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Tash Smith

Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon 2021: POSTPONED – COVID-19 update

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We’re sad to announce that we have postponed our event on 11th April 2021. We were hopeful that we could still hold the event, but our hands are tied. Following Friday’s First Minister’s update, confirming Wales will remain in lockdown for at least another 3 weeks, it’s no longer possible for us to continue with the planning for the Great Welsh Marathon races.

Our events need months of planning, involving many contractors, suppliers and volunteers so we must remain sensible, no matter how much we want to deliver the event. The health and safety of our runners, and the wider public remains at the forefront of our plans and decisions.

Whilst we have clearly been aware and monitoring the situation over recent weeks and months, this virus is unpredictable and with new variants of coronavirus spreading we cannot safely plan this year’s Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon. We want you to know that we strive to create and deliver events for you, and we want to welcome you to our start line. Like you, we’re runners – and we deeply share your frustrations.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon with the roll out of the vaccine. We remain optimistic that we, as a society, have turned the corner, and can look forward to returning to start lines when it’s safe to do so.

All entrants have been emailed with information regarding their options.

We thank you for your patience, trust and understanding.

David Martin-Jewell, Race Director
Front Runner Events Limited

Front Runner Events Announces Postponement of the Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon 2020

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Since the start of 2020, Front Runner Events have continually been monitoring the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and we are saddened to announce the postponement of the 2020 Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon.

Race Director, David Martin-Jewell said:

“Following the ongoing advice from Welsh Government and other relevant authorities across the UK, we are devastated that we have had to move this event to 2021.

2020 has proven to be an extremely challenging year, not just us at Front Runner Events but the events industry as a whole. We held out high hopes that we would be able to hold this event in September, however, it has become increasingly evident that social distancing, specific safety requirements amongst other measures, we have no other options other than to move the event to April 2021.

This has been an extremely difficult decision here for all of us at Front Runner Events, we love preparing and delivering our events as well as welcoming old and new runners and friends to west Wales to celebrate a day that culminates in crossing the finish line after months of training and anticipation. We were also looking forward to launching our new route for you all to explore. However, the health and safety of our runners, spectators, volunteers, contractors, event staff and the wider population has to remain to be our highest priority.” 

We fully understand that you will be disappointed with this decision, but we are also aware that this will no longer come as a surprise. As such, we have put together a number of options to help you choose what suits you best.  From 5pm on Wednesday 24th June 2020, you will be able to tell us which of the following options you would like to take. To do this you’ll need to login to your Realbuzz Members Hub and select your choice.

You must select your option by the end of the day on Sunday 27th September 2020, after this deadline, we will automatically add your entry to 2021.

Please note, if you have already run the virtual event or deferred your entry to 2021, you will NOT be able to amend your option to another one.

Your Options:

1. Run in 2021

If you can join us on 11th April 2021 (TBC) select this option in the Realbuzz Members Hub and we’ll do the rest. We look forward to seeing you on the start line. We will automatically transfer your entry to the new race date and we will send you your race pack a few weeks before the event.

2. Transfer your entry to someone else

We’re happy for you to transfer your entry to another runner (all fees have been scrapped due to the circumstances).  To do this, log into your Realbuzz Members Hub  and select the option for transfer. You will then get an email with details on how to transfer your entry to another runner. Please note, you’ll need to do this by Sunday 27th September 2020. Please be aware that by transferring your number, you won’t be able to get a refund.

3. Run the race virtually (solo)

If you choose to run solo at a time and place that suits you then select the virtual event option in the Realbuzz Members Hub and we’ll let you know how to confirm your registration via email. Please note, this option is exclusively for entrants of the 2020 Great Welsh events and will NOT be available to the general public. So, if you want to put your training to good use, see your name on our leader board, a digital certificate, and receive your event t-shirt and medal delivered straight to your door then choose this option. This option will be in lieu of deferral to 2021.

