Weekly Update Saturday 10th October

This week we have a round up of the London Marathon results virtual and actual. Ways to help fundraise for the club to get us through covid 19. An update on track capacity and usage regulations following on from last weeks Welsh Government changes. Expressions of interest for a Leading Athletics coaching certificate.


Report by Owen Davies: For the first time ever, participants have run the London Marathon their way, joining about 45,000 runners up and down the UK – and across the world. On Sunday 4 October, whilst elite athletes such as Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei, Manuela Schär, David Weir and our very own Joshua Griffiths raced in a protective biosphere environment on a closed loop course around St James’s Park, Swansea Harriers were putting their training to the test in some far from ideal but also ’typical Swansea’ conditions.

Wind and rain forecast had forced athletes to decide between the flat, familiar comfort of the seafront prom or shelter on undulating paths across the city. Such comfort was hard to come by with the prom up to its usual tricks with wind in your face from both ends of the bay ! Athlete participants had 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles.

In addition to Joshua Griffiths running the revised lap route in London where he set a lifetime best of 2.13.11 placing him 18th overall, his performance was so impressive it won him British Bronze and takes him to the 6th fastest Welshman on the all time ranking lists, a huge congratulations to him flying the flag for Swansea Harriers on the World stage. The remaining Swansea Harriers set about the task of running the Marathon virtually from early morning. I had the pleasure of seeing Paul Flynn through to a well-deserved PB, running the last 10 miles or so with him as he finished in 2:58. I can vouch for the weather, it was pretty rough, and it was testament to the sportsmanship of our club that many athletes came out to support with pacing, encouraging and cheering. It was needed!

Not all journeys to the start had gone smoothly and a big well done should go to Helen-Marie Davies and Kelly Gipson for seeing the run through socially with superhero capes with some added stops to support venues of the stricken hospitality industry! The prom was surprisingly busy that morning despite the rain with runners from many clubs passing and greeting at various spots of the coast, including Ashley Ramsden, completing his first marathon.

Also, Raul Reismann completed his effort nonchalantly across rivers and hills in West Wales, hidden amongst a series of 20 mile runs in successive days! Hats off also to Joe Tucker with 3:06 PB, and and also Emily Marchant with what looked like a delay til later in the day to avoid the worst – a very strong run with a Championship qualifying 3:06. Meanwhile in London, the wheels had come off the Kipchoge train, showing not only that he is human, but that it’s all about your performance on the day.

In summary, here are Swansea Harriers Virtual London Marathon results: Paul Flynn 2:58:38 ; Charles Walsh 3:01:22; Joe Tucker 3:06:03 ; Emily Marchant 3:06:41 ; Raul Reismann 3:30.10 Ashley Ramsden 4:55:27 ; Helen Marie Davies 5:37:18 : Kelly Gipson 5:43:28.


As we try to get the club through the Covid 19 pandemic and build back stronger than before you can help raise much needed funds for the club in a number of ways.

  1. By renewing your annual membership 2020-2021 Membership Application for New Members & Renewals you must have done this to train with the club for your personal insurance.
  2. Not a lot of people know this but you can raise a £5 for the club by donating your second hand spikes to us, by leaving them in the club cafe, we then sell them for £5 and you can get your next pair too for the same price!
  3. During this challenging time, it’s difficult to fundraise in person, we need your help more than ever! Swansea Harriers is registered with easyfundraising, which means you can automatically help us receive free donations when you shop online. Over 4,000 online shops and websites will donate to us when you use easyfundraising as a “Thank you” for shopping with them – at no extra cost to yourself! Follow these simple steps and help raise money:
    Register on our easyfundraising page – it’s FREE. Next time you buy or book something online, use the easyfundraising App or the easyfundraising website first and search for your retailer. Click “Shop Now” and shop as normal. As a “Thank you” – the retailer will donate a % of your shopping to Swansea Harriers AC – at no additional cost to you.
  4. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Swansea Harriers charity of your choice every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.co.uk, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as amazon.co.uk, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your selected charity of Swansea Harriers.

Covid-19 Version 3:

The covid 19 plan remains unchanged with the exception of outdoor track capacity slight;y increasing for the Monday to Thursday 5pm to 6.15pm and 6.30pm to 7.45pm sessions inclusive. The plan MUST be read in full again before any athletes recommence training. Following Welsh Government guidelines evolving on outdoor gatherings this week, outdoor track capacity has been risk assessed and increased slightly from Monday 12th October, with coaching ratios adjusted where appropriate. If and only if all coaches and athletes adhere to the social distancing regulations, there may be an additional increase in two weeks time.  Indoor track capacity remains unchanged and is likely to for the foreseeable future. All sessions must be pre booked with your coach for track, trace and protect, you cannot just turn up. Swansea Harriers Covid Plan Version 3 @ 15.09.20

Swansea University have now moved their booking system online for all other time slots, these are now Monday to Thursdays inclusive 2pm to 3.15pm and 3.30pm to 4.45pm also Saturdays 9.30am to 10.45am and 11.00am to 12.15pm. To book and pre pay click here. again all sessions must be pre booked you cannot just turn up.

Leading athletics coaching certificates:

Welsh Athletics will be launching a new format of the Leading Athletics course. Due to the current climate, this course has evolved into an online learning experience ideal for those looking to lead athletic activities for young athletes; the perfect stepping stone towards the UKA Coaching Assistant qualification. If you are interested in the opportunity to book onto this course, please fill in the form here. The certificate is ideal for those U17 & U20 members that assist the Primary Groups in the club, often to also help them complete their Duke Of Edinburgh volunteering hours.