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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.

Refunds

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Refunds

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

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

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.