2022 Elite Report
It was a double win for Kenya at the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday (2 October).
Race favourite, Geoffrey Koech stormed to win the men’s elite race, finishing just one second outside of the hour mark.
Sprinting across the finish line in 1:00:01, he was happy with his performance:
“The course is good. It feels good to win here and I pushed really hard. This is my fastest performance in Cardiff.”
Thirty seconds outside of his personal best, it was enough to overpower Ethiopians Gizealaw Ayana, who crossed in second, and Chimdessa Gudeta in third.
And it was another victory for Kenya in the women’s race with Beatrice Cheserek winning on her event debut in 1:06:48 ahead of compatriot Viola Chepngeno and Zewditu Aderaw of Ethiopia.
Fresh from winning the Gothenburg Half Marathon last September, Cheserek was delighted:
“This was my first time in Cardiff. The support was fantastic and helped me to work hard.”
The Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon holds a prestigious World Athletics Elite Road Race label and featured its strongest field to date, with more nationalities represented than ever before.
Newport’s Natasha Cockram – who represented Wales at this year’s Commonwealth Games – was the first Briton home in the women’s race finishing in 1:13:11. She had planned to compete at the London Marathon but a bout of Covid scuppered her plans:
“There was no way I was going to be marathon ready so soon after Covid. Obviously today was a lot slower than back in March but I’m happy to come out here and win the domestic part of the race. There were some fast girls up at the front but happy with that at the end of a 100-mile week.
“I love returning here – it’s home and the crowds are amazing. It was all a bit of rush, I only decided on Friday to come but I am so glad I came.”
Carmarthen’s Dewi Griffiths was first British man home in a finish time of 1:04:15.
“After the first 400m, I realised, “this is why I love this race”. You get so much support as a Welshman all the way around and the crowds really kept me going when it got tough.”
In the elite wheelchair race, Mel Nicholls of Worcester, who competed on the track at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, powered home in 1:00:19:
“I love coming back to Cardiff. It’s the friendliest event I go to. I love coming back to Wales. I was ready for the wind and the rain all week but the weather’s been amazing.”
Beatrice Cheserek 01:06:48
Viola Chepngeno 01:06:52
Zewditu Aderaw 01:09:16
Geoffrey Koech 01:00:01
Gizealaw Ayana 01:00:17
Chimdessa Gudeta 01:00:18
Mel Nicholls (Women’s) 01:00:19
Richie Powell (Men’s) 01:08:44
Dewi Griffiths (Men’s) 01:04:15
Natasha Cockram (Women’s) 01:13:12