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Richie winding down

Friday 29 October 2010

Cardiff's top road racer, Richie Gardiner, has informed the club that he is winding down his racing career and, at 37 years of age, will, in future, run for pleasure with his home town club Aberdare AC, where his wife is also a member. Richie joined Cardiff in January 1994 when he was 20 and has worn the Cardiff vest with great distinction for nearly 17 years, combining his running with a demanding life as a police officer. The club is very proud to have had Richie as a popular member and we wish him every success in the future

Richie began his athletic career as a track runner, competing regularly for the club at middle distance. In 2002, he ran in the London Marathon for the first time, finishing 30th, and, from then on, specialised as a road runner. He competed in the London Marathon almost every year thereafter, with great success.

In 2004, he finished in 56th place (not bad out of 30,000) but quickly improved, managing 23rd in 2006 with what was to be his best marathon time, 2hr:18.41. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 he finished in 13th, 22nd and 18th places respectively and was consistently amongst the first British runners to finish. In 2010, not fully fit, he was forced to drop out during the race.

The year 2006 probably saw Richie at the peak of his form as he set personal best times for the Marathon (2:18.41), half marathon (65:33) and 10k (30:00).

His personal best track times were 10,000m (30:43.04) and 5,000m (14:31.21).

He represented Great Britain on several occasions and was a frequent participant in important races abroad.

Last year, 2009, was a special year for reasons both on and away from the road. Richie ended the year top of the UK marathon ranking in the 35-40 age group, top of the rankings over 5k, 3rd over the half marathon and 5th over 10k and 10 miles.

Also in 2009, Sergeant Richie was voted South Wales Police's policeman of the year for his outstanding community work in Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Richie wrote to the club to explain his plans. This is what he said.

"I have been a member of Cardiff Athletic Club for over 17 years, in which time I believe I have given the club the best years of my athletics career, winning every senior welsh distance running title and representing Great Britain.  I have also made lifelong friends, and trained with world class athletes, the club gave me this opportunity and for that I am truly grateful.
As I enter the final years of my competitive career I feel that I have little more to offer as a competitor and I feel the Club is in good hands with some of the young talent coming through. I do not wish to join a competitor of Cardiff and will seek to go back to my home Club where my family now run, (who knows in years to come the second generation of Gardiner's could be wearing the blue vest)
I have always and will always be proud to have been a member of this club and would like to take this opportunity to thank every one at Cardiff AC who has given up their time to allow athletes like myself to pursue their ambition."

Thank you Richie.