South East Wales

Dai Greene helps start Nos Galan run in Mountain Ash

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Media captionOlympic hurdler Dai Greene was unveiled as the mystery runner at the annual Nos Galan races

London 2012 athletes Dai Greene and Samantha Bowen have taken part in this year's Nos Galan road race in south Wales.

Over 1,300 signed up for adults and children's races around Mountain Ash, the most in its 46-year history.

The run honours legendary runner Guto Nyth Bran, whose statue is in the town.

Welshman Greene, 26, finished fourth in 400m hurdles at the Olympics. Bowen, also 26, from Mountain Ash, represented Paralympic GB in sitting volleyball.

It is tradition for the "mystery runners" to lay a wreath at the statue of 18th Century runner who inspired the race and to light a beacon to signal the start of the adult and elite athletes' races.

Fireworks

Last year's mystery runners were football and rugby legends John Hartson and Mark Taylor with previous guests including Linford Christie, Nicole Cooke and James Hook among others.

Image caption Greene was joined by Paralympian Samantha Bowen

The races, including the main 5km fun run, attracts entrants from around the world with two travelling from Washington DC and San Diego in the US to compete this year.

Organisers said the highlight of the race was the arrival of Greene, Team GB athletics captain at the Olympic Games, and local Paralympian Bowen.

He finished fourth in the 400m hurdles final and fourth in the 4x400m relay, just 0.13 seconds off a medal place

Bowen was brought up in Mountain Ash before joining the Army.

She was paralysed after a bomb attack and spent several years in recovery before enrolling in the Disability Sport Wales volleyball programme and being spotted by coaches.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ann Crimmings called it the "biggest street party" the area had seen on New Year's Eve with crowds turning out to watch the races and fireworks display.

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