In short: Fantastic course, fast, beautiful and just a fantastic run In full: I have ran a few welsh half marathons , Cardiff was my first and was ok even if I did vow to never run another one , Llanelli was just cold and windy but Swansea is the first race that made me want to sign up straight away to another one . I absolutely loved it all well organised fast and beautiful , well done Swansea Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: My first ultra - fantastic organisation. In full: My first step into ultra and trail marathon running. It was unbelievably humid and hot; support from the marshalls was the best I have ever received. I learnt a lot about myself and running, primarily the fact that this is probably not for me but It was staggeringly beautiful and amazingly well organised. I did feel like a member of the French foreign legion at times. Welcome at the end was lovely! Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: so well organised, well mashalled, in short A1 In full: Amazing experience, beautiful setting. Friendly, so well organised marshalls encouraging - a great day out :] Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Couldn't expect better from the very first Swansea half In full: The race had an incredible atmosphere and extra touches like surprises in the goody bags made it a premium event. I would strongly recommend this race and will be back next year.
As the first race, there were a few kinks. These are not a deal breaker and I'm sure next year will be even better. Firstly, the start pen was not big enough and On a corner. Only a real problem if you are fast though. Secondly, not enough gels for us slower runners. To be expected as they are expensive but I was disappointed when I saw the empty stand. Water was also running low at the middle stops, could possibly be better distributed as plenty later on. Lastly, the medal was just OK and the T-shirt was cotton. As said before the route could use an update but there are road closures and restrictions to think of.
That's it for the bad points and the good points are too numerous to mention. Not quite pb potential due to the time of year, but much nicer to run and better for spectators in summer. I predict this race will only get bigger and better. After all, it was the first try! Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Well done to the organisers of the first Swansea Half In full: Swansea is a fantastic running city so it is great that there is now a half. Very well organised especially considering it's the first one, all went very smoothly. As others have said the last three miles in SA1 might need to be rethought if there was a larger field and they'd also need proper timing pens at the start. Always nice to have names on numbers. Be nice to have a technical t-shirt & more frequent water stations as it's held in July. Well done, will definitely be back. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Potential for PB but route could do with a rethink In full: Very scenic, flat course but the last 3 miles had not been thought out. It seemed as if roads were chosen just to fit in the distance. No where for spectators to stand in the cruicial miles where runners need motivation. Marshalls were great and very supportive. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Well organised, friendly, fun and flat half marathon In full: I'm really excited that my home town now has a half marathon that I can run each year! The event was really well organised and went like clockwork. Timing chips were in a foam pad attached to the back of the race numbers, the race numbers had holes punched in the corners for easy safety pinning, and runners names were printed on the front - all nice touches. Most (practically all) of the route is flat and really scenic - out on the road along Swansea bay, turn around at Verdi's and back along the footpath / cycle track on the waterfront (all closed to traffic / cyclists). Plenty of space for family / friends to cheers you along. The final few km through the docks are a bit twisty and turny, but it is difficult to see how else to make up the distance without introducing hills or awkward road crossings - it would be perfect if this could somehow be straightened out. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable half marathon in the glorious sunshine (typical Swansea weather, of course!) I definitely want to run this one again. All the spaces went fairly quickly this year and I'd be surprised if it didn't sell out next year too. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Fab organisation, but very hilly for beginner In full: First time taking part in this race and overall had a good time. I'm fairly new to running so found the course very hilly, tho it didn't help that it was quite hot and humid on the course. Pros: Friendly atmosphere, upbeat considering how humid and hot it was at 9am (20-22C), lots of post race fuel in goody bag, loads of photographer so likely to get a photo of yourself Cons: Limited distance markers on course (3km, 5km and 9km were the ones I spotted), very little music on course considering how big this is made out to be but PA system on way to starting line was non-existent - couldn't hear a thing, long loo line, very long walk to start of race Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Excellent race lets do it again and again In full: The volunteers and crowds were fantastic. The scenery was great with the doubling back by the marina (docks) sorry but maybe that part of the route could be deleted next year. A very friendly atmosphere only need a few things ironed out and then we could catch cardiff up. In my eyes this one is a lot better than the llanelli half. Medal a very nice touch on it but should have had something special engraved on it for the first race. Took 1 year to organise all I can say is well done to every involved and putting such a great event together. See you next year. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Well organised and enjoyable, course needs tweeking In full: I pitched up at 6.50am to beat any road closures. Plenty of parking available and glorious weather.
Strolling over to the runners village and all the stalls were in the process of being set up with a nice selection of real food to eat (when open) and some small attractions to keep people busy.
Baggage storage ran like clockwork and the LC being open and available helped for people to keep warm during pre race and kept supporters in coffee.
The race went off almost without a hitch however there was a tweet that went out the night before indicating that there may be pens for athletes of differing abilities. In practise there were no pens and this may become an issue in the future.
The start was backed around a bend and although they moved this forward toward the line this again may be an issue in the future.
