Get Inspired: Inspirational stories from the Cardiff Half Marathon

Cardiff Half Marathon
Up to 22,000 people are to take to the streets of the Welsh capital for this year's Cardiff Half Marathon

Meet four inspiring people from the almost 22,000 who are expected to take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday, 2 October.

While the elite athletes look to break records, thousands of others will be running for very personal reasons.

Rachel Hubbard

RACHEL Hubbard

'I am a lucky survivor. I have to go out now and embrace life'

Running motivation: Rachel is an aerobics instructor and for her living a healthy lifestyle was fundamental. Then things changed.

In November last year, whilst taking a class, a cyst in her ovary burst and changed her view on life forever.

An operation revealed she had cancer and when she underwent a full hysterectomy and an omentectomy, a procedure to remove abdominal tissue, she had no idea if she would awake to be told the cancer had spread.

Thankfully it had not and Rachel, 54, was given the all clear and discovered a new determination to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and also to do the things she had fearfully placed on her 'bucket list.'

Charity bike rides and walks have now built to the Cardiff Half Marathon. Rachel's running skills were non-existent before her brush with mortality, but now she is a woman on a mission.

Rachel says: "I am a lucky survivor. I feel lucky and blessed and I have to go out there now and embrace life. I feel it is so important to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

"It is the silent killer of women. It is often diagnosed too late and I do feel women are dying needlessly as a result."

Running for: Macmillan Cancer Support

Tudor Gwynn Suganami Jones

TUDOR Gwynn Suganami Jones

'It started out as fun, but things have become a lot more serious'

Running motivation: It almost began as a joke for 27-year-old Tudor, but now ahead is a gruelling and almost ridiculous challenge.

Tudor fronts a band and on stage would often don a full suit of armour for fun.

That led to an interesting challenge was suggested, why not run more than 13 miles encased in the metal suit weighing 32kg? More than half Tudor's own body weight.

He only started running seriously in February having given up smoking and training has drawn some strange looks, but Tudor is hoping to complete the Half Marathon in under three-and-half hours.

Trying to run in the suit itself is likened to a war of attrition, the ultimate test of stamina. The main problem will be the heat and Tudor will take on four times as much water during the race as a conventional runner.

Tudor says: "To finish I will need to be stubborn, but I'm pretty good at being that. It was planned as being fun, but since the charities have come on board things have become a lot more serious.

"They are fantastic causes which some of my friends have dealt with and I'm just determined not to let anyone down."

Running for: Mencap and Ty Hafan

Emma Jackson

EMMA Jackson

'If I save just one life it all will have been worth it'

Running motivation: English teacher Emma saw her world ripped apart when her father Fred died.

Fun-loving Fred was away on business in Cornwall when he was taken ill in his hotel room. Believing it was just flu at first, Fred became increasingly sick and by the time he was taken to hospital it was too late. The 52-year-old had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Emma says the loss of her dad had a massive and dreadful impact on her family, but from the tragedy emerged a new purpose in Emma's life.

Now she is looking to raise awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In particular she is urging caution when people stay away from home and is encouraging people to buy simple and cheap mobile carbon monoxide detectors when they are travelling.

Emma, who will celebrate her 27th birthday on the day of the Half Marathon, has never run the distance before, but will be spurred around the 13 miles by the thought of her deeply-missed father.

Emma says: "My father was a very positive person and I would like to think he would be proud of what I'm doing.

"If by doing this I get to save just one life then it will all have been worth it."

Running for: Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed!

Paul Wozencraft

PAUL Wozencraft

'I dread to think what might have happened without the air ambulance'

Running motivation: You never know how vital a service can be until you need it and that was the case for Paul when it came to the Wales Air Ambulance.

When his mother, Phylis, fell down the stairs at the farmhouse she shares with his dad, Eurfyl, near Rhayader in mid-Wales there was a lot of panic. In her 70s, Phylis had evidently injured her spine and blood was pouring from a head wound.

Phylis was flown to hospital in Hereford where she recovered. Things though might have been rather different though if she had to travel by road.

So when 42-year-old Paul and some pals started planning to run in this year's Half Marathon, Paul straight away knew the charity he wanted to be raising cash for.

Paul says: "It was an incredibly worrying time when mum fell and I dread to think what might have happened without the air ambulance.

"For the area where my parents live it can be an absolutely vital service. I'm amazed it is privately funded and it was a no-brainer when I decided who I wanted to be running for."

Running for: Wales Air Ambulance

The Cardiff Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, 2 October.

  • Watch coverage of the half marathon on BBC Wales.
  • Listen to coverage on BBC Radio Wales
  • Follow live text commentary of the race on the BBC Sport website
  • Send us your stories and pictures on social media using the hashtag #GetInspired
  • Take a look at this handy guide to find ways to get into running.

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Gareth 'Alfie' Thomas has been training three teams to run the Cardiff Half Marathon