MORE than 2,000 runners signed up to the first Newport marathon in less than one day. 

The first ABP Newport Wales Marathon will take place on 29 April, 2018.

A spokeswoman for the ABP Newport Wales Marathon said: "More than 600 had signed up within the first 10 minutes of entries opening."

She said that, by 3pm, the number had grown to 2,000 and by the close of play race organisers, Run4Wales, were predicting more than 2,500 entries.

Run4Wales CEO Matt Newman said: "It has been a remarkable start and it shows there is obviously a huge appetite for a world-class marathon race here in Wales. We are delighted at the enthusiasm shown by runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and standards.

“Our ‘Early Bird’ offer is always attractive for whatever event we are promoting, but the reaction to the ABP Newport Marathon really has caught us by surprise.”

News that Newport will host its first marathon next year has been welcomed by politicians and the business sector.

Kevin Ward, manager of Newport Now BID, the company run by city centre businesses to help encourage more visitors and trade in the area, said: "I think it is fantastic news for the city.

"It will bring a huge number of people to the city centre and other parts of the city.  Businesses will need to make sure they can take advantage of the increased footfall."

John Griffiths, AM for Newport east, has signed up for the ABP Newport Wales Marathon. He said: "I am delighted that Newport will host its first marathon. 

"I am regular Riverfront park runner and have run every Newport half marathon.

"The event will put running in the front of people's minds in Newport and will build on the already many successful events and initiatives in our city that encourage people to live active lifestyles.”

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport east, said the marathon is "great" news as it presents another opportunity to enhance Newport’s reputation as a venue for major sporting events. 

She said: “It’s another string in the city’s bow and will provide a further boost for the local economy, with an influx of runners and spectators.”

The spokeswoman for the race said the first to sign-on was Caerleon running club member Richard Perry, who lives in Pontypool. The 33-year-old was joined by runners from all over the UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Greece. 

Entries opened today with an early bird entry offer available for the first runners to sign up. The race is now on to secure one of the final 500 early bird entries. You can sign up here.