If this is your first Admiral Swansea Bay 10k or your first race entirely, it’s natural to have a lot of questions and be a bit nervous about the big day. What do I need? Where do I go when I arrive? What happens at the finish? Not to worry – we’ve come up with this first timers guide to take you through what to expect at your first race, and with everything you need to know to enjoy it as much as possible!
Before Race Day
- First things first, don’t forget to enter! There are no entries on the day, and once the deadline passes (or entries sell out) no more entries are available. There’s nothing worse than months of training and fundraising only to find out you can’t take part!
- The Admiral Swansea Bay 10k is a run open to all abilities, whether you’re an experienced runner looking for a challenge or someone looking for a fun run to raise money for a good cause. No matter what your skill level or your speed there’s no need to worry – it’s a fun relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of spectator support to help you across the line, and lots of other first timers just like you!
- It’s helpful to have some training under your belt before the race though, and online you’ll find hundreds of running guides and training programmes for absolute beginners to aspiring runners. Have a look around and find one that suits you, your abilities and your schedule.
- Don’t forget to check out our interactive course map before race day. Not only does it let you explore the route and get an idea of what to expect, but it also shows you locations of parking, the athletes village, toilets and much more.
- Make sure you allow plenty of travel time, as the area can get busy (road closures will be in place too, as part of the course takes place on road). Check out our course map online for parking info and locations.
- Make sure you’ve got everything you need well in advance. The Admiral Swansea Bay 10k is a Sunday morning race, so it will be difficult to pick up anything you think you’ve missed on the morning of the race!
- Don’t make the mistake of buying brand new trainers for race day – they can easily rub or be uncomfortable, ruining your race experience. Run in a pair your regularly train in and that you know will be fine for the duration of the run.
- The night before, make a checklist to ensure you’ve got everything ready for the morning (we’ve even made a rough one to help you – scroll down to the bottom of this page!). Put your stuff ready, and try to get a good night’s sleep.
- To save yourself time on race day, you’ll be able to collect your 10k race t-shirt at the Guildhall on Friday and Saturday before the race. If you want to collect it on race day, you’ll be able to redeem your t-shirt vouchers at the Information Marquee after the race. Don’t forget, you must have your voucher to get your shirt!
- 10km isn’t the biggest distance, but you’ll still need energy. Have a good breakfast, or at least some pre-race nutrition bars or gels.
- When you arrive you’ll find the athletes village near the Cenotaph. You’ll be able to check any bags in here, redeem your t-shirt vouchers, and get any help you need at our Information Marquee.
- Remember, as long as you’ve entered there’s no registration on site – you can just turn up and run.
- PARENTS: if your little ones are running in the Junior Races, you’ll find shuttle buses to the start lines. The finish line for both 1k and 3k races is the same, the same finish line as the main 10k.
- Most importantly – make sure you have your race number fastened to your top. The race number contains your timing chip, without it you won’t get a time crossing the line.
- As race start draws near, make your way onto Mumbles Road, alongside St Helen’s Rugby Ground. Make sure not to walk through the timing arch – this will affect your timing chip as you will cross the timing mats.
- Keep an eye on the lampposts along the road – you’ll see big coloured signs with times on them, e.g. 40 mins, 50 mins etc. This is for your predicted finish time – head to the ‘pen’ that matches with the time you think you’ll finish. This will help you get the most out of your race – you’ll be amongst other runners who will be going at roughly the same pace and ability as yourself, and you’ll also be close to one of our pace runners too.
- The timing pens are not fixed, so don’t worry if you’re in the wrong place! They are just there as guide to help you get the most out of your race.
- If you’re a slower runner, don’t make your way to front, as it can be quite daunting with more experienced runners running around you!
That’s it – you’re ready for the race start. Keep yourself warm, and await the starting gun. Say hi to the runners around you and make new friends – many will be just as nervous as you are!
And we’re off!
- The gun will fire, and the race starts! Depending where you are in the pack, it can take a few minutes before the crowd gets moving and starts to spread out along the course. Don’t worry about this effecting your time – the course is a long out and back, and the pack very quickly opens up, giving you space to run at your regular pace.
- If you’re not used to running with others, remember to stay running at your own pace– it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, running along with people next to you, only to realise that you’re running far quicker than your usual pace!
- If you feel yourself starting to struggle, slow down to a walk. Many runners use a walk and run approach
- Keep your eyes open for yellow flags in the crowd – these are our pace runners. If you’re aiming for a specific time, stay near to them!
- Follow the road all the way down to mumbles and the turning point, which will bring you onto the prom. You’re half way there!
- There will also be a water station at the turn, hydrate if you need to but please remember to carry your bottles with you or dispose of them in the recycling bins provided (same if you are using race gels or any other fuel that has waste).
- Make your way along the Prom and the gorgeous Swansea Bay, and keep going until you see the finish line!
- If at any point you need any help, there will be course marshals and stewards along the route to help you.
After the race
You’ve done it! You’ve crossed the finish line of your first ever Admiral Swansea Bay 10k!
- As tempting as it is to stop as soon as you cross the finish line, make sure to keep moving forward – there are a lot of runners on the course, and will be coming up right behind you and may not be able to stop in time!
- You’ll be guided through the “funnels”, where you’ll be able to pick up water, fruit and your race goody bag. Inside your bag you’ll find that coveted 10k Medal.
- Keep making your way along, and you’ll come back out at the Athletes Village, where friends and family will be waiting. Collect your bags if you’ve stored them, and make your way back home to put your feet up for a well-earned rest and drink– remember to hydrate!
Results will be added online on our results page later on in the day (we’ll post to our Facebook page when they are online). You’ll be able to search for your name or by bib number.
And that’s it! Before you know it you’ll have completed the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k with a coveted finishers medal to admire. But most importantly of all – don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
Use our handy checklist below to help prepare for race day. You might not need everything, but it’s a helpful starting point;
- Race number: essential as it contains your timing chip
- Directions to the event: handy if you’re not familiar with the area or travelling down
- Running trainers
- Water / gels / sports drink
- Vest / t shirt
- T-shirt voucher: you won’t be able to pick up your race t-shirt without it
- Baggage label: you’ll need this if you plan to leave a bag at the Information Marquee
- Smart watch: Sport and training watches (e.g. Garmins) are allowed but please note personal MP3 devices are not permitted.
- Hat: handy in sunny weather
- Sunglasses: not just handy in sunny weather – if it’s heavy rain and you wear contact lenses, sunglasses can also help keep water and spray getting into your eyes.
- Sun cream: it does rain in Swansea now and then, but make sure to wear sun protection if the sun is shining
- Post race: energy gels or drinks, towels and dry change of clothes
- Coat and umbrella: can come in handy for any spectators you have coming to watch!
Still got questions? Head over to our race guide page and find in depth FAQs to help you out
This post is also available in: Welsh