By Owen Morgan
Record breaking performances at this year’s Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon were overshadowed by the death of one of the runners in the 20,400 field.
Hours after the event, organisers announced a competitor had to be attended by the medical emergency team on the course and taken to the city’s University Hospital of Wales, where the man later died.
Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of the runner who tragically passed away after taking part at the event.
“The emergency services reacted to this terrible situation with great speed and professionalism. Everyone connected with the race is devastated.”
Today’s news follows the death of two men at last year’s event and the death of another man at this summer’s Swansea Half Marathon.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, many competitors and running clubs expressed their condolences on social media.
Earlier in the day, Kenya dominated the elite races as Leonard Langat won the men’s race in a new course record and compatriot Lucy Cheruiyot won the women’s race.
Langat set a new Cardiff Half Marathon best of 59:30, clinching a close two second victory with a sprint finish ahead of fellow Kenyan Shadrack Kimining. Another Kenyan, John Lotiang, holder of the previous course record of 1:00.42, was third.
A delighted Langat said afterwards: “This is a wonderful course and I am sure that someone could run faster than 58 minutes on it in the future.”
Cheuiyot also held on for a narrow win in the women’s race, clocking 1:08.20 ahead of Ethiopia’s Azmera Abreha, who registered the same time. Paskalia Kipkoech, of Kenya, was third in a time of 1:08.25.
Great Britain’s Danny Sidbury claimed a dramatic win in the wheelchair race, clocking 51:34 after a wheel almost worked loose at the halfway stage.
Sidbury had to borrow an allen key from a motorcycle outrider in order to secure the wheel before racing on to victory.
Domestically, Charlie Hulson and Carys Hughes claimed the Welsh Half Marathon Championship titles with big personal best performances.
Liverpool Harrier Hulson was the first Welshman home and 13th overall as he clocked 1:04:28 to better his time of 1:05:19 registered at the Copenhagen Half Marathon last month.
Hulson, a former English cross-country champion from North Wales, is preparing for his marathon debut in Valencia on 1 December and was delighted with his run
“I’m still relatively young for the marathon,” said the 26-year-old. “But I enjoy the longer work and there is no point in waiting around to have a go at it.
“I felt fairly comfortable at the pace at which I was running, but I won’t be going off that quick on my marathon debut.
“Anything under 2:13.00 I will be happy with and the long term goal is to make the Welsh team for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.”
Cardiff AC’s Hughes enjoyed an even larger PB as she clocked 1:18.20 to smash her previous best of 1:21.09 set at the 2015 Cardiff Half Marathon.
An estimated 50,000 people lined the capital’s streets for the race, which was bathed in sunshine and broadcast live for the first time on UK television.
The event will next year form part of the first SuperHalfs series alongside events in Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia.
Full results are available on the Cardiff Half Marathon website.