As West Wales’ biggest road race gets closer, runners are starting to feel the excitement of the long-awaited M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon. The event, which takes place on Sunday 31st October, will be the first time it has been host to the Welsh Half Marathon Championships. The title's prestige usually attracts the fastest athletes in Wales, making the event highly competitive in the elite field. As a result, the organisers are expecting some incredible times to be achieved and the possibility of a new course record being set.
David Martin-Jewell, Race Director, said
“We are very excited to be hosting the Welsh Half Marathon Championship at our event on Sunday. The Llanelli Half Marathon has a long history of attracting some great athletes around the country, but as a coastal race, it can be a challenge and subject to the conditions on race day. Whatever the weather, we hope that it will be an amazing event for everyone involved.”
The race organisers and team at Front Runner Events have endured many challenges and disruptions over the last eighteen months due to COVID-19. As a result, this is their second event that has been delayed this year and will be hosted in a matter of weeks of each other in a bustling running calendar across the UK. Despite the challenges, the team are very excited to welcome runners back to the event and wish everyone the best of luck as they #RunElli!
The 2021 event may look a little different to what runners are used to as a COVID secure event, but to help prepare those participating, we’ve put together a complete low down on everything you need to know:
Where is the start?
Starting and finishing at the home of the Scarlets rugby team, the Parc Y Scarlets stadium (SA14 9UZ) is perfect for athletes to warm up and get ready for the big event that starts at 10 am.
Need to know
Race facilities will be open from 7.30 am, where runners will find everything they need, including toilets, catering facilities and the bag drop off point. Don’t forget that the clocks go back by 1 hour on race day, so you’ll have an extra hour to help you gear up to #RunElli. Toilets & water stations will be located across the route, so runners needn’t worry about being caught short.
The M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon is a fully closed road race, so residents and participants are advised to plan their trip well in advance. There will be several roads affected, and road closures will be in force from 9.00 am. To find out more, go to: https://bit.ly/31fcrBq
Where to park?
Event parking is situated opposite the ground and is signposted. Anyone travelling by car will be able to access the stadium via the underpass allowing everyone to get to the start area safely.
What to expect
It is an undulating course that challenges runners to be their best and takes in some of the best views of West Wales. Although it's often known for being slightly wet and windy at times, you’ll still see some of the best athletes around taking part, as well as the TV presenter and ultra-marathon runner Lowri Morgan.
Reason to run
Many runners lining up will be raising money for charity and good causes. At the same time, others will be aiming for a PB or getting into the spirit by wearing their best fancy dress this Halloween! The headline sponsors and team at M&D Care will be proud to be taking to the route this year to raise funds for the Paul Ridd foundation. Michelle Martin, clinical director at M&D Care, said:
“We are thrilled to be the headline sponsor to the Llanelli Half Marathon in 2021. It is an important event for the region and promotes the health and wellbeing of all, which is something we are passionate about at M&D Care. To be able to support the Paul Ridd foundation through such a great event for West Wales is wonderful. We look forward to seeing the team in full force on the day.”
Runners are being advised to avoid bringing a bag, but if they must, ALL bags must be clearly labelled using the bag tag from your Race Pack. Runners are advised not to carry or store any valuables in their bag. The baggage area will be in the East Stand concourse of Parc Y Scarlets, the entrance to which will be signposted.
Route & Timings
The race will start at 10 am outside Parc Y Scarlets, but runners need to be in the assembly area no later than 9:15 am. The route takes runners on fully closed roads along the beautiful Millennium Coastal Path to Festival Fields, where they will turn to head back towards Parc Y Scarlets along the coastal path. Runners will pass Machynys and the wetlands conservation area before returning to the stadium.
Key race day timings:
· 07:30: Event & bag drop opens (East Stand Concourse)
· 09:00: Road closures commence
· 09:50: Bag drop closes
· 10:00: Race starts
· 11:03: Male winner expected
· 11:12: Female winner expected
· 12:00: Winners presentation
· 14:00: All roads re-open
· 15:00: Event closes
The event is aiming to reduce its touchpoints and environmental footprint, so runners are being asked to bring their own personal water bottle or hydration pack. There will be two Brecon Carreg water stations available on the course at miles 5 and 8, and at the finish.
Spectators are welcome all along the course to support their loved ones but are advised to meet up away from the stadium to avoid congestion. Spectators are welcome to bring their furry friends on the route, but please note that all dogs must be on a lead across the course and dogs are not allowed within Parc Y Scarlets.
Need to know more?
To find out more, head to the website to download the Official Race Day Guide for top tips, do’s and don’ts and essential safety information for the day. Stay ahead of all the news as it happens by following Llanelli Half on the usual social media outlets and tag us in your race day pictures as you #RunElli and #BeYourBest