Setting the pace – small charity delivers big event

Setting the pace – small charity delivers big event

Guest Bloggers | 22 February 2018

A small team at Kidney Wales is behind one of the top 10K running events in the country. Director Nic Clarke takes us through the hard work and history that turned this 250-participant event into an 8000-participant event.


The Cardiff 10K is one of Wales’ oldest road races with its 32-year history and a special place in the Wales’ sporting calendar. Starting with just 250 runners in the city centre, the event has now developed into one of Wales' largest road races with over 8000 participants in 2017 across the 10K and 2K races. 

In 2018, 10,000 runners are expected in the 10K race with a further 1500 in the Family 2K, making it the biggest year yet for the event.
With such a big event, you would think there would be a large team responsible for the delivery, when in reality the Kidney Wales team is quite small.

The first race took place in 1986, and became known for its flat course and fast times. In the early days of the race it was very hands on with packs prepared and sent directly from the office. With any event, whatever the size, there is always things you learn and improve.





The run was originally set up by Bernie Plain MBE and Graham Finlayson BEM. Their expertise in organising athletic events was a huge help, and each year the goal was to make The Cardiff 10K better than before – It has since been voted as one of the top 10K events in the country on more than one occasion.

It was important from the outset to work with great supporters and volunteers who understand events.

As the event grew to nearly 5000 runners it was necessary to seek out the support of external fulfilment companies, and we also requested event management skills when recruiting new staff.

In recent years, we have worked with event management students from the local universities, giving them hands on experience whilst also developing the fundraising team. We also increased our marketing, developed our relationships with other race organisers, fostering collaborative working for the benefit of all the charities.

The race’s mounting popularity made us look at new ways to improve. The course was soon redesigned to include wide roads to accommodate the increased participants, medals and t-shirts were made, a 2K family fun run was added for younger participants and we worked with timing and fulfilment companies to allow our staff time to work with their fundraisers and supporters.

Kidney Wales also worked closely with other charities by having special places available for partner charities and allowing them to also have space within the runner village.

To have a flagship event like the Cardiff 10K has enabled us to raise the awareness of kidney disease whilst also raising vital funds to support those living with this live long chronic disease.

Today, the event has a headline sponsor, Nation Radio, who are working with the charity to increase awareness of both the race and the disease.

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