The front-runners come down the hill into Penarth Marina preceeded by camera motorbikes and cyclists  blowing whistles

It’s been confirmed that two male competitors died from apparent cardiac arrest on the  finishing line of today’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

The race had begun at 10:00 at the start line at Cardiff Castle and 16 minutes later the front runners reached Penarth – heading downhill into the Marina, across the Barrage and heading back to Cardfiff

This start of this year’s half-marathon outside Cardiff Castle – several runners can be seen here consulting electronic digital watches which give the elapsed time and a read out of their heart-rate

Several roads were closed in the Penarth Marina area during the morning.

About two and a half hours after the leading runners had passed through Penarth  – and the main body of competitors was reaching the finishing line –  the Welsh Ambulance Service reported they had received a call at  12.15 of two runners both of whom had  suffered cardiac arrests at the finish line.

One of the men was 25 years old and the other 32. Run 4 Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman said: “This is a terrible tragedy for the families. Our deepest sympathies go out to their family and friends. The emergency services reacted to this terrible situation with great speed and professionalism. Everyone connected with the race is devastated They unfortunately become the first fatalities in the 15 year history of the race.

More than 20,000 runners had submitted entries for the race which has been an annual event for the last 15 years .

The singers of the JP School of Song were on hand to serenade the athletes at the Oystercatcher Pub

For the third time a choir of local schoolchildren of the JP School of Song sang their hearts out as the competitors came past the Tesco supermarket .

The choir – run by Penarth primary school teacher James Patrick –  is a mixture of children from various local schools and rehearse both at St Cadocs Church Hall in Cardiff and St Joseph’s Church Penarth.

The vanguard of official vehicles and health and safety cyclists led the runners into the Marina

It was elbow to elbow into Penarth Marina as the five men in the leading pack jostled for position. Australian Jack Rayner (at the rear in those photo)  overtook the Ugandans (yellow vests)  and went on to win.

This year the retinue of official tv camera motorbikes being ridden immediately in front of the runners was augmented by a tribe of  “health and safety” scarlet-clad cyclists.

In the lead through Penarth Marina were Ugandan runners Toriotich and Kwemoi with Lotiano of Kenya and Australian runner Jack Rayner keeping station with them .

It was at the Marconi Roundabout in Penarth Marina that Australian runner Jack Rayner started overtaking the Ugandans – and went on to win the race – the first white athlete to do so.

Top Welsh runner Dewi Griffiths (red vest) being filmed by a motorcycle tv crew in Penarth Marina

This was Dewi Griffiths at the end of the race. He finished in a creditable time – but sank to his knees gasping for breath after crossing the line. He recovered a few minutes later

The fastest club runners were not far behind the leaders

There were more female competitors than ever in this year’s half-marathon

The race was being covered live on tv by from the air and by  outside broadcast units

Despite perfect weather there were fewer people watching the race in Penarth this year but crowd of around 50 applauded the runners at the roundabout as 40,000 feet headed into the Marina

There followed the usual  groups of semi professional and club athletes and finally the hundreds of charity runners and keep fit enthusiasts whose participation in the race normally makes it a colourful event for spectators. At this stage no one could have anticipated the tragic turn of events which was to occur just two hours later.

First to reach the finish line was Australia’s Jack Rayner who completed the course in a  time of 1 hour 0 minutes and  59 seconds. Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel won the women’s race in 1 hour 9 minutes and 45 seconds.

News of the deaths of the two runners at the finish line did not emerge until Sunday evening .  Next of kin have been informed and further information is awaited from the race organisers.


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Groundhog says:

    And for you to put them in their place.

  2. Peter Church says:

    Very Sad, some searching questions need to be asked of the organisers.
    It there a problem with people using fit bit apps, that let others know their times and result in people pushing themselves beyond the limit?
    I don’t know why two today and none over the past 15 years.

    • Adrian Foster says:

      It’s a sad fact that a very small number of people have heart defects that aren’t detected or a problem until the person’s Heart come under severe strain.

      That is probably why two runners died and none before.

      The same thing happens in other sports – football, rugby, cycling etc…

  3. The Milkmaid says:

    Sincere condolences to the family and friends of the 2 runners who died.
    Congratulations to all the thousands of runners who participated, many who trained for so long especially for this race.

  4. Eyes and Ears says:

    There was a story on Penarth Times about a 48 year old chap who was running carrying a 35lb back pack in this race. The reason he said was to encourage people to give more money. Has events like this gone into a spiral of stupidly.
    A charity bungee jumping contest to raise money for a Swansea A&E. Resulted in the death of an entrant who was taken to very same A&E they were raising funds for, again in Swansea a few years back a cake eating contest for charity caused another death due to choking.
    Charity sponsorship has reached a very sophisticated levels, but is this encouraging people to do things maybe they should think twice about and wouldn’t do unless pressured?
    Just a thought.

    • Mike James says:

      Eyes and Ears [obviously nothing between]

      What a load of sanctimonious drivel in relation to the tragedy which occurred in yesterday’s 1/2 marathon

      • John Rogers says:

        They have a point Mike, yes a tragedy but when the 3 SAS recruits died carrying heavy back packs everyone said lessons would be learned.
        Dunno what these two death were caused by, but my guess it had something to do with running 13.1 miles. A tragedy none the less for the families.
        Better to speak up rather than stick you fingers in your ears and say nothing.

  5. Even those not taking part in these races are at greater risk of death.
    This race should be banned unless the safety of residents can be guaranteed.

  6. Eyes and Ears says:

    As a regular poster on here I can assure you that the first comment is not by myself. Not sure how the same name has been allowed. Any Ideas admin?

    • NewsNet says:

      The other “Eyes and Ears” poster uses a different email address and has a different IP. It is quite possible however in Wales to see people using the same names (e.g. there could be several people legitimately using the name “Tom Jones” because that’s what their name actually is). Names – and pseudonyms – are not necessarily specific or exclusive to any particular poster. The email accounts and the IPs are.

Comments are closed.