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Get your running shoes on for this year's Cardiff Half Marathon!

Cardiff Half Marathon - Picture by Gareth James via GeographThis year, the Welsh capital will host its 12th Half Marathon, where thousands of people will take part in the 13.1 mile run to raise money for charity, and (in the case of professionals) try and set or beat their personal best time; what's more, 2014 runners will be the first to experience the Marathon's new route.

The Half Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 5th October, is sponsored by Lloyds TSB and supported by partners; Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Athletics. Not only is the Cardiff Half Marathon the second largest Half Marathon in the UK but it is also Wales’ largest mass participation event and the country’s largest multi-charity fundraising event with last year’s Half Marathon raising over £2.3m for many different charities.

Cardiff to host the Half Marathon Championships 2016

Last year, more than 19,000 runners and 40,000 spectators attended the Half Marathon, figures which are expected to be topped this year with 22,000 runners anticipated to sign up to the event. The Cardiff Half Marathon is always a highlight in the city’s sporting calendar; its flat route provides opportunity for a fast race where many runners can beat their personal best time, while the city’s attractions make it a great day out for spectators. The popularity and success of the Marathon has resulted in Cardiff being selected as the location for the next World Half Marathon Championships, which will be held in Cardiff for the first time in 2016, and this represents more success for the city after it was chosen as the 2014 European Capital for Sport.

A new route for 2014

Apart from being the UK’s second largest Half Marathon, there are many other reasons why Cardiff attracts runners and spectators from across the globe. Wales’ scenic capital provides a beautiful back drop to the run with the route passing many of Cardiff’s historic landmarks and impressive buildings, making the event even more enjoyable for both local runners and entrants who have travelled to the city to take part.

This year, it has been announced that the Half Marathon will take a different route because the ever growing number of runners has surpassed the capacity level of the current finish point on King Edward II Avenue. The new route starts outside Cardiff Castle and will finish on North Road outside the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama - one of Cardiff’s newer attractions. The new finish point will not only allow more room for runners to complete the Half Marathon but will create larger spectator viewing areas so that family and friends can cheer on their loved ones as they enter the home straight. The new route will take runners past other Cardiff landmarks such as Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff Bay Barrage, The Millennium Centre and a loop around the picturesque Roath Lake, as the route travels through Canton, Grangetown, Penarth, Cardiff Bay, Butetown, Roath, Cathays, before finally returning to the city centre.

Get involved             

The deadline to sign up for the Cardiff Half Marathon is 12th September 2014, so there is still plenty of time to decide whether you’d like to participate in this fantastic event, and more importantly there’s still enough time to get training! All the details needed to sign up for the Cardiff Half Marathon can be found on their website. If you have already signed up for the Cardiff Half Marathon or are planning on taking part, feel free let us know how your training is going and what charity you are supporting via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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