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JCP Swansea Half Marathon Announces Family Fun Dash

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Organisers of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon have confirmed that a Family Fun Dash has been introduced for the 2016 event and will take place on race day Sunday 26th June.

The Family Fun Dash is open to runners of all ages and abilities, and the organisers are looking forward to attracting young runners and their families who want to experience the atmosphere of a big sporting event in the city.

The Family Fun Dash covers a distance of 1K and starts at Swansea Castle, a popular cheering zone which sees the half marathon runners pass just after the start of the race and again on the final stretch to the finish line.

The starting horn will go off at 9.30am, half an hour after the start of the first wave of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, and will see the participants run the final KM of the half marathon route before crossing the finish line in Oxford Street.

Entries for the Family Fun Dash cost £5 (+booking fee) per person, which includes a medal and water for all finishers. Minimum age to register is 1 years old and all runners under 9 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

A total of 500 places are available and the organisers are expecting all places to be snapped up quickly.

Family Fun Dash entries are open now at www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/family-dash/ . No entries will be available on the day.

Race Director David Martin-Jewell said: “The addition of a Family Fun Dash has always been on the agenda for us at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon so it is with great excitement that we are able to launch it this year for the very first time. We are keen to encourage fitness for life and believe that running can be a family activity, so giving children a chance to run in the footsteps of some of the UK’s best elite athletes or perhaps their super mum or dad is a great taste of what they could achieve in the future.”

“The SHM Family Fun Dash is suitable for people of all ages, and abilities so we hope to see families run together before cheering on the JCP Swansea Half Marathon finishers.”

Entries for the award-winning JCP Swansea Half Marathon are currently still open but general places are expected to sell out shortly.

Public places cost £33 for affiliated athletes and £35 for non-affiliated runners, which includes a fully marshaled course on closed roads, medal, technical t-shirt, on route entertainment, post-race massage and goody bag for all finishers.

Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details and to secure your place on the start line this June.

Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.

The final countdown is on – here are some training tips to get you to the start line

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The timing clock is ticking and with just six weeks to go to JCP Swansea Half Marathon race day we have teamed up with two top athletes in their own right to give you a guide to that all important training advice for the six-week countdown.
If you haven’t signed up already then now is the time to do so, and if you are in training you can still benefit from these top tips to get you race ready.

Mara_Yamauchi_ASICS_AmbassadorMara Yamauchi is a British long-distance track and road running athlete, the UK’s second fastest female marathon runner of all time (2:23:12), and a two-time Olympian. Mara is an ASICS Ambassador and internationally recognised leading authority in the running world. Here are Mara’s top ten training tips:

  1. Running the distance: if you can, try to run the half-marathon distance in training at least once. That will give you the confidence of knowing you can complete the race.
  2. Speed-work: to improve your PB, at some point speed training is essential. For the half marathon, longer intervals are the top priority to build your speed endurance.
  3. Ready for the weather? Late June in the UK could be hot, cool, dry, raining, windy – you name it, the weather could do it! Think through how you can prepare best for these different scenarios.
  4. Run the course: being familiar with a course in advance helps enormously on race day. If practical, run the course before race day, or at least have a good look at the course map on the race website or on a map.
  5. Race day logistics: think through everything you’ll do on race day – what time to have breakfast, getting to the start, what you’ll wear, drinks, how you’ll get home afterwards, etc. If you’re well-organised, that’s less to worry about on race day.
  6. Practice eating & drinking: whatever you eat on race day before, during and after the race, is very individual. What suits one runner will be different to others. Practising is essential, so you know if it helps you to run well or not.
  7. Have a race plan: having a goal for the race is essential – it could be a certain time, to run the whole way, or just to complete it. When things start to get tough, your goal will motivate you to keep working hard and stay positive.
  8. Recovery afterwards: it’s easy to think only as far as the finish line on race day. But if you can plan your recovery – drinks, food, icing sore muscles, getting a good sleep, gentle exercise etc, your body will thank you for it later.
  9. Rest up for race day: in the final few days, you will not get any faster by doing more training. You need to toe the start line feeling physically and mentally fresh. So give yourself enough rest before the race to ensure this happens.
  10. Enjoy it! At the end of the day, running has to be enjoyable – if it isn’t, motivating yourself will be tough. So make the most of an exciting, challenging day, even if it involves some pain.

