Newport Wales Marathon: Everything You Need to Know
Held annually, the Newport Wales Marathon is a must for distance runners in South Wales and further afield. It boasts a diverse route, taking in interesting landmarks and picture-perfect scenery – not to mention being amongst the flattest marathons in Europe. Read on for everything you need to know…
About the marathon route
As the name suggests, the Newport Wales Marathon is held in the city of Newport, South Wales. It starts on the city’s energetic riverfront, taking runners through Pye Corner and onto Llandevenny, Magor and Redwick. As well as historic village surroundings, these areas provide ample scenery from the Gwent Levels – a unique area of coastal wetland around the Severn Estuary.
The 26.2-mile route finishes with a stretch by the impressive Newport Transporter Bridge – one of only six still in operation globally – before returning to the riverfront for the final straight. There are nine water stations on the route, situated roughly every three miles. That’s paired with energy gels at two stations and sports drinks at two others.
Aside from the great views for runners and viewers alike, the Newport Wales Marathon provides one of the flattest routes across Europe. The most notable incline comes around the 9-mile mark through Llandevenny, after which it’s plain sailing with no major ups or downs to note.
As a result, it’s a great opportunity for runners to achieve their personal best – with over 70% of participants doing exactly that, according to the organisers.
What about the 10k?
People who don’t fancy the full 26.2 miles can still stretch their legs and take part in the proceedings. The running festival includes a shorter 10k route, starting and ending in the same riverfront location. It includes two water stations, situated at the 5K mark and finish line.
Rather than touring the nearby villages, the route pivots at Pye Corner, taking runners back towards the Newport Transporter Bridge, then back over the River Usk to collect their medals.
While we’re on the subject, both 10K and marathon finishers receive a commemorative t-shirt and medal, along with a goodie bag filled with freebies from event partners.
There’s also a range of Junior Races on the day, including a Future Challenges race for young athletes, a light-hearted family Fun Run and even a Toddler Dash for the littlest legs.
Newport Wales Marathon – 2023 details
In 2023, the Newport Wales Marathon will take place on Sunday 16th April. Start times are 9am for the full marathon and 9.45am for the 10k race.
It follows a rescheduling of the previous event, which was pencilled in for 23rd October 2022. It’s the fourth event of its kind, with the inaugural Newport Wales Marathon in 2018, plus similar races in 2019 and 2021.
Entry is now closed for both the marathon and 10K routes unless you choose the NSPCC Fundraiser, which is £5 with a pledge to raise £300. Registration for all other races closes at midnight on Monday 10th April. However, you will need to collect your race bib on the morning of the race, as you will no longer receive your race pack in the post.
Sponsors for the 2023 event
In 2023, the Newport Wales Marathon attracted sponsorship from partners new and old. The title partner for this year’s event is Associated British Ports (ABP), meaning it’s officially known as the ABP Newport Wales Marathon. Operating five ports across South Wales, ABP is a major contributor to the Welsh and UK economies. They’re joined by a list of sponsors and associates:
- HIGH5 – Official Partner
- Monmouthshire Building Society – Official Partner
- Brecon Carreg – Official Partner
- University of South Wales – Official Partner
- NSPCC – Lead Charity
- Newport City Council – Strategic Partner
- ICC Wales – Event Associate
- Friars Walk – Event Associate
- Mon Motors – Event Associate
- Monmouthshire County Council – Event Associate
- S4C – Broadcast Partner
How to get involved
There are a few different ways to get involved in the Newport Wales Marathon…
The most obvious way to get involved in the event is by running. As well as the 26.2-mile marathon, there’s a 10k route, 1-mile junior event and family fun run, plus a 50m dash for kids under 3.
Volunteers at the Newport Wales Marathon are known as the Extra Milers. They make sure the race days run smoothly – pun intended – by manning water stations, bag drop areas and along the course. You can also volunteer as a photographer if you have the right equipment and experience.
Volunteers need to be 14 or over, with those aged 14-17 accompanied by an adult. They’re rewarded with an Extra Miler t-shirt and bag along with a front-row seat as the events unfold.
As with any marathon, there’s plenty of room along the course for spectators to join in the fun. The Event Village in Newport city centre is the best choice for spectators, who can see their friends and relatives starting and finishing their race near all the event’s food and drink exhibitors.
The Blaina Wharf pub is another option, with the beer garden offering a vantage point over the 1-mile and 25-mile marks (or 1k and 9k for the 10k race). Pub-lovers can also head to the Rose Inn in Redwick, though the area is only accessible by foot.
Towards the middle of the marathon route, lots of spectators like to gather in Magor town square, which is accessible via the M4 despite road closures elsewhere. Alternatively, you can cross the iconic Transporter Bridge for the perfect viewing point of both the 10K and marathon routes.
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