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Cardiff Half Marathon – Heidi Zymela surprises herself with a superb PB

The Cardiff Half Marathon will always hold a special meaning for me as it was my first ever half marathon race back in 2015. Cardiff was my home for three years whilst at Uni, and the place where I became a ‘proper runner’. Nothing like two weeks of Freshers weight gain to motivate me to start running…!

I’ve done the route four times now; three for the Cardiff/University Half Marathon and one when it was the route for the World Half Marathon Championships. So you can see what a highly respected and great route it is!

Cardiff half castle

I originally booked this year’s race to run with my sister for her first half marathon. When I got injured for the second time at Endure24 (I love Endure, but my body clearly hates consecutive running… I’ll be back next year but to do sports massages instead!) I thought it didn’t matter because I just needed to get enough fitness to amble around at my sister’s pace. But as fate would have it, she also got injured during training, so then the pressure was on as I would be running my own race.

Like most runners, I am my biggest critic, so even though I knew I didn’t have to run any specific time, particularly after having 9 weeks off running in the summer, I still wanted to match my previous half times.

Training started, lots of money was spent on an osteopath, and surprisingly, running was easy and back at my old pace!

Heidi Cardiff half

Fast forward to Race Day: weather was perfect, my parents, sister and best friend were there to support me, I was back in my old surroundings and I had a great music playlist to keep my footfalls consistent. I felt great when on course, I was overtaking most people, my stride felt comfortable and breathing was easy. I didn’t look at my watch the entire way round for fear of it not showing me a pace I wanted and sapping all my enthusiasm. Better to be blissfully unaware of your pace and just run.

heidi in action.jpg

I opened out for the finish and finally looked at my watch. A new PB of 1hr 37! After everything that had gone on getting to this race, I was pretty shocked but extremely happy! Two minutes off my last PB and a whole 11 minutes off my first Cardiff Half time in 2015!

Heidi with medal

I know I’m extremely biased, but I really would recommend the Cardiff Half for anyone looking for one further afield. It’s extremely flat, the crowd support is incredible and the scenery is great to run past. And who doesn’t love a welsh accent?

Happy Running! Rhedeg yn hapus!

Cardiff Half medal

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