The streets of Swansea were filled on Sunday 26th June with thousands of runners and spectators celebrating the third JCP Swansea Half Marathon.
The flat and fast 13.1-mile course attracted runners of all levels including first-time runners, charity runners, club runners and elite athletes from all over the globe, with forty-two different nationalities represented at Wales’ second largest half marathon. The race saw a clean course record sweep with all three course records (male, female, wheelchair) smashed and thousands of PBs achieved on a day that boasted perfect running conditions.
With nearly three quarters of the registered runners being Welsh, the historic meeting between Wales and Northern Ireland at Euro 2016 on Saturday afternoon had an effect on the number of participants with many missing their place on the start line on Sunday morning after a night of celebrations. However, Wales’ victory did not detract from the tremendous support from locals cheering the runners on their way.
The race set off from Oxford Street in Swansea city centre and was started by Keith Thomas from JCP Solicitors. Welsh singing star Ros Evans sent the runners on their way by singing with the all-female Mum’s the Word adult choir and the Mumbles Youth Opera Group at the start of the race – before putting on her own running shoes and joining in the UK’s second best half marathon, as voted by runners in The 2016 Running Awards.
The race then proceeded 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. Athletes were cheered across the finish line on Oxford Street by a lively and supportive crowd who had contributed to the all-round fantastic atmosphere of the event.
It was a day of records and achievements alongside substantial charity fundraising.
The men’s field was dominated by the Swansea Harriers, who filled the podium and five out of the top ten places. The title was claimed for the second consecutive year by race ambassador and GB International Dewi Griffiths who took a minute and ten seconds off his own course record after crossing the finish line in 01:05:38. Club mate Danal Desta completed the half marathon in a time of 01:07:01, ahead of Josh Griffiths who took third place in 01:08:43.
The women’s course record was smashed by three minutes and twenty seconds after Hannah Walker from Run-Fast secured the title in 01:14:31. Runner up Tracy Barlow from Thames Valley Harriers finished in 01:15:03 and Rachel Felton of Run-Fast claimed third place in 01:16:33.
A Family Fun Dash was introduced for the 2016 event and this proved to be a popular part of race day. Young runners and families were able to experience the thrilling atmosphere of a big sporting event in the city and cross the same finish line as the main field after a 1K run from Swansea Castle.
For the second year in a row, runners were able to benefit from a team of race pacers provided by Xempo Race Pacing in association with TomTom. It is thanks to the race pacers that many runners reported getting their speed just right and hitting their target time on the day.
Results (provisional) – JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2016
1. Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers), 01:05:38
2. Danal Desta (Swansea Harriers), 01:07:01
3. Josh Griffiths (Swansea Harriers), 01:08:43
1. Hannah Walker (Run-Fast), 01:14:31
2. Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers), 01:15:03
3. Rachel Felton (Run-Fast), 01:16:33
Paralympian Richie Powell won the wheelchair race and set a new course record in 01:01:29, whilst the Swansea Harriers won the Team Challenge.
The winning team of the Corporate Challenge went to Cancer Research UK.
The full results and race day photos are available on the website www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk.
Race Director David Martin-Jewell said: “We are thrilled with the turnout for this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon, which has proved to be our biggest and best event yet with all three course records smashed and runners from forty-two nations taking part. It was fantastic to see the streets of Swansea filled with competitors and spectators of all ages and to be a part of the fantastic atmosphere. We would like to congratulate every single person who crossed the finish line for their phenomenal effort and achievement.
“Our sincere thanks go to all our sponsors and partners for their invaluable support, to everyone who sponsored our runners to raise incredible sums for charity, to all those who came out today to cheer on the athletes along the course, and of course to all the runners who took part and chose to #RunSwansea. A big thank you also to all the bands who were entertaining runners and spectators along the route, and to our amazing and ever-smiling volunteers who ensured that the day went as smoothly as possible. It was a truly memorable day for Swansea.”
Since its inauguration three years ago the JCP Swansea Half Marathon has become a fantastic platform for charity fundraising, and this year saw record amounts raised for the race’s official charities. The Headline Charity Partner for 2016 was Cancer Research UK, with Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes and Save the Children as Gold Charity Partners.
JCP Solicitors is the title sponsor of the Swansea Half Marathon. Other sponsors and partners of the 2016 race included Compare Insurance, Matthews & Co, The Big Heart of Swansea and HMT Sancta Maria. ASICS was the Official Sports Training Partner, SiS the Official Sports Nutrition Partner and Brecon Carreg the Hydration Partner for the race.
The prize money was supplied by Zurich and NBS in association with Compare Insurance, whilst Dr Organic, Frankie & Benny’s and Nando’s provided spot prizes for the runners.
The date for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2017 has been confirmed as Sunday 25th June 2017 and online entries are open now. The standard entry fee for the 2017 race is £30 (+booking fee), or £28 (+booking fee) for affiliated runners.
Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further details, full results and to sign up to the 2017 race. You can also like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #RunSwansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter.