Skip to main content
Visit Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales - Croeso

The fastest man on Earth

Statue of Guito Nyth Brân

In the mountain-top churchyard of Llanwynno lies the grave of legendary runner Guto Nyth Brân.

Guto could run from the family farm at Llwyncelyn, Porth, to Pontypridd and back before a kettle boiled for tea, and in real life won thousands of guineas in prize money racing against all comers.

He died aged 37 in 1737 after beating a challenger called Prince by covering a distance of 12 miles in 53 minutes.

As he crossed the line, legend has it his girlfriend Siân Aw Shop gave him a congratulatory slap on the back which took the last breath out of his aching body and he fell to his death at his feet. Cause of death was a misplaced heart.

The celebrated Nos Galan Road Races take place every New Year's Eve in Mountain Ash to celebrate Guto Nyth Bran's life and keep the legend alive.