There were moments of anticipation, excitement, and joy at this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon event.
Runners took to the city’s streets to participate in the seventh edition of the race, which is traditionally held in June. They braved the 13.1 miles in slightly cooler conditions which were perfect for running.
After Hayley Davies, CEO of JCP Solicitors, set the runners on their way, she said:
“It was fantastic to see everyone back at the start line and enjoying such a wonderful event for the city. It is always inspiring to see others taking part, whether it’s their first event, a personal challenge, or raising money for charity. Today was an extra special day full of emotions for everyone as it marked the return of the biggest running event for the region.”
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon was last held 28 months ago in June 2019, and last year was set to be the greatest event the organising team had ever staged.
Managing Director of Front Runner Events, David Martin-Jewell, said: “It has been such a challenging time for us as event organisers, but we have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the event could run as smoothly as possible. We are thrilled to have been able to deliver the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and hope that our runners loved being back to experience race day once again!”
The events sector has been one of the most severely affected industries during the last 18 months, so it was important that the event was just right for everyone involved. There were some changes as to be expected in a post-Covid-era, with everyone asked to register a negative lateral flow test result before participating. There were also a few changes to the route this year, but it remains one of the flattest half marathon routes in the UK.
Just over 3,000 runners attended the event, which had previously attracted a field of 6,000 from all over the World. Many chose to run virtually this year in their own towns or cities wearing their official race number and were still part of the excitement online.
The elite field remained competitive as always, with wheelchair record holder Richie Powell shaving a few seconds off his record time that was gained in 2016 and finished the race in a staggering 60:54. He was followed by Ron Price in 2nd and Leslie Hampton in 3rd for the wheelchair racers.
Samuel Goodchild of Cornwall AC won 1st place in the men’s race in a time of 1:09:28. 2nd place was taken by David Green of Rugby & Northampton AC, in a time of 1:011:09 and in 3rd place was Michael Roderick of Tri Hard Harriers achieving a time of 1:11:22.
The women’s race was equally competitive, and 1st place went to Commonwealth Games and Team GB athlete Sonia Samuels in an impressive 1:14:09. 2nd place went to Georgia Holden Edwards in a time of 1:19:59 and 3rd place went to Hayley Munn of Rugby Northampton AC in 1:20:05.
Also taking part was Welsh TV presenter, endurance adventurer and athlete Lowri Morgan. She’s well-known for presenting Scrum V and the World Rally Championships and an avid runner that’s not afraid of a challenge. This year was the first time Lowri had participated in the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.
She commented: “I love running in Swansea, it’s such a beautiful city with an amazing coastline, so it’s an absolute delight to be finally taking part in the event! I’ve wanted to participate since it first started back in 2014, but with it being staged in the Summer, my training has never allowed me to. It’s been a tough time for everyone these last couple of years, so it feels great to be back at events, and this one is certainly one I’ll aim to be back for next year!”
Hundreds of charity runners took part in the event for good causes, raising awareness and much-needed funds for their chosen charities. Since so many events had been cancelled during the last 18 months, fundraising is still taking place for the event charity partners; Maggie’s Swansea, Cancer Research UK, and Diabetes UK Cymru so runners fundraising pages will remain open for the few weeks yet.
Team spirit was in full flow as seven companies took on the Corporate Challenge. There was some stiff competition as the teams at Matthews & Co, HMT Sancta Maria, Brecon Carreg, Carmarthenshire Actif, Arvato Bertelsmann and Swansea University were unable to beat off the team at JCP Solicitors.
Other keen runners were sporting their club vests or wearing fancy dress, including the very special Captain Beany, who makes an appearance at the race every year!
David Martin-Jewell added: “The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is more than just a race it’s about bringing people together to share their challenge and experience. It’s about teamwork, helping the running community achieve their goals in both a mental and physical capacity, providing a platform for charity fundraising and providing volunteering opportunities for people in the city. These are all the reasons we love what we do and hope that we can continue to deliver great events for many years to come.”
The organising team behind the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, Front Runner Events, continues to work tirelessly alongside their trusty team of volunteers, dedicated sector heads and event partners who all help deliver an event Swansea can be proud of. The team continue to work closely with the founding headline sponsors, JCP Solicitors and long-term partners Matthews & Co and HMT Sancta Maria. The event hydration partner remains to be the Welsh favourite Brecon Carreg.
(Lead image: Front Runner Events)
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