tashTASH SMITH, Swansea resident and couch to Marathon runner achieved her ultimate goal of running the Virgin Money London Marathon this year. Tash gives us her top tips for the six week build up to race day.

Time on your feet is vital – you should be averaging 15-20 miles across 3-4 runs per week. Ensuring that you include a long run once a week to get your body used to running those longer distances prior to race day.

Cross-Train – vary your training by adding in cross-training, whether that is using the elliptical trainer or stationary bikes in the gym, or simply using some weights to strengthen your muscles. Cross-training can improve your fitness, help with injury prevention and you will see a difference in your running fitness as a result.

Hydration – staying hydrated is an essential part of running, not just on race day but also during your training. Your core body temperature will increase during your runs prompting your body to keep cool by sweating. It is vital that those fluids are replaced. It is possible to over-hydrate so drink to thirst, replacing those fluids with small sips of water over a period of time.

Stick to what you know – with only 6 weeks to go you should have been training for the half marathon for some time, you should have settled into a pattern in your training and should know what works for you. Don’t start dramatically changing your training regime now, stick to what you know ensuring you’re hitting your mileage.

Run with friends – sometimes getting out the front door can be tough, why not get motivated by running with a group of friends. You don’t all have to run the same distance if you’re at different stages in your training, meet along a route where you can all cover the distance you need to individually cover. Running with friends will ensure you have company and encourage you to get those miles done.

Rest – don’t forget to rest! Your muscles will need time to recover especially after those long runs, resting will allow your muscles to recover and will help to prevent injury.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon starts at 9.00am on Sunday 26th June in the heart of the city centre and takes runners on fully closed roads along the magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles and back.

Public places cost £33 for affiliated athletes and £35 for non-affiliated runners, which includes a fully marshaled course on closed roads, medal, technical t-shirt, on route entertainment, post-race massage and goody bag for all finishers.

Places are filling fast as the countdown to race day draws nearer, so to ensure you get your place and line up with thousands of others to take on Swansea go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

Pacers Help Runners Get their Speed Just Right For The JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2016

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The organisers of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon have confirmed that Race Pacing by Xempo will be providing pacers for the second year in row at the race which takes place on Sunday 26th June 2016.

Xempo Race Pacing in association with TomTom will be providing a team of pacers to help runners get their speed just right on race day. The pacers will run the JCP Swansea Half Marathon within the following estimated times: Sub 1.30 hours, Sub 1.45 hours, Sub 2 hours and Over 2 hours.xempo

Wearing sail flags that correspond to runners’ bib colours and estimated finish time, the professional and visible service aims to ensure that as many runners as possible hit their target times in Swansea. Runners need simply 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.

A record field of 8,000 runners are expected at the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon this summer, making it Wales’ second largest half marathon. The event recently was the runner up and awarded Silver in the “Best Half Marathon” category at The 2016 Running Awards in association with JustGiving, and is fast becoming a favourite among the running community.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is known for its flat and fast 13.1 mile course and it sees runners of all levels and abilities on the start line, including is first-time half marathon runners and charity runners. It also attracts an elite field from Wales and beyond to #RunSwansea, and last year’s race drew in athletes from 25 countries.

Race Director David Martin-Jewell commented: “As runners ourselves we know the importance of having pacers at a race and believe that it is a valuable addition to the JCP Swansea Half Marathon. We are pleased to welcome back the fantastic team from Xempo Race Pacing to Swansea. The course is already flat and fast, so the presence of race pacers will really help runners to run the race they want and achieve their target times. We are looking forward to welcoming athletes and fun runners from all over the world to what is set to be a highly successful race.”

