You might as well swim it! Swansea Bay 10k 2017.

 

There are rain showers and then there is basically being within a rain cloud! It started raining half an hour before this years’ Swansea Bay 10k, and it did not stop, it just varied in intensity. I always photograph Swansea Bay 10k whatever the weather. You can see photos from previous years in the links below.

Photos of Swansea Bay 10k 2016.

Photos of Swansea Bay 10k 2015.

Photos of Swansea Bay 10k 2014.

Photos of Swansea Bay 10k 2013.

Everyone was so wet they may as well have just swam the distance. The runners were soaked, and us spectators were both wet and cold. It was a baptism of fire (or should I say water) for runners new to the race like DimExcuses MTBer Phil Marshall above.

The runners were pleased to see us at the 8km mark, Lizzie Marshall here managing a drenched smile. Proving our hardcore, me and my friend Ade were proper DimExcuses standing for an hour and a half in the relentless rain to get the action shots. Like this one of Mark Gosney powering up the Blackpill Hill.

It was great to see all the regulars and the new faces, like Rob Griff swapping his skis for trainers below.

There is a full gallery of all the pictures from the race below. If you would like to run it next year, here is my guide to running the race km by km. Maybe I will be photographing you next year, DimExcuses.

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None like it hot. Swansea Bay 10k 2016.

Swansea Bay 10k 2016

What a lovely day in Swansea Bay, unless you were planning on running 10 kilometers on the seafront in Swansea Bay 10k 2016. One of the best road races in the UK, the virtually flat course takes in the wide sweep of Swansea Bay along the Wales Coast Path. You can read a km by km guide to the course here.

Winner Swansea Bay 10k 2016

The weather was warm with little wind, hot conditions for a long road race. The Kenyans above just took it in their stride leading the race from the beginning. But you didn’t have to wait long to see some familiar Swansea runners. Andrew Frazier setting a blistering pace.

Frazier Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Chris Jones was next smashing almost 10 minutes off his time from last year.

Chris Jones Swansea Bay 10k 2016

You can see photos from Swansea Bay 10k 2015 here.

You can see photos from Swansea Bay 10k 2014 here.

You can see photos from Swansea Bay 10k 2013 here.

A familiar face in Swansea Bay 10k photos above, Sam Donaldson was running this year too. Here he is at just past the 2km mark at Blackpill.

Sam Donaldson Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Closely followed by another Swansea Bay 10k veteran Luke Millward.

Luke Millward Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Jan Lawrence was next completing her second year in the Swansea Bay 10k, running for the Salisbury NICU premature baby unit that had just treated her latest grandson.

Jan Swansea Bay 10k 2016

This year the sisters were doing it for themselves, with both my sister and sister-in-law running. First to reach us at 2km was my sister-in-law Caz.

High Five! Caz. Swansea Bay 10k 2016

My sister Michelle wasn’t far behind, cheered on by a big family turn out.

Michelle Swansea Bay 10k 2016

The great thing about spectating at Blackpill is as soon as most of the runners are past you the elite runners are running back on the promenade behind you. So I ran over to my usual spot to catch the runners coming over the bridge. Here is the fight for first place.

Swansea Bay 10k Winner. Battle for first place.

The first women runner was an equally fierce battle.

Women's Race Winner Swansea Bay 10k 2016

The rest of the elite runners were next.

Superman 2016

The usual suspects weren’t far behind them. Andrew Frazier not dropping any pace in the heat.

Andrew Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Chris Jones setting a personal best for this race.

Chris Jones Swansea Bay 10k 2016

There he goes, jostling for places on the hill climb.

Hill race

Some were taking it a little less seriously.

Ian in a Tutu. Swansea Bay 10k 2016

But there were still some seriously fast runners in the far from ideal hot conditions. It was the lack of wind more than the temperature.

None like it hot. Swansea Bay 10k 2016

I just missed Sam Donaldson on his return run. Here is his back as he climbs the hill.

Sam Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Frances Samuel was the next familar face I spotted in the crowds.

Frances Swansea Bay 10k 2016

The hill being her least favorite part of the course.

