A blind runner from Ceredigion will be pounding the streets of Porthcawl this Sunday (2 July) to raise money for Guide Dogs Cymru.
Louise Jenkins, 57, of Lampeter, will take part in the Ogi Porthcawl 10k, which takes in the town’s famous funfair, lighthouse and promenade.
The event is the third of four Guide Dogs fundraisers in Louise’s calendar for 2023. She is hoping to raise £500 for the charity that restored her independence by matching her with guide dog Sian, a two-year-old Labrador retriever.
Louise, who works as a housing officer at Ceredigion Council, said: “I had been without a guide dog for nearly three years and found it a struggle to get out and about independently. I even lost the confidence to go running.
“It’s so different now I have my new dog, Sian. She’s only been in my life for four months and we have done so much already. I never thought I’d get so much pleasure from just being able to travel to work on a bus, or walk and get shopping whenever I need something.
“Sian knows when I feel sad or I’m missing my husband Adrian, who is in a nursing home. She comes and puts her head on my knee or makes me laugh by hiding my shoes. She certainly is my life changer.”
Louise will run the Porthcawl course with the help of guide runner Mel Gaul, who will be attached to her via a wristband. “Mel gives me verbal warnings as we approached potholes, speed bumps and tramlines,” said Louise. “Sian will get a well-earned day off at the beach.
“My previous guide dog, Trinity, is enjoying her retirement, and I’m hoping to raise enough to name a guide dog puppy after her to thank her for keeping me safe all those years.”