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JCP Swansea Half Marathon Announces Maggie’s Cancer Care as Charity Partner of the Year

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Organisers of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon are pleased to announce Maggie’s Cancer Care as their Charity of the Year for 2020.  The team at Front Runner Events; who host a series of long distance running events in Llanelli and Swansea have been working in partnership with the charity for the last three years at their flagship race; the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

Tash Smith, Senior Events Coordinator at Front Runner Events said: 

“We are thrilled to announce Maggie’s as our platinum charity of the year.  They offer a wonderful service to patients and their families and hope that our partnership will help them continue this great work for many years to come.  We have a fantastic relationship with the team at Maggie’s and we look forward to developing this further over the next 12 months.” 

As some will know; the late Maggie Keswick Jencks founded Maggie’s in 1995 and the centre in Swansea was established in 2011.  Having been fully operational for the last 8 years it currently supports an astounding number of (approximately) 900,000 people in the South West Wales region.

Leanne Jennett, Centre Fundraising Manager said:

“We’re delighted at Maggie’s to become charity partner of the year at the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon.  This is a big event for us, especially with it being local to our centre.  It offers a fantastic platform for fundraising and helps bring in essential funds to the centre.  As a registered charity, Maggie’s relies solely on the generosity of their supporters, through fundraising and donations to help keep the centre open for visitors.”

The team at Maggie’s offer practical advice, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family or friends.  The centres are where users can find advice about benefits, eating well and somewhere you will find qualified experts to provide emotional support; places to meet other people or simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.  The service provided at Maggie’s has been recognised as second to none by the many that it supports.

In 2020 #TeamMaggies will have 100 spaces available for anyone wishing to run for their charity.  Participants don’t need to super athletes to take part as the race is suitable for every ability on its flat and friendly route.  Each runner will be supported by Maggie’s and organisers with race tips, training plans and charity place t-shirts.  So if you fancy a challenge and want to raise funds for Maggie’s contact: Leanne Jennett on 01792 200 001 or email: swanseafundraising@maggiescentres.org or visit: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/Maggie’s/

The event will take place on Sunday 14th June starting at 10am from the Brangwyn Hall, so there’s plenty of time to set yourself a challenge for next year!  It is a fully marshalled race on closed roads that is flat, fast and on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners.  The route takes runners through the city along Swansea Bay to Mumbles, and returns through SA1 to finish at Swansea Museum.

Family & Organisers Combined Statement

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Following the tragic event that took place at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd June, whereby a young man was taken to hospital and later died, race organisers are now able to confirm with permission and close consultation with the family that the runner was indeed: Mr Wil Sern Ong, aged 21.  Mr Ong was from Malaysia and studying Environmental Engineering at the city’s University. 

Managing Director of Front Runner Events, David Martin-Jewell said, “Everyone associated and involved with the Swansea Half has been devastated by this tragic loss of life following the event. We are in very close contact with the family and supporting them at this time.

“This was the second time Mr Ong has taken part in our event whereby, he completed the half marathon in 2018.  The news of this has hit the team hard and we are also supporting the crew who were directly involved in the delivery of the event.  The safety of our race participants is of paramount importance to us and we would like to recognise the speedy response by our on-site medics and by St John Cymru Wales, who were at the scene immediately, to give emergency assistance”

A family spokesperson said, “We are so heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Wil Sern Ong. No words could express how sad and painful it is for the family, Church family, English Corner and all those who knew him. He was a brother in Christ, a dear friend and a partner in ministry. His love for Jesus Christ, his passion in serving Him and his desire for others to know Him are the marks of this godly young man.

Wil Sern was a rare gem to find: well versed in God’s word, spiritually matured beyond his years, so full of life, well mannered, helpful and kind. In the short span of nearly 21 years, he had impacted and inspired so many.

A loving son and brother, Wil Sern, a staff sergant of the 12th Kuala Lumpur Boys Brigade, moved to Swansea In 2017 to embark on a new chapter in his life. His Brother said “Wil Sern loved life, the challenge it posed and the excitement of new adventure, learning and experiences. Wil Sern will be missed by so many friends here and back home in Malaysia. It is so sad that this has happened, we will all miss him so much”.

His aunt said “Wil Sern is such a special boy who would have achieved great things in his life. The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions and we are unable to come to terms with the passing of my nephew”.

