A blind runner from Ceredigion has braved potholes and speed bumps to tackle the Cardiff Bay 10k.

On Sunday, 26 March 26, Louise Jenkins from Lampeter took on the 10k challenge to raise money for Guide Dogs Cymru.

The 57-year-old is on target 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, had been without a guide dog for nearly three years after the sudden retirement of her previous dog, Trinity, with a bad back.

“I found life without a guide dog horrendous in every single way,” said Louise.

“I had to use a long cane to get out and it was a struggle. Your independence slips away, and you realise you’ve been avoiding people. I even lost my confidence to run and looked for excuses to train on the treadmill instead of going out. When I got the call from Guide Dogs [about Sian] I was ecstatic.”

The 10k race was the first of four Guide Dogs fundraisers in Louise’s calendar for 2023. She was accompanied by guide runner Mel Gaul and attached to her via a wristband.

“It was our first race since December and we finished in 1 hour 55 seconds,” said Louise.

“I had run that course before and there were a few parts where the ground was uneven, but Mel gave verbal warnings as we approached potholes, speed bumps and tramlines.

“I wasn’t sure how my new dog Sian would be among the crowds, or how she would react when I started racing and left her behind, so instead of coming into Cardiff she had her own run at Llansteffan beach with my daughter Alison.

“Sian has already given me back my independence and confidence, and when I walk down the street with her, I feel 10 feet tall.

“One of the first things we did together was take the bus to Carmarthen so I could visit my husband Adrian, who is in a nursing home.

“It’s been a tough few years, and I’ve felt so helpless.

“My previous 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.”

Louise’s next race of the four is the Newport 10k on Sunday, 16 April. If you’d like to help Louise to name a puppy, search online for ‘Louise Jenkins is fundraising for Guide Dogs on justgiving.com.