Diolch yn fawr to the Extra Miler Event Volunteer team for playing a key role in the success of the 2024 ABP Marathon Festival!

ABP Newport Marathon Festival | NEWPORT, WALES

Last Sunday more than 7,000 people signed up to take part in the exciting new ABP Newport Marathon Festival. The popular race is a firm favourite on the Welsh running calendar, boasting one of the flattest marathon courses in Europe. 

The ABP Newport Marathon Festival, like other Run 4 Wales events, is only made possible by the support of over 300 event volunteers, known as the Extra Milers. These volunteers undertake several roles on race day, some even starting at 6am in the morning(!) and they all give their time freely to motivate, cheer on and look after runners and spectators at the event. 

“The Extra Milers were on top form this year, very encouraging and happy” 

Volunteers are key to the success of the event, whether that’s handing out medals at the finish line, rehydrating runners at the water stations along the route or keeping runners safe as they tackle the course. Pacers run alongside the participants to help them to achieve their desired time, while Back Markers motivate runners taking it more slowly. Let’s not forget the Bag Drop team who take care of runners’ kit and welcome them back after the race.  

2024 saw an introduction of a new Half Marathon option with the Marathon and 10K route having a refresh from previous years. This created a fun buzz on the course, with some water stations and course marshals seeing the Marathon runners several times, as well as Half Marathon runners and maybe even 10K runners too!  

Volunteer Photographer Shaz, an Extra Miler first-timer positioned at Water Station 3 at North Row said: “The time literally went so fast but it was thoroughly enjoyable and an amazing experience.” Shaz has already signed up to help the Finish Line team at the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K, which is our next event on Sunday 19 May.   

“The Extra Milers handing out medals and water bottles at the finish line were really happy and great vibes, congratulating everyone that came through” 

At Run 4 Wales we believe you don’t have to run to get involved and want as many people as possible to be a part of our events. Many of our volunteers are of course runners themselves but some Extra Milers support R4W events simply to enjoy the atmosphere of race day, being part of something bigger and to have a fun day out. Both groups and individual volunteers are welcome to get involved and we were not let down at the ABP Newport Marathon Festival. Eleven groups supported the event, including six young person groups.  

The 6th Newport West Rangers and 1st Caerleon Rangers, of Girl Guiding Cymru, joined the Bag Drop team in Friars Walk car and were pleased to support Sarah-Jane, their Deputy Chief, who participated in the Half Marathon.  

Dawn, County Commissioner of Gwent Guides, said: “What a wonderful day we had helping out at the Run 4 Wales Newport Marathon event. It was a stunning performance all round with Sarah-Jane taking 20 minutes off her predicted time and our Rangers working, laughing and enjoying banter with the runners in the bag drop. We would love to join you again next year.” 

Out on the course at the water stations we were joined by regular volunteers the Gwent Police Cadets at Water Station 2 while students from the Military Preparation Academy looked after Water Station 3. Centre Manager Lee Richards told us: “It was our pleasure to support the event and we all had a great day. This was the first time volunteering for this group of students and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for providing our learners with this positive experience.” 

“All volunteers are absolute heroes and I can’t thank them enough for encouraging us along the way and giving up their time” 

Over 80 volunteers did a fabulous job at the finish line, ensuring runners received the correct t-shirt and medal for their race, as well as water, fruit and a snack bar. Some volunteers were new to the role while others have volunteered with Run 4 Wales for many years. Extra Milers can choose to volunteer at just one event or come along to every event in a year. The Extra Miler Extraordinaire Challenge is a fun challenge to volunteer at every event in the race season, with winners receiving a Cardiff Half Marathon merchandise bundle at the end of the year.  

We know that support from the Extra Milers makes race day extra-special for participants. The quotes here, from the event runner feedback survey, show the impact volunteers have on runners. Hannah Irwin, who took the 10K womens’ title at 32:56 said: “It was a great route and it seemed to fly by because of all the support.” Run 4 Wales Chief Executive, Matt Newman, added: “The 2024 ABP Newport Marathon Festival has been another memorable occasion and a fantastic day for distance running in Wales and the Extra Milers event volunteer team have a huge part to play in this success.” 

“The Extra Milers were extremely supportive and helped get me through the race. A massive thank you to them!” 

So, this just leaves us to say yet again another massive diolch yn fawr to every single Extra Miler who donated their time, energy and positivity to the ABP Newport Marathon Festival 2024.  

Our next event is Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay 10K on 19 May, where a team of 150 volunteers will turn out to support over 5,000 runners tackling the iconic course which takes in landmarks including the Senedd, Porth Teigr and the Cardiff Bay Barrage. 

Get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator: volunteers@run4wales.org