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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.

Home Workouts for Runners

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With all the news around COVID-19 some of you runners may feel nervous about heading outside.  We all know there’s nothing better than running with friends but it may not be right for your individual circumstances, so we’ve got some useful ideas of home workouts thanks to our training partners realbuzz.com. Try the following exercises, mix it up with some strength circuits or even use a video tutorial on YouTube – there are so many to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice!  But don’t forget to listen to your body, don’t overdo it and drink plenty of water when training at home!

Tabata circuit

Tabata training is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that is based on 4 minute blocks. It’s a fantastic and time effective way to work on both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. However, there is a catch; this type of training isn’t for the faint hearted. You need to push yourself hard and not simply ‘go through the motions’ if you want to reap the benefits.

Each exercise in the circuit lasts for 4 minutes and is split into the following format:

  • Work for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 8 times
  • Take 1 minute of rest between each different exercise.

You can even download a Tabata training timer for your phone or iPad that keeps track of time for you.  Try the following routine for a workout that will leave you feeling the burn.

Step ups

Step up onto a box, whilst, maintaining a good posture, chest up and shoulders back. Step down using the same leading leg. Alternate legs and repeat.

Mountain climber

Start in a straight arm plank position. Alternate bending your knees and bringing them forward as close to your hands as possible. Focus on keeping your back flat throughout the movement.

Burpees

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a ‘push-up’ position. Push back up and jump into a squat position. Jump with as much energy as you can into the air, raising your hands above your head to complete one rep. On landing, start the next rep straight away.

Side plank

Lie on your side with your legs straight and your ankles together. Prop your torso up with your upper arm. Lift your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your neck. Alternate sides for each 20 second block.

Reverse lunge

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step one foot back directly behind your body. Bend both knees to drop into a single leg squat position. Return to the starting position and alternate legs.

Russian Twists

Sit leaning back slightly with both knees bent and your feet elevated so that you assume a ‘V position’. Hold a weighted object with both hands. (If you don’t have any dumbbells or weighted plates at home then a large bag of rice will do). Keeping your hips facing forward and your trunk fixed, rotate your upper body and weighted object to each side, turning your head as you twist.

COVID-19 Update on Events

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As of today (11.03.2020) We (Front Runner Events) are continuing to closely monitor developments relating to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  We currently remain intent on delivering all planned races for the foreseeable future in line with UK Govt advice that there is no rationale to postponing sporting events in Britain because of coronavirus. As such, we are still planning to deliver the Great Welsh Marathon on 5th April 2020.

Clearly, we will adhere to the advice provided by UK Government, the World Health Organisation and other relevant public bodies should the position change.  Therefore, we will continue to monitor and review the position and will provide updates and disseminate advice provided by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Please refer to the following link which provides further information and travel advice https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The Dos & Don’ts of Running A Marathon!

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A marathon is a difficult challenge but running 26.2 miles or over 42km is achievable with the right training, preparation and application. Here’s a handy guide provided by our training partners at realbuzz.com that highlights some the dos and don’ts of running a marathon.

 

The dos of running a marathon

  • Be positive. – Positivity shouldn’t be understated. You have done your training, be determined that you will finish.
  • Taper down well in the last weeks. Prepare for your rest. It is better to go into the race undertrained than overtrained. If you’ve undertrained you can rely on the adrenaline of race day to help you find energy from somewhere.
  • Check out your gear carefully.- Lay it out well in advance, even a few days before your the race. This ensures you don’t forget anything and you’ve got sufficient time to get anything that you are missing.
  • Have a gentle run the day before the race. – Getting out and doing a few kilometres (perhaps no more than 5k) will not deplete your energy reserves and it will relieve any tension or any pre-race apprehension you may have.
  • Get a good book to read – the night before the race, or the morning of the race. It will stop your mind dwelling on the task ahead and ensure you don’t get overrun with nervous tension.
  • Eat a balanced meal the night before the race. – The ideal mealneeds to include protein, carbohydrate and some fat. A nice dessert will be fine too. Just make sure you stick to the same sort of foods you’ve had before your training runs.
  • Tape up and grease. – This is an essential rule when it comes to the dos and don’ts of running a marathon. Surgical tape on nipples (male and female) and Vaseline between the legs, under the arms and maybe on toes, if you are blister prone.
  • Split the race into chunks. – Five miles or 5k, to help you feel you are making progress. Faster runners should relax to 16 miles (around 25km), and then treat the rest as a 10 mile road race.
  • Stick to an even pace that you know you can finish in. – Wear a sports watch to track your pace and don’t get distracted in the excitement. Start your watch as you cross the start line, and then you will then know your true pace and time for the distance.
  • Carefully plan your route and timing to the start – that way you don’t end up rushing or panicking. You’ll have time for those last-minute things such as visiting the toilet and warming up.