4. Roll your entry onto 2022

If the date in 2021 doesn’t suit you, we can allow you to defer your place to our 2022 race (date TBC). There will be NO fees for deferring your place under the circumstances. If you’d like to defer to 2022, please head to the Realbuzz Members Hub and select this option.

You must select your option by the end of the day on Sunday 27th September 2020. If you do not select an option by this deadline, we will automatically add your entry to 2021.

If you have already run the virtual event or deferred your entry to 2021, you will NOT be able to amend your option to another one.


As explained when we originally when we postponed the event, significant event costs have already been incurred and from our endeavouring to try and deliver the September date, we continued to incur costs, therefore we are unable to refund the entry fee.

We did have event insurance, unfortunately, our policy does not cover the COVID-19 or any similar pandemic outbreak. This seems to be standard across the industry and is an area we are actively reviewing for future events.

We don’t like to lean on our terms and conditions, but they’re in place for extenuating situations like this. Events beyond our control were included in the terms you agreed to when you signed up to enter the race/s.

We endeavour to always do our best for our athletes, staff, crew, partners, volunteers and spectators. We kindly ask for your support and understanding at this time to protect everyone involved and the future of Front Runner Events, to continue delivering races for our runners in the years ahead.

Join The Great Welsh Virtual Races

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With the Great Welsh Full & Half Marathons postponed until Sunday 27th September, we know that some of you may not be able to join us. We also know that some of you will want to put all of your training to use now and run the distance you’ve signed up for.

As such, we’ve set up a virtual race for you to get out and #RunCymru now, wherever you may be. Take part in the Great Welsh Virtual Full or Half Marathon now and still receive your race medal and t-shirt.

If you were already registered to #RunCymru just follow these simple steps:

Not registered to #RunCymru? Don’t worry you can still join us in our virtual race, just follow these simple steps:

We will issue the race medal & tee as soon as we can, but please bear in mind the current climate which may delay us sending them out.

This is intended to be a solo run, please avoid running in large groups when completing this challenge, stick to the recommended advice from your respective Government re: social distancing. By completing this race virtually, you will NOT be able to take part in the rearranged race on September 27th 2020. 

POSTPONED Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon 2020: COVID-19 update

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We’ve postponed our event on 5th April

With the continued and rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, we’ve seen many events being postponed or cancelled. So, it’s with a heavy heart and utter disappointment that we’re letting you know we also have to do the same and postpone next month’s Great Welsh races.

We have waited for as long as we possibly could to ensure that we adhered to and followed the most up-to-date UK Government guidance. We’ve held out hope that we could possibly arrange the event in a slightly different format (e.g., setting runners off in smaller waves, smaller start pens, staggered start times) but sadly to no avail. After lots of consideration, including risk analysis of these multiple scenarios, the Government’s decision to stop all emergency personnel working at events means we cannot proceed with the event.

 The race/s will now be on 27th September 2020

Having to change your race plans is as frustrating for us as it is for you. That said, by rearranging our events, we hope your hours of training will and can still be put to the test.

If you can join us on 27th September, you don’t need to do anything, and we look forward to seeing you on the start line. We will automatically transfer your entry to the new race date we will send you your race pack a few weeks before the event.

Your options if you can’t make the new date

  1. Transfer

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

To transfer your entry to someone else from Monday 23rd March 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 23rd August 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 virtually

We are working through the final details of the Great Welsh Virtual Races and we will provide more information on this before the end of the week.

This is intended to help you maintain your training and achieve your running goals. There will be a leader board, continued fundraising opportunities and prize money (for the fastest 3 men and women).

Run your chosen distance anytime from this Friday 20th March and April 5th and we’ll send you an official race tee and finishers medal once you’ve demonstrated that you successfully completed the race in one go. If you choose this option, you will be removed from the event and will not receive a race pack and will not be able to participate at the revised date.

  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 too under the circumstances. If you’d like to defer to next year, let us know. The deadline for deferrals is 26th April 2020. 