Once started the race was great. Consisting of a 5 mile run around the bay and turning back at the Italian cafe (whos'e name i forget) toward the start. There are a couple of little undulations but nothing that could really be called a hill.
THe support on the course was great with the marshals using peoples names (off the bibs) throughout and the people of Swansea turning out in respectable numbers to encourage and spectate. Off course as the first ever event it was not solid with spectators all the way but it was a great start.
The only down side is that last 2 - 3 miles of twisty 90 degree turns through the harbour section at the end. I don't know whether this was as a result of the council setting course limitations because it was the inaugral event but for the race to grow I personally think the last 3 miles needs to be addresses. All that twisting and turning was quite tough on the old knees
The course is also quite narrow in some parts and whilst it was fine for 1650 strung out entrants, if it wants to seriously grow then it will probably need more buy in from the council regarding road closures and hte route. However, for a first ever running of the event it was a great success and I will definitely enter again next year. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Good quiet country roads and well organised event In full: Despite the heat and humidity this was a great race. Undulating enough to be interesting, but nothing that you feared on the second lap having encountered it once. Well organised (though more toilets needed next year); I'd definitely do this again, and hope to see more runners next year! Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: What goes up must come down In full: A thoroughly enjoyable run - I even liked the killer hill at the start and there are some good downhills too. Well organised, very friendly marshals, a cracking medal, a great technical t shirt and a bumper goody bag. What great value. Well done Handy Cross Runners :-) Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Enjoyable race In full: This race seemed quite hilly but I think the humidity on the day made it seem harder than it actually was (having checked the stats on my Garmin). Great organisation, my only slight niggle was the uphill finish on long grass which sapped the last of my energy. I will certainly be back next year. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Very good organisation and excellent race along the sea front. In full: Organisation: Very good indeed from the start. Regular emails regarding the race. However the race-pack wasn't up to much. I received an envelope with my race number and 4 safety pins. That's it.
There were pdf's available on the website to print out but I don't have a printer. I think more could be made of the race pack - it needs bulking out to more than just a number.
The Day: Roads were closed from 7. Plenty of car parks. Baggage storage was excellent with all runners luggage stored at Swansea Leisure Centre.
Race started on time. Not fussed on the singer who started us off but it was nice to have the Welsh Anthem.
Run down to Mumbles was nice although some congestion at certain stages making it difficult to get past some runners. Still - it was lovely all the way up to Verdi's at Knab Rock. From there it was a turn around and back along the coastal footpath with stunning views of the beach. Back through BlackPill, past Singleton park etc.
The last 3 miles were awful and need changing for next year. 3 miles of twists and turns around the SA1 area. A nice area but extremely boring. Hopefully the organisers will see to sort this out next year - even taking runners further along the coast before turning around.
There were plenty of people out during the start of the run with groups along the way cheering and calling names. Great idea having names on our numbers.
Plenty of people lined the way during the final mile with large crowds at the finishing line cheering the finishers. Lovely atmosphere at both the start and the end.
Water stops were every three miles. I wouldn't have minded one of those stops being a sports drink so that I could have a change from water. It might not be possible, but due to the weather some extra water stops could have been put in. At 10am in the morning the sun was beating down - making it very warm with several runners requiring first aid (not sure if it was the heat or injury).
Apparently there were two gel stops. I only saw one. I had my own gels so didn't take the Hi5 gels that were on offer.
Plenty of toilets along the route for runners.
After the Race: Across the finishing line and along the path to get a bag (not much in there) and a medal. A nice medal but I was slightly disappointed (sorry) as there was no date on the medal. Considering this was the first one then maybe they could have done something nice for the first 2000 or so runners that supported the event. At the very least they should have put the date on there.
Water was being dished out to finishers and further along the route bananas were being given out. As much as you could eat. :-)
The shirt was good quality but I doubt I would wear it again. A running top like is given at Cardiff would be nice. Maybe if ASICS get involved next year again the organisers could look at getting them to supply the tops with less advertising on them.
There was a results tent where runners could get a printout of their times. This was a handy service.
Overal Opinion: Well done to the organisers. This is was the first Swansea Half Marathon. If it follows the success of the Swansea Bay 10K and the Cardiff Half Marathon then it will go from strength to strength.
A couple of changes to the route and they organisers have a winner on their hands. Well done - I'll be entering next year.
As it's a local run for me I will tag it as one of my all-time favourites. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Very hot and humid made this a killer, the course was awesome. In full: If you've not run an ultra before then this is a great way to start. Or if you've done a few this is also a cracker! The course is brilliant, well marked most of the way with tape and arrows over a varied hilly terrain. Well organised by the team, thanks to all the marshals especially the couple who seemed to pop up everywhere with a car boot loaded full of water. Checkpoints were great with loads of encouragement and food. The weather made this a real challenge but hopefully I'll be back next year to improve on my time! Date of review: July 22, 2014