Getting Back To The Event Means More For Charities

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The JCP Swansea Half Marathon which is due to take place on Sunday 17th October at 8am from the Brangwyn Hall will mean that runners can turn their miles into smiles for the charities they support this year.

Charity fundraising has been severely affected as a result of so many events like the JCP Swansea Half Marathon being postponed or cancelled during the last 18 months. Although the team at Front Runner Events have hosted a series of virtual events to enable runners to maintain their fitness, set targets as well as an opportunity to fundraise, without the main event, the level of charity fundraising is lower than in previous years. 

Tash Smith, Event Manager at Front Runner Events commented:

“We are so happy to be getting back to events this year and being one of the largest fundraising events of the year in Swansea, it offers runners a great opportunity to make their miles go further. It has been great to see runners do their bit to raise funds for the charities we have been working with over the years and we would love to see this continue in 2021.”

Elizabeth Ferrar, Centre Fundraising Organiser of Maggie’s Swansea said:

“When the majority of our fundraising activities had to stop due to the pandemic, this was a major blow to the team at Maggie’s as these events provided much needed income. The JCP Swansea Half Marathon 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 so we really would like to give a big thanks to those supporting #TeamMaggies this year and hope to see some new faces join the team!”

Front Runner Events are delighted to announce that there are a number of charity places remaining with their official charity partners. To find the charity important to you go to: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/run-for-charity/ where you can find out how you can register to run for charity.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is a licenced event on fully marshalled, closed roads. It is a flat, fast course that is perfect for beginners, and experienced half marathon runners.

To find out more on the event and what to expect on race day go to: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

Important Information – Event Update 2021 JCP Swansea Half Marathon

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After a challenging year and a half, we’re delighted to announce that we’re finally back!!! We can’t wait to welcome you in October when you join us to #RunSwansea. There will be a few changes to ensure that we keep everyone as safe as possible, but we’re chomping at the bit to finally get our 2021 off to a running start and give you the familiar feel of being at a Front Runner Event.

Some changes will be familiar to you, such as hand sanitiser being available and the wearing of face masks (for those who want to).

However, the biggest change to the event is the start time. We’ve been inundated with requests to confirm the start time since Swansea City F.C announced they’ve moved their game with Cardiff City F.C from Saturday 16th October to 12 noon on Sunday 17th October. As such, the race will start at 08:00. We’re extremely frustrated that we’ve had to do this, but we couldn’t secure another date in the 2021 calendar. So, anyone wanting to run and watch the football at the stadium or in a bar should be able to. The Swans can thank us later!Another change is we’ve arranged for pre-start assembly to take place at St Helen’s Rugby ground. Access is only via the Gorse Lane entrance (opposite the Patti Pavilion/Victoria Park) and the gates will open from 06:30. The access gates will close by 07:45, so you’ll need to be checked into St Helen’s prior to this in order to avoid not participating.

In order to welcome you back and to ease you back into your return to running, we’ve reduced the race capacity to 4000. The intention is to provide as much space as possible to help you move freely and safely.

All other key changes and information can be found within our Covid Safety Event Protocol Guide which you can download here.Race Director, David Martin-Jewell said:

“It’s such a relief to see [all] events finally returning. We have watched many of our peers across the events sector delivering races and gigs across the country and now it’s our turn. We cannot wait to welcome runners back to Swansea.

We didn’t expect to be announcing that we must change the start time, particularly after such a difficult period for us all, but the last thing we need to face is clashing with the Swans v Cardiff. The decision by the club to proceed on the same day as the half has put us under enormous strain and has been hugely frustrating, particularly as we raised our concerns about this this with the club back in June when the fixtures were released. That said, an early start simply means an early finish and hopefully those runners that want to complete the race and get to the game, should be able to.”

The 7th edition of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 17th October 2021, starting at 8am outside of the prestigious Brangwyn Hall. Entries into the race will close at midday on Friday 8th October 2021, unless the course capacity is reached prior to this date.

Sign up today at www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk, affiliated entries are £39+bf and general entries are £41+bf. Come and join us as we #RunSwansea this autumn.

The Front Runner Events Team

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 

Virtual Races Hit New Highs!

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The team at Front Runner Events were quick to turn the tables on their event that which was due to take place earlier this month in the beautiful Pembrey Country Park.  As every runner knows there is nothing like the real event, lining up at the start with every other runner who has trained incredibly hard for the race ahead.  But, with races being postponed and in some cases being cancelled, this has left organisers and runners feeling disappointed.  That is the reason why the Front Runner team felt it was important to offer their runners a tangible goal by introducing the Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon virtual races.

David Martin-Jewell said:

            “We are excited to be seeing runners from all over the World taking part in our virtual races in their respective neighbourhoods.  This is the first time we have launched a virtual race and we are pleased to be able to provide this platform, helping runners maintain their fitness, set goals and achieve their targets.  So far, we have seen nearly 500 runners take part, some of whom may prefer to run on their own and not have the added pressure of others around them chasing PB’s.”

