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Swansea University Half Marathon raises over £20,000 for mental health support

Staff, students and friends who took part in this year’s Swansea University Half Marathon have smashed through their fundraising total and collected more than £20,000 to boost mental health care and support.

The total has overtaken last year’s tally and is still rising as more money rolls in after the successful event.

More than 5,000 runners took part in the race, sponsored again this year by the University, which took them on a course from Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum, onto the Singleton Campus and along Mumbles Road and back.

Among them was a 230-strong team from the University who chose to raise money for our Making Strides for Mental Health campaign, which funds essential research into suicide prevention, along with mental health and wellbeing support for students.

Team Swansea member and Associate Professor Cath Norris said: “During the race I was thinking about all the supporters who donated money for this amazing cause and that was a huge incentive for me to keep pushing ahead – while singing to my eighties track mix. Well, you’ve got to have good tunes to pass the time!”

She added: “Crossing that finish line brought a real mix of emotions – back when my training started in January, I was not very optimistic that I could run that distance, but I did it and that is such a proud feeling. I still smile when I think I ran a half marathon.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Deborah Youngs, who presented medals to the winners, said: “Seeing the commitment shown by all the runners was truly inspiring, whether completing their first ever half-marathon, achieving their personal bests, taking advantage of the wonderful, scenic course, or all three!

“We are delighted that the University can support such an important event for the whole city. We’re particularly proud of our staff, students and alumni who came together to play their part and raise so much money for such a good cause.”

The men’s race was won by Omar Ahmed in 1:03:02 while wheelchair winner was Josh Hickinbottom in 1:05:47. Appropriately for a Swansea University-sponsored race the women’s winner was Dr Emily Marchant from Education and Childhood Studies, in 1:17:42.

But the Making Strides Team also claimed some impressive results – its first man over the line was Henry Spencer in 1:25:53 with Kitty Watts the first woman in 1:38:28.