“He will be greatly missed, but we take comfort that he is with God. Please remember his family and friends who are greatly affected in your prayers as each of us is grieving differently.”

Friends of Mr Ong have set up a Justgiving/Crowd funding page to assist the family while they are in the UK. All surplus monies will be donated to the Argyle & Rhyddings Presbyterian Church, Swansea.  Please donate to the fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wilsernong

For anyone wishing to make a donation via the church please contact Argyle & Rhyddings Presbytarian Church directly.

We ask that the family’s request for privacy is maintained.

Front Runner Events Statement

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At 12:17pm,  during Sunday’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon, a male runner collapsed at the 13 mile point of the event and received immediate medical attention from the St John Cymru Wales’ medics who were positioned at the location. The participant was treated at the scene and transferred to Morriston Hospital, where he later died. St John medics and emergency services dealt with this emergency with great speed and professionalism. Everyone connected with the race is devastated by this incident and our thoughts are with the family of the runner at this very difficult time.

We are in close contact with the family concerned and they have advised us that they do not wish to share any other information at this time. We ask that their privacy is respected.

Statement

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We are unable to release any further details at the present time as we are still working with all relevant authorities. The family have requested that we do not release any personal information and we need to honour and respect their privacy at this very difficult time.

We will release more information in due course.

All further press enquiries, please contact MGB ON 01792 460200

Honour The Half

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Are you facing the challenge with Front Runner Events by signing up to run at one or all of our races? We want you to #BeYourBest as you hit the pavements in training and at our events. We want to help and educate our runners with some race day tips and compulsory rules.

For 2019 we’ve launched ‘Honour The Half’. It’s our way of guiding you through race day so you can #BeYourBest. And if your training takes a hit and you can’t make it to the start line, we will tell you all you need to know.

Nobody wants to be forced to pull out of a race and it’s likely you won’t want your place to go to waste. There’s good reason why we can’t accept late race number transfers. We need to know exactly who is out on the course – especially when something goes wrong.
When a runner gets into trouble we immediately need to know:

  1. Name & Address
  2. Medical History
  3. Next of Kin
  4. Contact Details

We ask that everyone fills in this information on the back of their bib in case of an emergency.

Giving away bibs can put people at risk
In an emergency we’ll only have your information to go on. It’ll be your friends or family we contact and your personal and medical information we use.
We need to know who our runners are on the course so we can help you when you need it. If someone else is running with a race bib meant for you, we won’t be able to help them as effectively as we won’t have their information. If you are running on someone else’s bib, we won’t know you, so you’ll be at risk should something happen.
Run using your bib or not at all, we offer a variety of options should you be no longer able to run. If we find you’ve given away your race bib or you’ve used someone else’s bib, if you run for a running club, we’ll let them know and you will be banned from running any future Front Runner Events.

Be A FrontRunner, Not A Latecomer
Our events have become increasingly popular since our inaugural race in 2014, however, we have to work with relevant authorities to ensure the events are the best they can be. As such we must adhere to rules and guidelines too, therefore, we urge all runners to arrive at least an hour before the start of our races. This will allow you to make as many nervous toilet visits as you need, undertake any pre-race rituals, warm up and mentally rehearse your sprint finish.

Start Pen Problems
Your estimated finish time helps us to put you in the right start pen, if your training is going well you can update your time until the race packs are prepared. Maybe you just want to run with your friends, whatever the reason, you must start in your allocated start pen.
Each pen is specifically sized to allow for the correct number of runners in a designated area. Slower runners in a faster pen could contribute to congestion, which may result in trips and falls and could ruin yours and others race – don’t go in the wrong pen.
If your training hasn’t gone quite as you’d hoped, you are able to move backwards to a slower pen.
Read our Race Rules to learn about our policies and procedures and if in doubt, contact us with any questions.

Race Route Return Path From Mumbles To Swansea Marina

Everything You Need to Know for the 2019 JCP Swansea Half Marathon

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Runners, elite athletes, spectators and supporters will adorn the streets of Swansea next Sunday as the biggest race of the year stages its annual event for the City. With only a week to go until the JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place; on Sunday 23rd June, the City will once again welcome visitors from all over the globe; some of whom will be travelling from as far away as; USA, Brazil, Australia, Singapore as well as plenty of representation from the 4 home nations.