Dan Afshar from Race Pacing commented: “We are thrilled to be providing Race Pacing for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon again, which is a fantastic and fast-growing event within the running community. The race is flat and fast and we are looking forward to helping runners get their speed right, whether they are at the front, middle or back of the pack. Making sure everybody sets off at the right pace is one of our most important roles, as it is easy to start fast and struggle later with a long distance. We want as many runners as possible to achieve their goals and it is so rewarding to see them at the finish line having done just that.”

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon starts in the heart of the city centre and the route takes runners on fully closed roads past Swansea castle and along a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles and back.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is a fantastic platform for charity fundraising, and runners can

choose their preferred official charity during the registration process. The Headline Charity Partner for this year’s race is Cancer Research UK, and Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes and Save the Children are the Gold Charity Partners.

Places are filling fast as the countdown to race day draws nearer, so to ensure you get your place and line up with thousands of others to take on Swansea go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

Public places cost £33 for affiliated athletes and £35 for non-affiliated runners, which includes a fully marshaled course on closed roads, medal, technical t-shirt, on route entertainment, post-race massage and goody bag for all finishers.

Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.

To find out more about Race Pacing visit: http://www.racepacing.com/.

Cancer Research UK Runner David Madden Will Run JCP Swansea Half Marathon After Surviving Terminal Diagnosis

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Of the thousands of runners expected to run the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on 26th June 2016, many will be running to raise money for causes close to their hearts. The race’s headline Charity Partner Cancer Research UK will be welcoming many runners who have been affected by cancer, including 33-year-old David Madden from Swansea who has defied all odds to survive a life-threatening brain tumour.

David Madden (2)

Not only has David survived cancer after being told as a teenager that he had just one week to live, but he is training hard to run his first ever half marathon in Swansea this summer. He wanted to share his story in the hope of inspiring others to get involved – be it to enter the race too, volunteer at the event or simply provide welcome encouragement on race day.

David lives in Three Crosses and is hoping to complete the half marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes.

David’s story starts at the age of 18, when he visited his doctor with flu-like symptoms and pressure behind the eyes. To his disbelief, what he thought was a routine illness revealed itself to be a large brain tumour, so severe that he was given just one week to live. He began a course of intensive treatment, but the tumour did not respond to drainage, large doses of steroids or radiotherapy. Instead, it doubled in size, David put on six stone due to the medication and his condition worsened. He was finally admitted for major brain surgery at Bristol hospital as a very sick 19-year-old and this procedure, thankfully, was successful.

“I have a large scar on the right side of my head and still to this day I have yearly head scans at Heath Hospital in Cardiff, but apart from that I’m fine and very lucky to be alive”, says Madden.

“So, after being told I had a week to live, I am now a healthy, happy 33-year-old married man running the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.”

David Madden (3)

“I am hoping to raise £500 for Cancer Research UK. I have never done anything like this before, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”

Claudia Ratcliffe from Cancer Research UK commented: “David has always been really healthy, having played football to a good standard before he fell ill. It’s the first time he has done a challenge like this, and he is nervous but excited to complete it.”

David’s training regime includes running along the Mumbles stretch of the course every chance he gets, making the most of the fantastic views the race will offer. Covering a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles, with its iconic pier and lighthouse, the JCP Swansea Half Marathon is quickly earning itself a reputation as a road race with one of the most scenic coastal routes, as well as a flat and fast 13.1 mile course.

 

A record field of 8,000 runners is expected at the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon this summer, making it Wales’ second largest half marathon.

The event was the runner up in the Best Half Marathon category at The 2016 Running Awards in association with JustGiving after having been shortlisted for the second consecutive year, and it is now officially the second best half marathon in the UK and the best half marathon in Wales.

Very best of luck to David, and if you are inspired to run for Cancer Research UK at this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon you can apply here. You can also support David on his half marathon journey by making a donation here https://www.justgiving.com/David-Madden5

JCP Swansea Half Marathon claims silver at 2016 Running Awards

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The JCP Swansea Half Marathon was the runner up in the Best Half Marathon category at The 2016 Running Awards in association with JustGiving last Friday.

It means it is now officially the second best half marathon in the UK and the best half marathon in Wales after beating Cardiff Half Marathon into 3rd place.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon was shortlisted for the last two years, but this is the first time that it has reached the top three at the prestigious annual awards ceremony which celebrates the best of running and its culture.

The Running Awards are independently voted for by runners and the ceremony has become the event of the year for the running industry.

Other races amongst the top 12 shortlist in the Best Half Marathon category included well-established events like Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, Great North Run and Vitality Reading Half Marathon.

The Gold awards trophy was claimed by Ealing Half Marathon for the 3rd year in a row.

The team from JCP Swansea Half Marathon were at the awards ceremony at Indigo at The O2 last Friday to collect their trophy.

Race Director David Martin-Jewell said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have taken second place for Best Half Marathon at The Running Awards. It is a huge honour to be recognised among such high profile events and the award is a great tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to make the JCP Swansea Half Marathon such a success.

“We are only in our third year and already we are becoming a favourite in the running industry. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to vote for us.

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“In the meantime, there is still time to sign up for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon this summer, and we’re looking forward to welcoming a record number of runners at what is going to be our best event yet.”

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, June 26, and is set to sell out to a record 8,000 runners this year.

The race features a fast and flat 13.1 mile course, equally suitable for first-time half marathon runners, club runners, charity runners and elite athletes. It is also earning itself a reputation as a road race with one of the most scenic coastal routes, as it takes runners along a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES? THEN YOU BETTER LACE UP & ENTER THE JCP SWANSEA HALF MARATHON THIS JUNE

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It seems that Swansea residents have got the running bug, and with London Marathon taking place this Sunday, we are seeing more and more people lacing up their trainers and taking to the roads to #RunSwansea. Although, the Oscar winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones won’t be pulling on a running vest when an expected 8,000 competitors line up for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on June 26, it doesn’t mean you can’t!

Whilst the dream of taking part in London marathon is the aim of so many, the JCP Swansea Half Marathon is an achievable target for people of all abilities, and an ideal race for first timers. Instead, of the iconic city of London, the wow factor in this race will be supplied by the scenery of the beautiful Swansea bay, fantastic crowd support and great Welsh welcome in the UK’s friendliest city.

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What’s the attraction you may ask? Well, Swansea Bay being a home to grey seals, dolphins and even basking sharks, provides a world renowned, scenic backdrop…you can see why visitors are coming from all over the globe AGAIN to take part! So why wouldn’t you want to come to a location also known as a sporting mecca thanks to its Premier League football team, Swansea City and top rugby union outfit, the Ospreys? And that’s just what runners have been doing since the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, the second largest race of its kind in Wales and one of the United Kingdom’s fastest growing half marathons – opened for business in 2014.

Last year 5000 competitors from 25 nations took part, many of whom live and work in Swansea and regularly run part of the course. Those familiar with the route know it’s fast, flat and is an ideal race for first timers, taking in breath taking views, historic monuments, and more.

David Martin-Jewell, race director said:

“We have seen a big surge in entries following the World Half Marathon that took place recently and hope that London will inspire others to take part in our event. Anyone contemplating on entering the race should do so now as places are filling fast. From a runners’ perspective, we are keen to maintain a race that is value for money, one that runners enjoy, and makes them want to come back, year after year. We want to give our runners the best experience possible, and hopefully we achieve that by not only having an excellent course, but by making improvements, year on year, such as achieving IAAF status for 2017.”

In 2015, there were thousands of fun runners, plenty of joggers and lots of people raising thousands of pounds for some fantastic charities. But amongst them, were also a strong field of elite runners, which is set to grow again in June.

Last year, Dewi Griffiths, Team GB athlete and race ambassador, sprinted across the Millennium Bridge en route to a city centre finish in front of thousands of spectators. The former Swansea University student’s time of 1 hour, six minutes, 48 seconds was a course record by nearly eight minutes. Ladies titleholder, Emma Wookey of Lliswerry Runners claimed the women’s prize with her time of 1:17:51. Both vowing

to go faster in 2016, especially after being appointed the event’s first ever race ambassadors. A wheelchair race was incorporated for the first time last year, and in June we will see the introduction of two waves of runners to help cope with extra demand for places.

There are only 2 weeks left to register for guaranteed postal delivery of race packs, those who register after this date will need to collect their packs from the organisers. To enter and find out more go to: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf Twitter: @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea

World Championships Shine Light on Wales Ahead of JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2016

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The World Half Marathon Championships that took Cardiff by storm last weekend have proven to be a fantastic precursor for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon taking place in less than three months.

With Wales basking in the spotlight after hosting a hugely successful world-class sporting event, attention is turning to the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon which is expecting a record field of 8,000 runners from over 25 countries – among them an elite field from Wales and beyond.

The IAAF World Half Marathon Championships took place in Cardiff on 26th March, and running for GB&NI were Double Olympic and World Champion Mo Farah as well as Wales’ very own Dewi Griffiths. Only the third Welsh male to represent GB&NI at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, Griffiths is the current men’s title holder of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon as well as one of the inaugural race ambassadors.

The Easter weather brought driving rain and heavy winds to Cardiff on Saturday, but the atrocious conditions did nothing to dampen the determination of the runners and the fantastic support of tens of thousands of fans. It was with a fighting effort and thrilling sprint finish that Mo Farah took the bronze medal, with two Kenyans taking gold and silver.

Dewi Griffiths was emotional after running a superb personal best of 64:10 to finish third in the British team, and 27th overall. The GB team achieved fourth place overall, only 42 seconds off the bronze medal and their best result in 23 years.

The event was a huge tribute to Wales and British athletics, and those inspired to take part in another prestigious race on Welsh soil are encouraged to register for the upcoming JCP Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday 26th June.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is Wales’ second largest half marathon and has been shortlisted for the second consecutive year at The Running Awards for the UK’s Best Half Marathon. Known for being a flat and flat 13.1 mile course, it is fast becoming a favourite among the running community, attracting amongst others first-time marathon runners, charity runners and professional athletes.

The Half Marathon starts in the heart of the city and 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. It is quickly earning itself a reputation as a road race with one of the most scenic coastal routes, passing spectacular sweeps of sandy beach and with views to Devon on a clear day.

Dewi Griffiths took the 2015 JCP Swansea Half Marathon’s men’s title in 1:06:48 and Emma Wookey took the 2015 women’s title in 1:17:51. Both winners were invited to be race ambassadors for this year’s event, in which they will also be competing.

Dewi Griffiths commented: “It was an absolute honour to be selected to represent GB&NI at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff last weekend. The home crowd were brilliant and it felt special to be running a Championship at home. Running alongside sporting greats like Mo Farah was truly inspirational and it was fantastic to see my home country host such a successful sporting event.

“This is a great year for Wales and British athletics in general, and it’s not over yet – I am proud to be supporting the JCP Swansea Half Marathon as race ambassador, and I can’t wait to get my running shoes back on in the hope of defending my title in June. I run for Swansea Harriers and it is great to be able to give something back to sport and the area, and to hopefully inspire the next generation of Welsh and British runners.”

