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Everything you need to know about the ABP Newport Marathon Festival

16.04.23 - ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10K - Runners cross the line at the end of the marathon

THE ABP Newport Marathon Festival is returning this Sunday (28 April) to the streets of Newport, with a new look, new half marathon distance and newly designed courses. More than 7,000 people have signed up to take part in the running event suited to every level of ability and ambition.

The new courses have been devised by Run 4 Wales Race Director and double Olympic marathoner, Steve Brace. While the routes are new, first-time runners or those looking to secure a PB, needn’t worry as the flat and fast course, which the Newport events are famed for, have been retained.

Alongside the new identity, this year has also seen the introduction of the Newport Marathon 100 Club whereby Run 4 Wales has gifted 100 free spaces into the 10K and half marathon distances in order to help people improve their health and wellbeing.

Matt Newman, Chief Executive at event organisers Run 4 Wales, said: “We’re so excited to kick off our new look ABP Newport Marathon Festival, which has only been made possible with the support of Associated British Ports, Newport City Council and the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

“The weekend is set to be even bigger and better than before, and we can’t wait to welcome participants and spectators to not only enjoy the new races but all the supporting activities and on-course entertainment too.”

When are the races?

The event takes place this Sunday, 28 April. The Marathon and Half Marathon will start at 09:00 and the 10K at 09:45. The Future Challengers race will start at 12:00, the Toddler Dash at 12:15 and the Family Fun Run at 12:45.

Where is it happening?

All races will start on Usk Way in Newport near the University of South Wales building. The event village is situated on the river front in front of the University of South Wales building (opposite the Friars Walk Shopping Centre). 

Can I still enter?

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Registration for all races is now closed and no on-the-day entries will be available.

Where does the marathon race go?

The route for the ABP Newport Wales Marathon was devised by double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace and is one of Europe’s flattest marathon races.

It starts and finishes on Newport’s vibrant riverfront and will take in a new city centre loop. Upon leaving the city centre, the marathon course will also include a loop of Newport’s International Sports Village, which is home to the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome, Newport Stadium and Dragan Park.

The marathon course will still enjoy the stunning natural scenery and pancake flat roads of the Gwent Levels, but will no longer stretch as far east as Monmouthshire, instead turning around in the medieval village of Redwick after a loop of the International Sports Village and Newport Wetlands and Goldcliff areas.

The latter stages of the marathon will feature an additional lap of the picturesque Wetlands area around Goldcliff. The change replaces the quieter and more rural sections of the original course, creating a busier and more vibrant section of the race that sees runners enjoy a carnival atmosphere as they pass a new course entertainment zone twice. 

Runners will still enjoy views of the city’s historic Transporter Bridge in the final stretch of their 26.2 mile journey, ahead of a sprint finish down Usk Way – but without the out-and-back section of the course on Stephenson Street which featured on the original route. 

You can see a map of the route here.

Where does the half marathon race go?

The half marathon is new for 2024, expanding the event into an exciting festival of running with multiple distance options.

Its flat and fast course offers iconic landmarks, including the city’s Transporter Bridge, historic city centre, modern riverfront and International Sports Village as well as the stunning natural scenery and coastal wildlife of the nearby Gwent Levels.

The race will start and finish in the heart of the city on Usk Way, kick-starting with a loop of the city centre and historic Commerical Street – including many listed buildings dating from the Victorian period.

Like the marathoners, half marathon runners will take in a loop of Newport’s International Sports Village. They’ll then approach the halfway point whilst completing a loop of the picturesque Newport Wetlands area around the village of Goldcliff, with a chance to enjoy an all-new vibrant course entertainment zone.

They’ll complete their 13.1-mile journey whilst enjoying views of the historic Transporter Bridge ahead of a sprint finish back to the city-centre along Usk Way.

You can see a map of the route here.

Where does the 10K race go?

The race will start and finish in the heart of the city on Usk Way, and like the other two distances, will start with a loop of the city centre and a loop of Newport’s International Sports Village.The race will conclude with views of the historic Transporter Bridge ahead of a sprint finish back to the city-centre along Usk Way.

It adds an exciting extra dimension to the ABP Newport Marathon Festival, giving runners of all abilities the chance to be a part of one of Wales’ largest weekends of running – without having to complete the challenging marathon distance.

You can see a map of the route here.

What is the weather forecast?

The weather forecast is looking typically Welsh, with a chance of drizzle and light winds alongside some sunshine. The temperature will be mild.

