Running through NATO

Cardiff has been a bit weird of late. NATO security in South Wales is wrapping up, with mixed views from the people of the Welsh capital. Some have described it as an Orwellian lock-down, others have questioned the cost of the overwhelming police presence and road closures, others have simply enjoyed the novelty of it all.

I admit swaying towards the latter. The armed police have been a bit unnerving, but how often do you see giant warships on your morning run? 

With my IT band injury slowly fading, I took a tentative short run along the waterfront on the first day of the summit. Police outnumbered the bleary-eyed commuters, runners and dog walkers, with blue-capped officers dotted along a wall of fencing. What really caught your eye, though, were the ships.

We also had a real treat when the Red Arrows flew by.

Alternatively, if you're a Bute Park runner (home of Cardiff parkrun), you may have seen this unusual visitor.

Copyright Alex Darby

Big toys aside, there was a strange feeling in Cardiff. We all went about our daily lives and I carried on running around town, but knowing something historic was happening in our little city. This generated excitement, as well as anger and protests - mostly around the castle, where world leaders gathered.

Whatever you made of NATO in South Wales, it truly was a unique experience, and it made a routine run quite extraordinary. 

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