A record field got this year’s Women’s Running 10K Series off to a sweltering start.
More than 700 runners registered to take part in the opening race of the Women’s Running 10K Race Series 2016 in Bute Park, Cardiff on 29 May. As the Bank Holiday weather defied the stereotypes – and sharply contrasted last year’s rainy day in the Welsh capital – there was an excited buzz in the sweltering spring sunshine as women arrived.
The series promised to be better than ever this year, with four new venues, and support from Hoka One One (providing prizes for our winners and shoes for all the pacers), Solgar, BUFF headwear and Saka water. But the series kicked off in the tried and tested Bute Park venue behind the iconic Cardiff Castle.
Ahead of the race, runners heard from WR10K ambassador Mel Bound of This Mum Runs, who had come over from Bristol to enjoy an easy run in the sunshine, and 70-minute pacer Jane Lewis, who explained how the free pace groups work. There were a few teething problems, with some runners not having received their race packs ahead of the event, resulting in a long helpdesk queue on the morning – but thankfully the good weather kept everyone in high spirits and the organisers were able to start the event on time.
So it was off around two glorious laps of Bute Park, alongside the serene River Taff, under towering trees and past beautiful blooming beds and basking sun seekers. Kerry Starkey was first to complete the 5K. She was visiting Cardiff on holiday so looked forward to relaxing and seeing the sights after the race.
Another visitor, musician Wrenne Ninja, shocked herself by coming home first in the 10K. She praised the amazing atmosphere and is looking forward to running several more the WR10K events over the summer, in cities around the UK where she’ll also be playing gigs.