THE WINNER of the 2013 Newport half marathon will be back again this year – and he’s looking to cross the finish line first once again.

Ryan McFlynn, 35, who lives in Malpas, ran last year’s 13.1 mile race, in aid of St David’s Hospice Care, in one hour 17 minutes and 20 seconds.

But despite beating close to 950 other runners, it wasn’t something that Mr McFlynn had even considered.

“It was a real surprise to win it,” he said. “To be the first one over the line in the first Newport half marathon was great but it wasn’t at all expected.

“I hadn’t even thought about winning. It wasn’t something that I set out to do but it went well which made for a very good day.

“It’s a nice thing to have as a record though, the achievement of winning the first ever Newport half marathon.”

Mr McFlynn’s training has gone to plan so far, a feat he admits hasn’t been easy due to the wind and rain that’s battered Gwent over the past few months.

And even though he’s very keen to add a second winners title to his collection, he accepts that’ll it’ll be a tough ask to cross the finish line first once again.

“It’s all about what happens on the day,” added Mr Mcflynn. “It’d be great to win it for the second year and I’ll certainly be trying but it’s hard as there are a lot of good young runners about.

“I’m a year older than I was last year and it all depends on how people are feeling on the day.

“One person might be flying on that day whilst I could be struggling but I’ll be doing my best to win it again.”