Race Preview: CAVC Cardiff Bay Run

By this time next week Run Big Year will have started for real with the first race run. The opening event is the CAVC Cardiff Bay Run. But what is this race and how will I get on? The only possible way to answer that on a blog is with a race preview!

The CAVC Cardiff Bay Run – which I’m going to shorten to Bay Run for the rest of this post – is brought to us by the organisers of the Cardiff Half Marathon. At the last half marathon they announced that they intended to run a marathon in April 2017. They were unable to get all the necessary agreements in place, however, and so subsequently announced that they would aim to launch a Cardiff and Vale Marathon for 2018. That’ll be the very same marathon that is intended as the last event of Run Big Year.

In the meantime it was also announced that they would run a ‘stepping stone’ event in April 2017, which turned out to be the Bay Run. This race is a new 10k race but also a revival of an old race, the Cardiff Bay 5 Mile. The Cardiff Bay 5 Mile used to be a bank holiday event at the end of May but ended due to other events being held in Cardiff Bay on the bank holiday and leaving no room for the race to run. I took part in the 2014 version of the Cardiff Bay 5 Mile and welcome the return of this race, even if it is in a revised format.

The route of the Bay Run will be familiar to previous 5 milers, with the extra distance being made up by a segment up and down Lloyd George Avenue. This course is flat, fast and has some decent scenery along the way. The route takes in Cardiff Bay’s most iconic sites as it runs from Mermaid Quay to Penarth and back with that little extra section up and down Lloyd George Avenue. There are some beautiful views along the way, particularly as you cross the barrage each way. There are some less attractive parts and here I’m primarily referring to the section through the Port of Cardiff. I think it’s fair to say that the Tardis has seen better days too.

As mentioned earlier it is a flat and fast route. If you are aiming for a PB then this is a good race to do it in. If you are looking for more of a challenging run then maybe this is not the race for you. I loved the 5 Mile when I ran it but I overheard another runner describe it a boring as it was so flat. Different people look for different things in their races. If only there was some kind of way to find out what to expect in advance!

How will I do in this race? I’m not expecting a PB this time around, although I expect a decent time given the nature of the course. My training has been going OK but I’m behind where I had planned to be due to a chest infection last month that kept me from training for two weeks. I also have a friend’s birthday to attend the night before, which is never going to be ideal. Still, you have to start somewhere and this seems like a good start for Run Big Year to me. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


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