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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

Front Runner Events Announce Official Radio Partners: The Wave & Swansea Sound

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Front Runner Events are excited to announce The Wave and Swansea Sound as the official radio partners for the Front Runner Trilogy 2020

The team behind Front Runner Events have launched Wales’ ONLY half marathon series, which kicks off on the 9th February at the Risk Kitchen Llanelli Half Marathon at Parc Y Scarlets. Following this, runners have a chance to rest until April 5th where they will line up again to #RunCymru from Pembrey Country Park at the Great Welsh Half Marathon. Last but not least, participants will be able to bask in the glory at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on the 14th June.

The Wave & Swansea Sound will be broadcasting live at ALL 3 events and will be proudly cheering on the runners, charity fundraisers, wheelchair athletes and elites.
Deputy programme controller Andy Miles said:

“These really are three amazing opportunities to run in a beautiful part of Wales. As the number one commercial radio stations in South Wales we broadcast to more than 160,000 people a week, and love to celebrate everything local. We are incredibly proud to shout about what we have on our doorstep, so being part of the Front Runner Trilogy is something we are really excited about.”

The trilogy opened for the first-time last year with the aim to reward participants who take on the half marathon challenge across all races organised by Front Runner Events. It was introduced to thank runners and motivate them over the months where they may fall off the ‘keep fit’ wagon. One of those runners is Diane Ridgeway, of Gorseinon who took up running 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! She has taken part in all of the races organised Front Runner Events since 2015 and when interviewed said:

“I love taking part in the races put on by Front Runner Events, they are always well organised and great fun. I started running with my local running club 3M’s of Gorseinon 2 years ago and a lot of the group also take part in the half marathon trilogy.  

I have to say I thoroughly enjoy all 3 events, especially the Llanelli half. I can proudly call myself a Front Runner and even have the medal to say so – it’s a lovely touch and great bonus to receive that extra medal for taking part in all THREE!”

She added: “It’s a great way to stay fit all year-round and provides you with the motivation to achieve that end goal in the New Year, Spring and Summer. I can’t wait to take part in the 2020 series and look forward to lining up on the start line to #RunElli in February!”

Listen out on The Wave and Swansea Sound to hear the latest race details or to join in with Di and the crew and participate in the Front Runner Trilogy make sure to sign up before entries close at: www.frontrunnerevents.co.uk

Record turnout for this year’s Cardiff Metropolitan University 10K and 2K race

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Front Runner Events Ltd are proud to be the Event Delivery Management Team working with Kidney Wales to bring you the Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff 10K and 2K – read all about this year’s race below.

A record number of professional athletes, runners and fundraisers took to the streets of Cardiff on Sunday morning (September 1st) to take part in this year’s Cardiff Met Cardiff 10K and 2K, in a celebration of fitness, fun and fundraising.

Organised by leading Welsh charity, Kidney Wales, this year’s Cardiff Met Cardiff 10K attracted 9,000 entrants, and once again cemented the race’s position as one of the top ten road races in the UK.

Beginning at Cardiff’s iconic Museum Avenue in the heart of the city centre, runners covered a flat and fast paced course, passing the Principality Stadium before heading up Cathedral Road, cutting across Llandaff Fields and then heading through the historic grounds of Bute Park and Cardiff Castle, before finishing back on Museum Avenue.

The first to cross the finish line was Jake Smith who ran the city centre course in a time of 29 minutes and 33 seconds. The first female to cross the line was Charlotte Arter in a time of 32 minutes 45 seconds, both winners are from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Defending his 2018 title, Richie Powell was successful again winning the wheelchair race.

This year also welcomed one of the highest number of corporate team entries the event has ever seen, with more than 64 teams signed up in the Corporate categories.This year’s team champions were South Wales Police who completed the 10K course in a very impressive time.

A special 2K fun run was won by Ben Farrell, aged 14 and Kara Bennett, aged 12.

Despite its strong race pedigree, the Cardiff 10K race is a crucial fundraising event for organisers Kidney Wales, who established the event back in 1986.

In the last three years, the race has helped to raise more than £200,000 for the charity, who has used the funds raised to support thousands of people living with kidney disease across Wales, and their families, as well as to support many other charitable causes; like the refurbishment of the children’s dialysis unit at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW).

Headlined by Cardiff Metropolitan University, this year’s race had a unique treat for race entrants. The University offered students and staff, from its podiatry and sports massage programmes, to support runners with specialist advice and a massage area for runners was also set-up at the race village to provide some extra recovery support.

Speaking about the race, Pro Vice Chancellor Leigh Robinson from Cardiff Metropolitan University commented: “We were delighted to be the title sponsor of the 2019 Cardiff 10K and 2K fun run. Aligning with our health and wellbeing strategy, the Cardiff 10K is a perfect fit for our community and our values. Our staff and students had a fantastic time running and helping runners at the race village and we hope everyone that took part is now enjoying a well-deserved rest after a great day.”

There was a jovial atmosphere all morning in the Capital as the sun shined, with big crowds and plenty of fancy dress outfits on show, from a daffodil costume, to a clown and even a caveman.

There were also some inspiring entrants involved in the race.

Nicola Parsons, from Bridgend, entered the race with more than 100 friends and family, known as “Alfie’s Misfits”, to run in memory of her husband who passed away in 2018.

A 20-strong team from the transplant unit at Wales’ largest hospital, the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) also got involved, which has a special poignancy with organ donation week beginning on September 2nd. The team – comprised of doctors, nurses, surgeons and admin staff – supports patients every day at the hospital, by performing lifesaving kidney transplants, and their participation will hopefully inspire more people to sign up to the organ donation register.