            “I’ve learnt over the last few weeks that running is not all about achieving times, sometimes we just need to enjoy the nature, sounds and appreciate everything around us, so I’m delighted we can offer this race for everyone.”        

If you would like to register and #RunCymru wherever you live, you can sign up for the virtual race and choose between the half marathon or marathon distance here:  https://www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk/join-great-welsh-virtual-races/  You’ll need to hurry, as entry will only remain open until 30th April, but to help, we’ve made the process is simple:

1. Register your place – £15 (entry includes a finisher t-shirt, bespoke medal & certificate)

2. Complete the distance before 30/04/2020

3. Submit your Strava, Garmin, GPS data (to your members hub when you signed up – this must show your name, the exact distance, route, time and date)

Once certified, you will receive your goodies in the post, but you can expect to see your name on the leader boards (for either the half or full marathon) and get your virtual finisher’s certificate.  Why not make your marathon miles go further and help Save the UK’s Charities?  To take part in this fantastic fund raiser head to: https://www.twopointsixchallenge.co.uk/ to find out more! 

Don’t forget to check out our TIPS on running responsibly and maintaining social distancing measures whilst exercising outdoors!  

How To Train & Run A Half Marathon Safely – #runresponsibly

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As difficult as the situation is that we currently find ourselves in, we all want something to set our sights on and take our minds off what’s going on in the World around us.  We all know how important staying active, healthy and fit is and running is a great way to do this for our minds and body, so we would like to continue to provide goals for our runners whilst maintaining current governmental and public health advice.

The good news is that if you are new or returning to running after some time off, training for a half-marathon is manageable even for the busiest of us!  So why not use this time to ensure you make the most of your exercise once a day and get yourselves running.

The half marathon is the perfect distance for beginners and for the more experienced, wanting to achieve that sense of accomplishment.  That is why we at Front Runner Events were keen to establish the JCP Swansea Half MarathonLlanelli Half Marathon and Great Welsh Half.  Thankfully, our first race of the year took place before COVID-19 hit the UK, however we have had to postpone the remaining two and offer a virtual race as an option.

Now, if you can manage two to three miles at a time, starting off with walk-run-walk, a couple of times per week, you can get into half-marathon shape in 12 weeks providing you stick to a plan.  To help, we have put together a variety of plans to suit all levels of ability, so we’re sure you’ll find one to suit you!  To find your plan go to: https://bit.ly/2zmewO1

You will need to bear in mind that you should add a weekend run that is a slightly longer distance once you feel confident to do so.  Once you gain momentum you will be running—four to five miles in no time, then you can gradually build up to,7, 8, 9 or 10 miles over the course of the 12 weeks.

The best thing about a half marathon is that the training is usually lifestyle friendly that includes a few days of running or jogging, a couple days of cross-training, and a couple days of rest will get you into shape.  Here are a few TIPS to make sure you train responsibly during this time:

  • Run in your local area – starting from home (don’t drive).
  • Run alone or only with household members.
  • Greet fellow runners with a wave rather than calling out.
  • Run with your phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Think about when & where you will run – avoid gatherings, use wide lanes or spaces which are likely to be quieter.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – If you are approaching people slow down and maintain at least 2 metres distance (plan your pass – let them you know you are there, go around them, cross over etc).
  • Wear hi-vis gear if you have it so you stand out (particularly around dawn or dusk).
  • Try and wear a buff and gloves if possible.
  • Wash or shower as soon as you return home.
  • Be sensible, stay safe!

To find alternative or additional challenges our training partners at realbuzz.com have some great ideas to mix up your running.  To find out more and how you can make the most of your training head to their pages here.

 

2.6 Challenge

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With the postponement of our own Great Welsh Marathon and JCP Swansea Half Marathon following the same path as thousands of other events across the UK being postponed due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, this is having a destructive impact on the UK Charity sector that could result in many being forced to close. We are proud of our work with all of our charity partners who do so much good on both a local and national level. It is now our turn to give back and help the charities.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) CEO Karl Wilding estimates that the UK charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic.

Front Runner Events is working alongside some of the biggest mass participation event organisers to assist with the 2.6 Challenge and Save the UK’s Charities. But we cannot do it alone, we need your help!

Launching on 26th April, on what should have been the date of the 40th edition of the London Marathon – The 2.6 Challenge involves dreaming up a challenge based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraising or donating to Save the UK’s Charities. It’s open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity follows Government guidelines on exercising and social distancing!

If fundraising dries up during this lockdown period, many of our most valued charities may not survive. Join us with your own 2.6 Challenge or simply donate to the cause and help us ensure the most vulnerable members of our society continue to have somewhere to turn during this crisis.

To find out more about how you can join in head here.

WHAT IS INVOLVED – Your challenge can be anything that works for you!

Run, walk or cycle 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or 26 keepie-ups – anything you like.

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.

Advice

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: www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

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’.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

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.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

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