Principality Cardiff Half Marathon 2023 Elite Preview

A battle of former winners is expected at the 20th edition of the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday.

Shadrack Kimining (59:27) returns to Cardiff, looking to chase the course record at the event where he made his international debut with victory back in 2016. His last trip to Cardiff came in 2019 where he lost out to Leonard Langat in the closing metres to finish second in 59:32.

Last year’s winner Geofrey Koech (59:32) also returns, looking to better his winning time of 60:01 from 12 months ago. The Birrell Prague 10km Champion from 2019 has since won the prestigious Boston Half Marathon and more recently finished third at the Prague Half Marathon in April.

Also racing are Benard Biwott (59:44) who won the Santa Pola Half Marathon near Valencia and Wesley Kimutai (59:47) who finished second at the prestigious Rome Ostia Half Marathon in March.

Hicham Amghar (59:53) of Morocco will be looking to dip under the magical 60-minute barrier for a third time this year having finished fifth at Ras Al Khaimah in February with 59:53 and again in Istanbul finishing second in 59:58.

Vincent Mutai ran a solid 60:20 at Antrim Coast last month on his half marathon debut so is likely to go out with the leading group, hoping to post a sub 60-minute clocking.

David Kimaiyo is an exciting debutant owing to his 10km best of 27:26 set at Castellon in February.

Bereket Zeleke (62:27) was fifth at the World U20 Cross Country Championships running for his native Ethiopia and made his debut for the distance in Antrim finishing 10th.

Further International interest sits with Morocco’s Omar El Harrass (61:55), Japan’s Takuya Kitasaki 61:51) and debutant Ben Eidenschink from the USA who was sixth at the US Cross Country Championships in 2022 and has a 10,000m best of 27:51.

Paulos Surafel (61:51) and Mo Aadan (62:28) are the fastest British athletes on paper followed by the English national Cross Country Champion from 2020, Calum Johnson (63:16).

Further entrants Kieran Clements (64:31) and Ross Skelton (64:37) both also have sub 65 minute pedigree.

Mestawut Fikir (66:44) heads the start lists for the women’s race following her runaway victory at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon last month.

Fellow Ethiopian Betelihem Afenigus (66:44) sits just two seconds slower on paper and won the popular Venlo Half Marathon earlier this year.

2022 winner Beatrice Cheserek (66:48) will be familiar with the course and as a fierce competitor will be looking to retain her title on Sunday. So far this year Cheserek has won three half marathons, in Santa Pola, Riyadh and Tallinn.

Viola Chepngeno (66:48) was the runner-up last time and is another athlete who has been extremely busy over the last 12 months, along with Koech, also winning in Boston and lowering her P.B. for 10km to 31:05 in France this April.

Aminet Ahmed (67:08) most recently raced at the Copenhagen Half Marathon where she clocked 68:01.

Dorcas Kimeli (67:10) became the third fastest in history over 10km with 29:57 at the Birrell Grand Prix in Prague in 2019 and has previously raced in Cardiff back in 2017.

Costa Rican Record Holder for Half Marathon and for the Marathon, Diana Bogantes-Gonzalez (73:08) will be in action in Cardiff, along with Marcela Joglova (73:46) of the Czech Republic.

Jenny Nesbitt (72:54) will head the Welsh contingent joined by Caryl Edwards (71:18), Anna Bracegirdle (73:21), Olivia Tsim (73:38) and Beth Kidger (76:27).

Further British Athletes of note include Olympian Sonia Samuels (72:19), Cambridge Half Marathon Champion Verity Hopkins (73:35) and Kirsteen Welch (74:42) of Exeter Harriers.

Josh Hartley (49:06) is the outstanding entry in the Men’s Wheelchair race, joined by 2018 Champion Tiaan Bosch (51:14) and multiple Cardiff winner Richie Powell. Martyna Snopek (63:02) is a previous winner of the Great North Run and will be racing in Cardiff on Sunday.

Over 27,500 runners have registered for the event, which is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary in 2023. The event, which is a member of the international SuperHalfs Series is sponsored by the Principality Building Society and organised by Run 4 Wales (R4W). It also holds a World Athletics Elite Race Label.