THE long wait is finally over.

The ABP Newport Wales Marathon and 10K races will finally get under way tomorrow.

Almost 6,000 runners will take-on the gruelling 26.2 mile distance, with a further 4,000 competing in the 10K race.

Around 20,000 others are also expected to descend on the streets of the city to watch and cheer them on.

The flat route will take runners past the University of South Wales and the bustling Friars Walk shopping centre before heading over the SDR Bridge, through the east of the city and into its rural areas, then on towards the village of Magor in Monmouthshire.

As we count down to race-day, here is everything you need to know.

What time will it start?

The marathon begins at 9pm and the 10K starts at 9.45am.

Runners are urged to arrive in plenty of time for their start time.

Race pens open half an hour before each event.

What’s the route?

The route for the inaugural ABP Newport Wales Marathon has been devised by double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace.

It will start and finish on Newport’s vibrant river front and is one of the flattest marathon routes in the UK.

The single loop route will take runners past the University of South Wales and the bustling Friars Walk shopping centre before heading over the SDR Bridge, through the east of the city and into its rural areas, then on towards the village of Magor in Monmouthshire.

Here, runners can expect a carnival atmosphere around the main village square.

Supporters will have the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of their loved ones and elite runners in the medieval town of Redwick, before runners head back towards the revamped city centre.

Before a sprint finish along the River Usk, runners will get the chance to take in the coastal wildlife on show at the Gwent Levels and Newport Wetlands – one of the UK’s most popular bird watching sites.

The 10K route also starts on the Riverfront and takes in the the regenerated city centre and Newport Transporter Bridge.

l For a map of the route see pages 20&21

Where can I leave my baggage?

A designated baggage drop-off will be set up in Friar’s Walk carpark.

It opens at 7.30am and closes at 4.30pm.

Bags can be collected after the race upon receipt of your runner number.

Only runners and staff will have access to this area which will be manned by security staff who may ask to check your bags.

Where is the Race Village?

The Race Village will be set up in the shadow of the Newport Wave alongside the River Usk.

The ABP Newport Wales Marathon and 10K Race Village will host family friendly entertainment, sports activities and live entertainment.

There’s also a whole host of eating and leisure options at the nearby Friars Walk Shopping Centre.

l For more on activities on offer see page 23

What else is going on?

As a main sponsor Friars Walk have a stand at the event village where they will be running a competition to win a Fitbit Blaze from Debenhams.

Las Iguanas, Wagamama and Costa Coffee will also have a few free samples on the stand through the day.

Stands from the likes of ABP, NSPCC and Healthspan will showcase the event’s other partners alongside Brecon Carreg, Cancer Research Wales, Noahs Ark, The Wallich, Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK.

There is also a mascot race featuring a showdown between the city’s rugby and football teams near the bustling race village.

Here supporters can try a number of different sports, take-in street performances and live music and sample food from Welshcakes by Mum and Me, La Bonne Crepe and Bywdiful’s hand made burgers.

Cardiff Gait Analysis will help tune-up runners’ techniques and massage from Agile Therapy is on offer as well as Podiatry Cardiff Met.

What do I need at the start?

In your pack you will find a timing chip and your running number.

The chip will contain your running number and will allow friends and family to track your progress on the Run 4 Wales app, which can be downloaded on IOS or Android.

Are there toilets on the route and at the start?

There are plenty of toilets and urinals near the start/finish area opposite Friar’s Walk shopping centre and more closer to the start.

There is also said to be be more than enough toilets along the route.

Will there be drinks available on the way round?

Brecon Carreg will be hydrating runners at a number of water stations.

Energy gels from HIGH5 and Lucozade Sport drinks will be available on the route.

Nine Brecon Carreg water stations will be available on the marathon route, at:

• 3 Miles – Pye Corner

• 6.2 Miles – North Row

• 9.7 Miles – Magor

• 12.5 Miles – Redwick

• 15.2 Miles – North Row

• 18.4 Miles – Goldcliff

• 21.1 Miles – Pye Corner

• 24 Miles – Transporter Bridge

• 26.2 Miles – Finish Line

Energy gels from HIGH5 will be available along the marathon route, at:

• 9.7 Miles – Magor

• 18.4 Miles – Goldcliff

Lucozade Sport drinks will be available along the marathon route, at:

• 6.2 Miles – North Row

• 15.2 Miles – North Row

Two Brecon Carreg water stations will be available on the 10K route, at:

• 5K – Transporter Bridge

• 10K – Finish Line

Where can I park on race day?

