Cardiff Half Attracting More Runners From Overseas Than Ever Before
The Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon takes to the streets on Sunday 2 October and while it’s a big day for locals, it is also attracting more runners from from overseas and from outside of Wales than ever before.
Among the record number of international runners is Jim Gilbert of Ontario, Canada. The Cardiff Half will be his 102nd half marathon which, incredibly, matches his 102-strong tally of full marathons completed:
“I am travelling with two friends from Texas and we’re heading to Northern Ireland just two weeks later to do a half marathon there. I have been to Wales before but only spent a couple of days there.”
The event in the capital is now a part of the SuperHalfs – an international half marathon series which also includes races in Lisbon, Prague, Valencia and Copenhagen. It challenges runners to complete the five-race circuit in 36 months in order to earn a ‘SuperMedal’.
Brazil’s Karen Hansen signed up to do the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon after taking part in races in Copenhagen and Lisbon. Crossing the finish line on Sunday, she will be more than halfway towards completing the five SuperHalfs:
“I want to enjoy the city – I’ve never been before. Running a half marathon around Cardiff is definitely a good way to get to know the city.”
For Daria Piccinotti, Miranda van Oudenaarde and Nicole Mossink from The Netherlands, the new Superhalfs concept is inspiring their travel plans:
“We’re joining the Superhalfs and that’s why we’ll be in Cardiff next week. We have been running for years and we do an overseas half marathon together once a year in combination with a city trip. Cardiff will be our second, after Lisbon in May. We’re going to make it a nice weekend and hope to see a lot of the city.”
Matt Newman – Chief Executive of Run 4 Wales – the event organisers behind the Cardiff Half – says:
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of runners from overseas entering with the majority coming from Spain, Portugal, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. It’s a growing trend – people want to explore a new city and what better way of seeing the sights and soaking up a wonderful atmosphere than running a half marathon?
Marion Geoffroy, UK Managing Director at Wizz Air, commented:
“As the proud title sponsor of the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon, we’re looking forward to welcoming a record number of runners from around the world, who will also have the opportunity to enjoy everything Cardiff has to offer”.
Research contacted by Cardiff University in 2018 suggested that in excess of £2.3 million is spent by event attendees in Cardiff and Wales during their visit for the event. With so many more runners now attending from overseas, with many extending their stay beyond the weekend, this figure is expected to be significantly higher.
To celebrate the record number of overseas runners this year, organisers have launched the #EinDinas campaign. Translating to #OurCity, it is designed to celebrate Wales; showcasing everything that is so special and distinct about Cymru and to offer visitors a warm Welsh Welcome.