|A vet nurse from Cardiff is putting her feet up after completing her first Virgin Money London Marathon and raising £400 for charity Support Dogs in the process. Sian Llwellyn is Head Nurse at the Barry and Boverton Veterinary Surgeries. A keen runner, she had completed two half marathons and entered the ballot to run the Marathon little expecting to get a place as she knew many fellow runners who had tried for several years without success.
She explained: “Finding I’d been accepted for the Marathon last October was a surprise and my first thought was that I’d better start doing some proper training, which I did with the help of my running club, the Village Vipers, based in Cardiff.
“Taking part was really tough! I had abdominal and hip pain towards the end but family, friends and the roar of the crowd got me through. The drums, music and fancy dress costumes made me smile at so many points throughout the 26.2 miles. You can’t help but laugh when you see a gorilla skipping along the route or an ostrich having to stop to go to the toilet.
“My highest point was turning the corner to run down the Mall to cross the finish line hand in hand with a complete stranger. Receiving my medal was an emotional and proud moment. I finished in five and a half hours which was slower than I hoped but I blame the various painful parts of my body!”
Ten days before entering the race, Sian attended a talk about Support Dogs and was inspired to use her participation to fundraise for them. She has so far raised £400 for the charity, which is dedicated to increasing independence and quality of life for people with medical conditions by training and supporting specialist assistance dogs. It currently trains Autism Assistance Dogs, Disability Assistance Dogs and Seizure Alert Dogs.
She added: “Support Dogs are amazing and, having heard what a difference they make to so many people, I really wanted to raise funds for them.
“I’m already being asked whether I’ll enter another Marathon. During the race my answer would have been no, never again! Now that the pain is ebbing away, my answer is most likely yes!”
Anyone wishing to donate to Sian’s chosen charity, Support Dogs, is asked to contact her at the Barry and Boverton Veterinary Surgery. It is based at 51-53 Ty-Newydd Road, Barry, South Glamorgan CF62 8AZ and can be reached on 01446 733406.
More information on Support Dogs is at www.supportdogs.org.uk