Race Director David Martin-Jewell commented: “The JCP Swansea Half Marathon team was at the Cardiff Sports Expo last week and we really enjoyed meeting so many of our runners. We were also marshalling at the World Half Marathon Championships and we were proud to see our race ambassador and current JCP Swansea Half Marathon champion Dewi Griffiths on his way to a new PB, and to help secure Team GB’s 4th place.

“The JCP Swansea Half Marathon was blessed with gorgeous weather and sunshine the last two years so if you want to ‪#‎RunInTheSun‬ in Wales make sure you sign up and secure your place as soon as possible! We are looking forward to seeing everyone in Swansea in June.” ‬‬‬

A total of 8,000 public and charity places are available for 2016 and entry is open until 29th May. Places are going fast and athletes are urged to secure their place soon. Public places cost £33 for affiliated athletes and £35 for non-affiliated runners.

Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details and to enter.

Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.

JCP Swansea Half Marathon recruits Volunteer Race Makers

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The organisers of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, which takes place on 26th June 2016, are recruiting volunteers to help the race repeat the huge success it has enjoyed over the last two years.

A record field of 8,000 runners are expected at the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon this summer, and some 150 volunteers are needed to make up the Race Maker team and ensure the smooth running of what has become Wales’ second largest half marathon.

Volunteer positions include: On Course Race Makers; Start / Finish Race Makers; Runners Village Race Makers; City Centre Race Makers, and Hydration & Nutrition Station Race Makers. Working as a volunteer is a brilliant way to be part of the race experience: all you need is 4-6 hours to spare on the day, lots of enthusiasm and a positive attitude!

Applications are also welcome from local community groups and clubs who can coordinate their own team of Race Makers. Swansea Half Marathon will offer a financial contribution to these organisations, and all volunteers will receive a Race Maker event t-shirt, to be worn on the day, plus refreshments for the duration of the event.

One of the community groups to be supporting the event this year is Swansea’s army cadet force, who will be present on race day for the third year running. Last year the cadets had seven platoons located across the city, lending valuable support to the organisers whilst gaining fantastic first-hand experience of event management and teamwork. They are expected to be a prominent feature of this year’s half marathon and a great example to the young people of Swansea.

The kind of roles volunteers can expect to be involved with include: helping in the runners’ village; marshalling the course; setting up the event; helping at the finish line; managing water stations and clearing up afterwards.

Race Technical Director Nick Francis, said: “There are many people in the local community who have a keen interest in sport and running, but who perhaps for personal circumstances cannot compete this year. Signing up as a volunteer race maker is a great way to be part of race day and experience the action. The course is stunning, with a magnificent six-mile stretch along Swansea Bay, and wherever you are based as a volunteer you will enjoy live bands en route, an incredible atmosphere and fantastic crowd support. It is thanks to our volunteers that the event has been able to run so smoothly the last two years, and we look forward to welcoming a new team of volunteers at what is set to be the biggest JCP Swansea Half Marathon yet.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 26th June 2016 on fully closed roads and is quickly becoming a firm favourite amongst the running community. The flat fast course is perfect for beginners, first-time half marathon runners and charity runners, whilst attracting a large elite field from Wales and beyond to #RunSwansea.

A total of 8,000 public and charity places are available for 2016 and entry is open now.

Go to http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/race-makers-volunteers/ to register as a volunteer for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2016.

Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details and to secure your place on the start line, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.

Up and Running

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Tash Smith always wanted to complete the Virgin Money London Marathon before she was 30.  But overweight and by her own admission, often breathless tackling a few flights of stairs, completing 26 miles 385 yards seemed an unattainable target.
Then thanks to the arrival of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon in her home city in 2014, Tash had what she calls her ‘Eureka’ moment.  So much so she has transformed herself from a reluctant jogger, with low esteem to an enthusiastic, self confident 29-year-old poised to tackle one of the world’s famous long distance races.
She has also landed a dream job to go with her new found enthusiasm for running.  And she is adamant there are more people like her who can transform their own lives with will power and determination.