The Park & Ride service is now sold out but details on parking options in the city, offered by Newport City Council can be found on their website.

The following carparks are unavailable for use during the event: Emlyn Street, Riverfront, Friars Walk Car Park.

Park Square has been opened by the council for runners and spectators.

Will there be road closures?

Road closures on Usk Way will be in effect from 3am.

Can I dress up?

Yes, anything goes.

The organisers like to encourage lots of fancy dress participants – to help make the race really fun for spectators, families and runners.

But they do ask that runners in bulky costumes let them know before the race.

Can I run with headphones in?

The organisers advise against running with headphones, as they will be unable to hear marshals should an emergency vehicle need to makes it way onto the course.

Where is the best place to watch?

Running 26 miles is a real achievement and the support the runners get is hugely important, so luckily there are plenty of places you can catch one or even two glimpses of your loved ones.

There will be a party atmosphere at the start/finish area on Usk Way, and plenty of places to show your support in the picturesque villages of Redwick and Magor.

The event’s charity partner the NSPCC is offering local residents and spectators a unique opportunity to get involved in the race day atmosphere.

They’re offering an ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10K cheer pack, which comes with pom poms, whistles, cowbells and more.

To get yours, simply email

Where will I get my commemorative t-shirt?

All runners will receive a commemorative t-shirt and medal when they finish the race.

The size is clearly marked on runners’ race numbers, so listen to organisers to ensure you get a t-shirt that fits.

Where can I eat after?

After expending all your energy around 26.2 miles, refuelling will no doubt be one of the first things on your mind, and whether you head straight to the bar for a celebratory drink, or you’re after something a little more nutritional, all angles are covered for peckish spectators and ravenous runners alike in the Runners’ Village, as well as the city’s numerous bars and restaurants.

Will Friars Walk be opening early?

Some restaurants and cafes will be throwing open their doors to welcome runners and spectators before the race gets going at 9am.

A list of venues that will be open near the start line includes Chiquito, opening at 8am; Drago Lounge, opening at 8am; Hi Coffee, opening at 7am; Las Iguanas, opening at 10am for coffee and at 11am for breakfast; Muffin Break, opening at 6am; Zizzi, opening at 11.30am; and Wagamama, opening at 11am.

What special offers can I take advantage of?

As well as some venues opening earlier than usual, you can also take advantage of some special offers available to runners:

Mothercare are offering 10 per cent off to participants on Sunday they just need to show their medal;

Hi Coffee are offering 25 per cent off to participants when they show their medal;

Las Iguanas will be presenting any marathon finishers with a free glass of Cava;

Coffee #1 in Friars Walk will be offering a 10 per cent discount for runners and their supporters, provided they come in with someone who is running in the marathon or 10K.

What about the 10K?

Before the 26.2 mile race, another 4,000 competitors will take-in some of the city’s most prominent landmarks on the 10K route.

The men’s race has been blown wide open after the withdrawal of Charlie Hulson.

Former British Universities Cross Country champion Steven Connor will battle it out with top local athletes including Cardiff AAC’s Carwyn Jones, Swansea Harriers Morgan Davies and Phil Matthews and Newport man Abed Teweldebrhan.

The women’s contest over 10km will feature Rachel Felton, who boasts a hat-trick of Cardiff 10k victories. The Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier is also a regular at the Cardiff Half Marathon and competed at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in the city two years ago.

What is the ABP Family Mile?

While the runners battle it out on the streets of the city, Welsh track legend Christian Malcolm will be helping the next generation of runners prepare for the ABP Family Mile.

ABP have donated places to local school children, who will get an authentic race day experience as they start and finish under the gantry at 12.30pm.

Before they set-off, they will have the opportunity to warm up with Welsh track legend Christian Malcolm as part of his foundation initiative.

A total of 350 runners of all ages and abilities will get an authentic race day experience as they start and finish under the main gantry at 12.30pm.

What will the weather be like?

Unlike last weekend’s London Marathon, which was run in blistering heat, temperatures in Newport are set to be optimal for marathon running.

The weather looks set to be mostly dry, with the Met Office predicting highs of 10C and lows of four C

The regional outlook for Sunday is for bright spells, turning breezy with the odd shower possible.