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Richard Burton run in Port Talbot's Afan Valley called off for the first time in 30 years.

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 15, 2012

By Paul Lewis

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A ROAD race named in honour of a Welsh legend has been called off for the first time in its 30-year history.

The Richard Burton 10k Heritage Run has itself run into trouble after struggling to find enough sponsors and athletes.

Organisers have had to take the decision to abandon the 2013 event, due to have taken place in April, but are anxious to try to resume it in future years.

It is traditionally staged in the Afan Valley, where Burton was born, and the race committee has previously altered the route and time of year in an attempt to broaden its appeal.

Race organiser Derek Bines said: "For this year's event we only had 180 runners and we need at least 400 to make it viable.

"As a result we lost £6,000 and it was the first time we have not been able to make a charitable donation, which we count as a failure."

The race was originally started to raise funds for families who had lost loved ones in a car crash.

But two years later Richard Burton gave his permission to use his name in the Race titles.

Although he died six months later, his widow Sally gave her permission to us his name and became the race's president.

Mr Bines said costs were rising all the time and finding sufficient sponsorship for the event had become extremely difficult.

"Tata has been absolutely fantastic over the years but because of its present circumstances there is no guarantee it will be able to give anything," he said.

"The 2013 run should have taken place on April 7, but we have now informed Welsh Athletics it will not go ahead.

"It's very sad. This is one of the best 10k events in the country. We have had top athletes taking part.

"We have put our hearts and souls into this event but we just cannot do it at the moment."

Mr Bines added: If we can get sponsorship in future maybe we can bring it back.

"But unfortunately it will not happen next year."

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