Such late postponement of the event means that event costs have already been incurred and we are unable to refund fees. Unfortunately, our event cancellation insurance policy doesn’t cover the COVID-19 outbreak (not many policies do and even fewer will from now on).

We don’t like to lean on our terms and conditions, but they’re in place for extenuating situations like this. Events beyond our control were included in the terms you agreed to when you signed up to enter the race/s.

We shall endeavour to always do what is best for our athletes, staff, crew, partners, volunteers and spectators. We pride ourselves on the high standards we set with the delivery of our events, so that we all enjoy and help celebrate your achievements from start line to finish line.

The Front Runner Events Team

Front Runner Events Announce Pledge To Reduce Plastics At Their Races From 2020

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Organisers of a popular race series that attracts thousands of runners every year have made a commitment to reduce their carbon print and drastic reduction in single use plastics at their races next year. This comes as welcome news from the running community and locals alike, who share the concerns of event organisers. 

David Martin-Jewell, director at Front Runner Events stated:

“As an ambitious company, we are continuously looking at how we manage our events and where we can make improvements. Everyone is aware these days that continuing to use single use plastic is unacceptable. We have been monitoring the impact of plastic usage at our events for over a year and I believe that we simply cannot wait any longer to take action. So, we are committing to removing as much plastic from our events as possible, starting in February at the Risk Kitchen Llanelli Half Marathon; where ALL water at stations across the course will be served in cups. We will also encourage and support those who run with bottles and hydration packs to continue to do so and refill if necessary, at the stations”.

The commitment by Front Runner Events will be the first step made by a major event organiser in the region of South Wales. They will be removing almost 10,000 bottles of water from their first event which is a great start for the team, and they hope that other event organisers will follow their lead. The team will maintain a cautionary approach and will trial different measures and logistical applications to ensure that all participants will continue to hydrate themselves sufficiently.

The phased approach will be implemented in February, at their first race of the year, then at the Great Welsh Marathon which takes place at Pembrey Country Park on the 5th April 2020. Procedures will be continually monitored with full reviews taking place post event to establish the feasibility to roll it at their flagship race the; JCP Swansea Half Marathon in June.  David added:

“Whilst we would like to be able to make a firmer commitment at this stage, we realise that this change requires a total rethink about how we perform a number of tasks across our events. This staged approach allows us to review and tweak as necessary with a target of removing all bottled water from all event courses from 2021, that has to be the ambition”.

This commitment is just one of the sustainability initiatives brought in by Front Runner Events, prior to which the business has already undertaken the following:

  1. Removed all individual packaging from all event t-shirts and medals.
  2. Reduced the size of bottles supplied in the previous years (cutting plastic use by 1/3).
  3. Consistently maintained a high recycling rate of 98% of plastics diverted from landfill.
  4. Providing runners with finisher goodies, but without the plastic carrier bags.
  5. Introduced a ‘no frills’ package for the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon offering runners the option to participate in the race without receiving a medal or t-shirt – reducing the environmental footprint of the associated goods.
  6. Developed a community fund to encourage young people to take up or stay in sport, administering approximately £5,000 to date.

To find out more about Front Runner Events, the team behind these initiatives or their events across South and West Wales go to: or for up-to-date news follow them on Twitter @FrontRunEvents or like their Facebook page:

New Route Announced For The Great Welsh Races

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Front Runner Events Limited are proud to release the NEW route for the Great Welsh Full and Half Marathon that will take place on Sunday 5th April 2020.  Runners will be delighted to hear that the race will be starting and finishing in the magnificent Pembrey Country Park.

The 2020 race will be the fourth edition organised by Front Runner Events.  The race itself has been hosted for many years and has gained the status of being the longest-run marathon in Wales.  Last year was hailed an overwhelming success, with a record number of runners turning out for both races that were SOLD OUT within a matter of months.

David Martin-Jewell, Race Director said:

“We are extremely excited to release our new route for the Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon for 2020 and look forward to welcoming our runners to the beautiful Pembrey Country Park.

