Natasha Cockram: Welsh runner aiming for PB at Cardiff Half Marathon

Natasha Cockram
Natasha Cockram won the 2018 Newport Marathon with a time of 02:44:58

Welsh runner Natasha Cockram says she is targeting a new personal best at this Sunday’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

More than 25,000 people have signed up for the race, which will be the largest mass participation event since the Covid-19 pandemic in Wales.

Cockram, 29, hopes a good performance in the race will help lead to selection for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which begin on 28 July.

“I’m really looking forward to the weekend,” said Cockram.

“Hopefully I’m in good form, Sunday will be a good test of that, but training has been going well.

“I’d love a new PB, I think I’m in PB shape based on my training, and I want to enjoy it.

“The Cardiff Half is a special event, so I’m really excited to be back in Wales on home soil to kick off my 2022 racing.”

Having previously trained in Wales, Cockram moved to Norfolk at the start of the pandemic to focus on her running.

At the 2020 London Marathon, which was for elite athletes only due to Coivd-19, Cockram was the fastest British runner, finishing just three minutes and 49 seconds outside the qualifying time for the Olympic Games.

Cockram says an injury sustained in that race was a factor in her not reaching the Tokyo Games, as she finished just 33 seconds slower than the qualification time at the Olympic trials in March 2021.

“I was disappointed to miss out on the Olympics but I’m focused on the Commonwealth Games now,” Cockram said.

“Now I just work part-time, I’m more focused on the running.

“When Covid struck I was working in pharmacy, it was a bit crazy as everyone started stockpiling, it was so manic it took away from my training.

“At that point I had to sacrifice my job or my running and it was a no-brainer for me so I left my job.”

With Olympic disappointment behind her, Cockram’s focus is on Birmingham and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Cockram’s marathon finish of 02:33:17 in her last race – the City of Los Angeles Marathon in November 2021 – is lower than the 02:35:30 mark which Welsh Athletics requires for Commonwealth Games selection.

Welsh Athletics meet on 25 April to officially decide which athletes will represent Wales in Birmingham.

“Everything is focused on Birmingham,” Cockram added.

“I’m just waiting for selection but I’m hopeful I’ll get in the team.

“Everything is geared towards that, I’d love to do the country proud and potentially aim for a medal at the Commonwealth Games.”

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