The Welsh and the marathon

Collections - Posted 17-04-2023

Long distance running has long been associated as part of Welsh folklore, with the likes of Guto Nyth Bran being made famous for epic running feats. That being said, the renowned status of Welsh runners didn’t just end within those legendary tales, as in more recent times, a number of Welsh individuals have also gained recognition for their running prowess and subsequently become part of the Marathon Hall of Fame.



Welsh Marathon Legends

Steve Jones

Tredegar born, who won several majors between 1983 and 1993. His crowning glory coming in Chicago in 1983 where he broke the world record with a time of 02:08:05.

Tanni Grey Thompson

Olympian who not only won several gold medals in 4 separate Olympics at various distances, but also won 7 London marathons between 1992 and 2002.

Angharad Mair

Winner of the Reykjavik marathon in 1996 and has also competed in several races over the world.


Not only have Welsh runners gained notice throughout the running world, but some truly epic marathon races are now part of the runner’s calendar. The jewel of the crown being the Snowdonia marathon, which traverses the wondrous scenery from between Llanberis and Beddgelert. Highlights of recent races can be re-watched at the National Library, as they were initially aired on S4C.


A small selection of other marathons from around Wales:

Great Welsh Marathon (Llanelli)

Newport Wales Marathon

The Wales Marathon (Pembrokeshire)

Man v. Horse (Llanwrtyd Wells)



Turner, J. Guto Nyth Brân: bachgen cyflyma’r byd, 2012

Grey-Thompson, T. Aim high, 2012

Norris, V. In the long run, 2012

Neal, C. The world marathon book: a celebration of the world’s most inspiring races, 2018

Pfitzinger, P. Advanced marathoning, 2009



Edwards. A, ‘Wedi rhedeg y ras i’r pen’, Cristion, Rhif. 178 (Mai / Mehefin 2013), p. 4-5

Dafydd, L. Rhedeg ras galetaf Ewrop . . . y merched a marathon Eryri, Golwg, Cyf. 22, rhif 8 (22 Hydref 2009), p. 34-35

Jones, R. A. 4:46:36 – marathon yn y meddwl, Barn, 544 (Mai 2008), p. 26-27


Ian Evans

Shared Cataloguing Programme Manager

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