NEARLY 1,100 runners of all ages and abilities ran the annual Mic Morris Torfaen 10-kilometre race on Sunday morning in support of a trust fund set up in the memory of Mr Morris – a police officer and international runner who died in 1983.

The race started in Blaenavon and runners followed the valley southwards, finishing in a shady Pontypool Park.

  • To view all our photos from the start of the race, click the gallery at the top of the page

Richie Powell completed the race in his wheelchair, finishing in an incredible 19 minutes and 36 seconds.

South Wales Argus: Richie Powell. Picture: South Wales Argus Camera Club member Robin BirtRichie Powell. Picture: South Wales Argus Camera Club member Robin Birt

Leading the runners home was Chris Carpanini, 26, with a time just shy of the 30-minute mark.

Speaking to the Argus afterwards, Mr Carpanini said he had won the race four or five times previously, too.

"It was warm but the conditions were perfect," he said after collecting his race medal. "I'll probably have a couple of beers with the family, and a meal, and then it's back into training."

South Wales Argus: Chris Carpanini finished in 30m 28s.Chris Carpanini finished in 30m 28s.

Mr Carpanini is part of the Mic Morris Racing Team (MMRT), and its members, dressed in green and gold, did impressively well on Sunday, with a strong showing in the top 10.

MMRT runner Stefan Simms said they had been spurred along by the "brilliant" marshals.

The team was founded around five years ago, and is focused on high-performance – with its members always striving to achieve faster times.

South Wales Argus: MMRT runners (L-R): Leighton Rawlinson, Andy Hunt, Iestyn Rhodes, Rob John, and Stefan Simms.MMRT runners (L-R): Leighton Rawlinson, Andy Hunt, Iestyn Rhodes, Rob John, and Stefan Simms.

One of the team's members, Iestyn Rhodes, said he had recorded personal bests for 5k, 10k, and marathon distances since joining MMRT in September 2018.

But the Mic Morris 10k race wasn't just about recording the fastest times – there were plenty of participants who celebrated the social side of the sport.

There were 72 members of the Pontypool Phoenix Runners club taking part.

South Wales Argus: Members of Pontypool Phoenix Runners.Members of Pontypool Phoenix Runners.

One of them, Donna Hewitt, said the group had welcomed 400 members since starting up last April.

"We're not in competition with each other – we're a social running group," she said. "This is a brilliant race, everyone's so supportive and [the event] grows every year.

"It's all about having the local community running together."

Another hometown club, Pont-y-pŵl and District Runners, had around 30 people taking part in the race.

South Wales Argus: Members of Pont-y-pwl & District Runners.Members of Pont-y-pwl & District Runners.

Dimitri Vorres, the club's chairman, said he was "very proud" of them.

"It's a great event and it's nice to see running kept alive in the borough," he added. "It's nice to see all the spectators out, supporting their friends and family.

"All the local clubs look forward to this [event] every year."

Plenty of runners had travelled to Torfaen from further afield, too. Mex Gaillard, Emma King, and Sophie Williams were among around 20 members of the Spirit of Monmouth club taking part on Sunday.

South Wales Argus: Spirit of Monmouth runners (L-R): Mex Gaillard, Emma King, and Sophie Williams.Spirit of Monmouth runners (L-R): Mex Gaillard, Emma King, and Sophie Williams.

At the finish line, the three runners said they had each recorded personal bests, and were planning to celebrate with some cake.

"It's nice to see a good mix of abilities, and there's loads of support along the course, which is nice," Ms Williams said.

Kemuel Solomon, 58, had travelled from London to see friends, and wanted to try a race while he was in Wales.

South Wales Argus: Kemuel Solomon from the Serpentine running club in London.Kemuel Solomon from the Serpentine running club in London.

Mr Solomon, from the Serpentine Running Club, said the Mic Morris race had been one of the most enjoyable 10k races he had ever done.

"There was a fantastic atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and – last but not least – it was virtually all downhill," he said.

Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds finished the race in one hour and eight minutes.

Afterwards, he said: "Thank you to Torfaen Sports Development and all involved in organising the Mic Morris Torfaen 10k.

"It's a great community event, with so many participants and such a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Thank you also to everyone who came out and supported all the runners on the route. It really does make a difference.”

All profits from the race will be donated to the Mic Morris Memorial Sporting Trust Fund, set up between Gwent Police and Torfaen council to raise money for the county's elite young sports people aged 11-21.

View the results for the 2019 Mic Morris Torfaen 10k here.