THE CITY of Swansea was booming with thousands of runners and spectators on Sunday (Jun 25) as they celebrated the fourth edition of the multi-award winning JCP Swansea Half Marathon.
The flat, fast and scenic 13.1-mile course continues to attract runners of all levels including first-timers, charity runners, club runners and elite athletes from all over the globe. This year saw a record of forty-three nationalities represented at the race that is officially the UK’s Best Half Marathon, and Wales’ second largest race of its kind. It was an historic day for the race with the men’s course record beaten, by third time winner; Dewi Griffiths in a time of 64:48:06.
The men’s field was dominated once again by the Swansea Harriers, but the team had stiff competition from our Irish counterparts, when Michael Closhisey finished only 44 seconds behind the winner in a time of 65:33:01. Followed closely by Sean Hehir who took third place, in a time of 66:36:08.
The women’s field were equally as strong, with all three finalists finishing within minutes of each other. The winning lady was Claire Gibbons-McCarthy, also from Ireland, who completed the race in an impressive 74:34:05. Runner up Rachel Felton of Run-Fast took second place, in a time of 76:35:04, with Welsh athlete Caryl Jones winning third in 77:52:05.
Runners were happy to be joined by the widely publicised London Marathon hero Matt Rees (of Swansea Harriers) and the athlete he helped cross that finish line; David Wyeth (of Chorlton Runners). The pair were reunited at the race along with 25 other elites athletes who made up the field. It was an emotional finish for English wheelchair athlete Eddie Clampin, who took first place in a time of 2:23:58, followed by Stehanie Benac and Richard Batchelor. JCP Solicitors were announced as the 2017 corporate champions, winning with the fastest combined time of their best 5 team runners.
Record numbers of PBs have been well documented on social media with thousands beating their previous times on a day that boasted near perfect running conditions with thanks to the team of race pacers provided by Xempo Race Pacing. The race set off from Oxford Street in Swansea city centre and was started by Hayley Davies from JCP Solicitors. Welsh singing star Ros Evans sent the runners on their way by singing with the all-female Mum’s the Word adult choir at the start of the race, whilst bands played along the route and at Castle Square.
The race proceeded on fully closed roads past Swansea Castle and along the magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards Mumbles, with views of the iconic pier and lighthouse. Runners were cheered on by charity fundraisers and spectators along the route, and were helped across the finish line on Oxford Street by a lively and supportive crowd. City spectators were also entertained by acts on stage at Castle Square organised by Swansea BID, contributing to the all-round fantastic atmosphere of the event.
It was a day of records and achievements alongside some substantial charity fundraising, with more charities wanting to be part of the race than ever before. The headline charities included Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK. Other charities affiliated with the race included: ABS Soldiers Charity, Mind, Swans Community Trust, Wales Air Ambulance, Action for Children, Maggies, and Barnardos Cymru. It’s expected the 2017 race will have raised more funds for charity than it has, since its inception.
In addition to the main event was the Family Fun Dash, introduced last year it once again proved to be a popular part of the day, allowing over 100 young runners and families to experience the thrilling atmosphere of a big sporting event in the city. Dash runners took off from Swansea Castle taking in the last 1k of the half marathon route, crossing the official finish line on Oxford street before cheering the main field of runners of the big race.
Results (provisional) – JCP Swansea Half Marathon 2017
- Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers), 01:04:48
- Michael Clohisey (Raheny AC), 01:05:33
- Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WFAFAC), 01:06:36
- Hannah Walker (Run-Fast), 01:14:31
- Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers), 01:15:03
- Rachel Felton (Run-Fast), 01:16:33
Eddie Clampin; 02:18:59
JCP Solicitors: 5 fastest times between; 01:22:21 to 01:40:26.
The full results and race day photos are available on the website www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk.
Race Director David Martin-Jewell said: “We are thrilled with the turnout for this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon, which has proved to be our biggest and best event yet. It was fantastic to see the streets of Swansea filled again with competitors and spectators of all ages, which created a fantastic atmosphere during the event. We would like to congratulate every single person who crossed the finish line for their phenomenal effort and achievement.
“Our sincere thanks go to all our sponsors and partners for their on going support throughout the year, it has been a pleasure to work alongside such prestigious companies to stage the JCP Swansea Half Marathon. We are incredibly grateful to our crew of volunteers who ensured that the day went as smoothly as possible from the build up, to the finish, everyone did a fantastic job. Our thanks also go to everyone who sponsored our runners to raise incredible sums for charity, to all those who came out today to cheer on the athletes, and of course to all the runners who chose to #RunSwansea. It was an incredible day for our city.”
The Range’s Swansea Store Shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’
Christmas has arrived early for The Range stores in Wales, boasting gigantic displays of all-things festive! The Range is well known for going all out during the Christmas season to create a fun and magical experience full of trees, lights, decorations and much more for their customers to enjoy and this year is no exception. The Range in Swansea surpassed expectations with a display so great, it’s left them shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’ out of all The Range’s 182 stores.
Local coronavirus restrictions imposed to control outbreaks in South Wales
Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four more Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething today announced.
The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Tuesday 22 September 2020, to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four local authority areas.
The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;
All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm;
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales.
From 6pm on Tuesday 22 September, the requirement for all licensed premises to close at 11pm will also be extended to Caerphilly borough.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.
“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.
“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.
“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”
The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas.
The Welsh Government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border tomorrow to discuss the wider situation in South Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region to protect people’s health.
The new local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
Keep Wales safe by:
Always keeping your distance
Washing your hands regularly
Working from home wherever you can
Following any local restrictions
Following the rules about meeting people
Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.
Welsh legislation will restrict those travelling from hotspot areas
MARK Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, has today announced legislation which will restrict those coming from coronavirus hotspot’s from travelling to Wales.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has refused to impose rules which prohibit those from areas where the infection rate is high from entering low virus rate areas’s.
Mr Drakeford has made two requests to the Prime Minister requesting to impose rules which will mean those from high virus areas in England be prohibited from travelling to Wales, a request which has been denied by Mr Johnson.
The powers set by Mr Drakeford will come into force by the end of the week, unless Boris Johnson takes action sooner.
Speaking at the Plenary today, Mr Drakeford made the announcement, stating if Mr Johnson does not reply to his request by Friday then The Welsh Government will bring in legislation to restrict travel from those in English lockdown areas travelling to Wales.
Mr Drakeford said this was not a case of all those from England being restricted travel to Wales, just hotspot areas.
He said: “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales. As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.
“Much of Wales in now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.
“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher Covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.
“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”
The legislation, which is understood to come into force Friday, October 16 at 6pm, will mean those travelling to Wales from areas of England which are classed as virus hotspot’s will be restricted.
The new legislation also restricts those travelling into Wales from high virus prevalence areas from Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – Paul Davies MS – has rounded on the First Minister over a ban on people entering Wales from England, and the Labour Party’s inability or unwillingness to publish comprehensive data proving that transmission rates are accelerating due to travel.
Mr Davies took the First Minister to task during Plenary today (October 14), and referred to a statement made by the leader of the Labour Party on September 23 when he said that the Welsh Government was not seeing any spikes at all in infection due to travel and tourism.
Mr Davies said that the people of Wales deserve to have sight of the data that underpins the Welsh Labour-led Government’s position on this matter, so that they can be confident that the Government’s actions are proportionate to the threat of the virus in their area.
Mr Davies also referred to a paper that accompanied the First Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, a paper – that was not peer-reviewed – that confirms the data “…does not constitute definitive proof” in favour of a travel ban.
Mr Davies said: “The First Minister and his Government have acted rashly and without examining a range of other factors before a conclusion on whether to impose a travel ban or not is reached, while at the same time seemingly ignoring the fact that transmission rates in relation to travel had already peaked in August and September.
“It is incumbent on the First Minister to explain just why he has chosen to act in this way, and what supporting evidence he and his Ministers have seen to justify a ban and then publish it so it can be properly scrutinised.
“If he cannot or will not, then he must review and rescind this ban immediately.”
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