Cardiff University And R4W Celebrate Six Year Milestone
Cardiff University and Run 4 Wales (R4W), the organization behind the Cardiff Half Marathon, are celebrating all that has been achieved during their 6-year partnership, as the relationship enters a new era following the 18th edition of the race on Sunday 27 March. Highlights include gaining worldwide media exposure, millions raised for good causes and getting the nation up and running to improve both physical and mental health.
The organizations were initially united by the ambition and excitement around Wales hosting the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (March 2016), with R4W as the event organizers and Cardiff University becoming principle sponsor.
Following the successful staging of the major global event, which saw Mo Farah take to the streets of Cardiff, Wales’s leading higher educational institution extended their association with R4W by becoming the title partner of what is currently called the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon.
Speaking about the partnership Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University, Damian Walford Davies commented:
“From the word go it was clear that R4W’s values were aligned with those of Cardiff University, with the coming together of two socially responsible organizations wanting to make a difference.
“We have used the partnership as a highly effective vehicle for a number of important initiatives and are proud to have attracted over 1,300 Team Cardiff runners, who have raised over £250,000 for our vital research in the areas of mental health, neuroscience and cancer.
“The funding has enabled our researchers to accelerate life-changing discoveries to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for a wide range of conditions.
“To have our brand so visible, especially across the global TV coverage, has been fantastic and we are proud to be part of Cardiff Half’s journey to an iconic sell-out event. Our involvement has organically evolved beyond marketing – the fundraising, research and collaborative opportunities it has presented have been remarkable.”
Matt Newman, R4W Chief Executive, added:
“Our link with Cardiff University is special and has never been a traditional sponsorship agreement, but very much an effective working relationship.
“A highlight for us has been the research element, where academics have dedicated time to exploring the wider event themes, from runner behaviour, economic benefits (£2.5 million per annum) to sustainability.
“This has not only allowed us to dig deeper into the outputs of Cardiff Half Marathon but has shaped the direction of a number of strategies, especially around sustainability, where we have ambitious aims to improve our environmental performance year on year. Such research has improved our understanding and opened up conversations on topics such as safe running routes for women and more recently the link between physical exercise and maintaining personal wellbeing.
“The last 6 years have been an example of corporate collaboration at its best.”
The 18th edition of the event, the UK’s 2nd largest half marathon, which is expected to generated over £3 million for charity, will return this Sunday for the first time in 903 days. It will be the largest mass participation event to take place in Wales since before the pandemic, with over 25,000 people signed up to take part in the World Athletics Gold Label race.
After the weekend the partnership will start a new chapter and whilst the University are stepping down as Title Partner, the working relationship and shared commitment to the social agenda will continue.