“If you believe in yourself you can do it,” says Tash who completed 16 races in 2015, raising thousands of pounds for Maggie’s Cancer Centres.

“I have lost two and a half stones since I started running.  My body shape has changed significantly.

“Before, I would run up stairs and get out of breath because I was overweight.  That doesn’t happen now.

“I find myself wanting to go out for a run whereas in the past I would have had to push myself out of the door.

“I am addicted to running.” laughs Tash, now working with JCP Swansea Half Marathon Race Directors, David Martin-Jewell and Nick Francis as a marketing and administration assistant.

“To have this job is amazing and something I never thought I would be doing a few years back.”

Prior to her half marathon bow at Swansea in 2014, Tash’s running experience was restricted to the occasional Race for Life. “I would just turn up and run.” she confesses.

“I didn’t train as well as I should have done and just winged it after looking up a lot of stuff online.

“But when I heard the Swansea Half was taking place I started to take running more seriously.”

Tash completed Swansea and Cardiff Half’s in 2014, raising money for the Ty Olwen Hospice at Morriston Hospital and Mind.  Crossing the line in Swansea in front of family and friends she shed a tear of happiness at accomplishing her life breakthrough.

Spurred on, Tash set her new goals for 2015, raising her fitness levels as her weekly mileage increased.

A new PB of 2hrs 29mins was established at the Great Welsh Half, Maggie’s Swansea benefited to the sun of £1,600 and she’d raced most distances from 5K to 13 miles before expanding her horizons in November 2015.  She joined the Run 4All club in Neath and believes others can benefit from similar decisions.

“I was a little scared of joining a running club.  I thought it would be very serious and people would be too fast for me.  I can get the mileage done but I am not a fast runner.

“However, it doesn’t matter if you have never run before or you do ultra marathons.

“There is a group for everyone and they are all very helpful.  I would certainly advise joining a running club.  It gives you that extra bit of support and extra bit of push.”

GB international Dei Griffiths and Emma Wookey of Lliswerry Runners were recently named as inaugural ambassadors for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.  As part of their role they have published training tips which can be viewed on the race’s website to help runners prepare for the race on June 26.

Now she’s part of the organising team Tash won’t be on the start line in 2016.  However, she’s got ideas of her own to prepare.

“You have got to get out there and put the miles in your legs.” she explained.  That doesn’t necessarily mean going out for 15-20 mile runs every week.

“You might only want to do a 5 or 10K.  But if you haven’t got the training mileage in, you will struggle on race day.  When I first started a lot of people knocked my confidence.  And there will be people who doubt you can do the distances and races.

“That can make it harder to get out of the door and do the training.  But you can use the negative comments to motivate you and that’s what I did.  Someone was quite rude about my training and that I wouldn’t be able to do all the half marathons I wanted to do.  It did knock my confidence.

“But I started working with a personal trainer last year.  And she said ‘if you find mile 10 tough in your half marathon, just think about that person who said you couldn’t do it and that will push you onto the next mile.'”

Tash, 30 in July, will use her new found mental toughness to conquer any last minute nerves about making her marathon debut.

“I’m sure I’ll have the same felling as I did before my first half marathon.” she adds.

“It is the feeling of the unknown.  But if I think of it as just two in a row, I’m sure I will be fine.  I was never as glad to see a finishing line as I was after the first Swansea Half.  I reckon that might change when I see the finish in London.”

*Entries for the 2016 JCP Swansea Half Marathon on June 26 are open.  Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk to secure your place now.

#RUNYOURCITY

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As we build towards this years JCP Swansea Half Marathon, we want to see where you run, train and come from. #RUNYOURCITY is our way of getting to know you and give you the opportunity to show us where you are from.

As you #RUNYOURCITY why not seek out new routes, tracks, areas you wouldn’t normally run. Also, why not run at different times of the day when your city, town or village breathes, look and acts differently. Capture where you live at its very best and tag us into your pics using #RUNYOURCITY