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Tash Smith

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: www.frontrunnerevents.co.uk or for up-to-date news follow them on Twitter @FrontRunEvents or like their Facebook page: facebook.com/frontrunnereventsltd

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: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

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

RECORD NUMBER OF RUNNERS TURN OUT FOR THE GREATEST WELSH MARATHON TO DATE

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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

Male:

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

Female:

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

Male:

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

Female:

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: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

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: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

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: www.facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon 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: http://www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk/raceday-guide/

To stay ahead of all the news as it happens, like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon 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: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

Like the Facebook page www.facebook.co.uk/greatwelshmarathon and follow @welshmarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter and @greatwelshmarathon on Instagram.

Great Welsh Full & Half Marathon – Everything You Need To Know

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As marathon season kicks off, runners from all over the UK and beyond are getting excited for the Great Welsh Marathon. South Wales’ oldest marathon takes place this Sunday (15th April) from Festival Fields in Llanelli at 9am.

The race comprises of a full marathon as well as a half marathon. Strictly limited to 500 participants in each race, this race offers a fast, flat, friendly race whichever distance has been chosen.

Taking in the beautiful Carmarthenshire coastline, the Great Welsh Marathon & Half Marathon starts and finishes at Festival Fields, heading out along the magnificent Millennium Coastal Path overlooking wonderful views of Llanelli Beach, the Loughor Estuary and Gower Peninsula.

David Martin-Jewell, Managing Director said:

“We are very excited to be staging the second Great Welsh Marathon & Half Marathon as Front Runner Events. We are looking forward to welcoming the largest field this race has ever seen. Whether a first timer or an experienced runner, this race offers a great course for all runners.”

Participating athletes will be keen 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 in Llanelli, which is open to athletes and spectators from 07.30am. The Full Marathon will start at 09.00am and the Half Marathon will start at 09.05.

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 Race Starts
  • 09:05: Great Welsh Half Marathon Race Starts
  • 10:08: Winner of the Great Welsh Half Marathon Expected
  • 11:40: Winner of the Great Welsh Marathon Expected
  • 12:30: Winners presentation takes place
  • 15:00: Event Closes

The Race Day Guide features all the need to know information about the event, including safety notes, car parks and Race Day Information. Anyone wishing to know more can download their copy via the website:
http://www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/GWM_RDG_v6.pdf

For further event details or to follow your loved one on the live results to see how they are doing out on the course you can via Race Tracking online here: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk To stay ahead of all the news as it happens like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon or follow @WelshMarathon #RunCymru #WalesLovesRunning on Twitter.

Top Tips For Race Week

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You’ve done the hard work, you’ve put the miles in through the wind, rain and even snow over the last few months. It’s time to put the final preparations in place for Race Week and Race Day. Check out our top tips here to ensure you are Race ready:

  1. Mentally prepare

Don’t stress, a lot of runners get nervous on race day. Stick to what you’ve been doing in training and you’ll get to the finish line.

Route Recce, whether your running in a new city or one you’ve lived in for years and know well it’s always beneficial to walk or drive the race route. Familiarise yourself with every turn, uphill and downhill – this will help you mentally prepare for them when you tackle them on race day.

  1. Don’t try anything new

Stick to your diet, continue to eat & drink the same as you have been throughout your training. It may seem a good idea to try something recommended by a friend or the internet, but you don’t know how your body is going to react to something new – don’t take a chance! 

Hold fire on those new trainers, your current pair may have seen better days and are due to be changed but don’t do it until after the race. You will need time to bed in a new pair to reduce the risk of discomfort & blisters, race day isn’t the time to test this out.

  1. Prepare your body

Stay off your feet, this can be hard with work/family commitments but try your best to rest up and have an easy week where possible. If your race is local, try and book a few days off work before race day and if you’re visiting a new city leave the sight-seeing until after the race.

Eat well through the week, the last thing you want to be doing is eating your body weight in pasta the night before. This comes under the don’t try something new rule, you need to eat additional carbs but this needs to be done in small increases in the days leading up to the race.

