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FootracingHome » Themes » Footracing
An early precursor to track athletics, foot racing or 'pedestrianism' goes back several generations in Wales.
In the eighteenth century, Griffith Morgan of Llanwynno (1700-37), better known as Guto Nyth-brān, achieved fame for his speed as a runner. When he was 37 he accepted a challenge to run 12 miles from Newport to Caerphilly. He won the race easily, but the congratulatory back slapping proved too much for him and he died at the finish.
The sport benefited from the improvement in roads during the 19th century and its increased popularity was a source of frustration for employers who found that it affected their workers productivity.
Foot races are still held in parts of Wales, especially on significant dates in the calendar.
Images on the Gathering the Jewels website:
Martin Johnes, A History of Sport in Wales (Cardiff, 2005)