Good morning all
I hope everyone has just about dried out from yesterday, and those achy legs you’ve woken up with this morning feel like they were well earned ?I’m hoping that you’re all alert enough this morning to do some reading, as I’ll apologise in advance that this email is going to be a long. I’ve purposely made it all in text rather than pics, so at least if you’re at work today reading this, you can make it look like you’re working in case your boss walks past your desk, rather than being side tracked reading a race email 😉In this email I’ll cover the following:How fast you went and how you looked doing it
Feedback request & tweaks for 2018
Extra Medals and shirts
Going forward and the 2018 raceHow fast you went and how you looked doing it I get that this is the most important thing for you all that raced yesterday, so I’ll get this bit out the way first.
You can find the full results here :
And you can find your photos from the day here :
https://www.marathon-photos.com/If you have photo’s from the race you want to share, not just from the official photographer, but your own too, please share them to our Facebook page as we’d love to see them – www.facebook.com/newswindonhalfFeedback request & tweaks for 2018 This is the race for you all, the racers.
I actually saw very little of the race yesterday, and for us to continue to grow and for this race to be perfect for everyone, we need you all that were out battling on the course yesterday to let us know what you loved and what you didn’t.
This was our first stab at a Town Centre Half Marathon, and it appears we did a decent job of it from the feedback I’ve had from competitors so far, but need to understand all the little details and the things you liked and didn’t
I’ll be the first person to put my hand in the air and admit there were teething problems in year one, and things that in following years will be much easier to get out earlier in terms of information and packs, as well as a few learning points for next year that only really became apparent yesterday as the race was running – Namely, a bigger finishing area running out into Canal Walk, Some directional arrows to the Bag collection, and a longer goody bag/medal collection area that can get people through more efficiently, better spaced bottle drops after the bins and few other slightly less obvious tweaks such as getting a park and ride in place, which we can easily sort in time for next year.
I’ll talk about the traffic issues later in this mail, but am confident we can address those too.
If you do one thing after this email, please just let me know what you thought as this is your race, and we’d love you to come back and bring all your friends too, as that’s the only way this race can reach it’s true potential and survive.Charities We partnered up with 15 Local Charities for this year’s race, and each of the charities were given 5 completely free slots. Hopefully, you all enjoyed the atmosphere stations they had out on the course yesterday too
I know that a big chunk of you used your own slots to raise money for various other charities too, and we’d love to keep a running total of what people have raised and for which charity, as this information is great leverage for us to be able to go to the wider public in Swindon as well as the Council and various other bodies to get the support from them we need.
If you did run for a charity yesterday, please can you let me know which one and how much you’ve raised, or are expecting to raise, and we’ll compile a spreadsheet and keep a running total.
It might also be that we see a pattern of many people running for the same charity, and we can try and bring them into the race next year for some free slots in exchange for an atmosphere station like we did with the 15x 2017 partner charities.Extra Medals and shirts. As you might imagine, we have a lot of medals and shirts left over from yesterday.
For you guys/girls that finished, you have family and partners etc that have been as much a part of your journey to this race as you have, and I’m sure you’d like to be able to recognise them putting up with you moaning about your training or the early morning runs by getting them a medal too.
We also have a load of shirts left over, which we’re happy to dish out.
In order to try and help promote our local park run, which does so much to introduce people to running, we’ll be at the Park Run in Lydiard Park this Saturday morning with boxes of shirts and medals which are free to take.
It’s not fair to hand out extra medals to random people that didn’t race, so if you want another medal, please bring your current one with you to show you did finish, and we’ll happily give you another
The shirts are free for anyone to take.Traffic conditions As Im sure many of you have seen and heard, traffic conditions yesterday were less than ideal, and created quite a few problems on the course.
This was down to many different things, and all of the those various issues have some level of countermeasure that can be put in place for next year’s race.
We genuinely believed that we had notified enough people of the race, that the wider public of Swindon would minimise road travel during the race yesterday, and that although traffic would be busy, we never saw the level of congestion and anger it caused coming in a million years.
