Runners experienced something extra special at this year’s Principality Cardiff Half Marathon with the introduction of the first ever Principality Rainbow Roundabout.

The colourful course addition proved popular with participants and provided a “welcome boost” in the final stretch as they made their way to the finish line.

Powered by Principality Building Society and Pride Cymru the roundabout between Roath Park and Lake, which runners were able to pass twice between miles 10 and 12, was completely transformed into its very own party station.

Not only was it colourfully decorated with rainbows to help runners keep a spring in their step, it also featured an entertainment stage with performances from a number of drag artists including Opal Fruits, Jackie Lebeanstalque, Gigi Spot, Mary Golds and drag king, Justin Drag.

Ian Watkins, aka H from Steps, also presented his BBC Radio Wales Sunday morning show from the roundabout.

Members of the Principality Staff team provided an epic cheer station alongside the entertainment, keeping spirits lifted. It meant it was hard to spot a runner without a smile on their face as they passed through the area towards the home stretch.

Runners also loved the party atmosphere of the roundabout and said it gave them the boost they needed to get them round the final leg of the course.

Commenting on pictures of the Principality Rainbow Roundabout in action on Instagram Jenn said: “I wanted to stop here and party!” and Liz Babbage agreed writing: “Honestly brilliant although I wanted to stay and party rather than keep running.”

Others called the area a “huge spirit lifter” a “welcome boost” and Rowena Dinham added: “Loved this part. Always dread Roath Park but this really helped motivate me to keep going!”

Many also said they enjoyed this part of the route so much they hoped it would become a staple of the course.

Elinor Philipps said: “The energy and music was brilliant. Hope it’s here to stay.” And Ian Emery added: “Such a good idea, the noise, atmosphere and energy were a different level. Loved it! Same again next year please!”

Vicky Wales, Chief Customer Officer at Principality said: “We’re delighted with the excitement that was created by the Rainbow Roundabout at the Cardiff Half Marathon. It was great to see the reactions from the runners as they passed and the supporters who joined our Principality volunteers to cheer them on to the finish line.

“It was the first time that anything like this has been part of the Cardiff Half Marathon, and we’re delighted to have worked with our friends at Pride Cymru to organise a whole host of entertainment that created such an amazing atmosphere. We’re really proud to have been the headline sponsors of two fantastic events in the heart of Cardiff this year, first with PRIDE Cymru, and now with the Cardiff Half Marathon. It just goes to show what a great community we are part of, and we will continue to champion events that support and celebrate our diverse culture.”

Dee Llewellyn, Trustee of Pride Cymru, said: “It was incredible to see the Rainbow Roundabout at the Cardiff Half Marathon, a symbol of inclusivity and acceptance, embracing the LGBTQ+ community in the spirit of unity and celebration. This collaboration between Pride Cymru, Principality Building Society and Run 4 Wales created a truly unique cheer zone for spectators to watch from with five performers giving back-to-back performances. The humbling response from runners both at the event and on social media reaffirms the importance of such visible support. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the performers on the Rainbow Roundabout stage, whose contributions make this celebration of diversity even more vibrant.”

Matt Newman, Run 4 Wales Chief Executive, added: “The Principality Rainbow Roundabout was such an exciting addition to the race, helping to motivate runners when they needed it most.

“The colour, sparkle and fantastic performances certainly helped make our 20th anniversary event one of most memorable yet. We hope we can build on this experience in our future events to celebrate the diversity of our participants and supporters and ensure the feel-good atmosphere of the race continues.”