Good afternoon all, I hope everyone’s feeling ready for The Nationwide Building Society New Swindon Half on Sept 3rd ?
Now we’re 10 days away from the race, I wanted to drop you all out an email to go through a few points about the race that will hopefully get you all ready for it.
I’ll apologise that I can ramble on a bit in my mails, so please grab yourself a seat and a strong coffee before reading on as there’s some important stuff in here, so worth taking the time to read
The medals turned up on my desk today (well, not actually on my desk as there’s 2,800 of them), and they’re looking very smart indeed.
In this email, I’ll cover the following :
Some Stats on the race
Planning your day
Buggy/wheelchair Pusher Rules and regulations
Have some marshal, and get a free entry to next year’s race
On the day entries
Race progressRace stats
We’ve got 2,610 competitors signed up for the day now. It’s a decent mix of males and females with the men accounting for 59% and the ladies 41%. The Average age of our competitor is 38, and our eldest man, who is well known to many of you already in the Swindon Running scene is 80 years old, and our eldest lady is 74.
As you might expect, the UK addresses account for a large majority of our entries, but we do have some from further afield with registered addresses from other countries such as America, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.
We have 15 Charity Atmosphere stations on the course, and these include one with a Jamaican Steel drum band, and another with a full sized Samba Band. We’re pretty confident that this course will not be without atmosphere.
By now, all of you should’ve received an email from Swindon Half Results Service that outlines your details, your race number and some info on when your pack is arriving in the post and how to wear your race bib. As this email is sent from a bulk emailer, it’s possible that your email system thinks it’s a junk mail and puts it in a folder accordingly. Therefore, If you haven’t seen it in your inbox, please check your junk mails or any internet filters.
If you still can’t find it or you need to update any info on it, please urgently email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also email them if you see any of the info on your entry data is wrong, i.e. you’ve confused yourself as a man rather than a women on the entry page (actually happens a lot on race entries) or you’ve miss-input your date of birth. We’ve already had to phone a chap that had listed he was 125 to make sure it was an error, so you never know.
Your posted race pack will contain your race bib with your name and number on it, which also has the baggage label should you wish to use the bag drop, and also contains the race booklet with info on parking, and which Charities are at which mileage with their Atmosphere stations etc, so please take a few mins to read through it as the info contained is important.
For those of you that have listed a non UK address, you will need to collect your race number and pack on race morning.
I’m afraid that now packs are printed and sent, we can no longer offer any name changes or deferrals, sorry
Planning your day
As the course highlights many of the things that Swindon is well known for, we’re conscious that the roads that people will be using to get to and from the race will be closed during the duration of the race. With this in mind, please prepare around the fact that the roads will be closed around 60mins before the first runner even crosses the start line. Our TM team have 13 miles of Barriers, cones and fencing to put out, and that’s not, as you can imagine, a two minute job, so we have to be sure to have the roads closed with plenty of time in order to get the race started on time and the roads reopened for local residents.
We’re not oblivious to the fact that this race will bring Swindon to a standstill on Sept 3rd, so we have to make sure we can re-open the roads as soon as is feasibly possible. Like all big town/city races, Swindon will get used to the Half being at a certain time of year every year, and the non running residents will plan their days around it, but in year one, it’s going to be a little nuts, so be prepared and leave yourself plenty of time.
We can control 99% of the things that happen on race day, but traffic is a massive unknown, so please try and allow yourself plenty of time in this first year of the event. If you’re not using public transport, walking/cycling in, or getting a lift, there’s a list of the car parks available here
For 2018 we will have a park and ride set up from outside the course, but it was just not possible to get it running in time for this year’s race, so fi you can get a lift in and save car parking space, it’ll make the day work a lot better in year one.
The course will close and reopen in a staggered pattern depending on section and mileage, and you can see a full details on what’s closed when here – https://www.newswindonhalf.co.uk/residents-and-spectators/road-closures/
If you have spectators that would like to come and support you at various points of the course, you can find a diagram that shows at what time we’ll have the first and last runner through each section here – https://www.newswindonhalf.co.uk/residents-and-spectators/spectator-information/
The race will start at 11am, and the race village will be open at 8am
Our friends at Xempo Pacers will be pacing our race at the following pace times:1h30 – James Campbell & John Hosie
1h40 – Jonni Suckling & Sean Hampson
1h45 – Alex Radford & Richard Gurd
1h50 – Louis Judge
2h00 – Stuart Poole & Jake Bate
2h10 – Emma Poole & Nikki Yeo
2h15 – Stuart Kingsley & Alastair Simpson
2h20 – Dave King & Phil Jefferies
2h30 – Bernard Linares
Here’s a video link about the Xempo team who pace races all over the country: www.facebook.com/Xempo.uk/videos/1292062500826398/
You won’t be able to miss these guys in the starting chute, so please line up near them if you’re aiming for a certain time.
