Nos Galan 2022 just got even more exciting, as international Welsh rugby legend George North arrived in town as the mystery runner.
The atmosphere in Mountain Ash is incredible this evening, thanks to the return of the iconic event to its streets after two years of being held as a virtual challenge.
So, what better way to keep spirits raised than to introduce spectators and participants to the Ospreys and Wales star, who has scored more tries for his country than any other active player.
He also sits second, just behind Shane Williams, as the highest-ever scoring player for Wales.
Currently on leave from rugby as he recovers from a facial injury suffered in a recent Ospreys game, George has decided to inspire a different type of sports people, as he cheers on those taking on the male and female elite and fun runs, as well as the children’s races this evening.
George arrived in the town centre with the iconic Nos Galan torch, aflame for the first time since it was carried into town in 2019 by Nigel Owens MBE – after first visiting the grave of Guto Nyth Bran at St Gwynno’s Church in Llanwonno Forestry.
Guto Nyth Bran (Griffith Morgan) is the legend behind the Nos Galan Road Races. Once thought to be the fastest man in the world, he was known to be able to out-run hares and catch birds with his hands.
He inspired the late Bernard Baldwin MBE to hold the first of over 60 annual Nos Galan Road races in 1958 and, as the years went by attracted a who’s who of former Olympic medal-holders and world champions to the races. In its heyday, the event was broadcast on the BBC.
Nos Galan continues in honour of Guto Nyth Bran and Bernard Baldwin, with George North becoming the latest in a long line some of the best sporting stars in the nation to carry the torch into Mountain Ash, heralding the start of Nos Galan. Former mystery runners include Chris Coleman, Shane Williams, Colin Jackson, Sam Warburton, Nathan Cleverly and more.
Ann Crimmings, Chair of the Nos Galan Road Races Committee, said:
“We are so excited to have George North carry the Nos Galan torch into Mountain Ash on New Year’s Eve, 2022, to launch the first live races since 2019.
“It’s been a long time coming. We are so grateful for the support we have received from our runners and sponsors as we worked to keep the legend alive virtually when we could not hold the event in real time.
“Nos Galan is back and is bringing you one of the most successful sporting stars in Wales. Croeso George!”
Posted on 31/12/2022