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Corporate Volunteering at the Cardiff Half Marathon: Principality Building Society employees make a splash at Penarth Road Water Station!

Earlier in the year, Run 4 Wales revealed Principality Building Society as the new title partner for the Cardiff Half Marathon. With this year marking the 20th edition of the race, it was a great time to form a relationship for the UK’s largest half marathon and Wales’ largest mass participation event.  

By the time event day rolled round on 1 October over 27,500 runners had registered to take part, with many of them running for good causes.

The iconic event raises more than £3 million for charity every year. Vicky Wales, Chief Customer Officer for Principality Building Society said afterwards: “The atmosphere was incredible! We’re really proud to have sponsored this great event and are delighted to say that we will continue to sponsor this event in 2024.” 

But it wasn’t just the sponsorship of the event that Principality Building Society provided. Their employees also turned out to volunteer at one of the four water stations along the route to support the Run 4 Wales Extra Miler team. Others formed a cheer station at the ‘Rainbow Roundabout’, a joint venture with Pride Cymru, Wales’ largest LGBTQ+ charity and festival (of who Principality Building Society is the title sponsor).  

“I found the whole experience enjoyable, from meeting colleagues who I have never come across before, the anticipation of waiting for the first participants to reach us (it was actually quite emotional) to being soaked when runners grabbed bottles out of my hands and water jumped out. It was also just so inspiring to see so many people participate.” 

We wanted to find out more about how the PBS team found the volunteering experience, many of whom had no idea what to expect at a half marathon water station. As Sam said: “No-one warned me I would get wet!”

The Penarth Road water station is situated at Mile 3 and involves a frantic 40 minutes of handing water to thousands of runners, who are often still bunched together as it’s still early in the course. The first wheelchair athletes cross the start line at 9.58am and elite runners beginning at 10am. With six starting pens stretching back as far as City Hall, it can take up to 30 minutes to get every runner over the start line. The Run 4 Wales Back Marker team are then the last to cross and form the official back of the race for the next 13.1 miles. 

Our experienced Water Station Supervisor Mandy said: “What a way to celebrate our 20th edition! It really was an absolute pleasure to be part of.  The Principality crew were so good, they nailed it given the volume of runners – and with good humour and some laughs.” 

Mandy is first on site on event day to meet the water delivery and ensure the set-up is underway before the first volunteers arrive around 8am. After getting their kit and lunch packs and listening to Mandy’s event briefing, the team of volunteers worked hard to get as many water bottles laid out and opened before the runners arrived.  

I didn’t really know what to expect but I thought the volunteering side was really well organised and also very rewarding.”

After every event, we ask the Extra Milers for their feedback from the event and what they enjoyed most. The comments we hear regularly highlight the enjoyment of being part of something big and mostly just having fun!

Volunteers can choose their volunteering role on event day and the water station is a highlight for many. Karen, a PBS helper on event day who also volunteers at Parkrun, said she loved “the amazing atmosphere, the inspiration from the runners, the enthusiasm of all the volunteers and how we all worked collaboratively”.  

Run 4 Wales welcomes employer supported volunteering at all our events. If your organisation offers corporate volunteering days and you would like to know more, please get in touch with our volunteering team: 

See some great videos and photos from the event on the Principality Building Society Instagram here.  

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