Elite Race Report
Principality Building Society Cardiff Half Marathon Race Report
Vincent Mutai and Mestawut Fikir clinched Principality Cardiff Half Marathon glory at the race’s 20th-anniversary celebration event.
Mutai overcame course record holder and countryman Shadrack Kimining in humid conditions to take the title in 01:00:35 after a sprint finish down King Edward VII Avenue. The 28-year-old was part of a lead group alongside Kimining, Bernard Biwott and last year’s champion Geoffrey Koech who powered through the city to register a time of 28 minutes and 29 seconds after the first 10K.
Last year’s victor was cut loose by his fellow Kenyans as they raced through Cathays and around Roath Park to setup a sprint finish in the heart of the capital. Mutai rounded the corner into the final straight and left Kimining (01:00:47) in his wake to secure a maiden Cardiff victory. Biwott rallied in the final stages to push the former champ close, but he had to settle for third as he finished three seconds back.
“I feel good, this was my first time running this course, it was a bit challenging but it was really enjoyable and now I am a winner so I am so happy,” said Mutai. “The support on the course was fantastic and it really helped me keep going. I would love to come back next year.”
A single second split the top three in the women’s event as Ethiopia’s Mestawut Fikir came out on top after a sprint finish to clinch the gold medal.
It was her second victory in two months as she added the Cardiff Half to her win at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, but she had to fight until the last metre to overcome compatriot Aminet Ahmed and last year’s runner-up Viola Chepngeno.
Beatrice Cheserek, who beat Chepngeno to the title last time out led from the front in defence of her title but faded to allow the trio through to battle it out down the home straight.
On her second appearance in Cardiff, third place female Chepngeno said: “It was a great race with amazing support, it was tough for me compared to last year and I am disappointed to finish third but I am happy with the time and I want to come back next time.”
In the wheelchair race, Josh Hartley of Coventry Godiva Harriers led from the off and never looked back as he won the race a full 10 minutes ahead of nearest challenger Tiaan Bosch (1:03:27). Hartley’s club mate Gary Cooper was a further 35 seconds back as he took bronze. Martyna Snopek won the female race.
“I ran my own race the whole way through and stuck to my plan,” said new champion Hartley. “It was my first time racing here, the atmosphere was really good and the conditions were a nice surprise. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and going even quicker.”
The event, which had a record 27,000 registrations, also hosted the Welsh Half Marathon Championships, which saw Bridgend’s Adam Bowden and Beth Kidger of Brighton Phoenix earn Welsh titles. Bowden beat out Meirionydd’s Rhodri Owen and Pontypridd Roadent Adam Bull. Kidger who finished ninth in the overall women’s race in her first half marathon outing, edged out Anna Bracegirdle and Olivia Tsim en route to the title
“I was on my own at the start because I was trying to be sensible with the pace as this is my first real half marathon,” said Kidger. “It was so nice having the crowds alt he way around and the support was amazing which helped. The fact it’s mainly flat really helped as well and I definitely want to do more half marathons in the future.”
Cardiff is of course one of the five Superhalfs events – a European series of half marathon events and a record number of runners from overseas entered on the event’s 20th Anniversary.
Former World Marathon Champion Martin Fiz of Spain – who raced with Wales’ own marathon man and Cardiff Half race director Steve Brace at the Atlanta Olympics – continued his winning tour of the Superhalfs events.
The 60-year-old Spaniard who won the1995 World Marathon Champion completed the 13.1 miles in 1:14:45.
“I started running as a Master and I’ve been winning in all the categories – I won six Majors Marathons in the Master 50 category and the new goal is to win the five Superhalfs in the Masters 60 category. I’ve won in Lisbon, in Copenhagen and now here in Cardiff so I am very happy with the result.”
- Vincent Mutai 01:00:35
- Shadrack Kimining 01:00:48
- Bernard Biwott 01:00:51
- Geoffrey Keoch 01:01:43
- Wesley Kimutai 01:03:00
- Mestawut Fikir 01:08:13
- Aminet Ahmed 01:08:14
- Viola Chepngeno 01:08:14
- Beatrice Cheserek 01:08:25
- Dorcas Kimeli 01:10:09
- Josh Hartley 00:53:36
- Tiaan Bosch 01:03:25
- Gary Cooper 01:04:00
- Richie Powell 01:07:01
- Steve Montgomery 01:09:59
View all results here.