A group of runners stand in front of a small white lighthouse by the sea
Credit: Run 4 Wales

Members of the Run 4 Wales Newport 100 Club met up for a training session and Q&A ahead of the ABP Newport Marathon Festival on Sunday 28 April.

Yesterday’s event was set up to give the group a chance to meet one another, ask any questions about the race or their running, and get in some miles ahead of the big day.

The runners enjoyed one of three distances around the Gwent Levels, met some of the pacers and backmarkers who will be there on event day and enjoyed some refreshments on their return.

Run 4 Wales Race Director and double Olympic marathoner, Steve Brace, then shared some helpful tips and advice, alongside a running panel, to help the club feel prepared come race day on Sunday 28 April.

Run 4 Wales decided to bring its 100 Club initiative to Newport after seeing the positive impact it can have on people’s health and wellbeing following its roll out at the Principality Cardiff Half in 2015.

As the name suggests, 100 free half marathon and 10K spaces were gifted to Newport residents, community groups and organisations who were asked to nominate people who might benefit in being a part of the initiative.

This year’s club is made up of a mix of members – some who are getting involved to improve their mental or physical health or use the group as a means to get involved with others in their community.

Several people who work with Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service have joined the club as well as members from the sport and youth engagement programme within Newport Live which delivers sessions in partnership with the GAP centre and Urban Circle to engage young people in positive games and activities like football.

The 100 Club has also seen mums that run together join, to give them a target to train for.

Women from Torfean Council’s #ifyougoIgo community have also enrolled. After being sedentary or experiencing physical or mental health conditions, these women have been part the council’s 10 week programme to become active, meet likeminded women and try to improve their mental and physical health. Joining the 100 Club has given them a further goal to aim for as well as a boost to confidence and sense of achievement.

Megan Parker, who runs the programme, said: “If You Go I Go helps remove practical barriers and works to change how women feel and think about exercise and sport. It’s been really popular and we try and find ways to help them remain active when the programme finishes. The 100 Club is great for this as a lot of women who have entered the scheme have kept running alongside the gym – doing the ABP Newport 10K is a great milestone to aim for and keep them inspired.”

One member, 34-year-old Richard Davies from Blackwood, is using the club as a way to curb his drinking habit.

He said: “I grew up in a rugby environment which has a big drinking culture. I was drinking too much, my mental health was suffering and knew I needed to change. I’m a better person when I run – it’s the best gift I can give myself. Running has been a life changer and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to better their mental health.”

Run 4 Wales Race Director, Steve Brace, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come to our 100 Club training event and engage with each other and show an interest in running.

“It is such a brilliant sport that can bring a multitude of benefits to our health and wellbeing and it’s so important to us that as many people as possible have the opportunity to get active, make healthy lifestyle changes and take part in our events.”

Look out for the 100 Club runners at the ABP Newport Marathon Festival on Sunday 28 April. For more information about the event visit: newportwalesmarathon.co.uk/