Frances Samuel Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Clare was the next to tackle the hill.

Claire Swansea Bay 10k 2016

I even spotted one of my old students, giving a big thumbs up.

Swansea Bay 10k Sept 2016

Luke looked pleased to have got to almost 8km into the race.

Luke Swansea Bay 10k 2016

My nieces were thrilled to see their mum Caz safely past the Blackpill bridge…

Caz crosses the bridge

…and onto the hill. I thought Grace would start running with her.

Caz Bidder Swansea Bay 10k 2016

My Sister Michelle was marking a return to the 10k after having a baby and was joined by her fellow Paul Popham running club members.

Paul Popham Runners Swansea Bay 10k 2016

Just demolishing the hill towards the final 2km.

Paul Popham Running Club

Was that sports development legend Tom Jones I spotted amidst this year’s runners? Surely not?

Tom Swansea Bay 10k 2016

It was all over too fast.

Paul Popham Team

It certainly was a hot one, and none like it hot! Everyone made it home safe though and all had a big smile on their face. A fantastic Swansea Bay 10k 2016, see you next year, DimExcuses.

Swansea Bay 10k 2016, all you need to know.

Swansea Bay 10K Jane & Stu

This Sunday is the Swansea Bay 10k 2016. One of the best road race 10ks in the UK it has a fantastic almost totally flat route combined with the stunning back drop of Swansea Bay. Here is everything you need to know about the Swansea Bay 10k 2016.

Sam Donaldson Swansea Bay 10k

Firstly if you are running the race for the first time, you need to read my km by km guide to running this classic race by clicking here.

Steven Bidder Swansea Bay 10k

When is the Swansea Bay 10k 2016?  The race is at 1pm Sunday 18th September 2016.

Where is the Swansea Bay 10k 2016? Starting at St. Helen’s Rugby Ground (SA2 0AR) the race heads 5km down the Mumbles Road to the village of Mumbles where the runners turn around in Oystermouth Square (SA3 4DN). Runners then return on Swansea Promenade to the finish at the Cenotaph on the promenade opposite the St. Helen’s Rugby Ground start.

Luke Swansea Bay 10k

How do I get to the Swansea Bay 10k 2016? This is a busy race with around 3000 competitors. It will be very busy at the start. Car parking is available around the Rugby Ground, organizers suggest SA1 4PQ for your SatNav. Because that area will be very congested I would advise parking around the Guildhall (SA1 4PE) and a taking a short walk to the start. Other parking is available at Swansea Civic Centre (SA1 3SN).

Allow plenty of time to get there by car. The road closes at 12pm so make sure you get there before that.

From the city centre the following buses will take you to St Helen’s Rugby Ground: 2a 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30 3a 11.50

Muggy

Are there photographs of previous Swansea Bay 10ks? I have been photographing the Swansea Bay 10k at Blackpill every year since 2008. Here are the highlights of previous years:

Swansea Bay 10k photographs & review 2013, click here.

Swansea Bay 10k photographs & review 2014, click here.

Swansea Bay 10k photographs & review 2015, click here.

Most importantly how do I get my photo of my heroic Swansea Bay 10k run immortalized in these reviews?  I always take photos at Blackpill which is a quarter of the way into the race. I take photos of runners going down the Mumbles Road.

Swansea Bay 10K Pack

I then cross over to the Blackpill Lido to take photos of the runners coming back along the promenade, entering the last quarter of the race. I take photos as people cross the bridge at Blackpill Lido. Give me a shout and I will endeavor to get you on camera. Contact me on race day by tweeting what you are wearing so I can spot you at @DimExcuses on twitter, or on the DimExcuses facebook page.

Dave Carrington

Finally are there any official website pages for the Swansea Bay 10k? Yes, there is an official website you can find here, and an official race day guide you can find here.

Matt Bailey

So that is all you need to know about the Swansea Bay 10k 2016, if you are running good luck, if you aren’t get down there an cheer the runners on, DimExcuses.

Running out of Summer, Swansea Bay 10k 2015.