Since taking over the race in 2017, participant numbers have more than doubled in size and I feel that hosting the event at Pembrey will enable us to take the race to another level.  Maintaining our aim of delivering first class events to all of our fun runners, charity fundraisers, first timers, athletes, club runners and supporters.”

The route will take marathon runners through the lush parkland of Pembrey Country Park, along the stunning Millennium Coastal path, through picturesque Burry Port harbour, all the way to the National Wetland Conservation area and back.  Whereas, half marathoners will also start at Pembrey, taking the same route, only half way reaching Burry Port harbour, then making that turn to return to the magnificent Pembrey.

REGISTRATION is open, and places are expected to sell out FAST, so anyone wishing to take part is being urged to reserve their place soon.  To #RunCymru and get your place on the start line go to:

To find out more, visit the website, keep up to date with latest news and photo like the Facebook page: or follow @WelshMarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter.


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The third edition of the Great Welsh Marathon & Half Marathon organised by Front Runner Events that took place on Sunday 14th April was hailed an overwhelming success, with a record number of runners taking on both sold-out races.

Despite the windy Welsh weather, the runners taking on this year’s race were supported by hundreds of volunteers who turned out in their numbers to cheer the athletes. The event has almost doubled in size since 2018 and included many first timers, charity runners and club runners. This year, the race also welcomed the largest international field so far, with over 15 nationalities represented, with some travelling as far as Australia, India, and the USA.  Although the Llanelli coast may not have the tropical climate of California or Perth but it certainly has it’s own Welsh charm and stunning coastline! One runner commented:

“My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the race, it was challenging but brilliant.  My friends travelled over from San Francisco to visit and take part in the race.  It was their first marathon and first time visiting Wales.  It was a great experience and excellent course with plenty of marshals on the route helping you along the way.”

Local running clubs provided a team of race pacers helping many runners achieve their personal best’s and hitting their target time on the day. The fully marshalled race took place on the Millennium coastal path, included Brecon Carreg water stations, energy gel stops, bespoke medal, a technical finisher t-shirt and goody bag for all race finishers. Runners were also able to benefit from a much-needed pre or post-race massage provided by Gower College Swansea.

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.

General feedback has been fantastic, as runners took to social media to share their successes and photos with friends.  The race, which was a regarded as a complete success saw lots of personal best times achieved, with the top 3 male half marathon course records beaten and most notably; the women’s first place half marathon winner shaved an impressive 12 minutes off last years record.

Results (provisional) – Great Welsh Half Marathon 2019


1. Luke Williams (San Domenico) 01:14:19
2. Dean Summers (Llanelli AC) 01:16:43
3. Finn Arentz (Unattached) 01:17:29


1. Melanie Wilkins (Winchester) 01:18:18
2. Carys Mai Hughes (Cardiff AC) 01:21:19
3. Amy Evans (Clwb Rhedeg Pontardawe RC) 01:33:29

Results (provisional) – Great Welsh Marathon 2019


1. Gethin Davies (Unattached) 02:45:44
2. Joseph Murray (Unattached) 02:46:13
3. Richard Foster (Spirit of Monmouth) 02:49:05


1. Katie Warren (Unattached) 03:04:47
2. Lizzie Diamond (Lliswerry Runners) 03:12:07
3. Crystal Goecker (Harrogate Harriers & AC) 03:12:15
The winning team of the Corporate Challenge was Carmarthenshire Actif Sport and Leisure, who also took the crown at the 2019 Llanelli Half Marathon.  The full RACE RESULTS and official photos are available on the website:

Race Director, David Martin-Jewell said:

“The Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon has grown in its size and stature since we took it over in late 2016, we are thankful to the local runners who continue to support us across all of our races, however it has been fantastic to see the number on international runners travelling to Carmarthenshire to take on the Great Welsh races.