Hydration, similar to your carb build up through the week you will need to keep well hydrated each day in the week leading up to the race. This will put you on the start line well hydrated and ready to go! Drinking two litres the morning of the race to catch up will quickly have you looking for the first toilet stop and all that fluid will be lost.

  1. The Night Before

Get a good night’s sleep.

PIN YOUR RACE BIB TO YOUR VEST/TEE SHIRT, MAKE SURE YOU FILL IN YOUR DETAILS ON THE BACK OF YOUR BIB. This is highly important in case you require medical attention, or we need to contact someone on your behalf.

Prepare your race gear the night before. Make sure you prepare for all weather, the last thing you want to do race morning is panic because you can’t find your favourite running shorts!

5. Race Day

Arrive early, you should aim to arrive at least an hour before the start of the race. This will give you enough time to pick up your number (if you don’t already have it), put your bag in the bag drop area, use any other facilities you may need to before the start and you can soak up the atmosphere and relax instead of rushing to the start line.

Keep warm & dry, the Llanelli coast is exposed at this time of year with the potential for wind and rain. Once you leave your bag at the bag drop you are exposed to the elements. Bring a poncho/black bag to keep yourself dry whilst on the start line, it is also a good idea to bring old t-shirts/jumpers your happy to throw away on the start line. All clothing left at the start line will be donated to local charities.

Line up on the start line early (start funnels open at 0830)you don’t want to have to rush to the start line – as soon as it’s announced that the start area is open make your way there.

Post-Race – have a change of clothes and a towel ready for when you finished, your body will cool quickly after you have finished. Gower College Swansea will be in attendance on the first concourse providing POST RACE MASSAGES for runners.

Remember, trust in your training and enjoy yourself as you #RunCymru. For further Race Day information, check out our Race Day Guide here. http://www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk/download-copy-great-welsh-full-half-marathon-race-day-guide/

Marathon Fever Grows For The Great Welsh – South Wales’ Only Marathon

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As marathons hit peak season with the UK’s largest race at Virgin Money London Marathon next month, runners from all over Wales and beyond are getting excited about the Great Welsh Marathon.  Known as South Wales’ ONLY marathon, there’s no wonder us Welsh folk cant wait to take part!  The race, which has been a long established event on the running calendar, takes place in Llanelli; home to many a famous sporting icon such as rugby legends; Ray Gravell and Jonathan Davies, as well as the likes of world champion athlete and Gold medalist Dai Greene.  So this small but lovely town is already home to champions so make this your reason to #RunCymru and become a champion too!

 

The race will be very exclusive and has a strictly limited number of places available.  There will also be a half marathon race on the same day to offer runners the option of both distances.  The event will take place in SIX weeks on Sunday 7th May at 9am starting and finishing at Festival Fields, Llanelli.  The course is set within the Millennium Coastal Park and offers runners a chance to participate in one of the flattest races in the UK.  Anyone familiar with the area will know that the Coastal Path overlooks Llanelli Beach, and has breath-taking views of the Loughor Estuary and Gower Peninsula.

David Martin-Jewell, managing director said:

“We are very excited to be hosting South Wales’ only marathon.  The Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon is already a favourite amongst runners, having established its unique identity over the last 7 years or so, and it fits perfectly in the race calendar for anyone who may have missed out on running the London marathon.  We aim to deliver a fantastic event for everyone taking part and to do this we are limiting the number of entrants to just 500 for the marathon and 500 for the half.  This promises to be an exclusive event, offering a unique opportunity to be part of a race that is very special to Wales.”

 

On race day, runners can expect a great event that will be fully marshaled along the coastal path.  There will be water stops on the route and at the end, thanks to hydration partners Brecon Carreg.  To add to the offering, organisers will be providing energy gels, medal, finishers t-shirt and goody bag to all who complete the race.  Entry is just £40 for the marathon and £30 for the half marathon (plus booking fees).

 

The flat course is perfect for runners taking on their first long distance race, or for those chasing a PB. Entries are being snapped up so make sure you get your place and become a champ at #RunCymru go to: www.greatwelshmarathon.co.uk

 

To stay up to date with all the latest news as it happens follow Facebook.com/GreatWelshMarathon or on Twitter @WelshMarathon and on Instagram @greatwelshmarathon