IaafNews29 Feb 2016

Merthyr runners get ready for IAAF World Half Marathon Championships


ABW 500 runners (© IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016 LOC)

The ABW (Athletics for a Better World) 500 initiative, which is geared towards the IAAF / Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016, hosted its second community training session in the Welsh town of Aberfan on Sunday (28).

More than 50 runners enjoyed an afternoon helping them prepare and get race ready for the championships in Cardiff on Saturday 26 March.

The event attendees received training hints and tips from local inspirational speaker and author Hannah Phillips, as well as Welsh personal trainer Adam Jones, who has recently appeared on the BBC Wales series Run for Your Life

After the talks, the group was taken on a short training run around the Aberfan area to continue their preparations for the big day.

Launched in November, the ABW 500 scheme is aimed at helping novice runners or even those who have never run before to experience what a world championship is like and use the training to improve their health and well-being.  

Athletics for a Better World, the IAAF social responsibility programme, has distributed 500 free running spaces among the Welsh communities who have previously not benefited from such opportunities.

“It’s been a wonderful afternoon and fantastic to see so many local people from the Merthyr area getting active," said Phillips. "I started running four years ago and it has completely changed my life and from what I have seen today the ABW 500 scheme has already made a real difference to those involved.”

ABW 500 runner Sean Cooke from Merthyr said: “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to run in such a special event. I haven’t had the chance to be involved in anything quite like this before and it is definitely inspiring me to continue with my journey back to fitness.

“While 13.1 miles is not going to be easy, I’m determined to finish the race in a decent time and have already started looking into what my next running challenge can be after Cardiff. For me this is a life change.”

An estimated 20,000 runners will take part in the mass participation race on the same course as the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016.

Cardiff 2016 for the IAAF