Booked: Inaugural Swansea Half Marathon

I'm a step closer to this year's goal of completing my first ever half marathon - and it will be a first for the city of Swansea too.

After years of being sandwiched between two hugely successful half marathons - Llanelli and Cardiff - Swansea will finally have its day on 20th July 2014.

It's surprising that it hasn't been done before. Swansea Bay lends itself to such an event, with long stretches of flat road and beautiful views. The annual Swansea Bay 10k is one of the most popular races I know of (it was also my first 10km race), so without a doubt I knew there'd be massive public interest for a Half in the city.

Swansea Marina is a great place to run. More Swansea pics here.

Sure enough, the organisers did a great job of promoting the event long before the website even went live. I watched their twitter account like a hawk, receiving alerts for every post as partnerships were established and the foundations laid.

On 23rd April the website went live, registration opened and I signed up straight away - along with hundreds more eagerly awaiting runners. More than 300 people registered in the first three hours.

Signing up to this race was important to me. First of all, I love Swansea and wanted to be a part of the inaugural race. Second, I wanted to sign up to a Half Marathon as soon as possible. Cardiff Half isn't until October and, even though it's slightly terrifying, I want to push myself sooner.

I habitually err on the side of caution when running, never really challenging myself without months of analysing every small detail first. Then at the end of it all, I may well turn round and say, "Hm, maybe next time." I want to break away from what is becoming a stifling comfort zone and just get on and do it. It's a pretty liberating thought process for me.

It doesn't come without nerves. I've got about 13 weeks to move from 10k distances to 10 miles+. If I follow the 10% rule, I can probably reach 11.5 miles before the race. Then there's nutrition, which I've never had to think about before - I don't even need to carry water with me on my runs at the moment. Should I get a bag? Special sports drinks? Gels? It'll be July. What about sunglasses? How hot will it be? Will it be too warm for compression socks? Good God, how do my legs look in shorts?

I've clearly got some work to do on my new Nike-paraphrased philosophy, but then running is as much a psychological and emotional challenge as a physical one.

Let's hope I conquer both.

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