Sadly, the 2019 running of the Nationwide Swindon Half Marathon on September the 22nd will be the very last.
When the owners took the race on at the end of 2016, they wanted to be able to create something a bit special for Swindon, to put it on the running map and to build a race that pulled together the vibrant running community of Swindon and the surrounding areas.
Unfortunately, despite giving it their best efforts, they’ve simply not been able to make it work financially with the numbers of runners that have attended, and the amount of work associated with organising the race has taken over their lives more than they could have ever imagined or expected.
The two race directors for the Swindon Half, are not a big events company, but a couple of runners from Swindon who wanted to create a large scale event that highlighted all the things they all know and love about Swindon in order to help build up the areas image, and have funded this entirely out of our own pockets.
The break even point for the event is around 3,500, which is a number they’ve yet to achieve, and is looking very unlikely to be achieved in 2019.
There was always the option to run the race on a much lower budget in line with other smaller scale events in other towns, but they thought it would not only be doing a disservice to a town the size and rate of expansion as Swindon, but they consider none closed roads races to be dangerous and not something they’d even entertain.
To give people a glimpse into the economics of running a large-scale half marathon, the cost of closing the roads around Swindon and the associated Traffic Management is around £55-60,000 per year.
They’re extremely grateful of Nationwide Building society and all the other companies that have been behind the new Swindon half in terms of Sponsorship and Support over that last 3 years. The race directors extend their thanks to them, and to the 16 local charities that have partnered up with to set up atmosphere stations along the course to support the runners and bring them some noise and enthusiasm.
In 2018 alone, the Nationwide Swindon Half runners themselves raised over £118,000 for charity with their efforts, which is an incredible figure, and something they should all be very proud of.
In 2017, Swindon Half were very proud to have received the Bronze medal in the prestigious industry Running Awards foe the event, and in 2018, they went one better with a Silver. They are aiming to deliver a race in 2019, for our swansong event, that is worthy of a Gold medal to maintain our upward path.
The easy path for the directors would be to just pull the plug on the 2019 race and refund people before it even happens.
However, this is not fair to either the runners who have committed so much training to this year’s event, or the runners that have raised so much for Charity with the aim of completing the course on Sept 22nd, so this year’s race is definitely still going ahead as planned.
The 2019 Race, to be held in a little over 2 months on September 22nd, is still open for entries, and they would love to be able to send it off with our biggest runner numbers and atmosphere yet.