The daughter of Nos Galan Road Races founder Bernard Baldwin MBE is the new patron of the world-famous event.
Having been invited by the Nos Galan Committee, Alison Leighton-Williams, of Caegarw, Mountain Ash, takes up the honorary post following the death of her father on January 3, aged 91.
The Nos Galan Road Races, which started in 1958, are now organised by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Nos Galan Committee. Mr Baldwin MBE was made the Honorary Patron of the races in 2006 and was granted the Freedom of the County Borough by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in 2014.
The event goes from strength-to-strength each year, with 1,600 runners of all ages and abilities registering to take part in the 2016 Nos Galan Road Races. The 2016 Nos Galan Mystery Runner was Wales’ football manager Chris Coleman OBE (Pictured).
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of the Council and a member of the organising committee, said:
“We are delighted that Alison has accepted the offer of the Nos Galan Committee to become the new patron of this event, following in the footsteps of her father.
“The Nos Galan Road Races are as popular today as they have ever been and it is wonderful that Bernard’s family will continue its links with an event that is known around the globe.
“Bernard gifted us all such a lasting legacy and gave us the wonderful Welsh legend of Guto Nythbran. I am sure he will be fondly remembered at this year’s Nos Galan Road Races, and for many years to come.”
Bernard’s daughter Alison said:
“I am deeply honoured to have been asked by the Council and the Nos Galan Committee to maintain our family links with the Nos Galan Road Races, an event we are so proud of.
“My father would have been so happy that this role has been offered to me and I cannot thank everyone enough for this fantastic gesture.
“I feel so honoured to be the new patron of the Nos Galan Road Races, a position my father was also so proud to hold in the latter years of his life.”
As well as being the man responsible for the Nos Galan Road Races and the Taff Street Dash, Mr Baldwin was also a well-respected local historian and author of many books, publications and newspaper and magazine articles.
The Nos Galan Road Races are now officially recognised as one of the ‘Top 500’ races in the world, alongside the likes of the iconic New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon and the Great North Run.
The Nos Galan Road Races has also been shortlisted once again this year at the UK Running Awards.