South East Wales

Cardiff half marathon course record broken in under 62 minutes

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Media captionFirst Welshman home Dewi Griffiths finished in 65 minutes and two seconds

A new course record has been set at Cardiff's annual half marathon, with Kenyan Loitarakwai Lengurisi completing the 13.1 mile (21km) race in sub 62 minutes.

His official time was 61 minutes and 51 seconds, running 4 minute and 44 second miles.

The women's race was won by Kenyan Purity Kimetto in 1 hour 14 minutes and 22 seconds.

First Welshman Dewi Griffiths finished in 65 minutes and two seconds.

The race, in its 11th year, attracted 19,000 runners on Sunday.

The course's personal best comes as Cardiff Council bids to hold the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2016.

The Welsh government, UK Athletics and the council have agreed a funding package of £910,000 to host the biennial event.

Proposals will go before the council, which said the event could boost the city's economy by £1m, next week.

Image caption Runners on Lake Road West in Roath Park, just two miles from the finish

Another £2m would be raised for charities and good causes through race sponsorship, the council said.

UK Athletics and the Welsh government will jointly provide up to £360,000, with the Welsh government giving a further £400,000 contingency for the successful delivery of the race.

The council will contribute £150,000 from its corporate initiatives fund if the bid is successful.

Councillor Ramesh Patel, cabinet member for sport, said: "The Lloyds Bank Cardiff Half Marathon is now a major event for Wales and shows the city has the capacity, infrastructure and draw to be able to host the World Half Marathon Championships.

"It would be hugely exciting for Cardiff to host this event which further compliments the city's vast sporting event portfolio, promoting it to an international audience."

Before the start of the marathon, there was a minute's applause in tribute to Paralympian wheelchair athlete Chris Hallam, who died in August.

Hallam, from Pontypool, won medals at three Paralympic Games as well as twice winning the London Marathon.

Image caption Competitors crossing the barrage in Cardiff Bay

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