A diary of events around the big day that was the World Half Marathon

Client: IAAF / World Half Marathon
Event: The Event Diary

Cardiff has once again underlined its place in international sport; this time by playing host to the IAAF / Cardiff University World Half Marathon.

In one of the greatest World Half Marathon races of all time Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor won out Mo Farah to retain his world title, while the Welsh weather could not dampen the spirit of the crowds running the mass race, or those there to cheer them on.

To say Genero were proud when Run 4 Wales contracted us to stage the corporate events surrounding the World Half Marathon weekend event is an understatement.

Three months of planning and pre-event production; including liaison with four separate event sites, set and stage design, AV design by our Technical Manager, set & stage construction and pre-fabrication (all checked and double checked by our H&S Consultant) went into supporting the celebrations for this global sporting event, viewed worldwide.

Here's our event diary from one amazing weekend:

Friday 25th March
Official Race Dinner, National Museum

The Official Dinner held in the Great Hall, National Museum of Wales, was attended by Lord Sebastian Coe, IAAF officials, Cardiff University and other sponsors, and two hundred guests.

The Museum is open to the general public until mid-afternoon, when we began our own race against the clock to install all the stage & production services; working alongside the museum staff who were laying out dinner tables and clearing the Great Hall.

Guests arrived at the museum side entrance to attend a Drinks Reception in the upstairs Impressionists Galleries from 7pm. We were asked how we could make the arrival and entrance procession more inviting, so we floodlit the outside of the Museum side entrance and the Marathon colours beamed brightly along the back of house corridors and stairs leading to the galleries.

Our crew of technicians and set builders installed the AV production and backdrop in the Great Hall itself, as well as hanging PVC banners from the balconies. Time pressure was on –but we were ready in plenty of time for a run-through with the event host to check sound, videos and slide content; and even select a piece of classical music to play whilst guests took their seats for dinner.

Our technicians did a fantastic job of managing and operating the disciplines of audio, video and lighting for the VIPs presenting on stage including Lord Coe. 

Pete Leckie, MD of Genero Productions said:

"For us every drop of effort is made worthwhile when we know we've produced the best possible event for our client; and we were thrilled to receive such positive comments about the Opening Ceremony – particularly that the sound reproduction was excellent".

Saturday 26th March
VIP Reception, Temple of Peace

Two hundred VIPS were invited to attend an official reception at the Temple of Peace on Race day to watch the race and celebrate together, whilst enjoying the corporate hospitality.

There is no WiFi in the listed building, so live streaming the Race was not an option. Instead Genero installed an aerial mast outside the building connected to 80" LCD screens and PA system inside the venue.

Peter Morris, Project Manager, Genero Productions said:

"On selecting BBC1 to test the transmission, we got perfect picture and audio instantly. Another successful installation by our technicians with the help of our projects team.
We also received a last minute call to supply a TV screen to Cardiff Castle for guests to watch the race. With their official passes to hand and a van at the ready our events team were able to get through the crowds of public and runners to deliver the equipment on time. Maintaining our own record of ‘always being ready for anything".

Saturday 26th March
Official Medal Ceremony Dinner, City Hall

After such an amazing day, it could be difficult to produce a showstopper for the five hundred guests attending the post-race Medal Ceremony dinner. At times like this there's only one way forward – go big.

The IAAF supplied the official modular backdrop flown in from Portland USA where it had just been used at the last World Half Marathon. We all slept a little easier once we collected it the day before installation. Alongside this, our riggers hung Marathon banners throughout City Hall, so when guests arrived they immediately got the feel of the very special occasion it was; and the atmosphere built as they made their way through the building up to the main hall where a huge projected World Half logo filled the space above the stage.

All this plus a full truck of audio visual equipment, set, stage and bespoke Winners Podium was delivered and installed without so much as a Kamworor stumble!

Our team of Technicians attended a pre-dinner rehearsal with the client before the public, guests, winners and VIPs arrived. The Medal presentations and technical delivery of the show went seamlessly, straight to the finish line, as you'd expect.

Our client Matt Newman from Run 4 Wales said:

 "Genero supported an incredibly important weekend for us with ease. It was great to work with a professional team for whom nothing was too much trouble."