The ABP Newport Wales Marathon is a firm favourite in the Welsh running calendar, boasting one of the flattest marathon courses in the UK.
The event will return to the city on Sunday 28 April, offering a great new route and a new half marathon option for runners alongside the marathon and 10K and junior races.
It’s set to be a real festival of running with a fantastic atmosphere and you don’t have to run to get involved.
Joining the Extra Milers, as the event volunteer team is better known, is an incredible opportunity to experience all that the event day has to offer.
Tor Hands, R4W Volunteer Coordinator, said: “The Extra Milers are vital to the success of race day. For the 2024 Newport Marathon, Half and 10K event, we’re looking for around 250 volunteers to help out in a variety of roles.
“You don’t need any experience to get involved, just be enthusiastic and ready to have a great morning out. It’s really easy to sign up as a volunteer – just follow the link on our webpage or send us an email.”
Run 4 Wales are looking to fill various event day volunteering roles with volunteers invited to choose the role they prefer.
Options include helping on the start-finish line handing out medals and t-shirts or joining the friendly bag drop team. If you prefer to experience the atmosphere around the course, then you can be a course marshal or help out on one of the six water stations.
Are you part of a community or young persons group? Groups are invited to host a water station on the course to help runners rehydrate and give them a cheer.
In 2023 Caldicot Running Club looked after the Redwick water station, with water, encouragement “and a cwtch as needed”. Ladies Captain Polly Lord said: “Newport Marathon holds a special place in our hearts – it’s our local race.”
The Gwent Police Young Volunteers will also be returning in 2024, for the third time, to look after a water station at the event. PCSO Alex Donne commented: “It is vital for our young people to experience many different roles, environments and experiences. We know that assisting with R4W events allows our young people to engage with their communities and offer support to some amazing events throughout Gwent.”
Volunteers are a valued part of the R4W team and gain a lot from helping out too.
Tor said: “The Extra Milers tell us that they volunteer mainly to be part of the event and to give something back, as well as to meet new people and have a new experience. Whatever their motivation, we are extremely grateful to have the enthusiasm and energy of all our Extra Milers on race days and we know the runners appreciate it too.”
Race Director, and double Olympian, Steve Brace added: “You can’t beat being part of a mass participation race and it’s fantastic that volunteers can experience the heart of race day action, sharing in the excitement and jubilation of runners achieving their goals.
“Runners really appreciate the support of the Extra Milers, looking forward to their cheers at the water station as they pass through the beautiful Gwent Levels then being welcomed into the Finish Line to receive their much-deserved finisher items.”
Do you feel like getting involved? Want to know more about what happens on race day?
Tor explains the volunteer journey in more detail: “Volunteers sign up for the event, choosing their volunteer role online and then a week before event day they’ll receive a detailed information sheet. This includes arrival times, the name of their volunteer supervisor, where to park and sign in, as well as the race schedule.
“On event day, we meet at the Volunteer Welcome Hub on Usk Way (apart from the water station volunteers who will go straight to their course location). Here volunteers will meet their supervisor and fellow volunteers, collect their t-shirt and lunch pack, then enjoy a hot drink and snack whilst waiting for everyone to arrive. It’s a great time to meet new volunteers, see some familiar faces and ask any questions.
“It can be really busy, with around 100 volunteers all in one place but everyone is buzzing with excitement and looking forward to the day ahead.”
Extra Milers all receive an event t-shirt and bag, as well as free parking, a lunch pack, snacks and drinks. R4W also gifts Tempo Time Credits to all volunteers (a national volunteer reward scheme). Once all the volunteers have arrived, supervisors gather their teams and carry out an event briefing. Then it’s down to work, getting set up and organised ready for the runners who’ll be on their way to the event, excited about the challenge ahead.
If you’re up for joining in the fun and being a part of one of Wales’s biggest events on the sporting calendar, why not become a volunteer?
Email Tor at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information