SIX thousand runners took part in the second annual ABP Newport Wales Marathon on Sunday.

The event was hailed as another runaway hit, with organisers “delighted” with the atmosphere and turnout.

The thousands of runners and spectators were greeted by a beautiful morning, without a cloud in sight. The route, unchanged since last year, took runners on a 26.2-mile loop from Newport to Magor and back.

The marathon winners were Chris Bird and Carla Swithenbank.

Mr Bird came in with a time of 2hr 31min 34sec, beating last year’s record by nearly two minutes. Ms Swithenbank finished the course in 2hr 45min 48sec.

The flat route helped many runners set new personal bests.

In addition to the marathon, there were 10k and ‘family mile’ races.

In the 10k event, Matt Clowes made a successful return from injury to triumph in 29min 43sec, equalling the course record.

The women’s race had a new champion in Charlotte Taylor-Green. A week after acting as a pace maker in the London Marathon she held off the 2018 winner, Rachel Fenton, to win in a course record 34min 44sec.

In Magor, the streets were lined with crowds of well-wishers, including Claire Sargeant, Vicky Bott, and Kat Southgate-Love, who watched on from opposite The Golden Lion pub in the village square.

They were supporting the children’s charity NSPCC, which had a total of 100 runners competing in the two events, including 70 from south east Wales.

“We’re immensely proud,” Ms Southgate-Love said.

Also cheering from the sidelines were George and Nella Hendry, whose mum Elizabeth was running in the marathon.

The CEO of Go Compare, Matthew Crummack, ran the marathon in an inflatable opera singer outfit, crossing the finish line at 4hr 52min 43sec. Afterwards he said: “The race is fast becoming an unmissable addition to the Welsh sporting calendar, and we’re already looking to build on the success of the event when we return.”

The date for the 2020 event has already been set for Sunday, April 19, as organisers Run 4 Wales aims to build on the success of the opening two years.