Mass participation running returned to Wales in style after a two-year absence at the 2021 Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run.
The event was the largest mass participation event to take place in Wales since the coronavirus pandemic, 721 days after the last major road race was held at the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon.
More than 6,000 runners entered the 10K and 2K events after event organisers Run 4 Wales implemented a number of measures to ensure the safety of those participating while maintaining the event day experience.
The event took place 30 years on from race director Steve Brace’s famous victory at the Berlin Marathon as course records tumbled in the sun at Cardiff’s historic bay.
Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said: “It’s a real honour to have delivered the largest mass-participation event in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic, and it was incredible to see our running community come back together again after such a long time apart.
“Running is a major part of the nation’s health and wellbeing and we’re delighted to be able to provide the stage for runners of all abilities to achieve their goals and create long-lasting memories.
“Thanks must go to our sponsors, stakeholders and Welsh Government for allowing us to bring mass-participation racing back to Wales. We can now look ahead to the ABP Newport Wales Marathon next month before we make up for lost time with a full schedule in 2022.”
After a two-year wait for competitive running to return to the roads, the elite races did not disappoint as Omar Ahmed smashed the course record and Sonia Samuels set a new season’s best to take the 2021 Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run titles.
Birchfield Harriers’ Ahmed took the men’s title in style by knocking 25 seconds off Dewi Griffiths’ previous best over the distance. The Ethiopian raced through 5 kilometres in just 14:05 before streaking way from club mate Kadar Omar to finish in a season’s best time of 28:42. The time was just three seconds off the personal best he set in Telford two years ago.
Fellow Birchfield Harrier Omar took silver in 29:13 ahead of Newport Harriers’ Abed Teweldebrhan (30:06), who finished third but was crowned Welsh 10K champion.
Samuels blitzed the field to take the women’s title in a season’s best 34:37, almost a minute clear of Les Croupiers runner and new Welsh champion Alaw Beynon-Thomas (35:43), who set a new season’s best en route to taking Welsh honours.
This event kicked off the 2021 Healthspan Wales 10K Series, which this year includes the upcoming ABP Newport Wales 10K and the R4W Virtual 10K.
As title sponsors of the event, Brecon Carreg used their association with the race to promote recycling, sustainability and the fight against plastic waste. Lead charity partner Velindre Cancer Centres had 200 runners taking part under their banner to support the Hospital of Hope, a major provider of cancer treatments in Wales.
The Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run will return on 22 May 2022. Next up from R4W is the ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10K on Sunday 24 October 2021 – entries close this week.