The Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon has become a staple fixture in the Welsh sporting calendar, with 27500 runners signed up to enjoy a warm Welsh welcome and rousing atmosphere in the city.
But, Wales is a nation with proud sporting heritage. Rugby has historically been the working class sport for the nation, helping to build communities around Welsh towns. In more recent years, success for the national football team at the Euros and during 2022 Qatar World Cup qualification, a new sporting era is underway.
As much as we’d like to pretend the Cardiff Half is the centre of Welsh Athletics, there is much more to it! The Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame gives you an insight into the history of Athletics in Wales, from Tanni Grey Thompson’s Paralympic dominance and world record busting to the hurdling brilliance of Colin Jackson and long-distance prowess of Steve Jones.
Did you know: Race director for the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon and Run 4 Wales staff member Steve Brace is a double Olympic marathon runner, with a personal best of 2:10:35 and victories at both the Paris and Berlin Marathons in the 1990s.
When Wales play in Cardiff, the whole country knows about it and does their best to make their way to the capital to be a part of it. When the national anthem is belted out in the Principality Stadium, you can tangibly feel the sense of patriotism, hope, community and excitement. Rugby does that in Wales.
Rugby is the national sport of Wales, playing a huge part in its culture since around the 1850s. Many ‘golden eras’ and Six Nations Grand Slams later, Wales are consistently able to compete with rugby giants New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England and Ireland.
Described by the BBC as “arguably the greatest player ever to don a Welsh jersey”, Welsh Rugby Union legend Gareth Edwards is confirmed to be an official race starter at the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon, firing the starting gun for one of the five starting waves.
The men’s and women’s football teams in Wales are reaping the rewards of increasing interest and success. All within the last ten years, Wales men have gone from rank 117 in the world to as high as the top 10, and the women’s side are on the verge of a first major tournament if they can achieve play off success and reach the Women’s World Cup in 2023.
Football and the culture that comes with it is on the rise in Wales and Cardiff, with the Welsh folk song ‘Yma o Hyd’ emblematic of the football sides’ rise to the big stage.
Cardiff City FC’s stadium is the home of Welsh football, having moved from the Principality Stadium. Iconic footballers include 1958 World Cup squad member John Charles, legendary coach and player, John Toshack and Galactico Gareth Bale.
Did you know: The connection between Welsh football and the Welsh community is getting stronger by the day, representing all backgrounds and communities it aims to achieve success for. Check out these brilliant murals dotted around the city for a glimpse of what legacy football is leaving for Cardiff in particular.