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I did it…!

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Thank you to everyone who supported me and to those who sponsored me.

You can still donate to Dogs for the Disabled by visiting

www.justgiving.com/cardiff2012

It’s now less than a week until the Cardiff Half Marathon when I will be joining more than 18,000 people in Wales’ biggest road race. It’s my first ever half marathon so, as expected, I am a little apprehensive – but equally excited!

I’ve trained as hard as possible over the last few months and completed my last long run this morning covering approximately 10 miles. I’m not going to reveal my time, because I had to stop twice to answer phone calls – rest assured, my phone will be switched off on Sunday morning!

The Cardiff Half Marathon is fast becoming one of the top races of the autumn running calendar. Starting by historic Cardiff Castle, runners pass Cardiff City stadium to the picturesque Penarth Marina and the scenic barrage.

Running through the iconic Cardiff Bay, you pass the Doctor Who Experience and Norwegian Church. The new course now takes in the beautiful Roath Park Lake, before a big finish back in the heart of the city at the impressive Civic Centre.

I’m running for Dogs for the Disabled and am hoping to raise a few more pounds before the big day. Please visit my JustGiving page for more information!

It’s been a while since my last blog, but I have certainly been training hard. Over the weeks I have gradually increased the distance I have been runnning; I am currently running just over 8 miles – not bad considering 12 months ago I struggled to run for the bus! I need to keep pushing the distance I run because the Cardiff Half Marathon is looming!

I have this evening signed up to ParkRun and hope to do the 5km run most Saturday mornings (hangover permitting) and to include this as part of the training. The course starts in the grounds of Trdegar House in Newport – appropriately the former house of the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar. Sadly, despite sharing the same surname, I have no family claim to this property!

Meanwhile, fundraising for Dogs for the Disabled continues! My target is only £100 (I hope to raise a lot more if I get a place in the London Marathon next year) so please help me reach this target – and leave me a message of support! Visit www.justgiving.com/cardiff2012 for more information.

My ParkRun results will be available very soon so you will be able to track my progress (and make sure that I actually get out of bed on a Saturday morning!)

A few weeks ago, while I was in the Lake District, I had the wonderful foolish idea of applying to run the London Marathon in 2013 to raise even more money for Dogs for the Disabled.

I’m not a professional runner; in fact, I’m not even a runner at all! So, over the next 11 months I am going to have to do a lot of intense training. To motivate me, I have already signed up to run the Cardiff Half Marathon later this year.

I have now set up a JustGiving site and would encourage you to donate just a couple of pounds to this great charity. My target for the Cardiff Half Marathon is only £100.00. If I am successful in getting a place for the London Marathon my target will be a lot more!

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Although most of my fundraising is for Dogs for the Disabled, the other charity I support on an annual basis is CLIC Sargent.

For the last six years I have accompanied the Welsh Hospitals Choir for their rehearsals in the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and have joined the massed choir, formed from hospitals across South Wales, for the concert in St David’s Hall. This year’s concert is on Wednesday 14th December at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the St David’s Hall Box Office.

The choir, under the baton of David Davies, will be joined by the Welsh Guards Fanfare Trumpeters  and Brass Ensemble, organist Jane Watts, Rhiwbina Primary School and soloists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Delighting the audience with their virtuosity and dry sense of homour will be the Classic Buskers - “Technical virtuosity, combined with musical seriousness, humour and high entertainment are a perfect recipe” (Ian Ritchie, City of London Festival).

The charity, formed in 2005 by a successful merger between CLIC and Sargent Cancer Care for Children, helps as many children and young people as possible survive cancer and make the most of their lives. The choir’s support of this charity will help families cope with the trauma of cancer, life after treatment and, in some cases, with bereavement.

If I raise £500 on the day of the final rehearsal, I have agreed to climb Pen-y-Fan dressed like a reindeer! Hopefully choir members will be able to dig deep to boost the fundraising total.

Please visit my JustGiving page to make a donation or donate via mobile phone by texting “CLIC88 £2″ to 70070.

In the meantime, please visit the St David’s Hall Box Office to purchase your tickets as soon as possible. This is an extremely popular concert of festive music and a great evening for all the family!


The following article appeared in the Church magazine of St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny:

 

Tales of Trekking in Nepal

Eighteen ladies were welcomed to the October meeting to hear Richard Morgan speak about his trek in Nepal to raise funds in aid of Dogs for the Disabled.

Richard had compiled a splendid PowerPoint presentation of his adventure. Having arrived at Kathmandu with its chaotic traffic condition Richard and his party of 28 other people including a doctor with copious amounts of Imodium set off of Phokhara. The trek lasted seven days, hiking for six hours a day, taking in some breath-taking scenery along the way over some very rough terrain.

By the time the party reached Nayapool on the last day they were jubilant but very tired, having raised the marvellous amount of £36,058.85 for the cause.

To conclude the ladies were shown a short but very interesting and moving video of the puppies and dogs in training. When fully trained they enable their owners to live their lives more independently.

Richard was thanks for giving us an insight into the work of this marvelous charity in an interesting and entertaining way.

 

Many thanks to Cynthia Waterman for this article and for the cheque for Dogs for the the Disabled which was presented on the night.

I was not aware of the ferocity of the recent floods in the Cinque Terre until I saw some of the clips on YouTube. It is easy to see how these small villages were ravaged by the tide of mud and debris which flowed down from the steep slopes behind them. However, the local people are resilient and have already begun the clean-up operation with the few resources they have available at the present time.

An estimated 35,000 cubic meters of debris now needs to be removed from the main street in Vernazza - these photographs show the scale of the damage. The Navy have delivered a large bulldozer to help with the removal of debris from Piazza Marconi, but the streets are too narrow in the rest of the town. There is still no water, electricity or gas in the village and the mayor said yesterday that “Vernazza’s drama is understimated by local press” and has asked for help.

The positive attitude and community effort of the locals is apparent in the statement on the Cinque Terre blog: “At this moment and for several months to come Vernazza is on its knees. Most of the people have lost EVERYTHING, the entire economy is vanished and that’s the reason why we need toursts to keep coming, to help us to recover. We’ll remake Vernazza and Monterosso more beautiful than before but we need everyone’s help.”

The village of Corniglia, my favourite of the five villages and one in which I have stayed several times, seems to have escaped damage from the floods, although there is no access by road.

Please continue to remember the people of these villages in your thoughts and prayers.

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