Record numbers and record time at half marathon
About 27,500 runners have been taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon, where the course record has been broken by this year’s winner.
Leonard Langat from Kenya completed the 13.1 mile course in 59 minutes 29 seconds.
Lucy Cheruiyot, also from Kenya, won the women’s race in 68 minutes 19 seconds.
But, organisers confirmed that one runner died after taking part in the race.
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At least 50,000 spectators lined the course to cheer on the record number of runners, in what has become the UK’s third biggest race after the London Marathon and the Great North Run.
Roads have been closed around the city – Castle Street, where the race began, was closed at 04:00 BST while other roads will not reopen until 15:15.
The wheelchair race started at 09:55, with Danny Sidbury winning it in a time of 51:35.
The main race kicked off at 10:00 and Langat took more than a minute off the previous course record of one hour 42 seconds, set by fellow Kenyan John Lotiang in 2017.
As well as elite athletes, the race has attracted amateur runners from all over the country.
Steve and Liz, from Llandrindod Wells in Powys, are latecomers to the sport but have not looked back since starting in their 70s.
“My wife started running and I got the idea from her,” Steve said.
“I started running when I was 70 and I’m now 73 so anybody can do it.
“This is our third Cardiff half. They’re great occasions.”
Stuart is running dressed as a World War Two soldier to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“It’s beautiful, you can’t ask for better than this,” he said.
“A bit cooler maybe, especially running in a uniform like this.”
Runners were urged to use sustainable travel to reach the start line after research showed 70% went by car last year.
The course is unchanged from 2018 with runners starting in front of Cardiff Castle before heading past Cardiff City Stadium, through Penarth Marina, across the barrage and past the Wales Millennium Centre before circling Roath Park lake and finishing along Edward VII Avenue in the civic centre.
A park and walk facility has been provided at Cardiff City Stadium on Leckwith Road.
A spectator zone is in place on Corbett Road, close to the finish line where there will be extended tiered standing terraces to allow more people to watch friends or family complete the challenge.
First run in 2003 by just 1,500 athletes, the event has grown into the second biggest half marathon in the UK, behind the Great North Run, as well as hosting elite men’s and women’s races.
Research by Cardiff University found that runners spent £2.5m in the city at the 2018 event.
Pubs and restaurants have previously seen a “three to fourfold” increase in trade on a typical Sunday in the capital city though other small businesses said they will not open due to a downturn in shoppers and difficulties for staff getting to work.
Live coverage of the Cardiff Half Marathon is on BBC One Wales from 09:30 and BBC Two network at 09:45. Highlights will be on BBC Two Wales at 22:00 and on the BBC iPlayer.
Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49896939