Over the last few months, we’ve been in the paper around 8 times, we’ve been on both Heart FM and BBC wiltshire multiple times with references to the closures and the date, and we put up 93 ‘Advance Warning’ Yellow signs around the course around 2-3 weeks out to let people know the roads would be closed for somewhere between 2-4 hours depending on how early in the course it was. However, it just wasn’t enough, and we’ve learnt from this to change the way we notify next year.
There’s some tweaks to the planning we can make, and few slight changes to the course, that will make a small difference to the runners, but a massive difference to the flow of traffic (one example being hopefully having use of the Service road over the bridge behind the outlet rather than running over the road into the bus gate on Rodbourne road)
We did have unforeseen problems on the course, and a handful of our Police officers on the junctions that were managing traffic were dragged away on an emergency, and we recognise that although this is something largely out of our control, we need a better contingency in case this happens again.
I’ve given an apology to the people of Swindon that were so vocal in complaining though both the radio and newspaper, and we’re truly sorry for any of you that were caught up getting out of the town after the race or had spectators or family/friends caught up in it too.
It’s all a learning curve for us, and please be rest assured that we’ll be better in this area next year.
We’re not traffic management experts, and contracted in a private company for this purpose. They were sold to us as the best of the best, but there’s a lot of areas that can improve, and we definitely recognise this.
We’ve always wanted this race to be the event that is not only amazing for runners, but is welcomed in by the locals too, and although there was a massive amount of support on the course from the majority of local residents, which I hope you all saw yesterday, there’s a very vocal minority that were certainly less than happy.To give some perspective, which has been lost in the myriad of social media posts, we closed the roads for just a few hours on one Sunday afternoon of the year. I’ve spoken with the organisers of Bath, Reading etc and many of the other large scale town/city centre events, and they have all said that people just get used to it coming, and plan their journeys according, much like the people do in Fairford/Down Ampney etc at the time of the airshow.
Would can do more to notify them, and we’ll make sure we do in future years, and again, we’re sorry for any anger or delay caused.Going forward and the 2018 race We always went into this with a multi year plan, and we do hope that the race can grow and grow as year’s go on and we can cement it into the running calendar like other local races such as Bath, Reading and Bristol have. Not least as we’ve funded this with our own money.
However, we need you all, as the running community to really get behind the race and push it forward.
I’ve no doubt that some of the local councillors and MP’s, the race Sponsor and Police will have inundated with emails from the wider public that don’t want a race in Swindon town centre as it detracts from their right to drive around on a Sunday, so in order to add some balance, please can you all let them know how much you enjoyed it, and that Swindon needs something like this to put it on the map.
Our town centre is, unfortunately, not used to it’s full potential, and on any normal Sunday afternoon would be almost entirely empty of shoppers or people seeing the wider Swindon area. Yesterday, the town centre was buzzing and the local shops had people queuing out the doors. We attracted something like 6,000 people into the town centre yesterday, and had 1000’s more come out their houses to support the runners around the course. Wood street and Old town were amazing from what I’ve seen on videos and people’s photo’s, and I’d really like the town to recognise this rather than just focussing on the vocal minority. The only way the Town will recognise this is if you, the runners, let them know, please let our sponsors, the MP’s and councillors and the Police know how much you liked and valued the race.
Of course, this race also needs more sponsorship to move forward, so if you have local companies that want to benefit from the race, please get in touch as we have so many different ways in which we can work together.
You may have hated it, and its your prerogative to let them know that too, but we sincerely hope we delivered something that’s starting to look exactly like the large scale running event the town needs to get bring exposure to the area, get people up off their sofa’s and running, and to give the runners, clubs and charities something that will benefit them allNext year’s race will have a date set in the coming months and entries will open on January 1stThat’s it for my ramblings for this year’s event, but please let me know what you thought of the race and what you want to see in year’s to come.
Hopefully you’ve all managed to stay away during my mails, and we look forward to seeing even more of you next yearCheersGraeme, Leigh and the Swindon Half team
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.Race Packs 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 email@example.com 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, sorryPlanning 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 8amPacers 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 LinaresHere’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 firstname.lastname@example.orgOn 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 pastWe’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 touchGraeme, Leigh and the New Swindon Half Team www.newswindonhalf.co.uk