South East Wales

Newport to host full marathon in April 2018

Runners Image copyright City of Newport Half Marathon
Image caption Runners at the start line of the Newport half marathon in 2015

Newport is to host a full marathon in April 2018.

Launching the event, Run 4 Wales said it would satisfy the demand for an annual 26.2 mile mass-participation event in Wales.

Associated British Ports, the event's title partner, said it would "put Wales in the international sporting spotlight".

Entries for the event, which will take place instead of the proposed Cardiff Marathon, will go on sale on 5 October.

Run 4 Wales had been due to organise a Cardiff Marathon in April 2018. It was initially billed for April 2017, but was put back in order to provide "the perfect course for runners of all abilities".

A spokesman said: "Newport provides a better route for a premier marathon event in Wales. The course will be fast and flat while taking in a number of famous Newport landmarks."

The route, drawn up by double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace, will start and finish in the Newport Business Improvement District and will provide a high-profile opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience the revamped city centre.

The event will be delivered by Run 4 Wales, the team behind the Cardiff Half Marathon and Velothon Wales.

Run 4 Wales chief executive, Matt Newman said: "The delivery of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2016 provided an opportunity for Run 4 Wales to become a world-class event organiser and we have been looking for the right opportunity to launch a full marathon.

"We know there are more than 200,000 unsuccessful applications to run in the London Marathon. A lot of those people will be looking to sign up for another event.

"The Cardiff half marathon is world class and has become one of the iconic events in British road running. We wouldn't do anything to damage that. But there is a huge demand for marathons in the UK."

Image copyright Run 4 Wales

The Welsh Government and Newport City Council are backing the project as strategic partners to bring the marathon to south Wales.

Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Ken Skates, said: "This is an excellent opportunity for us to establish a much awaited for national marathon for Wales.

"We look forward to working with partners to develop the event and to once again showcase our abilities to host major sporting events in Wales."

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, added: "By expanding our events programme we hope to raise the profile of the city and attract more visitors and investment.

"I look forward to welcoming top runners to Newport and know that many of our local athletes will also relish the opportunity to pound the streets of their home city."

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