We have a strong team of Sector Heads and volunteers who continue to assist us at each of our events, without them, we would not be able to hold such successful events so we would like to thank them for their help and support.

We would also like to thank Brecon Carreg (Hydration Partner) for supplying water for the runners during and after the event. Also, a huge thank you to Carmarthenshire Council for continuing to support our events and letting us showcase what Carmarthenshire has to offer.”

The event was supported by a number of local businesses, event delivery partners and also received backing from Carmarthenshire County Council Event Support Grant in 2019.

The 2020 Great Welsh Full and Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 5th April 2020 and will have a NEW route starting and finishing in the magnificent Pembrey Country Park.  Runners will be delighted to know that REGISTRATION is now open, and they can reserve their place on the start line, just head to:

Further details and full race results can be found on the website, and you can also keep up to date with news and see the latest photos by liking the Facebook page: or follow @WelshMarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter.

If you are inspired by the Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon, why not sign up to the 2019 JCP Swansea Half Marathon which takes place on Sunday 23rd June.

Everything You Need To Know To #BeYourBest At The Great Welsh Races

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It’s marathon season once again and runners from across the UK and beyond are gearing up for South Wales’ oldest marathon, aptly named the Great Welsh Marathon. Taking place this Sunday (14th April) from the Festival Fields in Llanelli at 9am.

Comprising of a full marathon as well as a half, participants will enjoy a friendly race with a relatively small field of runners of 1500 participants in total.  The event that has been backed by Carmarthenshire County Council and organised by the Front Runner Events team; offers a fast, and flat race whichever distance is chosen, on a scenic route with views of rolling Welsh hills and coastline.

Taking in the glorious Carmarthenshire coast, it oozes the greatest of Welsh culture.  Starting and finishing at Festival Fields, the race heads out along the magnificent Millennium Coastal Path overlooking superb views of Llanelli Beach, the Loughor Estuary and Gower Peninsula.

David Martin-Jewell, Managing Director said:

“We are thrilled to be staging the third edition of the Great Welsh Marathon & Half Marathon and greeting runners from all over the UK, and overseas. This will be our greatest field of international runners so far, with 15 different nations represented; we look forward to giving a Great Welsh Welcome to all!  Whether a first timer or an experienced runner, this race offers a great course for everyone.”

Participating athletes will be pleased as punch to know that there will be a team of race pacers offering support to help runners get their pacing spot on. The pacers will run the race in the following estimated times for the half marathon: 1:30, 1:45, 2:00 and 2:30 hours and for the full marathon: 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15, 4:30 and 5:00 hours. Runners simply need to look for their pacer in the start area and try to stay with them throughout the race to ensure accurate timing.

The Race Village will be located at Festival Fields, which is open to athletes and spectators from 07.30am, where you will find FREE parking, refreshments, the information point, toilets, and the all-important massage tent. The Half Marathon will start at 09.00am and the Full Marathon at 09.15.   On course, runners can be rest assured they will be well looked after with Brecon Carreg hydration points, gel stations, and first aid points, on the marshaled route.

Key Race Day Timings:

  • 07:30: Car Park, Race Village, Baggage Tent and Information Point Open
  • 08:30: Runners Enter Start Funnels
  • 08:50: Baggage Drop Off Closes
  • 09:00: Great Welsh Marathon Half Race Starts
  • 09:15: Great Welsh Marathon Race Starts
  • 10:12: Winner of the Great Welsh Half Marathon Expected
  • 11:45: Winner of the Great Welsh Marathon Expected
  • 11:00: Half Marathon winners presentation takes place
  • 12:45: Full Marathon winners presentation takes place
  • 15:30: Event Closes

Organisers have also produced a Race Day Guide that features all your need to know information about the event, including safety notes, car parks and race day information. To download your copy, find further event details, or follow your loved one on the Live Race Tracking go to:

To stay ahead of all the news as it happens, like the Facebook page: or follow @WelshMarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning #BeYourBest on Twitter.