What is the best way to travel to the race?

Competitors are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and be aware that some road closures will be in place on the morning of the race.

With so many participants and spectators travelling to Newport over the race weekend, one of the most reliable, stress-free and cost-effective ways to travel and avoid congestion is by travelling by train in advance of race day and making a weekend of it.

An official Park & Ride service for the race will be in operation, based at the Office of National Statistics which is easily accessible from the M4 Motorway. It will operate between 06:00 and 17:00 and is only available to those who have pre-booked a space. Other car parks are available in the city-centre.

For travel and parking advice click here.

Will there be road closures in place?

Some road closures will be in operation to facilitate the safe passage of participants. A list of road closures and map to help plan your journey can be found here.

Is there an elite race?

Dewi Griffiths (28:27), Omar Ahmed (28:45), Hannah Irwin (32:25) and Holly Archer (33:27) will head the fields for the 10K.

Ronnie Richmond (65:35), Alex Carter (66:21), Lauren Cooper (78:34) and Liz Dimond (79:56) will headline the new half marathon distance.

Dan Osborn-Nash (2:15:19) and Georgie Bruinvels (2:37:03) are favourites in the marathon.

Read the full elite preview here.

Are there any inspiring runner stories?

Inspirational dad Chris Thomas is running the ABP Newport Marathon in memory of his daughter Scarlett who sadly died when she was just four years old from a condition so rare that it didn’t have a name. He is taking part to raise money for Tŷ Hafan.

Anwen Davies will be raising money for Cartefi Cymru by running the marathon in memory of her dad who tragically died while climbing Yr Wydffa (Mount Snowdon). She said that he passed away unafraid of his limited and wants to follow in his footsteps by taking on this marathon challenge.

Powys woman, Karen Hampson, is taking on the ABP Newport Half Marathon as part of her breast cancer recovery. Karen was diagnosed two years ago after finding a lump while watching TV but after reading up on the benefits of exercise she started running and has discovered she can do so much more than she ever thought she was capable of.

Will there be atmosphere around the route?

The exciting new changes to the routes have been made with the aim to improve the atmosphere and event experience for both runners and spectators.

There will also be a number of course entertainment stations offering musical encouragement to participants, at various points along the route:

What will be at the event village?

The event village will be host to a number of exhibitors, food and drink. Those coming along can expect a carnival atmosphere with stilt walkers and circus activities for children from Organised Kaos and Sports Activities from Dragons Rugby.

Sponsors and exhibitors will also be offering interactive entertainment and giveaways.

A full list of what will be happening at the event village can be found here.

Will money be raised for charity?

Charity fundraising is important to the event with Tŷ Hafan, Cardiff University, Newport Mind, Latch and 2Wish as official charities for 2024 and runners fundraising for many other causes.

Who are the event partners?

The event would not be possible without the support of Associated British Ports (ABP), UK Government and Newport City Council. Other event partners include the University of South Wales, Monmouthshire Building Society, the Office for National Statistics, Friars Walk Newport, ICC Wales, Brecon Carreg, High5, ICC Wales, Mon Motors, Monex Group, Coopah and Capital FM.

What will runners receive when they finish the race?

Every runner will receive a commemorative medal and event t-shirt upon finishing the race – unless they have selected to opt out of receiving a finishers t-shirt and donating to the Run 4 Wales Climate Action Fund.

This year the designs feature the new ABP Newport Marathon Festival identity, inspired by the city’s iconic footbridge.  The 10K medal also forms part of a matching set with the other 2024 events in the R4W 10K series – including the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K, Ogi Porthcawl 10K and CDF 10K.

Where’s best to watch?

The event village on Usk Way is the best place to catch a glimpse of runners at the beginning and end of their races. There is also the opportunity to spot loved ones more than once with runners passing the start line for a second time following a loop of the city centre.

Commercial street will allow a view of runners in the early stages of all three races, and the pub and beer garden in Blaina Wharf allows spectators to spot marathon and half runners at mile 1 and 25/12, and see 10K runners at 1-2K and 8-8K points.

Redwick’s North Row area is also a good chance to spot marathon runners at the turnaround point.

A number of road closures will be in place to facilitate the event, so make sure to plan ahead.

Can you track runners around the race?

The Run 4 Wales App on iOS and Android can be used to inspect the route pre-race and live track participants on the day with full Google maps functionality.

Find out more or download the app here.

Race Day Guide

A full lowdown of all the important event information can be found here.