As the event grows from strength-to-strength the race continues to attract some of the best athletes in the UK along with a mass field of seasoned runners, first timers, and locals who keep coming back year after year. And it’s easy to see why – it’s fast, it’s flat, and it boasts a stunning route that our runners simply rave about! Being recognised as the UK’s Best Half Marathon (2017 & 2018), attracting journalists and worldwide TV coverage last year, also might have a little something to do with it!

Cohort of Runners

Hundreds of runners taking part will be raising money for charity, getting into the spirit by sporting their best fancy dress, running with their club, or taking on the Corporate Challenge, where businesses go head to head – simply a brilliant way to encourage team spirit! There will be a total of 18 teams that will be battling it out to be crowned Corporate Challenge Champions.

Charities – Did You Know?

There will be another attempt by a group running for Diabetes UK Cymru alongside 1 Bloody Drop to try to set a new World Record for the most Type 1’s to run a half marathon. The race itself offers a fantastic platform for charity fundraising and many will still be raising funds up until race day for their own causes and the headline charities; Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK Cymru, and Maggie’s Swansea (home of cancer care).

Famous Faces

The race has attracted some famous faces in previous years with the likes of sports personalities; Shane Williams, Ryan Jones, Ian Gough, as well as TV personalities: CJ De Mooi, and Eve Myles gracing the route. This year we can look forward to welcoming the return of Casualty actress; Jaye Griffiths.

Fun Time Fruits Family Dash.

Families will be joining in at the Fun Time Fruits Family Dash. Enabling everyone to experience the thrilling atmosphere of a big sporting event in the city.  Participants will get that finish line feeling when they reach the official finish at Swansea Museum taking in 2K of the half marathon route, before cheering on the finishers of the main event.  Starting at the Brangwyn Hall at 10.15am, taking place once the half marathon runners have crossed the start line. All entries for the Dash will close on the 19th June and bibs can be collected on Saturday 22nd June between 10.30am-4pm at Museum Green and on race day from 7.30am at the Information Point in the pre-event Race Village (sited near the start).

Bands Across the Bay

Runners and spectators alike will be entertained during the race by showcasing some of the best acts in South Wales. A festival atmosphere and fantastic crowd support are expected, as we welcome Welsh singing star Ros Evans to deliver a heart-stirring performance at the start, and runners will be surprised and delighted with performance spots at locations along the route and in the race village at the finish. With everything from rock, rhythm & blues to choirs and drumming groups, each and every one of them will be hoping to motivate the runners, giving them the boost they need to run the distance around the beautiful Swansea Bay.

Pacers

Participating athletes will be pleased to know that there will be a team of Racecheck Pacers at the event.  Their team offers fantastic support during the race, helping to runners achieve their target race time at the event, in the following estimated times: 1.30, 1.35, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 2.00, 2.10, 2.15, 2.20 and 2.30 hours.  Runners simply need to look out for their pacer (who will be wearing a flag) within their designated pen and try to stay with them throughout the race to ensure accurate timing.

Race Village

The post-event race village will be located in Museum Green which is open from 7.30am on race day, and will host; the headline charities, information point, massage tent, cool down area, live music and a selection of food stands and stalls. All bags will be collected near the start area and loaded onto an articulated Owen’s Group lorry where all baggage will be transported to the finish area after the race, so runners just need to look out for signage.  Everyone is advised to avoid bringing a bag, but if they must, ALL bags must be clearly labelled and will be subject to inspection.

The Start

The mass race will start at 10.00am which will allow travellers extra time to get to the starting pens, which are located outside the Brangwyn Hall. The route takes runners on fully closed roads past Swansea castle and along a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles, with its iconic pier and lighthouse. The wheelchair race will start at 9.55am prior to the main field of runners and the Family Dash will commence at 10.15am.

Key Timings:

  • 07:30: Race village open
  • 07:30: Baggage lorry open near the Brangwyn Hall
  • 09:00: Road closures commence
  • 09:30: Runners enter start funnels at Guildhall Road South
  • 09:50: Baggage drop off closes
  • 09:55: Wheelchair athlete race begins
  • 10:00: Mass race starts
  • 10:15: Fun Time Fruits Family Fun Dash Starts
  • 11:00: Wheelchair winner of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon expected
  • 11:03: Male Winner Expected
  • 11:12: Female Winner Expected
  • 12:00: Winners Presentation
  • 14:00: Last Runner Expected
  • 16:00: Event closes

Race Day Guide

This features all the need to know information about the event, including safety notes, how to get into the city, road closures, and route map.  Anyone wishing to know more can download their copy via the website: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

 

Download & Track

This year the organisers have launched an official JCP Swansea Half Marathon App available to download on the Apple and Android stores.  Branded as the one-stop shop for information whether you’re running or simply supporting its packed with all your need to knows.  Best of all, you’ll be able to track your loved one’s live, and check all race results at the touch of a button. To download yours just head to: http://ow.ly/6jRN50uAcP4

 

Road Closures

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is a fully closed road event, and as a result there will be road closures for the duration of the event so residents and visitors are advised to plan their trip well in advance. For further details on road closures across the city please check the website http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/travel-parking/

 Title Record Holders

There’s no secret that there are some pretty impressive record times achieved at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and the current title holder’s include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheelchair Record Holder (2016):  Richie Powell: with a record time of 61:27
Male Record Holder (2018): Cardiff AAC; Matt Clowes with a record time of 64:43,

Female Record Holder (2018): Thames Valley Harriers; Tracy Barlow time of 73:50.  Organisers expect to see an equally strong field of elites at this years race, with rivalry and competition at its best.

Team Behind The Scenes

The organising team behind the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, Front Runner Events, continues to work with their founding sponsor and Title Partner JCP Solicitors and long-term partners that include; Matthews & Co, HMT Sancta Maria and Race Nation.  The event hydration partner remains to be the Welsh favourite Brecon Carreg, and nutrition partner Eat Natural.

 

To stay ahead of all the news as it happens like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf or follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #BeYourBest on Twitter and @swanseahalfmarathon on Instagram.

Support At Maggie’s Centres Are Second To None As Patient Vows To Give Back To The Place That Helped Him

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As some will know, Maggie’s Cancer Care was founded in 1995 by the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, and the centre as we know it today; was established at Swansea in 2011.  Having been fully operational for the last 8 years it currently supports a network of approximately 900,000 people in the South West Wales region.  The service provided at Maggie’s has been recognised as second to none by the many that it supports.

The team at Maggie’s offer practical advice, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family or friends. They are places to find advice about benefits, eating well and somewhere you will find qualified experts to provide emotional support; places to meet other people or simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.

We take time out to talk to Paul Iskander; a patient and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor; as he tells us why Maggie’s is so important to him.  

Paul, from Bridgend tells us:

“As a two-time Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor (originally Stage 1 in 2008 and Stage 3 in 2017: age 22 and 31 respectively), Maggie’s Swansea has been one of the key charities that myself and my carers have benefitted from.

“At Maggie’s Swansea, the activities, support and classes available, in addition to the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, have both benefitted myself and those around me immensely. It’s helped me continue to drive towards the light at the end of a long tunnel and return to a normal productive lifestyle quicker than I could have imagined.”

As a result, Paul has decided to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Care; a lead charity partner to the upcoming JCP Swansea Half Marathon on 23rd June 2019.   Maggie’s became a charity partner to the race 3 years ago, which has raised much-needed funds for the centre to continue its important work.

Paul added:

“As someone who only really took up running as a means of trying to help return to fitness back in April 2018…. the improvements it has made have been scarcely believable! So much so, that I’m ready and lucky enough to be able to give something back. 

“The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is very fitting event considering my experience and recovery. It’ll be satisfying and emotional running past Singleton Hospital and Maggie’s, where all 12 chemotherapies, bone marrow biopsy, consultations, appointments, as well as a full week stay as an inpatient took place. So please donate a little to support a local charity so that it can continue to help people with cancer, their families and friends through one of life’s most grueling experiences.”

To find out more about Maggie’s Swansea, how you can donate or even register to secure your race place at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon contact: Leanne Jennett on 01792 200 001 or email: swanseafundraising@maggiescentres.org  Places are limited to the multi-award winning race and must be secured by the 19thJune, so if you are considering on joining #TeamMaggies atthe JCP Swansea Half Marathon go to: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/maggies/

The event will take place on Sunday 23rdJune starting at 10am from the Brangwyn Hall.  It is a fully marshalled road race on closed roads that is flat, fast and on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners.  The route takes runners through the city along Swansea Bay to Mumbles, and returns through SA1 to finish at Swansea Museum.

Volunteers from Maggie’s will also be supporting runners at the event with cheers of encouragement along the route, and to greet them at the race village near the finish line.  The charity and organisers are urging everyone to support the event in their own way whether it’s; cheering, volunteering, taking part or gifting a donation, everybody can make this event something special for Swansea.

Cancer Changed My Outlook On Life and Now I Run To Inspire Others

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Rachel Avon, 34 from Newport talks to us about her biggest life challenges and how cancer has changed her outlook in more ways than one.  Rachel was diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of cancer affecting only 1 in 3 million people.  Not only was this discovered during her pregnancy, but doctors did not inform the family until after the delivery of the baby.

Rachel recounts her experience here:

“When I was six months pregnant, I came into school one day with a pain in my side which gradually got worse.  By mid-morning I couldn’t sit down, and after a phone call to my GP, it was suggested that I go to the hospital to get checked out.  I had a blood test the same day, the results concerned the doctors and appendicitis was suspected.   They wanted to remove my appendix immediately and I had to consent that we were willing to put my life ahead of the baby’s. It was horrendous, something I wish no pregnant family has to go through.”

The operation was a complete success and Rachel carried onto full-term pregnancy and their daughter Cari was born on March 28, 2014.   Unsuspecting of anything further, the hospital called Rachel two days after giving birth to ask her to come in.  That was when doctors told her of the devastating news of the discovery of a cancerous tumour.

Rachel said:

“When I realised that doctors hadn’t told me about my cancer I was so shocked – they told me the reason for not telling me until Cari was born was due to the fact I wouldn’t be able to have an MRI to see if cancer had spread until after she was born.  In the short term, it didn’t feel right, but five years on, I know it was the right decision they made for us.”

The MRI Scans showed no signs of cancer having spread.  In the five years since surgery, doctors have carefully monitored Rachel due to the risks of the cancer returning.  But now she is officially cancer free and counts herself lucky the cancer was found in time, regarding Cari as her miracle baby.  Being pregnant triggered the issue with Rachel’s appendix meaning she needed surgery – without this, the chances are that the tumour wouldn’t have been found.

Rachel no longer requires any treatment, but one side effect of cancer was that she was left with the feeling of anxiety every day.  As a result, she started running at the suggestion of a friend whom she confided in.  Before she knew it, Rachel had completed a 12 week “Couch to 5k” training plan over the summer.  She went onto join a local running club and has now completed several 10k’s and half-marathons, including the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

Rachel said:

“I got my all-clear scan result this year which was like a weight had been lifted off me. You can now notice a change in my anxiety, and I have a much more positive outlook on life.  Cancer has changed my outlook in every way.   I now feel in control of my life and have much more confidence to do things, and a determination to do what I want to do.  Coming through this journey and taking up running has really helped me on all sorts of levels not only from a mental health perspective but also on a physical level.”

“I was never a sporty person – I was the one who used to bring in notes to get out of PE when I was at school – so to take up running was something alien to me.  But my determination and training have enabled me to run the London marathon, and my next big race at Swansea Half, whilst raising funds for Cancer Research UK.  Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!”

If you feel inspired by Rachel’s story and would like to take part in the SOLD-OUT JCP Swansea Half Marathon, whilst raising vital life-saving funds for Cancer Research UK goto: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/find-an-event/jcp-swansea-half-marathon to sign up, get your free running top, training plans, and fundraising advice. You’re sure to have an amazing experience, so why not join Team CRUK and together we will beat cancer.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place on SUNDAY 23rd JUNE 2019 starting at 10 am from the iconic Brangwyn Hall, taking runners from the city centre, leading to the mumbles, along the beautiful sweeping Swansea Bay.  The course is perfect for first-timers, fun runners, charity runners and elites on its flat, fast course.  The route is well organised, fully marshalled and supported by spectators and bands to help runners on their way for a momentous finish at Swansea Museum.  The event also holds a family fun run for anyone supporting their loved ones who are taking part in the half marathon, anyone interested in registering can do so on the website: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/family-dash

To find out more information on both races visit the website or like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #BeYourBest on Twitter.

 

Runners Rush To Get Their Place At The JCP Swansea Half Marathon

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Places to the JCP Swansea Half Marathon are literally flying out the door as the countdown to close registration begins.  With just 1 WEEK until entry to #RunSwansea closes before MIDNIGHT on the 18th MAY, runners are rushing to make sure they don’t miss the cut-off.

The event, which has become well recognised for being Wales’ BIGGEST summer half marathon, takes place on SUNDAY 23rd JUNE 2019.  The route promises to be as impressive as ever, with the start line being held at the iconic Brangwyn Hall at the NEW revised time of 10am.  Allowing runners travelling from further afield to arrive in plenty of time to take part.  The race course takes runners through the city centre, offering them some spectacular scenery of the sweeping Swansea Bay and city highlights of Swansea Marina, SA1, and the city’s Museums.

A well-renowned course for its fast, flat, PB potential, attracts fantastic crowd support, great entertainment on route, and beautiful scenery…it’s no wonder this gem of a race has a string of awards to its name!  Along with a field of seasoned athletes, first timers, charity fundraisers and family fun runners, it’s sure to inspire a momentous finish outside Wales’ oldest Museum.

David Martin-Jewell director of Front Runner Events said:

“Last week was our biggest number of entries to the JCP Swansea Half Marathon in it’s history.  I think that the television coverage we received in 2018 had a big impact on the entrants nationwide this year.  I also believe that the growth is a correlation on the general uptake on people wanting to improve their health wellbeing.  It gives me great pleasure knowing that our event is able to act as a catalyst for many wanting to make positive changes in their lives, and provide a platform for some fantastic charity fundraising.  We look forward to welcoming all our runners to the sixth edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.”

Almost 6,500 registered runners took part in 2018, of all ages and abilities, along with a good number of family fun runners who were able to take part and follow in the footsteps of their loved ones. The race has firmly established itself as one of the UK’s premier road races, and certainly one that a MUST-do for any runner.

To snap up your half marathon place before entries close go to: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk and reserve your place today!  General entries cost £40 or £38 (plus booking fee) for affiliate entry, and runners will receive a medal, t-shirt, goody bag, water and gel stations on a well-marshalled course, with some great entertainment to boot.

But if running a half marathon is not your thing don’t forget there’s a fun run for all the family! So why not enter together and get all-generations running with each other…mums, dads, grandparents, or kids will enjoy all the glory and fun of the race only a shorter distance (approximately 2k)!  For just £10 (plus booking fee) per person, every entrant will get a medal, goody bag, water, and the thrill of starting and finishing at the official lines of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.  Anyone wishing to take part in the family dash can also enter here: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

To find out more information on both races, stay up to date with all the latest news, visit the website or like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #BeYourBest on Twitter.

Real Stories… Why these 3 locals vow to #RunSwansea for as long as they can!

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It seems like running is the latest fitness craze to get into these days, as we see runners all around us, every day pounding the streets where we live.  Not only will you notice them plodding along the prom, you see them in the park, on the streets, and even on the telly, so we ask ourselves what’s the big deal?  That’s why we decided to interview 3 people from Swansea who have taken part in EVERY one of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon races and why it is so special to them.


Hugo Thompson

Our first story to share is from Hugo Thompson of Southgate.  He is 54 and has been running for the last 22 years after his wife talked him into him to do a 10k race…he listened and the rest, shall we say, is history.

Why do you run?

“It’s fun, relaxing and a challenge, although not all at the same time! I love running; daytime, night, hot, cold, windy, wet, it doesn’t matter.

A run can ease the stress of a workday, make you smile, lets you explore, see stunning scenery, listen to the sea and even see the stars.  It is easy and cheap, helps your circulation and helps to keep you trim (helping keep the Welsh cakes at bay).  What’s not to like!?!”

Why do you #RunSwansea?

“Prior to the JCP Swansea Half Marathon I’d run one half marathon in Llanelli, so as soon a I heard about the Swansea half in 2014 I was in.  It ticks all the boxes, fast flat course, great views and on my door step!  The Swansea 13.1 mile race is special for me as already I feel a sense of heritage and commitment to our home half marathon.  The fast course always represents a challenge that demands preparation.  I have huge respect for anybody completing the distance and simple awe for the really fast, how do they do that!?”