A special landmark was also achieved by 84-year-old Brian Graves, from Cardiff, who completed his 20th10K race, in a challenge he set for himself after losing his wife in 2005. Initially running marathons and half marathons, Brian decided to set his sights on completing 20 10K races at the age of 81 and has now achieved his goal.

Nic Clarke, Director of Fundraising and Operations at Kidney Wales, said:“It’s been yet another fantastic Cardiff 10K race and we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. The race has grown so much in the last few years and to see more than 9,000 runners taking part was brilliant.

“On behalf of everyone at Kidney Wales, we want to thank everyone who took part and raised valuable funds for charities across Wales, volunteers, as well as everyone who turned up to support the runners. We also want to give a special thanks to all of our sponsors for supporting the race, their help has been invaluable.”

JCP Swansea Half Marathon Announces Maggie’s Cancer Care as Charity Partner of the Year

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Organisers of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon are pleased to announce Maggie’s Cancer Care as their Charity of the Year for 2020.  The team at Front Runner Events; who host a series of long distance running events in Llanelli and Swansea have been working in partnership with the charity for the last three years at their flagship race; the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

Tash Smith, Senior Events Coordinator at Front Runner Events said: 

“We are thrilled to announce Maggie’s as our platinum charity of the year.  They offer a wonderful service to patients and their families and hope that our partnership will help them continue this great work for many years to come.  We have a fantastic relationship with the team at Maggie’s and we look forward to developing this further over the next 12 months.” 

As some will know; the late Maggie Keswick Jencks founded Maggie’s in 1995 and the centre in Swansea was established in 2011.  Having been fully operational for the last 8 years it currently supports an astounding number of (approximately) 900,000 people in the South West Wales region.

Leanne Jennett, Centre Fundraising Manager said:

“We’re delighted at Maggie’s to become charity partner of the year at the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon.  This is a big event for us, especially with it being local to our centre.  It offers a fantastic platform for fundraising and helps bring in essential funds to the centre.  As a registered charity, Maggie’s relies solely on the generosity of their supporters, through fundraising and donations to help keep the centre open for visitors.”

The team at Maggie’s offer practical advice, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family or friends.  The centres are where users can find advice about benefits, eating well and somewhere you will find qualified experts to provide emotional support; places to meet other people or simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.  The service provided at Maggie’s has been recognised as second to none by the many that it supports.

In 2020 #TeamMaggies will have 100 spaces available for anyone wishing to run for their charity.  Participants don’t need to super athletes to take part as the race is suitable for every ability on its flat and friendly route.  Each runner will be supported by Maggie’s and organisers with race tips, training plans and charity place t-shirts.  So if you fancy a challenge and want to raise funds for Maggie’s contact: Leanne Jennett on 01792 200 001 or email: swanseafundraising@maggiescentres.org or visit: http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/Maggie’s/

The event will take place on Sunday 14th June starting at 10am from the Brangwyn Hall, so there’s plenty of time to set yourself a challenge for next year!  It is a fully marshalled race on closed roads that is flat, fast and on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners.  The route takes runners through the city along Swansea Bay to Mumbles, and returns through SA1 to finish at Swansea Museum.

Front Runner Events Hits The Double At The 2018 UK Running Awards

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Following the success of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon in the UK Running Awards in 2016 and 2017, winning silver and gold awards respectively, the Front Runner Events Team were delighted to have not only one, but two of their races shortlisted at the 2018 UK Running Awards.

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon was shortlisted in the Best Half Marathon, greater than 5000 participants category and the Llanelli Half Marathon was shortlisted in the Best Half Marathon, fewer than 5000 participants category.

The Front Runner Event team were delighted to be awarded double Gold for both the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and the Llanelli Half Marathon after receiving the most votes by runners at the only independent awards ceremony that celebrates the best of running and its culture.

The event took place at Indigo in the O2 on Thursday (19th April) where David Martin-Jewell, Managing Director and Tash Smith, Senior Event Coordinator were presented with the trophies from Mike Bushell and Rachel Stringer, in front of a room full of A-list names from the running and sports industry, making the award the most sought after and coveted amongst races across the UK.

David said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won Gold in both Half Marathon categories, we joked about this in the office before the ceremony, but we didn’t actually expect it to happen, it is amazing. This is an extraordinary achievement and we are all thrilled to be recognised in this way by our runners. Our team (staff/volunteers/partners and contractors) plays a huge role in bringing the events together and delivering a successful race weekend, so it is wonderful that we are able to receive and share these awards with them. Everyone at Front Runner Events would like to thank those who voted and we now look to build on the standards that we have set and our runners expect.”

The JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place in only 9 weeks on Sunday 24th June 2018 on fully closed road. The flat, fast course is perfect for beginners, first time half marathon runners and charity runners, whilst also attracting a large elite field from Wales and beyond to #Run5wansea. Race entries are open and public places cost only £33 for affiliated athletes and £35 for non-affiliated runners, which includes a fully marshalled course on closed roads, bespoke medal, technical t-shirt, on route entertainment, post massage and goody bag for all finishers. A total of 8,000 places are available with 85% of spaces already taken, there is no better time to register your place than now.

Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details and to sign up, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #Run5wansea #FromTheCityToTheSea on Twitter and @swanseahalfmarathon on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news about the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

The Llanelli Half Marathon 2019 takes place in February and entries are open now. Go to www.llanellihalf.co.uk for further race details and sign up, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/LlanelliHalf and follow @LlanelliHalf #RunElli on Twitter and @llanellihalfmarathon on Instagram to keep up to date with all latest news about the Llanelli Half Marathon.