It is with deep regret that Run 4 Wales, the company that promotes Wales’ leading mass-participation sporting events, has today announced that the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon has been postponed to a new date in 2022.
The Cardiff Half Marathon was due to be run in the Welsh capital on 3 October and has now been re-scheduled for 27 March, 2022. It is the third time the event has had to be postponed due to the pandemic, the last race being in October, 2019, when the Kenyan Leonard Langat emerged victorious from a field of more than 25,000 runners to win in a course record 59 min, 30 sec.
Matt Newman, R4W Chief Executive explained the thinking behind the postponement:
“Run 4 Wales (R4W) has been working closely with the Welsh Government and Cardiff City Council to understand the potential timeline for the safe return of events in Wales, including the Cardiff University / Cardiff Half Marathon (CHM).
“Whilst the vaccine rollout in the UK continues to provide cause for optimism, the situation in Wales remains uncertain, with the Welsh Government currently setting a maximum outdoor event capacity of 4,000, including event-related spectators.
“At present there are also no plans to relax the 2 metre social distancing rules, which provides significant operational challenges for mass-participation event organisers.
“Over recent years the CHM has grown into the 2nd largest half-marathon in the UK, with over 25,000 participants and 100,000 spectators lining the route. An event of this scale requires a significant planning phase and we have now entered the critical period. The Welsh Government’s 21-day review cycle means that R4W cannot predict the prevailing restrictions which will be in force this autumn, so a decision needs to be made now.
“Due to this uncertainty and in agreement with Cardiff City Council, circumstances dictate that we must now postpone the 2021 CHM to the spring of 2022. The health and safety of race participants, their supporters, event volunteers and the Run 4 Wales staff team is at the forefront of our decision making and we hope that everyone understands the reasons for this decision.
“The Welsh Government continues to work with partners in the events industry and we are hopeful that other events in our portfolio can be held within the guidelines this autumn.
“The CHM has become one of Wales’ most iconic sporting events, providing an opportunity for runners of all standards to race alongside some of the world’s leading endurance runners. In addition, the CHM is Wales’ largest multi-charity fundraising event and sits within UK Top 10 Events for Sports Fundraising.
“This year would also have seen Cardiff join with four other world class half-marathons – Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia – in the new SuperHalfs Series taking place across Europe.
“The Cardiff Half Marathon has become much more than a road race. It now provides a focal point for Run 4 Wales’ social agenda and provides an opportunity to improve the lives of many people in Wales.
“As well as raising the profile of the Welsh capital to an international audience and driving more than £5m of economic value to the region, the event highlights the benefits of running to improve physical and mental health.
“Through the growth in social running groups across Wales, we also inspire a positive impact on social inclusion, women’s running and community engagement.
“Since R4W took over the event it has hosted the Welsh, British, Commonwealth and World Half Marathon Championships and is now in the diary of all world class athletes.
“Cardiff has the experience of successfully holding two half-marathons in one calendar year and in 2022 an autumn edition will also take place as usual on the first Sunday in October.
“In addition, we will mark the October 3 2021 date with an inclusive new ‘Virtual Cardiff Half’, which will provide an opportunity to celebrate everything that is great about the CHM. This free event will give everyone a chance to walk, jog or run the 13.1 mile distance ahead of the return of the live event in March 2022.”
All runners who had a space in the event have been contacted with more details and entry options. Information on the postponement and new virtual event can be found at the links below: