As the biggest race of the Summer draws nearer, athletes and spectators alike begin to feel the excitement of the event that is to come. With only 5 days to go until the JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place this Sunday 25th June, the city will be welcoming visitors from all over the globe, with the races’ largest number of participants to date.
Exceeding the number of entrants of every previous race, a field of 8,000 runners are expected at the fourth edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, making it Wales’ second largest long distance race. The event has recently been voted the UK’s Best Half Marathon at The Running Awards 2017, and is attracting runners to take part in this race like never before.
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is favoured for being a flat, fast and scenic 13.1 mile course, which is equally suitable for first-time runners as it is for club runners, elites and wheelchair athletes. It attracts a strong elite field from Wales and beyond, drawing in athletes from as far as Argentina and Brazil.
Many runners lining up on the start line will also be raising money for charity, getting into the spirit by donning their best fancy dress, as well as an attempt by a group of runners to break a new World Record for the most type 1 diabetics to run a half marathon. The race itself offers a fantastic platform for charity fundraising and with public places now sold out, anyone still wishing to enter can do so by running for one of the headline charities; Cancer Research UK, and Alzheimer’s Society.
The race has also attracted some famous faces in previous years with the likes of sports personalities; Shane Williams, Ryan Jones, Ian Gough and TV presenter (of the popular show Eggheads) CJ De Mooi, gracing the route. CJ will be taking part again this year, as well as Torchwood and Broadchurch actress Eve Myles and Ultra marathon runner Lowri Morgan. Organisers are also delighted to be joined by David Wyeth, the Chorlton runner that made national headlines with our every own Swansea Harrier Matt Rees at the widely televised Virgin money London Marathon.
Families will also be pleased to know that they can join in too at this year’s Family Fun Dash. Enabling young runners and families to experience the thrilling atmosphere of a big sporting event in the city, the dash will take in the last 1K of the half marathon route. Participants will be able to be get that finish line feeling as they reach the official finish on Oxford Street, before cheering on the athletes of the main event. Starting at Swansea Castle at 9.30am, the dash will take place once the half marathon runners have passed the line. The are limited spaces remaining for the Family Fun Dash and those wishing to take part can still enter via the website: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk Anyone interested MUST register before race day as no entries will be taken during the event. Family Dash bibs will be collected at the event tent at the Race Village in Castle Square on race day.
Runners and spectators alike will be entertained during the race by Bands Across the Bay, an initiative that aims to showcase some of the best acts in South Wales at locations along the route. With everything from rock & roll, rhythm & blues to choirs and drumming groups, each and every one of them will be hoping to motivate the runners, giving them a boost as they tackle the 13.1 miles around the beautiful Swansea Bay. A festival atmosphere and fantastic crowd support are expected, with bands on stage at Castle Square (supported by Swansea BID) as well as Welsh singing star Ros Evans & her choir delivering a heart-stirring performance at the start of the race. Ros will be singing with the all-female Mum’s the Word adult choir, before swapping microphone for running shoes as she takes on the half marathon herself.
Participating athletes will be keen to know that there will be a team of race pacers supporting runners for the third time at this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon. Xempo Race Pacing will provide the team of pacers offering fantastic support, to help runners get their pacing spot on, enabling them to hit their target time on race day. The pacers will run the race in the following estimated times: 1.30, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 2.00 hours, 2.10, 2.15, 2.20 and 2.30 hours. Runners simply need to look out for their pacer within their designated colour coded pen and try to stay with them throughout the race to ensure accurate timing.
The Race Village will be located in Castle Square which is open to athletes and spectators from 7.00am on race day, and will host staged performances, headline charities, information point, and the massage & podiatry tents. The baggage tent is at the revised location of the Museum Green with extra security measures in place. Runners are being advised to avoid bringing a bag, but if they must, ALL bags must be clearly labelled and will be subject to inspection. The race will start at 9.00am in the heart of the city centre at the junction of Union Street and Oxford Street. 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 8.50am prior to the main field of runners and the Family Fun Dash will commence at 9.30am.
Key race day timings:
- 07:00: Race Village open
- 07:00: Baggage tent open at Museum Green
- 08:30: Runners enter start funnels [Wave 1: Oxford Street / Wave 2: Whitewalls]
- 08:50: Wheelchair athlete race begins on Oxford Street
- 09:00: Elite race and Wave 1 start
- 09:15: Wave 2 starts
- 09:30: Family Fun Dash starts at Swansea Castle
- 10:05: Winner of JCP Swansea Half Marathon expected
- 11:00: Winners presentation
- 14:00: All roads re-open
- 15:00: Event closes
The race day guide 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/file/2017/06/SHM_2017_RDG_Lo.pdf
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. Park and Ride will be in operation near the Liberty Stadium, commencing at 7.00am and running every 10-15 minutes all day. For further details on road closures across the city please check the website www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk
Winners of the 2016 JCP Swansea Half Marathon include: European Champion & Swansea Harrier; Dewi Griffiths who took first place in the time of 65:39, and Run Fast Hannah Walker who coasted her way to victory in a time of 74:32. Organisers hope to see both Dewi and Hannah back to defend their titles. Some fantastic elite athletes have confirmed they will be competing including: Swansea’s Josh Griffiths for the men and Rachel Felton for the ladies.
The team behind the JCP Swansea Half Marathon continues to work with their founding sponsor JCP Solicitors and long-term partners that include; Matthews & Co, HMT Sancta Maria, as well as their newest sponsors’; Race Nation (the integrated event registration platform), and Home From Home (the self-catering accommodation agency). The event delivery partners’ remains to include the global sports brand ASICS and event hydration partner Brecon Carreg, who will help runners maintain their hydration levels at stations along the route.
Entries for the headline charities are open until race weekend so if you would like to run for Cancer Research UK or Alzheimer’s Society go to: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/charities/
For further event details or to follow your loved one on the live results to see how they are doing out on the course you can via Race Tracking online here: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk To stay ahead of all the news as it happens like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf or follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.