The next event of Run Big Year takes place on Sunday 30th April with the Cardiff 5K 2017 Race For Victory. The race is an evening race in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff and there will be live music and street food in the village too. With the event on a bank holiday weekend it looks set to be a fun and festive atmosphere, but what will the race be like?
I imagine some readers may be questioning why I’m including a 5K race in Run Big Year. For me this is a short race and something a bit different from my normal events. My first ever organised race was in the Cardiff Half Marathon back in 2010 and indeed I have never run any race shorter than 5 miles before. As such this is an opportunity for me to tick off a box or two in regard to my running ambitions. In addition I recall stating that one of the aims of Run Big Year was to set new personal bests (PBs) and that is guaranteed for this race!
The race starts and finishes on Merthyr Road, not far from the parish church. The route heads down Penlline Road before taking a left at the roundabout onto Kelston Road. You may notice that the official race charity partner, Cancer Research Wales, has a shop on this roundabout as you head past.
A further left from Kelston Road leads to Heol Don and to the kilometre mark. The route continues along Heol Don with a significant downhill stretch past Llandaf Station. The route continues on the same road (now Station Road) past the 2K mark before heading left via Gabalfa Avenue through to College Road. The 3K mark is on College Road, which also features speed bumps and a steepish uphill section around said mark.
When College Road meets Whitchurch Common there is a left turn back onto Merthyr Road. This takes us past the 4K mark and back towards the start/finish area. But we’re not at 5K yet so the route heads down Bishops Road & Bishops Place before heading up Church Road back to Merthyr Road and the finish. It is worth noting that most of the final 2K stretch is a gentle uphill slope.
The route is entirely along urban/suburban streets. It does not take in any particularly stunning scenery but the area is pleasant and a lot of the streets are lined with trees, many of which are currently in blossom. Runners should look to take advantage of the big downhill in the second kilometre to pick up some speed to carry through into kilometre 3, which is mainly a gentle downhill until the aforementioned climb on College Road. I did notice that there are several pubs along this route, which may be of interest to potential spectators.
I am really looking forward to having some fun with this one. My aim is to finish in under 25 minutes, which seems a reasonable target rather than anything too ambitious. I’ll be sticking around for a bit later to grab some food and check out the entertainment. Plus as this is a short race it’s practically a rest weekend for me!