 

The don’ts of running a marathon

  • Don’t get carried away in the excitement of the start – run too fast and then come to a virtual stop at some stage. It is always better to be passing people after half-way than being constantly overtaken. Stick to your own pace.
  • Don’t be on your feet all day sightseeing or shopping the day before the race. – It might be tempting to explore or sightsee the day before the race, especially if you are in a new town, but this will only leave you tired before you’ve even stepped on the course.
  • Don’t shower. – Taking a shower removes the body’s natural oil that helps the body stay cool, which is important to prevent premature dehydration.
  • Don’t wear any new running gear, especially shoes. – All of your running kit should be tested and tried in the days and weeks before the race.
  • Don’t over hydrate before and during the race. – Your body can only absorb so much liquid. Drinking moderately during the marathon is the best advice. Your training should have given you a good idea of how much you need to consume during the race, given the conditions you get on the day.

 

If you feel motivated, or looking to run a marathon why not try out the Great Welsh Marathon?  Organised by Front Runner Events and hosted in the beautiful Pembrey Country Park on the 5th April – this could be one for you!  To register your place go to: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk   Or to find more tips, tools or training challenges visit the realbuzz team here: www.realbuzz.com where they can help you take your training to the next level.

Race Day Guide

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What time does it Start?

Where can I park?

Is there a bag drop?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

With the Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon only a few weeks away, Race Packs have started arriving with our runners and it’s time to start planning everything for Race Day from travel and parking to what time you need to enter your Start Pen.

Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon Hailed A Success After Record Numbers Attend

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The second edition of the Great Welsh Marathon & Half Marathon (Sunday 15th April) was an overwhelming success with a record number of runners taking on both sold out races.

Whilst the Welsh weather was not the greatest, runners and volunteers turned out in their droves as this year’s race doubled in size, with a record field of athletes of all levels taking part. There were; first timers, charity runners and club runners plus a number of international runners.

Both the full and half marathon started at Festival Fields, Llanelli before heading out to Burry Port, where the runners turned and headed back along the Millennium Coastal Path to Machynys and then back to Festival Fields.

The event was a complete success with lots of personal best’s achieved from those who participated.

Results (provisional) – Great Welsh Half Marathon 2018

Male:

  1. Nicholas Sheehan (Llanelli AC) 1:17:37
  2. Craig Jones (Swansea Harriers) 1:22:24
  3. Dai Morgan 1:23:42

Female:

  1. Catherina Rennie (Swansea Harriers) 1:30:05
  2. Liz Robbins (Llanelli AC) 1:36:57
  3. Llinos Jones (Swansea Harriers) 1:39:01

Results (provisional) – Great Welsh Marathon 2018

Male:

  1. Matthew King 2:43:51
  2. Neil Jones (Pontyclun Road Runners) 2:45:24
  3. Peter Bryant 2:47:11

Female:

  1. Catherine Barker (Penarth & Dinas Runners) 3:33:26
  2. Karen Connell (OS Runners) 3:34:31
  3. Christine Haigh 3:34:19

The full results and race day photos are available on the website: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

Race Director David Martin-Jewell said:

“It’s been fantastic to see double the number of runners from 2017 to 2018, we have had fantastic support not only from local runners but also runners from further afield including Holland and Singapore.

We are overwhelmed by the fantastic feedback we have received regarding our event so far. We have a fantastic team of volunteers and Sector Heads who do a fantastic job and make our events successful and we would like to thank them for their support yesterday.

We would like to thank Brecon Carreg (Hydration Partner) for supplying water for the runners during and after the event. Also, thank you to Tesco Trostre, who supplied bananas for all of our runners”

The organisers are currently confirming the date for the 2019 Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon; however, it will take place in April once again. Registration will open shortly and people can sign up to #RunCymru via the website.

Go to www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk for further details and full race results. You can also keep up to date with news and see the latest photos by liking the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon or follow @WelshMarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter.

London Marathon Hero Strikes Gold At The Great Welsh Marathon

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Matt Rees, the London Marathon hero that won the hearts of the nation when he helped fellow runner David Wyeth cross the finish line at this years London Marathon came first yesterday (Sunday, 7th May) at South Wales’ only marathon.  The Great Welsh Marathon took place in Llanelli, starting at Festival Fields, taking runners along the magnificent Millennium Coastal Path, all the way to Burry Port and back.

The event was a complete success with hundreds of P.B.’s achieved and new records set.  Matt Rees, who took 1st place in the marathon in a time of 02:50:02 said:

“The Great Welsh Marathon Champion – I can’t quite believe it. I have been having calf issues but after some rest I was so tempted to do this local race. I decided to enjoy the experience and race the marathon rather than run it…I only decided to do the race last minute, so I was worried that a lack of carb loading and preparation would start to hinder but apart from a pit stop I felt good. I really cherished the support from both spectators and other runners. It was probably the friendliest race I’ve run. With many out and backs we encouraged each other as we passed. Cheering on passing runners helped pass the miles and it made the whole experience one to remember for another reason. Every marathon has a story. That’s why I keep coming back.” 

 “No more marathons for a while now. Time to get some decent training done. But I’m ecstatic that I can now say I have won a marathon. I always say you remember your marathons and this one is no different. What a great day.”

 As well as the great success of Matt, the winner of the half marathon race that took place at the event was also won by Swansea Harrier; Ian Harris, in a time of 01:11:45.  The top three results of both races are as follows:

Top 3 Winners At The Great Welsh Marathon

Male

  1. Matt Rees (02:50:02)
  2. David Hazell (02:54:34)
  3. Neil Jones (03:01:42)

Female

  1. Katie Warren (03:26:49)
  2. Michelle Lennaghan (03:44:01)
  3. Melissa Myles (03:46:55)

Top 3 Winners At The Great Welsh Half Marathon

Male 

  1. Ian Harris (01:11:45)
  2. Ross Simpson (01:18:19)
  3. Nathan Flear (0 1:18:22)

Female

  1. Celia Boothman (01:28:49)
  2. Emma Baxter (01:28:56)
  3. Caroline Hudson (01:40:56)

David Martin-Jewell, managing director of Front Runner Events Ltd said:

“We are overwhelmed by the fantastic feedback we have received about our event so far.  Although we had a small field of runners at the Great Welsh I would consider this race probably the most successful inaugural event we have organised to date.  We really have a fantastic team of volunteers and sector heads who do an incredible job to make our events a great success.  I am extremely proud to be a part of the Front Runner team and very excited for our next big race; the JCP Swansea Half Marathon next month.” 

Entries for the Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon will open on Friday 12th May, anyone wishing to sign up can register here: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk   The team behind the race are making big plans for 2018 and intend to make great improvements to the event and route.

David added:

“2018 will be a big year for us, with Llanelli Half, the Great Welsh and the JCP Swansea Half Marathon under our belts, we will be focusing on delivering the best races in South Wales.  Having a series of events throughout the year will mean that our runners will benefit even more from taking part in all 3 events.  We intend to continue delivering first class events but will reward our loyal runners with discounted entry for participating in all 3 races, and a limited edition medal for the Front Runner series.”      

Go to www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk for further details and full race results.  You can also keep up to date with news and see the latest photos by liking the Facebook page www.facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon/ and following @WelshMarathon #RunCymru on Twitter.