They’re a great bunch too, so make sure you have a good chat with them on the way around
Buggy/wheelchair Pusher Rules and regulations
A lot of races don’t allow Buggy or wheelchair pushers on their courses, but it’s something we love to see and we want to make sure that we can always keep it that way.
However, we need to make sure it’s done in a safe manner and that it doesn’t interfere with anyone else race or endanger anyone.
With this in mind, we must insist that anyone pushing a wheelchair or a buggy on the course adheres to the following rules, and accepts that they do so entirely at their own risk and be responsible for the safety of the occupant at all times.
The runner must have a permanent attachment to the buggy/wheelchair in the form of a strap or a lanyard, and that must be capable of taking the weight of the buggy/wheelchair including the occupant. This cannot be something like a handle that can be let go of, and must be a permanent strap attached to the structure of the wheelchair/Buggy and to the runner. The reason we must insist on this as the course has a downhill finish, and we cannot possible take the risk that a runner falls and the buggy/wheelchair runs on unattended.
The occupant of the Buggy/wheelchair must be strapped in securely and must wear a secured helmet at all times.
We absolutely have to insist on these rules, and will be making checks in the start chute. I’m sorry to have to be strict on this, but we want to be able to continue to offer this, and anyone not following the rules will not be allowed to start, and anyone found to be removing any straps or lanyards after the start and before the finish will be removed from the race.
We would politely request that runners with wheelchairs or buggies start at the back of the pack (your start time only gets recorded when you cross the start line, not on the starting whistle)
Want to race for free next year ?
Anyone that has ever been involved in organising races will know only too well that getting marshals is one of the hardest parts of race organisation.
We’re still around 30 marshals short of the 160 target for the race, so are asking if you have anyone you’re bringing along that fancies being part of the team that delivers the race.
Anyone that marshals will be looked after, doesn’t need any experience at all, and we’ll take them through a full briefing and provide them with everything they need.
They’ll get a 2018 free entry code too, which either they can use or you can use for them if you ask them nicely 😉
We also need a handful more Chapter 8/Streetworks certified marshals for traffic crossings, that we pay £15/hr in cash for if anyone knows anyone with that certificate that can man a crossing for a few hours.
If you have anyone that can help, please email email@example.comOn the day entries
We have 75 on the day entries available, if you have any friends that wanted to race, but missed the cut off for online entries.
Details on these can be found at https://www.newswindonhalf.co.uk/enter/Live tracker/Results
Over race weekend, your love ones, friends and fan club will be able to track your progress on the course via links that will be shown here – https://www.newswindonhalf.co.uk/take-part/results/Race progress
As many of you will already know, we took this race on from the Council at the end of last year, and we’ve been operating on a very tight schedule as this type of event is typically a 24month planning process.
It’s been a tough road to get it up and running in time, it’s consumed my life for the last 7 months and we’ve met all sorts of issues that we couldn’t possibly have ever expected. However, the race is now up and ready to go, and the amount of support and positivity surrounding the race in our home town is incredible. I must apologise that getting info out to everyone hasn’t been as regular as planned, and it’s only now that we’re getting the finalised info on to the website that you might have been expecting to see some months ago at some of the more established races that have several year’s under their belts
The good news is the race is all now set up and the leg work for the course for following years is all done, so it will be a lot slicker in years to come.
Again, I must apologise for the delay in getting some of the data out, and please be rest assured it’ll come in good time in years to come.
Anyway, that’s it from me for today. I’ll be sending another email out next week with some of the final info (I want to drip feed it out, as I’m conscious that many of you would’ve been asleep half way through this mail already)
Next week’s mail will cover a little more info on the course, some more stats, a reiteration of some of the race rules, and some info on how and where to dispose of your litter on the course rather than launching it into someone’s back garden on the way past
We’re here to help, and to make sure you all have a great race day, so if anyone has any questions, please just get in touch
Graeme, Leigh and the New Swindon Half Team