October’s got a lot on sports-wise – Megan Thomas and Lewis Smith have the lowdown on the best things to do and see this month.
WALES RALLY GB
Each year, the Wales Rally outdoes itself, but this year will be particularly exciting after last year’s win by Elfyn Evans, the first ever Welsh winner. The 11th round of the 2018 World Rally Championship is likely to be a spectacular tussle for victory. For much of the past season, Belgian Thierry Neuville has kept his nose just in front of five-time winner Sebastien Ogier. But with three successive first-place finishes, in Finland, Germany and Turkey, in his back pocket, Estonian Ott Tänak has surged up out of nowhere into second-place. With only three rounds to go by the time they hit the renowned Welsh race forests of Sweet Lamb, Dyfi and the likes, there is guaranteed drama, energy and competition ahead. And who knows, maybe local boy Elfyn will rain on everyone’s parade again?
Start: Clocaenog Forest; finish: Llandudno, Thurs 4 Oct. Admission: prices vary, packages available. Info: www.walesrallygb.com
WALES VS SPAIN FRIENDLY
The Wales national football team clash with Spain in a high-profile friendly, the first match between the two sides since 1985. This will also mark Wales’ return to the Principality Stadium, after many years of (admittedly superior) performances in the more tightly-wound Cardiff City Stadium. The last time Ramos, Isco, Carvalhal and Gareth Bale played on Principality turf was for Real Madrid in the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final; now, Bale will face club teammates in this international friendly showdown. The game will be played a few days prior to Wales’ second UEFA Nations League B game against the Republic Of Ireland after their 4-1 victory over them in early September – which will certainly be a crunch game in the Nations League after Wales’ debilitating loss against Denmark in Aarhus. Spain are unbeaten in their last six matches, with Wales having lost two in the same period, so it promises to be an exciting and star-studded showdown, with Spain’s passing elegance against Wales’ gung-ho counter-attacking bound to be an exciting prospect.
Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Thurs 11 Oct. Tickets: £5-£20. Info: www.faw.cymru
“It’s not a real sport, so why is this in the sports sections?” we hear you whining. But whatever the quibbles, the return of the WWE once again to Cardiff in early November will surely be a highwire night of excitement. The card for fans in Wales looks very exciting, with the usual mix of burly men in spandex amidst a strong coterie of female wrestlers. The highlight of the night will surely be the triple-team headliner of AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy v Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz and Samoa Joe. A unique blend of sport and entertainment, combined with the atmosphere of a rock concert, there’s no better time to treat yourself to an evening bursting with energy and drama.
WWE Live, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Sat 3 Nov. Tickets: from £25. Info: 029 2022 4488 / www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk
CARDIFF HALF MARATHON: FESTIVAL OF RUNNING
This time of year is for the runners, with the Nation Radio Cardiff 10k last month, and October’s annual half marathon. Not everyone will be up to running the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday morning, but there’s thankfully other options for those wanting to join in on the running fever. The family-friendly day on Sat 6 Oct is dedicated to fun activities like face painting, food stalls, live music and of course, the actual moving of the legs in a speedy fashion. There’s a family fun run, a 200m toddler dash, 3km races and a mascot race. Entries are welcomed on the day of the event and all proceeds go to worthy charities.
City Hall, Cardiff, Sat 6 Oct. Entry: £9 for fun run. Info: www.cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk