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Tash Smith

Event Update – 2021 JCP Swansea Half Marathon

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Dear Friends,

We, at Front Runner Events, hope that you have all been keeping yourselves safe, well and healthy as possible over the past 12 months. We know how difficult things have been, like you, we have been affected and we share your frustrations that events are not taking place at the moment. With this in mind, we wanted to update you on where we are and what we have been doing as well as our intentions for this year.

Our team has been working extremely hard over the past few months as we continue to try and navigate our way through the news, changes, governmental and industry updates. In addition to this, we are trying to understand the impact of the vaccine rollout and what the current reduction in the ‘R’ rate and number of cases, hospitalisations, will mean for the return of our sport. Over the past 12 months, we have worked tirelessly and continuously with MSO Cymru colleagues, Welsh Athletics, Swansea Council and Welsh Government to try and establish a return to doing what we love, which is, putting on safe road running events for everyone to enjoy.

The horizon is beginning to look much brighter. The roll out of the vaccine programme appearing to be at such a pace, that this is one metric alone that could suggest a return to normality shouldn’t be too far away. Also, the planned return of Parkrun (we know this is for England at the moment), the test event programme that is earmarked for England and with Wales about to produce theirs, to demonstrate that Covid-safe events can be held and run safely.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the rules and guidance for the management of Covid-19 in Wales (which is different from the updates provided by the Prime Minister for England) the Welsh Government undertakes a 3-weekly review of the situation, the last was held on Friday 12th March 2021.

The 3 weeks between each review is very challenging for us in terms of how we plan for our events. We are not a shop or bar, that can buy in stock and be ready within days, typically we need around 6-9 months to prepare for an event to allow for the stakeholder engagement, permissions process, dealing with emergency services, engaging suppliers and so on. Therefore, to allow us to even begin trying to mobilise for an event in normal circumstances, 3 weeks would prove very challenging to say the least. As such, we are faced with a dilemma for this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

Given what we know today, the likelihood of obtaining permissions from the relevant authorities for the scheduled June date would be unlikely. Therefore, we feel to give ourselves the best chance to deliver the JCP Swansea Half this year, we have to move the date once again to Oct 17, 2021. This gives us time to work with all peer groups, stakeholders, and Welsh Government to understand the impact and learnings from the test event process. This alone, we hope, should provide enough information to enable the event to proceed.

In addition to this, the Welsh Government target of all adults being offered the vaccine by July 31, 2021, should have been achieved. And we are confident that with the above key metrics achieved, a continued reduction and decline in cases and hospitalisations, we should be able put on the event in the usual way we do.

Meaning that we can give you the Swansea Half experience you deserve. We are literally chomping at the bit and raring to go, but it seems that, in the words of Axl Rose/Guns N Roses, we need a little patience…. Just a little more, we hope. Whilst there are a lot of factors and influences that remain beyond our control, we feel significantly more optimistic and have commenced a full team effort towards achieving this date.

At no point in our existence, did we expect to be faced with such a situation as the one we are still going through. We have missed you all from our start line and more importantly, we have missed seeing you cross our finish line. But we do feel the finish line is getting nearer and we are getting there, the horizon is definitely looking brighter and a lot more optimistic.

So, we thank you for your patience and we cannot wait to see you all lining up again outside the historic Brangwyn Hall as you get ready to #RunSwansea!

Yours in sport

David Martin-Jewell
Race Director

Event Update – 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon

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Following last Friday’s statement by Welsh Government it has now become apparent that the JCP Swansea Half Marathon will be unable to be held, as intended on November 1st 2020.

Race Director, David Martin-Jewell said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I must announce the postponement of this year’s race. 2020 is proving to be the most challenging of our 7-year history. Like many other events and businesses this year, we have been continually affected by the global coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in this decision.

Since the beginning of the lockdown measures, we have continued working to find solutions which would enable a return to the sport we love. We have also worked closely with our collaborative partners within MSO Cymru who are leading the debate and planning to demonstrate that mass participation sporting events in Wales can return safely. I believe that we have developed robust, workable solutions that could allow us to deliver a Covid-safe event. However, following the cautious easing of restrictions as announced by Welsh Government on Friday the 21st August and no further pathway identified or confirmed for mass events to return, we must now defer the event to 2021.

We, like you, find this extremely frustrating and disappointing as we are all runners and have continued training, fundraising (and planning) with the hope of a return to mass running. Yet, as it stands, November seems to be too soon for this to occur. We will not be holding a virtual version of the event, as it was clear that this was not supported by our runners following the survey we carried out a few weeks ago.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon helps raise approx. £1m per year for local and national charities including our charity partners; CRUK, Diabetes UK Cymru and Maggie’s, all of whom have suffered an enormous short fall in fundraising and opportunities due to the volume of events that have been cancelled this year.

Events like ours helps more than the runners who participate in the race; we help raise vital funds and awareness for charities and good causes and work with hundreds of suppliers and contractors. What’s more, we help people with their physical and mental health that helps underpin various national agendas surrounding obesity, mental wellness and well-being. The entire team is devastated that we are unable to deliver this year’s event, but we realise and are fully aware of the ongoing impact of pandemic during, and what is turning into, an exceptional year for all the wrong reasons.

We have not wanted or tried to proceed with the event in a reckless manner, and have sought the opinions and views of entrants, volunteers, stakeholders, the wider community and event partners with the majority of responses supportive of our plans and the event proceeding as intended. Although we believe that we have workable solutions that would enable the event to proceed safely, we will now have to wait until 2021. So, we now turn our eyes to the horizon and begin to look forward to welcoming you all back to Swansea next year to take part in our 7th edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on the 13th June 2021.”

Everyone associated with the event will be disappointed with the news, but anyone with a place in the 2020 event will automatically be entered in next year’s event.

All registered participants for the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon have been emailed their available options. If you have not received an email with this information, please email us.

Brangwyn Hall Start Line

A message from our Race Director

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When we started planning for the 7th edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, we did not foresee the world we currently find ourselves in. Sunday, 14th June 2020 should have been a day of celebration for thousands of runners running through the streets of Swansea on what would have been the original date for our event. 

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon has become a summertime running celebration and the chance for like-minded people, who have put in hours and hours of training in to cross the finish line in the summer Swansea sunshine. It should also be a day for celebrating the fund-raising achievements of many of you and the tremendous charities that form part of the event; such as Maggie’s Swansea, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK Cymru and many, many, more. 

We and all event partners were completely disheartened to have had to postpone the event for the first time in our 7 year history. However, the seriousness, spread and impact of the C-19 pandemic has required drastic actions globally, which we are all coming to terms with. 

We are liaising with a significant number of bodies regarding the revised date and closely monitoring advice from the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, City & County of Swansea and other relevant organisations to monitor the ongoing situation.  

On a more positive note, we have seen a massive upturn in running and other similar outdoor exercises around Swansea,  which is something we remain focused on and hope that our virtual events have enabled runners to keep setting and achieving their goals. We are contacted on a daily basis and told how Swansea Half is a target that people would have never considered less than 4 months ago. We hope to see all these ‘newer’ runners lining up and crossing our start and finish lines very soon.  

It would be amazing to fill our social media with your photos and videos from previous years and share your experiences with us. Let us all share and spread the joy of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and look forward to the return of our events in the future.  

Yours in sport,

David Martin-Jewell

Race Director 

Front Runner Events Announces Postponement of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2020

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Front Runner Events regrettably announce the postponement of the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday 14th June. Organisers have announced today that the event will now take place on Sunday 1st November 2020.

Race Director, David Martin-Jewell said:

“It is with much disappointment that we must follow suit of all our other races scheduled this year and postpone our third event of 2020. This has been an extremely challenging year for us at Front Runner Events, and we have worked tirelessly to try and give runners a tangible target and goal during these unprecedented times. However, our hope of delivering an event that may have been the first to proceed post-lockdown is no longer an option. During this process we have closely monitored and adhered to the most up-to-date advice and guidance from the UK Government, Public Health Wales and continued on-going communications with our medical team. Therefore, we have concluded that it is no longer an acceptable position for us to stage the event on our planned date and are pleased to announce that we will deliver the race on Sunday 1st November 2020.”        

In order to make the necessary arrangements for the new date the team have worked tremendously hard with key stakeholders, the local authority and contractors to ensure that another quality event for Swansea is delivered successfully.  All event communications will be ongoing, and updates will be sent out accordingly to runners.

The team know that there will be lots of runners fundraising for the many charities partnered with the race and realise that this is a difficult time for everyone. If you can continue with this, please do so, as they need your help now more than ever.

Front Runner Events would like to thank all event partners with whom there has been constant dialogue, and we are appreciative for their continued support during these difficult times.

We would also like to send our love and appreciation to those who are continuing on the frontline, helping to battle this pandemic and working to keep the country moving. From all of us at Front Runner Events, we salute every single one of you. We are also mindful that there are many people affected by the pandemic and send our thoughts and condolences to anyone directly affected by coronavirus.


We are asking all runners to continue training in line with the governmental guidelines on daily exercise:

  1. Train close to home
  2. Exercise once a day
  3. Always obey social distancing rules

We are looking forward to coming out of the other side of this pandemic and we cannot wait to welcome everyone back to Swansea. That is for another day, for now, stay safe, stay well and stay home.

Runners Options   If you can’t make the new date here are your options:

  1. Transfer

We’re happy for you to transfer your entry to another runner. There would normally be a fee for transferring your place, but we’ve scrapped this under the circumstances.

To transfer your entry to someone else you can:

  • Log on to your Realbuzz Members Hub
  • Please click the transfer button
  • You’ll need your friend’s email address

You’ll need to transfer your number by midnight on Wednesday 30th Sept 2020 so we have enough time to send out the race packs. By transferring your number, you won’t be able to get a refund.

  1. Run the race in 2021

We can defer your place to our 2021 race [date TBC]. There’d normally be a fee for deferring your place, but we’ve currently waived this under the circumstances. If you’d like to defer to next year, let us know. The deadline for deferrals is Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 1700.

  1. Run the race virtually

We would like to offer this option to all of our runners.  However, we will only be releasing our virtual platform when it is safe to do so based on government advice.  Anyone interested in this option please follow us on social media and check our website regularly for updates. We’ll also send out an email when this option is available so please keep an eye on your inbox.

What do I do?

Everyone who has registered to take part in June will be immediately entered into the new date in November and will not need to do anything.

Due to the team working remotely, we are working through what additional options we can offer or implement to ensure that we offer the same level of service to anyone that may not be able to make the new date. As the race is still planned to proceed this year, we are unable to offer refunds at the present time.  However, those who couldn’t make the date in June or would prefer to run in cooler conditions now have the chance to enter and #RunSwansea in November.  To REGISTER your place, go to:

JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2020: Position Statement

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We, at Front Runner Events, like most people in the UK, have been closely monitoring the continued spread of COVID-19 / coronavirus. With the swift and forced changes affecting society on a daily basis, we want to make entrants and runners aware of our current thoughts and how it is affecting our planning. Given the postponement and cancellation of so many other events across the country and further afield (including the Euro’s and the Olympics), we are putting the JCP Swansea Half Marathon ‘UNDER REVIEW’.


We are not a reckless company and at no point would we take a course of action that would put any of our participants, staff, contractors, or suppliers in harm’s way.  We are continuing to gather data from our medical team, Local Authority, and many other stakeholders with a view to see how this pandemic may develop. We are also closely monitoring the advice and guidance from UK Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.

I am of the opinion that we have sufficient time available to us to consider a variety options that will allow us to prepare for a number of scenarios. Due to the nature of what we do, conditions of our event licence, risk assessments and so on, we will need medical support throughout this process and at the event. We are having regular discussions with our medical team about all options and we are in agreement that it is too early to decide a final course of action for Swansea, which I explain below.


Of the many options available to us, one could be that the pandemic begins to rescind (in a number of weeks) and we may able to proceed on June 14th as planned. I am of the opinion that having this goal to aim for after a period of ‘lock down or isolation’, would provide significant relief to many.

Another option could be that we delay the event until later in the summer/early winter and allow for the pandemic to pass when hopefully normal living conditions return, and we adjust our plans accordingly.

We are keeping as many options open as possible at the moment to allow us to make an informed and the correct decision. With this in mind, can I ask that you are patient and continue to support us whilst we continue to review all aspects of this unprecedented, dynamic and constantly changing situation. Rest assured, we will take the correct course of action for the event and in a timely manner. We will not prolong this review process and will update you as soon as possible.

Please continue to follow Governmental advice on exercise and maximising the amount of time available to train outdoors. Please also adhere to social distancing and isolation protocols.

Stay safe and we will update you again very soon.

David Martin-Jewell, Race Director

2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon Position Statement

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At Front Runner Events we’re receiving a number of enquiries on our position regarding the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

We’re still planning and working towards delivering this year’s event on Sunday 14th June, and we’ll continue to work on this basis unless it becomes apparent that changes are likely or enforced.

Our advice to you, our runners, who are signed up to #RunSwansea with us this year, is to continue/begin your training plan where possible. In these times of uncertainty running can really help you to maintain calm and ease any anxiousness you may be experiencing and be a welcome escape.

