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
In short: Tough, enjoyable, easy to get lost! In full: My third year running the 50k ultra. Each year I've got lost, but it is part of the experience. I even did a pre race recce to try and avoid wandering off course this year but still managed to do so in the heat of the race. At times the terrain is challenging for delicate ankles like mine, but overall it isn't too bad - you just need to know where to slow down. Marshals and checkpoints great, although I didn't stop much this year. To summarise - great feeling about the race, not a pb course, but enjoyable for a mornings run. Date of review: July 22, 2014
In short: Great organisation, beautiful course, and a beer at the end In full: As with all ETL events, the organisation is top notch, and the marshals brilliant. A handshake from the race director as you cross the line sums up the ethos of the race Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: Superb atmosphere and organisation In full: There aren't many races of this length around at this time of year and despite the heat I thoroughly enjoyed this. Extremely well-organised, with everything at Race HQ well-signposted and lots of friendly volunteers to answer any questions. Ample parking too at the actual event rather than half a mile away as seems to be the case with many races. Any course was going to be challenging in today's conditions and while there were no steep ascents it was certainly undulating but with a good variety of terrain. Given the location the course could have been dull but taking it out of the town along local country lanes kept it interesting and more scenic. The water stations were well-placed and well-manned and it was greatly appreciated being given water in bottles with a sport top rather than plastic cups. The sponge station was a nice touch but could have done with being at the midpoint rather than towards the end of the race. All road crossings were extremely well-marshalled. A track finish is always nice and gives the event that little extra. I knew a PB was out of the question in the heat so I was delighted to finish first in my age category and bag a nice trophy as well as my race medal. I was very happy with a bottle of Lucozade Sport and a banana at the end; goody bags are usually rubbish. A 25th anniversary t-shirt would have been a nice touch but not necessary. I would definitely do this race again - it really is a shining example of how good a well-organised race can be. Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: my first half marathon race, great atmosphere In full: as my first race i was a little nervous about this, i set off like a rabbit at the front and quickly realized that i had got carried away by the atmosphere - ended up finishing in 1h39m which was ok considering this schoolboy error Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: A great event, harder than expected but in a good way In full: Organisation was ace, the course terrain varied throughout which kept it interesting and challenging, a bonus was the weather (or was this a negative ?) - sunny and warm Date of review: July 21, 2014
In short: you dont get race results online for days. slowest online results of any race i have done. In full: Great goody bag of fruit, and Bonds icecream, o.k medal, But very slow at posting online results, Grumpy time keeper who tells you to go away if you ask for time. BAD ATTITUDE. Date of review: July 21, 2014