Chris Swansea Bay 10k 2015

If anything in South Wales marks the end of summer it has to be Swansea Bay 10k. All the regular runners, like Chris Jones above, come out of the woodwork and try their best to run from Swansea to Mumbles and back as fast as they can. These two below were the fastest.

Swansea Bay 10k Winner 2015

With this lot not far behind.

Swansea Bay 10k Fast & Furious

It was a real family affair this year with my new nephew Ethan cheering his Dad, Matt Bailey on.

Baby Ethan

Here is Matt taking it all in his stride.

Matt Bailey Swansea Bay 10k 2015

My brother Steve wasn’t far behind raising a finger to say he has got this one!

Steven Bidder Swansea Bay 10k

Swansea Bay 10k regular Sam Donaldson was also not far behind, never afraid to get in a photo. You can spot him in the photos from Swansea Bay 10k 2014 here, and in the photos from Swansea Bay 10k 2013 here.

Sam Donaldson Swansea Bay 10k

Fresh from running the Swansea Bay Half Marathon 2015, Morriston Actif Girls Caroline & Tracey were the next smiling faces to come along.  Morriston Actif being Sharon’s running club, there was a lot of cheering going on.

Caroline & Tracey Swansea Bay 10k

Quickly followed by fellow Morriston Actif runner Karys Dermody.

Karys Dermody

A surprise entry was Jan Lawrence, but she seemed quite happy taking on the 10km of this renowned road race.

Jan Lawrence Swansea Bay 10k

Of course it wouldn’t be Swansea Bay 10k without the Macmillan Mug! We love the mug!

Macmillan Mug Swansea Bay 10k 2015

The downward run complete the runners start to return on Swansea Promenade. Mark Gosney setting the 40 minute pace for the real athletes.

Mark Gosney

Matt Bailey had obviously listened to Ethan’s bib, “run daddy, run”.

Matt Bailey Swansea Bay 10k

Chris Jones wasn’t far behind him tearing up the course.

Chris Jones Swansea Bay 10k

This year really was a family affair with my other brother, Chris Bidder running too. The Safety Lead on the Darth Mannion (surely that is an oxymoron) Beach & Swamp Run Challenge, he is using this race to prepare for entry to that extreme Gower half marathon himself. You can read Chris’ journey to the Darth here. More information on the Darth Mannion Beach & Swamp Challenge can be found on their website.  Or you can read my report on last year’s Darth Mannion here: Part 1 Pennard Castle, Part 2 Pwll Du River, and Part 3 Brandy Cove Headland. Chris is even wearing their jersey.

Chris Bidder Swansea Bay 10k 2015

My other brother Steve wasn’t far behind Chris digging in for the only hill in this great flat race.

Steve 10k

Keeping quiet about the pace, Sam Donaldson was next to take on that hill at 8km.

Sam Donaldson Swansea Bay 10k

There he goes.

Sam Blackpill Hill 10k

I was pleased to finally bump into fellow Gower photographer, twitterer and blogger Richie Hammond before the start of the race. Unfortunately his wife Ceri proved too fast to photograph and I only caught her back as she climbed the hill.

Ceri Swansea Bay 10k

Next was Debbie, one of two Mumbles Milers running in the race. To be fair half of them had been on the DimExcuses Big Gower walk yesterday, so they get a pass.

Mumbles Miler Debbie

Well done Debbie.

Debbie Swansea Bay 10k

Sorry for anyone I missed this year. I had this fidget under one arm, Molly the Frenchton checking out the route on the Promenade Map.

Molly Swansea Bay 10k Route

Molly, Sharon and I cheered in Tracey and Caroline from Sharon’s running club.

Tracey & Caroline

The Morriston Actif Runners taking it all in their stride.

Morriston Actif Runners

Soon followed by Actif Runner Karys who was now running alongside Jan Lawrence.

Jan and Karys

My Zante 2015 buddy Nicole was next.

Nicole

Proving the Swansea Bay 10k was not all Greek to her.

