on King Edward VII Avenue, in between university and Welsh civil service buildings. It is a scenic route, taking you through both urban and green areas, even getting to enjoy a sea breeze in the mid portion of the race, and brings you back to a few hundred metres from where you started.

Many runners compete in order to raise money for dedicated charities, and Cardiff University has its own team that aims to fund research conducted within the university. To join #TeamCardiff you will need to raise a minimum sponsorship of £250, with 100% of the money you raise going towards research for a cause of your choice, with cancer research, mental health and debilitating conditions all being popular options. The team will give you a team T-shirt made from recycled plastics, graphics for your social media to help you raise awareness of your run and take pride in it subsequently, and apparently free access to the student physios after the race, something that a friend of mine who competed said was the highlight of his day. For whatever causes or reasons you run for, the Cardiff Half Marathon is a perfect event for any keen runners, but is also flat enough to not be unreachable for those of you who want to set yourself a challenge and put in the work to complete it. We wish you all the best of luck!