AN OLYMPIC gold medallist will fire the pistol to get runners started in the Newport Half Marathon, sponsored by Admiral, on Sunday, March 2.

Darren Campbell MBE, who won gold in the 4x100m relay in Athens in 2004 and individual silver in the 200m at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is an ambassador for the Argus-backed 13.1-mile race in aid of St David’s Hospice Care.

He said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to come along to start the Admiral City of Newport Half Marathon.

“Running has been my life and passion and I’m therefore thrilled to be able to be given this opportunity to be part of an initiative that will help open up the sport to even more people and also raise funds for a very worthy cause, St David’s Hospice Care.

“I am very pleased that the event is being staged here in the city of Newport. I will continue to take a keen interest in the half marathon and look forward to seeing how the event develops and grows over the coming years.”

The half marathon will be started by Mr Campbell at Rodney Parade at 9am on March 2. There will be approximately 1,350 people running, which is an increase of 350 on last year’s numbers.

Mr Campbell also played a central role in the 2013 race by starting it as well as donating money to be used as prize money for the winners.

Event organiser Kris Broome, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “We’re thrilled that Darren has agreed to start off the event again this year.

“He was there for us at the start of the first event last year and we’re very pleased that he has carried through his involvement again to this year’s event.”

Volunteers are still wanted to help marshal the event on the day. If you can help out then ring 01633 851051.