AN aspiring athlete from Cwmbran has taken first place in the junior section of the Murder Mile Race.

Charlie Best, 14, from Llanfrechfa, is the youngest member of Pontypool and District Runners, and after just a few months of training he was keen to enter his first race - described, no less, as one of the toughest uphill miles in the country.

He took part in the Murder Mile at Mynydd Islwyn, hosted by Islwyn Runners, from Pontllanfraith, on Friday, August 8.

The route was included in Runners World top 10 hardest races and in Running Fitness top five hilliest races in 2011.

He made a good start, and was the first junior to complete the course.

Reflecting on his success,Charlie, who finished tenth overall, said it was certainly an uphill struggle.

"I just ran as hard as I could for as long as I could, but it got steeper and steeper," he said.

Seventy runners finished the tough mile uphill race, while Charlie completed in a time of 11:01 minutes.

A coach at Pontypool and District Runners, Andrew Dickens, said: "Everyone is thrilled that he has done so well. His victory at this event demonstrates what he is capable of - he has a great athletics future ahead of him"

The other Pontypool Runners who ran the event were Maria Richards who finished 31st, completing it in 12.48 minutes, and Carl Roberts, 48th in 13.59 minutes.

The winner of the race was Daniel Bodman of Aberdare, completing the route in 8.49 minutes.

Pontypool and District Runners Juniors meet at 6pm every Monday at Pontypool Active Living Centre.