THOUSANDS of runners raced through Monmouthshire as Wales’ newest marathon passed through the county.

Around 6,000 runners took part in the first ever ABP Newport Wales Marathon on Sunday.

Crowds gathered in Magor Square, the 10-mile mark of the race, where The Hotdogs band provided live entertainment and a water station was on hand for runners outside the The Golden Lion pub.

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) charity provided a cheer station, while eateries were open to provide refreshments.

Volunteers helped spruce up the square ahead of the event, with a litter pick and street sweep taking place.

Monmouthshire County councillor Frances Taylor (Independent, Mill ward), who helped organise the event, said it proved highly popular.

She said: “We were delighted to bring the marathon through Magor Square.

“I wanted to showcase our beautiful village and the customary community spirit and warmth of local residents.

“We have received wonderful feedback from runners and spectators.

“Magor Square was a course highlight and we’d like to welcome back the marathon and the fabulous Hotdog band next year.”

St Johns Ambulance staff were also at the square with eight ambulances, cycle responders, three motorbikes and four rapid response vehicles at the marathon.

Paramedic Richard Mckeand, 43, was patrolling on his motorbike to offer emergency mobile life support.

Volunteer first aider Daniel Lyonshall, 30, who was at the square, said on the day: “We have about 100 personnel out today.

“Because its the first marathon it’s a bit of an unknown. The weather is perfect for runners though, just not so much for spectators.”

Thousands of spectators cheered on the participants who ran 26.2 miles from Newport to Magor and back.

And the cheers were not only for the marathon runners, but also for the 4,000 people taking on the 10k course.

The winners of the marathon were James Carpenter and Natasha Cockram.

Mr Carpenter came in first for the men in a time of 02:33:32 and Ms Cockram -who is from Newport - crossed the line in 02:44:58 as the first woman.

The first Gwent participant to cross the finishing line was former Newport boxer Matthew Edmonds who was cheered across the line as he finished in a time of 02:44:07.

Many runners in the marathon also praised the 26.2 course for being flat all the way around.

Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said: “The inaugural ABP Newport Wales Marathon has been an overwhelming success across all aspects of the day.”

He added: “The runners on the day have voted with their feet and had some truly amazing experiences.

“The initial feedback is that the courses were great and there were plenty of personal bests.”