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.