Run4Wales hosted the Royal Welsh running festival at the show ground in Builth Wells on Sunday 21st May alongside the Royal Welsh Spring show. I felt the race was great value for money costing £20 to run the half marathon distance, receiving a t-shirt, medal and free entry to the show (£15). They also had a 10k option, a family race and a toddler race.
The race started in two pens, based on expected time. As the course was a 10k loop done twice for the half marathon runners the start was mixed 10k and half marathon runners.
The race started in the show ground, exiting out onto road uphill. The course was a mixture of grass, gravel trail and woodland trail under foot. There were many uphill challenges which were all manageable to run. One short section I walked on both loops, it was sloppy wet mud and rocky under foot and it seemed many runners in front and behind walked it.
Lap 1 I found mentally challenging for myself with what seemed like tired legs. Starting lap 2 I seemed to have found my stride and managed to overcome it and push on gaining about 10 positions overall to the finish.
Unfortunately the race should have been a half marathon distance but a fault of a Marshall who turned us too soon resulted in it being an 11.9 mile race. What we should have done was continued down to the show ground and filtered off from the 10k runners going to the finish and turned back up to rerun the whole route. This would have given us the extra 1.2 miles.
I’ve heard some complaints that there was no water at the second water station but fortunately there was when I got to it. Also I’ve heard complaint that there was a long wait to register at the entrance to the show. Again I didn’t have to queue but I got there at 10am to look around the show so I’m guessing it was quieter. Many others weren’t happy that spectators had to pay £15 but this was stated in the write up prior to entering the race.
I was happy to complete in 1:46:29, overall 84/305 and 15th female. Was pleased with that. There were some very strong front runners at this race with it being a Welsh championship race.
Personally I’d run this race again and hope to see it on the calendar next year