Final note…

“Whether it’s to run hard (to achieve a personal best) or just for fun, I aim to keep running this half with a smile…for as long as my knees let me!”


Tracey

Next, we speak to Tracey, 57 from Brynhyfryd who took up running with her sister 18 years ago and hasn’t looked back since…

What made you want to take up running?

“I started running in 2001 when Race for Life came to Swansea.  In 1996, my sister lost her young daughter Abigail to cancer (when she was 22 months), and in 2000 I lost my husband Kim to cancer when he was 43.  It was my sister, Karen, who suggested we take up the Race for Life 5k challenge to raise money for Cancer Research, as cancer had so cruelly stolen loved ones from us at such young ages.  We followed a couch to 5k programme and soon found that we actually enjoyed running – and that was the start of many years of challenges for us.  We ran 5k’s 10k’s, half and full marathons, then moved onto triathlon – which ultimately resulted in us completing an Ironman together in Austria in 2010.” 

It’s fair to say running has changed your life.  What have been your greatest achievements?

“Besides the races, I became a UKA qualified running coach and British Triathlon coach, and twice a week I work with children and young people at the pool and the running track.  Last year, I completed my second Ironman race in Copenhagen, and hopefully, with my coaching, I am motivating the next generation into a healthy lifestyle.” 

Why do you #RunSwansea?

“I signed up to the Swansea Half Marathon in 2014 as I was so excited to have a half marathon race on my doorstep.  I had travelled to many races over the years and a half marathon used to be my favourite distance (when I was a bit fitter/faster) so entering the inaugural Swansea Half was a no brainer.   I continue to run it each year as I set myself a personal challenge in 2014 to run EVERY Swansea Half  until I’m 70 (and beyond if possible) – I’m 57 at the moment and will hopefully be lucky enough to continue in good health and keep returning.”


Tom Mullen

 

The last story we would like to share is from Tom Mullen.  Tom is from Sketty, he is 40 years old, and took up running approximately 7 years ago.

What is your reason to run?

“Like lots of people my age, I reached a point in my mid 30s where I was in poor shape and needed to do something to shift the pounds. In 2012 I discovered running – or rather it discovered me. I only went on the treadmill in the gym to do something different to swimming and cycling and found that pushing myself harder on the treadmill was more rewarding than either of those things combined.

I still didn’t run outside though until the year leading up to the JCP Swansea Half Marathon in 2014. I felt very self-conscious about running outside and so all of my running was in the gym.  However, the real change was running the 10k in Swansea in 2013 and that was it…I was hooked!”

What’s been your experience?

“The next step up was a half marathon and then it turned out that there was going to be one on my doorstep – I had no excuse now!  The inaugural JCP Swansea Half Marathon in 2014 was a fantastic event, even though I run most of the route regularly given where I live, Swansea in the sunshine and when the crowds are out is a fantastic experience (and for some reason the sun always comes out for race day).  After running 2014 I wanted to improve my time and ran my PB in Swansea in 2015.”

What’s next for you?

“This year will be a first as I will hopefully have completed my first marathon about 9 weeks before Swansea so I’ll either feel in fantastic shape or my body will slowly be returning back to normal after marathon fatigue… either way I’ll be looking to pick up medal number 6 next month.”

Why is running Swansea Half so important to you?

“Life sometimes gets in the way of training or hitting PB’s but I honestly feel compelled to run my home half marathon.  The event (unlike my finish times) has however gone from strength to strength and I particularly enjoyed 2018’s race, the atmosphere and bling!  Having run every year since 2014 I plan on running every year until my body says no.  I love the race and I think it’s really important to support local events like this so given I will turn 40 this year I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep going for many more years to come!”  

If you feel inspired by any of these stories or you have your own reason to #RunSwansea then make it count and #BeYourBest at the sixth edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon this June.  The event is a 13.1-mile race on closed roads, that is flat and fast on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners. Taking place on the 23rd June 2019, entries will close soon, so reserve your place at the start line of the iconic Brangwyn hall for an incredible experience, from the city to the sea.  Go to: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk to book your place or register your family on the fun dash where all generations can follow the steps of their loved ones on the official route of the half marathon.  To find out more information on both races, stay up to date with all the latest news, visit the website or like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #BeYourBest on Twitter.