Nicole Hill Climb

Nicole’s sister and another of the Zante 2015 posse Yvette was working really hard to complete her first 10k. She completed the course at a steady pace.

Yvette Swansea Bay 10k

Well done Yvette and all this year’s Swansea Bay 10k runners. If you want to do it next year there is a DimExcuses guide to running the race here. So get your trainers on, DimExcuses.

 

Who wants to do the 10k twice? Swansea Half Marathon 2015

Swansea Half Marathon

Me, Sharon and Molly are big fans of the Swansea Bay 10k. I even wrote a km by km guide to running the Swansea  Bay 10k that you can read here.  So I was quite excited to get down Swansea bay this Sunday (14/06/15) to see the second Swansea Half Marathon.

Swansea Half Marathon 2015

That is almost two 10K put together, 12 miles!  It takes in the whole of the Swansea Bay 10k route and a whole lot more.

Banana Man

Molly, Sharon and I where at our usual spot under the speed camera on the Mumbles road on the way down and running over to the Blackpill bridge to catch the runners on the way back.

DimExcuses Half Marathon

I have been spectating there since 2008! You can read about the 2014 Swansea Bay 10k here, and the 2013 Swansea Bay 10k here.

Molly Half Marathon

Even though this was the Swansea Half Marathon there were lots of familiar faces from the blogs above and some new faces. Anwen Davies and the Superman T-Shirts team seemed in good spirits! There was a definite superhero theme this year.

Anwen Davies

Swansea University’s Chris Marshall was also making the jump up to half marathon with ease too.

Chris Marshall

There was a crocodile…

Crocodile

..and Bananaman chasing the previous banana!

Bananaman

Morriston Actif Running Group were represented, you can just see them coming in to view here.

Swansea Half

The actif runners hiding behind this orange runner, Rhys has been training them well.

Morriston Actif

Hold up a finger for every mile done so far ladies.

Rhys' Ladies

And there they go.

Get Actif

Swansea Bay 10k Legend Sandra Mitchell, infamous for falling asleep in a porter-loo for an hour during the Paris Marathon was managing to stay awake today.

Sandra Mitchell

Swansea Bay 10k pace-setter Mark Gosney was one of the first local runners back across Blackpill Bridge.

Blackpill Swansea Half  Marathon

Fast as always.

Mark Gosney

Andrew Wade, the Bishopston Boy now living in the USA, made a trip back across the pond to run in his hometown’s second half marathon.

Andrew Wade

Chris Jones was almost too fast for my camera, but I just got him. He is now probably sleeping the race off in his VW camper.

Chris Jones

Anwen and the Superhero Tees weren’t far behind.

Anwen

10k regular Chris Kent leads this pack across the bridge even though he has been struggling with injury. Eye of the Tiger stuff.

Chris Kent

Tony Henebery ditched is usual 10k fancy dress for this more serious distance.

Tony

An epic battle was taking place between the crocodile and Bananaman for fancy dress supermacy at the Swansea Half Marathon.

Actif

And here comes Rhys’ Ladies from Morriston Actif. Caroline, Tracy and Sarah from Sharon’s Running Group.

Actif

And there they go again. Spot the Boston Terrier.

Blackpill Hill

A bird of prey was starting to circle over Sandra Mitchell and the back runners.

Vultures Circling

Sandra smashing that Blackpill hill.

Sandra

What a morning! The second Swansea Half Marathon was a massive success. Loads of runners, loads of spectators and a great atmosphere. Who is running it next year, DimExcuses?

 

The Dog Ban and Gower Beaches, all you need to know.

High Tide Pobbles Bulldog

From 1st May to 30th September there are restrictions for dogs on Gower beaches and certain seafronts. In the winter my french bulldog cross Molly and I are constantly found checking out the winter swells at Langland and Caswell. With the arrival of May we have to leave our beach winter wonderland, but don’t worry there are great Gower beaches open to dogs all year. Here is a guide to where they are and all you need to know about the Gower beach dog bans.

