The Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest and most exciting road races in the United Kingdom. It is now one of Europe’s largest half marathons and is Wales’ largest mass participation and multi-charity fundraising event.
This year was no exception as over 20,000 runners descended onto the Welsh capital, and Aberystwyth Athletic Club was well represented with 25 members making the journey southwards.
Edd Land led the Aber team home in a time of 1.21.47 and finished in the first 300. Ivan Courtier was up next in a time of 1.42.01 with Dan Back not too far behind in 1.46.52, a great time in his first road half marathon. Lyndsey Wheeler was the first Aber female home in a time of 1.56.52, smashing her course pb by over 30 minutes and she was followed by Toby Driver in 1.59.20.
Bethan Rees crossed the line in 2.01.12 with Chelsey Morris, 2.02.54, Eli Inns, 2.04.37 and Lina Land finished in 2.07.50. Martin Koffer finished in 2.09.22, Michelle Totterdell 2.11.08, Christine Zarges 2.12.45, Amanda Mallows 2.15.47, Deian Creunant 2.18.19, Dave Humphreys 2.18.28 and Jade Gaitely finished in 2.18.30.
Cara Nisbet made the finish in 2.21.30 with Regina Callanan 2.27.13, Heather Webster 2.34.05, Sue Lewis 2.36.04, Helen Williams 2.39.49, and mother and daughter pair Bethan and Ceirios Evans crossing in 2.46.31. Rachel Richards finished the course in 3.30.00 with both Martin Tranter and Rob Howard finishing in a time of 3.30.28.
Elinor Inns managed to get round a few minutes quicker than last year but the last few miles were challenging: “The weather, although dry, was very humid and I was ok for most of the race but it nearly got the better of me after the 15km mark. However out of 20,000 runners I found a familiar face in my Aber AC colleague and we helped each other over the line. A great race and I will be back!”
For Rob Howard, this was the furthest he had run to date: “To say I was nervous before the start is an understatement. Running 13 miles was a pipe dream a few years ago but running with Aber AC has helped me get this far.
“The atmosphere was incredible and the crowds undoubtedly spurred me on. I also had my running partner, Martin Tranter, by my side and we were delighted to cross the line together. Needless to say, a few celebratory drinks followed.”
The Pedol Peris challenge is slightly different to the relatively flat course of the Cardiff half marathon - over 17 miles, 8,000ft plus of climbing over six of Eryri’s toughest peaks. On a surprising good weather day, three of Aber’s mountain goats took on the stiff challenge of Pedol Peris against a very strong field.
The start from Llanberis saw Gancho Slavov leading the way for Aber up through Dinorwig Quarry and on to the Summit of Elidir Fawr. The first down hill to the next summit, Y Garn, saw Rich Anthony’s descending skills come to the fore taking up the Aber challenge. Meanwhile Dave Powell was trading positions all the way to the summit of Yr Wyddfa with his nearest competitor in the V60 class.
Rich Anthony completed the course in 4:30, followed closely by Dave Powell at 4:45 and ensuring an age category win with Gancho Slavov nursing his ankle over the difficult terrain and coming in at 4:55.
A great day out for Aber according to Rich Anthony: “This was another tough race run in spectacular Welsh scenery. With a strong field of over 130 runners in a fell race where you have to self navigate over various terrains this is not a race for the faint hearted.
“At least the weather was good and gave us some time to appreciate the great landscape, and allowed us to forget the rigours of the race for some of the time.”