A Pontrhydfendigaid mum is heading to Ireland this weekend, where she will run in the Dublin Marathon.
Kizzie Garner-Hughes, 41, has been training for the better part of a year.
To celebrate turning 40, she decided to run three half marathons last year.
Having conquered the three races, she decided to keep going, and fulfil a lifelong dream of running a full marathon.
She said: “Last year I set myself the challenge of completing three half marathons to celebrate turning 40. At the end of that, still on a bit of a high from my last half marathon, I thought it would be really good if I did a full marathon. So I googled it and had a look at what was out there.
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, I remember when I was younger and we were asked to fill out something about our heroes, mine was Eilish McColgan, a long distance runner. Whenever I watched races on the TV I always got emotional and thought ‘I wish I was doing that.”
She chose to compete in the Dublin Marathon, which takes place on 29 October - allowing her to train across the summer, and helping her juggle training for multiple hours a day up to five days a week, as well as working late nights at the office, and raising her son.
Six months after training began in April, on the morning of 25 October, she would run for the last time before the marathon itself, where she will be running to raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.
“I’m really excited and slightly nervous, it’s my first marathon - I want to take it all in and enjoy it. I am nervous but there’s more excitement in me than nerves.
“Where we live, we are so reliant on the Air Ambulance, it’s a 24 hour lifeline for us in rural areas of Wales. I think it’s something where we all know somebody who has used it or will make use of it at some time in their lives. It’s something so crucial that if it is withdrawn, lives will be lost.”
“I love going to Dublin but I’m looking forward to seeing it in a different light and seeing parts of the city I’ve never seen before. The Dublin Marathon is known as the ‘happy marathon,’ the support is like nowhere else in the world - people lined every part of the route. So if I hit a wall or dark patch, the support will pull me through.”
Running isn’t the only place where Kizzie has gone the extra mile, as part of her fundraising, she has organised a kid’s disco and an auction. All of this has allowed her to raise over £3,000.