Molly Cave Explorer

From May 1st to Sept 30th here is a list of beaches where dogs are not allowed:

  • Swansea Bay – from the River Tawe to the slip opposite Victoria Park and from the beach access at Sketty Lane to the northern edge of the slip at the West Cross Inn
  • Bracelet Bay
  • Limeslade Bay
  • Rotherslade Bay
  • Langland Bay
  • Caswell Bay
  • Port Eynon beach – from the eastern edge of the steps to Port Eynon beach to the eastern edge of Horton beach access.

Strike a Pose

So that is where you and your canine best friend can’t go in Gower from May 1st. But don’t panic here are the beaches Molly and I recommend that are open to dogs all year, or what we call our endless summer.

Frenchton and Ball

Dogs are limited on these beaches:

  • Swansea Bay – from the slip opposite Victoria Park to the beach access at Sketty Lane
  • Horton – from the lifeguard station east towards Oxwich
  • Port Eynon (from the main steps west to the Salt House

But DimExcuses don’t restrict your dog, go wild on these great Gower beaches all summer:

Pobbles

Talk to the bum cause the face ain't listening

Three Cliffs

Molly is the Queen of Three Cliffs

Tor Bay
Oxwich
Mewslade

Rhossili

Molly the shipwreck hunter

Llangennith
Broughton
Whiteford Sands

Swansea Council require that you keep your dog on a lead on the following paths.

  • The entire promenade at Swansea Bay (from the River Tawe to the Knab Rock car park, Mumbles)
  • The promenades at Langland Bay and Rotherslade
  • The promenade at Caswell Bay.

Molly Langland

I interpret these bylaws being enforced in the same 1st May to 30th September dog ban season as the beaches, but don’t take my word for that as I am no lawyer, and Swansea Council threaten a £500 fine for breaching the dog ban and £200 for breaching the lead rules. Molly says she can’t see how that could be enforceable for any visitor committing an offence out of ignorance, but again she too isn’t a lawyer and is also a bulldog. But with the information above you will be able to exercise your dog on Gower within the law with no worries, DimExcuses.

Sun Runners. Swansea Bay 10K 2014.

Swansea Bay 10K

Swansea Bay 10K is one of the most rated road races in the UK. The venue, the organisation, the atmosphere and view combine with an almost horizontal course that make it a road and fun runners favorite. Add to that a big dollop of Sun and another glorious mild September day which we are having at the moment and you get a classic race to remember.

Swansea Bay 10K Jane & Stu

The Mumbles road was closed to accommodate the full field of 3000 runners, including Jane Richards and @stukulele. This guy was in front at 2km. I don’t know his name, look it up in the running mags, I document the ‘have a go heroes’.

Swansea Bay 10k race leader 2km

He was closely followed by this lot! Chris Kent is in there somewhere.

Swansea Bay 10K Pack

The pack included, what I am guessing is a beach wheelchair?

Beach Wheel Chair

At 5km the runners leave Mumbles Road and run back in Swansea Bay itself on Swansea Promenade. Andrew Davies is running super fast these days, and has just come back from doing his first Ironman race. Luckily I saw his hat coming, usually he is moving too quick for a good photo.

Swansea Bay 10K Andrew Davies

Here is Mark Grosney running as a pace maker. Great to see pace makers as an addition to this race, invaluable for runners to make sure that they don’t go too fast, too early.

Swansea Bay 10K Mark Grosney

Chris Kent made sure he got in the forefront of this photo.

Swansea Bay 10K Chris Kent

The race for me isn’t over until I see the Macmillan Mug guys. In today’s Sun their effort was even more Herculean than normal. Go guys, we love the mug.

Macmillan 'We love the Mug'

Swansea Bay 10K is a great road race for fun runners, or in today’s case Sun Runners. You might think about running next year, DimExcuses.

Swansea Bay 10K Sign

A full Gallery of pictures is below.

The last of winter 2013/14.

Spot the surfer

So spring is here and yesterday we had a hint of better times to come. But today showed us winter may not quite finished with us yet! It has been the wettest winter, unseasonably mild, with massive tides and matching swells, all tied to bad weather that has brought storm surge conditions.

