AROUND 6,000 runners took part in Newport’s first ever ABP Newport Wales Marathon today.

Despite an early hiccup which saw traffic congestion at the marathon park and ride cause the race to be delayed twice, the event was deemed a huge success by all.

The atmosphere was electric as thousands of spectators cheered on the participants who ran 26.2 miles from Newport to Magor and back.

And the cheers were not only for the marathon runners, but also for the 4,000 people taking on the 10k course.

The winners of the marathon were James Carpenter and Natasha Cockram.

Mr Carpenter came in first for the men in a time of 02:33:32 and Ms Cockram -who is from Newport - crossed the line in 02:44:58 as the first woman.

The first Gwent participant to cross the finishing line was former Newport boxer Matthew Edmonds who was cheered across the line as he finished in a time of 02:44:07.

Many partcipants also took part in memory of loved ones.

Jason Roberts-Jones completed the marathon in memory of his late father.

He said: "My dad, Gwyn, passed away suddenly last year and I decided I wanted to raise awareness for charity Welsh Hearts.

"They do a lot of good things and need our support."

Many runners in the marathon also praised the 26.2 course for being flat all the way around.

Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said: “The inaugural ABP Newport Wales Marathon has been an overwhelming success across all aspects of the day.

“The look and feel of the city was great, this major event feel is what we envisaged when we sat down to plan the event with the Newport City Council and Welsh Government.

“The runners on the day have voted with their feet and had some truly amazing experiences.

“The initial feedback is that the courses were great and there were plenty of personal bests, so that is something we will look to build on.”

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said: “It was an amazing day for the city.

“The support for the event has been incredible – from runners and their family and friends, Newport residents who lined the streets, to all the volunteers.

“The ABP Newport Wales Marathon and 10k is the latest in our growing events.”

l See pages 4&5 for more pics from the event