By Alex Lamden
On the morning of the 1st of October, just over 19,500 runners took part in Cardiff’s annual half marathon, made up of elites, clubs, and charities. The runners set off at 10:00am at Cardiff Castle, touring round Penarth, across the Cardiff Bay barrage, then around Roath Park Lake to finally finish in Cathay’s Park. Since starting in 2003, the Cardiff Half Marathon sold out for the first time and attracted up to 100,000 visitors to the city.
A new time record was set by Kenya’s John Lotiang, beating defending champion Shadrack Kimining, with a time of sixty minutes, forty-seven seconds. In the women’s race, Edith Chelimo also set a course record with a winning time of sixty-five minutes, fifty-two seconds. Behind them, Wales own Dewi Griffiths achieved a personal best with sixty-one minutes thirty-three seconds, finishing fourth, with his new time placing him as the 13th best runner on the UK all time list.
Not every runner is there to achieve their personal best, many participate to raise money and awareness for their favourite charities. In the Cardiff Half Marathon 2016, the participants raised 2.5 million pounds for various charitable organisations. The marathon is a movement; it promotes the message of supporting, trying, and achieving.
Once the runners crossed the finish line, they were welcomed with medals, crisps, bananas, and water, donated by Aldi. Many runners took the opportunity to donate their free snacks to the beds of homeless people in the subway, connecting Greyfriars Road and City Hall. It was a touching sight to see, and although the homeless people were not present at the time, it would have given them a pleasant surprise upon their return. The half marathon is an event that unites those under a passion for running, and wanting to make a difference; whether it be to raise money, achieve a personal best or just for fun.