Our friends at Realbuzz have produced this article that shows how exercise can help us relieve stress and anxiety.

We will continue to closely monitor advice from the UK Government, Public Health Wales, the Local Authority, as well as our own medical team in terms of what to expect and what to plan for in the coming months.

If there are any changes, we will of course update you in a timely manner with all the relevant details.

But for now, we’re planning on welcoming you to the start line in Swansea on the 14th June.

Good luck with your training and happy running!

The Front Runner Events Team

Winter Training Tips

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With Winter just around the corner, organisers of Wales’ multi-award winning half marathon are ready to help runners get smart and fit for the colder months ahead.

David Martin-Jewell, Race Director of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon says:

“Winter training is an important part of being a runner and keeping up the required levels of fitness to continue taking part in races throughout the year.  There are lots of runners who dread the colder temperatures and shorter hours of daylight but getting out in the fresh air during autumn and winter is good for the mind, body and spirit.  There are lots of ways to combat the winter fatigue and hopefully these tips will encourage everyone to keep up the training or even take up running if you haven’t run before…”

What to wear

It’s cold, wet and dark, what do you wear to run comfortably in these conditions? Brangwyn Hall Start Line

Cold – Layer up with a few light layers, if you get too warm you can take them off and tie them around your waist and put accessories such as gloves/hats into your pockets.

Base layers, long sleeve tops & full-length tights are a must when it’s cold. Important accessories are gloves, head buffs, beanie hat and thicker socks. If you’re not running from home take jogging bottoms and a hoody to leave in the car, something warm to put on while you stretch off.

Wet – A waterproof running jacket will help to keep you dry and in turn will keep you comfortable and warm whilst you get your miles in.

A running cap/visor will be useful to keep rain out of your eyes and a wrist buff or sweatbands are always handy to wipe your eyes. If you aren’t running from home then always have a towel and dry clothes in the car for afterwards. There’s nothing worse than driving home wet and you will get cold quickly.

Dark – If you’re running early in the morning or late in the evening, then a high visibility jacket, vest or similar clothing is essential to make sure you’re seen.

A headtorch is also useful during the darker hours, whilst there may be routes without sufficient street lighting, you may need more than hi-viz clothing to stay safe! Head torches help you see where you’re going but more importantly – they help other road users and vehicles see you. Running in the evening? Even if it’s light when you start, chances are it will get dark during your run – always take high viz & head torch with you.


It may be cold and wet outside but hydration is still key before, during and after your training runs.

Even when it is cold and wet you will still sweat, and you will still need to take on plenty of fluid to replace the water your body loses through perspiration. Take a small water bottle with you if it’s a long run, if the run is shorter you can either take a bottle with you or have one ready for immediately after you finish.

Buddy up

During the winter months, not only is it colder but it is darker, try not to run on your own, safety in numbers!

Buddying up is recommended no matter what time of year it is, however, winter conditions can make it more dangerous to be out running alone. Running with a friend will also make for a more enjoyable and productive run as you can encourage and push each other when you get tired.

If you must run on your own – take a phone, let someone know your route & how long you expect to be out for.

If you don’t have anyone to run with, why not join a local running club? There are plenty of local clubs that cater for all abilities. Join in on a session and see how it goes, you will improve your running, training will become easier and you will make new friends all at the same time.

Plan your week

There are many things that can come between you and your run – work and family are the main struggles but sometimes it can be as simple as looking outside and thinking “not today, I’ll run tomorrow instead”. A training plan should be a guide that you use and follow as best you can, but if you can’t do the scheduled Tuesday run because you have other commitments, swap it with a rest day so you still get the planned miles in.

Plan your week, this could be done using a training app on your phone, a calendar you regularly use (hard copy or digital) or you can even print and use one of our training plans – spend some time each Sunday evening to plan all your runs around your commitments for that week. Once the plan is there, print it out and put it up somewhere you will see it each day to remind you of what you need to do.

Try and mix up your runs each week, adding a hill or a few sprints into your run will keep the mind active.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile race on fully closed roads that starts outside the iconic Brangwyn Hall and takes in six miles of stunning coastline and idyllic marina on its course.  Suitable to first timers, fun runners, elites and your everyday hero, this simply is a MUST do race for anyone thinking about running a half marathon.  The JCP Swansea Half Marathon race takes place in just 7 months, on 14th June 2020.  To sign up to take part or keep up with the latest news go to:

Like the Facebook page and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.

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: or visit:’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:

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.