Langland after the storm

Well just as we try and wrestle free from winters grip, here are the pictures that somehow didn’t get posted over the last couple of months.

Swansea Bay

From a windswept Swansea Bay.

Molly Swansea Bay

To a Langland Bay robbed of sand by the winter storms.

Molly Langland

Molly the DimExcuses dog was definitely making the most of it, and making some friends.

Bulldog friends

Mind you so of those winter waves looked very tempting!

Winter Surf

Hinting at evening surf sessions to come.

Evening swells

And sunsets to follow.

Molly Sunset

So here is to spring! From Molly and me, DimExcuses.

Molly and Me

Introducing Molly our French Bulldog, and introducing Molly to the beach.

Training Molly

There is a new addition to the DimExcuses household, Molly the French Bulldog / Boston Terrier puppy.  So for her first photos we took her to the beach, Caswell Bay Gower and Swansea Bay.  Here is Caswell.

DSCN2465

And here is Molly!

DSCN2467

She is a cutie.

DSCN2471

She is already a fan of Caswell Bay, she is going to be a Gower Bulldog.

DSCN2472

Here she is getting some training at Swansea Bay.

DSCN2477

Before getting down to some serious seaweed sniffing.

DSCN2476

It won’t be long before we are back down the beach, Molly and me, DimExcuses.

 

Hot, humid and not a breath of wind. Swansea Bay 10k 2013

Swansea Bay 10k is all about the wind.  It can make or break your run.  The promenade is particularly exposed, with a tailwind behind you from Mumbles you fly, but a head wind from Swansea can really drag you back and evaporate your hopes of a personal best.  But for Swansea Bay 10k 2013 it was a lack of wind that caused the problems, leading to a hotter than normal race.  Combine with that a high humidity that stops you cooling down it was a tough run this year.

Pace Car

Yet that didn’t stop the professional runners, with the leaders getting to me in Blackpill in less than 7 minutes!

Front Runners

And the disciplined pros were soon followed by the other 3000 runners.

Swansea Bay 10k

So let’s have a look at the local heroes running this year.  First up is Survival of the Fittest runner and original ‘No Excuses’ bike rider Luke Millward, smiling through the humidity.  Only 8k to go.

DSCN2235

My sister Michelle seems to have lost her long time running mate Sally at this point, and was later to drop out from the humidity at 8k.  But here she is at 2k going strong.

Michelle

It is so difficult to catch the runners on the way down at 2k, I really just work out who is running, what they are wearing so I can catch them on the way back at 8k.  Rod Davies (supposedly out injured, but surprisingly running pass me) was too fast even on the return, so here is a picture of his back.

Rod Davies

Dave Carrington from Kenfig Nature Reserve, was on his first Swansea Bay race and on his first 10k, but seemed very comfortable at the 8k mark.

Dave Carrington

Matt Bailey was another one moving to fast, so I only got his back on the short hill climb.

Matt Bailey

Darien was next through blackpill, he has done the Swansea Bay 10k several times and wasn’t struggling.

Darien

Another hardy Swansea Bay 10k perennial is Chris Marshall from Swansea University.  ‘It is like a tradition to see you sitting up there’ he said to me as he passed.  Admittedly I have been in the same spot every year since 2008!

Chris Marshall

Luke Milward got a second photo this year, he is like the new  Sam Donaldson.

Luke Milward

Talking of Sam Donaldson here he is slightly off the pace but very relieved after being forced to ‘pull a Radcliffe’ at the Lido.

Sam Donaldson

Next up is Laura Bailey, AKA Mrs Russel Bailey, winner of Survival of the Fittest a couple of years ago.

Laura

Another year on year Swansea Bay 10k runner is Kelly Shefford, going steady to finish another race.

Kelly Shefford

And finally Muggy (Fay Sharpe supported by Donna Griffths) going above and beyond the call of duty for Macmillian in these hot and humid conditions.

Muggy

Once again a great race, a great day out, well done the runners, Admiral and the City & County of Swansea for organising so well, and you and I as the much needed support on the way around.  DimExcuses.