TOP runners, volunteers and spectators alike praised the atmosphere at the 2014 Newport Half Marathon, with more spectators than last year turning out to cheer on the runners this morning.

This year Ryan McFlynn, 35, from Malpas, took the title once again with a time of 1 hour 14 minutes 47 seconds.

Speaking to the Argus just minutes after crossing the finishing line, Mr McFlynn said he wouldn't have bet on himself to win two years on the trot.

"It was a bit windier out there than you'd think," said Mr McFlynn, who is a member of newly-formed Cwmbran running club, the Micky Morris Racing Team (MMRT), set up in memory of Mr Morris who was a runner in the 1970s and designed to try and stop local talent leaving the area.

"The first six [runners] were all quite tight, I was hoping to get out on my own but they all hung in there and kept the pace. I was just trying to retain the title and wanted to come out and support [the event], they have done a great job of it, it's getting stronger and stronger every year."

"I did the same training as last year but you can always do more," said the runner, who ate some white chocolate coins after crossing the finish line, and whose wife and three daughters were cheering him on. "There has been great support this year, it's been absolutely brilliant."

Finishing in the top 10 was Caerleon runner James Elgar, 29, who passed his own house at Home Farm along this year's route.

"My family and people were cheering me on," said Mr Elgar, a member of Lliswerry Runners and a keen triathlete, having completed an Iron Man challenge as well as 10 half marathons and six full marathons. "There was really good support this year. I did it last year and there was definitely a lot more people out this year.

"The weather was almost ideal for running, I had anticipated the wind and tried to tuck in behind people. There was a pack of about 10 of us for the first six to seven kilometres then Ryan put the power down and sped out."

Argus digital editor Martin Wade, who ran the race wearing a 30kg backpack to raise funds for Velindre Cancer Care in memory of his friend Anthony Price, finished in 1 hour 47 minutes.

Fundraiser Jackie Lewis was handing out goodie bags to runners after they finished the race, with at least two of the participants running in memory of her son Steven Lewis, a lifeguard who was cared for by St David's Hospice while suffering with cancer. He died in December 2011 age 31.

Now Mrs Lewis is on a mission to raise £25,000 for the charity, which has a water fountain at its Malpas base dedicated to her son.

"The weather has been better this year and it's been nice to see everyone and give them a goodie bag," said Mrs Lewis. "I'm hoping to do a swimathon later in the year."

In the clubhouse after the race, athletes could have a physiotherapy session thanks to Chromeblue Physiotherapy, a Newport company headed by Jeremy Williams.

Three physiotherapists and three masseurs helped the runners with muscle tightness and blood flow issues to improve recovery time after exertion and prevent injury.