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Big Night At The Races!

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The 2013 Nos Galan Road Races attracted more than 1,200 athletes of all ages and abilities

The 2013 Nos Galan Road Races broke all records, with the largest field of runners in its 55-year history.

Wales and British Lions rugby player Alun Wyn Jones has been unveiled as the 2013 Nos Galan Mystery Runner.

The 28-year-old Ospreys player, capped 74 times for Wales and six times for the British Lions, appeared at the Brynffynon Hotel Llanwonno, before laying a wreath on the grave of legendary Welsh runner Griffith Morgan (Guto Nyth Bran) at St Gwynno’s Church, Llanwonno.

Organisers Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Nos Galan Committee are delighted to the response for places in all race categories this year, with all places filled well in advance of the event.

After attending a Memorial Service inside the 12th Century church, Alun Wyn Jones then began the historical run down to Mountain Ash town centre, representing the spirit of Guto Nyth Bran, who died in 1737.

Traditionally two support runners, acting as acolytes, flank the Nos Galan Mystery Runner, The two Nos Galan Support Runners were father-and-daughter duo Gareth and Holli Jehu, representing Aberdare Valley Amateur Athletics Club.

More than 1,200 people took part in the 2013 Nos Galan Road Races, with thousands more lining the route in Mountain Ash town centre. Due to the overwhelming demand for places, there was no ‘on-the-day’ late registration.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr Ann Crimmings, who is also Chair of the Nos Galan Committee and Secretary of Aberdare Valley Amateur Athletics Club, said: “We are delighted to announce that Alun Wyn Jones is our Nos Galan Mystery Runner this year - a world-renowned sportsman representing the spirit of Guto Nyth Bran at this world-renowned event.

“The Nos Galan Road Races, which started in 1958, is the biggest New Year’s Eve party in South Wales, with everyone wanting to share in this unique experience.

“The races are as popular today as they were in their heyday during the 1970s and we are delighted so many people continue to support the event, helping us to keep the legend alive.”

Cllr Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Council Business and Public Relations, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has made the 2013 Nos Galan Road Races such an enormous success. It is so pleasing to see an event that started back in 1958 is as popular today as it has ever been.

“We all owe such a great debt to Bernard Baldwin MBE, the founder of the Nos Galan Road Races, who at the age of 88, was able to join us with his family at this year’s event.”

The fun started in Oxford Street, Mountain Ash, at 5.15pm with the start of the children’s races and presentations.

Nos Galan Mystery Runner Alun Wyn Jones then arrived in the town centre to light the famous Nos Galan Beacon and a spectacular fireworks display followed.

Next up was the Elite Race at 7pm, followed by the Adults’ 5k Fun Run, with its biggest field of runners ever.

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