THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Newport and Caerleon to cheer on the runners in the Admiral City of Newport Half Marathon.

It was a frosty morning on the Usk. Runners covered their bodies in recycling bags and foil, and completed relays in Friars Walk, in effort to - quite literally - warm up.

Athletes and fundraising champions came to the city from across the UK for the 13.2-mile race which crossed over four bridges.

A number of usually busy city routes, including Usk Way, Caerleon Road and Heidenheim Drive, were closed to traffic, as were sections of Corporation Road.

The pre-race atmosphere, helped by some blaring feel-good tunes on roadside speakers, only subsided for warnings about the risk of ice underfoot.

Jayne Bryant, MS for Newport West, gave some final words of encouragement and sounded the start claxon outside the University of South Wales campus on Usk Way at 9am.

No less than 55 minutes later, race leaders Stephen Derrett (Western Tempo) and Ben Reynolds (Cardiff) completed their return from Caerleon to cheering spectators on Usk Way.

With three miles to go, the pack crossed the Newport City Footbridge and followed the Usk to the Southern Distributor Road for the final stretch back to the university campus.

Mr Derrett maintained his lead and won the race with a time of one hour, eight minutes and eleven seconds, averaging a speed of 11.5mph.

Mr Reynolds, from Cardiff, finished runner-up with a chip time of one hour, eight minutes and 25 seconds - just 14 seconds behind the winner.

South Wales Argus: There were just 14 seconds between first and second placeThere were just 14 seconds between first and second place (Image: Sam Portillo)

Michael Roderick (Tri Hard Harriers), Harry Davies (Newport Harriers AC) and Jake Watson (Worcester AC) rounded off the top five, all achieving sub-70 minute finishes with an average speed of more than 11mph.

Lauren Cooper (Western Tempo) was the first woman to cross the line with a chip time of one hour, 19 minutes and 52 seconds and overall ranking of 45.

Around 2,000 people took part in the race, raising valuable funds for St David’s Hospice Care.

Volunteers from St John Ambulance Cymru oversaw the action to ensure everyone’s safety amidst the fun.