Honour The Half

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Are you facing the challenge with Front Runner Events by signing up to run at one or all of our races? We want you to #BeYourBest as you hit the pavements in training and at our events. We want to help and educate our runners with some race day tips and compulsory rules.

For 2019 we’ve launched ‘Honour The Half’. It’s our way of guiding you through race day so you can #BeYourBest. And if your training takes a hit and you can’t make it to the start line, we will tell you all you need to know.

Nobody wants to be forced to pull out of a race and it’s likely you won’t want your place to go to waste. There’s good reason why we can’t accept late race number transfers. We need to know exactly who is out on the course – especially when something goes wrong.

When a runner gets into trouble we immediately need to know:

  1. Name & Address
  2. Medical History
  3. Next of Kin
  4. Contact Details

We ask that everyone fills in this information on the back of their bib in case of an emergency.

Giving away bibs can put people at risk
In an emergency we’ll only have your information to go on. It’ll be your friends or family we contact and your personal and medical information we use.

We need to know who our runners are on the course so we can help you when you need it. If someone else is running with a race bib meant for you, we won’t be able to help them as effectively as we won’t have their information. If you are running on someone else’s bib, we won’t know you, so you’ll be at risk should something happen.

Run using your bib or not at all, we offer a variety of options should you be no longer able to run. If we find you’ve given away your race bib or you’ve used someone else’s bib, if you run for a running club, we’ll let them know and you will be banned from running any future Front Runner Events.

Be A FrontRunner, Not A Latecomer
Our events have become increasingly popular since our inaugural race in 2014, however, we have to work with relevant authorities to ensure the events are the best they can be. As such we must adhere to rules and guidelines too, therefore, we urge all runners to arrive at least an hour before the start of our races. This will allow you to make as many nervous toilet visits as you need, undertake any pre-race rituals, warm up and mentally rehearse your sprint finish.

Start Pen Problems
Your estimated finish time helps us to put you in the right start pen, if your training is going well you can update your time until the race packs are prepared. Maybe you just want to run with your friends, whatever the reason, you must start in your allocated start pen.

Each pen is specifically sized to allow for the correct number of runners in a designated area. Slower runners in a faster pen could contribute to congestion, which may result in trips and falls and could ruin yours and others race – don’t go in the wrong pen.

If your training hasn’t gone quite as you’d hoped, you are able to move backwards to a slower pen.

Read our Race Rules to learn about our policies and procedures and if in doubt, contact us with any questions.

Nutrition Tips To Help You Over The Festive Period

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We all over-indulge at Christmas and why not?! We all train hard enough, so we deserve a little break once a year. So, whether you are continuing your training or planning to start in the New Year, we have come up with a few simple Healthy Eating Tips to help you during the festive period.

5 Healthy Eating Tips

  1. Fruit and Vegetables

    Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients and vitamins by eating plenty of fruit and veg.

  2. Protein

    Food such as eggs are a really good source of protein and will help your muscles to recover after your training.

  3. Carbohydrates

    Eating pasta is a good low-fat, slow-release energy option to help fuel your runs. It’s also important to eat some carbs within half an hour of your training to help replenish your glycogen stores.

  4. Cereal Bars

    These can be a good, quick snack option – just make sure they’re not filled full of sugar.

  5. Hydrate

    Don’t forget to hydrate!! Before, during and after your run you should ensure you are taking on-board enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Even though it feels cold outside, you will still sweat and lose water during your training so make sure you drink plenty of water.

Remember everything in moderation, that goes for training too. So don’t just eat well, give your body the chance to relax and recover, you will feel better for it, when the training ramps up next year.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy the festive period – Eat, Run and be Merry!!

The Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon take place on April 14th 2019 from Festival Fields in Llanelli. Whatever distance you choose, it’s suitable for first timers, fun runners, elites and your everyday heroes. To sign up to take part or keep up with the latest news go to:

Like the Facebook page and follow @welshmarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter and @greatwelshmarathon on Instagram.