Rain alert for city half marathon
CARDIFF’S biggest ever half marathon will take place on Sunday – but the weather isn’t set to play ball.
This year has seen the biggest ever entry, with 25,000 signing up for the race which starts outside Cardiff Castle.
But yesterday, the Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” weather warning of rain for Sunday and Monday. Heavy rain and strong winds are predicted for the 10am start and are expected to continue for the length of the run.
Forecasters warned many places in western Britain could get 25-50mm of rain with gusts of up to 60mph in exposed coastal areas.
Despite the conditions, top Welsh runner Dewi Griffiths – who won the Swansea Half Marathon in June – said he was looking forward to the race.
“It’s such a great atmosphere,” he said. “There is so much support all the way round.
“You get through Cardiff Bay and there’s a huge roar and that gets you through a mile before you even realise.
“There there’s another big one around eight to nine miles.”
He has been touted as a potential first Welsh winner but said the pressure doesn’t get to him.
“I’m outside the top 10 in terms of time but you never know, whatever will be will be. I think I’m in personal best shape so if I get to the end with that, I’ll be happy”.
And he gave tips to runners who will be braving the rain.
“Be warm at the start line. You don’t want to be wet before it even starts, a good option is a bin bag so you can just get rid of it as soon as you start.
“Don’t panic about it as there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said he believes the route is one of the factors for the success of the half.
“Both the London Marathon and Great North Run have been around for a lot longer but the actual experience on the day in terms of the route, the beauty of Cardiff as you’re running across the barrage for example, is incredible. When we changed the route to include Roath Park Lake, we’ve seen so many people coming out to line the route and it’s become a truly iconic event”.
Roads in the city are beginning to be closed ahead of the event.
Most closures come into force on Sunday morning, ahead of the main run at 10am.
There are also events taking place tomorrow in the Festival of Running, which will involve adults, children and students.
See tomorrow’s Echo for a map showing the road closures and the route for Sunday’s race.